Posts by Paul Campbell

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  • Up Front: Absence of Malice,

    You know the best thing any teacher taught me was one day in 3rd form when our english teacher sat down, pulled out his check book and explained how it worked, how to balance it and why that was important

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2304 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Absence of Malice,

    Dunedin in the 70s - we wagged - well I didn't, but in retrospect I wish I had - the bullying was so horrendous I have no idea how I ever got up the nerve to go back there day after day - 35 years later the place still gives me the willies, I've actively worked to make sure my kids never do

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2304 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: From soundbite to policy,

    of course some will never reach the average - half the kids are always going to be below average - that's the nature of the beast.

    As someone pointed out the averages are moving (up) which is a good thing - I think at a very basic level we need to target two things: firstly making sure everyone who leaves school can function in society (bsic literacy, numeracy) and secondly pushing those averages up (this is a case where a rising tide does lift all boats)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2304 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: From soundbite to policy,

    I was talking to a bunch of my son's friend's tonight - one had been fired (he said) because he'd asked his boss to pay him minimum wage (apparently you have to pay a kid under 18 minimum wage after 90 days and he'd worked there that long) - when I explained about what National were doing the penny dropped - "but they can fire us every 90 days and never pay us minimum wage"

    Smart kids - that's what unions are for and why politics are important

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2304 posts Report Reply

  • Random Play: The movie that cried out to…,

    Ah but there's the big problem, a real dilemma: a yellow mini showing up in the 1800 would just wrong - but equally it would be really really symbolic - you can see how a director would be torn - I think you take the wheels off and have it carried by a bunch of orcs instead

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2304 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: From soundbite to policy,

    I always just think of Baldrick's definition: "it's like goldy or bronzy only made of iron"

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2304 posts Report Reply

  • Island Life: Keynote speaker: Paula…,

    I think one of the great things about the NZ health system is that we DO argue about how and where we should spend our health $$$ (look at the US: some pointy headed accountant at your company's insurance company decides) - we have a public health system we need to keep it functioning in an open way

    Health care could happily soak up our entire tax take, or more - obviously we can't do that - instead we make trade-offs between preventative health care and more direct stuff - we put people into waiting queues to smooth out demand and better fit it to the resources available - (think about it - if there's always a surgeon/body scanner/etc available right away then they need to be sitting idle on their hands waiting for you - so (small) queues are a good thing).

    The down side of course is that if advocates of a particular treatment (be it patients or, perish the thought, drug companies) manage to subvert the political process then others will miss out - and that's the problem I see here - just like all the other stuff National is jamming through the system without appropriate review this too should be handled more openly - maybe there are other, less vocal, groups who could use that money to help more people.

    As I understand it National want to up the health budget by some largish chunk - let's see that go to a select committee - get some some health professionals who understand outcomes and medical economics in to testify, do it right

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2304 posts Report Reply

  • Field Theory: Wellingtonista and Want-mas,

    I actually bought some NZ wine that came with it's own USB key in the supermarket the other day - it was for a geek birthday party so it was vaguely appropriate - the key contained some promo for the vinyard

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2304 posts Report Reply

  • Busytown: It's like a jungle sometimes,

    I think that one of those parenting skills they never teach you is how to deal with kids falling down - you have to learn to recognise that look from them that is basically "is he looking? should I cry?" - if you give just the right smile at just the right time they jump up and keep on running

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2304 posts Report Reply

  • Busytown: It's like a jungle sometimes,

    Living across the Bay from San Francisco I probably went into the city every couple of weeks - but I worked with a couple of coworkers who hadn't been there for 20 years (in fact travelling to Berkeley for work was a novelty - and this was back in the mid 80s)

    I guess from the point of view of suburbia the cities have become scary places

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2304 posts Report Reply

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