Posts by B Jones

  • Polity: Lady luck smiles more than we think,

    Especially people who have bad luck. It's much easier to deal with a cause that can be avoided than just having pulled the short straw, especially when short straw distribution is uneven. Having some sort of narrative directing things is much easier to process than a whole bunch of things happened that probably aren't related.

    I wonder what the relationship between privilege and belief in conspiracies is - whether people who have experienced more than their fair share of bad or good luck (whatever that is) are more likely to believe in narratives that don't have a lot of evidence behind them.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 943 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: Lady luck smiles more than we think,

    "Shit just happens" is a kind of disempowering philosophy, even if it's fundamentally true a lot of the time. I can kind of get why people reject a luck hypothesis in favour of one in which their actions or inactions play a starring role. It's one of those quirks of human nature that's essential to our understanding, and misunderstanding, of the universe.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 943 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Cui bono?,

    The thing about bureaucracies is that they don't have to be out to deliberately punish or humiliate anyone in order to actually do so - they just need to be indifferent to how much discomfort they cause. All you need to do is not employ someone whose job it is to look at things from a customer's point of view and fix the problems that inevitably get caused by administrators administering things in the way that seems most efficient to them. If annoying customers isn't going to screw up your bottom lines (and indeed, if your business model is based on losing customers), then why do it?

    Some of the problems I read about social welfare are endemic to large complex organisations - I've had similarly frustrating interactions with councils or hospitals or HR departments - but of course it's worse when you're wondering how to pay the rent and feed the kids. And there is a philosophy from the top down that mitigates against fixing the customer experience, that is actively trying to drive people off. By way of example, I walked past a WINZ office the other day and saw a security officer posted outside, with customers having to talk to him before they could enter. I get why they might do that, after the tragedy in Ashburton, but banks and dairies have had experience with armed robberies before, and you can still walk into them.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 943 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Screen gigs,

    I wondered why the soundtrack for Hunt for the Wilderpeople sounded so familiar (but in a new sort of way), then I remembered this from back in the 80s:

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 943 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Labour's medical cannabis…, in reply to Alfie,

    it’s almost impossible to overdose because people fall asleep well before reaching any lethal amount.

    No problem, so long as you're not driving, or flying a hot air balloon, or boating, or walking along a country road at night. Something doesn't need to be toxic to be dangerous.

    Did anyone here know that Alex Renton's treatment has been written up as a case study? Cannabidiol oil in the treatment of super refractory status epilepticus. A case report. The abstract looks interesting, and if you're really keen you can pay US$30 for the full article.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 943 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: The Up Front Guide to Plebs,

    There's nothing like Australian politics to make our own look less awful.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 943 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Zika and microcephaly: things to…,

    It looks like it's still the most likely suspect: New evidence supporting a link between Zika virus infection and microcephaly
    From the CDC report:

    "Among the six [American] pregnant women with Zika virus disease who reported symptoms during the first trimester, outcomes included two early pregnancy losses, two elective pregnancy terminations, and delivery of a live born infant with microcephaly; one pregnancy is continuing. "

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 943 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: What you lookin' at?,

    I've enjoyed The Expanse - I like how it's less of a cookie cutter version of modern Western Earth society than Battlestar and Caprica.

    My other summer viewing has been Narcos, a dramatization of the Colombian narco-wars through the eyes of a DEA agent and Pablo Escobar. Vivid stuff, plus you get to learn a bit of Spanish along the way. And the Chilean guy from Game of Thrones is in it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 943 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Shaken Generation,

    I'd be happy for a cost neutral solution that involved 100% less prime ministering, tbh.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 943 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Zika and microcephaly: things to…, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I hope it was clear that I thought the conspiracy theory to be nonsense, and an illustration of the loose thinking that goes on when medical mysteries abound.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 943 posts Report Reply

Last ←Newer Page 1 2 3 4 5 95 Older→ First