Posts by B Jones

  • Hard News: Word of the Year 2014: #dirtypolitics, in reply to Sue,

    you’ve had a bit of a year for the family, and i know those tasty treats will be loved by your fantastic partner and 3 amazing small people.

    I can vouch for the power of a hamper to improve even the worst Christmas. Last year I had agonising back pain, couldn't drink, kids were sick, weather was crap and there were other complicated family things. The food hamper for last year's prize was a shining highlight, as was the whisky when I was finally off the painkillers.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 819 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Some aspects of New Zealand's…,

    There's a Film Unit clip about the Wilson home online here:

    Some of the language they use is harsh to the modern ear.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 819 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Word of the Year 2014: The Vote, in reply to Hebe,

    it's really got to be a new word or concept for 2014.

    I think it just has to be a big word or concept for 2014. Ebola's a good example - it's been around in the 70s but took off, I hate to say virally, following the outbreak this year in West Africa. What makes it a WOTY contender for me is that it's moved out of its original meaning and drifted into metaphor - there were a handful of examples of media commentators using it to mean something big and nasty, eg "it's the Ebola of politics".

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 819 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the…,

    I think of Dirty Politics as a book title rather than a word. It's used to describe an issue, rather than used in sentences. That's not to downplay its impressive impact on political discourse.

    I think "hacker" or 'hack" deserves a plug because it's got international and local currency, and has reach beyond the election period, and its meaning is contested to stretch from someone who can get into secured computer systems to someone who can guess your password or use your profile after you've failed to log off.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 819 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the…,

    Hack. In both senses of the word.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 819 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Take: The creeping…, in reply to nzlemming,

    Not if you build those steps into document creation. Most government agencies use a document management system, many have implemented EDRMS – all the tools are there, just not the wit nor will to use them.

    Have you used a government document management system? You want bureaucrats to add more steps to every email, every meeting request, every piece of work they produce, to solve the problem that a small percentage of stuff that gets requested gets gamed? It's an enormously cumbersome solution that doesn't actually address the problem. I can think of several ways to separate the decision to release from political considerations without making it a nightmare for both users and officials.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 819 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Take: The creeping…, in reply to nzlemming,

    A lot of this would go away if agencies published everything unless there was a good reason not to. It would save them time and resources

    No it wouldn't. This would expand the amount of information public servants need to assess for "good reason" from the small amount currently requested to everything they produce. This is the time consuming part of responding to an OIA - not collating the files - that's not hard with a decent filing system. It's deciding will this breach an individual's privacy, will this harm someone's commercial interests, will this undermine the goverment's ability to negotiate for every file note, email, handwritten minute, everything.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 819 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: What to make of the spray, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Until a diagnosis of a rare chronic leukaemia in a family member who had no real reason to get it.

    Without understanding much about the epidemiology of leukaemia, does anyone ever have a real reason to get a disease like that?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 819 posts Report Reply

  • Access: You Can Call Me Brave Now,

    My grandfather in law lost his leg in his 80s, after an infection he couldn't shake. It was hard for him at his age to get used to his reduced mobility, but he was philosophical about it, and declared that plenty of his age-mates came back from the war minus a limb, and he had his for 60 years longer than them.

    I wonder if anyone's done a good history of attitudes to disability, because I imagine they change over time just as medical and social circumstances shift the numbers of people affected by and surviving with disabilities.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 819 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Vision and dumbassery,

    Those of you paying attention might recall that that Malaysian diplomat is getting extradited to NZ to face charges; he's not getting interviewed in the comfort of his own home. Nai Yin Xue, who left his wife in the boot of his car and his daughter at a Sydney train station - he got extradited from the US and tried here. Sexual assault is sexual assault, whether it's supposed to have been done by the world's greatest freedom fighter, or some ordinary shmoe, and there's no reason Assange's case shouldn't be considered by the Swedish criminal justice system like any other accused person. The way his defenders carry on you'd think he's a sporting hero or filmmaker.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 819 posts Report Reply

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