Posts by Russell Brown

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  • Speaker: Unity, success: Chicken, egg?, in reply to Sacha,

    Well, Josie (?)

    don’t be mean

    Quite. It was a good-faith comment.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19720 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Unity, success: Chicken, egg?, in reply to George Darroch,

    It certainly smells like a faction of the disaffected from over here. I’ve been told Nash polled on running as an independent in the last election, before deciding to stay with Labour.

    And then had a big whine about being left out of Little’s caucus rankings altogether. He has a higher opinion of his abilities than his colleagues do.

    There’s a reasonable degree of coherence in Labour at the moment, driven by a recognition that it’s a centre-left party that will advocate for a degree of regulation in most sectors of society, and a considerable redistribution of resources from the top to the middle and bottom. Some argument over the details, but not the philosophy – except from marginal ‘third-way’ types such as Pagani.

    As noted here previously, the Future of Work project is coherent and electorally relevant. Robertson sounded quite impressive in his interview with Brent Edwards over the weekend. I think there’s more in that in anything Pagani says.

    Assuming, of course, they can make the step from discussing policy directions to clearly presenting policies.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19720 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: What's in the pills? It matters.,

    The Drug Foundation is back into its winter Speaker and Soup series and the one on July 3 is about drug information and early warning systems.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19720 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Nelson Street: Not too…, in reply to Glen Koorey,

    I think you want to take the opportunity to be best-practice, and “fast/slow bike lanes” ain’t it (who exactly is “fast” or “slow”?). But separation by direction and from pedestrians is.

    Thanks Glen. I had been wondering about this.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19720 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: About Apple Music, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    As I’ve said before, one reason to go with lossless if you can is transcoding, you might not be able to hear the difference between MP3 and lossless, but you are more likely to be able to notice a file that’s been transcoded from MP3 into Ogg Vorbis or whatever.

    I have done this, and yes.

    Another point: It’s possibly all going to sound a bit the same squeezed through the DAC in your computer. I generally only really notice a difference when I have the subwoofer going and I’m playing direct to HDMI with Apple TV, or through my cheap, boxy external DAC.

    (I *really* notice the difference between headphone output from my Macbook and USB > DAC. DJing without the DAC is very sucky.)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19720 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A dramatic and unremarkable decision,

    Here's how the Medicines Act allows for consent for unapproved medicines, unapproved indications for approved medicines, etc.

    It's actually quite permissive. The precedent here is getting past the cannabis bugaboo, not the consent for an unapproved medicine. That's not uncommon.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19720 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A dramatic and unremarkable decision,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19720 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A dramatic and unremarkable decision,

    The Herald's editorial this morning. I can't really work out what's going on here, but it seems angry. Is this voicing a National Party swipe at Dunne? I can't tell.

    Understandably enough, the Renton family have been doing all they can to get the best possible treatment for their teenage son, Alex, who is in an induced coma in Wellington Hospital.

    After more than 20 standard medications failed to cure his ongoing seizures, they set their sights on a cannabis-derived medication, Elixinol. Protests staged by the family and their supporters to try to get the Government to approve its use gained widespread media coverage. Finally, this week, they got their wish.

    Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has gone where, earlier, the Rentons' Nelson MP, Nick Smith, refused to. Dr Smith said he would need clear evidence that Elixinol would work before he took up the issue. That cannot be forthcoming for the simple reason that it has never been tested in clinical trials. As Mr Dunne conceded, there is no compelling evidence it will work. The best that specialists can come up with is that it might be worth a try.


    For that reason, Mr Dunne was keen to stress that his approval should not be construed as setting a wider precedent. But how can it not be? What will happen if there are further cases where this or another untested cannabis-derived medication represents a final chance? If the ailing patient's family succeeds in attracting publicity, will Mr Dunne also accede to their wishes? He says the protests organised by the Renton family did more harm than good. Like his claim that this was not a precedent-setting case, that should be treated with a strong degree of scepticism.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19720 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Nelson Street: Not too…, in reply to FletcherB,

    Any wet metal has no grip and is thus a braking/steering hazard… but the really bad hazard of the tram-track is if your front wheel drops into the slot…

    I am in a position to confirm this.

    Thanks for explanation of what happened!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19720 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A dramatic and unremarkable decision, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    There are some interesting ethical issues with interventions for people in a coma. Sometimes they can give retrospective consent after they recover. So it is not just the treatment that is controversial, but also the fact that the patient is not competent to consent.

    The irony in this case is that Alex Renton was given some very heavy drugs without his knowledge, but heaven and earth had to move in order to give him one whose risks, if any, are extremely low.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19720 posts Report Reply

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