Posts by Moz

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

    I think bike owners tend to get a stable going after a while, and use them as they see fit.

    True. Which is both an illustration of the relative cost of bikes (so cheap you can own more than one!), and another argument against requiring registration - many regular cyclists will either pay multiple registration fees, have unregistered bikes, or sell/dump them. Can you imagine the fun of having 5 or 10 registration plates for your family bike farm?

    The public bikes I've seen all lock to the rack when not in use, so throwing one into a river would not be a crime requiring great ingenuity on the part of the police.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 872 posts Report Reply

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

    When I had a hole in my leg the eBike was great (cars are not at all convenient when you only need one for a month but don't already own one). I was hoping that my partner would take the opportunity to ride to work on it, but sadly her laziness triumphed yet again.

    What we're getting more of in Sydney is mostly off-road bike paths that are actually joined up. If you're willing to put up with occasional meanders you can cover quite significant distances without more than crossing roads. Assuming you're going where the paths go :) My commute is ~1/3 along a nice "river"-side path (said river being a concrete ditch, but the linear park is nice). More of that is good, as long as a little attention is paid to sight-lines and making the path wide enough to actually work as a shared path.

    One things that helps a lot in Sydney is lifts at railway stations. They put them in officially for wheelchair accessibility, but they work well for bikes that are too heavy to carry up stairs. It makes mixed-mode travel much more practical, if it's raining, or late at night, you just jump on the train.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 872 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem, in reply to Alan Perrott,

    argh, I think I'll go listen to some music.

    That's been my approach. There's a new Enigma album out! And Tallis Scholars had a sale.

    I logged into failbook recently to see about 500 notifications of US bullshit, and luckily a "47 of your 49 friend have marked themselves safe", plus a post from one of the others - looks as though he hasn't signed up to that sub-system.

    Unfortunately my RSS feed has been about 50% news of the US, but just marking alternet and The Guardian-Politics feeds as read clears a big chunk of that out. But there's still PA and other more personal blogs like DimPost going on about it. Whatever, we don't know enough to do anything useful and we have no influence over the result. For all the difference it makes I'd rather look at pictures of cats (or expensive cameras, but you know, whatever).

    Australian politics has been bad enough of late - the "good" news is that Australia might be shipping some refugees from our torture camps to the US. That might, however, test the "anything is better than this" theory if the Trump-is-a-nazi doomsayers are correct. In other Australian news, same-sex marriage and a Treaty are still out of the question but the constitutional amendment to say "you exist, now shut up" to the abos[sic] is still on the cards.

    So, what good news is there from NZ politics?

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 872 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: No, there isn’t a popular…, in reply to Cornford,

    at some point people might want consider that millions of people in many countries that once would be the left's nature constituency don't think you care more, or are achieving 'social justice'

    I'm yet to be convinced that they're listening to the left at all. I saw an apparently genuine commenter say "the far left went down in flames", and they seemed to be talking about Hilary Clinton. Which suggests that they have very little idea of what the left is, let alone the far left. Remember that in world terms Bernie is centre-right, a bit like John Key. My impression is that there's a significant group of voters who think Clinton really is the far left extreme of the political spectrum.

    So while it might be nice if there were some left-ish person who was nice enough that you would listen to her, I strongly suspect that in practice no-one can ever be nice enough. Did you see Samantha Bee on "how we made Clinton into an emotionless puppet?" "the left" can't ever be nice enough, or reasonable enough, or "not shrill" enough, unless they become the right. Tony Blair tried that. Killed a lot of people trying to be right enough. Still failed.

    I've been out campaigning, I've listened to all sorts of people at different times over the years, and one thing I've never heard is "oh, really, *that* is their policy? Gosh, I would have voted for them before if I'd known, but I'll definitely vote for them now". Just doesn't happen. I've had a lot of conversations with people go bad when I suggest The Greens might have something useful to say. Generally because "they already know it"... what they know is almost always wrong, but they don't care about "your facts" they care about "what I know".

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 872 posts Report Reply

  • Notes & Queries: Breaking Down the Walls…,

    Welcome back David! I feel as though we need to fire up the welcome wagon it's been so long!

    John Grant, I'm afraid to say, I know only and purely for "That's the good news" which is one of the funniest songs I've heard for a long time. But the more I hear, the more I think "that guy is weird". Weird, BTW, I use in the positive sense (as contrasted with normal which is a euphemism for boring).

    I was lucky enough to grow up in the Bronski Beat then Tracey Chapman era (speaking of weird apparently Smalltown Boy was used in a Christmas ad), and hit university just in time for Two Nice Girls to visit.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 872 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: Four thoughts on polling in…, in reply to BenWilson,

    But what can anyone do about that? You want to poll opinion, you do it with what you have.

    I was asking because I hoped that there was some collection of mobile phones numbers with demographic information attached that pollsters used. Even getting the demographic "will supply a phone number to avoid annoying ads online" is better than the apparent "just ignore people without landlines" approach.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 872 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: Four thoughts on polling in…,

    I'm guessing that this misses an awful lot of mobile-phone-only voters, based purely on no-one in the office ever having been called. Technically we have a landline, and I believe there's even a phone we could plug into it in one of the boxes in the garage. But ringing that number isn't going to get you anywhere (Hellstra charge less for an internet+phone deal than internet alone).

    So, question: how do pollster obtain phone numbers? Random dialling would seem likely to pester a fuckton of people for every successful call, to the point where I expect it would be banned (Wellington has about 1/10th of NZ/s population, of whom 2/3rds might be eligible, and half of those vote... 30 calls per voter).

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 872 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: I Swear, It's True,

    I'm playing an online game a bit ATM, and a fair number of mental children there seem to use "pick three of the top 10 offensive words" as a name generation system. Others go for "most offensive phrase". I would like to be kidding. And there seems to be no filtering of those names, sadly, or mechanism for objecting to them.

    I am torn between joining in, albeit humorously, via some of the above, and just refusing the whole idea that being gratuitously offensive is worthwhile. Because "The mighty Snotgobblin Butt-Snorkeller triumphs again" seems to match that level of childish amusement without sinking to the depths of ... look, just imagine the worst thing you're likely to read online, and leave it there. Searching the forums for "rape" shows how casually it's used as "one step worse than gay".

    And that's why we should filter out the "bad words", even if it makes the likes of Emma work a little harder to come up with decent descriptions.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 872 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The stark reality: New Zealand…,

    The juxtaposition of the Capture-Apocalypse picture with this post on the front page is strangely appropriate.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 872 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Christchurch: We're not…, in reply to Hebe,

    Dear Ian,

    I love the way that comes just after Ian Dalziel's post... right until the very end I was "like, WTF?" in my best South Park accent and all.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 872 posts Report Reply

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