Posts by Rich of Observationz

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  • Hard News: That escalated quickly ...,

    If Jacinda loses and (as is conventional) resigns the next day, she'll take the record for the shortest term of a Labour leader. Maybe Grant's being smart and keeping well clear - he'll be able to draw a whole 3 years salary if he's next.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5527 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Synthetics: Maybe this mess…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Well, I recall a moral panic, fed by social and regular media, about how OTC synthetics were destroying communities, causing homelessness, turning people into zombies, etc.

    This (like most things in the media) was at odds with the experiences of People I Met. The products resulted in a state anywhere between giggly and completely fucked up - pretty much doing what it says on the tin.

    And, as noted, negative effects of all drugs disproportionately apply to the "homeless and itinerant". Middle class people with jobs to go to on Tuesday have an outstanding capacity to hoover up anything that doesn't actually kill you and remain functional. It's the "oh shit, better lay off" rather than the "oh shit, let's have more" reaction.

    Fixing the underlying problems would help more people deal with the substances they'll inevitably obtain. But it's easier for government (of any stripe) to blame the Evil Drug Dealers than to go down that path.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5527 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: This is bad – very bad, in reply to Chris Peel,

    Maybe they could help by not having their fraudulent managers taking up the scarce resources of the justice system.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5527 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Genter's Bill: Starting at…,

    Maybe a reasonable compromise would be for a doctor to certify that (a) the patient has a named condition and (b) they have no known factors that would contra-indicate the use of cannabis*

    That allows the government to keep up the pretence of prohibition whilst not involving a doctor in providing an unethical treatment.

    * A bit like a medical for diving. The doctor isn't saying that pressurising your body and taking it underwater is a good idea, merely that you are no more likely than average to damage yourself in such an ill-advised activity...

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5527 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Genter's Bill: Starting at…,

    What amazing magic process are they going to use in some tightly controlled medical cannabis plantation?

    Well, if you wanted to do evidence-based medicine, you'd start by taking your crop, maybe making cannabis oil using the usual process, then assay it for active ingredients and then standardise it by dilution or concentration so you had a known dose.

    Then (assuming you'd pre-decided that the drug was generally safe and effective) you'd prescribe it to each patient, perhaps starting with a small dose and increasing to see the effect on their symptoms. You'd record this and report any adverse effects, as well as conducting formal follow up studies on safety and efficacy (informed by the way you are using a standardised product).

    If you don't do that, it isn't evidence based medicine and isn't what doctors are supposed to do.

    If people want to take weed, either because they consider it helps them medically or they just like being stoned, then to me, that's fine. The government should provide clear and accurate information on the health effects and leave them to make up their own mind.

    But trying to introduce into medicine the idea of "prescribing" random plant material is a big step backwards.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5527 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Barclay and arrogance,

    What would *you* change?

    Allow party leaders to replace MPs at will - so that all the MPs were in office at the leaders favour?
    Allow the Speaker to remove MPs at will - similarly, especially as the Speaker is nominated by the ruling party?
    An MP can get tried and prosecuted and lose their seat when convicted of a serious offence - that's what we have now.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5527 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Blockchain, what is it?,

    Captchas. Noisy images generated in the reverse direction, human input required to go forward.

    Ideally mined by large numbers of slaves in developing countries.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5527 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Meth Perception,

    It's obviously not in the interests of a landlord to perform a test - I certainly wouldn't. Property owners should always be wary of creating a paper trail that impacts their LIM or creates something you are bound to disclose - for instance, if you have an issue with neighbours, don't put in writing if at all avoidable.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5527 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Blockchain, what is it?, in reply to BenWilson,

    Yeah, I think the problem is that the inventors of bitcoin were (I suspect) propertarian wingnuts. As such, they believe in the idea of a currency based on an artificially scarce commodity (cf gold). As expected (and I think I documented this someplace many years ago) this is likely to lead to rampant deflation - which is of course just as much a problem to anyone attempting to use the currency as rampant inflation would be.

    If my business took bitcoin, we'd have to adjust our prices in realtime and then have a highly unstable cashflow (in real money we can pay staff, rent, servers and taxes in) to manage.

    An alternative that simply pegged the coins to a real-world currency and issued them against a bank account full of money would work better and not waste energy - but it would still suffer from excessive transaction times.

    The real problem this is solving isn't technical - having central ledgers operated by trustworthy organisations is a perfectly good solution - but that governments grant an oligopoly to banks which then fail to deliver innovative payment solutions that aren't beset by legacy issues (embossed numbers on credit cards and so on).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5527 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Barclay and arrogance,

    The whole business of being an MP relies on the member being honourable

    Absent that, they need to get re-elected every three years. Of course, the electorate may have their reasons to elect a highly dishonourable candidate (wanting to pollute rivers and cover mountainsides with subdivisions, for instance).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5527 posts Report Reply

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