Posts by TracyMac

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  • 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 • 624 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 • 624 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 • 624 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 • 624 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 • 624 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 • 624 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Lighting the Dark, in reply to Tess Rooney,

    ...we make sure we can run in those shoes, and track who's around and who might be a threat, but how do you avoid the bloke in your living room that you invited in...

    That's right. The only times I've been physically and sexually assaulted have been by an ex-partner (female) and "family" members.

    But I wonder if one of the reasons we are hyper-vigilant about stranger danger is precisely because we encounter assaults (and the lead-up controlling or dismissive behaviour) from our "nearest and dearest". If my ex-boyfriend was so much of a prick to me, how much worse could a stranger be?

    Of course, assaults and murders by (ex) partners and family members have been just as horrific as those of any random serial killer. They just tend to be more targeted and less elaborate (but much, much more likely). But those embedded fears aren't rational, in the moment.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 624 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Lighting the Dark, in reply to Nat D,

    Thank you, I was just going to make the same point.

    What about Wossname in Auckland who beat his ex-girlfriend to death a couple of years ago? Same entitlement syndrome, result was still a death.

    The only difference is that guns make it easier to kill someone rather than putting someone in a hospital, Make it even easier to kill multiple people. The underlying motive and intent? Exactly the same.

    Sure, the US needs to continue their gun debate, but whatever the outcome, it doesn't stop toxic attitudes to "the Other", whatever the Other may be.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 624 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Fine Line,

    On a slight tangent, Australia's job market and economy is going to have to free-fall a lot further before you'd expect to see many Aussies chancing their arm in NZ on a substantially economic basis. The economy and especially wages here are still way ahead of NZ's. We'll see what happens if Tonee and crew dismantle the minimum wage.

    I expect there may be a trickle of "political refugees" who simply can't stomach the current govt. And a whole bunch of NZ citizens returning home if they lose their jobs. This will mostly be the manual and service workers that make up the preponderance of economic migrants. But I'll be in the same boat if I lose my job, especially since more agencies in Canberra are requiring security clearances.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 624 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Let's talk about class, in reply to Kevin Hague,

    No intention to ring your bell, Kevin. I think the parliamentary Greens are doing a hell of a lot for workers' rights, and certainly get more bang for the buck on these issues than Labour is right now.

    As someone who votes Green, but is not a party member, I'm afraid I was unaware of the work done on Pike River and mining safety in general.

    I suppose it's the same old story of the "no mines at any cost" so-called "loony" element being played up in the media, vs the more pragmatic approach of those actually doing the work (and the majority of Green voters, I suspect).

    Thanks for the extra detail, and I'll do my own foot-shuffling for being sucked in by media biases I'm actually fully aware of!

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 624 posts Report Reply

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