Posts by B Jones

  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy., in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Quite apart from drug policy, that’s not even natural justice.

    Depending on what power the department is exercising to do this, that could be grounds for judicial review.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Crowded houses, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Also “incoherent” and “unfair”.

    You have to run that through the bureaucratic anger translator to get the full impact of that. I'd guess at least three or four measured, cautious folk with eyes on what their bosses and minister would be prepared to accept wrote and reviewed that paper. Words like unfair aren't used often in reports - normal usage would be something like "the potential to lead to inequitable outcomes", sadly.

    Also, topping the poetic heights with easy grace there Russell?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Talking past each other:…,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Talking past each other:…,

    The n=1 thing is a problem too.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Talking past each other:…, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    You get gut microbiome diversity from gardening, getting your hands dirty. And from eating food straight from the garden.

    That's how my partner got toxoplasmosis :-)

    I hope youse fellas are all eating unsweetened yoghurt. Your average pottle of fresh n fruity has a lot of sugar in it, and it's thickened with gelatine. I don't know whether or not it gets fermented the way they make it.

    This is one of those fields in which there is so much unmet demand and unknowns that there's room for plenty of pseudoscience. People want to believe. There's body politics, health politics, expertise-claiming politics. There's no shortage of crankery in mistreating health conditions with special expensive diets. I'll be taking this cutting edge stuff with a healthy pinch of low-sodium salt substitute before I jump on the bandwagon.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Talking past each other:…,

    I was surprised when I was pregnant and having regular tests for gestational diabetes how easy it was to blow out your sugar levels. Ok, no surprises that muesli with yoghurt and fruit got me into the green squares one time, but a plain date scone would do it too. Carbs are quickly turned into glucose. Awareness about that would have helped more than a price signal, for me at least. But even with awareness, denying yourself something innately pleasurable and accessible is not easy.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

  • 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 • 949 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 • 949 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 • 949 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 • 949 posts Report Reply

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