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Open mike 05/07/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 5th, 2010 - 44 comments
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44 comments on “Open mike 05/07/2010 ”

  1. Cnr Joe 1

    Just seen the Diego Maradona picture in the Herald this morning doing this maori gesture of hand to forehead at the world cup.
    New Zealanders must castigate him forthwithereto.

  2. Bored 2

    One of thee things that really gets my goat is the manner in which we as a society have a fascination with the detail, with the cult of expertise. It really pisses me off when you get a RWNJ going on about Laffer curves etc ( or some leftist equivalent slavishly quoting Marx) without ever questioning the assumptions made or more importantly the context aka “the bigger picture”.

    Last week somewhere the debate had got down to the economists hyper detail based upon assumptions of yours and my behavoir and what it all meant etc etc. I referred to these highly educated and well remunerated “professionals” as tea leaf readers. Better ones I might promote to chicken entrail gazers, or Tarot dealers. Found this little gem today to back up my contention about the cult of expertise.


    • prism 2.1

      Yes Bored, the all-knowing professionals speak with authority that gets listened to. Yet they often have no personal experience of their subject, need to do more sociological studies where they would see and experience the dynamics of the situation.

      It was horrifying to see the economist’s essays that emerged after the neo-liberals got rolling around the 80’s. Kindness was analysed as resulting in self-satisfying emotion whereby the giver receives good vibes and the recipient is a just a cipher in that mental transaction. Every thought and action was measured against personal advantage and those that appeared to be generous and giving were actually not it was just a subterfuge – like making charitable gifts for renown and getting a tax reduction on them as well. A mean Ayn Randian view of the world got prominence.

      One of my disliked exponents of expertise is Professor Lord Robert Winston the well-known commentator, educator and television presenter. The man is ubiquitous (sp?) and doesn’t suffer fools gladly (ie doesn’t like being closely questioned about his assertions.)

      Anti-spam – measuring!

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      Second, specialist knowledge by its very nature tends to crowd out a broader and more nuanced view of the world.

      That, IMO, is the most important sentence in that article as it highlights both the major weakness within specialisation and the fact that we, as individuals, don’t know what’s best for us. Specialisation has removed us from the context of reality preventing us from seeing the bigger picture. This seems to be especially true of the economists and financial gurus.

  3. prism 3

    News on Waatea News this a.m. was that Maori (and PI?) children are 13 times more likely to get rheumatic fever than the norm or non-Maori, can’t remember exactly. And they make up a large number of hospital emergencies.

    The thought is that inadequate housing is a big factor. And there are probably more bad houses in Housing NZ hands like one that featured some years ago on Fair Go I think. It didn’t have breathing gaps at the foundation levels and that and other factors meant that there was regular condensation running down walls and mildew on clothes in cupboards. A number of visits from a Housing NZ inspector had not achieved effective action to solve the problem.

    Maori people often have Housing NZ homes. Conditions for them along with opportunities to improve have languished at not very good for decades, with Labour opening the gaps and National making photographic gestures. This should be remembered when criticising the Maori Party, born in a determined groundswell to improve Maori lives and have more persuasive and political power. To support National was a desperate act forced by the patronising and halting Labour government.

  4. Tigger 4

    More vileness from WhaleOil in the latest print copy of Express (gay newspaper). Now claims that he’s not homophobic because he’s not afraid of homosexuals, then goes on to slam them as ‘shirt-lifters’. Nice to know that John Key is still happy to have his photo taken with this creature.

  5. ianmac 5

    Condensation has ventilation as a solution. If widows and doors were left open for even half an hour a day, less if its windy, the high indoor humidity would be lower and the energy required to heat would be less. You shouldn’t need to buy humidifiers. They are a con!

    • Bored 5.1

      Well said, the outside temperature most of the time is quite workable, and you can cut down on the energy required by shutting off rooms you are heating. Cant stand the mania for regular heat levels all year round through the whole house. I have an enclosed log burner, its an absolute marvel at drying out the house.

    • prosaic 5.2

      Except when you live in a damp and wet environment with loads of rain–such as West Auckland in winter–as many HNZ clients, inlcuding huge numbers of Maori and PI, do.

      • Bored 5.2.1

        True, horses for courses I suppose. Cant see why houses cant be built for the conditions of their locality without having to take recourse to dehumidifiers, heat pumps etc. Time to ramp up State housing to replace stock with sustainable buildings.

    • uke 5.3

      Thanks for the tip Ianmac – condensation is killing us this winter. Can’t afford dehumidifier or heat-pump.

    • Lanthanide 5.4

      Do you mean dehumidifiers?

      • ianmac 5.4.1

        Yep.Sorry. Friend on live aboard boat bought a dehumidifier for the boat and I persuaded him to keep the forward and aft hatch cracked open and the air circulating even when not aboard. He later sold his dehumidifier.

    • felix 5.5

      Yes cheers ianmac for the sound tip.

      Is “heat pumping” just a re-branding of “air conditioning”?

      • Lanthanide 5.5.1

        No. Air conditioning is the process whereby you make the inside of your house cold and subsequently the outside a little bit hotter. In dense American cities this does actually raise their outdoor temperature by a few degrees.

        A heat pump is an air conditioner that can also go in reverse – warming your house up while cooling down the outside environment.

        So ‘air conditioners’ cannot heat your house, while a heat pump can both heat and cool your house. Heat pumps have been pretty common in NZ for at least the last 15 years or so, but not so common in America where most they generally use an air conditioner for cooling, and if heating is required they use a gas/oil/coal furnace in the basement as it is more cost effective (shame about the pollution, though).

        • Draco T Bastard


          A heat pump merely pumps the heat from one volume of gas to another using compression/decompression of a gas (usually inert) between two radiators. They have always been reversible. The difference between an air-conditioner and a heat pump is that A) the radiators are the same size, are usually located outside and close together and b) the conditioned air (dehumidified, heated or cooled) is then pumped to where it’s wanted whereas with heat pumps one radiator (the largest) is outside, the other (the smallest) is inside, there’s no dehumidifying of the air in the building (unless it’s running in reverse) and it’s less efficient to run in “reverse” (cooling the inside) due to the smaller radiator.

          • felix

            Thanks for that Draco.

          • BLiP

            Personally, I prefer the dual control home temperature management system previously referred to as windows+fireplace.

            • Draco T Bastard

              The fireplace is unsustainable.

              • Armchair Critic

                In what sense? I thought burning wood was carbon-neutral.

              • BLiP

                Its my guilty secret – there’s just something so satisfying at a primeval level about foraging for the fuel, heaving the axe reducing logs into suitably-sized chunks, and the mastery in getting it ablaze with just one match. Flicking a switch just doesn’t do it for me. There’s not many alternative outlets for such futile demonstrations of manliness in these office-bound modern days, alas. There’s always the barbeque, I suppose.

    • prism 5.6

      Dehumidifiers also expensive as I found out after I purchased thinking they would be cheaper than heater.

      • Descendant Of Smith 5.6.1

        My father-in-law has (now had) been installing both air conditioning and heat pumps for well over 25 years.

        We used to wind him up by telling that we were using a water cooled fan to cool the house down in summer. He lived in a different city so couldn’t see what we were doing. When one day he again moaned about the ineffectiveness and the humidity we told him it was OK because we had now bought a dehumidifier and ran that beside it.

        One of the few times I ever saw him speechless.

  6. Pete 6

    WTF John Hartevelt?:

    Of an entire article on Key’s latest trip overseas we only get a sentence of substance:
    “We would be very concerned if we saw the US, the EU and Australia either getting a better deal than us or getting a deal without us because we think we have equally as strong a case as they do.”

    And, even then, it’s Key doing another us-n-them comparison that National MPs are so fond of – surely there was more worthwhile to report (I’m giving Key the benefit of the doubt here).

    We also get another four word statement that NZ is “in pretty good shape” – that’s it.

    The rest is all about Key hilariously discussing having Richie McCaw tasered is he loses the World Cup next year, and knighting him if he wins, and a bit about his trip to the FIFA World Cup.

    Absolute rubbish dressed up as news.


    • ianmac 6.1

      Bryce sent me this Pete. Thought of the being eaten “joke.”

      “All Blacks captain Richie McCaw should watch his back – because Prime Minister John Key says he risks getting tasered if he fails to win the Rugby World Cup next year.”

      “Key this morning addressed an audience of Kiwi businessmen in the Korean capital, Seoul.
      He joked that he had given McCaw the hard word about clinching the World Cup when New Zealand hosts the tournament next year.”I’ve tried to tell Richie McCaw that it’s very important – it’s an election year,” Key said. If McCaw won the cup “he may well become Sir Richard McCaw”.“Now I’ve encouraged him to get to know the Minister of Police, because I’ve decided that if he doesn’t win the World Cup, maybe we could consider tasering him as well,” Key said. “There is sort of an option either way there – we are an incentive based political party.”

      • uke 6.1.1

        Shades of “we begin bombing in five minutes…” – these statements are always jumping like toads out of the mouth of the Right-winger.

        • Tigger

          I love how he says that they’re an ‘incentive’ based party. You win, you get a knighthood, you lose you get tasered…I couldn’t satirize them any better than that!

          • logie97

            John Key, in an interview prior to the election, declared disinterest in rugby in 1981. Yeah Right.

  7. Gawd I just listened to Hooton on National Radio. I think I should avoid him because he is clearly insane.

    He said that the Teacher’s union is a “militant” union. He actually spat it out a number of times.

    How militant are they? I have not seen any picket lines outside primary schools where strike breakers are subject to ridicule. I am not aware of any visits to the Soviet Union made by the upper echelons where they receive their instructions about their role in the long march to socialist nirvana. I can’t even remember the last time they went on strike.

    All they are saying is that National Standards is a pile of doggie poo and they cannot make it work. They also want resources so that they can provide real assistance to kids who need the help. They definately do not need to do more testing to identify those kids because they already know who they are.

    Typical right argument. Brand then dismiss your enemy.

    • Jim Nald 7.1

      I thought Hooton himself sounded and came across militant. Eh?

      • ianmac 7.1.1

        Hooton does that every time. Has sometimes a reasonable discussion then throws out the tag lines of the week. And by repetition they enter the consciousness as evidenced by our noticing. Not so sure that those who listen on National Radio are necessarily persuaded though?

    • query 7.2

      The Soviet Union doesn’t exist anymore.

      Rather than a “pile of doggie poo” that they “cannot make work” I thought their concerns were as below.

      1. “The intended National Standards system wrongly assumes that children are failing if they do not meet the standard for their age”
      2. The potential for harm that “repeated labelling of many young children as failures” can cause to both learning and motivation
      3. The damage that will occur to our students and our world class education system if the performance of children against the “standards” is reported publicly, as has happened internationally
      4. The limited nature of the descriptions and standards without effective moderation will mean the information will be inconsistent and therefore unreliable

      That the MOE and Minster can’t get together with the principals and nut this out boggles the imagination.

      • mickysavage 7.2.1

        The Soviet Union doesn’t exist anymore.

        I am well aware of that but I am not sure that matty boy is …

        Your synopsis of concerns is good. I do not read it as being so different to my more base description.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.2

        It’s not that they can’t but that the minister won’t!

    • prism 7.3

      Did Hooton go to one of those boys schools where they specialise in turning out young men obedient to the expedient when posited by wealthy authority? The fact that teachers may be acting out of both superior knowledge, integrity and pragmatism doesn’t seem to enter his little head.

    • Dan 7.4

      Hooten often trots out the next lot of Crosby Textor dog whistling. The militancy of teacher associations is no more than a reasonably organised political party such as the NACTS. What threatens the NACTS and Hooten so much is the general common sense of the teacher groups, their inability to be suckered by the market system, and their remarkable affability with parents and boards.
      Hooten, get real. Parents couldn’t give a stuff about national standards: they get a ton of information already. Teachers don’t want a bar of performance pay: they prefer the collegiality rather than scraping over who is best.
      Bulk-funding is a nonsense where the government hides behind the winner schools (those with young staff) while the loser schools (those with older experienced staff) do without.

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