Posts by linger

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  • Hard News: Every option has costs, every…, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    isn’t that we have better teaching

    Well, some ESL programmes would probably beg to differ on that :-). But certainly, for my students, study abroad in NZ is no cheaper (and depending on the wildly fluctuating exchange rate, has sometimes been significantly more expensive) than comparable programmes in Australia or America.

    The difference you mention is most obvious during visa application procedures and at border control. By contrast, once students actually reach their host institution, they generally have a positive experience whichever English-speaking country they go to (because the institutions have a very high motivation to ensure that is the case). The administrative hassles beforehand generally aren't an important factor when students select destinations, except in the extreme case that a student visa is actually refused. (Which used to happen fairly often about 10 years ago for Chinese nationals heading from Japan to the US; but it's rare now.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1586 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Every option has costs, every…, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    If you're talking about China, it's the poorer end of the upper class who end up in NZ. The airfares and the living expenses in Auckland are beyond the means of the middle class. So, yes, it favours the prosperous. Period.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1586 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Fighting seclusion with…, in reply to Angela Hart,

    Attachment

    Ashley represents the tip of an iceberg

    albeit a particularly curly one?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1586 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Brexlection, in reply to DeepRed,

    Supporting Le Pen clearly correlates with Fear of the Other:
    immigration, terrorism, insecurity (=non-specific fear, maybe including fear of violent crime, but possibly also including fears about economic security, including of course fear of “foreigners, coming over here, taking our jobs”).

    Interestingly, “unemployment” by contrast (if you’re not already experiencing it) is something that happens to other, “undeserving”, people, so isn’t strongly associated with support for any one candidate; but it ranks a little higher among Macron supporters.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1586 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Brexlection, in reply to Ben Austin,

    I can’t think of a recent New Zealand example

    So, Springbok-tour-level divisiveness.
    Yeah … not with referenda at least.
    It’s not that NZ hasn’t had referenda hijacked and wildly misrepresented in the media by promoters of extreme ideological positions (e.g. the so-called “anti-smacking” referendum). We just haven’t yet subjected ourselves to a referendum defining the future direction and definition of the nation (the flag ones don’t count, as most voters could tell the difference between an arbitrary symbol and a country, and weren’t all that fussed about the former; and the MMP one was too abstract to engage most people on any highly emotional level).

    Actually, in both of those cases there was some element of "the people" recognising and opposing the government's self-interest (Key seeking a legacy; major parties wanting to hold on to power).

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1586 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Brexlection, in reply to Ben Austin,

    Pure flight of fancy I know (in that it would raise some fundamental existential questions), but it’d be interesting if the SNP started fielding candidates south of the border.

    “Brassed off with Brexit?
    Hate the smug Tory bastards, but can’t bring yourself to vote for the alternatives?
    Why not join Scotland, for a stronger opposition, and a stronger democracy!”

    I suspect they could probably do quite well out of the London protest vote.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1586 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Local journeys on the cusp of…, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    the planet passes through the remnants of Comet Thatcher

    sounds like someone took up Michael Fabri’s suggestion for disposing of the remains of someone especially despised:

    "We gave her quite a send-off."
    "Oh, did you have her buried or cremated?”
    “Catapulted."

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1586 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Brexlection, in reply to Nick Russell,

    I suspect the intention of the walnut comparison is something like "to have at least the appearance of a brain"

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1586 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Brexlection,

    How does 52% translate to "overwhelming support" for Brexit?
    (I mean, apart from through using a nondemocratic FPP electoral system to skew the support within Parliament.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1586 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Mike Moore: A pretty ordinary…, in reply to Jim Cathcart,

    renowned for being savers

    when they have the opportunity; but several factors have been removing that opportunity. The Japanese bank interest rate effectively went to zero more than 20 years ago and some inter-bank rates went negative this year. So on the one hand, it’s likely Japanese who can save are still saving, but there’s increasingly little incentive to do it in banks. But on the other hand, there’s increasing income inequality in Japan as elsewhere, and an increase in minimum-wage temp work, so fewer households actually have disposable income to save. And on the wrinkled third hand, an increasingly ageing population who pretty much by design are now spending their savings. So when you look at the Japanese household savings rate across time, you are not looking at comparable populations.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1586 posts Report Reply

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