Posts by BenWilson

Last ←Newer Page 1 2 3 4 5 Older→ First

  • Hard News: The Press, Privacy and The Paps,

    That Key-makes-girls-swoon story is the logical conclusion of the Herald's ongoing handjob. I bloody hope that's where it ends, anyway.

    No chance. This is the foreplay. I'm still waiting for the fashion section to do a ten-page photoshoot of him, complete with pinups, and a centerfold.

    It's probably based in fact. Most likely some of the girls did feel tired and thirsty from standing and waiting for Key, and then singing for him. In a choice between seeing Key, or sitting down and having a glass of water, it's really a close call for me too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8996 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Press, Privacy and The Paps,

    I'm not sure what the eventual aim was (William to be King ahead of his father? Personal glory? Just a symptom of her psychosis?) but the campaign was organised and unrelenting.

    I think her handlers would most likely have had that aim of raising the profile and popularity of the Royal family. It worked, for a while. If getting Harry to be King was a motivator for Diana (it seems far less likely than the appeal of being the Queen herself), then considering that he is also popular, the handlers might have also decided to run with that too. I don't know who these handlers are, although I'd imagine whoever the politicians in power at any given time are have a very large influence over the Royals. Sounds like Blair pretty much talked the Queen into the posthumous forgiving of Diana for all her sins, against all Her Majesty's personal feelings.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8996 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Press, Privacy and The Paps,

    Anyone have any idea how much of the local stuff is like that?

    Total guess, but I'd say not much. It doesn't really take much to get media attention here, you just have be semi-famous, and do something that isn't plain vanilla. Acting like a dick is a popular choice.

    You can understand it in the US, publicity is worth really big $, so having an orchestrated tabloid life makes sense for some stars. Here, the most people that will hear about it will be NZers, already a tiny pool, and notoriously stingy. I imagine the motivation would be the fame-in-NZ, rather than money.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8996 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Fabians: There is an alternative,

    We coulda been talking think cisterns. Some of them are more like cisterns really though aren't they.

    I'd say most, but it's still good to have your own cisterns full of your own shit. A bit like intelligence agencies - creepy, scary, nasty things that they are, but if the other guys have them, then you really have no choice.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8996 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Fabians: There is an alternative,

    I'd hate to be in a think tank. My thoughts are best appreciated by the Air Force. They drop from nowhere, usually miss, often pick up collateral, are easily shot down.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8996 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Fabians: There is an alternative,

    ...and resistance is futile. The tank language, in both senses.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8996 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Fabians: There is an alternative,

    Heh. Somewhere to keep your thinks?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8996 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Fabians: There is an alternative,

    A progressive think tank? It's almost a triple oxymoron, considering what tanks typically do, blindly rushing in, dealing out moderate slaughter, and keeping everyone off the real damage dealers and the supply lines.

    But it is curiously perhaps the purpose of the right wing ones, so I agree, such a role is needed if you want to oppose them head on. Many a battle is turned by the durability of a tank, and their curious power of drawing the attention of damage dealers away from where they would usually best be used, disrupting supply lines, destroying reinforcement capacity. They can hold positions against huge odds. In numbers, they can steamroll over heavily defended but immobile targets.

    The neoliberal right has the aspect of a tank, for sure. They suffer very little damage themselves because their core is well armored against damaging disproof. They draw aggro like nothing else, because they freely target every squishy they can see, and uncoordinated squishies tend to think that collectively they should be able to bring a tank down. In doing so, they miss the longer game, that the tank was simply drawing fire deliberately, and their own squishies are wreaking untold damage on whatever soft targets they and the tank had really picked.

    As a strategy it is extremely successful, and the right have ganked the left at will for a long time, despite numerical disadvantage.

    To deal with tanks there are several options.

    The first is obviously to have tanks of your own, who take them head on, drawing them into protracted battles, with squishies behind them, pouring in support and laying down damage on the opposing tank. The aim is to destroy the tank, after which the enemy is bust wide open, the fleeing squishies picked off easily, and the field is ours. Of course the response from the enemy is very likely to do the same, desperately keeping their tank alive while whittling away at your own. This leads to a war of attrition, but the end comes swiftly when it comes, if it comes. The best tank wins, usually. You could call this zerg vs zerg.

    The second is to avoid the tank, saving it for last. Strike deep into the squishy base, cutting off supply to the tank. It is difficult to maintain one's own supply lines this way, so it's best done in self supporting units, possibly with minitanks, fighting mini battles everywhere. Stealth is a great asset in this strategy. It is also a war of attrition, and even more than the head-on approach, a game of force-back. It requires even more coordination to work, and can easily take huge losses, when a small team meets a large one, the results are predictable - 100% casualties. Sometimes, if zerging seems not to be working against this, the enemy will learn and adopt the same strategy. Then you have all-out war, everywhere, of the most damaging kind. Eventually, after enough losses on both sides, one side will gain some sort of superiority, and mount a full scale sweep-zerg, and win whatever is left.

    Does a war of ideas follow these patterns? It's hard to say. Certainly a hard core of ideas can form a very well armored position. This position may not appeal widely, it may not attract much support, it may not be able to launch particularly damaging attacks on anything. But because it is well defended, it can continue attacking, and attacking, and those idea that are attacked can very easily be drawn into trying to make a pitched battle out of it. This is unlikely to work, because the armored position is already whittled down to its hard core of supporters, who are usually well acquainted with every response, every aspect of the dogma they stand for, and just won't go down. If they look even close to being damaged, it doesn't take much for their allies to chuck a little support, and bang, they're up to full strength again. The energy is wasted, basically.

    Unless you have a really good tank of your own. A counter idea, with a largish well trained base, and some support from the centre, just enough to keep it alive and firing. If this tank, I guess preferably one with a fairly strongly opposed position to the neoliberal one, targets the neoliberal, it's possible it could be completely neutralized, locked in a permanent Zax-like struggle, not one step to the left or right, and the moderate center battle could change in aspect completely, become much more dynamic. The left could leverage its superior numbers once more.

    Then again, such a tank could be far better engaged doing exactly what the neoliberal one does, constantly attacking the squisher targets in the center. I personally think a lot more damage could be wreaked on the Right this way. The obvious target is deep probing into centrist incompetence and corruption. Turn the battle away from the boring "Free market vs Communism", which would seem to be mostly lost anyway (false dichotomies can go either way), into one that is more about Justice and Rights and the preservation of numerous minor institutions that give genuine goods, and the abolition of whatever minor institutions that are genuinely harmful.

    This might smack of fighting dirty, playing the man and not the ball. But I don't think so. It's more in the nature of a full-court press, where you don't let anyone on the opposing team go unmarked, and preferably double-marked. It works admirably against the All Blacks time and time again, and I think it's curiously symptomatic of our national character that we can't seem to ever just play the same game right back in their faces. It's like we're determined to make the entire thing always about the very rightness of the core of our rugby, rather than being about simply fielding a fantastic and flexible team that can switch strategies depending on the strategy of the opposition, and the interpretation of the referee, on the day. Similarly, politics is about who wins, too, much more than it is about who is right at the core. This is, I think, a broad failing of the left, that they simply let the likes of ACT dominate discourse, because they think the simple correctness of their views will be enough.

    Enough sweeping generalizations and false analogies and mixed metaphors for one day. In short, I think a counter tank is a spiffing idea, and perhaps the strategy it chooses will dictate the very nature of the ideas that forms its core. If it's smart, if it thinks, and isn't just a tank.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8996 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Still crazy after all these years,

    Late thanks for the plug, Russell. Insanely busy couple of days.

    Re: ACToids. Theoretically interesting, practically mostly conservative bores with a plethora of crackpot views, the only common one being the divinity of the market. If I wanted conservative bores I'd stick to centrists of both the left and the right, and not need to get into insane arguments about basic established scientific views, and fairly stock standard liberal ones too.

    Latest entry to the quiz: No idea what you're all talking about, and no desire to find out either. Another sad kiwi murder? ewwww....

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8996 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: All is Forgiven, or: The…,

    Well, I didn't want to pick on anyone, but it was Keir:

    Thanks for the clarification, but I have to say that Keir's much more nuanced statements didn't seemed to be saying that he opposed the idea of equal caps. It was just about the logic of raising them without raising allocations. I took that to mean that he presumed very high caps would be about as unfair as no caps, in favor of the parties with wealthy support.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8996 posts Report Reply

Last ←Newer Page 1 624 625 626 627 628 900 Older→ First