"The earlier that people are introduced to alcohol – and it now seems that 14 is quite common – the worse the prospects for that person having problems later on are," Law Commission president Sir Geoffrey Palmer said. There was "very important evidence" to support an age hike and it was "a slam dunk – it's self-evident", he said. (from here)
Given Palmer's recommending raising the drinking age, I think he means that the earlier you're introduced to alcohol, the *better* the chance for having problems later on. Bad English aside, if that were true, France would be a complete wasteland; clearly it isn't, so there's more to it than simply the age of availability.
I wonder what the "very important evidence" is, or whether it's all just "self evident".
It's illegal if the depiction promotes (or tends to promote) the activity in a way which is degrading or dehumanising. If the depiction is somehow empowering and not degrading, it will/should be treated like other porn. If it's part of pornography it will probably be illegal, as I imagine it will be dehumanising, but that's not necessarily the case.
To paraphrase Emma's original question though: how is it sensible that performing an act is legal, but depictions of that act are illegal?
I'd wager that if you picked an activity - let's say murder - and asked people "what's worse: watching the real thing live or watching a fictional depiction of it on TV?" most people would say that watching the real thing is worse - and yet the law says the opposite in the case of objectionable porn
*I realise "worse" is a bad word to use here, but it's wine o'clock and I can't think of a better term.
I feel creeped out by the idea that someone would make a porn (or not) movie using women who look like pre-pubescent girls, presumably to appeal to the market for adults who believe that it is ok to have sex with children. Call me old fashioned, but I can't be ok about that.
Have I missed a point somewhere? Am I being overly sensitive? I get the feeling from comments that I'm the only one out here feeling very disturbed by the idea of porn using child like actors.
Agreed that making anyone look pre-pubescent for sexual purposes is creepy, however it's possible to put an adult woman in a situation (makeup, costume, etc) where she appears under eighteen and engaged in sexual behaviour. The question is whether recording that should be illegal, even though the act itself is legal.
The law says it's okay for two sixteen year olds to have sex, because they're old enough to do so. I believe it's also legal for others to watch them in the act (assuming they're all consenting). *Videotaping* the two sixteen year olds is illegal, because you've now made a recording of under-18s having sex.
What if the person doing the videotaping one of the sixteen year olds engaged in the sex? A sixteen year old is old enough to have sex, but isn't old enough to be in a recording of the act, but is old enough to be charged with the crime of recording it. How's that consistent?
Keir, your example assumes that 'defective' is an objective measure. 'Moral' is subjective - people's ideas of what is moral vary. Middleton Grange, for instance, prides itself on producing 'moral' children, along a moral code that I find absolutely repulsive. I think 'acceptance of homosexuality' is a moral value, they think quite the opposite. So... who is defective? And who gets to decide?
Yeah, what Emma said.
I can group the widgets into working/busted, and classify the busted ones depending on which faults they display. The resulting piles will be the same as when you did it, and it's the fact that we can compare my groupings and your groupings that's valuable.
we can clearly measure `values' in some sense.
Or even if we can't do that...
So we can clearly measure something, unless we can't, in which case we could do this other thing instead. That's excellent!
Go ahead, line up a classroom of kids and measure their heights. Simple. Measure their ages. More difficult, 'cos you've got to ask them their birthdays and do some math, but still relatively simple barring any mathematical mistakes.
Now line them up in order of morality. Good stuff, that's a tough one. Now, get all their parents to do the same. Guarantee you that the height and age lines will look largely the same, and every lineup measuring morality will look *very* different. Measurement? Certainly. Repeatable and objective, though?
Do universities even take individual grades at 7th form/year 12 (or whatever) in to account anymore for entry into specific papers?
I seem to remember getting in to every paper I wanted at Vic back in the mid 90's with pretty marginal grades, and the same again when I applied for UoA in the late 90's.
...that's because you were doing an arts degree (Sorry, couldn't resist that one ;-)
In the science faculty, yes, some courses required a minimum grade in a certain school subject to get entry. Or, you needed to convince the lecturer to let you in even without those grades, which was down to whether or not they'd had an appropriate amount of coffee that morning. Not all courses required this - Comp 101 for example was open to anyone matriculated to the university.
For many parents, there's a lot more to a school than grades. What if the higher-ranked school has an endemic bullying problem? Or the lower-ranked school has a better involvement with their community, a broader range of cultures, a sensational kapa haka group, is more open to dealing with the needs of disabled children?
Yep, agreed. All I'm trying to point out is that league tables attempt to abstract a lot of that into a mark out of ten, and that's not a good thing, especially if parents use the league table as a decision criterion - which becomes more likely if they're published in newspapers as black-and-white guides to which schools are best.
Don't assume that about universities at all. We often recognise that students from underachieving schools do just as well at Stage I as their privileged peers. Indeed, in some cases (I'm now arguing from anecdotal evidence), the students from the 'better schools' often perform worse at Stage I than their rivals because they think that, having been to a better school, they can coast at uni.
So you're saying that a university recognises a top mark from an underachieving school is as valid as the same mark from a privileged school (interesting choice of words there). What I'm saying is that Universities don't - as far as I'm aware - take a failing mark from an underachieving school and determine that it's worth as much as a top mark from a privileged school.
Certainly when I went to Victoria, the requirement to get into - say - Math 112 was a B or higher in bursary Maths. It wasn't "B in bursary Maths, unless you come from an underprivileged school, in which case we'll let you in with a C"
"League tables based only on student achievement tell virtually nothing about how well schools are doing. The schools that come out top are those with the best intake, not those providing the best education."
For many parents a league table will tell them *everything* about how well schools are doing. If you had two schools nearby and one was 20 places further up a league table, wouldn't you want your child going there? Better average grades mean smarter kids. Your child will spend time with other children who achieve higher marks; he'll be more likely to adopt their work ethic, have more useful discussions with them, be in classes with more effective teachers, and so on.
It doesn't matter whether the school had a better intake. All that matters is the results. The prospective University isn't going to adjust your kid's marks because he went to some under-achieving hicksville school. He either makes the grade, or not.
Church plays an important role in the Samoan and Tongan communities. If you're trying to distribute aid it makes sense to involve church groups. Isn't it worth at least considering?
You're suggesting that church groups are more effective at distributing aid than aid organisations? I find that hard to believe, with the possible exception of the Sallies.
If giving cash to the families and churches of affected people can be *proven* to be more effective that funding aid organisations and providing direct government-run aid, then I'd be all for it. Unfortunately Shearer's contention that accountability "should not be difficult" is the hopeful-at-best thinking.