Posts by Tom Semmens

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  • Hard News: What would a harm reduction…,

    I think it's about time to face the fact that the psychoactive substances act is a complete failure, except in one sense. I have always held that the act was never supposed to work, and the regulatory regime was simply a chimera designed to allow bulk banning of legal highs whilst erecting impossible barriers to legal market entry. About all we can take away from this failed piece of legislation is the philosophical volte-face of thinking about a legislative framework built upon regulation rather than prohibition, and from there start again.

    I question even the desirability of allowing legal highs into the market place, at least in the way we currently sell them. I would have thought that all the empirical evidence now points to the reality that buying traditional illegal drugs from a criminal network with raw market signals to provide decent products and not kill it's customers (combined, perhaps, with less strict policing) is actually a safer and better option for society than dairies flogging off to children and the mentally ill all sorts of synthetic concoctions made by ruthless profit-driven legal high manufacturers in Thailand. Better new Nikes for community pot dealers in Northland than Ferraris for legal high drug lords in Thailand.

    I guess "What would a harm reduction strategy look like now" would be accepting our bright new regulatory regime didn't work, and is now dedicated to producing absurd outcomes, where whole herds of elephants in the room are ignored and vast amounts of money is being spent to negotiate a deliberately broken Byzantine regulatory regime in pursuit of an utopian fantasy - a "healthy' high. And then apply the philosophical change that underpinned the psychoactive substances act - a legislative framework built upon regulation rather than prohibition, and shift to regarding drug use primarily as a public health issue tather than a criminal justice one - to the the place of all the old-school stuff like cocaine, heroin, marijuana, MDMA and so on.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: We don’t make the rules, we're…,

    There is a economic unreality to the cost of all this as well. If you already pay $1500PA to Sky, and about a grand to an ISP, then your bill for these media services is going to be in $2,500 range, plus another grand or so for the telephone. Now, I know it is hard for top execs on the fatcat salaries they all pay each other to grasp this, but for a lot of households somewhere north of $3,500 a year is a lot of money. How realistic is it to ask these consumers to then sign up to two or three ADDITIONAL content providers and cough up another $500-600PA to access stuff they can just torrent for free using their internet account?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: We don’t make the rules, we're…,

    One more thought. I have read an apparent axiom that if it is easier and quicker to get the torrent than get the show then you are doing it wrong. The thing is that consumers just won't put up with fragmented providers owning bits and bobs of content. But there is something else as well - the consumers view of content providers has been utterly poisoned by Sky's outrageous monopoly behaviour and the likes of Lightbox are suffering the (totally undeserved) backlash of consumers who are relishing giving a two finger salute to broadcast monopolies.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: We don’t make the rules, we're…,

    That’s fine for consumers, but it undermines the rights model that content creation is currently based on.

    I think I've spotted your problem. Your business model is obsolete.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: About Campbell Live, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Sell it, start from scratch.

    How would you handle the fact that it is called “TVNZ”, and “Television One”? As you’ve noted, TVNZ Channel One by dint of viewer habit can command half a million viewers at 7pm even if they just showed for half an hour a paddock full of retired donkeys peacefully going about their business.

    So really, it is the brand that is worth the most money. I guess we still have the BNZ and Air New Zealand, but I am not sure if they are good examples to follow from a sovereignty perspective.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: About Campbell Live, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    People obviously watch Seven Sharp and lots of them. But who are they? There must be some out there or does no one want to admit it?

    The problem is we have now so completely destroyed public service broadcasting and serious news and current affairs that we don't even know anymore what it should look like, does look like or might look like. We have to accept that we literally have to start from nothing in rebuilding public service broadcasting in New Zealand.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: About Campbell Live,

    How can a democracy survive if it's public broadcast media is a dumbed down dystopia of reality TV and fact free shock jocks?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Take: The Easter Show,

    I’m not. It’s a sweeping generalization. The “classical mind” is a cliche to stand in place of the millions of individual minds of the time, many of which thought diametrically opposite things, and the “Christian mind” is just the same…

    Dude, this post of yours is largely a manifesto to your ignorance so… just… stop. Please. It hurts.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Take: The Easter Show,

    LOL. Yeah, right....

    Whatever dude.

    Seriously, how can you have an entire TV show on Christianity without anyone seemingly having the faintest idea what all the fuss was all about? Tamaki is an ignorant tosspot, so he wouldn't have the foggiest what the big idea, the "good news" actually was.

    The pre-Christian mind thought the richer you were, the more you could afford to sacrifice to a bunch of capricious Gods, and therefore the more likely you were to enjoy a nice afterlife. Since there was no absolute arbiter of good, the most important concept of what constituted "a good and just life" came from firstly, the importance of the difference the way civilised men lived and their civilisation as proof of their superior virtue - as represented by the Greeks then, more importantly, the Romans - from the barbarians who surrounded them, who were regarded as little more than animals unable to contain their baseness. Secondly, there were the Stoics who had (to quote Wikipeida)

    ...the belief that it is virtuous to maintain a will (called prohairesis) that is in accord with nature. Because of this, the Stoics presented their philosophy as a way of life, and they thought that the best indication of an individual's philosophy was not what a person said but how that person behaved.

    Here is the clue as to why, for example, Marcus Aurelius could write his Stoical "Meditations" (these days very popular with half-educated new agers) and be regarded as jolly civilised chap by his contemporaries whilst presiding over the pathological savagery of the Roman state and the Roman games, which were at a peak in his reign. He was interested in HIS virtue, not the fate of his gladiators. Or (to go back a bit before Marcus Aurelius) it explains Cicero's obsession with the corrupting power of luxury, with it's threat of reducing civilised men to the base pleasure typical of the barbarian.

    The "Christian revolution" was the new idea that all people, rich or poor, are equal in the eyes of God, and it is by the purity of our soul and the goodness of our actions that we shall be judged in the afterlife. This idea is to us so commonplace as for it to be almost impossible to imagine the world view of a Roman before it had been thought of. But that was the Christian "big idea" and it was in the first and second centuries novel, subversive (a good slave wasn't just the equal of any bad emperor in the eyes of God, he was more likely to be welcomed into heaven! God stood supreme, in judgement of us all! No more sacrifices to the Emperor!) and represents an earthquake event in the intellectual development of mankind.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Take: The Easter Show,

    One other thing – such was the power of the Christian revolution that common sense tells us there must have been something that set it apart from being just another Jewish sect at a time of great religious tumult in Palestine. To my satisfaction at least, the most obvious explanation is the first Christians had a leader in every way even more exceptional in his power to influence men than, say, Alexander the Great was in his own time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1886 posts Report Reply

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