Posted on 17:58, August 5th, 2009 by Anita
Today John A on The Standard decided to post the street address of the Deputy Prime Minister’s wife and children. It was unnecessary, it was hypocritical, and it was spiteful.
I would love to see The Standard playing a clean fair game, but if they’re not going to then they could at least stop picking on politician’s kids and families.
Update: Exact same criticism of Toad at Greenvoices, again unnecessary, and spiteful.
Update 2: Some good-hearted Standardista has removed the address detail, good on you!
Update 3: Toad too – thanks!!
Thanks again to James at Editing Teh Herald.
The each-way bet of glass-house-dwelling stone-throwing blog hackery.
Pretend you’re a USian for a moment, go to Slate and pick up to five things you reckon will bring about the fall of the United States of America.
As for me:
The yellow dot is me, the blue dot is the average. Hmm.
(Via bOING bOING.)
Two very different perceptions of the way cultural difference operates. From Tauhei Notts, commenting on Kiwiblog’s thread about the guilty verdict returned against Taito Phillip Field:
And from Raymond Huo, talking about the case of Danny Cancian, who is in prison for killing a Chinese:
I’ve spent no time in the Pacific islands, but plenty of time living in East Asia, where obligations attach to relationships developed in a more or less organic fashion between individuals, their roles and networks, and the censure of failing to fulfill obligations is rendered by those individuals, roles and networks rather than being imposed by external arbitration. I played the kibun game (I think) very well in Korea for three years, until the very last hurdle – severance pay in our final job. On our second-to-last day in the country, several days after it was due to be paid up, I lost my nerve and called my boss (who’d been good to us and generally trustworthy) and insisted that he pay us immediately. He did. An hour later he cancelled the meal which had been called in our honour for that night (and at which he was planning to present us with the money, all in good time).
Transculturalism is complicated.
Posted on 14:23, August 4th, 2009 by Anita
Once an in-joke of the Left, stopping us taking ourselves too seriously. Now the cry of the privileged when their right to privilege is challenged.
It is a sunny Wellington spring day; I walked past crocuses and the beginning of daffodils to get my ballot paper, and past trees starting to show their spring growth to post it.
I voted yes because I believe smacking children is wrong.
I voted yes because I want to reaffirm that the Christian right do not speak for me. Many many (many) Christians in New Zealand believe, as I do, that smacking is wrong.
I voted yes because countless people gained the signatures of 300,000 voters to give me the opportunity to say out loud what I believe.
I voted yes because I want to live in a country where children are hugged, held, comforted, and raised to be non-violent adults.
I voted yes because I love.
The Australian and many other sources report that Austereo has suspended 2Day FM hosts Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O and their show indefinitely for their revictimisation of a 14 year-old rape victim on-air last week. Advertisers are boycotting the network and Sandilands’ other contracts are in jeopardy. A firm response.
BK Drinkwater has posted a good response to some of the comments on Bryce Edwards’ synopses of chapters from the book Informing Voters? Politics, Media and the New Zealand Election 2008 (edited by Chris Rudd, Janine Hayward and Geoff Craig of the University of Otago Politics department). In comments to BK’s post, Eric Crampton recommended Groseclose & Milyo‘s paper on the topic. Having not read the book, I’ll constrain my comments to the posts, comments and paper which I have read.
[Apologies, this is a long and dry post on a topic very dear to my heart. I also banged it up in a spare couple of hours while I ought to have been sleeping, and haven’t proofed it, so it may be incoherent. I reserve the right to subedit it without notice. The rest is over the break.]
Sam speaks out publicly about the fact that ACC payments for counselling do not cover the full cost of each counselling session and victims of crime like Sam are left to scrape together the difference. What information should Nick Smith be able to release about Sam’s circumstances? Should that include that Sam, who was sexually abused by a female caregiver when he was a child, insists on seeing a male counsellor, and in his small town there is only one appropriately qualified male counsellor and his rates are higher than average?
Chris is on the sickness benefit and speaks out publicly about the fact MSD won’t help with the high transport costs of getting to specialist appointments. What information should Paula Bennett be able to release about Chris? Should that include the fact that since Chris’ last psychotic episode, in which she threatened to stab her nieces and nephew, she has moved out of her sister’s home near the specialist and back to her parents who live in a semi-rural area with no public transport?
Moana, who has a full time job, speaks to the select committee considering leave provisions about the hardship that compulsory christmas closedowns cause non-custodial parents and talks about her employer requiring a three week closedown. What information should Moana’s employer be able to release? Should that include the fact that Moana’s leave situation is atypical in that workplace and is due her taking extended leave earlier in the year to attend a residential alcohol programme and using annual leave to have supervised contact with her children whose father moved them out of town when her violence and drinking became dangerous?
Sam, Chris and Moana should feel safe speaking publicly about those issues of government policy. None are lying, none are misrepresenting their own situation, each is raising a genuine issue of policy. For each the disclosure of their personal circumstances could cause significant shame, damage to relationships and support networks, and provide a huge disincentive to speaking publicly.
Being a democracy is about more than giving everyone a vote, it’s about allowing everyone a voice.
– The best thing about cheesy 80’s SF on the telly, (and StarWars), was the robots. I was all kinds of disappointed when I saw my first real robot, via the news, and all it did was swing a big ‘arm’ around and did something to help build a car in a Japanese factory.
I suspect now, that the thing I found cool about those SF robots was that they were little metal persons. They clearly had more than just processing power and autonomic reactions. They were self aware, curious, emotional and aware of others. Nothing like robots at all then, appalling SF, and even worse telly. But still, they were pretty cool.
In the early nineties when I was looking at a few theories of mind, Artificial Intelligence was obviously a useful thing to think about. What would it mean to say that a computer, or an integrated system of machines, could think? That would obviously be a mind, wouldn’t it?
Back then I thought the most important issues, if such machines were invented, would be; “What rights, if any, do we give them” and ” Help, they are going to kill us”. Those are still important issues.
– There’s been a bit of talk about what they are calling ‘The Singularity’, defined as the point at which we invent a machine ‘smarter’ than us. The existence of such a machine, would cause a positive feedback loop with the machine(s) being able to further improve both their own descendants, and us, upwards along an increasing spiral of alleged awesome. I’m not at all sure what to think about that.
Most of the talk I’d heard about this was from people mocking the boosters of the idea, many of whom to be fair, do seem a bit strange.
This though, is a little bit different from that. More prosaic, less utopian, more real.
A bunch of scientists have had a meeting discussing AI issues, they’ll be releasing the report “this year”. Should be interesting. The NYT report itself is kind of strange. It seems to be offering a warning, but the meeting also seemed to be about letting people know that there is nothing to be alarmed about. (So look over there and don’t worry your good selfs. It’s all under control.)
I’m not stocking up on tin foil just yet, but some of this stuff needs to start getting regulated I think. Or at least talked about. That which isn’t already classified of course.