Posts by TracyMac

  • Hard News: The crybaby philosopher, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Really? So because I lived in England for several years, and I've lived in Australia for several more, and no longer have a true-blue kiwi accent (it even sounds "posher" than most in NZ), I no longer meet some "vision" of a "non-settler class" NZer (however that might be distinguishable from any other Pakeha)?

    You can say he sounds like a twunt because of WHAT he says, but to bag out an accent like that no different to characterizing Westies or South Aucklanders as "stupid" due to how they speak.
    (My family live in Sth Auckland, and they use the local speech patterns.)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 459 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The crybaby philosopher,

    Yup, indirectly characterizing the arguments as ad hominem really only works when none of the substance of the argument was addressed (obviously it was), and that there was an irrelevant description of someone's personal characteristics (such as their accent - I mean, really? I don't sound like a rool kiwi myself these days). There's nothing wrong with describing someone's actual observed behaviour as "crybaby" and tantrum-throwing.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 459 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Take: In the Eye of the…,

    With Buzzfeed, there should definitely be a move away from the more egregious swiping of content from other places without "value added". I notice they're being a bit more careful with attributions, but the posts that consist of ALL the images from someone else's blog article, with only a sentence of introduction, do annoy.

    So I hope the trend continues away from wholesale "recycling" and more towards new news content and infotainment. I don't mind aggregation either, if it is collating from various sources into a new piece of content (like those "10 best beaches" kind of thing) and properly acknowledging sources.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 459 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: A true commitment, in reply to A S,

    certainly nowhere near the same level of funding that goes to dealing with the costs of violence

    Yes, why is it so hard to put money up front where it needs to be, rather than for the ambulances at the bottom the cliff? If you don't care about disadvantaged lives and wasted opportunities, surely a quick glance at the costs to the judicial system should be sufficient for the fiscally-minded types?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 459 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: A true commitment,

    Yup, adding new "offenses" that are already offenses is just doing something for the sake of being seen to be doing something. In a fairly retrograde fashion.

    Also, I have to say I find "male assaults female" retrograde in itself. I certainly get the historical basis, but I wish there were some better way of targeting DV offenses in a less-gendered way.

    My only experience of DV was in a same-sex relationship, but there aren't clamourings for female-assaults-female offenses. Once again, I fully understand the contexts of relative physical strength (but not always) and just which gender does by far most the DV offending (but again, not always).

    I wish the current law weren't such a blunt instrument, and it has shades of certain second-wave feminist "all women are victims" thinking to me, but I can't suggest what might be a better formulation.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 459 posts Report Reply

  • Feed: Fulminating and fermenting,

    Sounds delicious. And just the thing to help wash down some nice whisky as well, if it's one of those sessions.

    I do like hoppy IPA/APA style beers, but totally agree that some go way too far. Some people must like them.

    Not fond of the bitter style in general myself, and I can't say I've ever had a lager I'd call "nice" (although some are good for lagers). Like a good pilsener, though. And stout.

    Funny how tastes vary. I'm sure one day we'll learn there is some genetic complement to how we taste things individually. Beyond the more obvious ones like "coriander = delicious" vs "coriander = soap/stink bugs" (I'm in the latter category, unfortunately).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 459 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dotcom: Further news of the unlikely, in reply to steven crawford,

    I would much rather that people vote for the IP than not at all. And personally, despite my thinking that Dotcom is just about creating his own publicity machine for his immigration woes, I actually have nothing against the aims of the party at all.

    You're right that they're aiming for a tranche of people that Labour is not seeming to reach at all. I just wish that Dotcom would keep his own head below the parapet, and if he has something important to release, then release it. A big fail for the big reveal would likely put off a lot of those voters who would consider the IP - if it's a big embarrassment, many would stay away in droves. That being said, if it's some Snowden-type revelations about what this govt has been up to - and not just about Dotcom's immigration woes and the disgraceful raid - I'd not be too inclined to shoot the messenger.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 459 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Te Reo Māori in schools:…, in reply to tim kong,

    Argh, don't get me started on the "kids should learn coding" crapola. I work in IT and occasionally write scripts. Does coding qua coding have much relevance to my daily work? Nope, not once I've knocked up that mailbox creation script, which I proceed to reuse a zillion times to create mailboxes. I might write a substantial script a few times a year. Did I need to do computer science or study programming to figure out how do so? Nope, just learned how to mash pre-baked scripts together with the assistance of Dr Google.

    Sure, there are jobs for professional coders, whether they be application/web/other. But not actually that many. There are going to be less in future with the refinement of machine-generated code, not to mention the programming bodyshops provided in places with cheap labour rates in South Asia.

    Learning coding will basically be irrelevant to most, including many who go into IT careers. Learning another language - especially one of the official languages of our own country - is more relevant to more people, even if you use it rarely.

    Coding is not like mathematics in terms of its use on a daily basis. Sure, it could be an optional course, but it's not something that teaches you how to run a computer system or network. What could be useful would be to build more into maths classes along the lines of Boolean logic. Since coding is based on those principles, that's a useful first step.

    Language studies merge into cultural/social studies, which I think is one of the core courses that should be taught after English and Maths. I wish schools went into explicitly teaching critical thinking - I learned a few scattered elements during history lessons, and perhaps they do it during media studies these days. But learning how to research and analyse and decide on the validity of an argument and the authority of the person making the argument are core skills for anyone. Coding, really not so much.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 459 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Over the paywall?, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    there are very strong incentives to get up a story as fast as possible... and then update it continuously. Once readers know a story will likely develop over the day they'll keep refreshing.

    Really? The only story I'll refresh on is the kind that specifically says "live updates". If I read something in the morning that was shittily written, or with a misleading clickbaity headline, I'm not going to bother with it again later in the day. Unless it was a compelling breaking story, and there's a big banner saying "updated". Which is far from the majority of stories.

    I have to agree that if I'm going to pay for something - yes, Guardian NZ, thank you - I do expect a professional level of writing and subediting. The technology avvailable now in the publishing sector - no idea what the Herald uses - makes it very easy and quick to have an article flow from one unit to another prior to publication. But you still need the "content creators" there to create quality output.

    Organs like the Herald have more that exceeded the benefits that technology brings to the publication workflow by losing too many skilled staff who actually know words and grammar. There is no commercial technology that can do a good grammar check in English yet. You simply need humans - and enough of them - to do certain kinds of writing and editing tasks.

    Finally, since a large chunk of the Herald is simply regurgitating the generic Fairfax content, and the majority of their op ed writers are shite, yup, I wouldn't fork out cash for the modicum of local news they publish.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 459 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Over the paywall?,

    rein in its paywall plans*

    (Sorry for the grammar nitpick – the idiom relates to runaway horses, not Her Maj)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 459 posts Report Reply

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