Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Family Matters: a post about 2020

50 Responses

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  • Sacha, in reply to Farmer Green,

    made no difference to me

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    So we won, lets all go on Twitter and hypo-link data and gloat about being better than Sweden, and they loose because more people are dead and sick.

    And just because the lap top is open and because we have a substantial Twitter following. Lets run that one about being more on to it than that dick head Mike From the radio.

    And and and, maybe a bit of virtue signalling about anything to do with homosexuality.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    That does not seem to have much relation to this thread. Are you OK?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Thanks for your concern Sacha. I am OK.

    "I recall realising even before we went into our pandemic lockdown that what a lot of what people – including me – were doing was a matter of processing anxiety in public. It was evident, vividly, on social media, where sometimes we expressed it by policing each other, shouting at each other , drawing lines, letting fly. Heartbreakingly, I found myself shouting desperately at old friends who began a descent into malignant conspiracy theories."

    I communicate sometimes a little riddled. Thats on purpose. But I also understand not all people notice the nuanced stuff. I have family members on that spectrum. It doesn’t always work to just say: Dude, I think you’re starting to talk crap, maybe step back and take stock.

    I’m ok, but a little disappointed to see intelligent people become dependent on the social media feedback loops at the detriment of real two way conversations. And to watch real world inequality and injustices ignored by people of influence. Possibly, and this is only my humble hypothesis, they are looking thru the social media lens with out stoping to think much about how much the technology of that might be affecting our relationships with one and other.. Kind of like not thinking about how the built environment such as Manhattan create an unhealthy segregation. lucky someone thought to build Central Park.

    I'm an arts practitioner. I use computers as creative tools. I often find the engineering getting in the way of the creativity.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced it was in ongoing discussions with the Indian government to supply its Covid-19 vaccine to the country at a not-for-profit price, according to Reuters news agency.

    Imagine if your family was trying to survive in India.

    Imagine why India is having to "negotiate" with Pfizer while Its health system in inundated.

    New Zealand could help with that negotiation, but it won't.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    I imagine Pfizer and other drug companies are wary about dealing with India because of that country's history of successfully undercutting Big Pharma's price-gouging with generics. To meet the demand, there's going to have to be some vaccine production within India under license as part of the deal, and that does pose some commercial risk for the company. But I also imagine the practicalities of responding to a pandemic should see a reasonable deal reached. The whole point is that no country should be left behind, otherwise the pandemic continues with fresh mutations requiring further vaccine updates and … oh, wait.

    It's weird having morally dubious profit-seeking companies cast as the saviours of the species.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1938 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I'm trying to regulate my generalised outrage-trying to remind myself I don't rant and complain so much in person.

    This particular issue ( and bus drivers and the advertising of alcohol...)

    This one is something I feel, more than I did since visiting a part of India where alcohol is prohibited and being trained to drive busses in Wellington with Indian immigrants.

    Indian immigrant workers also care for a disabled person, who lives in my house.

    It can possibly be confusing for some to join all these dots because the news paper companies tend to over emphasise when An Indian business person is caught exploiting Indian immigrants who work in their alcohol super saver stores.

    Most of the Indian bus drivers I've worked with are Pujab. Alcohol is acceptable there. Not Gujarat, where large numbers of our "essential" work force migrated from. Alcohol is prohibited in Gujarat.

    Tangental and circumferential I know. Point is, they are us. We shouldn't just ban Indian New Zealanders from transiting thru our borders right now. We should provide health care at managed isolation facility's and we should go to bat for them regarding the easing of intellectual property power Pfizer holds.

    However, I don't know enough about the big geopolitical picture so might have it all wrong and owe the internet an apology.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    This page up on RNZ web sight ten minutes after posting that last comment.
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/441078/live-chris-hipkins-provides-update-on-the-india-travel-suspension

    It’s obvious we are not waisting our time here, Linger. People spend ages Tweeting their directive to the Government and get no action. Over at the abandoned Public Address it’s a different story.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    When the environmental pressure comes on. Such as the threat of the pandemic, maybe an eviction from a rental property, the exclusion from resources such as food or the threat of violence – people behave differently. We go into heightened survival mode.

    The healthy strategy is to start opening the pantry to other people. We are stronger as a group, people more often than not will contribute their resources to that pantry rather than cleaning it out for them selves. Its called solidarity.

    They are people who start hoarding and guarding their pantries. They are vulnerable, weak and useless. It's called competitive and greedy.

    New Zealanders are vulnerable, weak and useless

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Imagine you where an Uber driver. You earn less than the minimum wage because just how it is. You enjoy interacting with people people and like feeling helpful, so don’t mind being paid in peanuts too much.

    Your main rides ferry business people and government beurorcrates between the airport and the CBC. A mix of domestic and international travellers, some on Holliday some attending conferences ect.

    This while a pandemic is beginning to emerge. After a while the government realises the spread of Covid 19 is getting out of control. Remember, its arriving thru airports. The government shuts the entire country down but allows what’s known as the “The essential workers” to continue to operate. The essential workers are listed on the official government web sight with vague descriptions or exclamations of anything because the people employed to manage the response to civil emergencies and the ministries responsible for decision making have all gone home to make sour doe and go on line to show off interior of middle class homes.

    You are faced with a serious philosophical problem. Do you perform your civic duty and transport people who need to travel for essential reasons such as for medical care and getting basic food supply’s while you might kill them due possibly having caught the virus from the airport, and or be infected but them. Or do just look after number one and let them fend for them selves and rationalise that by simply imagining in your mind that someone else with look after them.

    But obviously you do the right thing and ask for advise from the government departments who listed you as an essential worker. You send out the emails and wait but don’t get any responses from anyone. What do you do?

    Imagine how you would feel when you discover that being an essential worker such a public transport operater means your health and we’ll being consider relative to your income, even during a pandemic. That you’re not even worth consideration. Imagine how you would feel when the people you risked your life running out to the airport and back so they could take overseas holidays, and earn middle class entitlements, just discard you as practically valueless. And the dots are hardly ever connected by the distinctly ugly class system that has emerged in New Zealand and been shown for what it really is because of the pandemic lock down, and the political moment after..

    I don’t have to imagine that.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    And it's easy to view people who complain about inequality as whiners and deranged. I'm aware of that.

    You are entitled to think happy thoughts and hum.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    that nice John Key, I mean, that kind miss Ardern is smiling and milking the credit for donating vaccines to poor people.

    Donating a relatively tiny amount vaccine doses is what wealthy philanthropist do. It's embarrassing to see a country only doing that as a political marketing exercise. The government should be applying pressure onto the pharmaceutical companies to share the IP if they are serious about dealing to the pandemic. But they won’t because millions of people dying overseas dosn’t affect them personally. if anything, the fear it instills helps them domestically.

    Same with poverty here. As if a $25 increase in benefits would help people who have already developed poverty illness. I doesn't affect people who own there own homes and have health insurance so just step over it, and enjoy the gig.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Peoples vaccine

    Team of five million,

    Are you listing?

    how about going to hell,

    they might say.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    In short, New Zealand’s plan was to very nicely ask the pharmaceutical industry to do the right thing, while allowing them to continue to decide who can produce Covid vaccines, to set the prices and to extort a licensing fee.

    Never mind that at the same time the industry was already asking the US Government to formally label the countries that had sought to produce patented Covid vaccine and treatments as intellectual property thefts.

    Thats the sort of thing that makes refusing a vaccination totally reasonable as a consciences boycott. The fuck is wrong with the Ardern government. Do they not realise its a world wide pandemic?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    The pandemic isn’t over because have our vaccines Who will grow our bananas?

    How will be able to fly to five star resorts, where the staff will behave like children and serve us and cater to our imaginings that we are philanthropic saviours for giving them pathetic amounts of money?

    How will we import migrant workers to help the orchardists earn range rovers (which they are entitled?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    What if the vaccine dosn’t protect us against the new strains that are emerging because most of the worlds population are poor and the vaccine company’s don’t care if the thing mutates rapidly.

    What if the smug attitude middle class New Zealanders are expressing on Twitter is just embarrassing, actually. and anyone in the world can look at it. Well anyone in the developed world because the internet isn’t universally affordable.


    All we’ve done is thro money at everything.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    So, the USA has agreed to support the vaccine IP waiver. Obviously its a little late to stop the massive serge in places like India. But its nice to see that even a hard arse inward looking nation like the United States has a little bit of warmth left, or that its wiser minds successfully argued for pragmatism.

    How about New New Zealand, where’s it leave us?
    Will we show a bit of dignity?

    Some of the commentary about how cool and successful we are at dealing with the pandemic is beginning to look pathological. We haven’t won a chess competition,, we are not that smart, We just hoarded lots toilet paper,, (metaphorically speaking) because we pushed in line. And we have lots of cash.

    Its embarrassing.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    And the argument that biotechnology is really tricky and expensive. And that its done by supper elite people who need to be paid an extra lot. You make a good argument that I should spit on your fast food.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to steven crawford,

    As Ben Goldacre has pointed out, the drug company argument that they need to price-gouge because of Massive R&D Costs in producing new drugs! ... is hard to maintain when their R&D budget is dwarfed by their marketing expenditure.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1938 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to linger,

    Yes, and sometimes governments need to govern. Those pharmaceutical companies don’t need to operate out side of human society: as pure corporate entities in order to develop their products. (They shouldn’t, they don’t ). The marketing creates the impression they do. I’m pretty sure its a legal fiction.

    A forced acquisition of some of that marketing budget would be appropriate. This could be spent on clearing up some of the misunderstandings about who exactly is governing the world.

    Something thats a wee bit of concern to me is that India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons trained on each other. Both countries are in a state of high stress right now. Good to offer them both a bit of gentle nurturing. Not sitting by and allowing corporate giants to engage in hard nose bargaining over essential pharmaceutical supply. ie, bullying of vulnerable people. Better still, just to keep it simple. let’s be kind.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Not widely reported. Ardern has followed the US lead, and is now supporting the peoples vaccine initiative so impoverished nations can feel the love and support. Symbolically, and with a higher probability of not dying from Covid 19.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    All the interlectual arguing about the IP relaxation not being the magic bullet because thats not the bottle neck, and all the nurds technical blabber – thats ephemeral. Look at this: “Peoples Vaccine” it’s a unifying statement. It’s psychologically important.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Tidy web page – article about the Serum institute (Privet vaccine manufacturing company in India).

    Not the magic bullet ether. Magic bullets are make-believe like unicorns.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

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