Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Shonky scepticism

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  • Ben Austin,

    For what its worth I fully support requiring undergraduate courses whether they be science, commerce, arts or misc. to include subjects from outside of the core course(s). Thats what I did, it is not particularly hard to do, even if you are trying to complete the degree course quickly or on time.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1019 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I spent my first three years trying really hard to fit a BIOL paper into my English degree. Couldn't squeeze in the labs, they either clashed with my lectures, my tutes, or my drinking time.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Oh, on the subject of weather Auckland had some wind yesterday. Where do we send the food parcels?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Oh, on the subject of weather Auckland had some wind yesterday. Where do we send the food parcels?

    Just send up Moore Wilson, thanks.

    But yeah, it was terrible. One of our empty blue recyclying bins blew all the way to the other side of the cul de sac. I thought I was going to die.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Andrew Smith, in more helpful mode you might find this Guardian article interesting.

    it is important that on big questions such as climate change scientists make an assessment of what they know at key moments when policy or other collective decisions need to be made. Today is such a time.

    Science is always provisional, that's in its nature.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    But yeah, it was terrible. One of our empty blue recyclying bins blew all the way to the other side of the cul de sac. I thought I was going to die.

    That noise it made as it dragged along the asphalt, you know that's not an earthquake right? So no need to run screaming onto the streets and all that.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Russell, someone on Morning Report complained the wind had given her a "runny nose". I think Akls getting its own back after the EQ thing.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    But yeah, it was terrible. One of our empty blue recyclying bins blew all the way to the other side of the cul de sac. I thought I was going to die.

    damnit brown... no making me gaffaw at work! 2.48 is not tea/lunch break time.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Nobody Important,

    Watching the Today show on Prime the other morning (the Aussie breakfast show from Channel 7 - or is 9?) I noticed the topic for the day seemed to be the 'confirmation' overnight from scientists that serious errors had been proven in Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth doco and we could all relax and boy don't those greenies feel stupid now. It was the kind of 'talking point' 'banter' normally seen on Fox so I was kinda surprised to see it on the Aussie show. Anyone know if Paul Henry was making similar comments on Breakfast. I'm not up early enough to see that.

    And BTW ~ Fox N Friends were also saying the same thing, complete with yet another giggle about that Al Gore being the guy who claimed to have invented the internet (cue Steve Doozey unable to supress his guffaws). Gore never ever claimed that and Fox know it but why let the facts get in the way of a good swiftboating??

    expat • Since Mar 2007 • 319 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Ackroyd,

    I enjoy reading spiked but where Furedi et al lose me is their refusal to accept that Darwinian thinking as it applies to human nature should be brought to bear on social policy. (See Peter Singer and the "Darwinian Left"). They still have a discredited (Marxist?) belief in the plasticity of human nature, and their whole approach squares badly with their optimistic, pro-science, skeptical, "we will overcome" approach, which appeals to me.

    It may be a matter of politics that they continue with the climate skepticism, so don't expect an about face any time soon ...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 159 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    On the topic of statistics and their use in the media: yes, it's sometimes an absolute horrorshow. When I was hosting Mediawatch we had a health statistician who would come on sometimes and unravel stuff. That was handy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    I did my bit! I went to Auckland Uni as an adult student and did Statistics (while I worked a job). I can honestly say, I have not been the same since, that bell curve eh? Oh, and being old, deaf and stupid, I could not hear nor understand my lecturer...

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    But yeah, it was terrible

    I lost my internet connection for the whole night! What if I'd had a medical emergency in that time??

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 532 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Things were tough all over.

    My power cut during the day so when I got home last night I had to retime all the clocks. Sometimes I swear Kelburn is like a 3rd world country.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1019 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    I lost my internet connection for the whole night! What if I'd had a medical emergency in that time??

    a medical emergency that can only be solved using the internet implies an activity that one should not have been conducting.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    The strong winds made my windscreen wiper blades really noisy on my windscreen, I was reminded of my childhood, had to pullover and sob quietly recalling the shuddering slap of tea towel on child flesh, ohhh The Horror, The Horror.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Ackroyd,

    Blimey, Che has a blog.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 159 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I enjoy reading spiked but where Furedi et al lose me is their refusal to accept that Darwinian thinking as it applies to human nature should be brought to bear on social policy. (See Peter Singer and the "Darwinian Left"). They still have a discredited (Marxist?) belief in the plasticity of human nature, and their whole approach squares badly with their optimistic, pro-science, skeptical, "we will overcome" approach, which appeals to me.

    Personally, I'm often unnerved by the places Marxists get to when they reconstruct. The likes of Elizabeth Rata and Keith Windschuttle seem to demonstrate that it's quite easy to jump from the radical left to the scary right. It's as if having an ideology is more important than thinking in a reasonable fashion.

    And, of course, the backgrounder page on Living Marxism that I linked to this morning is quite fascinating. What a cult.

    But does being allergic to Marxist analysis make me an anti-intellectual?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The strong winds made my windscreen wiper blades really noisy on my windscreen, I was reminded of my childhood, had to pullover and sob quietly recalling the shuddering slap of tea towel on child flesh, ohhh The Horror, The Horror.

    Oh damn. I have to drive somewhere soon. I'll need therapy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Ackroyd,

    Russell Brown anti-intellectual? Surely not. Eh, readers.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 159 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Russell Brown anti-intellectual? Surely not. Eh, readers.

    No, not really. I just get antsy when people brandish Marxist analyses and I like to rile Tze Ming by making fun of people who use the word "discourse" a lot.

    Actually, I'm reviewing a book called 'Speaking Truth to Power: Public Intellectuals Rethink New Zealand'. It's quite interesting, if (so far) a little too much given to complaining about how beastly New Zealand is to its intelllectuals. It could have done with some more from right-wing intellectuals too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Oh, on the subject of weather Auckland had some wind yesterday. Where do we send the food parcels?

    Thanks for your concern, Don. Yeah it's pretty bad; the leaves to be swept up at our place number literally in the thousands, but we'll struggle through, as always.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Don't sweep! Set the little leaves free!
    In Weli of course leaves become deadly weapons in a southerly...

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Re: Stats and Mediawatch:
    I also reccommend The Answers Guy in the Wall St Journal.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    DOH, I thought Tom was just being all Paul Holmesey...

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

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