Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A revolting piece of shit

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  • 3410,

    Well, the critic at Amoeblog is of a different view.

    [Still mulling that over, Steve.]

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    but is the misogyny considerably worse than that shown in some of those alcohol ads where we see a woman, drinking, drunk, raped. Without repercussions.

    There are a whole bunch of people (including some PA readers) that laid official complaints about that ad, and I imagine many would agree that the misogyny in a public service ad is more insidious for its unthinking presumption.

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 533 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    misogyny in a public service ad is more insidious for its unthinking presumption

    I've been looking for hard scientific evidence to justify this kind of advertising, but I didn't find much that really supports it. All the conditioning experiments I found involved additional stimulus.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    It's about establishing a supportive climate, Chris, not about directly motivating particular actions.

    And yes, the music video we have been talking about was especially disgusting - or this thread would be empty and the clip would still be online.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19695 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    The video broke a code that is very fundamental to a lot of people , making lite of violence to woman.

    They wanted debate from a video. They got it, they shouldn't be annoyed at the reaction.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    I can't disagree with either of you Jeremy or Sacha, I simply felt that there may be some kind of causal relationship between these ads and the inclination to make such a video, which has left me pondering which Government minster or department back in the day thought Clockwork Orange style classical conditioning would work without the nausea drugs and Beethoven. That's pretty radical aye. Especially considering most people are watching these adverts from Lazy-boys, with all manner of conveniences at hand. So we equate alcohol fueled calamities with domestic comfort? Surely Pavlov would have found a couple flaws in this experiment...

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    They wanted debate from a video.

    If Madonna had done it, she'd have won an award. I guess for all of us there has to come a point when we stop incredulously admiring the kids' creative responses to this crazy world and begin imposing our own generation's version of "that's the the devil's music". A-

    we have been talking about was especially disgusting - ...or this thread would be empty

    Female Bodybuilding is empty
    http://publicaddress.net/system/topic,2414,bodybuilding.sm

    and the clip would still be online.

    the power of popular opinion, to shame groups into self-censorship, is a victory of sorts, I'm sure, to some.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    if Madonna had made that video she would be as popular as gary glitter now.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    It's that bad? Guess it'll have to stay hidden then.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    you can't hide on this medium but you can be debated.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    The reason for these freedoms sometimes needs to be given, it is not natural to assume they are good without discussion.

    Nothing wrong with discussing it, but when someone advocates a specific imposition on our freedom, then they can't rely on a supposed lack of evidence for the freedom to support their call for imposition. So in that sense, they have an onus of evidence.

    Basically there is no automatic "default" position. I've got my position, but I can't just put onus on other people because of it. All positions need to be argued for.

    I doubt we hold an infinite number of discrete positions of 'Freedom to do...'. I doubt many people have a specific position that we hold a Freedom to Put Vegemite on Scones. As a society it is currently accepted we can do what we want, except where it is specifically prohibited. Your example of being read rights is illustrative of this: people are read their rights precisely because the arrest inverts the usual presumptive freedom. I think that's the right way to look at this issue. Put another way, an argument for the freedom to be able to do something can simply be: "you don't have any good reason to prohibit it". For the reason mentioned earlier, that doesn't work the other way around.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Steve, it just doesn't seem like a numbers game to me. If you want to argue for freedom, you do it with positive arguments around the value of freedom, not the difficulty in specifying all the freedoms. This kind of difficulty is easily surmountable. It is simple to describe infinite sets. And it's also not a difficult thing to write copious amounts of law. Don't encourage it! Don't turn it into an engineering problem. It's beside the point whether it's easy or difficult to define freedoms - the point is that freedom is generally, in itself, good. With exceptions, in which lies all the difficulty of rights based systems of morality.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    I'm all in favour of arguing for the value freedom with any number of positive arguments. That's another issue. I was saying it is valid to point out the onus is on the person arguing for a prohibition to, well, argue for that prohibition. If they're arguing that it's 'for the benefit of society', they can't just point to the lack of evidence that freedom from that prohibition will benefit society. They need to provide evidence that the restriction will benefit: that there'll be less crime, or less abuse or what have you. Just as if they argue you shouldn't be able to do something because God says so, they need to argue that there is a God with such a stipulation; they can't leave the onus on you to show the opposite.

    The other points you raised seem digressive to me, but what the hey...

    This kind of difficulty is easily surmountable. It is simple to describe infinite sets.

    In the terms we're speaking of? How simple is it to describe an infinite set of legal prohibitions that do not contradict?

    And it's also not a difficult thing to write copious amounts of law. Don't encourage it!

    Hah, true. But I don't think my argument really encourages the prohibitive minded.

    ...the point is that freedom is generally, in itself, good

    Why do you think so?

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    In the terms we're speaking of? How simple is it to describe an infinite set of legal prohibitions that do not contradict?

    With the clause "where this does not contradict x", where x is a list of laws of equal or higher importance. So whatever you've described covers non-overlapping areas of activity. You leave the overlapping ones for more specific laws that resolve the conflicts.

    Practically, cases will come up all the time which are not perfectly clearly covered by one law or other, which is why we have humans interpreting them rather than machines. The humans make abstractions based on what they think the 'principle of the law' is, or their own principles, and this sets up case law, which can of course be overridden by laws being changed.


    Why do I think freedom is generally good? There's lot of reasons.

    1. I like it for myself, and don't generally agree with hypocrisy
    2. It enables people to find their own interpretation of good
    3. Prohibitions may obscure talents and close valid paths to good
    4. A choice made freely is a real choice, which means that it puts a lot of responsibility on the chooser to take care, which develops their sense of responsibility.
    5. Less important, but still a factor, it's efficient. Enforcing prohibitions carries a cost.

    There are plenty of counters to these points, which is why I don't feel I can just lay the onus on people who disagree with any/all of them to prove every single prohibition. Certainly there is an onus, but it's both ways. I'm required to lay out my points above more clearly in any particular case, and show why they don't contradict other goods. My creed is not the only one, and may not even be the most popular one.

    I think there's a real tendency in humans to try to bring society together with prohibitions - if people are allowed to roam freely, they can just leave the pack, consume resources that the group believes it owns, act in all sorts of antisocial ways. This is particularly evident in children, whose lives are mostly governed by endless seemingly arbitrary prohibitions, and highly restricted choices. Our government makes rules about where they are allowed to be for large tracts of their time, and what they must be doing when they are there. It's how we are raised, so it's no wonder that the attitude that it's good pervades extremely deep. It even makes a lot of sense - appropriate freedom is actually a really hard balance to strike.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Robbie Siataga,

    So how is it Brendan Smyth and NZoA will fund an NZ american ripoff artist with an unsavoury video and name but not some iconic kiwi rappers you can guarantee would make a hilarious video ?

    ...i mean, look what 'homebrew' have been reduced to do to fundraise after being turned down for a grant.

    NZ on Air need to sort their shit out and realise their subjective taste in music does not add value to NZ culture in the longterm.

    I wonder if BS even knows what has commercial appeal anymore or listens to anything more than sycophantic platitudes on what a great guy he is.

    Time we got someone in there who actually did some A&R in the industry and can spot talent worth developing and investing in.

    Since Feb 2010 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    With the clause "where this does not contradict x", where x is a list of laws of equal or higher importance. So whatever you've described covers non-overlapping areas of activity. You leave the overlapping ones for more specific laws that resolve the conflicts.

    But wouldn’t that require presumptions about the value of a given law (“equal or higher”) that cannot be decided within the paradigm you outlined? And if you resolve the conflicts with more specific laws, how do you resolve disputes around those laws?

    ... I don't feel I can just lay the onus on people who disagree with any/all of them to prove every single prohibition. Certainly there is an onus, but it's both ways. I'm required to lay out my points above more clearly in any particular case...

    This is what I find odd about your approach. For every advocate of a particular prohibition (potentially infinite in number that they are) you feel an argument is required specific to that case, even if they offer nothing in the way evidence themselves. Even putting aside the philosophical reasons, I object on grounds of laziness.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    But wouldn’t that require presumptions about the value of a given law (“equal or higher”) that cannot be decided within the paradigm you outlined?

    It's decided beforehand. I only say equal or higher because a law could override lower priority ones. Otherwise it's not simply resolved. I didn't say there weren't problematic cases, just that there is still a potentially infinite number of resolvable ones. For instance, it is against the law to kill people intentionally, in general. But there are exceptions. If the case doesn't fall into one of the exceptions, then it's against the law in every circumstance, a potentially infinite number of circumstances. It might also be prohibited to let a minor drink alcohol, but you aren't permitted to kill someone to enforce this law. The killing law has higher priority. But perhaps in defense of your own life, you can kill someone - this is of equal or greater priority to the no-killing law.

    And if you resolve the conflicts with more specific laws, how do you resolve disputes around those laws?

    This is a separate question. There are mechanisms that work perfectly well in most countries to resolve this problem.

    Look, at the end of the day, it seems to me that you're coming from the position that freedom from prohibitions is best argued for because anything else is impractical. But you haven't really shown that it is, because it's always possible to just make more laws to cover up whatever holes you find. Law writers make a job out of finding ways to do this with minimal contradiction with other laws, and judges and juries use their practical reasoning to resolve any disputes that do arise.

    If you want to say that prohibiting things has more onus on it than allowing freedom, then you really need to do it from a standpoint that prohibiting things is wrong , not that it is impractical. Otherwise you merely lay down a challenge to write more and more specific laws, which is exactly what people will do.

    For every advocate of a particular prohibition (potentially infinite in number that they are) you feel an argument is required specific to that case, even if they offer nothing in the way evidence themselves.

    No, I think they should justify themselves. I just don't think that gives ME a free pass to not have to justify myself.

    Even putting aside the philosophical reasons, I object on grounds of laziness.

    Your laziness or mine? I'm genuinely confused.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    I didn't say there weren't problematic cases,

    Sure, which is why I’m saying the issue doesn’t seem “easily surmountable”, as was part of your claim. (I’d be willing to agree to “theoretically surmountable”, if that helps.) The full “set of all possible restrictions” must contain contradictions. You seem to be saying there is the possibility of a smaller, but still infinite, set of restrictions that do not contradict. I agree with that, but it wouldn’t be so easy to establish what that set was.

    Look, at the end of the day, it seems to me that you're coming from the position that freedom from prohibitions is best argued for because anything else is impractical.

    I don’t believe in freedom from all prohibition as a general rule, if that’s what you mean. I am saying any given prohibition needs to be argued for first, before any argument in defence of the freedom is required.

    ... it's always possible to just make more laws to cover up whatever holes you find.

    It’s always possible to find more holes.

    If you want to say that prohibiting things has more onus on it than allowing freedom, then you really need to do it from a standpoint that prohibiting things is wrong ,

    But that’s not the same thing. If prohibiting things is just wrong, then onus of evidence doesn’t even come into it. It’s not necessarily wrong to prohibit per se. It is wrong to justify a prohibition only on the basis of a lack of reasons against the prohibition.

    No, I think they should justify themselves. I just don't think that gives ME a free pass to not have to justify myself.

    So if they give no justification for the proposed prohibition, you still feel the need to justify the freedom from such prohibition?

    Your laziness or mine? I'm genuinely confused.

    Mine! The prospect of having to argue for every conceivable notion that someone might decide should be prohibited is concerning. I clearly hate arguing.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Sure, which is why I’m saying the issue doesn’t seem “easily surmountable”, as was part of your claim.

    I was talking about a different issue - you seemed to be saying that defining infinite numbers of things is difficult. I was disputing that. Just about any proposition containing a variable can do it.

    I certainly was NOT saying that it's easy to make an enormous number of laws that don't contradict, ever. Just that even if they do, there's still an infinity of cases they cover which are also non-contradictory. This is not valueless, just because there are some problems, or even an infinity of problems. There's an infinite number of ways I could get run over on the way to the shops too, but there's also an infinite number of fairly safe ways to get there. It's worthwhile to know what they are, even if there is still the possibility that I could, for example, get run over on the footpath.

    I don’t believe in freedom from all prohibition as a general rule, if that’s what you mean. I am saying any given prohibition needs to be argued for first, before any argument in defence of the freedom is required.

    Sound to me like a general rule, and also one that is not a priori in any way. You haven't really offered any reason why you think it should be the de facto standard other than some dubious numbers game relating the difficulties in creating laws, which I really don't think is a strong enough argument to justify something so important.

    But that’s not the same thing. If prohibiting things is just wrong, then onus of evidence doesn’t even come into it.

    But is it wrong? What's your argument? This is what's lacking here. Something isn't right either, just because it hasn't been proven to be wrong.

    It’s not necessarily wrong to prohibit per se. It is wrong to justify a prohibition only on the basis of a lack of reasons against the prohibition.

    I agree with that. I'm just having difficulty seeing why you think the converse isn't also true. A lack of reasons for a freedom doesn't give it a free pass either.

    So if they give no justification for the proposed prohibition, you still feel the need to justify the freedom from such prohibition?

    It would be a much stronger argument than expecting to let "the burden of proof" do all the heavy lifting. That's always going to be a "no, YOU prove it" situation, with no possible resolution, if you dispute this onus. I think freedom has better arguments than that.

    Mine! The prospect of having to argue for every conceivable notion that someone might decide should be prohibited is concerning. I clearly hate arguing.

    Heh. I'm thinking you just hate the fact that the law is piecemeal. I don't much like it either, but that's the philosopher in me who prefers fewer rules with some kind of core theoretical basis over what we actually have, thousands upon thousands of rules, covering most of the actions humans undertake in a vast web of freedoms and prohibitions, which has come into being from millions upon millions of arguments in courtrooms, councils, parliaments, etc.

    But even though I prefer simple, I can see that what we have works, that it is possible, even practical. I think changing it towards a simpler setup requires more than just stating some general rule like "the onus is on people who want to prohibit to justify it", and then expecting this to sway people. There's much more work to do than that if you want to extend the freedoms we have, to remove the arbitrary prohibitions that don't really seem to make sense.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    You guys need some Jack Handey:

    "When I was a kid my favorite relative was Uncle Caveman. After school we'd all go play in his cave, and every once in a while he would eat one of us. It wasn't until later that I found out that Uncle Caveman was a bear."

    "When you die, if you get a choice between going to regular heaven or pie heaven, choose pie heaven. It might be a trick, but if it's not, mmmmmmmm, boy."

    "Sometimes life seems like a dream, especially when I look down and see that I forgot to put on my pants."

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Thank you Yamis, that lifted the spirits a little.
    Now. Here's something to piss you all off again.
    From todays Herald

    Film fans are fed up with getting ripped off when buying their favourite snacks at the cinema.

    That rang a bell with me so I went a Googling.
    A while back I came across this.

    SELLING popcorn for a living is an appropriate metaphor for slick privateers. Take a corn kernel, add a bit of heat and oil and - POP! - it's puffed up to twice its size, full of hot air and ready to add a sugary coat to flog for an inflated price.
    So Hoyts is pretty much a readymade business for those PEPpy chaps at Pacific Equity Partners, who've been having an awkward time of late getting a deal across the line.

    The article bemoans the fact that grabbing Hoyts seemed like "a brave call" for PEP seeing as Kerry Packer had squeezed nearly $350 mill out of the cinema chain already. The article went on to say...

    So how might PEP's Rickard Gardell, Simon Pillar and Tim Sims make a buck?
    Could always charge a $10 service fee to roll Jaffas down the aisle.
    Or $5 for popping the popcorn. Maybe even a tenner for the choc on a choctop.

    But they couldn't get away with such daylight robbery could they?
    Well, according today's Herald...

    The price of a small box of popcorn has reached $6.50 at Hoyts Sylvia Park in Auckland, while a small drink and popcorn combo will set you back $10.90.

    So, it looks like a Sunday trip to the movies may be out of your price range? Sam Goldwin once said “Why should people pay money to see a bad film when they can stay home for free and see bad television for nothing.”
    Now, what's on C42, the answer to life the universe and everything? well, no.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    "When you die, if you get a choice between going to regular heaven or pie heaven, choose pie heaven. It might be a trick, but if it's not, mmmmmmmm, boy."

    You'd have to be American, and probably a stuff white people like kind of American, to really get that one. I mean, NZ pie heaven - maggot hut heaven?

    Said Simple Simon to the pieman "What have you got there?"

    "Pies, cunt."

    Thanks for Uncle Caveman, though. Very nice.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    "and every so often he'd eat one of us"


    YESSS!

    Thanks Yamis!

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

  • Steve Parks,

    Heh. I'm thinking you just hate the fact that the law is piecemeal. I don't much like it either, but that's the philosopher in me who prefers fewer rules with some kind of core theoretical basis

    I agree with your position. I have the same theoretical preference, and the same resignation that that just ain’t how things work. I agree that in practice we need to make cases against many arbitrary prohibitions that remain, and I applaud the work of people who played a part in getting rid of laws against homosexuality, for example. But when someone advocates for a prohibition, I think it appropriate to point out that they need to make the case first, and do more than just hint at an anecdote.

    you seemed to be saying that defining infinite numbers of things is difficult.

    No, but I did ask if it would be easy “In the terms we're speaking of?" If we agree it would not be easy in practice, in this sense, then fine.

    But that’s not the same thing. If prohibiting things is just wrong, then onus of evidence doesn’t even come into it.

    But is it wrong? What's your argument?

    I’m not saying it is wrong (see next comment). It was your contention that I should make my argument from the stand that prohibiting things is “wrong”. I responded that that would be a different case.

    It’s not necessarily wrong to prohibit per se. It is wrong to justify a prohibition only on the basis of a lack of reasons against the prohibition.

    I agree with that.

    If you agree with that then I can’t see what the disagreement is. My point isn’t that “the freedom to do X” should be considered proven to be a good thing without argument, just that we shouldn’t ban it without reason.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    My point isn’t that “the freedom to do X” should be considered proven to be a good thing without argument, just that we shouldn’t ban it without reason.

    That's fine then. I mistook your use of the word "onus" as meaning a one-way responsibility to argue a case, letting one side off without any need to argue. But you meant that there is an onus on both sides to argue their case, which I totally agree with.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

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