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Open mike 07/12/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 7th, 2021 - 106 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

106 comments on “Open mike 07/12/2021 ”

  1. Sacha 1

    Toby Manhire on Luxon's caucus shuffle https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/06-12-2021/skills-ethics-and-grunt-has-chris-luxon-shuffled-up-a-winning-pack

    If there’s symbolism, perhaps, it’s that he is focusing on managing the group, very much in the CEO mould. “I want to be able to float,” said Luxon.

    “The lineup I’m announcing today is based on merit and matches people to their strengths and skill sets,” he added, in full chief executive mode. I’d love to review the KPIs, sit in on the performance reviews. “In the vision of performance, we will have another little review inside ourselves in 12 months.” He wants to float. He wants us to look inside ourselves. May the force be with you.

    • Sacha 1.1

      The man with the funny shoes is faithful.

      • Sacha 1.1.1

        Some folk are more cynical.

      • swordfish 1.1.2

        Interesting Hooton influence there … for some reason, a couple of years ago he wanted to reprise National's very unsuccessful 1972 Election Campaign slogan: "Man for Man the Strongest Team" … albeit updated for 21st Century sensibilities.

        Looks like the Nats are now running with this recalibrated slogan.

    • Dennis Frank 1.2

      The biggest surge, however, is Erica Stanford. She jumps 18 rungs to No 7, and adds education to the immigration role in which she has proved tenacious and conscientious. (Disappointingly, she has not been given Corrections, meaning that the "Stanford prison experiment" headline must be saved for another day.)

      I wonder how many readers will have to look it up? Oft featuring in popular psychology books & cultural analyses, it not only has a wiki but also its own website: https://www.prisonexp.org/

      Todd McClay plummets from sixth in Collins' last shadow cabinet to the swirl of the unranked. He has trade and tourism, however, which makes his unranked status puzzling.

      Only if you haven't noticed the intensity of his prolonged attempt to hunt down & surpass Hilary Clinton's track record (longest prominent political career whilst never saying anything intelligent). Obviously Luxon noticed.

      After a short stint in the nebulous role of shadow treasurer, Collins ally Andrew Bayly falls 12 spots to 15, but has a grab-bag of significant roles including small business, manufacturing, commerce and revenue. Bayly's double-act with Michael Woodhouse was a total fizzer; the former finance spokesperson is left clinging on to a top-20 role, down 14 to 18th. Another staunch Collins supporter, David Bennett, hangs on to the shadow cabinet by the skin of his teeth, coming in nine places lower at No 20, losing transport, where he's been mostly invisible, and gaining regional economic development.

      Sending these guys a message to stop fizzing and go bang. Kind of him to retain the deadwood though, eh? Kindness is trendy.

      According to my data journalism division, more than 21 per cent of the current National caucus either is now or has been the leader or deputy leader of the party.

      Data journalism, eh? Swordfish take note! I guess we could call this subgroup of their caucus the rotating leadership cabal.

      The new leader had promised to involve them in significant spots. He didn't really mean it. Judith Collins drops 18 rungs to 19th, and she gets – checks notes – research, science, innovation and technology. "Judith has a real passion for the portfolio she's been offered there … She cares very deeply about it," said Luxon, unconvincingly.

      I look forward to JC producing an analysis of cutting-edge tech trends with serious political implications. Oh, but they'd never release it. Of course.

      • RedLogix 1.2.1

        Well from our very own sidebar there is this issue tailor made for JC to sink her teeth into:

        As a defender of free speech, I sometimes feel like a man falling through a collapsing building. Just when you think you’ve finally reached rock bottom, the floor gives way again. That was my sensation last week when I read about the disciplinary investigation of Professor Garth Cooper by the Royal Society of New Zealand.

        • Anker 1.2.1.1

          https://www.gisborneherald.co.nz/column/opinion/20211205/free-speech-under-attack/

          This is incredibly worrying. One of the 7 scientists wrote the respectful letter to the Listener is a Maori. He is being investigated by the Royal Society. WTF

          • RedLogix 1.2.1.1.1

            I attended UofA many decades ago as a very lowly undergrad. The sound STEM education I received has served me very well ever since. I've worked in engineering and heavy industry fields all my life. At the same time I've been a long-standing member of a faith community also most of my life.

            Both shape and inform my life, but I can tell the difference between them. And Maori mythology is a religious schema – not a science. That the peak science body in this country refuses to acknowledge this simple distinction – is evidence not so much that they're idiots, but that they're all cowards.

            • francesca 1.2.1.1.1.1

              I find it strange that there is such eagerness for Maori cultural understandings to be endorsed by and subsumed into the European developed method that we call science

              • RedLogix

                All pre-industrial societies survived on a body of 'observational knowledge', handed from generation to generation. In most instances it was often sophisticated and complex in detail, but usually framed in mythological or superstitious terms that constrained it's usefulness.

                As an example – for millennia various isolated individuals understood and worked with the rudiments of electric charge and batteries. It was an observational knowledge that appears in fragmentary archeological records. But it was not until the scientific revolution formalised strutures of hypothesis, experiment and evidence, that individuals like Kirchoff and Maxwell could transform our knowledge of electricity into the universal, world changing tool it has become.

                It's perfectly possible to value and respect both bodies of knowledge, without the completely failing to distinguish between the two. On this wider theme you may enjoy this essay, that's energetically expressive – if a tad unhinged devil:

                But beyond that more obvious stuff is the way the wasp venom of indulgence conflates and blunts the capacity to tell the difference between 'discrimination' and critical discernment, 'humanity' and narcissism, 'dignity' and caricature, ‘rights’ and entitlements, 'inclusion' and opportunistic colonization, ‘humanistic compassion’ and an indiscriminate soft touch, ‘freedom’ and disinhibited life without boundaries, ‘authoritarianism’ and firmness, ‘justice’ and sectional interest, 'fairness', special pleading and excuse making, ‘tolerance’ and indulgence, ‘respect’ and unjustified regard, ‘compromise’ and being compromised, 'flexibility’ and weakness, ‘concern for ‘the value of human life’ and cowardice, ‘dissent’ and treason, ‘repression’ and discipline, ‘assault’ and chastisement, ‘abuse’ and toughness, and 'violence' and the legitimate use of force.

              • Robert Guyton

                “I find it strange…”
                I don’t, Francesca.
                “About time”, is what I think.

                • francesca

                  Well Robert, as far as gardening goes and some medical things(I've been a long time user of flax gunk on intractable sores and wounds) I do take note of and follow Maori lore.."where were you when the riroriro were singing?"…time to get the kumara started, although it's really a little red hen retort

                  And hearing the arrival of the shining cuckoo ,I know it's spring..as if I didn't otherwise.And I love that kind of knowledge, but it's a beautiful narrative that also makes sense, not a rigorous discipline.

                  As to why and how all this magic happens, the minutiae of soil science and plant disease, wound healing, the behaviour of microrganisms, how my body works, the endicrinology system, and the endless and ongoing development of all this knowledge, I turn to western science for that.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Thanks, francesca.

                    So, you use "flax gunk" and find it effective (“long-time user") and in order to understand the why and how, you've turned to western science, and now you are assured.

                    Without that scientific confirmation, you wouldn't continue with that practice.

                    Yes?

                    Or no 🙂

                    • francesca

                      I am always curious , and the western scientific method which might tell me why this works, what compounds are in play etc engenders even more of a sense of wonder.I would keep using the gunk without the science behind it because it works for me, knowing why it works is a huge buzz.

                      Science for me is hugely exciting

                    • Robert Guyton

                      I too, use "flax gunk" where needed.

                      Being curious is the most admirable of human characteristics, imo.

                      Yes, "knowing why it works" is a huge buzz.

                      Knowing that it works is pretty satisfying also 🙂

                      Good science, I believe, requires good imagination.

                      That doesn't sound right!

                      Does it?

                    • francesca

                      No option for reply with your last comment

                      Matauranga uses observation and notes that certain plants work for certain complaints for example.

                      European science also begins with observation and intuition then continues to find out why it works, what are the pathways , what are the recommended doses, what is the best delivery, can we upscale and synthesise , endless trials and safety data to minimise accidental death

                      It's different , It's the European methodology

                    • Robert Guyton

                      European pharmaceutical methodology includes employing intuition??

                      Are you sure, francesca?

                      Kinda felt they'd stamped that airy-fairy stuff out long ago.

                    • francesca []

                      Researchers very often start with a hunch,medical or otherwise,form a hypothesis and test it

                    • Robert Guyton

                      "Researchers often start with a hunch…"

                      Indeed they do, and stooping over a microscope is often cited as the reason for that.

                      Intuition and imagination are the most powerful tools in the scientist/tohunga's bag of (magic) tricks.

                      You and I seem to share a confidence in this.

              • swordfish

                .

                Extreme self-indulgence of the affluent culturalist Woke … narcisssists prioritising prestige enhancement over all else (defend highly privileged class position & increasingly authoritarian accumulation of power by signalling "unique moral goodness" via the ritualistic repetition of various abstract codes of belief … including a deeply paternalistic-heroic rescuer Noble Savage / Exotic Other Romanticism regarding indigenous people in general).

            • KJT 1.2.1.1.1.2

              You don't think that refraining from living on a fault line is "science" derived from observation? Even if it is addressed as "mythological" understanding. It meets the "science" requirements of observed and consistent, repeatable reality.

              However I will join you in objecting to the suppression of"free speech".

              • francesca

                Once again , it's what we mean by science.

                The sun comes up every morning .I know that with a fair degree of reliability.Day after day, the observation is repeated.

                The scientific knowledge of our solar system, and our place in it, and what's actually happening during our orbit, goes beyond the observational(with the naked eye)

                • KJT

                  Observation is a large part of science.

                  In fact a lot of the more detailed understanding we have is because of better methods of observation.
                  Particle accelerators instead of optical microscopes.
                  Newtonian physics is not invalidated by our nowadays much more detailed observation of quantum physics. Neither is Polynesian navigation..

                  Polynesian navigation to name just one example, entirely fits the definition of "science".

                  As someone proffesionally trained in "Western" Navigation, which actually mostly originated in China and the far East BTW, I can appreciate the skills in observation and what we would call “scientific research” that it involved.

                  Noting that most of the criticism of science is in reality criticicism of people that didn’t follow the “science”. Like the paid “researchers” for tobacco or oil companies.

                  • Sacha

                    Knowledge is also broader than science.

                    • roblogic

                      Astrology might tell us lots of interesting stories but it's useless for plotting the trajectory of a rocket to the Moon.

                    • Gezza

                      Basically what we like to call “pure science” is physics & chemistry + mathematics.

                      Other sciences seem to me to be basically observational studies & analysis, & on that score matauranga Māori is based on observational science every bit as much as other earth sciences are.

                      The difficulty we seem to get into is that much of it is wrapped within Māori folklore & atua stories as a way of ensuring it was remembered and respected. The mythology parts of it are what scientists seem to mostly object to. Diverting roadways because a taniwha supposedly lives there, kind of stuff.

                      Rather than get into heated debates over whether matauranga Māori is “science”, we might do better to define Enlightenment or “pure” science, perhaps.

                      There are certainly areas of Māori traditional knowledge & practices relating to botanical knowledge & medicinal or chemical properties of native plants, trees & shrubs that are attracting the current interest of university & maybe even some commercial researchers looking for useful products & medicines etc.

                  • francesca

                    Observation is a large part of science.I agree , so is intuition.But science doesn't stop there.

                    Yes, observation (as in Capt Cook, transit of Venus)is aided by the invention of telescopes and chronometers etc.I'd put them in the category of scientific advance.

                    As far as I'm concerned it's not a put down or dismissal of Maori knowledge to say that it doesn't fit the definition of European science(the scientific method)

                    Why not have both ?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      "Why not have both ?"

                      That's the proposal.

                    • Gezza

                      You can, & we should.

                      Part of the problem is that the word “science” has been debased – or redefined – by its use being extended to cover very broad range of fields of study at universities.

                      I mean, for example, “political science”? What is scientific about politics?

                  • francesca

                    Cool, you won’t have objection to hesitant Maori vaxers turning to kawakawa instead of Pfizer.
                    When I say both , we can have them in separate kete, we don’t have to shoe horn them into the same box

                    • francesca

                      Matauranga is Maori science , there may be some resemblances, but it isn't European science .No value judgement in that statement

                      Both have limitations

                      This debate is starting to resemble the whole trans activist thing where language has to do the work of the current orthodoxies in the name of inclusion.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      "Cool, you won’t have objection to hesitant Maori vaxers turning to kawakawa instead of Pfizer."

                      No more objection than I'd have to hesitant Pakeha vaxers turning to parsley instead of Pfizer.

                      No worries, aye!

                    • swordfish

                      .

                      For a useful critque guaranteed to upset our wonderfully "moral" (LOL) Noble Savage Romanticists:

                      SCIENCE AND MĀTAURANGA MĀORI – Elizabeth Rata's Blog

                      click on download half-way down.

                    • weka

                      Matauranga is Maori science , there may be some resemblances, but it isn't European science .No value judgement in that statement

                      Both have limitations

                      Afaik te kupu 'matauranga' means knowledge, not science. Science is a part of it, it's not the whole thing itself.

                      True that both have limitations. The problem we have is that science wants to be the boss and matauranga wants plurality. Also, science is reductionist by nature, matauranga is based in systems thinking, so while there are two sides to a coin, one side opens into multiple options and the other continues to narrow things down including its own ability to see outside its own self.

                      that last bit is tripping us up. Science heads resist it, but it's possible that if they give up the reductionist stuff they won't be able to do science. Equally, for system thinkers, if science is applied to how kawakawa works too rigourously, it might break some of the power that kawakawa has (which is intrinsically in the relationship between the plant/healer and the person needing healing. Sorry science, but you cannot study that very well with your current tools). I don't think science heads care about that, because science is god. The rest of us are going, holy fuck, here comes the collapse of nature.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      I don't think science heads care about that, because science is god.

                      This sort of attitude is just what's needed if we really want to see clearly the contributions of science, and other ways of knowing, to an understanding of reality. Imho scientific understand always reveals new mysteries – it never ends…

                      Did you know that some 'science heads' have been attempting to horn in on those other ways of knowing – when will these johnny-come-lately learn?!

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systems_science

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antireductionism

                    • Robert Guyton

                      horn/hone

                      slip, cup, lip.

                    • weka

                      I don't think science heads care about that, because science is god.

                      This sort of attitude is just what's needed if we really want to see clearly the contributions of science, and other ways of knowing, to an understanding of reality. Imho scientific understand always reveals new mysteries – it never ends…

                      DKM, you think it's good that science doesn't care about what it breaks?

                      Did you know that some 'science heads' have been attempting to horn in on those other ways of knowing – when will these johnny-come-lately learn?!

                      Horn in being the operative word. Very patriarchal. Here's another way: adopt a philosophy that allows for multiple ways of understanding, science being one of them, and then no horning in is necessary.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      weka, my “this sort of attitude” comment was provoked by your apparent attitude towards “science heads” and their supposed “science is god” beliefs. Should I bite my tongue?

                      https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/horn%20in

                      As long as some on each 'side' (science vs other ways of knowing) are wedded to propagating division and exclusion, progress will be slower than it needs to be. One could argue that there's a need to slow down 'progress' in selected areas, but dampening curiosity is problematic.

                      I like to think of myself as an open-minded 'science head' (if that term was intended to be pejorative, then I choose not to take it that way) . To me it means being curious (wanting not only to know, but also to understand), and skeptical – regularly reminding myself that my current knowledge and understanding ranges somewhere between non-existent (or flat-out wrong), and incomplete. Which is great; to me that's what makes science such a fantastic adventure – a continually evolving journey of discovery – an exploration of reality.

                      Science isn't the only way to know and understand reality, but imo it has a place, especially for the curious. Disclaimer: I'm a 'cat person'.

                    • weka

                      weka, my “this sort of attitude” comment was provoked by your apparent attitude towards “science heads” and their supposed “science is god” beliefs. Should I bite my tongue?

                      No, you could instead explain your thinking. What I saw was you taking a sound bite from my detailed comment, out of context, and saying something about it that appeared to be approving of science breaking things. If that's not what you mean then please explain what you did mean.

                      If you wanted to just talk generally about my attitude towards science, then my suggestion is don't sound bite quote from my comment but just reply directly with what you are thinking about the whole 👍

                      https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/horn%20in

                      Ok, so what you meant was,

                      Did you know that some 'science heads' have been attempting to join in without invitation or consent on those other ways of knowing – when will these johnny-come-lately learn?!

                      I have no idea what you are trying to say. That science wants to colonise other ways of knowing? Instead of giving me a dictionary definition and expecting me to mind read, please just explain what you are meaning. Then we can converse.

                      As long as some on each 'side' (science vs other ways of knowing) are wedded to propagating division and exclusion, progress will be slower than it needs to be. One could argue that there's a need to slow down 'progress' in selected areas, but dampening curiosity is problematic.

                      It's science that is creating the binary division. Other ways of knowing already include science. Science wants to be the boss.

                      There's nothing about other ways of knowing that involves damping curiosity, where did you get that idea from?

                      Science isn't the only way to know and understand reality, but imo it has a place, especially for the curious. Disclaimer: I'm a 'cat person'.

                      Ae, it has a place. This is the point 👍

                      To give you an idea of what I have been meaning about science heads wanting to be boss,

                      I ain't no scientism-ist. But it's the best technique that human civ has devised to understand the mechanics of how stuff works.

                      .https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-05-12-2021/#comment-1840078

                      That position closes the door on the best understanding coming from science and otherways of knowing. Again, it's the science heads that are making it either/or.

                    • roblogic

                      Science is not my "god" as some continue to obnoxiously assert. But there is a fairly well defined line between established testable scientific knowledge that is based on a quantifiable and experimental evidence, and traditional folk wisdom.

                      Both have their place. But attempting to shoehorn cultural mythologies into the domain of "science" looks to me like donning a white coat and calling oneself a doctor. It's not accurate.

                    • weka

                      I know science isn't your god, you have your own religious faith. But that's not what I am saying. I'm saying people who hold science up as the best way of knowing treat science as if it's the best way of knowing. 'science as god' is a metaphor.

                      But there is a fairly well defined line between established testable scientific knowledge that is based on a quantifiable and experimental evidence, and traditional folk wisdom.

                      Here's the problem: framing traditional folk wisdom as if it's not based on empiricism. You think the old wives just made shit up?

                      Both have their place. But attempting to shoehorn cultural mythologies into the domain of "science" looks to me like donning a white coat and calling oneself a doctor. It's not accurate.

                      Is that actually being done? What would be a specific example?

                    • roblogic

                      If matauranga Maori can be added to the official curriculum then so should the Christian foundations of Western culture. Seriously.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      What I saw was you taking a sound bite from my detailed comment, out of context, and saying something about it that appeared to be approving of science breaking things.

                      @weka (6:08 pm): That sound bite from your detailed comment contained the term "science head" and the phrase "science is god". The purpose was to highlight your use of those terms/phrases.

                      The purpose of my main paragraph ("This sort of attitude…") was to critique your use of those terms by way of sarcasm, and I apologise for that, but hope you can understand what triggered me to respond in such a provocative/confusing fashion – science occupies a prominent position in (forming) my worldview. In spite of its manifold imperfections, I unashamedly value 'science' – it’s only human.

                      Hopefully we both want a genuine discussion about what and how science and other ways of knowing can contribute to understanding, and can have that discussion without resorting to "science head" and 'non-science head' jibes. Imho "breaking things' is generally a poor approach to solving problems (regardless of what/who is doing the breaking), although it may occassionally have it's place.

                      Science isn't the only way to know and understand reality, but imo it has a place, especially for the curious. Disclaimer: I'm a 'cat person'.

                      Ae, it has a place. This is the point

                      Yes, this is both our points – we agree. This unashamed 'science head' believes that all ways of knowing are worthy of critical consideration, be they tradition-based, science-based, other-based, or some overlap of multiple ways.

                      I have no idea what you are trying to say. That science wants to colonise other ways of knowing?

                      That's helpful, thanks – trying to put it into words: that 'science' (or at least some scientists; 'science' is large and unwieldy), are well aware of other ways of knowing. and that the knowledge generated by these other ways informs both their research and their methods.

                      As for "Science wants to be the boss.", well, most of us wouldn't mind being the boss on occasion. I'm just happy that science managed to secure a place at the table a few centuries back, or it would have been curtains for me.

                      There's nothing about other ways of knowing that involves damping curiosity, where did you get that idea from?

                      I assumed that there would have been times, during the development of knowledge via those other ways of knowing, when individuals might have sought to suppress (further) enquiry. For example, the positions of influence that 'medicine men', wise women, shamans and priests/priestesses held in traditional and/or older cultures might depend to some extent on keeping secrets and discouraging questions. Maintaining the influence of the Delphi oracle, and the heresy of heliocentrism, spring to mind as examples.

                      "I ain't no scientism-ist. But it's the best technique that human civ has devised to understand the mechanics of how stuff works."

                      That position closes the door on the best understanding coming from science and otherways of knowing. Again, it's the science heads that are making it either/or.

                      I prefer to leave the 'door' ajar – always leave room for doubt.

                      Western science and traditional knowledge: Despite their variations, different forms of knowledge can learn from each other [May 2006]
                      These considerations seem to be particularly relevant for studying biological, ecological and social phenomena that include different levels of complexity. As already mentioned, the Western tradition of thinking is developing a different approach to gaining knowledge from complex systems, but it would be equally useful to learn how traditional approaches explain such complexity. Not only are they more holistic, but also they seem to be better suited to coping with the uncertainty and unpredictability that are viewed as intrinsic characteristics of natural systems. Western science and traditional knowledge constitute different paths to knowledge, but they are rooted in the same reality. We can only gain from paying attention to our cultural history and richness.

                    • weka

                      @roblogic

                      If matauranga Maori can be added to the official curriculum then so should the Christian foundations of Western culture. Seriously.

                      with all due respect, I think you have a mistaken idea about what mātauranga Māori is. Sacha just posted a list of links that include this,

                      Mātauranga Māori spans Māori knowledge, culture, values and world view. Pūrākau and maramataka, forms of mātauranga Māori, comprise knowledge generated using methods and techniques
                      developed independently from other knowledge systems. Hitherto mostly ignored or disregarded by the science community because it seemed to be myth and legend, fantastic and implausible, mātauranga Māori includes knowledge generated using techniques consistent with the scientific method, but explained according to a Māori world view. Acknowledging this extends the history of scientific endeavour back to when Māori arrived in Aotearoa and Te Wai Pounamu, many centuries ago

                      https://resiliencechallenge.nz/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Hikuroa-2017.pdf

                      https://maoridictionary.co.nz/

                      The way I think about it is that when Māori arrived in NZ, did they learn what to eat here by prayer and using mythologies from other lands, or did they have methods of empiricism that enabled them to learn what could be eaten and what could be not? It seems extremely unlikely to me that they had no empirical methods for learning how to live here.

                      In the West we separate religion and science, in te ao Māori, there's an integration. To the Western mind this looks crazy, to Māori and decolonised minds it makes sense and works. The argument at the moment is whether the western mind can be taught the value of the whole systems thinking.

                    • weka

                      @DMK,

                      Thanks for clarifying! I find sarcasm a poor mix with philosophy unless I am following someone on twitter whose work I understand and know. But for conversation, I'm always better if people speak straight.

                      Yes, I'm speaking provocatively. However I personally don't see science head as a pejorative any more than I see geek as an insult when talking about tech heads. I'm curious why you took it as a insult, and also if you have a term that you prefer (I'm not especially attached to my term).

                      I also appreciate you taking the time to make your own position clear. I think it's fair to say that we have overlap in our beliefs that may lend to some interesting conversations. Much of my challenge here is for those who treat science as god, but listening to you I'm not sure this applies to you.

                      I've given you the example of the discussion with rob, who does appear to see science as being the best and at the top of the hierarchy. This creates all sorts of problems which I am trying to name.

                      Yes, some scientists are aware of other ways of knowing. Some also are multilingual in ways of knowing. My comments here are more about the people who have certains philosophical beliefs about science (whether those people are scientists or not).

                      Re damping curiosity, the irony here is that it's now the other ways of knowing that are being shut down. And I was thinking about science now not in the past. Are you thinking that science may end up not being acceptable?

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      I'm curious why you took it [the term 'science head'] as a insult…

                      Might have something to do with the negative way that form of labelling is used in other contexts – you must know some of them: 'petrol head', "piss head", 'pothead', 'big-head', 'butt-head', etc., etc.

                      Maybe there are some complimentary examples too [Wisehead? Nope, even that's not too good.] – would be interestng wink

                      Happy to close the door on whether you intended "science head" to be an insult – most people can spot one, especially if they're hit over the head a few times.

                      Re damping curiosity, the irony here is that it's now the other ways of knowing that are being shut down. And I was thinking about science now not in the past.

                      I interpreted your original comment:

                      There's nothing about other ways of knowing that involves damping curiosity, where did you get that idea from?

                      as suggesting that these (historical and current) other ways of knowing were/are free of influences that might dampen curiosity, but since knowledge is power that seems unlikely to be universally true of any way of knowing – human behaviour 101.

                      Are you thinking that science may end up not being acceptable?

                      Other ways of thinking, including non- and/or unscientific ways, may gain traction over time – certainly if modern civilisation collapses then the odds would be better than even, imho.

                      It seems increasingly common for people to bemoan that they, or a cause/idea they support, is being shut down, so maybe you have a point about other ways of knowing being shut down. I can think of a few examples of other ways of knowing, and practises derived from same, that science has attempted to ‘get to the bottom of‘, and so shut down, albeit sometimes with little success. For example, homeopathic 'medicine'.

                      Re homeopathy, I remember back to a paper published in the highly-regarded scientific journal Nature – made a bit of a splash at the time! Fortunately science is largely self-correcting (some corrections take longer than others); probably goes for most other ways of knowing as well – trial, error, all that. And so the homeopathy door closed a little further (for me) – still ajar though.

                      Water memory
                      Water memory contradicts current scientific understanding of physical chemistry and is generally not accepted by the scientific community. In 1988, Jacques Benveniste published a study supporting a water memory effect amid controversy in Nature, accompanied by an editorial by Nature's editor John Maddox urging readers to "suspend judgement" until the results could be replicated. In the years after publication, multiple supervised experiments were made by Benveniste's team, the United States Department of Defense, BBC's Horizon programme, and other researchers, but no one has ever reproduced Benveniste's results under controlled conditions.

                    • roblogic

                      "In the West we separate religion and science, in te ao Māori, there's an integration. To the Western mind this looks crazy, to Māori and decolonised minds it makes sense and works."

                      I don't think Galileo would agree with that attitude. The last 3 or 4 centuries since the Enlightenment have seen the establishment of science as an independent domain of study, before that it was tangled up with theology and particular interpretations of holy scripture. (also, science isn’t an exclusively western phenomenon.. that’s a rather eurocentric view)

                      Forgive my skepticism.

            • Byd0nz 1.2.1.1.1.3

              That sounds very abusive RL, especially from a moderator who deletes other peoples posts for alleged abuse. Shame on you

            • swordfish 1.2.1.1.1.4

              SCIENCE AND MĀTAURANGA MĀORI – Elizabeth Rata's Blog

              Half-way down … click on the black download button.

              • Anker

                That is a great article thank you Swordfish. Very clear. I know feel better informed about what distinguishes science from Matauranga Maori.

                I guess it occurs to me if scientists were wanting to say they are exactly the same as Matauranga Maori, some wouldn't like that. Like with the haka.

                If its o.k. for one culture to set boundaries around their toanga, then why not another?

                • francesca

                  Ive got a feeling not everyone’s read the article, and are bringing to the discussion their own beefs about colonisation , or beefs about having to accomodate new definitions in the name of inclusion .
                  I’ve only read it thanks to Swordfish .Thanks!

              • RedLogix

                Thanks. Finally got around to reading it. Makes it's case very clearly and well worth the read.

                Frankly people who think Matauranga Maori and science are on an equal footing fall into one of two camps; those who don't know enough science to understand how preposterous this claim is, or those who do but are too cowardly to say so.

                Another parallel example would be Traditional Chinese Medicine – a completely different model of how the body works that personally I find quite fascinating – but isn’t science.

                • gsays

                  Your mention of Chinese medicine reminds me of our experience of it.

                  We were facing fertility issues and endometriosis. The G.P. and other experts weren't making progress and we ended up with the conclusion that pregnancy would help alleviate the endo.

                  Partly despair, partly curiosity we went to Wellington to see a Chinese herbalist. His initial consult was in stark contrast to what we had experienced prior. Very holistic enquiry, to the point of 'What has that got to do with anything?'.

                  He ended up 'prescribing' 2 lots of pills. One, were once a day, the other (looked like a licorice ball), once a week. I clearly remember him, at the end of the consult, putting his arm around my wife's shoulders, saying "You will have a baby". Needless to say, just short of 20 years ago we were blessed with a son.

                  You may not view it as science but my experience tells me it works.

                  This doesn't mean Chinese good, Western bad.

                  Commerce's tendrils can and does undermine, influence and taint science. G.P.s getting perks for shifting a certain amount of product. Big Pharma skewing or omitting trial results.

                  The hillbilly heroin epidemic comes to mind. Sackler family, Purdue Pharma and Oxycontin is an example of the worst excesses of this.

                  Part of the Vax hesitancy is down to deep mistrust of the industry and the science.

          • Rosemary McDonald 1.2.1.1.2

            I've been following that particular little shit storm…our defender of scientific truth and pink coiffure did not cover herself in glory at all. Shouldn't we have done our research before launching into the rabble rousing?

            • francesca 1.2.1.1.2.1

              ??

              I missed it

              • francesca

                Got it!

                Siouxsie joined in with the outrage

                • Anker

                  I think Siouxsie might have started it. For goodness sake, ganging up like that. Seems like she might have been trying to have them cancelled.

                  Very ironic when is Maori. Why not write a counter article articulating why she disagrees with them.?

                  • Sacha

                    There have been plenty of considered, articulate responses since July. Here is a very brief one: https://scientists.org.nz/resources/Documents/PressReleases/NZAS-M%C4%81tauranga%20and%20Science.pdf

                    This is only being stirred up again now because the freeze peach brigade have too many credulous repeaters. Colonial racism is easy.

                    • Rosemary McDonald

                      freeze peach

                      Oooh! Is that the shade of pink? Thanks, my haidresser was asking as she gets so many inquiries from keen emulators.wink

                    • weka

                      thanks, great link.

                      tbf, I think a lot of people have a mistaken understanding of what mātauranga Māori is, and think it's just about myths, legends and religious belief.

                    • Anker

                      As I said the issue for me isn't about is Matauranga Maori is science or not (although I feel better informed for reading swordfishes link).

                      My issue is that 7 academics/scientists wrote a very respectful article to the Listener, stating their opinion that Matauranga Maori isn't sciene. One of these scholars is Maori.

                      They are now being investigated by the Royal Society. I think it is a good thing the Free Speech Union is defending their right to express their professional opinion on this. Are you saying that the Maori biochemist who is one of the 7 is a colonial racist?

                      You might be interested to read the link Swordfish put up as this explains why some academics believe that Matauranga Maori isn’t science.

                    • Sacha

                      Elizabeth Rata has form. Google is your friend. Listen to Māori academic experts.

    • Blazer 1.3

      Most of them look like….'floaters'!

    • Stephen D 1.4

      Or…he'll take all the credit.

      Like all bosses do.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Rotorua MP Todd McClay says he isn't bothered after he was announced as an unranked member of the National Party caucus. McClay was one of the biggest losers in the reshuffle

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/todd-mcclay-reacts-after-dramatic-drop-in-national-party-caucus-list-from-sixth-to-unranked/ABCPA5UPFP3JDJ63T44I2MACHU/

    Clearly a master of the art of exhibiting the legendary kiwi complacency. He didn't say "The ranking was based on performance, as our leader outlined, not merit." Since those who believe they have merit often don't feel the need to prove it, it'll be interesting to see if he continues to be an empty space.

  3. Blazer 3

    Is the copybook western regime change occurring in the Solomons!-opinion…

    Solomon's Govt pivots from Taiwan/U.S patronage to China.

    With tensions rising in the region, the western security services do not want this behaviour to become contagious.

    The inter tribal rivalry in Solomons politics is fertile ground for the opposition to ferment action against the Govt.

    Organised protests escalate into rioting and violent civil disorder.

    The P.M's residence is torched.

    Clearly he needs help.Australian military respond and arrive in Honiara in the blink of an eye.

    You Kiwi's will be backing us on this…won't you…yes…very good.

    The western forces are despatched to restore order and provide stability.

    Meanwhile the Parliament becomes the scene for fierce debate ,with the primarily Malaita opposition demanding the resignation of the P.M Sogavare,who shows no signs of leaving.

    Malaita's allegience lies with Aus/U.S.

    Possible outcome -the military will intervene and declare an interim Govt,until the situation is stable.

    But don't worry democracy lovers,free elections will be held by 2023.

    • aom 3.1

      … and the interim government will be selected by???

      Oh, why bother asking. The fiasco is just a repeat of the usual manufactured 'democratic' coups where the usual suspects have been in play.

  4. Adrian 4

    To KJT, the Romans blamed Vulcanus, the Greeks Poiseidon,, the ancient Japanese a catfish named Namazu, the Norse a giant wolf called Fenis Wolf, all of whom stomped around below the surface just like Ruaumoko and the reason in Latin is 'sive deus sive dea ' roughly whichever God is pissed off with us now. Not wanting to live next to an obvious fault line is observational knowledge, clever and sensible but not science. Science is finding out where the ones you can't see are and why they are there and what causes them, using scientific methodology, not faith, belief and myth as explanation. there is not a single religious ethos that is provable, which is handy as your whole house of cards would come tumbling down if some smartarse proved otherwise, which also explains why it was nesseccary to feed him or her to the lions or burn them at a stake, ostensibly to please the gods,but really to keep the whole lucrative scam running. Much like Destiny Church, where the destiny is as much wealth as the Tamakis can accumulate.

  5. Anker 5
    • I wouldn’t pretend to be clear about what distinguishes science from other knowledge, although I have some training in what constituents good evidence. For me it’s more about seven of our very best scientists/academics voicing their view in a very respectful letter in the Listener. Next thing one of their colleagues is emailing people in the science community decrying them/organising in a very political way. Now the Royal Society is investigating them (what about holding a respectful debate instead?)….one has since died and despite being an outstanding scientist, the Royal Society, last I heard had done no obituary.
    • Sabine 5.1

      We shall all march lockstep, and anyone who deviates from that march shall be abandoned on the roadside. Signed, certain scientists that are very very woke, and very very ugly.

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    Some folks here commented on this yesterday, but it's worth noting some features of the story they didn't mention:

    Wainuiototo Bay, also known as New Chums Beach, near Whangapoua, was a privately-owned beach isolated from development. For the last decade, developers have attempted to subdivide the catchment, but their every move has been strongly opposed by Coromandel locals.

    The 30ha property was tendered for sale on behalf of receivers appointed by the Bank of New Zealand after Galt Nominees, owned by businessman George Kerr, defaulted on a mortgage. The purchase was made by the New Zealand Coastal Trust with support from mana whenua, Preserve New Chum for Everyone, the Whangapoua Beach Ratepayers Association, and the Environmental Defence Society.

    So the first feature worth noting is that collaboration between four different interest groups secured the purchase. This strikes me as a significant victory for Green consensus decision-making.

    Trustee Gary Taylor said it’s been a fantastic outcome for the public of Aotearoa New Zealand. “New Chums is one of the very few undeveloped beaches left on the eastern Coromandel Peninsula, with native bush fringing the beautiful curved white-sanded beach. It is a reminder of what our coasts used to be like.” He said the property has outstanding landscape, ecological and cultural values. “The logistical challenges of the current bid were considerable, including raising enough funds to make an unconditional offer of $2.15m in just a few short weeks.”

    Never met him, but he was Shadbolt's sidekick during the Waitemata City mayoralty years, before they had a falling out.

    “Our intention is for the headland to be managed and protected forever in the public interest. We will be seeking a protective covenant from the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust or equivalent for the land.” The trust will talk through options for the ultimate management of the land with local interests and mana whenua in the new year.

    So we'll have to wait & see. Looks like it has the potential to be a model of co-governance. Hope they all succeed with that.

  7. UncookedSelachimorpha 7

    Another great reason to get vaccinated!

  8. Foreign Waka 8

    And why do we have 300 police guarding a boarder that is in dispute of validity as months have passed to get vaccinated? The people travelling there most likely are. What an illogical argument. And yet there are no additional resources to find out who killed, maimed others, shootings, stabbings, robberies and assaults, family violence, children murdered once more in the news.

    And now we hear that it is racist to be aghast by that demand. ? What!? Are you serious?

    The people I know and meet are increasingly shifting from great! to indifferent and now getting seriously beefed with all the incompetence displayed. The next election will show the discontent very clearly. Politically, you can ignore a large majority for some time but not all of the time.

    • Pete 8.1

      And why are cops out trying to catch speeding cars? Most people travelling likely are not.

      And why are they following up on burglaries when they need to be following up on those killed, maimed, shootings, stabbings, robberies and assaults, family violence and children murdered?

      The people I know and meet are increasingly pissed off that cops have to do things like manning borders because people can't be trusted to do the right thing. People I know pleased that cops are trying to prevent such arrogant, ignorant arseholes risking lives and livelihoods of everyone in the country.

      • Foreign waka 8.1.1

        It is the people north of Auckland who haven't found it necessary to protect their people and get vaccinated. The question remains, will this border remain indefinitely like a hmmmm separate state?

  9. Jacinda 1, what's his name (also known as Leader #4 – or is it 5) 0

    Just listened to question time – Luxon not nimble on his feet. Jacinda cut the ground from under him with her first reply, but he persisted with the same line for about 4 more supplementaries.

    • Just to expand in case readers are not aware of what happened:

      Luxon asked why the govt. was so slow providing more ICU beds.

      Jacinda replied that always the govt. policy was to avoid overwhelming the hospital system, and that the highest number of ICU beds in use has been 11.

      Luxon persisted in asking why the govt. has not increased ICU beds.

      The man's a plonker.

      Plus, Seymour stepped in to steal his thunder at one point.

      • Sabine 9.1.1

        just because the highest number of beds used is 11 does not mean it will stay that way.

        so his question, after almost two years into the plague is fair and warranted.

        My questions would be:
        Why is it that Rotorua has 6 beds, but can only staff 4?

        Why is it that ICU nurses have been dispatched from elsewhere to make up for Akls Shortfall?

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/126260217/covid19-sending-icu-nurses-to-auckland-will-put-pressure-on-other-regions–union

        It comes after Auckland’s three metro district health boards requested staff, such as intensive care unit nurses, to help with its Covid-19 response.

        but yeah, i get it. He must be daft to not believe the good words put to him.

        Here is someone else pontificating about hte state of ICU beds and more importantly the people that man/women these beds 24 hour a day – at least two if they work 12 hour shifts, or 3 if they work 8 hour shifts.

        https://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal-articles/new-zealands-staffed-icu-bed-capacity-and-covid-19-surge-capacity

        We obtained responses relating to all New Zealand public hospitals. Respondents indicated there were 176 staffed ICU beds in 25 ICUs in 24 public hospitals of which 15 were dedicated paediatric ICU beds. An additional 104 physical beds within ICUs that were not staffed were identified. A total of 49 non-negative-pressure and 68 negative-pressure single rooms in ICUs were identified nationally with the remaining ICU beds in shared spaces. Areas with high air exchange or negative pressure that could be used to care for critically ill COVID-19 patients exclusively were identified in 64% of hospitals. The total number of ICU beds in such areas nationally was 132. Outside of ICUs, 289 beds that might be used to care for critically ill patients within “surge areas” were identified. Accordingly, a total of 565 beds that, if staffed, could be used to care for critically ill patients were identified nationwide. Respondents indicated a total of 535 ventilators available in their respective hospitals (excluding anaesthetic machines).

        Stated numbers of staff available for such surge capacity for a period of one month varied considerably by ICU. A total of 130.6 (range, 0 to 20), 99 (range, 0 to 20), and 356 (range, 0 to 115) full time equivalent (FTE) specialists, junior doctors, and nurses respectively were identified as being able to contribute to surge capacity. Of the 356 FTE nurses, 100 were identified as being able to provide high-dependency care only.

        I guess the NZ Medical Journal is also staffed with many many plonkers.

        Now if someone had asked what the max number of ICU beds used during this crisis were, her answer would have made perfect sense, but considering that the answer was 'why not more beds – and staff as the beds themselves are of no use without staff – well, one can say that her answer was lacking in substance, but was a good example of talking about something else altogether, while conveniently ignoring the questions as a good PR person would do.

      • Enough is Enough 9.1.2

        The man's a plonker because he persisted with his line of questions about why there has been no increase in the number of ICU beds?

        Those are questions that should and need to be asked.

        I have no idea why you would think they are plonker questions.

        • Jacinda pointed out that ICU beds had a capacity of 500 if needed, but the maximum in use up until now had been 11. Yet he wasn't quick enough to change his line of questioning. To my mind, that makes him a plonker, or perhaps a plodder.

          • Robert Guyton 9.1.2.1.1

            I think it's safe here, to say, "plonker".

            🙂

          • Enough is Enough 9.1.2.1.2

            The premise of her answer is we have more than enough ICU beds. Anyone who accepts that is a plonker.

            • Anne 9.1.2.1.2.1

              The premise of her answer is not that we have enough ICU beds. We have 500 ICU beds available. Each one of those 500 beds requires five intensive care nurses specialising in ICU Covid patients. That is a total of 2,500 Covid intensive care nurses. Each one of those nurses required specific training in Covid care, and it takes a long time for them to reach the required standard for ICU Covid care.

              The strategy – to prevent a surge in numbers of ICU Covid patients – has been successful to date. The government is to be congratulated on achieving that goal and we hope they are able to continue to achieve it regardless what Covid throws our way.

              To my way of thinking the Opposition parties are acting in an irresponsible and reckless manner by attempting to distort the reality purely for personal political gain. They are to be rebuked for using their powers to question the handling of the pandemic in an underhand and dishonest way.

              Sir Christopher Luxon (which I'm sure is his ultimate ambition) has just proven he is no better than most of his party's predecessors.

              • aj

                The strategy – to prevent a surge in numbers of ICU Covid patients – has been successful to date. The government is to be congratulated on achieving that goal and we hope they are able to continue to achieve it regardless what Covid throws our way.

                Agreed. An important question – what is the correct number of ICU beds, fully staffed. Should this be enough to cope with worst case scenarios? or some number below that. What number then? Should the health system always carry (at cost) those numbers forever into the future?

            • Pete 9.1.2.1.2.2

              I keep reading that hospitals have been in crisis with ICU beds all full.

              Or was just in the 'wishful thinking' things I've seen on line?

              Sort of strange to consider that the fascist state dictates people wear seatbelts. That might prevent ICU beds being full of crash victims so that those beds could be used by victims of the fascist state who didn't follow dictates about covid.

          • Shanreagh 9.1.2.1.3

            I don't think his (Luxon’s) response was that of a plonker but of a plodder.

            The questions had a purpose, somewhere, but where? Presumably there was a 'gotcha' or point behind them but it never got to see the light of day

      • Byd0nz 9.1.3

        Yes. Nice incompetent start by both Luxon and Bridges, bodes well for yet another new look opposition leadership before to long. Popcorn must be doing a roaring trade of late.

  10. Siobhan 10

    I really need to step away from the interweb ..just now on my Facebook..

    "This morning Marama Davidson MP launched Te Aorerekura, the first National Strategy to Eliminate Family Violence and Sexual Violence in Aotearoa. This strategy will see Government, tangata whenua, the sectors and communities working together to achieve change, so we can end family and sexual violence and improve wellbeing for everyone."

    Here's an idea ..actually deliver on the vague electioneering promises of Change ("lets do this.".) ….and actually deliver ..or at least head in the direction of …affordable secure housing, an economy with secure jobs with livable wages, a good preemptive Health care system including access to addiction services, and Mental health care, affordable pathways to higher education, a rehabilitative Justice system (rather than excellent box ticking) …then lets talk about elimination of violence ..because otherwise its just never going to happen (rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic etc etc).

    • arkie 10.1

      Robbie Nicol talks about the communication/action dichotomy:

      • gsays 10.1.1

        Thanks arkie, great link.

        A couple of great lines: 'less effective than a comedy monologue behind a paywall'

        • Drowsy M. Kram 10.1.1.1

          This (about halfway through) was a lol comment for me – couldn't watch any more.

          It's a path that creates a radical hero of the working class in the same way that an arsehole makes fudge.

          The broad church of 'the Left' is inclined to debate and castigate itself in public – no bad thing, but it can complicate efforts to slow down the 'Money is God' Tories.

          Still waiting – hope it’s just a matter of good things taking time.

      • roblogic 10.1.2

        Yeah, nah. A woke millennial goes off on an unbalanced rant. Highlights all of Ardern's mistakes and none of her successes. The important thing in leadership is setting a direction, and the good ship Aotearoa is slowly turning left.

        Nicol is blissfully unaware of the messy realities of politics and the need to make the occasional compromise.

        Just a bit too nasty for my taste.

        • arkie 10.1.2.1

          You can’t turn left when your steering wheel doesn’t go past the centre. The Labour party is wedded to status quo ante capitalism, this is evidential.

          Also who is impressed by those claiming the need to compromise while holding all the levers of power? Pointing this out is hardly nasty.

          The larger and more important point is that while leadership is needed, politicians and politics in general, requires us to continually reiterate our desires and provide the necessary pressure to drive the actions we want to see. It is participatory. And that requires a society that doesn’t see itself as a collection of self-interested individuals.

          The final message in the video is to encourage people to join organisations they care about, terrible, youthful, woke and nasty thing to do. /s

          • Subliminal 10.1.2.1.1

            Hey Arkie. Thanks for the intro. Absolutely wonderful satire. I found it intelligent and very positive. Went down the rabbit whole and found some of his older stuff too. You can learn a lot from him, get a laugh and end up feeling good in spite of all the shit we get subjected to. Absolutely emphasises the need to abandon individualism and embrace the collective. This message comes through in all his work that I looked at. Thankyou!

          • gsays 10.1.2.1.2

            The message is important.

            Organise, get off social media and put your shoulder to a wheel.

            I refute robs assertion of overwhelming compromise, especially in this administration at this time.

            As Nicol alludes to we are the problem. Ardern will move if pressure comes to bear. But we are too busy, individually with the current outrage- the unvaxxed, gangs, Luxon's lack of hair and political chops.

            Plus Nicol's line 'I expect the leader of Labour to not devote her life to protect the owners of capital'. Skewering.

    • Sabine 10.2

      Well she gave herself a 25 year timeline, by then she is probably hoping that anyone has forgotten that she was supposedly to earn her money.

      But hey, she did reclaim the C-word. So that is a success. Surely?

  11. mary_a 11

    Watched question time at Parliament this afternoon. Oh deary me, it was a no contest. Jacinda without even trying, outshone Luxon. While I realise it was his first time facing the PM in the House, his inexperience as an MP, let alone a party leader was glaringly obvious. Robertson also gave Bridges what for as well during their financial debate.

    If Luxon does a few repeat performances before Parliament finishes for the year, can we expect a resignation to be forthcoming in the near future from the new National leader? Before or after Christmas anyone?

    • Gezza 11.1

      No – I think they’ve run out of options for new leaders. They’ll likely stop at Luxon.

      He seems sufficiently adaptable /malleable to be instructed by his backers in the party (primarily Sir John, & maybe the party hierarchy) to try out various public personas & policy positions until they find a formula that seems to score well enuf in the polls.

      If he isn’t gaining them any ground by mid nextbyear maybe they’d look again at, say, Willis, as potential leader material – but it’d be a major risk to their credibility as a major party to dump yet another leader when they have such a small pool of potential leadership contenders with genuine smarts, & when yet another leader change just might produce no improvement at all in their voter credibility & polling fortunes.

      In summary, I think they’ll stick with Luxon as long as he doesn’t screw up big time & have to be dumped.

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