Posts by Bart Janssen

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  • Hard News: People Take Drugs, in reply to Russell Brown,

    induces people to vocalise their inner monologue

    You mean like blogging?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3444 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: People Take Drugs,

    So the compelling thing for me is that we've been treating drug users as criminals for several decades and it hasn't stopped people using drugs. Worse it hasn't stopped people being harmed.

    So can we please stop doing something that doesn't work and try doing something different. It's pretty much the definition of stupidity to keep repeating the same actions year after year and expecting a different outcome.

    There are no guarantees that trying something new like legalisation and education to try and avoid harm from drugs. But we know beyond any shadow of a doubt that our current approach fails.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3444 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: People Take Drugs, in reply to Rich Lock,

    90% of the world’s poppies for heroin production are grown there, so under the current mindset of western governments, it’s logical for them to be there

    Someone did a study that showed a very nice inverse correlation between grain prices and opium production. Essentially if the Afghani growers can get a decent price for grain they will switch from poppies to grain.

    Logically a trade subsidy for grain from Afghanistan would seriously damage opium production and be much cheaper than using guns.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3444 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Some Lines for Labour, in reply to Paul Williams,

    commented that Labour does not have obvious principles informing it’s policy relative to the greens. I don’t agree.

    Paul I said "does not appear" ... the problem is twofold I think, first is Labour are not obvious about their guiding ideals in the way that the Greens are obvious. That means on any given issue most folks can guess how the Greens will vote but the same isn't true for Labour - which guiding principle caused Labour to support the communications bill?

    The second problem is, as you say, that Labour have to have more policies because they purport to be a complete solution for governing. They have to have a policy for everything and that makes their guiding principles less obvious. Personally I'd say that is a copout.

    To me much of what Labour in parliament has done of late has felt like their only guiding principle is to regain power and say whatever is required to do that. That may not be true but that's what it feels like to me.

    Much of that I'm sure is appearance rather than fact, but that's a huge problem because in the end the voter can only judge Labour on what it appears to be.

    Personally I'd sit down and figure out what the 4 or 5 things that define Labour really are and make sure that every policy refers back to those ideals explicitly.

    If you really have to break one of those ideals then be open about it and say why.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3444 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Some Lines for Labour,

    So for the greens the line for me would be to commit to evidence based policy. Stay true to green ideal but only support things for which evidence exists and only oppose things when evidence of harm exists. Anecdote and supposition should not be used for policy. However, I am fine if one part of the policy is a commitment to do research to confirm or deny anecdote or supposition.

    For Labour it's a bit more difficult. I would argue the same should apply. But the difference is that the greens have a set of ideals to refer to when developing policy. Labour does not appear to have the same set of guidelines. I'm sure they do but for some reason it hasn't been made clear in the way that the greens have made their guiding principles clear.

    One example has been the tactic of defining Labour by opposing things National does. It's simplistic to say Labour doesn't give tax cuts to the rich like National. But the real question should be about why tax cuts to the rich are bad. that's an economic argument and should be backed up with data and based on a set of principles.

    For example
    Tax cuts to the rich create a larger divide between rich and poor and worldwide there is a strong correlation between a large divide between rich and poor and crime. A more balanced tax regime reduces the divide between rich and poor and hence less crime. This fits with Labour principle of fairness (or whatever).

    At the moment the whining is just about why it's not fair. Rather than about the consequences of having an unfair system.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3444 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Some Lines for Labour, in reply to Sacha,

    Are they still commonly tested only on men?

    No. But ... most older drugs were tested on men and mostly white middle class middle aged men. So a number of the older dugs have a well known (now) set of side effects on women and some ethnic groups. The most significant are the anesthetics which typically cause more nausea and have a longer recovery time for women than for men.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3444 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Some Lines for Labour, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    But Sofie I want a perfect politician :)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3444 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Some Lines for Labour, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    If magnets worked that way then MRIs would kill you - very very messily. If they work it is some other mechanism.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3444 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Some Lines for Labour, in reply to B Jones,

    Close but not quite right. You just need to expand your sample size to the point where you get statistically significant data. Often the biggest problem I have with alternative medicine is n = 1.

    When you get significant data it stops being alternative and becomes part of the establishment. What is interesting is that at that point many adherents move onto something else.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3444 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Some Lines for Labour, in reply to Islander,

    I know what she means. Occasionally I get caught up in that dichotomy when talking to my GP, he is very very good, also a couple of decades in the job, but he calls me Dr Janssen, to honour my degree, but that plays with my perception of him as the "all knowing healer".

    One part of me wants the power of the all knowing healer to work magic, one part wants to be certain he is right after merely spending 5 years to get his degree.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3444 posts Report Reply

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