OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Dear Labour Caucus

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  • Rich Lock, in reply to Sacha,

    A tasty-sounding menu aint enough.

    Eat your Greens, children, they're good for you.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2396 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Isaac Freeman,

    You do have to come down to voting yea or nay on any given bill, so the Parliamentary system does necessarily impose a binary distinction.

    But there's an awful lot of negotiating non-binary positions and relationships before you get down to a vote. Especially under MMP.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16605 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Hannah, in reply to Isaac Freeman,

    This is a very good point. You do have to come down to voting yea or nay on any given bill, so the Parliamentary system does necessarily impose a binary distinction.

    On any given bill, but there are a lot of bills. I don't know enough stats to know how solid this is, but Theyworkforyou did some analysis that suggests the binary distinction breaks down pretty clearly when looking at a series.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 224 posts Report Reply

  • Isaac Freeman, in reply to Sacha,

    I’d say their policies (‘2’) are so strong that they’ve been adopted by other parties, notably things like capital gains tax. And are now touted by Shearer as his overall goal for Labour (admittedly before any further reworking of that party’s platform).

    True. It happens to be policy I personally agree with so perhaps I underrate its strength with non-me people. They have many strange ideas.

    Christchurch • Since Feb 2007 • 133 posts Report Reply

  • John Armstrong, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    the intellectual differences that are displayed . . .
    are not real.

    If you mean that the differences of opinion expressed here tend to fall within relatively narrow limits, fair enough. But I'm not sure that is necessarily a fatal weakness. While it is always valuable to test your ideas with people who think very differently, it's also useful to refine them by speaking with people who share the same core ideas, 'values', or whatever weird umbrella it is that shields this place from the more extreme elements of online discussion.

    For the record, my observation was that both the 'offence' under discussion and the response were pretty mild.

    It would be a real shame to lose your voice.

    Hamilton • Since Nov 2007 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Isaac Freeman, in reply to Tim Hannah,

    Theyworkforyou did some analysis that suggests the binary distinction breaks down pretty clearly when looking at a series.

    It does support the idea that there are three clusters rather than two when it comes to voting blocs. But I think it'd be fair to say that it stills hides a lot of diversity when it comes to wider political views.

    Incidentally, I'd be interested in having a chat with anybody who's interested in getting something like theyworkforyou going again. Not that I can currently contribute much in the way of capital or time. But I have ideas, which is obviously the main thing.

    Christchurch • Since Feb 2007 • 133 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Get Flash Player to watch videos

    Since Nov 2006 • 2669 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie, in reply to BenWilson,

    Part of the reason I often find the Green’s message attractive ...is precisely because their solutions don’t always fit on that left-right spectrum

    Neither does NZF, but you openly despise them.

    Yeah. That's why I said part of the reason. You gotta like what they're selling too, and you handily (and quite wittily) summed up any number of reasons why I don't when it comes to NZF.

    And yes, Green's, Greens', Greens's. I wondered about it myself, and should have exerted the extra effort to say The Green Party's.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1129 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    But for the worst part of it is that we don’t need the shorthand, particularly here.

    Yeah, but at the same time I think some people like to act deliberately obtuse rather than accept what is meant. When I get to that bit in a PAS thread where I find myself having to qualify every sub-clause of every sentence so as to avoid what seems like wilful misinterpretation, well I just give up. And some might say that's no great loss.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1129 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie, in reply to Isaac Freeman,

    My dispute with Left and Right only arises when we try to also use them to describe wider movements in society.

    Exactly.

    (I know it's a bit binary for many around these parts, but when it comes to comments like Isaac's, I'd appreciate just being able to click 'Like')

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1129 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    It's a mistake to think that the binary nature of classical logic is its greatest fault, and that things might work better if truth had more than two values. Propositions can only have two values, yes, but they can be arbitrarily long and complex, full of caveats. The entirety of every position could be parsed into one statement - a bill is such a statement. There is also no limit to the number of statements that can be made in succession, forming a very, very complex picture.

    The real fault of logic, binary or otherwise, is that the basic meaning of atomic propositions, or predicates if we go past first-order logic, is only given meaning in context to the humans and their understanding of the meaning of the symbols the logic uses. The entire system can easily be subverted by refusing to use the symbols the same way, or pretending to at the start, and then later changing. Or leaving something deliberately vague, to be changed at whim. Which means all discussion retains a human element to it, it can't really be turned into a calculator, no matter how much effort is spent doing so. The inputs are human, and the outputs are interpreted by humans. We are the machine. We must always remember that. If we become servants to the machine, small wonder when we get chewed up and spat out like bad data, or replaced like a faulty part. There is no machine we can't smash to pieces, if need be. Yet.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8441 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Andrew E,

    Ermm.... Lolcats?

    Well, if you're going to get snitty about it...

    note to self: make more work for Andrew

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2070 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to John Armstrong,

    It would be a real shame to lose your voice.

    His voice is still on Twitter and Bat Bean Beam, of course.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3652 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie, in reply to BenWilson,

    There is no machine we can’t smash to pieces, if need be.

    And this close to Christmas, it's worth noting that there are very few machines than can't be smashed to pieces by a toddler before the turkey is out of the oven.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1129 posts Report Reply

  • Isaac Freeman, in reply to Damian Christie,

    When I get to that bit in a PAS thread where I find myself having to qualify every sub-clause of every sentence so as to avoid what seems like wilful misinterpretation, well I just give up.

    I object in the strongest possible terms. My mother has never been a member of the Nazi party, and I resent the implication.

    Christchurch • Since Feb 2007 • 133 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    atomic propositions

    shady deals

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16605 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Isaac Freeman,

    I object in the strongest possible terms. My mother has never been a member of the Nazi party, and I resent the implication

    So what's her explanation for the tattoos, then? Eh?

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2070 posts Report Reply

  • Isaac Freeman, in reply to nzlemming,

    So what’s her explanation for the tattoos, then? Eh?

    National Association of Zoological Inspectors. Completely different organisation.

    Christchurch • Since Feb 2007 • 133 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Damian Christie,

    Completely different organisation.

    Still a bunch of fascists, though. Why can't I pet the Kiwis, huh?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8441 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    >atomic propositions

    shady deals

    I can smell the uranium in your privatization bill.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8441 posts Report Reply

  • Isaac Freeman, in reply to BenWilson,

    Why can’t I pet the Kiwis, huh?

    That's what people always say. Until they've been beaked.

    Christchurch • Since Feb 2007 • 133 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie, in reply to BenWilson,

    Why can’t I pet the Kiwis, huh?

    Because everyone knows it's never just petting with you Ben, no matter what you promise. And no-one is buying the "I just want to cuddle" line either.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1129 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Damian Christie,

    Yeah, but at the same time I think some people like to act deliberately obtuse rather than accept what is meant. When I get to that bit in a PAS thread where I find myself having to qualify every sub-clause of every sentence so as to avoid what seems like wilful misinterpretation, well I just give up. And some might say that’s no great loss.

    Agreed. That doesn't happen that often, but tends to squeeze the usefulness out of the discussion and make everyone feel pissed off, or disinclined to contribute.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18816 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Damian Christie,

    Because everyone knows it’s never just petting with you Ben, no matter what you promise. And no-one is buying the “I just want to cuddle” line either.

    Known Kiwi groomer. Sayin'.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18816 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Damian Christie,

    Because everyone knows it's never just petting with you Ben, no matter what you promise. And no-one is buying the "I just want to cuddle" line either.

    Look I can't help it if I petted the Kiwi too hard because you made me wear a rubber glove and I couldn't even feel the feathers through it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8441 posts Report Reply

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