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Speaker: Doing the right thing on retirement

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  • andin, in reply to DexterX,

    I would say that you need to get on with “it” – what ever it is you do – in a more positive light.

    You know where you can stick that positive light.
    You do condescension quite well

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1239 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Kate Hannah,

    Marsdenable, I’d call it

    Exactly. Blue skies isn't quite right because it carries an implication that there is no conceivable value or product. What Marsdenable science has is quality first and foremost. Work that gets a Marsden is high quality, well thought out, likely to produce work that gets published in top peer reviewed journals. It also just so happens that it quite regularly results in patents and has proven to result in commercial spin outs.

    This is nothing novel. Exactly the same thing has been seen with every fund that assesses quality first and foremost, everywhere in the world.

    Note this isn't about me feathering my own nest. As our chief science advisor to the govt has pointed out again and again, countries that invest heavily in science (4 or more times the govt investment than NZ) have higher GDPs. Science and innovation drives wealth. And it isn't wealthy countries can afford science because countries that change from low investment to high investment see an increase in GDP a decade or so later and vice versa. If it isn't cause and effect then something very very bizarre is going on.

    @ John - Is history a science? mmm I think we could drink several glasses of wine with that discussion. But I certainly was not intending that money go from the study of history into the study of the biochemistry of moth chemoreceptors.

    To put this into a little more perspective for those outside the sciences (yes you can skip the rest of this post ... you read this far?!?). Marsdens are given to a very small number of proposals from a range of fields, including the social sciences, based solely on which proposal is the highest quality, as assessed by a scientific panel (of 8 or so?), with input from experts in the field for each proposal. Feedback from the panels is that they could fund 2-3 times as many grants and give them twice as much money each with no loss of quality.

    By contrast MSI, the new ministry set up by our current government wants a description of the research in lay terms emphasizing how much the research will benefit the New Zealand economy in the next 3 years or so. The implication is that lay readers will be making the decisions. They will then pick which ones get money. This isn't too different from the FRST funding system that preceded MSI.

    My reading of history suggests funding quality of science is the more successful strategy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3472 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Big Think...

    What Marsdenable science has is quality first and foremost.

    Ahah! So Marsden is science that has a Point,
    puts the good oil into the system,
    & keeps the big cities running...
    :- )

    (of course we won't mention Marsdens A & B )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5169 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to merc,

    "The planned advanced technology institute will operate in the border between business and science, providing a welcome focus on the development side of research and development," he said. "Exploiting untapped opportunities in the high tech manufacturing and services areas including ICT will be a major step forward for New Zealand's economy."

    Because we just know that there are tons of great ideas in the lab that those scientists have just failed to exploit. All they need is the guidance of some businessmen.

    But sarcasm aside, any investment will result in some good.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3472 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    I never had grandparents as my mother was an orphan by age nine (her father dying in WW1 and her mother dying of poverty in Whitechapel). My father was her third husband, with parents long dead. So, I sometimes wonder if I have missed something.
    Technically, I am now in a possession to be a grandfather (presuming my children know who to do it) but wonder if I could cope with babies again. Walking and talking children are fine but babies are a foreign species once more.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2345 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Ahah! So Marsden is science that has a Point

    No no it's pointless science ... especially topology

    Science communication fail :(

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3472 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Nice wordplay though!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to andin,

    No need - You were wishing you hadn't been born - you seem quite apt at bringing yourself down.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1210 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    No place like ohm...

    No no it’s pointless science … especially topology
    Science communication fail :(

    not so, you just opened a whole new Torus Industry...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5169 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    Come now. You were beyond fantastic with Ruby. Yes, she's a dog. But dogs are people too!

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Kate Hannah, in reply to John Armstrong,

    And it seems you probably work at the department that trained me, given you're Hamilton-based.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2010 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Kate Hannah, in reply to Sacha,

    I'm always looking for more texts that attempt a fictional account of all aspects of the Holocaust & Armenian genocide. My trajectory at present focuses on video art or YouTube streams .... Any tips re Aktion T4 ones ? I "read" them textually rather than visually...

    Auckland • Since Mar 2010 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I hadn't thought much about this retirement thing until today. I am aware that many of our parents have two jobs, and I was talking to one of our Dads today - a lovely young man of 26 - who indeed has 2 jobs. Now, bear in mind, that many of the people I deal with day to day, all of them Pasifika or Maori, are by and large what we would call "working class", and certainly some are what I would call the "working poor". Amongst those people, I have shockingly encountered a very fatalistic attitude to aging, which is that they won't. Some see 55 as old. Some see 60 as old, and all seem to see 70-75 as very old. Bearing that in mind, and how hard most of these people work, I should imagine that many of them foresee very little down time before they die. Anyway, I'm chatting to this young man, and we're talking about his jobs, and the fact that he only gets 4-6 hours sleep before he's off out to work again. I said to him that he would wear himself out, especially if the retirement age is raised. (And make no mistake, when things are taken from you incrementally, you hardly notice until one day, we will all have to be 7o before we retire). His response was "well, you have to work hard when you're young, and kick back for a couple of years - and then you die, anyway". It saddened me. Because I suddenly realised that that was the expectatation. I had kind of known it all along, but here was this very young man of only 26, and that was the life he saw for himself. We all, surely, deserve to take it easy before we die. To not work, unless we want to of course, for a bloody wage. To be free from being a wage slave, for at least a few years, before we kick the bucket.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Kate Hannah,

    Haven't looked for much yet, but most people don't even realise the Nazis systematically exterminated disabled people as well.

    Was spooky just reading Wikipedia and seeing the innocuous razed plot where the headquarters once stood.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • Kate Hannah, in reply to Sacha,

    Yes. Much of what I'm interested in is conscious acts of bearing witness via Art (literature, performance, etc) - in order to not allow the act of forgetting. So Aktion T4 suggestions gratefully received.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2010 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    . . . when things are taken from you incrementally, you hardly notice . . .

    I hadn't until recently, and I confess that while I knew things were tight I had no idea that the pattern had become so widespread. So many people in what should be the lead-up to the prime of their working lives, either straddling two jobs just to survive, or doing take-it-or-leave-it 15-hour shifts because it's more convenient for management to minimise the number of employees.

    This seems to be the current reality for the unskilled in jobs such as labouring and despatch - and 'unskilled' can mean articulate intelligent young people who've accumulated student debt to acquire skills which for reasons beyond their control there's no current market. A certain amount of the dirtier work in the current Christchurch rebuild seems to offer little reward beyond week-to-week survival.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3628 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to Kate Hannah,

    I find the Armenian genocide fascinating in that outside of academic circles so few people know about it. I have talked with so many people who had no idea that it happened. And as far as I know Turkey still refuses to accept its actions let alone apologise for them.

    Do you actually know any good reading material on it (fiction or non-fiction)? I know only a little about it and would like to learn more.

    Since Jun 2010 • 325 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Kate Hannah, in reply to bmk,

    Oh yes! Can I email you a starter list?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2010 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    It must be hard when life is such a struggle. My take on retirement is different from those who have less choice and where retirement enables them to have a life that scratching a living has made difficult. It is the opposite for me:I love what I do and have enormous opportunities (teaching, writing, thinking) and I suspect that retirenent would be much duller.
    Didn't agree with John Waters closing comment last night viz that an angry 20 year old is sexy but an angry 65 year old is an arse-hole. You have to stay angry about things which are wrong about this world, until the moment you die.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2345 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to merc,

    I have that book and have read it. That is how I first learnt about the Armenian genocide. I was wondering if there is a book more specifically focussed on the Armenian genocide. Yeah the book is gruelling but he manages to somehow maintain a real humanity throughout it.

    Since Jun 2010 • 325 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to Kate Hannah,

    That would be great, thanks. My email icon should work.

    Since Jun 2010 • 325 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Kate Hannah,

    Like I say, seen nothing further at this stage. Larger long-standing problems with any media representations of disability, let alone the history.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • Kate Hannah, in reply to bmk,

    Brill. Will do tomorrow from full keyboard & with my books around me.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2010 • 107 posts Report Reply

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