Cracker by Damian Christie

Read Post

Cracker: Breaking the Silence

61 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 Newer→ Last

  • linger, in reply to andin,

    corruption favours the disenfranchised

    That has never happened in all of human history. Corruption overwhelmingly favours those who have power.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Ray Gilbert, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Greenpeace are so far proving more effective than any hypothetical priesthood of ordained scientists.

    Don't forget that Greenpeace have also made errors of judgement around information in the past. Brent Spar anyone?

    Not so sure about the council of elders idea myself either. Decades of working with and around a large number of scientists has taught me, that like all other collective groups they contain a full spectrum of types. Some are more interested in developing knowledge, others use selected knowledge for their own purpose, some are more self sacrificing, others less so.

    Since Nov 2006 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to linger,

    Corruption overwhelmingly favours those who have power.

    But not all those who have power. Filipino housemate is a big fan of Duterte because after Marcos things went downhill there. Apparently a murderous vigilante might be less corrupt than the current incumbent, and he thinks it's worth the tradeoff.

    A possibly more interesting question is whether having "secret science" running the country would be better than "secret wealth". Especially since in the plutocracy we currently enjoy those seem to be implacably opposed sides.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1193 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ray Gilbert,

    Don't forget that Greenpeace have also made errors of judgement around information in the past. Brent Spar anyone?

    True dat. Having just finished Silencing Science (thanks for the link Sacha) I can't see Damian's "half joking" proposal for "being ruled by a benevolent wise council of elders" as anything other than some kind of throwaway exercise.

    Shaun Hendy makes a case for a thoroughly democratically based engagement by scientists with the public, grounded in mutual respect. While he seems under no illusions about the nature of the vested interests ranked against the free flow of information, he even provides examples of where he believes that he and other scientists have mishandled communication in the past.

    While he seems careful to give Sir Peter Gluckman his due in his role as John Key's science advisor, he goes into plenty of useful detail about how he believes that the limitations of the position have failed the public. His advocacy for the role to be balanced by the public having their own non-partisan equivalent, modeled on the present Commissioner for the Environment, is convincingly made.

    Given the disastrous performance of the largely politically appointed ECAN, I really can't fathom why anyone would come away from reading Silencing Science to advocate for shoulder-tapping a bunch of suitable chaps and chapesses to further erode democracy.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to linger,

    Yeah I put an "if" in there you didnt quote

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to despud,

    An articulate person would likely recieve a greater benefit than a stoic

    Making up examples? In your world are the poor articulate? Met a few articulate scammers in my time, the best were beggars in the USA. I knew they were scamming me but their act was so well done it was worth the money :))
    Every little bit helps I guess

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Damian Christie,

    I just mean that it’d be great if many of our important national decisions were a bit more evidence-based rather than contrary to evidence, or based on ideology.

    To that I fully agree. My own hope is that as time passes, this already is happening. There's setbacks, definitely. But the overall trend is for scientific thinking to become far more prevalent and trusted. No need to force it too fast, and thus break other aspects of the system. But how fast is too fast? Tough one, as I originally said. A democratic system held back by the unreason of vast quantities of people is a slow thing to move, and in the meantime there's stupid people taking the flouride out of town water supplies. I can see the appeal of it being institutionally hard for them to do that, on account of the sheer weight of scientific evidence about the human cost involved.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich Lock,

    it’s more than a little troubling to directly compare a model where you’re literally asked to take everything on faith, with a model where your results ultimately only survive if your peers can’t tear them apart.

    If your model is some chain of command over science, then you could quite literally set a up a model where the peers can't tear apart falsehood, because they're not even peers any more. Furthermore, one could argue that the divine authority of Popes only came from a peer review in which they were selected by a council of wise religious elders. As I understand it, this is exactly how the Pope is elected.

    But yes, I think the discussion is more than a little academic. I doubt that scientists themselves would really want such a model. A top position would presumably have a term attached, and other processes for early removal on grounds of wrongdoing. It could presumably be designed to be robust to empire building. Rather like democratic institutions already are. But, if modeled that way, such an organization would ultimately be a democracy, and it would thus have many of the same failings anyway - inertia, mass stupidity, etc. But I can see that something like that could be built. Would love to see a proposal, with the detail, and all the devils therein.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    If you look internationally at the sort of scientists who've achieved high political influence in the past, you see the likes of Frederick Lindemann or Edward Teller.

    I don't think a ruling body of such wise people would be a good idea.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I'd be more than a little worried about Sir Isaac Newton being in charge of the Mint, that's for sure. Charming fellow, he brought back the ancient punishment of being hung, drawn and quartered for the crime of counterfeiting, and then hung around bars catching counterfeiters personally. Loved his work, apparently.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to BenWilson,

    Just going through the motions...

    Sir Isaac Newton being in charge of the Mint ... Loved his work, apparently.

    The apple doesn't fall far from the tree?
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7885 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    don’t think a ruling body of such wise people would be a good idea

    Damian has said it was a throwaway line. but onward...
    Um how can you tell if someone, anyone has wisdom that will be applicable to running the world as we know it.
    Well they wont, easy answer. Its always going to be a guess, informed guess is the best we get.
    Govts really got a kick upstairs because a portion of the worlds population got sick of being screwed over by the power possessing being in Europe at the time and they could go to a new world and start a new system. We no longer have that luxury.
    So whats the way forward?
    Is there one?
    Funny thing! At a time when we need cooperation on a large scale and some selflessness and humility individually. A philosophy of selfishness and arrogance gains a foothold in the minds of not just our leaders but a large fraction of the population.
    Yep If there is a mighty & gracious being looking on in the fabric of space time, besides pissing itself in mirth, must be wondering" WTF! When I get my hands on that Ayn Rand....."
    And I'd rather take my chances with scientists informing decisions

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C, in reply to andin,

    They (MSD and the government) claim that they are working with individuals based on their needs, and give them "wrap around services", which is actually nothing much more than "intensive case management", working along with individuals based on certain contracts of course.

    I agree, the science is lacking, it is largely based on surveys and statistics, with limited value, as was proved before:
    https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/msd-and-dr-david-bratt-present-misleading-evidence-claiming-worklessness-causes-poor-health/

    Yet the Associate Minister was very defensive and denied any failures:
    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/business/qoa/51HansQ_20150917_00000008/8-welfare-reforms%E2%80%94mental-health-and-sole-parent-employment

    And we are still now waiting for the evaluation report, which according to Jo Goodhew was supposed to be made available by end of last year, which never happened. Here are some of her not so true answers:
    "Hon JO GOODHEW: As I have already said in my primary answer, the full mid-point evaluation is still being undertaken and is yet to be completed. What I do know is that the Government is not afraid to try some new approaches, and, therefore, in order to do so, we have to undertake the trials, let them get to the end of the time, and be evaluated properly."

    An evaluation was originally overdue by September, but was never presented (Hence Carmel Sepuloni's questions). What is this talk about "mid point evaluation", when the trials run out mid this year (2016) after having run for over two years now? Just more obfuscation and BS.

    "Hon JO GOODHEW: These people are all voluntarily in these trials—the member has obviously missed that point—so we are not experimenting on them."

    For Sole Parent beneficiaries there is nothing "voluntary" re such trials. For mental health sufferers, it is officially "voluntary", but there are other implied pressures they get, e.g. refusing to participate in any measures that assist in getting work ready may lead to sanctions, and refusing participation outright, will not be looked upon kindly.

    Since these last major welfare reforms were introduced there has been very little info shared with media or even via OIA requests, and MSD have refrained from going on too much about the "science" behind it all. I wonder why, have they stuff to hide, is it not as "robust" as first thought? Bad news do often get swept under the carpet, and failed "evidence based" new policy is quietly discarded again, never mind the ones they experimented with:
    https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2015/04/10/mental-health-and-sole-parent-employment-services-msd-withholds-o-i-a-information-that-may-prove-their-trials-a-failure/
    https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2015/11/27/msds-selective-and-poor-responses-to-new-oia-requests-on-benefits-advisors-reports-mental-health-and-sole-parent-employment-services/

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie, in reply to Damian Christie,

    I’d be quite happy being ruled by a benevolent wise council of elders.

    That could work. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gang_of_Four

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Don Christie,

    That could work.

    Heh. Further to that, I found this to be a rippingly good read.
    Spare us from those who know better than we what's best for us.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to BenWilson,

    it would thus have many of the same failings anyway - inertia, mass stupidity, etc.

    Humans gonna human.

    Which is why I'll be advocating for a ruling council composed only of three benevolent AI overlords (triple redundancy, y'see). Remove the messy meatsacks, with their terrible signal-to-noise ratio of egos, feelings, and desires, from the equation altogether. All decisions made cleanly and clinically for our own collective good.

    Remain calm, citizen. Nothing can possibly go wrong.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Marc C,

    If an intervention is not assigned randomly to individuals, if evaluation criteria are not set in advance, and if equivalent data is not collected for those not receiving the intervention, then it is not a trial, and the results cannot be interpreted as such. Sounds like none of that is happening here, so any report can only be a farce.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson, in reply to Rich Lock,

    The computer is your friend.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C, in reply to linger,

    I agree, and what you say proves, that we are being conned on a massive scale, with pseudo science, or at least selectively chosen "evidence based" reports, which have little value, despite of supposed peer reviews by the researchers' colleagues from a like minded school of thought.

    Re "evaluation", I suppose they mean, comparing the job placement figures with those that they had on their books before, who were not getting such interventions. It is all just a cost focus that they have on this now, hence this fancy calculation of the prospective billions in welfare costs over persons' lifetime, that is the sum of them being on welfare support.

    https://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/evaluation/investment-approach/key-findings.html

    The medical and social science had to make way for the actuarial approach, the only "science" that counts for this government, it seems.

    Honest and true scientists will detect the huge holes in this kind of "Swiss cheese" we have here. Holes where you can drive a truck through. Spin, misrepresentation, manipulation, intimidation, obfuscation and censorship, some from government ministers, some internal, from management, but also peer pressure, and we get what we have, going as far as Radio NZ considering abolishing a well respected science program.

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    In Silencing Science Shaun Hendy mentions the Herald's Jamie Morton as one of NZ's dwindling number of specialist science journalists. This interview is from the Sunday before last.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Marc C,

    Phewww there some reading there.

    Spin, misrepresentation, manipulation, intimidation, obfuscation and censorship, some from government ministers, some internal, from management, but also peer pressure,

    That about sums it up.Yet it is dressed up as science. An abuse of the word, and a beacon for what not to do...
    It feels as if it needs a grade and comment... C- Can do better

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to linger,

    so any report can only be a farce

    yep

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Marc C,

    The medical and social science had to make way for the actuarial approach,

    Well, second time in a week I've heard that.

    The first time was from a (paid by the government) disability advocate, quelling discussion about adverse effects on disabled people of government policy and legislation.

    I was a tad confused at the time Marc C...thanks for untangling that. ;-)

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    disability advocate, quelling discussion

    Feel free to name names. It has long suited governments to pretend homogeneity without resourcing community engagement to verify that.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    at a strategy review meeting perchance?

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.