Posts by Rich of Observationz

  • Hard News: Do e-bikes ease traffic…,

    I was jesting - having an open source software bike would let you change MAX_SPEED=20 to something more exciting...

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5370 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: From Zero: The Meth Episode,

    Further, the main pharmacological problem with methamphetamine is that, unlike most drugs (which burn when heated) it's smokable. Which gives a faster rush and more of a psychological problem. People (Hitler, pilots, schoolkids with ADHD) who confine themselves to ingestion or snorting have fewer problems witb it.

    The real problem, however, is that there are a lot of desperate, screwed up people around, who've often been socialised into violence. These people are susceptible to whatever substances work for them (alcohol, opiates, meth) and have consequent problems with their substance use. In societies with less social exclusion (northern Europe) meth is much less of a perceived problem. I'd also note that there are groups (such as gay men in the UK) for whom meth use is quite prevalent but who don't present the social problems seen in NZ - partly because they are less excluded and don't have a particular violence problem.

    We need to sort social exclusion and acceptability of violence in NZ, not try and patch the symptoms.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5370 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: From Zero: The Meth Episode, in reply to steven crawford,

    Potassium ferrocyanide is your anti-caking agent - the CN is tightly bound to the Fe and doesn't disassociate in the body. An example of how similar substances can have widely different hazard categories.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5370 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Do e-bikes ease traffic…, in reply to Stephen R,

    Sounds like a great reason for their being open source and software controlled.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5370 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem, in reply to mark taslov,

    That's not a bad system. It at least ensures that the sort of people who might support Trump or Brexit never get into a position to do so. Maybe we should have a liberalised version in the west - e.g to get full citizenship you have to take exams and write essays to show your ability at critical thought.

    (Fascism?? Many countries, not NZ, require new citizens to take an exam - why not cut out the racism and apply it to the native born?)

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5370 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: #eqnz: Okay?,

    If you can't use a building because the place next door is threatening to collapse on it, is the owner of the dangerous building liable for your expenses as a result?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5370 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: #eqnz: Okay?,

    The fact is, there are but a handful of buildings that have structural issues that might cause injury outside the building, a few more with non-structural issues (glazing, awnings) that might cause problems on the pavement and a fair few (like my work) that are perfectly safe but with facilities or cosmetic issues (like water tanks that failed, soaked the carpets and killed the lifts).

    The media has a vested interested in spreading hysteria to sell papers and get clicks. Yesterday we were told "Terrace Cordoned Off" - it was a stretch of pavement two parking spaces long outside a building that had shed a window.

    I'm very supportive of Justin Lester - I thought he would be useless but now I'm inclined to vote for him again just because of his sensible approach to the 'quake.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5370 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem,

    Have an example of news values: Quake update: The Terrace in Wellington cordoned off due to falling debris.

    Fact: two car lengths of the pavement have been taped off while the building is fixed.

    The headline reflects the oh-noes-the-world-is-breaking-up narrative, not any aspect of the revealed reality. Pretty much all the earthquake/heavy drizzle emergency media coverage has been like that when you ground-truth it.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5370 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Such word analyses have proven to be pretty damn reliable.

    Source? Interviews with whom? How selected? Reliable at doing what?

    If you word analyse interviews with NZers or British people (both states who have had two female prime ministers) do you get substantially different results?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5370 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Short answer is, Americans, particularly those democrats who chose not to vote, were making the choice to not elect a woman.

    And you know this how?

    It's a secret ballot. You don't know who voted, why they voted, how they voted.

    If you did an experiment, and the primary result was out of kilter with reality, would you continue using anything else you measured and couldn't check?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5370 posts Report Reply

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