web analytics

Guest Post … Build Mass Movements continued.

Written By: - Date published: 12:09 pm, January 24th, 2016 - 63 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

This is a repost of a comment from Incognito on the Building Mass Movements post, with some editing. It’s also linked to one of my points on the Fisiani Gets it Right post yesterday; how does the left with it’s vital and diverse components achieve a unity of purpose, while sustaining the integrity of it’s components? Especially for those energised by feminism and race/cultural concerns. RL.

>>
We all seem to be guilty of linear one-dimensional and dichotomous thinking from time to time. The kind of you’re wrong-I’m right black & white thinking. In principle, there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with this.

Do you think it is possible to be Left and Right at the same, politically speaking? This seems like a stupid question, doesn’t it? Of course, you cannot; you’re either on the fence or on either side of the fence, right? However, you could also briefly pause and think about this seemingly simple and straightforward question. You may then come to realise that there may be, or better: could be, more to the question. You may, for example, realise that by simple left-right polarised thinking you limit the number of possible different viewpoints and miss relevant context. In short, it limits your thinking options and thus your decisions & choices.

Again, I think there’s nothing fundamentally ‘wrong’ with this way of ‘viewing’ things but my point is that it is not the only possible way.

Why is it so hard to take different viewpoints and possibilities into consideration? Well, it takes time to think things through, from different angles, and we don’t want spend time on something unless it is really important … But I think another major reason is that we’re not used to this kind of thinking; we haven’t been taught and we have learned it. A third and possibly the biggest reason is that we resist it. We’re attached to our views, we associate with like-minded folks and this defines who we are, our identity; the way we view ourselves and others and how we’re viewed by others. This is not a huge step away from Identity Politics, is it?

Because we tend to limit our viewpoint & thinking it is much harder for us to acknowledge that other people have different views, and respect let alone consider these. In fact, we might fear them, the other views and thus the other people. Or we may fight them because they upset our cosy little world and threaten our identity and fragile little egos that could shatter at the slightest. More often than not we simply swat them away saying that they’re wrong or that something is impossible.

Similarly, we reject ideas about ourselves outright as impossible or ridiculous without really examining them or giving them due consideration. All this can lead to a self-limiting and/or self-defeatist attitude …

A tell-tale sign of this kind of thinking is the use of those nasty ‘sticky labels’ and ‘narrow small boxes’. You know what I mean?

By choosing a single point of view we don’t give ourselves a chance to gain better understanding of or deeper insight into an issue or other person’s thoughts and feelings; there will be much less room also for empathy and compassion and there seems to be a shortage of these while ‘demand’ is rising. And no the price won’t go up because these are already priceless.

I believe this will also hamper calls such as “building a mass movement” or “unite Labour” or “unite the Left” or “a non-partisan approach”, for example, or creating a socio-economic & political system that will provide better outcomes than the current one. It is like herding wild cats. My thesis is that this is largely due to our limited & limiting ways of thinking, about issues, about others, about ourselves. …

… To affect a change we have to change ourselves, start with ourselves, and become more open-minded about other viewpoints. We would not lose our identity, nor would we become spineless or soft, weak, flip-flop or a lesser person or anything else that we might consider negative or ‘bad’. On the contrary, we would become ‘a bigger person’ with much less ‘investment’ in and attachment to personal idiosyncrasies and therefore more free to choose from a smorgasbord of options & possibilities that we would never have known about – because we were blinkered, blind & deaf – or even contemplated previously.

I’d say: try a different viewpoint, look at things from a different angle, literally and figuratively. It doesn’t mean you must or will give up your perspective or your opinions even but I reckon you just might do that occasionally – would that be such a bad thing?

What do you reckon?

Incognito

63 comments on “Guest Post … Build Mass Movements continued. ”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    5. Has anyone gone out of the way to disprove the claim, or has only supportive evidence been sought?

    This is the confirmation bias, or the tendency to seek confirmatory evidence and to reject or ignore disconfirmatory evidence. The confirmation bias is powerful, pervasive and almost impossible for any of us to avoid. It is why the methods of science that emphasize checking and rechecking, verification and replication, and especially attempts to falsify a claim, are so critical.

    Michael Shermer.

    You can check and re-check your facts until the cows come home: until they pass independent scrutiny they’re of little use to anyone else.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Except outside the ivory tower fuck all day to day decisions in society have been, or are, or can be, made in the way that you suggest. And despite your unproven and grand assertion that “until they pass independent scrutiny they’re of little use to anyone else” those daily decisions ARE of utility to many people, much of the time.

      TL:DR society generally doesn’t need or want an elite class of self proclaimed experts to tell it what works and what doesn’t.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1

        Are you ok?

        Good luck getting ideas heard without risking a poor reception. You have to tell someone about them whether you’re doing science or politics.

        In political terms, that’s what Parliaments are supposed to be for.

        I can spend a lot of time missing a crucial fact that anyone else might notice straightaway: far from self-proclaimed expertise it’s a simple acknowledgement of ignorance.

        Love how it got you all bent out of shape though. Don’t go changing.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          The real world doesn’t run on some continuous independent expert review of every event and every fact that you think is so important in the ivory tower.

          Good luck getting ideas heard without risking a poor reception. You have to tell someone about them whether you’re doing science or politics.

          What? I never said anything like this.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1.1

            Incognito says By choosing a single point of view we don’t give ourselves a chance to gain better understanding of or deeper insight into an issue or other person’s thoughts and feelings.

            My point is that if we do choose a point of view and get it out there the resulting discussion is a good way to inform our own opinions, given confirmation bias’ tendency to obscure.

            So I’m not talking about science, you wanker. Nor do I live or work in an “ivory tower”, shit for brains. Now fuck off.

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Are you OK? You seem to have gotten all bent out of shape.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Nope, just displaying calculated hostility towards a diversionary troll. You want to discuss the topic of the post? Now’d be a good time to start.

    • Incognito 1.2

      Dear One Anonymous Bloke and Colonial Viper,

      If I understand the two of you correctly then I think you’re both right!

      Yes, make a choice and choose a PoV as a starting point. Most people leave it at that, which is fine, in principle.

      OTH, some people realise the limitations of this mind-set and are curious to find out more – scientists like to put things to the test and call this validation (e.g. through falsification) although many tend to opt for confirmation, which is different. IMO, the only really effective and most efficient way to find out more is to communicate with others and listen & learn. NB this only applies to curious and open-minded people – according to some curiosity is a very strong evolutionary driving force.

      Does this apply to daily life and mundane decisions and brief encounters in the office or in the street? Well, that’s the underlying message of my comment/post: it sure does! It is not just reserved for the ‘big things’ but it equally applies to the ‘little things’ – big and little also depend on your PoV; close up little things look big and far away big things look little. Why not give it a try and find out for yourself?

      I hope I got the gist of your exchange but if not, please clarify your comments or correct me.

  2. Stuart Munro 2

    An advancing army has better morale than a garrison.

    If the Left can set and pursue a few objectives they might get somewhere.

    But they’d better be real objectives – neo-liberalism was designed to exploit non-confrontational fabian societies. Graduated surrenders merely pass greater problems on to succeeeding generations.

    What the various branches of the Left think is less important than what they do.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Indeed. Interesting then that some on the Left insist that Labour’s main problem is that their PR skills, media resources and public “narrative” aren’t properly sorted yet. Maybe it goes deeper than that?

      • Stuart Munro 2.1.1

        The argument can be made – but the ‘flawed narrative’ theme is also a preferred rightwing attack meme. I doubt Savage’s or Lee’s views were without critics – we do not remember them for their narratives but for what they achieved.

        “Look on my works ye mighty and despair” – not ‘look on my words’.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          we do not remember them for their narratives but for what they achieved.

          Then by this criteria one only needs to ask – what things has Labour in government done in the last 30 years which has changed the face of the nation – and you have your answer.

        • McFlock 2.1.1.2

          lol
          ISTR the point of that particular poem is that

          Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
          Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
          The lone and level sands stretch far away.

          i.e. the only thing remembered about Ramesses II at that stage was the narrative. They hadn’t even translated hieroglyphs when the poem was written, and even then hieroglyphs are nothing but narrative.

          • Stuart Munro 2.1.1.2.1

            Well oddly I actually like the other Ozymandias better – it is a reflection on his own society, not that of Ramses, of which he really knows little:

            Where London stood, holding the wolf in chace,
            He meets some fragments huge, and stops to guess
            What powerful but unrecorded race
            Once dwelt in that annihilated place.

            Which was always the point for me – I guess this is Keynes’s “In the long run…” Smith was beginning to question the presumptions of British hegemony, which under Castlereigh (stop traveller, and piss) was not the best of places.

            But a healthy critique for empires is not of necessity a healthy critique for growing political movements. My experience of many political voices in NZ is that they speak their critical ‘truth’ to the disempowered, not the powerful.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    There is much wisdom here in what Incognito writes. People in the provincial areas of NZ are amongst the most caring, practical and community minded of all Kiwis. And many will never ever vote Labour or the Greens as they exist today. The gap in culture and perspective is just too wide.

    Thanks for putting this up, RL.

    • Tautuhi 3.1

      National and Labour have been equally useless over the last 40 years No 1 in the OECD to No 23 in the OECD, is not a very good performance by my reckoning?

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        A total fucking disaster. And despite these outstanding results, MPs on both sides of the House are more than happy to bank their top 2% pay packets and all the rest of their perks.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2

      That’s as good an example of confirmation bias and binary thinking as you could hope to find anywhere.

      Incognito’s message is to try and see things from other people’s perspective, so you respond by re-iterating your inability to do exactly that vis-a-vis Labour MPs.

      It isn’t so much the opinion that’s toxic, it’s the fact of being so sure you’re right.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.1

        Feel free to performance review me like the boss you think you are, when you are paying me my hourly rate.

  4. Matthew Hooton 4

    “We all seem to be guilty of linear one-dimensional and dichotomous thinking from time to time.”

    Exactly what the median voter was saying the other day.

  5. fisiani 5

    If you asked a visitor to NZ which party would raise benefits dramatically and extend free health care to all primary children what would their answer be? They would be surprised when they discover it was National.
    Labour spend hours trying to think of possible bribes for groups of voters. They believe that votes can be bought and that might win them election in 2017.
    For instance Labour might want to cut tertiary fees to all students, even those from millionaire backgrounds.
    National could offer student scholarships based on merit.
    Do the Left actually object to such scholarships?
    There are so many moles in Labour now that National know their plans before the Labour caucus know the plans.
    Given that Labour are now controlled by the unions, and the unions are out of touch with the aspirations of New Zealand I cannot see how Labour can have a charismatic leader able to thwart the unions.

  6. madtom 6

    I think this post is right on target, but I don’t know if the bullseye can ever be hit here in New Zealand.

    Natural selection has always acted by pitting two different ways of doing something against each other and letting the better survivor survive. Not necessarily the nicer one, or even the smarter one. Human culture has continued this pattern. For tens of millions of years before we humans even evolved, our simian ancestors lived in groups.

    They evolved patterns of group behavior that look as strong as any instinct anywhere in the animal kingdom. And we still have those instincts in our own operating systems.

    Look at Donald Trump, doing everything a chimp does to become alpha male of his group: making loud noises, shaking the branches, posturing, attracting everyone’s attention, challenging the leaders and other contenders and laughing off their attacks on him. Facts, truth and logic don’t matter nearly as much as showmanship, and *can* be laughed off.

    We live instinctively by the rule: “Be in a group and be a loyal conformist; other groups are your enemies”.

    Some of us are clever enough to consciously take advantage of this. How far back does “divide and conquer (or “rule”)” go in history, anyway? Many rulers have known how to promote division in the ranks of their competitors, getting them to form subgroups.

    That’s who’s ruling us now. And we will remain divided and ruled as long as otherwise thoughtful people fail to feel this in their guts, where other instincts operate.

    There are so many subgroups already in existence in the opposition, each with its own reasons not to like the others much – well, what would we predict from that?

    Is there a way to form a unified supergroup? Unless we find a way, relax and enjoy the ride toward the Right. Appeal to intellect and idealism? Suure! It is *so* much easier to get people to join a group whose main aim is to make money and dominate others. Lowest common denominator wins.

    • Incognito 6.1

      Thanks for the feedback!

      Yes, to some extent this is driven by instinct and to some extent this simply learned habitual behaviour. I’ve got too many thoughts on this to fit into a short & quick reply right now, unfortunately. Evolutionary speaking, empathy and cooperation, or group solidarity, are part of our instincts but so are selfishness and competition. It all depends on the environmental context which of the two ‘traits’ dominates (check out the work by primatologist Frans de Waal). This is now manifesting in the socio-politico-economic dilemma of liberty versus equality. I believe there is no real (!) difference between people that vote for the left or the right; they fundamentally and intrinsically all want the same. In other words, the so-called “division” between left and right is a human-made artefact or an illusion. Need to stop here, sorry.

    • Like most people that talk about Darwin, I think you’ve a misunderstanding of survival of the fittest.

      In Origin of species he is very clear; It is variation within species that is key to survival.

      It’s not the strongest member (Alpha male) of one variation that drives evolution, it’s variation which allows the species to survive when conditions change and one variation (including that alpha male) gets wiped out.

      A better analogy for politics is mating behaviour among mammals – the alpha runs off all opposition in order to rule unopposed.

    • Yes realpolitick is powerful and ugly – yet I would argue most human progress has been made when people are able to put aside rugged tribal allegiances and look over the fence to create something better. Sometimes that happens following a tragedy or disaster – the German constitution is a case in point as is the League of Nations formed after the 1st WW and the UN and Universal Declaration of Human Rights following the Second WW.

      On other occasions it happens when enough people see new possibilities under conditions that allowed wide ranging debate. Perhaps the intent of the Treaty partners was one such example. The social legislation of the Liberal governments of the 1800s, New Zealand’s important role in the decolonisation movement, early adoption of Universal Suffrage, the break-up of big land-holdings that were causing huge inequality and stifling agricultural development and the legislation of the 1935 NZ government in creating a just society are others.

      The other aspect of these progressive initiatives is that they are not driven by the accumulation of power, by money or the market but by the desire to make things better. None were inevitable and to a large extent deciding ‘what to do’ was a discussion that included many perspectives and choices.

      The danger under current conditions (secret negotiations, diminished democracy, un-named austerity, diminished 4th estate) is that the use of “power over” is seen as inevitable and the natural order of things when it is not. There are other kinds of power – power with people and power for people that embody service to humanity and the planet.

      I also think that there is much interesting thinking taking place here in NZ of this kind exploratory and experimental – either effective at the moment or awaiting times that are more beneficent and fruitful for pro-people rather than pro-corporate leadership. There are huge problems to solve – climate change being the most urgent – and it is important to include perspectives and the talents of many to create enduring solutions.

      These and other initiatives are the fragments which I see as cutting across political divides as well as building a livable future. The Wise Response & UBI campaigns, Co-operative movement, Living Wage Campaign, Social Enterprise initiatives, the Transport Blog (whose solid work on Auckland Transport over years is about to bear fruit this week I hear, having made the city rail link a no-brainer even for a government that was not keen), as well as innovative work on diversified local power generation, media funding, waste management and many other issues.

      • Incognito 6.3.1

        Hi Jan, have you got any specific websites or links regarding the ”interesting thinking taking place here in NZ of this kind exploratory and experimental” you were referring to?

        • Jan Rivers 6.3.1.1

          Without going overboard I see everywhere constrained good ideas in development that speak to New Zealander’s idealism and desire to shape the future rather than have the market shape it for us. Also to”do the right thing” for other people and the planet. This is our territory, progressive territory – the politics of human potential, co-operation and planetary survival. There are many things already in chain that a progressive government could readily take up and adapt into quality legislation and policy settings.

          Here is one I heard about today. Rod Oram was speaking about low carbon transport and it seems a research unit at Waikato University have looked at what would be required to support battery powered vehicles in NZ which could make an significant reduction to transport carbon intensity. http://www.waikato.ac.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/278080/Electric-Vehicle-Policy-New-Zealand-in-a-Comparative-Context.pdf

          Free market / winner takes all economies will never deliver outcomes like this.

          There would be a hundred, perhaps a thousand, pieces of work like this waiting to be incorporated into a broad based, popular progressive agenda.

          More importantly though for me these 2 posts & discussion has lit a flame for a different kind of debate about NZ. The debate about engaging hearts and minds to human-sized and not corporatised, market led future is the only one worth having. What will help that happen?

  7. gsays 7

    well done again rl and incognito,
    i must put my hand up and acknowledge that i have shifted a few attitudes after reading some of the discussions here and elsewhere re: rape culture.
    i have been guilty of being insensitive in the past and have been concious of my words and thoughts since.

    this doesn’t mean that i agree whole heartedly with all that is said along these lines but my attitude has clearly been moderated.

    • Incognito 7.1

      Your comment mirrors my personal experience here on TS. It is not about agreeing or disagreeing; it is about willing to step into the other person’s mind, so to speak, and see things through their eyes for a moment. And then to act on that accordingly, in word and deed.

  8. weka 8

    Very good post Incognito.

    I wonder if the whole unity thing is part of an outdated dichotomy. Calls for unity seem to go hand in hand with accusations of betrayal or not behaving well enough for the cause (and thus creating disunity). I tend to think that more than unity we need diversity, and that being able to have tolerance for diversity enables us to work together whether we all agree or are united or not. That’s one of the things you post speaks to for me, because that degree of tolerance, and respect, is dependent on us being willing and able to see other people’s point of views and value them even if we disagree.

    The other thing it sparks for me is the culture here on ts of being so anti-right that we often never move past the rhetoric. It bothers me because a big chunk of NZ people are conservatives and how can we have a progressive society if we perceive them as being evil? It also bothers me because it frames the problem as a progressive/conservative conflict and that’s not NZ’s problem (it probably is the US’s). NZ’s problem is that the conservatives have been hijacked by the neoliberals and National has been turned into a proto-fascist party. They’re no longer traditional conservatives and we’re fighting the wrong battle when we keep talking as if they are.

    I get that there are people for whom antipathy towards the right comes from serious political and personal experiences, and that to suggest taking a different tack is going to be anathema. But we’re no longer in the old world of successive government changes between conservatives and progressives (which at least maintained some degree of balance). The world we are in is much much worse, and it’s what I think Red was pointing to yesterday, that the ground beneath us has shifted and we haven’t yet adapted.

    If you look at how ecosystems function and thrive, it’s all about the relationships between the different parts of the ecosystem. If diversity is valued the system becomes much stronger, and where diversity is reduced you create instability and loss of resilience (consider the stability of a forest compared to a crop of wheat). Building relationships is critical to this and being able to work with differing viewpoints is critical to building relationships.

    I think we should be building relationships with conservatives, not the likes of Hooton or BM, but the NZers who still care about other people but do so from traditional, stable position that complements the push for change that comes with the progressives. We also need to build relationships with people who simply see the world as existing largely outside of that frame. They’re the ones who are going to increasingly decide who becomes government.

    • Incognito 8.1

      A very good comment!

      No time right now to provide a long in-depth reply but when thinking about “unity” I’d be much closer to unity as in your example of “ecosystems” and the necessary (!) relationships between the parts. The same can be said for the brain: it contains parts (centres) that are connected (relationships) for the overall functioning of the brain, that make the brain into what it is. The basic units are the individual neurons but if you focus on one single neuron, or just one or two centres, you’re missing the whole of the brain! A similar parallel can be drawn for our society.

      If the parts don’t communicate properly we’ll have a problem and that’s what I think is going on right now in our World and I don’t believe I’m the only one feeling like this. I also like to be a critic in the original meaning of the word and think of a way forward – there is a way forward, there always is.

      I’d like to take this a lot further but that would also run the risk of starting to sound like a ‘nutter’ so I prefer to develop my thoughts slowly over time and bounce off some ideas as they take form.

      • weka 8.1.1

        Nice analogy with the brain. I’m tempted to say let’s replace ‘unity’ with ‘synergy’ except I’m sure the word synergy is too loaded from middle management/new age speak for some here 😉

        Synergy – the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects

        Unity on the other hand implies oneness, and often that comes across as a monoculture rather than a diversity eg the standard is divisive and not promoting unity because it allows so much criticism of Labour. So under unity you get a range of organisations being lumped together as ‘one’ without much thought for how that might actually work given the differences (other than stfu). The diversity model allows for each organisation to be a discrete entity with its own agenda because it’s the relationships and how they are done that create the working together, not some enforced structure of agreeing with each other or being under some umbrella.

        So if we look at synergy instead instead of unity we need to look at the relationships between Labour and say the standard and how they can be built and sustained in such a way as to help the left.

        I like your approach and I agree that this is a good one to explore to see if it’s going to help us out of the mess we are in.

        • Incognito 8.1.1.1

          Hi weka, I liked your considered comments 8 and 8.1.1 and I agree that (our) relationships are the key. I’d love to elaborate on all the points you made but instead I prefer to pick up on one in particular and which connects to my hasty comment to madtom @ 6.1.

          Personally, I believe that our socio-political system is not based on or caused by inevitability but entirely man-made. Similarly, the concepts of conservative & progressive or left & right are human constructs. They are associated with certain views of and attitudes towards the world and others and influence our approaches to ‘problems’, e.g. unemployment & social welfare.

          All this is shaped (and conditioned) by our upbringing, education, personal experiences, and so on, but to be left or right is not in our DNA, it is not inevitable, and is simply a label that covers most (but not all) of our views and perspectives. As such, it ought to be relatively easy to assume a different PoV, for a brief moment or as a ‘training exercise’, and even build relationships with others that have a different PoV.

          However, for one reason or another the differences between left & right, for example, have been exaggerated and entrenched as if they are real fundamental differences that even have a quasi-biological basis. When intelligent articulate people such as George Monbiot do not seem to counter these kinds of perceptions (e.g. see The right’s stupidity spreads, enabled by a too-polite left) you know we have a problem that has gone too far.

          So, now we treat people at the opposite side of the political spectrum as our arch enemy, our Nemesis, with much disdain, disgust, and hostility, almost as if they are from an entirely different species that needs to be exterminated, politically speaking, of course.

          Yes, we need to build relationships with left & right but first we need to realise that we are not really all that different!

          • weka 8.1.1.1.1

            I pretty much agree with all of that. The whole all righties are evil rhetoric that plagues the standard commentary is a block to us getting out of the mess we are in.

            I wonder if the age of the internet and exposure to US politics has made this worse. Because their political divides are much more entrenched (and frankly, weird). I also think the neoliberal betrayal of the left is a factor, and this is another block to finding solutions – too much we think we are still fighting conservatives, but we’re not.

            Where we probably disagree is that I think we are different and that those differences are bigger than when I was younger. That’s the real damage that neoliberalism has done. The turning of NZ into The Nasty Country, and the divide between those who are and those who are motivated primarily by self-interest, those things were created, they didn’t just happen. And now I think they’re intentionally reinforced.

            I’m pretty sheltered in my life presently from people who think very differently from me. If I went off what I see on ts, I’d be very down about the whole thing 😉 So I can probably be convinced that NZers still have more in common with each other than not.

            • Sacha 8.1.1.1.1.1

              NZ’s right deliberately imported the US right’s destructive ideas about how to conduct politics. It sure hasn’t helped.

              • weka

                Any thoughts on how to redress that?

                • Sacha

                  Beef up the left’s strategic nous about how to use ways of organising and communicating that reflect our values. See those recent posts here about building mass movements and add muscle. This is not some game.

                  • weka

                    Sounds good, although the left in that case is too broad a term. I’d say the Greens already do that (organise and communicate from their values), that Labour are a hopeless case at the caucus level, I’m unclear at the membership level (I read varying things) and outside of that we’re still not any closer to cooperating. The standard always seems a good proving ground or place to practice, but it’s like hearding cats. I hope the recent posts start to shift things somewhat.

                    It also begs the question of what are our values?

                    • Sacha

                      diverse. 🙂

                    • Incognito

                      Yes, values are important but so are motives and not many people seem to question their own motives.

                      When I see the sheer volume of comments here on TS I often wonder how people have time to read and write all these comments let alone think about them. I know, a lot of it is good old banter and that’s essential too. Over time I’ve also come to ‘know’ a few commenters for their idiosyncrasies.

                      I believe that reflection and examination of my own values and motives change my perspectives, slowly. I do have to watch myself continuously – I’ve deleted so many comments before posting them mainly because they added nothing and were just to confirm my ‘attitude of the moment’.

                  • Incognito

                    I’d like to add to this great discussion thread.

                    I’ argue that “redressing” things might not be very effective as, for me, it has a ‘corrective’ sound to it; it also feels like an action-reaction way of dealing with issues.

                    I don’t think there are right or wrong answers or even any answer at all for some of the socio-political issues that we’re currently facing. We simply (!) have to find new (!) ways to conduct ourselves and move forward. If we keep doing the same thing we’ll get the same results so we have to charter new ideas, ways, and territory. That said, I don’t think we lack any specific ‘tools’, ‘skills’, or ‘info’ to move forwards and onwards; these are excuses to hide our fears and uncertainties. To use an analogy: you cannot learn to swim till you jump into the water. Yes, you may drown, or you may swim.

  9. Papa tuanuku 9

    Editing tips. Put the explanatory note at the end of the article. I felt that it took about three quarters of the article before you started talking about the subject heading, which means you will loose people. The article could have been written in half the words used. Opening paragraph does not seem to reference the topics hope this helps.

  10. Tiger Mountain 10

    an old left saying is “work with, and struggle against” which is really an expression of how dialectical thought, action and reflection can operate

    or in other words;
    –determine your main enemy
    –don’t burn bridges with potential allies (which is most people in some situation)
    –tactics and strategy are not necessarily the same thing

  11. Sacha 11

    I’d vote for words like “cooperation” over synergy any day. Most people already know what they mean.

    • Incognito 11.1

      In my vocabulary “cooperate” is quite a ‘weak’ verb. For example, when Police question a person about a committed crime this person is often said to “cooperate” with the Police. Frequently the same person is later arrested and charged with the offence. You can bet your house on it that the alleged offender did not “collaborate” and they certainly did not “synergise” with the cops.

      I think TS is an example of synergy: the interaction between Posters and Commenters is more than the simple sum of the individual posts and comments.

      Synergy can mean different things but generally it means something like the whole is greater than the parts simply added together.

      • weka 11.1.1

        Cooperation and synergy aren’t synonymous (in how I was using the term). But I agree the word synergy is a problem and I can’t think of anything better because they’re all like that. Gestalt? There’s probably something to be said about why that is.

        • Sacha 11.1.1.1

          ‘work together’?

          • Incognito 11.1.1.1.1

            Pedantic as it may sound, I’d use the word that best describes what you mean. I strongly believe “synergy” is an under-utilised and perhaps misunderstood word that ought to be used more frequently in political discourse and discussions about our society.

            A nice illustration of a meaning of synergy is the chemistry between (lead) actors on-screen (often between a man & woman) that gives it an almost magical touch that goes beyond simply good acting and directing, etc.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • PREFU: The State of Government Accounts
    The Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update’ (PREFU) tells us something about the future of the Public Sector but it requires careful analysis to assess how it is going. The 2020 PREFU is the most important economic statement during any election campaign. Unfortunately the commentariat tends to treat it briefly ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 hours ago
  • Predatory delay
    Farmers are whining again about being expected to clean up their act: Canterbury farmers want politicians to stop painting them as climate change villains, listen to their needs and allow them more time to boost environmental standards. [...] “The targets are necessary for the environment, but do we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 hours ago
  • Flight to nowhere sends the wrong message in climate crisis
    Qantas Airlines’ 7-hour “flight to nowhere”, that sold out in 10 minutes with prices from A$787 to A$3787, seemed like a sick joke to climate advocates. Apart from the waste of fuel and the pointless emissions, passengers would be able to see first-hand, from a plane just like those that ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    9 hours ago
  • Speaker: The cannabis referendum – a doctor’s perspective
    Cannabis is part of our culture: 80% of adults have tried it sometime. Intuition tells us that legalising cannabis will increase use – science suggests that is not likely. Our Dunedin and Christchurch studies show that cannabis use peaks in our 20s. Older people are less frequent users whether it ...
    10 hours ago
  • First steps: Jerry DeSilva on the evolution of bipedalism
    Yesterday morning I got up (at the rather early and unaccustomed hour of 3.30am) to listen to a webinar by paleoanthropologist Dr Jeremy DeSilva¹. Titled “First Steps”, his presentation was about the origins of bipedalism in the human lineage. It was a fascinating session & I thought I’d turn my ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    11 hours ago
  • True Believers In A False God.
    Down The Rabbit Hole: "Social psychologists have found that when fearful people contemplate potential misfortunes, they tend to feel helpless and pessimistic, but when angry people contemplate the same, they feel a sense of optimism and control. And one simple way to transmute fear into anger is to perceive an evil ...
    11 hours ago
  • Majority Rule Requires Majorities That Are Real.
    Fifty Percent Plus One: New Zealand’s genuine-majority-delivering two-party system endured for five elections only (1938, 1943, 1946, 1949, 1951) a period of just 16 years. Very few New Zealanders alive today can boast of participating in an election which delivered a true majority to either Labour or National. Someone who ...
    13 hours ago
  • Labour super exploitation
    This is the second in the lecture series by Andy Higginbottom on superexploitation. Here he looks at Marini’s theory of labour super-exploitation and Capital ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    19 hours ago
  • Small asteroid to make near-miss of Earth in NZ skies tonight
    Sorry for the late notice on this one, but I only just heard myself, in common with most of the human race. A small asteroid, somewhere between the size of a truck and the size of a house in dimensions, will hurtle past the Earth tonight, dipping closer to ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 day ago
  • This is not what accountability looks like
    When someone commits trespass, assault with a weapon, and kidnapping, you'd expect them to be prosecuted, right? But apparently the rules are different if you wear a blue uniform: A police investigation has found officers in Northland trespassed on a man's property, then unlawfully pepper sprayed him and arrested ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Cycling: head injuries ignored because of entrenched macho culture
    Howard Hurst, University of Central Lancashire and Jack Hardwicke, University of Winchester Competitive road cycling is a demanding and unique sport. One where crashing is inevitable – especially at the professional level. While the risk of head injury is relatively low in cycling – approximately 5-13% – compared to contact ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • The coming US shitshow
    Today President Trump once again refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the US election. Coincidentally, The Atlantic has a long article on exactly what that means, from voter suppression by armed thugs in the name of "ballot security", to refusing to allow the vote ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • A moral void
    That's the only way to describe the SIS, who - like their British counterparts - decided to look the other way on child abuse: The SIS knew a young woman was being sexually abused by her father but failed to lodge a complaint with the police, effectively allowing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • When will Goldsmith resign?
    The National Party’s campaign has gone from bad to worse with a further two large miscalculations being uncovered in their alternative fiscal plan. Firstly, National’s economic spokesperson and list MP, Paul Goldsmith, used May's Budget figures instead of last week's PREFU numbers, and came up with a whopping $4.3 billion ...
    1 day ago
  • The Adventures of Annalax: Part IX
    The initial session was a struggle. Annalax and Magni tried sorting out the details with the Isaac twins (the people pursuing the mountain trip). Annalax happened to mention his devotion to Lolth… whom the Isaacs, being ...
    1 day ago
  • This is bullshit
    On March 13, three plainclothes police officers kicked in Breonna Taylor's door under a no-knock warrant targeting another person. When a person inside reasonably assumed they were home invaders and (this being America) started shooting, they shot up the place and everyone around them - killing Taylor. Today, one of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Arctic sea ice is being increasingly melted from below by warming Atlantic water
    Tom Rippeth, Bangor University Arctic sea ice today (white) is covering a much smaller area than in 1980-2010 (orange line). National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CC BY-SA Each September, scientists like me look out for the point when the Arctic’s meagre summer fizzles out and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • The long-term health burden of COVID-19: further justification for NZ’s elimination strategy
    Prof John D. Potter* This blog briefly surveys the emerging scientific evidence on the longer-term burden of symptoms and disease in survivors of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these symptoms point to damage in the brain and heart. These long-term harms add to the wide range of other reasons for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 day ago
  • Going High, Going Low: An Assessment Of The First Leaders’ Debate.
    Uncrushed: Jacinda Ardern knew exactly what was expected of her in the first Leaders' Debate. Labour’s dominant position, three weeks out from the general election, is constructed out of the admiration and gratitude of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who, more often than not, vote National.  Nothing she said ...
    2 days ago
  • The smokefree policies of political parties: Do they care about people who smoke?
    George Thomson*, Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards In this time of Covid-19, helping people who smoke to quit their addiction has an even greater importance. Smokers are more vulnerable to many harmful health effects, including severe effects from the virus. Policies that support people who smoke to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • The Fog Of Economic Policy Is Starting To Clear…
    Bryan Bruce, https://www.facebook.com/www.redsky.tv, 19 September 2020 National’s economic policy of temporary tax cuts yesterday proved, if proof be needed, that they are unapologetic neoliberals. While their claim that with more money in their pockets people will spend more might sound attractive, the reality is that tax cuts always benefit the ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #38, 2020
    Highlighted article: Carbon pricing and planetary boundaries  Engström et al take what might be called a systems approach to evaluating carbon pricing, taking into a account various economic sectors affected by and affecting paying for emissions. The conclusions are overall a rare pleasant surprise— a feature predicated on cooperation.  Abstract: ...
    2 days ago
  • Humans ignite almost every wildfire that threatens homes
    Nathan Mietkiewicz, National Ecological Observatory Network and Jennifer Balch, University of Colorado Boulder CC BY-ND Summer and fall are wildfire season across the western U.S. In recent years, wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes, forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate and exposed tens of millions to harmful ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: China steps up
    China has increased its climate change ambition, and set a target to be carbon-neutral by 2060: China will reach carbon neutrality before 2060 and ensure its greenhouse gas emissions peak in the next decade, Xi Jinping has told the UN general assembly. “China will scale up its intended nationally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Humans have dealt with plenty of climate variability
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much climate variability have humans dealt with since we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Indigenous perspectives on unrestricted access to genomic data
    By Genomics Aotearoa researcher Maui Hudson, University of Waikato It is vital that genomics research respects genomic data and genetic heritage from indigenous communities. Genomics research is a rapidly growing field of study, and there is a strong push to make the huge amount of data being produced open ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 days ago
  • Terrible luck: lockdowns on learning and youth job prospects
    What is bad luck? Bad luck is spilling spaghetti sauce down your shirt right before an important meeting. When the person in front of you gets the last seat on the bus, that’s bad luck. Bad luck is when it’s sunny outside, so you leave the house without a coat, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Does private healthcare threaten public healthcare in New Zealand?
    Is the private health system impacting negatively on the public health system? Health commentator Ian Powell evaluates a recent NZ Herald article by Natalie Akoorie (“Public v private healthcare: Moonlighting, skimming, duplication – should NZ do better”), and looks at how the dual system works, and concludes that the answer ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • A rabbit-hole election debate: So do you want more avocado orchards?
    We live in strange and unusual times. It’s been a century since we’ve endured a global pandemic like this, more than half a century since we’ve had economic woes like this. So maybe we got an opening election debate for the times - because that was a strange and unusual ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • LIVE: Jacinda Ardern vs. Judith Collins, First Debate
    Tonight, The Civilian will be live-blogging the first of too many debates between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National Party leader Judith Collins, and also the last fifteen minutes of the news. Be sure to tune in from 6:45pm for regular updates, which can be accessed by refreshing this page ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • Hundreds of Aucklanders arrested after illegal mass gathering on Harbour Bridge
    An enormous drive-in party, shown here, was held this morning on Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, where police were forced to intervene. Hundreds of Aucklanders were arrested this morning on public health grounds, after an apparent illegal mass gathering on the city’s Harbour Bridge. Police say hundreds of Aucklanders gathered in their ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • The Looming Fight.
    Social Distancing Be Damned - It's Jacinda! Shortly after ascending to Labour’s leadership, Jacinda described herself as a “pragmatic idealist”. It was an inspired oxymoron – packing into just two words the essence of the social-democrat’s dilemma. It was good to know that she knew what lay ahead of her. ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Moving faster
    Back in 2017, the UK announced that it would ban the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles by 2040. Its a basic climate change measure, aimed at reducing emissions by shifting the vehicle fleet to cleaner technologies. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, they're planning to bring it forward ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The Australian courts have had enough of refugee detention
    For the past decade, Australia has had a racist, anti-refugee policy. Those claiming refugee status are imprisoned without trial and left to rot in the hope they would "voluntarily" return to be tortured and murdered. When the courts have granted them visas, the government has immediately revoked them on racial ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Friction and the Anti-lock Braking System
    Yesterday afternoon I had to call on my car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS). For reasons best known to its driver, a car pulled out of a side road right in front of me while I was driving home after work, and I needed to stop in a hurry. I rather ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    3 days ago
  • The Inside Word: New Zealand Quarantine
    There are a fair few misconceptions about conditions within New Zealand’s Quarantine Hotels. Madeline Grant’s misplaced accusations being one prominent example, though she is not alone. Today, I thought I’d share the inside word, so to speak. A friend of mine has recently returned to New Zealand from overseas, and ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: ASA: Let’s not talk about this
    Last week, major newspapers carried a full-page ad as part of the campaign for a "No" vote to the referendum question about supporting the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. The ad was authorised by the SAM NZ Coalition, which takes its name from a controversial American anti-cannabis group and includes ...
    3 days ago
  • This is not kind
    New Zealand has a serious homelessness problem, due to skyrocketing rents and a lack of state houses. One of the ways we stick a band-aid on it is to put people up in motels. Previously, they were charged full commercial rates, saddled with odious debt due to the government's failure ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Wokies are the establishment
    by Ani O’Brien In the absence of a better word with which to refer to the rabid activists who claim progressivism while demanding adherence to an increasingly prescriptive set of political beliefs, I call them “woke”. With its roots in Black American slang, the term originally denoted a person or ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • How to strengthen the post-isolation Covid rules
    Over the weekend, the Ministry of Health reported a case of Covid-19 in Auckland that is not related to the current Auckland cluster. Before we start to panic, here’s how I think the case happened and how we can strengthen our current border controls. The new Covid-19 case is someone ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Neuralink and You: A Human-AI Symbiosis
    Becky Casale Elon Musk reckons his Neuralink brain implant is much more than a medical device–that one day it will drive a symbiosis between humans and artificial intelligence. “Good morning! I’m Dr Benedict Egg and I’ll be supervising your Neuralink insertion today. Do you have any questions?” “Yes, Doc. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Liam Hehir: Our obsession with American politics
    Many New Zealanders take a strong interest in US politics, with the death of Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg being the latest example. Liam Hehir wonders if it very wise for New Zealanders to get so worked about it.   Many politically engaged New Zealanders are now furiously ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • COVID: Back to Level 1
    After stamping the Coronavirus out via strict lockdown between March and May, New Zealand went through a good three months without any community cases. Then a local outbreak in Auckland rather buggered things up last month. Auckland’s been in level 3 and level 2.5 for the past six weeks. ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Climate injustice
    Who's causing our skyrocketing emissions? As with most of our other problems, It's the rich: The wealthiest 1% of the world’s population were responsible for the emission of more than twice as much carbon dioxide as the poorer half of the world from 1990 to 2015, according to new ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Good riddance
    The border closure and resulting lack of foreign slave-workers is driving the fishing industry out of business: One fishing company is effectively out of business while others are bracing for large financial hits as the deepwater New Zealand industry, unable to get skilled foreign workers into the country, have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #38
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... The tipping points at the heart of the climate crisis Many parts of the Earth’s climate system have been destabilised by ...
    4 days ago
  • Anyone for Collins?
    In the absence of national public opinion polls, we have had to make do in recent weeks with other guides to voter intentions. Those guides, such as the Auckland Central poll, the incidence of google enquiries and the responses to Vote Compass questions, have suggested, not unexpectedly, that Labour is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Crusher’s fiscal malfunction
    Crusher Collins - National Party leaderWe all know that the National Party is desperate to gain some traction during this election campaign and have been throwing pretty much everything at the Labour Party in order to try and undermine Jacinda Ardern and what the Coalition Government has achieved. But unfortunately ...
    5 days ago
  • Much of the commentariat’s reporting of the most recent GDP figure was misleading and unhelpful. The prize for the stupidest remark about the GDP figure for second quarter 2020 (2020Q2) released on Thursday (17 Sept) goes to Judith Collins, whose response to Grant Robertson’s comments indicated she did not ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Love and Hate as Complementary Revolutionary Acts
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh goloing@gmail.com (19/09/2020) Che Guevara said that a true revolutionary is motivated by love i.e. love of the oppressed, the poor, the children dying from preventable illnesses. This phrase of his is true but has been used by reformists and their more hippy wing have taken advantage ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 through Sat, Sep 19, 2020 Editor's Choice Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done A report by a ...
    6 days ago
  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
    With the National Party this week announcing a new policy of tax cuts to spice up the election campagin. MyThinks went along to the launch and afterwards we spoke to the party’s finance spokesperson Paul “Golden Touch” Goldsmith. MT: Thanks for speaking to us Mr Goldsmith. PG: No. Thank you. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    6 days ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
    Always to islanders danger Is what comes over the seas ‘Landfall in Unknown Seas’ (Allen Curnow)Six economic issues external to New Zealand, which will greatly impact upon us. 1.         The Diminishing Global Dominance of the US. Since 1941 America has dominated the world economically and politically. Probably it could ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
    Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
    In case anyone needed further convincing, there's another example today of why we need cameras on fishing boats: reported seabird bycatch doubled during a camera trial: Commercial fishers operating off Auckland's coast around vulnerable seabirds are twice as likely to report accidentally capturing them when cameras are on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Graham Adams: The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
    In the leadup to the euthanasia referendum, an array of conservative Christian political organisations is running an expensive campaign to sow doubt about the safety of assisted dying. Graham Adams argues that these religious forces know that Christian arguments aren’t convincing the public, but that it is in the public ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Opportunistic looting
    The National Party has spent the last six months acting horrified at the cost of supporting people through the pandemic and banging on about how the debt must be repaid. So what was their economic policy released today? Massive tax-cuts for the rich, of course! National has walked back ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
    Dangerous Times: This will be the choice confronting those coming of age in the 2020s. Embrace Neoliberalism’s belief in racial and sexual equality; adopt its secular and scientific world view; and cultivate the technocratic, multicultural, global outlook required of those who keep the machinery of hyper-capitalism humming. Or, throw your ...
    1 week ago
  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
    It would be a great time to reform the benefit system, according to former Deputy Chief Economic Advisor at the Treasury, Tony Burton. He argues the complexity of benefit system means that it’s failing to achieve its difficult three core objectives, which form an “iron triangle”.   New Zealand’s benefit ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
    Tax Justice UK, September 2020 Serious tax reform is on the political agenda for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus crisis. As this debate hots up it is important to understand what people think about public spending, wealth and tax. Tax Justice UK, along with Survation and ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Chinese List.
    News that Zhenhua Data, an arm of China Zhenhua Electronics Group, a subsidiary of the military-connected China Electronic Information Industry Group (CETC), maintains a list of 800 New Zealanders on a “Overseas Key Information Database” that contains personal information on more than 2.4 million foreign individuals, has caused some consternation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Things that grow fast, and things that surprise us
    Marie Becdelievre January 2020. The number of news article mentioning coronavirus exploded and anxious voices whispered about a global pandemic. Whisper? To me, it was only a whisper. I tend to learn about the world through non-fiction books, conferences, and academic research rather than news and social media, so ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #37, 2020
    2,082,476,000,000,000 Viability of greenhouse gas removal via the artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean  (not open access, unfortunately) walks us through the numbers on a particular means of CO2 removal, addition of volcanic tephra to the ocean. The mechanism is straight chemistry and the cost is fully an order of ...
    1 week ago
  • Barbados to become a republic
    Barbados is planning to remove the queen as head of state and become a republic in time for the 55th anniversary of its independence in 2021: Barbados has announced its intention to remove the Queen as its head of state and become a republic by November 2021. [...] Reading ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Party Like It’s 1989: Bait and Switch is a Bad Look, Mr Hipkins
    At the 2017 election, the New Zealand Labour Party promised a Fees Free Policy for tertiary students. Basically, it would make the first year of university education free in 2018, with a second year in 2021, and a third in 2024. It also promised to restore Post-Graduate access to the ...
    1 week ago
  • Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz What is the impact of temperature increases in the tropics? ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A first-hand look: What it’s like to live in a 2020 California wildfire evacuation zone
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons It felt like 100 degrees in my in-laws’ Grass Valley, California, kitchen, but at least the lights were on and for the moment we were safely “distanced” from the Jones Fire. We’d just finished dessert, after pizza and a movie ...
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 is not the only infectious disease New Zealand wants to eliminate, and genome sequencing is...
    Nigel French, Massey University Genome sequencing — the mapping of the genetic sequences of an organism — has helped track the spread of COVID-19 cases in Auckland, but it also plays an important role in the control of other infectious diseases in New Zealand. One example is Mycoplasma bovis, a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime
    A key part of our electoral funding regime is a requirement for some transparency around donations, on the basis that if we can find out who has bought our politicians (typically after we have voted for them) then everything is alright. There are a lot of problems with that regime ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Don’t Steal This Book
    On “In Defense of Looting” Matt Taibibi takes an entertaining look at this generation of woke activists and how they compare with Abbie Hoffman the iconic anti-Vietnam war counter-culture figure of the 1960s On Thursday, August 27th, the same day Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination, National Public Radio ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Carbon prices must rise
    When Parliament introduced the Emissions Trading Scheme, it was worried that carbon prices might get too high. So it introduced a "fixed price option", allowing polluters to pay the government $25 in the place of surrendering credits. The result was predictable: after we were thrown out of international carbon markets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosure
    The government will finally be requiring large New Zealand companies to disclose their climate change risks: New Zealand finance companies will be made to report on climate change risk, Climate Change Minister James Shaw has announced. The policy will force around 200 large financial organisations in New Zealand to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes two diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced two new diplomatic appointments: •         Michael Appleton as New Zealand’s first resident High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. •        Tredene Dobson as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Viet Nam.  Sri Lanka “New Zealand is opening a post in Colombo in 2021 because we are ready ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • NZ’s most prestigious conservation award – Loder Cup presented to Graeme Atkins
    The Minister of Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, today presented Aotearoa New Zealand’s most prestigious conservation award, the Loder Cup, to the 2020 winner Graeme Atkins while in Gisborne/Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa. “Graeme Atkins of Ngāti Porou is a Department of Conservation ranger whose contribution to conservation goes well above and beyond his employment,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Parliament to install solar and cut carbon
    Parliament is leading by example by taking action to cut its carbon footprint by installing solar and improving energy efficiency, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said today. The Minister confirmed that Parliamentary Services will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to install solar PV and LED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Tuvalu Language Week theme promotes community resilience in the face of COVID-19
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the 2020 Tuvalu Language Week theme of “Fakatili Te Kiloga Fou” which means “Navigating the changing environment” is a call on all Pacific peoples to be strong and resilient in the face of COVID-19. “This theme is a reminder to us ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • International sport back up and running in New Zealand
    The Government is welcoming today’s announcement that the West Indies and Pakistan cricket teams will tour New Zealand this summer.  “A lot of hard work has been undertaken by sports officials including New Zealand Cricket, Netball New Zealand and government officials to ensure that international sport can return safely to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • 1BT funds for Northland forest taonga
    Northland’s indigenous tree canopy is set to grow for the benefit of mana whenua and the wider community thanks to nearly $2 million in One Billion Trees funding, Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Komanga Marae Trust has received more than $1.54 million to restore and enhance the native ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Better health care for West Coasters as Te Nikau Hospital officially opened
    The Government has delivered a new hospital for Greymouth and is starting work on a much needed new health centre in Westport, ensuring local communities will benefit from better access to high quality integrated health services. Today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare officially open Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Government backing local with PGF loan
    A West Coast distillery will benefit from a Provincial Growth Fund investment that will enable it to expand its operations and create jobs in the town of Reefton, Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Reefton Distilling Co will receive a $928,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Primary sector exports and jobs up again
    Primary sector exports and jobs are up again, demonstrating the sector’s underlying strength amid the COVID-19 global pandemic and US-China trade war, and supporting New Zealand’s economic recovery. Stats NZ today reported New Zealand’s merchandise exports in August were up 8.6% on a year ago, driven by an increase in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Clean energy future for more schools
    Schools across Aotearoa New Zealand will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The Minister has allocated $50 million from the Clean Powered Public Service Fund to replace, or convert, coal boilers in schools with clean ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Building business strength with digital tools
    New training and tools for digital commerce will give small businesses, especially in the tourism sector, the support they need to adapt and innovate in a COVID world. Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced details of how $20 million digital capability funding set aside ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New pest lures to protect nature
    The Department of Conservation (DOC) is investing $1.4 million to develop new predator lures that would be game-changers for trapping and surveillance towards a predator-free Aotearoa, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage, announced in Christchurch today. The proposal is to develop long-life lures attractive to a range of predators—rats, mustelids ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Support for innovative Pacific education responses to COVID-19 needs
    Supporting new and creative Pacific education practices as part of our COVID-19 response and recovery is the focus of a new $28.5 million Pacific Education Innovation Fund announced today by Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa.  “There is already an incredible amount of innovative and creative work going on in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Government has reached its target of 50 percent on women on state sector board and committees – setting a new record level of women on state sector boards. “This Government is committed to having more women in leadership roles - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford released today the final Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 which outlines the planned $48 billion investment in services and infrastructure over the next decade. “The final GPS supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by confirming our record investments in transport infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advancing clean energy technology
    Three ambitious and cutting-edge research programmes that will lift New Zealand’s advanced energy technology research capability over seven years, have been supported by Government today, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The projects will each receive a share of $40.7 million investment from the Strategic Science Investment Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
    The critical area for forensic examination known as Pit Bottom in Stone has been reached in what is a major milestone for the Pike River re-entry project, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced. “The infrastructure located in Pit Bottom in Stone is of very significant interest in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Economic recovery guides Govt response to retirement income policy review
    The Government is working on how New Zealand’s retirement income policies and settings can best support Kiwis in light of the COVID-19 economic recovery, with the help of the Retirement Commissioner’s latest review, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Retirement Commissioner’s three-yearly review into New Zealand’s retirement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Iwi community hub opens in Murupara
    A new digital hub and development centre in Murupara will be instrumental in growing the region’s productivity, said Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau at the official opening of two community initiatives today. “I’m pleased to be here celebrating a significant milestone for two projects set to make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast
    PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast Unemployment to peak at 7.8%, down from 9.8% forecast in the Budget Year-to-June accounts show tax revenue, debt and OBEGAL better than forecast Global forecast downgraded as COVID-19 second waves and uncertainty grows Balanced plan to support critical public services, manage debt and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Spruce-up for Ōtaki community facilities
    The Kāpiti Coast town of Ōtaki will receive $1.4 million in Government funding for two projects providing scores of jobs for locals while improving community facilities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Māoriland Charitable Trust will receive a $900,000 Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) grant to upgrade the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF funding for Jobs for Nature programme
    The Provincial Growth Fund will provide $11.88 million to fund fencing and waterway projects nationwide that will improve the environment and create jobs in their communities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. “These projects will create more than 100 jobs nationwide with work starting within the next couple ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Procurement to promote jobs, Māori and Pasifika businesses and sustainability
    As part of the COVID-19 recovery, the Government has strengthened its procurement rules to ensure its annual $42 billion spend creates more jobs, uses more sustainable construction practices and results in better outcomes for Māori and Pasifika, Government Ministers announced today.   Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford says the $42 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Timaru’s Theatre Royal to be upgraded and new heritage facility built
    The Government is supporting a major upgrade of Timaru’s iconic Theatre Royal and the construction of a new connected Heritage Facility museum and exhibition space with $11.6 million from the Government’s Infrastructure Fund, Jacinda Ardern announced today. “We heard the call from the community and the council. The Theatre Royal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • District Court judge appointed
    Chrissy Montague (formerly Armstrong), barrister of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Wellington, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Montague commenced practice in Auckland in 1987 and went into general practice dealing with Wills, Estates, Trusts, Conveyancing, Relationship Property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Approval given to Commercial Film and Video Production Proposal
      A Proposal to provide for the development and operation of commercial film and video production facilities in areas of Christchurch has been given the go ahead. Hon Poto Williams, Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, has approved the Proposal, which was prepared and submitted by Regenerate Christchurch. Minister Williams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago