Posts by BenWilson

  • Speaker: The silent minority, in reply to David Hood,

    Though here is one media people can read to much into

    Yes, it looks like an almost classic case of being careful to distinguish causation and correlation. Lots of alternate reasons why these could be correlated besides the hypothesis that these particular news sources improve a person's likelihood to vote.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9325 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The silent minority,

    By the spirit of igniting thought, I didn't mean killing it stone dead. Now I really wish I'd deleted that post.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9325 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The silent minority, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I’m torn between the shame of it

    I'm torn on whether to be shamed on it at all. If the social atomization that Rob is referring to above is a real thing, and an ongoing trend, aren't we proselytizing against the tide? (sound nicer than "pissing into the wind").

    What I mean is instead of fighting a systemic condition and slowly losing for our whole lives, perhaps we could think about what institutional change might give us the same effect as increasing voter participation?

    My own feeling is that a big part of disengagement is the feeling of the irrelevance of voting to our particular atomic situation. Things like the huge left-right divide we're supposed to care about (but the jury is out about whether we really do when it comes down to actual choices) just turn people off - there's no sense of participation, and just getting our choices made for us by representatives isn't how we're living our lives in so many other ways that we have no faith in it as a way of deciding how the nation is governed. Well, either no faith, or no interest (not the same thing).

    Essentially what I'm saying is that we've got an institution that's basically an old dog running the country, compared to what we're capable of making. Young people probably see this, and just can't be arse to engage with the old dog. You can't teach the old dog much. It's as likely to bite you as guard you, and it barks all the bloody time, and needs a lot of care. They'd rather just let those who want to tend the dog do that, and think about other ways they can get what the dog does done for them. If they're worried about people breaking into the house, they could get an alarm, to more directly address the problem of the old dog having slept through the last break in, but bitten one our friends who came around.

    Maybe young people are just getting on with building a better system, and hoping the old dog will either get with the program or just die already.

    Of course the problem with that idea is that the dog is immortal, in a Tolkien Elf kind of way. It won't die of old age, although it could maybe be killed. We are kind of stuck with teaching it new tricks, as bloody frustrating as that is. We're talking about a dog that, for instance, could spend 50 years deciding whether to follow scientific evidence AND public opinion on what to do about cannabis. It took a hundred years to teach it to stop biting homosexuals, and it still growls at them.

    Another thing that strikes me about young people and this sort of thing is that we live in a time where voting with one's feet can at least have a major effect on how much the old dog affects us. We can always choose NOT to live in NZ. As we get older, this kind of choice is less and less viable. I pretty much can't leave, even though at times I really want to. But I've got a family, and our ACC system means that we get a level of care for my son that would not happen anywhere else. My wife likes it here. But a young single person without kids can go anywhere that will take them. Perhaps that freedom colors their view on how much participation is even appropriate for them.

    These are random thinks. I dallied with deleting this entire post, as I do with most of my posts recently, on account of thinking my reckons are less valuable than I used to. But hey...treat them as in the spirit of igniting thought, rather than things I firmly hold to.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9325 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The silent minority, in reply to EliotBlennerhassett,

    LOL. Now, now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9325 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Fine words, some hope,

    But they are, and removing them would unequivocally cause additional harm.

    I think that depends on whether you are one of those people who sees any kind of use as harm (probably thinking of brain damage), and therefore anything that makes healthier (for the lungs) use convenient is something that makes unhealthier (for the brain) use more likely. It's a hard mindset to get into, but it's really the same one that thinks hurting people with the law is good for them. I'd say a lot of people think like this.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9325 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The silent minority, in reply to David Hood,

    jknow is not a questionaire value, but one of those calculated after the fact. Does it take weighting into account already?

    ETA: I'm not expecting you to know the answer, just bringing this to your attention, although I'm pretty sure you already knew.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9325 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The silent minority,

    Great work. The question of engagement is fascinating. Interaction between the variables you found would be good to know about.

    From a biased perspective, it would also be very interesting to know whether the decision trees come out different, conditioned on what party they .... hmmmmm....felt closest to? (Can't be what they voted for, obviously :-)...had to think about that). I know the opinion on closeness is in the survey.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9325 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Meet the middle, in reply to David Hood,

    because it is so polarised the “median” is a pretty empty space

    It looks to me like LR is trimodal. In more dimensions that might actually break down, resembling a normal distribution more and more (obviously I mean the higher dimensional equivalent). That's what I'd expect...but I might be wrong.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9325 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: BURGERGASM, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Might tell you something. Or not.

    It would definitely tell you something. Whether it would be something you already knew or not is unknown.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9325 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Meet the middle,

    Looking more closely at the subsetting there, it does seem to divide Labour into 2 clusters. The dense cloud on the left near where they think National is, and the big sparse cloud on the right (the dimensions are reversed on that graph, it seems), in which their variable loading falls. Not sure what to make of that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9325 posts Report Reply

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