Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: 2016: The arc of a year

25 Responses

  • Russell Brown,

    It’s 37 years now, and we’re still talking.

    Ironically, I wrote this having only recently recovered the power of speech. The hideous throat infection doing the sounds left me literally speechless for most of last week. And I confess, the inability to converse may have led me to type more grumpily than usual on the internet.

    I’d fortunately voiced the final episode of From Zero before the throat bug struck. But it did put paid to the plan to add in the Green Party’s late-breaking new drug policy. I had interviewed Julie Anne Genter, but there was no way of getting it into the episode without voicing some lines of script to set it in context – a thing I was completely unable to do.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Russell Brown,

    doing the sounds

    Aptly put.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1942 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    You have had a very year, Russell, and I expect even more from you in 2017. I see that MediaTake is in repeats on Maori Television and it will be good to see it back next year.
    Kind of happy that my contribution to the rather good 2016 Trees at the Meteor (its motto 'Compassion Not Consumption') has a Highly Commended award.. It was constructed from cardboard and 35mm film trailers.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2562 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Attachment

    A photo

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2562 posts Report Reply

  • Bruce Wurr,

    Thanks for everything this year Russell and to all the other contributors too.

    Merry xmas to all.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 97 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    'Compassion Not Consumption')

    Like.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Misread that at first as the 'arse' of a year. :)
    Onwards and upwards.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    …and of course there’s the announcement of the Public Address Word of the Year on Morning Report tomorrow.

    Tomorrow??
    We voted already?
    I must have nodded off and missed a step…

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Zach Bagnall,

    Thoroughly enjoyed From Zero. I hope it gets a good airing and finds the ear of policy makers one way or another.

    Colorado • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Rachel Renner,

    Thank you Russell. I have really enjoyed From Zero, your music posts and many other articles on Public Address this year. You keep me in touch with a pulse I am interested in.

    'A conversation' is a very beautiful way to frame a relationship. Thanks for bringing heart into journalism.

    Vienna • Since Dec 2016 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Russell Brown,

    That was fitting end to the series, an apodictic argument for change Russell. Seconding Zach’s thoughts above. If they’re even up to the task, the polies need to get their heads around this pronto. Congratulations!

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Thanks guys :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Brown,

    Why are "we" spending perfectly good public money measuring drug traces in wastewater in Auckland and Christchurch for 7 days every month for 12 months? That's just crazy. Isn't it? In 2017 and all...

    Auckland • Since Mar 2013 • 137 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Martin Brown,

    What Pee problem?

    measuring drug traces in wastewater in Auckland and Christchurch

    Anyway it'll only register those who use toilets,
    there's lotsa empty sections round Chchch...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to ,

    It’s called engaging in science, for pleasure. People who engage in science for pleasure are gifted with a trait that might save civilisation from collapse. Sifting through gray water and shit – searching for empirical facts isn’t crazy, it’s an enthusiasm.

    I'm okay with it – in principle, it's public health data. Although they seem be doing it wrong by testing for a relatively limited number of chemicals.

    And I gather a more consumer-oriented early-warning system missed out on funding, which is a bit of a shame.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Jon Briggs,

    I have really been enjoying From Zero Russell, thanks!

    Since Dec 2008 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Martin Brown,

    Why are "we" spending perfectly good public money measuring drug traces in wastewater

    to be able to compare it with similar monitoring results overseas, I heard. Piggy-back off their work, effectively.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to ,

    It’s called engaging in science, for pleasure. People who engage in science for pleasure are gifted with a trait that might save civilisation from collapse.

    To be fair there is a pretty wide continuum of scientists,
    from those who do science to get rich - really there are some of those - they usually end up as managers or science advisors -
    all the way to those who do science with the sole intention of saving the human race.

    Most of the tribe I belong to called scientists fall somewhere in the middle, yeah we do science because it's fun, because we want to know "WHY?" and nobody can tell us so we have to figure it out ourselves
    But we also want some money - to pay for nice food
    And we also think eventually science improves the human condition - sometimes slowly most times incrementally and almost always in a way nobody can predict.

    So asking why are "We wasting money on X or Y piece of research?" kind of utterly misses the point about science.

    For all we know those data from those measurements may unlock the key to emmisions-free dairying or hangover-free beer or anything. It probably won't, but even if it doesn't the data will add incrementally to human knowledge and may tell us something we didn't expect about drug use. Something we couldn't have guessed would be in the data.

    I know that's a leap of trust for taxpayers, myself included. But all the studies have shown the same thing - taxpayers who trust the tribe of scientists get rewarded.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Quite an interesting paper here.

    One finding which might arise from such measurement is that the true level of drug use is higher than that estimated from surveys, and consequently the incidence of problematic use is lower than estimated.

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

  • andin,

    good informative measured series thanks. And in a year when most things went tits up metaphorically speaking... mainly the old white males of the species.
    All I thought was... about bloody time.
    I just hope Trump et al become a laughing stock and do no lasting damage

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report Reply

  • Rob S, in reply to andin,

    I just hope Trump et al become a laughing stock and do no lasting damage

    Me too brother, me too.

    What will be his first fuck up/scandal, other than his election?

    Since Apr 2010 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    One finding which might arise from such measurement is that the true level of drug use is higher than that estimated from surveys, and consequently the incidence of problematic use is lower than estimated.

    New Zealand's high level of reported drug use may in fact be related to our greater trust in society – and therefore, willingness to honestly report.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Tuari Potiki’s quote has been bouncing around in my head since listening:

    "There needs to be a catalyst for change it’s not just going to happen organically and it’s not going to happen because the politicians are suddenly gonna wake up and decide to change things. Unfortunately the way that significant change has occurred in New Zealand over the last 20 years, and I’m thinking about firstly the establishment of the mental health commission and all of the money that went into mental health – that was the back of a couple of tragedies."

    One has to wonder how many dead police officers, how many suppliers, how many soldiers, how many Community Board members, how many s̶u̶i̶c̶i̶d̶e̶s̶ (sorry I know the topic is un-Kiwi), how many chronic pain sufferers and terminally ill, how many daughters and sons, how many fathers and mothers and how many children and infants might constitute a “tragedy” in New Zealand in 2017.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

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