Posts by BenWilson

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  • Hard News: Good news for self-powered travellers,

    These are all pretty minor and unlikely concerns when stacked up to the annoyance of having to carry around something of so little value.

    Viz, it more than doubles the time taken.

    How many seconds are we talking here? And how many extra seconds are spent doing something else far more annoying, carrying it around? You'd have to fasten it to your bag, or put it inside and then get around it every time you want to get something out. Or you take it to your locker or workstation, in which case you have to remember to go get it before it's time to go. You'll probably drop it at some point, possibly damaging it, or someone will sit on it or stand on it. Really, it's just an arse that I don't see any point in doing more than the barest minimum with.

    There's also a lot more valuable and important parts of my bike I'd rather some arsehole didn't spew in or piss in. At least discarding a dirty helmet is a seconds work. If they spewed on my seat or in my rear cog set, it would be a hell of a lot more trouble, and if they want to actively vandalize a bike they can ruin it in seconds. It won't be my shitty helmet I'm cursing about if that happens.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Good news for self-powered travellers, in reply to JackElder,

    but they’re hard to lock up securely and leave with the bike.

    You think so? I just pass lock chain through the V in the straps, takes a few seconds. Someone could cut it off, but the helmet would be worthless afterwards. Who would bother unless you have a really expensive one?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Good news for self-powered travellers,

    As for the pohutukawas on St Lukes Rd. Gah! Enough pohutukawas already. This country is chock full of the buggers everywhere, killing practically every view of interest. From the top of Mt Albert you can no longer see north AT ALL. So you go all the way up there to look at, yes, you guessed it, another stand of pohutukawas. Because we really haven't got enough of them. The view from the top of Pt Chev Beach could be bloody spectacular, especially at sunset. But no, you can't even see the beach, let alone the view.

    These trees grow wild everywhere in massive numbers and equally massive proportions. I think they're safe from destruction.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Good news for self-powered travellers, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It certainly is. That Newton Road intersection is a shocker. Shame they haven’t done it properly and found a way to run the cycleway under Newton Road.

    Yes, it's not exactly rocket science. The only thing between where it rises up to Newton Rd, and then comes back down again to Ian McKinnon Drive is a small park, which would actually benefit from having a pedestrian access way. Then the cycleway could go up Ian McKinnon on the left side. This would cut out a massive ascent followed immediately by the same descent, and a pedestrian crossing over Newton Rd.

    I thought that was going to be done as part of the Grafton Gully project, that we'd be getting an underpass to the motorway, which would cut out having to ascend the K-Rd ridge at all.

    But I’ll quite often approach K Road along Great North Road – coming up either at Bond Street (from the path along the Arch Hill side of the motorway) or even just riding up Chinaman’s Hill, which somehow seems less irksome than that short, irritating climb to New Road from the main cycleway and then the second climb to Upper Queen Street.

    Yes, you get a more gentle climb with less total ascent that way. But it's all in traffic. I do love to come home that way, though, the downhill starting at Bond St and ending as I coast up to the lights by MOTAT is great, especially the part on Chinaman's Hill. I think the worst part about the cycleway climb is just how little value you get for that horrible climb to Newton Rd when you're sacrificing the whole thing immediately on the other side.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Good news for self-powered travellers, in reply to TracyMac,

    I don't think calling people on the other side of this debate extremist tools is a helpful.

    Fulminating against helmets makes you sound like one of those lycra-encased twunts who blow red lights and scare the shit out of people on shared walkways by blasting by blasting past at 40 km/h (yes, I know it’s only a few like this – I’m glossing on comments made by friends & family members).

    Eh? Those guys always wear helmets.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Decidedly Undecided, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    By the way there are several countries where polls are banned for a period prior to the election date without any collapse in the society.

    Yes, up to 10 days in most cases. Is this what you're suggesting? That's quite different to:

    Given that, I’d argue they should be banned.

    Which sounded a bit more total.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Decidedly Undecided, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    That wasn’t what I said. I said the polls are deceptive. that is a totally different reason for banning them.

    What did you actually mean by deceptive? It's a word that carries connotations of dishonesty.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Decidedly Undecided, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Given that, I’d argue they should be banned.

    I was waiting for a kick off for this part of the debate :-)

    No way, is my response. Hell no, even. It's news because people want to know it. You have to have a lot stronger argument than "the information is low quality" to take away the right to know that information. That it might impact the outcome needs a whole lot more proof and unpacking before it would fly. You have to show that the impact is in itself something very undesirable, and that's not at all clear. Then you have to show that improving it isn't possible, which it clearly actually is.

    You can be absolutely sure that if publishing polls were banned then polls would still be taken and the information would simply benefit a smaller number of people to a much greater degree. Also, people would still want to actually know what the result was going to be, would cast around, and the only info they'd have would be inside information or gossip or propaganda. I don't think that's a big improvement, likely to create less problems.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Decidedly Undecided, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    The difficulty is that those that choose not to vote may well choose to answer the polls and may at the time of the polling say they will vote.

    I guess so, but every person polled could lie about anything. It's exactly the same problem.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Decidedly Undecided, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    Small parties all rely on swing voters, much more so than N or L, who’s voters are more likely to know who they’ll vote for further out from the election.

    It's really hard to know if that's true. In the case of the Green Party, it would seem less correlated to undecided levels recently, which is some kind of evidence that they don't really rely on swing voters. My story about that is that it's quite an ideologically focused party, so decisions to vote for it are taken in a different way to decisions between purely pragmatic parties. But that's just my story.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

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