Posts by Bart Janssen

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  • Hard News: One man’s Meat Puppets is…,

    Holy 28 pages Batman!

    I've already had it determined that my musical taste is crap, so listing what I hate is perhaps moot.

    But I have one experience that seems relevant. I've found as time goes by that songs that I loved, passionately loved for a long period, can become songs that I just don't want to hear again. It's as if there is an absolute number of times I can hear any song before I will eventually hate it - no matter how much I loved it when it first released. As a result there are some radio stations I just can't listen to at all.

    The other thing I've noticed is that the more times a lyric is repeated within one song the quicker that song reaches my threshold of tolerance.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4015 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Time to move on,

    I overestimated the competence of the police.

    This for me is the saddest part of the whole mess.

    I don't know what those folks were doing in the bush and probably will never know. But I had hoped the police would have had a better idea of what was going on and a more appropriate response than behaving as if they were in a hollywood movie. To compound their (over)reaction with shear incompetence is just downright disappointing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4015 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A fiction of unalloyed darkness, in reply to 3410,

    Why would anyone expect a theatre piece to be literally true?

    No really, Martin Sheen is NOT the president.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4015 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A fiction of unalloyed darkness, in reply to Russell Brown,

    it’s reasonably easy to try and buy ethical food

    But it's actually quite a bit harder to succeed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4015 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Vision Thing, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    A PhD scientist with 8-9 years training starts at a CRI at about 50k and can expect to get up to about 80k after 20 years.

    Engineers get more in some industries abut not in others.

    I'm sorry Kier I just simply disagree with you that the "market" will sort it out. Call it an ideological difference.

    We exist in an essentially market driven environment now and the numbers of student willing to do science is steadily dropping. What's worse is the quality is dropping too. When you look to see where those really bright stage I students went, they went to one of the high paid professions.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4015 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Vision Thing, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    Bollocks.

    We pay lawyers many times what we pay engineers. Smart kids choose a profession where they get their loans back fast

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4015 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Vision Thing, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    None taken.

    The word was encourage. Not all will choose that path. But at present it seems we discourage the best and brightest from choosing that path and instead channel them to law and commerce. We need some of those just not as many as we train now.

    If your comment was meant to imply I lack an appreciation of the other fields taught at University, in particular the humanities, then you are mistaken.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4015 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Vision Thing,

    Read the speech twice now and left with the impression that it is a decent start.

    It really will be important to see the detail.

    Stuff like enabling education professionals to make decisions about what is best rather than politicians.

    Like an appropriate role for tech institutes, tech trainees are as valuable to society as lawyers.

    Like appropriate management of universities to encourage the training of the kinds of skill we need not simply those that make money, yes that's social engineering but that is the point.

    And yes if you want the encourage the brightest to become scientists and engineers who can innovate a new economy you must fund them on excellence not some moronic treasury bullet point.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4015 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Vision Thing, in reply to Sacha,

    if none of his senior specialists were paid more than him

    Basically he's saying that if he has hired well, then his specialist are more knowledgable and capable in their area than him and hence deserving of more salary.

    It also acknowledges that in many cases there are few people with the specialist skills whereas there are many people with the managerial skills.

    The only point about that I'd argue with is that really good managers are much rarer than the job titles would have you believe.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4015 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Vision Thing,

    From the speech

    Right now, they're following the money, and that means we're turning out an army of accountants.

    Engineers and scientists, not so much.

    Just a note we are now in the process of firing scientists from our CRIs while the accountants and management get pay rises.

    The damage done to our research institutes will take decade to recover from.

    And BTW that damage was started by Labour when they abandoned science funding to the control of treasury.

    At present, I would not advise any child to become a scientist in New Zealand - that shocks and horrifies me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4015 posts Report Reply

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