Posts by TracyMac

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  • Legal Beagle: Suicide Reporting; or, The…, in reply to tussock,

    It's not always a mental health issue, unless you classify all domestic violence or murders as arising from mental health issues. There might be an argument for that, but since our courts lock people up in prisons for murder more often then they commit them to mental health institutions, that's not how the law typically views it.

    And this is why these situations should not have the suicide element preempting the proper reporting of the murder element.

    Also, you're in danger of saying the reverse is true - that all suicides are due to mental health issues. Obviously the vast majority are, but some are quite rational choices in the face of terminal or other serious and debilitating illness.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 628 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Suicide Reporting; or, The…, in reply to william blake,

    Exactly my thinking. Frankly, I think this case is a pretty bad example for leading a discussion of reporting suicide, since the matter was actually a murder followed by the guy removing himself from any legal recriminations (or not, see further below).

    When it's a murder/suicide, I do think it is in the public interest to know whether it was the fallout of some "family matter" (domestic violence, custody battle, other), addiction issue, and/or mental health issue. Classifying it solely as a suicide obfuscates the murder of presumably-innocent victims.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 628 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Big Chill,

    Wow, so All the President's Men and many many other similar works, aren't "journalism"?

    Well, that's news.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 628 posts Report Reply

  • Feed: A scientist researches restaurants,

    As for interesting food in the capital, I thoroughly recommend Pickle. Modern cuisine, great flavours, not ridiculously priced for what it is. Although it's not a cheap place, by any means.

    As it says on the tin, pickled food is a big part of the experience. The cold crisp veggies served with salt and "ash" were amazing. The take on gourmet KFC was hilarious. Everything was delicious, and I loved the decor.

    Getting back to Carl Jr, I'm afraid that's one place I won't step foot in due to the US owner's vociferous homophobia. I'm sure plenty of CEOs donate funds to causes I disagree with, but that instance is just beyond pale for me.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 628 posts Report Reply

  • Feed: A scientist researches restaurants, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Hah, there was (is?) a restaurant in the US where the food is scraped, smeared, painted, scattered and assembled directly onto the table itself.

    While I am happy for expensive food to have an artistic impact, I really care more about its taste and the fact it can start entering my mouth shortly after arriving at the table. Preferably sans any performance art from the wait staff.

    So yeah, definitely not in the market for that kind of wankfest.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 628 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Sectarian Bloodlust 2.0, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Yes, I actually know that. But it was further developed by DuPont for Nasa initially before finding a broader commercial application.

    And hair-splitting about who invented what wasn't really the point of what I said. I won't say technology is "values-neutral", because there often is a specific intent - involving some underlying morality or set of values. It's just fine, for some, to develop nuclear bombs capable of killing millions. But there is nothing inherent in specific technologies to prevent their use by anyone with a completely different moral standard.

    Principles used for creating nuclear bombs are also used for nuclear power plants, whatever you think of that. The intent of the latter is "cleaner" power, which can be sold commercially. Slaughtering millions would erode the customer base.

    Again, that principle of technology itself as capable of being bent to the purposes of any morality holds true for most. Which is when I get surprised (certainly not trying to get AT anyone) when people seem to believe the positive intent (assuming there was one) of a technology's creation is sufficient unto itself.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 628 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Sectarian Bloodlust 2.0, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    What I find sad, ironic and ultimately a bit terrifying is that the terrorists are using the height of modern technology and science to extend a culture that promotes and glorifies ignorance.

    I have to say, I find this kind of idea - which is surprisingly prevalent in techie circles - pretty amazingly unsophisticated.

    I've been racking my brains for a fair while now, trying to think of any technology that has an inherent morality attached to it. Ok, assault rifles are pretty much designed to kill people - but I've seen their use justified for deer hunting. Vaccines have saved millions of lives, but the same techniques are used for "weaponised" germ warfare. The International Space Station wouldn't be there without ex-Nazi V1/V2 rocket technology.

    Yes, the intent for creating a technology may have a moral dimension for its inventor. But to assume any technology user has the same moral view is really naive. Not to mention oblivious to a fair amount of human history.

    And it doesn't matter how new and shiny the technology is - the biggest prediction you can make is the more powerful a technology is seen to be, the more others are going to want to bend it to their own purposes. This benefits the "good guys" as well (however you define them) - we wouldn't have GPS, teflon, the Internet, or space flight in their current forms without the US military.

    Of course, if they'd invested some more of those billions in creating cool stuff and not building so many better bombs, perhaps we would have had modern computer networks in the 1970s. But technology is created and used by people (and their agendas); technology cannot create a moral imperative of itself.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 628 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Practically jokers, in reply to Tom Beard,

    Astology, noun. A branch of histology specialising in studying the part of the human anatomy from which Colin Craig plucks his policies.

    Seems to be in quite broad use, although sadly unacknowledged as a source by other parties.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 628 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Ides of Epsom, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    Interesting, since most of the IT geeks I know are of the leftie-lite persuasion. Except for the pockets of Christian fundamentalist/evangelical ones you find dotted about in odd places. IT geeks in the financial sector in the UK seemed to be more rightward-leaning.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 628 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Original Beats, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Wow, werk that room, gurl.

    Simple but really effective stagecraft = WIN. Talk about pressing those emotional buttons.

    Speaking of Kate Bush analogues, I get it in terms of Lorde's image as a bit fey and very distinctive-looking (and an endearing hint of dorkiness). I'm so thankful for the lack of an ear-splitting upper register and interpretative dance.

    (Love what Kate achieved as a performer, and she is a wonderful person. Never bought any of her music after the Wuthering heights single.)

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 628 posts Report Reply

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