Posts by Adam H

  • Hard News: Drugs and human rights,

    And there we have it: proof that Key really was the moderating influence on National.

    And a warning for all those who look at the USA / UK and think "it couldn't happen here"

    Auckland • Since Oct 2014 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Metiria's Problem, in reply to Craig Young,

    How about something like $40 million a day lost to various forms of tax dodging? I do wonder if the reaction would have been the same if she'd said she'd done a few cashies to feed the baby while she was a student or suchlike.

    But for me it's simple - the machine would have let this lie if she hadn't raised it herself, just a tragic error of judgment.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2014 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: If this was ever funny, it's…,

    So about a dozen years ago I started building an analysis shop to try and figure out why people did dumb things.

    And as part of my research into "nudge", I became very conscious of how easy it was to make my brain misfire. I took the TV aerial off the roof, threw away the satellite dish and became very careful about my "use" of newspapers.

    I have noticed that English appears to be clumsily but probably successfully using some Trump techniques - today he dropped in some baseless comment about drug testing... the other day it was half a billion dollars for more coppers (because crime must be, like, out of control man). I recall that such methods are especially effective on older brains.

    I guess I'm saying the propaganda mechanisms aren't new. The depressing thing is that maybe we can just see them better now, like when I suddenly started noticing it.

    My defence was to try and turn it off, because the cognitive dissonance can really mess with your head. But what we really need is a way to fight back. Sadly, that probably needs similar techniques, because challenging people on their misconceived notions has no effect...

    I'm in if anyone has a suggestion...

    Auckland • Since Oct 2014 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: Behavioural economics and Hekia Parata, in reply to andin,

    And we’re just clever monkeys, tho, our best achievement is deluding ourselves it seems.

    Yep. That.

    I guess what leaves me most frustrated with the economics profession are the ones like Friedman who seem to think that using Greek notation is an excuse to behave like a sociopath. Look what it did to Thatcher:

    I think we've been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it's the government's job to cope with it. 'I have a problem, I'll get a grant.' 'I'm homeless, the government must house me.' They're casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families."

    Auckland • Since Oct 2014 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: Behavioural economics and Hekia Parata, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    All economics is behavioural: money and how we measure it is not a law of nature, it's a figment of our collective imagination. It is a form of Theology.

    The problem is that the "profession" uses Greek when describing it's belief systems, which seems to have fooled people into thinking there are some universal rules.

    Repeat after me: "economics is a social science".

    Nothing wrong with that, but it shouldn't be confused with Natural Science.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2014 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: "Meth contamination": the…,

    Let’s face it, when you try to bring rationality to an argument that has been subject to moral bullshit for a hundred years it’s a hard ask. Especially for those who didn’t receive an education founded in critical thinking… we take our post-70’s schooling for granted I think.

    I remember when I was at IRD that an Investigator was captured: he’d arranged for a seminar (around 2006) for teams to learn about the ‘risks’ of dealing with people influenced by P. The only evidence cited was the moral outrage of a medical doctor from Nelson, and it ended up being a typical ‘these people are criminals and deserve what they get’ rather than a personal safety briefing.

    I called it out for the poorly founded hyperbole it was by asking about signs of use and referral channels , but he had nothing: “it’s not about helping people who can’t help themselves” – actually I believed that was exactly my job as a public servant.

    I wonder how about the creeping propaganda like this has? I seem to hear a lot of it from my friends who have National Party connections…

    Auckland • Since Oct 2014 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The war is still with us, in reply to Bevan Shortridge,

    … and I can’t help but notice who stands behind Cooks right shoulder…

    Auckland • Since Oct 2014 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Government you Deserve, in reply to Caleb D'Anvers,

    I fear that we have been insufficiently careful to distinguish “neoliberal global establishment” from “amoral robber barons who will use outright fascists as shock troops if it furthers their interests.”

    I like your phrase. I guess I've become cynical. The 'best' ones seem to be very good at manipulating and skirting the balancing mechanisms. Most of the rest are "just following orders". There are some pockets of genuine loveliness, but I notice they tend to be older and on a good financial footing before they let their morals resurface.

    It is a systemic problem - what good arises from a system that focuses decisions on individual rationality without the moderating balance of a crowd?

    So a currency trader can make a decision that has massive leverage (we've seen banks taken down, and Soros famously broke what was formerly the worlds 4th biggest economy). Single men (yes, so far it's basically been men).

    I think this is the fundamental flaw in the neo-lib agenda. It uses the mathematical equivalent of homeopathy to justify focusing these decisions down to a point that our social system struggles to cope with - it ignores the social imperatives.

    It's like the branding around 'realism' - people kinda rolling their eyes and while proudly saying they are realists. To me, what they are saying is "I don't understand how people feel so I've going to pretend they are machines"

    Auckland • Since Oct 2014 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Government you Deserve, in reply to Jim Cathcart,

    My dirty secret is that I would probably have voted Brexit for that very reason. But I don’t think the majority of the 52% did. I suspect it was much more basic than that: a sense of manipulation perhaps.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2014 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Government you Deserve, in reply to martinb,

    I think Shearer would be horrified to hear himself described as like Corbyn.

    It was more that I was trying to point out we see these situations where there is a clear distinction: I would pick a humanitarian worker over a currency trader any day, simply because of the innate lack of morality necessary to function in the financial markets.

    We were faced with that choice and it seemed to me that Shearer was hounded for somehow not being 'corporate' enough. I think we've had the neo-lib doctrine pushed so long it means people have come to believe it is somehow a fundamental truth rather than a socio-economic doctrine.

    I think the Third Way was a response to that: Blair and New Labour tried to occupy Thatcherite ground. It was a sign of defeat. And if there's a good side to what we've seen in the UK is that people seem to feel Blair duped them (even thought it was what they wanted).

    Auckland • Since Oct 2014 • 21 posts Report Reply

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