Posts by mark taslov

  • Polity: Hekia's waynebrave, in reply to Sacha,

    Absolutely, but considering the Labour connections on this thread, I’d be feeling far more optimistic about our country’s future if political movers and shakers were countering bad ideas with better ones rather than flippantly dismissing online education so broadly. After all, drastic remedial steps will surely be required upon Labour’s inheritance of Parata’s legacy.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1794 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: Hekia's waynebrave, in reply to Deborah,

    It is worth considering the limitations of the model that you’re basing your argument on here. I taught ESL online on and off from 2006-10 and full-time from 2011-14, I’ve written about my experiences with that company on this site previously and the biggest issue was not the concept or technology but the administration of it, which placed a number of unnecessary hurdles between the students and teachers, undervalued the work of teachers etc.

    it takes an enormous amount of work to prepare distance materials, far more so than preparing internal courses

    One of the key advantages of online learning is that distance materials can be prepared by highly qualified groups for use with 1000s of students and reused year in year out as a curriculum dictates. This:

    NZ First has slammed the idea saying it"s “dangerous” and the “final nail in the coffin in devaluing trained and qualified teachers”.

    In our case Immediate feedback was supplied by teachers in the online classroom which was in essence managed in a way not dissimilar to how one maintains a RL classroom, the opportunities and avenues being largely identical as one expects in brick and mortar schools, bar the use of technology to transmit the voice/ images. A truant is a truant whatever the platform.

    Though Rob states:

    And there’s a very good reason for that – in an in-person school, students learn at least as much from other students as they do from the teachers. Both inside the classroom and in the playground, kids at a traditional school learn about meeting new people, friendship, sharing, scheming, new skills, winning, losing, and so much more besides.

    I don’t think this proposal should be taken as a sign that there is any plan to outlaw parks, playgrounds, sports teams, messenger apps or friendships. It’s not that I don’t see a number of issues in what Hekia is proposing but I do believe that these can be easily dismantled point by point. By contrast a knee-jerk opposition to the immense potential of online education based on perceived limitations within current models may indicate that our education system’s purported emphasis on developing creativity and imagination is still inadequate.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1794 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Stop acting like the law is…, in reply to Sacha,

    TLDR: The doubloons

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1794 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Stop acting like the law is…, in reply to Sacha,

    Thanks for your understanding Sacha.

    So venturing back to Graeme’s question from another angle. Two key differences between the official endorsement of discretionary enforcement of the smacking law and the official endorsement of discretionary enforcement of cannabis use and possession laws are that firstly, one instance grants police the opportunity to seize material possession for personal gain with little recrimination while the other does not and secondly while the discretion expected to enforce the smacking law is contingent on certain expectations of human nature and a capacity for good judgement from officers, the discretion expected to enforce these cannabis laws ignores human nature and the capacity for bad judgement by police officers.

    This issue has been further exacerbated by the fact that until this year members of the New Zealand Police Force have enjoyed 155 years without a comprehensive drug testing program and even now the regime falls well short of what might be considered reasonable expectations for stamping out the types of corruption one is prone to suspect occurs when cannabis is confiscated without charges being laid:

    While details are still being developed, the plan is for all staff involved in critical incidents which have resulted in death or the discharge of a police firearm to undergo mandatory testing.

    Testing may also be required where a critical incident has resulted in serious injury, Clement said.

    Meanwhile, 500 staff involved in “safety-sensitive” roles would be subject to random tests from next year.

    So while the law as it is written was designed to protect the public from the harms of cannabis use and possession, a Prime Ministerial endorsement of discretionary enforcement of cannabis laws erodes safeguards that individual officers might reasonably expect from corruption by their peers.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1794 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Stop acting like the law is…, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    I thought Little’s response on Morning Report was perfectly coherent.

    I guess my question would be, how coherent can support of an incoherent legislative approach truly be? The first issue with Mr Little’s position is that as Ian pointed out over the page:

    Key doesn’t get to govern based on his own wishes – has anyone explained that to him properly.

    Which should apply to any politician in a democracy, so while Andrew Little’s position bears many similarities with that of John Key

    broader liberalisation, not something I’m particularly fussed about

    I’m not entirely sure if you’re reading of that position is the same as mine.

    He is opposed to decriminalization

    He and John “I’m not a big fan” Key are opposed to official decriminalisation but not particularly fussed about our current de facto decriminalisation. Which is great for non maori. This is not a new issue, as I intimated earlier when referencing politicians ‘across the spectrum’, this has been going on for decades. I’ve had the police confiscate cannabis from me under the Bolger Government, under the Shipley Government and under the Clark Government, and I’m yet to be prosecuted, under the Key Government it looks like I'll be lucky to get a look in – I’m not going to fudge this, how awesome is it to be a pakeha in Aotearoa New Zealand? While police are arresting about 15,000 people a year for personal use and possession of cannabis, what are the odds? In the parlance of our Prime Minister – losers.

    Andrew Little:

    There are negative health effects for young people, young brains young minds, now the brain is still developing until the early twenties, and this is not, greater liberalisation of cannabis is not going to help when it comes to potential health effects there.

    Who knows? Introducing age restrictions might help. Allowing people to smoke in the fresh air of their back yard rather than being fearfully holed up behind closed doors exposing their children to second-hand cannabis smoke might help. Not putting mums in jail might help. Better access to health support without fear of being criminalised might help. Better public education will help. Whether the chief concern is helping young minds or placating small minds remains uncertain.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1794 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Stop acting like the law is…, in reply to Moz,

    “no-one wants a business selling X at the end of their street”

    One needn’t step too far out onto a limb to posit that the majority support shown for growing small amounts for personal use is in part fueled by people wanting that kiwi mainstay – the tinny house – removed from the end of our streets; not wanting tinny houses at the end of our streets being one of many lines that has been trotted out by decriminalisation advocates for decades. The cynic in me even wonders if his statement (sorry the actual quote wasn’t available when I posted above) isn’t the first step of a mighty about face:

    “You show me the communities who want to put up their hand and say I want a tinny house at the end of my street.”

    Because literally no one was talking about legalising tinny houses except our Prime Minister. Looking at examples of cannabis legalisation around the world, tinny houses – associated with crime, arms, lacing with fly spray and horse tranquilizer, a million wasted strips of Glad, and who knows what else – simply don’t feature. Their equivalents are displaced by heavily regulated dispensaries selling quality produce.

    Regardless of how many socially isolated journalists mindlessly trot out these soundbites:

    Are you worried about the sort of I suppose backlash? The Prime Minister yesterday said people wouldn’t want tinny houses at the end of their streets.

    The fact remains that thousands of New Zealanders already have tinny houses at the end of our streets, these are an unfortunate outcome of prohibition and we don’t want tinny houses at the end of anyone’s street.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1794 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Stop acting like the law is…, in reply to Sacha,

    To be fair though Sacha, even consistent messaging wouldn’t be a bad start, Mr Key by contrast appears entirely lost in the shop. the message being sent by his Government to teenagers and the wider community in this neck of the woods is that the National Party simply don’t care.

    I hope Maggie Barry has time to take him aside to explain how people manufacture the spuds and kumara that find their way onto his dinner plate.

    Despite the clarity in the wording with regard to growing a small amount for personal use, tonights Newshub segment rounded off with John Key at sea in his own circular argument that we’d need shops to sell it but no one wants a tinny house at the end of their street.

    Perhaps his advisors (anyone?) could explain the poll to him.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1794 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Stop acting like the law is…, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I believe the smoke free environments law is enforced by the Ministry of Health primarily, rather than police, and applies to smoking anything in a public premise.

    It’s by the by, I presented the possibility of making our own centre smoke free in anticipation of any suggestion that doing so would make a difference to the way the cannabis legislation is currently not enforced by the police.

    But maybe the elders of your town prefer the challenged to be nicely stoned inside the community centre than wandering the streets annoying people.

    Sorry by elders I assume you’d be referring to the local council, and no, I’ve yet to observe any instances of them referring to members of the community so dickishly. Go troll your family.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1794 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Stop acting like the law is…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Graeme Edgeler put it to me on Twitter this morning that Key was applauded for emphasising that the police would apply their discretion when the Section 59 “reasonable force” defence for child discipline was removed – so why scorn him for saying the same about drug law? And why is one “message” law, passed on the understanding that it would not lead to prosecution in every case, a good thing, when another is not? He wasn’t just trolling: it’s a reasonable philosphical question.

    More than anything else this affirms the adage that one person’s reasonable philisophical question is another’s feckless musing. Through the looking glass, It’s not unheard of to enter the centre of this admittedly small town and be greeted by a similar THC to air ratio as one would expect to enjoy at a Bob Marley concert.

    The probability that local police are unaware of this is highly unlikely given that the police station is within 20 metres of the shop from which the psychoactive smoke tends to emanate. Yes the local police force is ludicrously understaffed, but it’s hardly wanton conjecture to surmise that part of the reason our community centre occasionally doubles as a defacto hotbox is an outcome of this discretion that Mr Key et al are advocating i.e. the widespread understanding that the consequences of punishment far outweigh the harm generated – either that or the police are as blazed as anyone else game enough to venture into the mini-Woodstock our community hub becomes, especially on Fridays.

    Were our town centre age restricted it may be all well and good, but as the police station lies opposite the local park (itself equidistant from the smoke source) which is unsurprisingly frequented by children, (whom research reveals are most likely to be adversely affected by exposure to cannabis and its derivatives), the suggestion with regard to cannabis use – that there are no victims beyond the toker – tends to overlook that while it is incredibly difficult to either passively smack or be smacked, exposure (active or otherwise) to airborne substances is in some instances regarded as a serious issue, as evidenced by the numerous local laws around the country desginating smoke free areas.

    If police are unwilling to enforce smoke free legislation in instances where it would require also enforcing unattractive and outdated psychoactive substance legislation then what difference would implementing legislation to create a smoke free town centre make in this case?

    In terms of our elected representatives, limiting our criticisms to John Key seems parochially partisan given the cowardice and share ineptness shown by our would-be leaders across the spectrum – for a couple of days last week I was a prospective Labour voter.

    Yes we are only just a small town, but that needn’t be taken as any indication that we wouldn’t welcome coherent, considered and enforceable legislation designed for the benefit of New Zealand as a whole.

    Despite feeling as if I’d just emerged from a Cannabis Cup quarter final I was glad to later learn that I had successfully posted my parcel to the correct destination.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1794 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Take: Heavy topics,

    Thank you for taking the time to read Rob S and Sacha. My apologies for the vagueness of ‘Yoruba’ above, it was an afterthought that I hoped any one interested may follow up on but in the interests of clarity I feel it’s only right that the point I was attempting to make is expounded upon:

    The Yoruba case is a clear depiction of a society where power relations were traced through their age-grading culture. The Yoruba people are located mainly in southern Nigeria. Until missionaries and colonialism influenced the area, most of the Yoruba were genderless beings. Instead of having a culture that was divided through gender expectations and hierarchies, the Yoruba people used seniority as an organizing system. This system separated power relations by age and lineage, not gender (Oyěwùmí 1997). The only real gendered aspect of the Yoruba society concerned the different roles in pregnancy and arguably the beginning of marriage (“The Yoruba Family” 2013).

    When people married in Yoruba society, typically a female-sexed person would marry into a male-sexed person’s family. The newcomer, as the person would be referred to, would be ranked below all the members of the family she married in to. Although it seems like this person is now stuck on the bottom of an immovable power hierarchy, this was not the case. The newcomer has the ability to move throughout the power system by having children. By adding to the family lineage one would move up in seniority (Oyěwùmí 1997). This system not only allowed for people to fill many different roles (compared to western society in which people may only fill the roles allowed to their gender) but it also allows for all people to have access to power in all spheres.

    Further reading here.

    The Invention of Women: Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses

    With regards to the link “comparitively” in my initial post:

    Same-gender love can sometimes be difficult to differentiate in Classical Chinese because the pronouns he and she were written with the same character, like tā (他)

    To that I should add that this tā (他) was split into three tā: 他(he), 她(she), 它(it) in the early 20th century following the fall of the Qing Dynasty, however this distinction does not exist in the spoken language to this day.

    I might also add that my hand was pushed to post my initial 3 posts above due to an experience last week. As we attempted to separate the ram, the ewes stuck close, intent on protecting him within the flock. Apparently amused by this, the person helping me jokingly muttered “chicks”. Based ona couple of previous comments, I did not construe it to be a comparison to fowl but rather anthropomorphism: a derivation of his perception that women habitually and foolishly follow men around(?). Most importantly, what struck me is that a 60 y/o South African émigré who moved here as a youth and who has spent most of his life trotting the globe working as a professional mathematician – has been back in the country with his new wife less than a year and has found this kind of aside to still be acceptable social currency in 2016. I was too taken aback to challenge it.

    And finally, speaking of Social currency

    Jeremy Corbett: The following show is for adults only and contains bad language that may offend some people and there have been a lot of moves this week to ban all smoking on TV because when people see it on TV, it glamorises it making it cool and sexy, well we at 7Days have a plan to make sure that doesn’t happen [cut to shot of Paul Ego wearing a red bikini top]

    Paul Ego: [husky voice] What are you looking at? pervert. [flicks ash under bra, seductively pokes out tongue]


    Jeremy Corbett: That should do it.

    Because naturally, Paul Ego playing a transgender character, mocking those who may be attracted to the transgender character, is far more repugnant and therefore humorous to the NZ public than Paul Ego playing himself in that vein, nipples out.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1794 posts Report Reply

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