Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: We still died at each other's hand

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  • BenWilson,

    Not necessarily. Ben

    Of course. Not even probably. But, as Lucy points out, 100% of causation involves correlation. It's how we notice things, and why we examine them. When information is highly incomplete and decisions have to be made, it's what we have to go on. That's really what I'm talking about. Logic is all very well in mathematics, but very little else, other than to show how illogical it all is. We make countless decisions every single day based on observing correlation, and are not irrational beings for doing so. Even if we find out that the correlation is bunk, at least we found that out. If we didn't bother investigating because it couldn't be proven, we wouldn't learn anything.

    But yes, overgeneralizing is a very dangerous trait, particularly if you don't look deeper. That's why experiment is the big thing in science, not observation. Observation merely guides the way to some of the experiments.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Anyhoo, I wasn't really looking for a political stoush on this one; I'm intrigued by the way that media panics develop more than anything.

    The 2008 panic was a combination of particular kinds of crime (the kind committed on strangers), a slightly raised (but well within normal tends) incidence and a particular political and media environment. Although Power's press statement dwells on youth crime -- and unabashedly blames Labour -- 70% of the homicides were not youth crimes, and in one notable incident, the victim was just a kid.

    It does fascinate me that nearly as many homicides this season has produced no panic. And, indeed, that pretty much the same trends in crime just don't produce the same narrative as they did under the last government.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    Well, Russell, this government is hard on crime, remember...

    It's also 'Soft on Details' and only moderately 'Firm on Principles.'

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    It's also 'Soft on Details' and only moderately 'Firm on Principles.'

    Lol.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    He had thoughts about people with high walls around their houses too. "once I'm over that wall I have all the time in the world to break into that house" he used to say with a wicked smile.

    Heh...I find that the drunken gaggle of teenagers who seem to be permanently camped out on my street has kept the cars safe from theft and the fences from vandalism for years.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    I've been having moon arguments on the internets for nearly ten years now. First time around was with someone who said you couldn't deny the moon's influence, look at the human menstrual cycle.

    Its the lycanthropes crazy people. They are everywhere and now they are being 'home grown" in way out of the way places to invade the country around christmas time:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/3252134/Apiatas-Afghan-exploits-revealed

    The moon has slowed down a bit remember. It was 28 days....once.... caveman time or before?

    And the menstrual cycle was invented about here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boneshaker

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1588 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    It does fascinate me that nearly as many homicides this season has produced no panic. And, indeed, that pretty much the same trends in crime just don't produce the same narrative as they did under the last government.

    Just as the front banner regarding the power outage ( of which was twittered, we had no problem. Thanks Jackie. :) was this morning all over the blaming, from Transpower to John Banks to Govt then blaming the wee Farmer and by 11 o'clock, it was all "He had 11 guns" not mentioning the licence until it got down to page 2. It really is just sensationalism DYT ?.I'd rather hear about the controversy between Transpower and the farmer. He had a reason for not wanting them on his property.
    Oh, and the granny does lurve the Nats IMHO Craig. :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    And the menstrual cycle was invented about here:

    Yes, and who can I blame now ? ;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • DaveC,

    Here is the full quote from a later Herald article (not online it seems, got it from ProQuest):

    Annette King's comments linking the full moon and crime and John Key's hongi with Tame Iti at Waitangi were recurring themes of cross-party combat in the first question time of the year in Parliament yesterday.

    Ms King, the Justice Minister, wasn't there to defend herself against National's Simon Power but Associate Justice Minister Rick Barker said her comments did not represent her own views.

    Ms King's comments arose when she was talking to reporters after a spate of murders last month. Asked if January was getting madder, she said: "No, I don't think it's getting madder but it's interesting speaking to Superintendent Shortland, something the police tell me is that hot Januaries where people are on holiday and the full moon - also at times when there genuinely is some unusual things that have happened - and it's well documented within the police - and the view is that we often get things happen in this month that we wouldn't have happening in winter."
    The New Zealand Herald. Auckland, New Zealand: Feb 14, 2008. pg. A.6

    Since Nov 2007 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    , something the police tell me is that hot Januaries where people are on holiday and the full moon - also at times when there genuinely is some unusual things that have happened - and it's well documented within the police - and the view is that we often get things happen in this month that we wouldn't have happening in winter.

    I'd put this in the category of "dumb things to say" but not actively stupid, considering the widespread propagation of this particular myth.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Nice work, DaveC.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Just to note that there's a blue moon coming up on the 30th - the second full moon in a month.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3196 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    It does fascinate me that nearly as many homicides this season has produced no panic. And, indeed, that pretty much the same trends in crime just don't produce the same narrative as they did under the last government.

    Lets see if I can turn that into a mythic narrative, 'cos as James Cameron proved( up yours with your correlation) we all like to delude ourselves with a bit-o-mythic-narrative.

    The citizens of Nuevo Zealandia had suffered under the fairweather governance of godless liberals for 8 years. But their chance came and the citizenry rose up and with pencils(or were they marker pens stoutly anchored with string) cast the charisma-less usurpers out with nary a thought for their future, and wished them god speed to the wilderness of opposition.
    And thus their fair land was returned to its blissful state. Oblivion returned to reign with its new best mates FuckyouImahonkey and Wecanjustbeatsomesenseinto'em.
    Self satisfaction ruled the land, the summer was long and lazy, and lo and behold statistics mattered little as it meant the citizenry could just make shit up, be outraged or not, as took their fancy. And the court jesters otherwise known as the Scribes of the Moving Picturebox Truth Explainer (SMPTE) {(PCE) Present Co. Excepted} could have a good holiday and give their questing outrage seeking minds a rest.
    And everything was well in the land. And the Kiwiblog header(which looks like shit) became the polished turd.
    Can I get an Amen...

    Note to self........I must get citiations.....one day, not today.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    It does fascinate me that nearly as many homicides this season has produced no panic. And, indeed, that pretty much the same trends in crime just don't produce the same narrative as they did under the last government.

    Apart from the double standard, most of that seems good to me. This one isn't an outrage, it's a pre-outrage, to be saved up for when Labour are back in. Right now, I'm not outraged that nobody is outraged about something that isn't outrageous.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • DPF,

    Russell: My point is that if Minister and MPs say things in stupid ways, they will get criticised for it. If they say them in intelligent ways they will not.

    Annette's comment was incredibly stupid for someone of her experience.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 78 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Russell: My point is that if Minister and MPs say things in stupid ways, they will get criticised for it. If they say them in intelligent ways they will not.

    Again, David, you're being disingenuous. You offered "kudos" to Lee for finally admitting that what she said was baseless.

    In King's case, you approvingly quoted Power's unsustainable claim that Labour was responsible for an alleged murder wave. I'd expect The Standard to make whoopee in the same position, but it's hard for you to claim you treated both incidents in the same spirit.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    While we're all being pendantic about science and logic and stuff, I feel compelled out that in that PhD. comic that Lucy posted, Galileo appears on the Medieval News Network, when in fact he lived in the early-modern era, or, for the Italians, during the late-Renaissance.

    I'm glad I got that off my chest.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    While we're all being pendantic about science and logic and stuff, I feel compelled out that in that PhD. comic that Lucy posted, Galileo appears on the Medieval News Network, when in fact he lived in the early-modern era, or, for the Italians, during the late-Renaissance.

    I'm gonna call Early Modern. Technically the Renaissance extends into the 16th century, but 1642 is well Early Modern.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    While we're all being pendantic about science and logic and stuff

    Boy, you guys sure know how to keep an in joke going. On a quick search, the etymology of the offending word goes back to 2007, but I'm just angling for a pendant, so don't mind me...

    Surely someone posted this already?

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Got references for those figures?

    This article is the one from Granny that says the long-term trend is down.
    Other than that, not handy. It took me a fair bit of Googling to hunt down the things that I found, particularly when I started looking at murder rates in US cities to try and find ones that had murder rates lower than NZ's. They do exist, but not until the population is significantly smaller than ours.
    One thing that I cannot immediately find is a chart that had nearly the whole world by murder rate. The stuff I'm finding now is only selected countries, which isn't so useful.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Surely someone posted this already?

    xkcd for the win

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    That XKCD has a great mouse-over text, too.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    That XKCD has a great mouse-over text, too.

    I Know. Sometimes that's the best bit.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    I Know. Sometimes that's the best bit.

    XKCD: *always* relevant.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    XKCD is the new Simpsons. No longer is it "There's a Simpsons quote for that", now it's "Here, have this XKCD link."

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

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