So on Monday, I was tailgated and honked at by one of Zap Pest Control's cars (licence number: EFR something), when free-wheeling down Pirie St, a steep-ish suburban wellington street and bus-route. When I responded with the cheery wave and call of 'good morning' that I reserve for these situations, the driver responded by accelerating out into the oncoming lane to pass me, then braking to a halt while fishtailing me into the kerb.
Ok, I admit I wasn't wearing hi-vis. Dear Public Address: If I were, would it have helped this driver calmly cruise to the next red light at 40k instead of 50?
Had anyone suggested linking the 4 year term with term limits? So for example, a prime minister could be limited to a single 4 year term?
Could remove a lot of distractions from cabinet ministers - and shadow ministers - if they all knew they had a better chance of having a turn.
Interesting that most of this discussion has focussed on civil rights etc, laws that can be voted through as fast as they can be written. But this:
the main impact is on the Executive.
The government Budget is set only once a year. It's got huge momentum: months to set up, to haggle between departments and Ministers, sometimes years to reset (think health, education). So the first Budget is just tweaks on what went before, maybe with some coalition deals glued on top. The second Budget is the real deal. The third Budget is just some patches; no time to learn from the effects of the previous one.
A four year cycle might give the (elected) Government and the Executive enough time to learn how to work together by year 3.
Real currency traders don't need to know metalwork?
5 Quality of teaching 808 0.67
40 Classsize 2559 0.13
These numbers are being quoted as if they're regression coefficients .. which they may be. But in what units? I'd be interested in seeing them converted to dollars. As in, how many dollars does it take to buy one unit of teacher quality per class? And how many dollars to buy one unit of smaller class size?
Maybe you'd find that adding a million dollars to "class size" would improve education more than adding it to 'teacher quality'.
Or more than "banish all technical education from years seven and eight, while pretending it's something about class sizes".
Its very mathematical though, which is appropriate as so was Santer et al 2008.
I wonder sometimes if there's a genuine 'two cultures' disconnect on the modelling. Econometricians like McKitrick are determined to run ever-fancier regression models on the data, and therefore distrust series that leap away from historical trends (which may have something to do with their inability to predict or even believe in financial crashes and other such Black Swans). Are they simply trained not to comprehend structural models, where (for example) a long slow increase in CO2 can trigger sudden changes away from previous equilibria?
Does it sound to anyone else as though Brownlee's been reading John Maynard Keynes?
If the Treasury were to fill old bottles with banknotes, bury them at suitable depths in disused coalmines which are then filled up to the surface with town rubbish, and leave it to private enterprise on well-tried principles of laissez-faire to dig the notes up again (the right to do so being obtained, of course, by tendering for leases of the note-bearing territory), there need be no more unemployment and, with the help of the repercussions, the real income of the community, and its capital wealth also, would probably become a good deal greater than it actually is.
Only he's missed the punch-line:
It would, indeed, be more sensible to build houses and the like; but if there are political and practical difficulties in the way of this, the above would be better than nothing.
I reckon John Quiggin is essential reading on this topic. He's been carefully explaining the conflict of interest of the rating agencies for years.
Policies that specifically improve the position of holders of government debt will be viewed favourably by credit rating agencies even if they are harmful to the state as a whole.
and in February:
If financial markets functioned as they were supposed to, institutions with a record of failure like that of the ratings agencies would be out of business.
His solution? Governments have enough power and resources to stop the outsourcing, and
[replace] ratings issued by for-profit agencies with an alternative system, in which AAA ratings actually mean something.
I do not think that schools should only teach that light is a wave. I do not think that schools should only teach that light is made of particles. I was rather surprised when someone answered my question "should we be teaching students that light is a particle or a wave?" with a "yes", instead of a "no; we should teach them it's both."
My other example (what caused the extinction of the dinosaurs?) was obviously the better one for getting the general point across that disagreement and differing points of view do have a place in science.
The essay I linked to before gives a nice case-study about how the scientific disagreement about waves or particles was eventually resolved (as "neither-nor").
Eventually Freeman Dyson showed that three apparently different theories were really giving the same explanation of what was going on. QED (as Feynmann punned).
But the disagreement wasn't between points of view; it was between different observations . People like Einstein and Bohr grappled with the different observations - they didn't argue that only one of them could be real.
So should we be teaching students that light is a particle or a wave?