Posts by BenWilson

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  • Up Front: Your Whining Is Important to Us,

    But Ben... that empathy is wisdom.

    I guess so. It was certainly wise - I found out afterward that my post-fight actions were what saved me from a pack beating. They all felt strangely humbled.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9036 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Your Whining Is Important to Us,

    Webweaver, have you ever tried the Myer-Briggs personality test? I was put through it as a part of management training when I was in Australia. Extroversion/introversion is one of the dimensions measured, and does track a lot of your takes on the matter. I came out as an INTP. I had not expected to be judged as quite so introverted, given that I had been a captain of a school team, a university debating champ, a front person for a large software project, and was then managing a team of 20. I guess the required extroversion was learn-able.

    The personality analysis was rather useful, if only in understanding that there isn't one 'ideal' personality type, and also that some types may clash with others for reasons that are really differences in style.

    Interestingly, my wife is diametrically the opposite, an ESFJ. Without people she becomes depressed. We had an enormous party for my son's birthday yesterday, and she was totally in her element, really working the party, flitting around like a social butterfly. I worked it in my own way, one person at a time, using my bar-person duty as an excuse to target those who seemed not to be enjoying themselves to have a decent chat, and then introduce them to someone else nearby. Afterward, I needed to sit down and do nothing but read for about an hour, whereas my wife was still on cloud 9 for hours.

    Like Emma, I feel drained by people, but I also felt strangely satisfied after that party too, as though the sucking of that energy had just strengthened something in me that had been wilting unnoticed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9036 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Your Whining Is Important to Us,

    That's what sets us apart from the average munter Ben. We have the dubious advantage of imagining consequences, including but not limited to, understanding that, even if we win, escalation and revenge can lead to a long lasting world of pain.

    I wouldn't credit myself with such wisdom as a 14 year old. It was actually a feeling of genuine empathy that made me hug him. But as an adult, it makes sense not to court violence, it's both wrong, and incredibly unpredictable.

    Who knows what corner or floor someone might accidentally die on? What apparently weak aggressor might turn out to be carrying a weapon, what slippery spot on the floor or unexpected king hit might end you? Which way the witnesses might see things, that cast you as a brutal aggressor? What actual mistakes you might really make, and harm someone who didn't really deserve it, who was acting tough because of too much booze? Or turns out to be someone with authority, or powerful or dangerous friends?

    I remember seeing a brawl in Australia that looked totally one-sided - a bunch of gangsterish looking white guys chasing an Asian guy up the street. One of them managed to trip him, and then punched the kneeling Asian fully in the face, bowling him over backwards. I was just about to intervene (jesuz I'm glad I didn't), when the Asian guy sprang up with a knife and slashed at his attacker. He then brandished the knife at the group of about 6 guys who had surrounded him, and slowly backed into a nearby shop. The guy he slashed was bleeding a little from his neck, right over the carotid artery. One inch deeper and he could have died. It wouldn't have mattered one bit that there were 6 of them, or that the Asian guy was pretty small and weedy looking.

    The Asian guy was taken away in handcuffs by the Police. The white guys melted into the crowd, all except the guy who got cut, who stood there yelling at them for being cowards, and loudly complaining to the Police about what had happened. The Police were not interested in my account at all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9036 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Still crazy after all these years,

    My own usage was pretty much along the lines of neoliberal. I tend to think of them in much the same way, because neoliberalism seems to mostly appeal to people who are actually socially conservative. Intellectually, it doesn't have to be that way, but practically, it does seem to pan out.

    It was probably the wrong word. Whatever, you all knew what I meant, that is plain. "People who believe in, or would like everyone else to believe in, the stimulatory value of more cash being available through tax cuts to the wealthy".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9036 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Your Whining Is Important to Us,

    You're not a real salesperson if you're a wage-slave. It's the commissions that inject the tincture of sulphur.

    dishing out pimp-slaps like confetti at a wedding

    I'm trying to visualize how Pixar could bring that to me in 3D.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9036 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Still crazy after all these years,

    Sorry, does "neocon" mean anything around here?

    Well I can tell you what I meant by it. Then you can tell me that's not what it really means. But what's the point really? Were you under any doubts about what I meant, or do you just want to argue semantics?

    btw, you're out of date. 'Baiter has upgraded "socialist" to "progressive" now. I think that might be so he can catch people like you up in it. I was actually a bit shocked at how homophobic that place has become. It was already pretty bad, but they weren't so bloody open about it. The morph reminds me very much of what happened to ACT during the short period early in it's history where I took them seriously.

    Personally, I blame Russell. He stole DPF's loyal opposition, whilst refusing entry to the nutbars.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9036 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Still crazy after all these years,

    To where? Expats have been coming home in droves, and not because of our headline tax rates.

    Dunno, it's not my story. Expecting to even understand what 'really big money' does, and why, is beyond me. I don't even know if they mean 'leaving' the same way as I do - they might just mean a massive transfer of cash to the Cook Islands or that they'll buy their next mansion in Ibiza instead of Waiheke. Speaking of Waiheke, probably the best thing that could happen to the place would be if it's resident staggeringly rich billionaire pissed off and never came back. That might actually mean that 2/3 of the beaches on the island could become accessible to the public who don't own speedboats, and a rich and fertile hinterland could become accessible to the blossoming wine industry there. I drove right across it over the summer for the first time in years, and was surprised by the amazing vision that our toilet paper genius has for the Jewel of the Gulf - it's a gigantic sheep farm. Great, NZ really needs more of those. My guess is that it's just this colossally long term investment, that he's waiting for the gentrification of the place to drive property prices to the point where he gets insane returns on undeveloped land. Note that word - undeveloped. This particular colossal use of capital is entirely dedicated to keeping NZ undeveloped.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9036 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Still crazy after all these years,

    Have I got that right?

    In my case, you haven't. Dollops of spare cash coming my way will go into paying off the mortgage. But I think you misunderestimate the neocon opinion on holidays and conspicuous consumption. They see that as highly stimulatory. Strangely, they only see it that way when it's the wealthy doing the consuming.

    If it were my choice, I'd invert the tax cuts. During a recession, just about every spare dollar given back to people in need will churn straight back through the economy. I guess the fear is that corresponding raising of tax on the wealthy will drive them away, and could end up costing. I find that credible only in the case of 'really big money'. There's still the bulk of the tax take which comes from the middle classes, who are mostly just as locked into NZ as the poor. Possibly more so, on account of assets and investments here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9036 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Your Whining Is Important to Us,

    Yes, you don't have to be evil to be in sales. But it might help.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9036 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Your Whining Is Important to Us,

    My one school bully incident was in front of all his mates. It started with him slapping me and slamming me into a wall by the throat, and ended with me being dragged off him by a good mate, followed up by me hugging him and telling him I was really, really sorry, which he meekly accepted. I was never bullied again.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9036 posts Report Reply

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