Posts by plum

  • Island Life: My image consultant is very…,

    Could Joe Hockey sue that programme for workplace harrassment?

    Wellington • Since Feb 2007 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: The Astonishing New Car from…,

    Stories like this engender mixed emotions in me. On the one hand, I grew up a geek and mostly am. And the otaku in me is waiting with bated breath for the breakthrough that will make worrying about global warming a thing of the past.

    On the other hand, I know that the hype about new technologies is almost always overblown. I remember in the 70s they were saying that hot fusion was only 50 years away. Today they're saying it's -- yes -- 50 years away. Cities on the sea floor? A jet pack for everybody? An elevator to the moon? That was all predicted in the 60s and filled the SF novels I used to devour.

    But where is any of that stuff now?

    I realise that these stories are interesting for the readership PA has, but what are the chances a car like the Laramo will be sold widely in New Zealand? Zero, unless pressure is put on the government to move towards stricter emission standards. Which it won't until the US or Europe does so.

    Sorry, but this story just was a bit detached from political reality for me.

    Wellington • Since Feb 2007 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: Public Address Science…,

    Thanks. I look forward to it (despite deep reservations about the hidden carbon cycle costs).

    By the way, I'm really enjoying your podcasts. Keep it up!

    Wellington • Since Feb 2007 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: Public Address Science…,

    Interesting piece, but what was with the boosterism about biofuels? Sourcing truly sustainable biofuels is a very tricky problem.

    Wellington • Since Feb 2007 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Re-Branding of Maxim,

    The question about framing that Grant raises is one that won't go away. I'm interested in the way the progressives in the s59 debate have been forced to play catch-up in the message battle.

    Now, I figure progressives are always going to work under a disadvantage because of the policies we back. "Anti-smacking" fits so much better in a headline than "removing the reasonable force defence for hitting children" -- nuance doesn't play well to people too busy or otherwise disinclined to carefully unknot the details. But surely we can get better language framers? (Or can we? Isn't it a running joke among journos that PR flacks have sold out to the dark side?)

    I also think conservatives have spent years gearing up a strong alternative message machine. Not just talk radio but blogs, too. Look at how many posts DPF puts out each day. Here on public address there are days when there's nothing. Yes, I'm saying quantity beats quality.

    Another systemic disadvantage progressives have to work under is that fear and outrage produce Pavlovian responses in the heartland. DPF is still banging on about the s59 "lies". (Go to Whale Oil for worse, but only if you have a strong stomach.) But that's a whole other topic, I guess.

    Wellington • Since Feb 2007 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Re-Branding of Maxim,

    I think the dynamic between neocons and the religious right in the US is that the neocons are cynically exploiting the Christian vote through its heavily think-tanked message campaigns. At a personal level, I don't think they share the core social conservative beliefs at all. (You can be sure a neocon would arrange for an abortion if his daughter "needed" it. And if a gay was on board the neocon project, there would be a place for him or her, guarantee it.)

    The question is who parallels neocons in NZ. Libertarians?

    Wellington • Since Feb 2007 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Re-Branding of Maxim,

    I think I agree with rodgerd: I'd be interested in seeing what you understand by the term "neoconservative". As I understand it, it's basically someone who naively thinks democracy can be spread through military means. In the US, it seems to attract an awful lot of lapsed liberals.

    But in the New Zealand context? What military power do we have? There might be a case that neocons here still are resentful that we never got those F-16s, but you haven't made that case.

    Also, what link is there between neocons and the religious right in NZ? Sure, the fundies are cynically manipulated for their votes — in the States — but again, you haven't made that case for NZ. (I'd also add that our demographic structure and high voter turnout would make the classic Rovian GOTV strategy — which itself depended on a 30-year strategy to create an alternative media — problematic here, to say the least.)

    There isn't even the sense that our media, for all their faults, are shills for (social) conservative interests. (On the other hand, I don't have a TV, so don't really feel confident about this last. Correct me — please!)

    Wellington • Since Feb 2007 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Some Politics,

    Actually, the circular logo on the hammer thrower's tee is the logo of the Obama campaign. Very sophisticated video editing, that.

    Wellington • Since Feb 2007 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Cracker: Harder,

    I'm not sure if this has been mentioned, but didn't all the children's organisations come out in support of the bill? Save the Children, Barnados, all of them. If that's so (and please don't quote me on that), that says a lot for me. After all, you've gotta think about the kids.

    Wellington • Since Feb 2007 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Shonky scepticism,

    Andrew -- I am not a climate scientist, but saying CO2 is heavier than air in the Earth's surface says nothing about it's activity higher up. Perhaps air movements higher up keep it moving. Perhaps it reacts chemically with other molecules. For example, ozone is good up there, but down here it can react to form tear gas-like chemicals.

    Also, what you're saying boils down to this: Thousands of climate scientists—including sceptics such as Richard Lindzen—have somehow overlooked a basic piece of science that children study in high school science classes.

    Yeah, right.

    Wellington • Since Feb 2007 • 15 posts Report Reply

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