Posts by BenWilson

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  • Hard News: After Len, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    It’s also not entirely clear that “proportionality” is a particularly coherent concept in a not-very-partisan environment like the Auckland council.

    Yes, without strong parties, PR isn't really necessary.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9462 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Stand for... Something, in reply to Alfie,

    Wax on, whacks off.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9462 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: After Len, in reply to Sacha,

    More trips around the region – the focus on the cbd is a red herring.

    Well, it's not the whole picture anyway. It's surely the most popular final destination by an order of magnitude. But I see what you mean. Yes, the CRL also makes other trips that aren't to or from the CBD faster.

    It's hard to understand the resistance to the idea - it's not like being right wing inherently means you think one kind of infrastructure is better than another for the purposes of commuting. I think the resistance is deeper than that - that the CRL represents some kind of quantum leap towards big city status - which is what is found unpalatable. "We like our little town and we don't want it to change". This is probably felt more strongly outside of Auckland than in it, a genuine fear that Auckland is growing too fast.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9462 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: After Len, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Isn’t the right-wing council an artefact of FPP wards?

    Not sure. FPP is certainly an artifact. But I'm just not convinced it's a good idea to chuck out popularly elected mayors with that bathwater.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9462 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: After Len, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    If that turned out a right-winger, it would be because people voted for them

    True enough. But if the council has a left wing mayor and the rest stacked right, that is also because people voted for them. I'm not against a better system for electing the rest of the council, but I'm not sure that being unable to vote for the mayor is such a good idea. As in, I'm really not sure, and would need a more convincing argument than that our national level system doesn't work that way. Some countries do have a system that works that way, and it's not axiomatic that it's worse that way. I tend to think that electing the top job is at least one way that the vox-pop can bypass all the layers of entrenched privilege that seem to cohere to political parties. The ability of South Auckland to at least elect the mayor by virtue of their numbers, even if they get nothing else from a council stacked with quacks, seems to me a good thing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9462 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: After Len,

    "Getting cars off roads" doesn't seem like the best way to sell the CRL, since it might not happen. What will happen is increased capacity. More trips per hour into the city will be possible than before. How long the trips take is still dependent on how many trips people make, which is a function of many things the go far beyond just how long the average length of the trips are. We could build the link and yet still have steadily increasing traffic density. But we'd also have fat pipe capable of delivering an extra 15,000 people per hour, which is the equivalent of 6 motorway lanes. It's like building an entirely new motorway out to everywhere that the trains already go, without having to find somewhere to park all the cars that could drive on it. That's well worth the money.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9462 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: After Len, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Nationally, we don’t elect a president and a parliament of FPP MPs who might or might not have confidence in that president.

    Which is both a good and a bad thing. It means that the most powerful person and the most powerful party are aligned, giving far more power to the leadership. We're fond of having the no division between executive and legislative bodies. but it's not the only way things can be done, and it's not without disadvantages. The obvious one being that it has way more power to do wrong as well as more power to do right. It also means that the most powerful person in the country may not be the person wanted by even a plurality - particularly if the head position changes between elections.

    I'm pretty sure I don't want a mayor who would be chosen by the current council.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9462 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: After Len, in reply to George Darroch,

    Can someone near to Phil Goff get him to promise free pools across the city?

    I'd find it hard to believe, even if he did promise it, especially coming from him.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9462 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Are there opportunities within…, in reply to Emma Hart,

    If it was as simple as ‘energy in, energy out’, then everybody’s results would be the same.

    Sort of. It is that simple, but finding how much energy went in and how much went out is very difficult and inaccurate, particularly in short term calculations.

    Also, of course, there's way, way more to health than weight. So we have to factor in those other concerns. Of course you'll lose weight really fast if you starve yourself. That's also extremely unhealthy. Even if you have a "healthy" weight that you maintain you could still have a very unhealthy diet, and could have very poor cardiovascular health too. But given that one wants to do something about one's weight, of course the energy equation is important.

    It’s very difficult to lose weight through exercise alone.

    Yes, food makes up the lion's share of the energy equation. We can eat far more than we can exercise, easily. We're evolved that way, probably because there's huge survival advantage in it. We're damned efficient animals, part

    But perhaps we could all go out and enjoy the sunshine today.

    I'm gonna whale on my quads and abs, personally. It's indicative of your prior point that the total energy burn of an hour of doing that, with all the muscle soreness that will follow, is worth about 1 muesli bar. I exercise to be healthy. For weight loss, I control my diet. Others can do as they please, but

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9462 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Are there opportunities within…, in reply to Danielle,

    Most of your post drives me nuts because it assumes that if you’re obese you can’t, by definition, be fit or healthy.

    Yes, I already write at far too great a length to have to reiterate points like that I reject that assumption constantly. I'm just moving ahead there with "Given the assumption that you want to reduce obesity". It's not necessarily true, and I lead in with that on the thread, but one can discuss how one might do that on the conditional assumption that it's true. That could be a productive discussion. Note, even in the post you're criticizing I end with the very condition you are stating that I make as an assumption:

    if we come to an earnest conclusion that something must be done (which I think is still not settled, nor ever will be).

    Reframing the discussion as "What can be done to get people healthier, wrt to their exercise and eating habits" is also worthwhile. The thread kind of presumes we're in agreement that getting the Government's Childhood Obesity plan working better is the topic of discussion, but sure, challenging that presumption doesn't hurt.

    It also assumes that ALL obese people are fat because they eat a lot. That’s also bullshit.

    It is. The line between too much and not enough is wafer thin. To maintain an exact weight, you have to keep adjusting, more if you're below, less if you're above. And you only have to be a little above for a sustained period for the cumulative gains to build. Which is extremely hard to judge, because there's massive variability bewteen individuals in how much is absorbed from a quantity of food, and how much is output in a quantity of exercise, and their BMR. For people that eat identical food, the weight they will reach can vary hugely.

    None of which refutes the point that the amount you eat affects your weight. It just means that comparing between individuals is not robust.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9462 posts Report Reply

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