Posts by Russell Brown

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  • Hard News: 2015: The Budget of what?,

    Public Broadcasting Services funding cut for the seventh straight year. Down 1.3% to $129.5m. This after the NZ On Air board warned that it could not maintain services on this basis.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19606 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: First-person media and the…, in reply to Marcelo Rodriguez Ferrere,

    Seriously!? Am I to feel happy that I am part of the club that happily gets the reference to the amazing show or sad that it’s not universally known?

    It just means you're old, man.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19606 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: 2015: The Budget of what?,

    Hi guys – I’m busy with the day job today – and this year Keith’s doing his data thing for NBR, who will pay him with actual money. So consider this an open thread and make of it what you will.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19606 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: First-person media and the…, in reply to william blake,

    I really wish I had a v log and an audience when I was an adolescent but I’m really glad I didn’t.

    Oh man, I'd have been unstoppable with today's tools ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19606 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Synthetic cannabis: it just…,

    Here's quite a serve -- From Doctor Geoff Noller – in the comments under the Herald editorial:

    Dear Editor, you have misinterpreted Prof Glue's article. It reports on the "three months before and after implementation of the PSA on 18 July 2013". Thus the results, i.e. a 42% reduction in EPS contacts and 52% reduction in patient presentations, are compared with the three months pre-PSA. In other words the Act had the desired effect of reducing availability, e.g. down from approximately 5000 outlets to about 150 (Glue incorrectly reports 50) and thereby harms.

    It's erroneous to suggest that based on Glue's data prohibition is seen to be effective. Exactly the opposite in fact; it was regulation that produced the results he reports. Nonetheless problems clearly remained with both the Act and the products. These stem in part from poor implementation of regulations and lack of their enforcement.

    For example, many of those paraded by the media were underage users who had accessed synthetics illegally, often in collusion with unscrupulous retailers. Significant problems also resulted from the Ministry's failure to educate consumers. Why should we be surprised that following 90 years of prohibition cannabis analogs at 1/3 the price should be so popular?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19606 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Synthetic cannabis: it just…, in reply to Michael Savidge,

    Including this gem: “So much for the black market. So much for the claim that prohibition never works”.

    One pretty major thing that editorial leaves out is that the study it quotes says psychiatric presentations halved during regulation under the Psychoactive Substances Act.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19606 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Stand for... Something,

    I did quite a bit of thinking about this national character thing for the Great New Zealand Argument book, and one big thing I came up with was an aversion to theory. When New Zealand's social welfare system was established, reformers came from all over the world to hear what we had to say about it – which turned out to be bugger-all. It had just seemed a practical thing to do.

    Mind you, we didn't later think much about the reforms of Rogernomics, for much the same reason.

    I also concluded that we tended to work best at the intersection of practicality and creativity. Historically, we've been the skilled roadies and the great on-tour chefs rather than the rockstars.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19606 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Sex, monsters and outrage, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I certainly will, starting with giving myself a stern rap over the knuckles for not having the bullshit detector fully engaged when this first dropped. But you know why I was hard on Chris: Because it really sounded way out of character from someone I knew casually back in our student politics days and had a lot of time for.

    I don't for a moment think Hipkins holds the views you ascribed to him. He just got caught by cynical reporting and online outrage, like a lot of people did.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19606 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Sex, monsters and outrage, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    We’re soaking in it, Chris, and the least we can do is at least start giving young people their first tools to defend themselves from it. It could quite literally save lives down the road.

    I hope you gave everyone you know who took the story at face value the same lecture.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19606 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Stand for... Something,

    These are not, still, my favourite things about our national character. A couple of years back, I took great pride in doing something that to me epitomised what it means to be a New Zealander. I had a conversation, on Twitter, with the leader of a major political party, about giant robot dinosaur vaginas. (There are no prizes for guessing which leader it was.) We live in a country where she could have that conversation, publically, with no repercussions. We also live in a country where she could be the kind of person who would have that conversation.

    This is such an odd thing to bring to the argument (I'm beginning to suspect you're a quite unusual person, frankly) -- and also completely 100% on the money. That such a conversation could simply be accepted in the spirit in which it was uttered is something to be bloody proud of. Huzzah!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19606 posts Report Reply

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