Posts by Shaun Lott

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  • Hard News: Lowering the Stakes,

    Getting on to the SH16 cycle path from the Te Atatu Peninsula is much better, but still not great. Of course, the city end of things is where the Russian roulette really starts. Is there any plan to say goodbye to the conceptually awful 'bus/bike' lane? Although it's axiomatic that the roading design needs many improvements, it still always amazes me just how many cyclists do act like the traffic lights are not for them, despite the high cost when something goes wrong.

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 53 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Climate, money and risk,

    If anyone is interested, I would recommend Nate Silver’s great book on the use of Bayesian statistics in prediction, ’The Signal and the Noise’. His chapter on climate change points out that the observations of global warming are clearly demonstrable facts, with a well understood causal mechanism. However, the models that predict the consequences of the warming have a lot of uncertainty in them. So the real challenge here is to respond to a certain prediction of a threat of uncertain magnitude. Will the sea level rise in my lifetime be 2cm, 20cm or 2m? Personally, I’d choose to build my house a little further up the hill…

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 53 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: How do you sleep?,

    Poor sleep is strongly correlated with anxiety and depression, but also it is just an age thing... Blue light from screens is something to be avoided and some form of specific relaxation technique is a good idea. But on the other hand, why do we expect to sleep through the night anyway?

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 53 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Everybody's Machiavelli,

    Brown doesn’t look bad just silly: another middle-aged man who should have bought a red MG.

    When the tabloid circus is done, isn't this the actual issue? Is there evidence of personal favour, conflict of interest etc. in his professional dealings with someone over whom he was clearly able to exert influence? Concrete evidence of such would make this cross the line from personal disaster to professional one.

    The whole spectacle has been so deeply unedifying in both its execution and reporting on all sides. The Herald's problem is that it seems to want to simultaneously be the News of the World and the Daily Telegraph...

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 53 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Game Lorde,

    The Kate Bush of her time?

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 53 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A handful of battling billionaires,

    $250m seems cheap... but surely the real costs come in the long term support of a business that will marginally profitable (at best) with an eye to the civic good?

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 53 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: U: It's about the combos, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    I’d imagine the core audience for timeshifted Freeview is in fact people who don’t own a PVR or a VCR or use TV on demand, because many people don’t live in affluent households with large amounts of disposable income.

    I imagine you are right. I wonder if anyone has any numbers on this? “Popular with viewers” or just “cheaper for TVNZ”?

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 53 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: U: It's about the combos, in reply to StepDoh,

    Wasn't 'U' originally TVNZ6? Wasn't that a dedicated Kids' TV channel? Hasn't all that Kiszone stuff been given to Sky?

    I agree that Freeview's promise seems to have been totally squandered. A channel of decent adult programming (7) and some ads-free children's TV (6) have now become 'timeshifted' versions of what we already have elsewhere... because that's "popular with viewers" apparently. Because no-one owns a PVR or a VCR and no-one views TV on-demand, right?

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 53 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Who else forgot to get married?,

    Persoanlly, I feel that the technicality of marriage/civil union/whatever is viewed with much less importance than the stability of the couple, especially with the children in mind. In my peer group of couples with kids, some are married and some are not, and actually I have a hard time recalling which are which. What would make everyone sad in either case would be a family breaking up (though I accept the comments that this can in some cases be better than keeping a strongly dysfunctional family together just for the sake of it...)

    the spectacle of women adopting their husband’s surname (is this practice staging a comeback?)

    Totally yes and mysterious to me. I'm Dr S, my wife is Dr M... but quite often I'm Mr S to some bloke on the phone who has dealt with my wife first. You just roll with it. I know a few people who are Dr X at work but Mrs Y at home... In professional circles, it can actually be a useful way of not telegraphing our family arrangements when there is no need to do so.

    But personally I can't stand the double-barelling of the kids names... just choose one and be done with it! :)

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 53 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A Golden Age for the Arts?,

    Slightly off topic, but when you say

    There is next to no consistent career path for actors, directors and playwrights. Outstanding people are often lucky to get one short gig a year. This means that professional standards become eroded and the vibrant imaginations eventually move away from the arts into fields where livelihoods realistically exist.

    you are pretty much describing the case for the basic sciences also.

    I feel your pain.

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 53 posts Report Reply

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