Posts by BenWilson

  • Hard News: E-cigarettes and the path of…, in reply to Alfie,

    When the alternative to vaping is smoking, known to kill massive numbers of people, both fast and slow, I'm struggling to see what the deal is here. OK, it might get new people who were not already smokers, especially children. But again, so might cigarettes. I know which one I'd rather they were doing. Which is not to say that e-cigarettes are known to be harmless, it's just a balance of harms thing. And yes, I expect dangerously doctored cannabis extracts are another unintended consequence of prohibition, all the more reason to end that. Sadly, it's probably still safer to smoke weed than vaporize it, just for this reason. Which again, is not known to be perfectly safe, but again, balance of harms.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years…,

    LOL, Leaf and Tips, now there is a real blast from the past. That was like getting a Topsy instead of a Jelly Tip.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The economics of shit speech, in reply to steven crawford,

    Blogs are on the road to oblivion.

    People said that about newspapers 20 years ago. And it's probably still true but they have had remarkable legs. Blogs are not as popular as Twitter, certainly, but they still sit there are very low cost ways for people to generate content they are in 100% control over, so I don't see them disappearing. I'll still read the good ones regardless of the supposed inevitability of history. Probably they have to be social media savvy to drive audiences to them, but I'm yet to see any social media that can deliver a high quality discussion, and I don't think the desire for that will disappear from this earth for good.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • Access: You just need a sense of humour,

    OMFG. It's laugh or cry, really. I hope Alex is OK.

    At an autism course I went on we really got a sense of how lightly we had got off when we heard the tales of the people with the escape-artist poo-smearer. It might sound casually funny but I think they were really close to breaking. The mum spent an hour running through a forest chasing the child whilst carrying her baby, unable to gain on him, at one time. Like something out of a horror movie, really.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Music: Some deep belief,

    Songwriters need people who believe in them. And that belief is its own reward.

    Too true. Artists generally are precious and fragile and they need our love and support. It's not like they don't earn it, but even if they don't, they should get it anyway.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Cabinet and the Reeferendum, in reply to andin,

    How long is that going to take? Fucking forever, death will come sooner at this rate.

    I've never felt it to be more imminent, TBH.

    I don't really think the greatest danger is the idiotic Nats ATM, it's people within the coalition. Whilst it's an issue that has quite a lot of popular support, I don't think that is along anywhere near as partisan lines as issues like taxation or education. Which is part of the reason a referendum does make some sense. But the coalition does have the power to muck up the framing hard enough that it's just not quite going to cross the threshold. Hopefully they do not do that, they aim for a referendum that is sufficiently conservative that it has a high chance of a clear yes majority, whilst still representing meaningful and helpful reform.

    National are basically playing themselves into a foolish corner because there is no required or even clearly likely link between a referendum yes and a party vote either way, and all they can do by failing to engage properly in good faith is show themselves to be disorganized and quite possibly to alienate a significant chunk of their currently dwindling vote.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Cabinet and the Reeferendum, in reply to Sacha,

    Peter Dunne is not impressed.

    Well, he did have like 16 years or so to have a go himself....

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Cabinet and the Reeferendum,

    Just want to say thanks Russell for keeping the constant feed of good quality info on this unfolding process. I don't have much more to say other than it looks like it's well in hand. In fact, that's really why I don't have much more to say. Swarbrick is doing an astounding job of keeping the whole thing real and perhaps it's quite sound of the government to let her get on with it. Even the sad lack of coherent debate from the Opposition is not really that bothering - I think Bridges neverending single digit popularity is a sign that the public just can't take him seriously, because he is inherently not really a serious leader.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The economics of shit speech,

    I will miss a few of the serious journalists like Nippert and Fisher, and I’ll see how that goes over time. But I could never contribute to any media company which continues to publish reguritated brain farts from the likes of the Hoskings and the Sopers. I just couldn’t.

    Quite. And I doubt I will actually miss anything good because everything gets re-shared, reshaped, repeated, etc on blogs and social media. I feel a little bit guilty that people did good work and didn't get paid properly for it, but that's really not my fault, and no amount of paying the Herald will fix it. I don't know what will but I'm damned sure it won't be this.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The economics of shit speech, in reply to Sacha,

    Libraries, coffeeshops, etc.

    Yes! That's where I read the paper version today. So I guess not all is lost.

    I don't have any answers for the fine art of journalism. I very much doubt this is going to work out for the Herald writers, when far, far more successful newspapers around the world can't even make paywalls work. It's a bind because once you accept that it's a rearguard action, then it really fucks with any feelings that I should help to prop the thing up, right up until it dies - about 6 months from now, using maybe $30 of my money, one dollar of which will go to the likes of Keith Ng and Matt Nippert, and the rest supporting a crumbling establishment, and a scary amount of that $30 ending up in Mike Hosking's gas tank to be squirted out on cyclists.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

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