Posts by Emma Hart

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  • Up Front: Reviewing the Election, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    That was my favorite part! I’m getting misty-eyed just thinking about reading it.
    [not joking]

    There is, basically, a whole 'nother column in there about accessibility issues.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4439 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: A conversation from belief, in reply to BenWilson,

    Not also a balance of goods vs harms? Like “he’s going to miss out on something small, but she’s going to get something big, so that’s OK, in balance”?

    That was what I intended to imply with "Utilitarian calculus, the whole of that balancing act.

    rather they believe that the reason most people feel constrained in doing so is because all people are endowed with a morality that is seated in a universal truth set by God

    This would make a lot more sense, but wouldn't explain, for instance, Pew Research's survey results when asking Americans whether atheists can be trusted or whether they would accept an atheist president. I think it's a minority view in NZ, but seems to be the majority view in the US, that atheists are fundamentally untrustworthy.

    But yes, this is rather a sideline, and I was clear it wasn't an argument Francis supported.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4439 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: A conversation from belief, in reply to Francis Ritchie,

    It’s hard to know as the Christian community is so big and diverse.

    I was pondering this. Francis’s column reminds me of my mother’s Christianity; open, tolerant and accepting of difference. She was raised, however, by a woman who was massively intolerant of other Christians – who didn’t, in face, consider Catholics or Anglicans to even be Christians. So I do wonder if there’s any meaningful statement that can be made about “Christians” as a whole. In my time working with Americans, I’ve met the most close-minded nasty fundamentalists you can imagine, and also Unitarian Universalists. It’s a broad, y’know, bunch of churches.

    whether or not one can make claims to a solid sense of morality without God or some sort of objective determinant of right and wrong outside of ourselves

    I find the belief that you can’t absolutely terrifying, as if, were there not a church to tell you right from wrong, you’d just be running around stabbing people in the face whenever the mood took you.

    The measure I use for ethical judgement is “is this harmful”? Mostly, does this do genuine harm to other people? So for example, homophobia is unethical, because it harms others. Marriage equality is ethical, because it does no actual harm to anyone. Sometimes it’s a balance of harms, a utilitarian calculus. There are edge cases. Sometimes it’s really hard. But it’s doable, and I’ve only myself to blame when I fuck it up.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4439 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Take: The Easter Show, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I think you need to parse that one a little carefully, because I’m assuming you’re including those who tick the “object to state” box.

    I think it probably balances out with all those people who've given the religious affiliation of their tiny children.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4439 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Mind Your Language,

    We have an update. Charles Stross has announced he's signed exclusively with Dirty Reader.

    Dirty Reader uses advanced NaughtyWords™ artificial intelligence technology to scan a corpus of text and detect the optimum location in which to insert a metric fuckton of cuntybollockspoofacefucknuggets to enliven your reading experience and bring it closer into line with the author's state of mind

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4439 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Mind Your Language, in reply to Josh Addison,

    I’ve always wondered if that’s actually true, or if Americans just pretended not to know what “wanker” means so they could get away with swearing on TV.

    See, now I'm going to have to go find the episode and watch it with the commentary. Oh no...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4439 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Mind Your Language, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Although it’s sometimes better when people have to get creative to get one past the censors.

    That's like the way they were allowed to say "wanker" on Buffy because it was America and nobody knew what it meant.

    But again, a lot the power of that insult is packed into Tom Hiddlestone's delivery of that line. "Mewling" is just as degrading as "quim", the way he says it.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4439 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Mind Your Language, in reply to BenWilson,

    But there’s no way any software’s going to be able to do that for a long time.

    Well it'd take actual work, by a person, which took into account things like voice and context. But yes, leaving them out altogether is vastly preferable to using minced oaths, because there's a certain kind of person who uses minced oaths and it's basically Ned Flanders.

    Very little actual foul language by today’s standards, but they still managed to convey curses, just by the evocative imagery and tonal intensity.

    Because it's not the words themselves that are rude or offensive or whatever, but the intent.

    This also goes for shows that use fake swear-words. You never had to be told what 'frack' meant.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4439 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Mind Your Language,

    If you want to play the Clean Reader game, this column has a by no means comprehensive list of its substitutions.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4439 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: How about that cricket, eh?, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Brett Lee too

    If you overlook those beamers he bowled …

    Yeah, I can't remember a moment of Brett Lee's onfield career where he wasn't a stereotypical angry fast-bowler. I remember a couple of high-scoring tight one-dayers against us where he bowled several above-head-height no-balls - either he was trying to scare our batters on purpose, or he couldn't control his bowling under stress.

    Off-field, it appears to be a completely different story:

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4439 posts Report Reply

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