Posts by BenWilson

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  • Hard News: Trump's Dummkopfs, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Playboy cover 1990

    I remember reading that one for the article about Trump. It was really deep.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10138 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Trump's Dummkopfs,

    Wow that was so horrible I'll have to watch the finale.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10138 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Trump's Dummkopfs, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Secretly recorded locker room banter from ten years ago should not be dragged up to attack someone.

    Um, Trump was actually wearing the microphone. At the end of the footage, the other guy asks for it back, says the interview is over. Trump was saying all that stuff with a microphone attached to his lapel to a media personality. That ain't no secret recording, that's a guy who just doesn't give a shit who knows what a jerk he is.

    The out-takes that will come out will be no different. This was stuff recorded in a studio in front of heaps of witnesses.

    So, nah, I have no sympathy for him. OK, so Americans have to actually hear it with their own ears in recorded form because the endless litany of people who have heard him expressing this kind of crap, and a whole lot worse, just aren't to be believed. Well, there it is - he really is that much of a dick.

    If, in an age where everything is recorded, the indiscretions of a private life before entering politics are used as a weapon when in public life no one will will risk the reputational damage of standing for public office.

    Bollocks. There's no end of people who want to be the President of the USA. How it came down to this clown being the best the Republicans have to offer is just an indictment on their party.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10138 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Trump's Dummkopfs, in reply to Alfie,

    The Apprentice out-takes are holding out for top dollar, I'll bet.

    I feel compelled to watch the debate this arvo, if only to see if the whole thing descends into a shit fight about who is more morally reprehensible, an ex-president, or the presidential nominee. This presidential election had already descended into farce months ago, but now I'm curious to see if it can devolve even more.

    I'm expecting Clinton to steer clear of the elephant in the room until Trump brings it up himself. She doesn't need to raise it, everyone already knows, the damage is being done. She can valiantly try to drag discussion away from the penises of male candidates, and then just let the rope spool out as Trump draws direct attention to his vulgarity.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10138 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…, in reply to goforit,

    To me it's a good thing Singh Singh asked that question, because it is a very valid question that anyone looking to drive for Uber might ask. Considering that the law enforcement on Uber drivers has been not very strong, and it is fairly clear that Uber covers all fines paid for non-compliance, why wouldn't someone signing up in a casual way simply not go for compliance?

    My answer comes from the space of the Uber driver's mindset, rather than an outraged competitor or public member.

    Firstly, getting busted isn't nothing, even if Uber pays the fine. Every person I've spoken to over the last few months that it has happened to has found it to be an extremely unpleasant experience. There's never anything nice about being pulled out of your car by a police officer, questioned, searched, and then handed a big fat fine and being ordered to cease and desist from your job. Then after that, going down to the Uber office to beg for them to help you, something you are completely at their mercy over. Then several months of that horrible feeling you get whenever you open anything in your mailbox that looks like official correspondence from the police and courts. You might also have your car impounded, which could end up being a very costly exercise, and again, you have to trust that Uber will pay the difference. So far, most drivers I've seen go through this wringer quit out, even if they don't technically pay the fine.

    Second, and more importantly, being compliant frees you from begging for scraps from the master. Which is precisely what working for Uber engineers your employment conditions to be. If you are totally non-compliant, there is only one shop that will employ you, and your ability to get justice from them is about the same as it would be for any other criminal enterprise. You have to go beg the boss. If you have your compliances you can immediately work for any of the other app - based services, such as Zoomy or Ezigo, or several others that are less developed but still on their way, or could go full taxi if you wanted, or drive a bus, or a limousine, or a shuttle. Compliance opens a lot of employment doors.

    But the second point only really works on any one who has an intention to do more than work for Uber for a few months. And I think this is where Uber is hardest to crack open - they actually have a business model predicated on staff churn. Most drivers just don't stay very long, because after a few hundred rides and maybe 10 or so interactions with the "support" process, they come to realize just how far down the Uber food chain drivers actually are. Also, they will finally have some evidence of just how costly running a car as a passenger service really is, and how much that affects their real actual income.

    They have a machine in place that can sign up hundreds of drivers a week. Losing drivers is a normal, even expected, part of the way they do business. I think it's important that prospective drivers know this.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10138 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…, in reply to Singh Singh,

    You'll still have to get a P Endorsement, but the course looks like it will be removed or streamlined. But who knows how long until the law changes? It could take a year, because the whole Land Transport Act is being overhauled everywhere. Until then, it's the law, so the reason to get one would be to:
    1. Not potentially get busted by the cops
    2. Be able to work for anyone but Uber

    That second reason is probably the more compelling one, and this post was the reason why. You could lose your job with Uber just because you have a bad week. If you're going to throw tens of thousands into your car for professional driving, the extra $400 for the P endorsement course is probably worth it.

    No, there is no way to get an exemption. Until the law changes, the law hasn't changed. The way that law changes here is a long process in which a number of changes to the proposed changes get made. Maybe they rethink it and decide to keep the P endorsement course after all. So the police can't just give you a free pass that they didn't give to the other 20,000 people driving passengers professionally.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10138 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Wonder Bi, in reply to Rich Lock,

    where Wonder Woman straight up slaughters a bunch of kids.

    But they cut away, so you don't really see what being impaled on a broken sword looks like (although the sound effect is a bit meaty, IMHO). Because there's no room for that in today's game, totally not what the crowd wants to see.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10138 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Trump's Dummkopfs, in reply to simon g,

    Much better to do what Clinton did to Trump – let your opponent dig the hole, let the soundbites stand.

    Generally this is not a strategy that works. But with Trump, it seems to. Which makes sense. Because his rise is an inversion of standard political wisdom, his fall probably will be too.

    The more the general public hears Trump, the less they like him. Mostly he wins as an abstract idea and a couple of soundbites. Under sustained examination (which for me starts to really grate at around the 2-3 minute point, by which any reasonable speaker has delivered at least one cogent actual point), he breaks down into an incomprehensible rambling buffoon. Let him speak. Push his buttons and he does not have the self control to stop. Like Joseph McCarthy, eventually people just stop listening to him. The stupid burns too much.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10138 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Trump's Dummkopfs, in reply to Tom Johnson,

    I thought debates were about substance not looking unruffled in the face of intellectual defeat.

    Substance probably counts for a good solid 10%. :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10138 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Wonder Bi, in reply to Rich Lock,

    The violence in the animated versions is far more of a concern when it comes to a ‘won’t somebody think of the children’ moment.

    It's been this way since forever, though. I mean superheros pretty much ALL spend most of their time either bashing or getting bashed. Violence is not an offshoot, it's basically their whole purpose. Very often the whole purpose of their secret identity is just so they can get away with it.

    I do have to wonder if we overthink that. How closely correlated is the consumption of violent depiction with actual violence? The two would seem to be trending in opposite directions for like a hundred years. Probably the best you could say is that the exact form of the violence in depictions is often imitated.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10138 posts Report Reply

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