Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: 2011: The Year Of What?

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  • Tristan,

    The year my daughter was born...im sure in years to come people will remember 2011 for that shes got skills is all im saying :)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 221 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    they’ve done studies comparing BCom. students with other degrees and shown that one year of a commerce degree is enough to make people significantly more greedy and selfish. Apparently they learn that everyone else is selfish too so they should be selfish first

    Given that first-year economics (BCom graduate here) is largely premised on perfect market theory, it's little surprise that a study of first-year BCom students will show a significant increase in greed. It's not until one progresses beyond first-year economics that one learns just how completely bollocks perfect market theory actually is in practice. Since there's no compulsion to learn anything more than first-year economics, the lunacy persists beyond the first year.

    I found international economics (second-year paper) to be a pretty good leveler of the nonsense of perfect market theory, assisted by the lecturer being openly dubious of the reality of perfect markets. But I was disinclined to believe that markets are perfect in the first place, which probably helped.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to 3410,

    Probably “Psychopaths and big money – it all adds up” from NZH.

    Oh, and that's Vic, where first-year economics is even more heavily tilted towards microeconomics and the theories of perfect markets and perfectly-informed consumers. Auckland's first-year economics papers are split in two and the second one introduces macroeconomics in quite some detail, which helps to neutralise some of the perfect market theory that is spoon-fed in the microeconomics-focused ECON101.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    they’ve done studies comparing BCom. students with other degrees and shown that one year of a commerce degree is enough to make people significantly more greedy and selfish.

    Ah, I knew there was a reason I bolted at the beginning of the year I was supposed to sign up. My Mother thought it would be my downfall. I now feel vindicated :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Sorry to put you on the spot- but do you have a reference for this? (I read something similar- can’t locate it.)

    It was a summary I read of the research in an issue of The Atlantic, several years ago maybe 02 or 03, could even be older? Sadly I no longer have access to it. And we also don't get those journals here at work so I can't even search the original literature.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Also bear in mind they were studies done by people with psych degrees so it could easily have been superseded by now with new theories completely "disproving" the old theories.

    And yeah Matthew I agree it probably is very much a case of a little knowledge is much worse than none or lots.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    they’ve done studies

    I imagine they have

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to 3410,

    Probably "Psychopaths and big money - it all adds up" from NZH.

    Dr Robert Hare puts the incidence in the general population at 1%.

    Apparently, this can rise to 4-5% in upper management, although I don't have a handy reference for that.

    Still, this is an interesting article.

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

  • recordari, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    They have souls? Thought it was absence of, that caused this in the first place.

    Of course they have souls, but they are taught to ignore them in the first year of their BCom.

    Since when did the police start making BComs part of their training? If you check, I think that's what I was talking about.

    And your other point, what a load of bunk. A study showing all commerce students are indoctrinated with greed is like saying all botanists have beards and can't dance.

    Wait, on second thoughts.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10746602

    This is my personal minor earthquake - that a columnist I admire could sympathise with a book written by Ian Wishart and which is pretty obviously biased. Maybe it's a Christian thing.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    (Sorry, Bart, if I rudely interrupted. Trying to manage without always completely reading the thread. :))

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    When the recession began there were many wise words about having learnt the lessons of both the Great Depression and Japans long malaise. Now we know that we didn’t learn a thing. Our stimulus was too weak, too short and not well designed. The banks weren’t forced to return to lending. Our leaders tried papering over the economy’s weaknesses

    He's talking about New Zealand right? Actually he isn't but he might as well have been since it accurately describes NZs response the global recession as well.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand, in reply to Cecelia,

    This is my personal minor earthquake - that a columnist I admire could sympathise with a book written by Ian Wishart and which is pretty obviously biased. Maybe it's a Christian thing.

    Yes, I was rather astounded by this too. She wrote that she did not 'know' Wishart; surely she must know about him and his inflammatory ideas?

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2560 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to recordari,

    Since when did the police start making BComs part of their training? If you check, I think that’s what I was talking about.

    Arrgghh I thought Sofie was referring to the economists part of the thread - head, meet desk.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to 3410,

    interrupted

    ?!?! Given my randomness, even when I'm not completely missing the point (as highlighted by recordari), how could I possibly think you rude?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Cecelia,

    Maybe it’s a Christian thing

    For me what makes Tapu Misa so admirable as a columnist is that she is a very thoughtful person. I don't find it at all odd that she decided to *shock* read the book first before coming to a conclusion. I think she's a free thinker and I respect that.

    As for Wishart, well, even a blind chicken can peck corn. A stopped clock is right twice a day. My presumption is that he's probably wrong on any given thing, but it's not a given.

    The question for me is whether the claims in the book that contradict reports are true. If so, it doesn't reflect well on the news media.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Cecelia,

    This is my personal minor earthquake – that a columnist I admire could sympathise with a book written by Ian Wishart and which is pretty obviously biased. Maybe it’s a Christian thing.

    Maybe the “thing’ is that the right to silence, due process and a fair trial in court of law instead of on-line lynch mobs applies to everyone – even if we don’t like them very much.

    And yeah, I agree with Misa that whatever you think about Wishart (I wouldn’t piss on him if his head was on fire, for the record) perhaps King shouldn’t be used as a cudgel to beat him with. Here’s a mad idea – if our beloved “mainstream” media didn’t treat child deaths and neglect as sensational torture porn served in a thick crust of moralistic bullshit perhaps King wouldn’t have felt the need to talk to the evil one in the first place?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    (as highlighted by recordari)

    Sorry, given my own continuity incontinence, I'm hardly one to talk.

    Give the desk a rest.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    Yes, I was rather astounded by this too. She wrote that she did not ‘know’ Wishart; surely she must know about him and his inflammatory ideas?

    I lost quite a lot of faith in Tapu Misa when she enthused about Dinesh D’Souza’s writing.

    D’Souza is the unpleasant nutbar who wrote The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11. I mentioned it here, along with excerpts from the withering WaPo review and a bizarre interview with D’Souza by Stephen Colbert.

    Anyone who could laud D’Souza’s moral fascism might well be into Wishart for all the wrong reasons. It’s quite sad, really.

    Not that that invalidates this week’s column. I just think her judgement about how much to trust an account by Wishart might be a bit screwy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Personally I think if volcanoes do erupt in the immediate future, they won't be of the molten lava kind. They'll probably be more of the molotov cocktail kind.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5434 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    As for Wishart, well, even a blind chicken can peck corn. A stopped clock is right twice a day. My presumption is that he's probably wrong on any given thing, but it's not a given.

    I wonder if part of his thing is a natural contrarianism. Not useful when you're railing against the overwhelming majority of evidence, since it tends to see conspiracies rather than fold in favour of the evidence, but occasionally useful when there's a public lynch mob charging around looking for someone to tar and feather. Stopped clock principle and all.

    King's in about the same legal position as Robin Bain (or would be, if he were alive); neither charged nor convicted, but raised by the defence as reasonable doubt for a more likely perpetrator. It's an unfortunate place to be. Yet I don't recall such an outcry over any of the many books on either side of the Bain case.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to David Cormack,

    Well I had a great weekend, and was feeling very positive. Then I read this thread. Goodness me, talk about the Public Address-men of the Apocalypse.

    Each to their own. I find all of this, apart from Christchurch exciting. My own personal 2011 fallout, being unemployed for the first time since 1995, and liking it. To me it feels like the politics of most of my adult life have been both wrong and horribly dull, and we stand on the cusp of a big rethink. When we realize we've been wrong for many years (something I've believed for many years), the future of possibilities opens up. Nothing is off the table now, either for me, or for the world.

    I had a very interesting discussion with my Grandmother recently, who lived through the Great Depression. She told me something interesting - it was the most exciting time of her life, that everyone partied like there was no tomorrow. The parties were cheap as could be, but that didn't make them less fun. Faced with adversity, people can work together, and that can be extremely enjoyable and empowering in the way that a secure future often isn't.

    Can this year be the year of parties? We've still got 4 months to make it so.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10654 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    To me it feels like the politics of most of my adult life have been both wrong and horribly dull, and we stand on the cusp of a big rethink. When we realize we've been wrong for many years (something I've believed for many years), the future of possibilities opens up

    Bernard Hickey sure seems to be having more fun.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    http://www.listener.co.nz/culture/books/the-kahui-book-is-not-the-real-story/

    I thought Celia Lashlie's take on Wishart's book was more measured.

    I was shocked by the d'Souza column too. That's why I thought it might be a Christian thing, an affinity between fundamental or born again Christians, Misa and Wishart.

    I've always felt sorry for the Kahui parents. It seemed like fecklessness of tragic proportions that caused the deaths, an accident waiting to happen. However, the fact that Tapu Misa follows Ian Wishart's line that Macsyna King was guiltless and "a smart woman" beggars belief.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    Bernard Hickey sure seems to be having more fun.

    Must be nice as an economist to be able to break the neoliberal consensus and actually think about problems for oneself. Good on him.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10654 posts Report Reply

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