Posts by Bart Janssen

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  • OnPoint: 3 News Exclusive Investigation…,

    As for the 3news story. Did anyone actually mention that the whole frigging point of a government is to spend money. If we didn't need them to spend money on things like education we wouldn't need them at all.

    profitable government
    military intelligence
    ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4188 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: 3 News Exclusive Investigation…, in reply to Samthecat,

    Personally having had to spend 10 years working my way through a law degree in the 70’s I would have loved a student loan. It still makes me snicker when I get the youngsters in my office complaining about their student loans while signing up to buy a used car from a finance house. My standard line is “One of these things is an investment in your future, and it ain’t the car”. They pay no heed.

    I did my degrees in the 80s. There were no bloody fees! Sure books cost a LOT some of them were almost $30. And rent was nearly $25 a week for my room! Going to University in the 70s or 80s was essentially a free ride. Something for which I am always grateful.

    Yes I worked multiple part time jobs and no I couldn't afford a car.

    But to dismiss the burden of that debt for the students of today is to demonstrate such an amazing lack of empathy that it leaves me sad for those who have to work for you.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4188 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Fiscal Responsibility is the…,

    It is entirely possible to take one sensible step without then immediately making subsequent stupid steps.

    It would be nice if those arguing against the fruit and veg exemption actually stuck to the argument, but every discussion seems to be about things that are not actually being proposed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4188 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Doing the right thing on retirement, in reply to Sacha,

    Those stories are still really important to understanding

    You mean like history as a valuable science :).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4188 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Doing the right thing on retirement, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    'breeding for a business' which are eugenic dog-whistles

    Any time someone raises this I want them to show actual data.

    Not anecdotes, not my sister's workmate has 3 cousins who ...

    But actual data, real numbers of mothers who have say more than 3 children and are on the DPB and have never worked. And with that real numbers on the actual costs.

    It seems to me that if those numbers were high then we'd actually get them shown to us, instead we get emotive phrases and anecdotes which suggests the numbers are effectively meaningless in our social welfare structure.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4188 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Doing the right thing on retirement, in reply to steven crawford,

    could lower life expectancy for some

    That would be impossible to show. No way the experiment will be done and no way to control for differences in health care as a result of changing budgets.

    An equally unprovable and untestable statement would be
    raising the age of retirement will increase life quality and duration for those working because of maintained self-worth and social contacts in the workplace.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4188 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Doing the right thing on retirement, in reply to linger,

    Also a sweet victory to trounce a ‘proper’ hockey team.

    Depends what you mean by “proper” I suppose.

    Back when my knees didn't hurt I played basketball a lot. The team we most feared was the association for the deaf team. They were brutal and they had skillz. I'm sure it was just chance that they were all good players AND hard players.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4188 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Doing the right thing on retirement, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Ahah! So Marsden is science that has a Point

    No no it's pointless science ... especially topology

    Science communication fail :(

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4188 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Doing the right thing on retirement, in reply to merc,

    "The planned advanced technology institute will operate in the border between business and science, providing a welcome focus on the development side of research and development," he said. "Exploiting untapped opportunities in the high tech manufacturing and services areas including ICT will be a major step forward for New Zealand's economy."

    Because we just know that there are tons of great ideas in the lab that those scientists have just failed to exploit. All they need is the guidance of some businessmen.

    But sarcasm aside, any investment will result in some good.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4188 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Doing the right thing on retirement, in reply to Kate Hannah,

    Marsdenable, I’d call it

    Exactly. Blue skies isn't quite right because it carries an implication that there is no conceivable value or product. What Marsdenable science has is quality first and foremost. Work that gets a Marsden is high quality, well thought out, likely to produce work that gets published in top peer reviewed journals. It also just so happens that it quite regularly results in patents and has proven to result in commercial spin outs.

    This is nothing novel. Exactly the same thing has been seen with every fund that assesses quality first and foremost, everywhere in the world.

    Note this isn't about me feathering my own nest. As our chief science advisor to the govt has pointed out again and again, countries that invest heavily in science (4 or more times the govt investment than NZ) have higher GDPs. Science and innovation drives wealth. And it isn't wealthy countries can afford science because countries that change from low investment to high investment see an increase in GDP a decade or so later and vice versa. If it isn't cause and effect then something very very bizarre is going on.

    @ John - Is history a science? mmm I think we could drink several glasses of wine with that discussion. But I certainly was not intending that money go from the study of history into the study of the biochemistry of moth chemoreceptors.

    To put this into a little more perspective for those outside the sciences (yes you can skip the rest of this post ... you read this far?!?). Marsdens are given to a very small number of proposals from a range of fields, including the social sciences, based solely on which proposal is the highest quality, as assessed by a scientific panel (of 8 or so?), with input from experts in the field for each proposal. Feedback from the panels is that they could fund 2-3 times as many grants and give them twice as much money each with no loss of quality.

    By contrast MSI, the new ministry set up by our current government wants a description of the research in lay terms emphasizing how much the research will benefit the New Zealand economy in the next 3 years or so. The implication is that lay readers will be making the decisions. They will then pick which ones get money. This isn't too different from the FRST funding system that preceded MSI.

    My reading of history suggests funding quality of science is the more successful strategy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4188 posts Report Reply

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