Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Occupy: Don't call it a protest

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  • Sacha, in reply to 3410,

    Seeing the same.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    Thank you Russell, Kate, Joe. I wish I had more time to participate here.

    but is Paul Moon really an academic?

    If you believe that AUT’s a university.

    I nearly said something in defense of AUT’s academic reputation, but as I was bullied by people there into handing over a huge database of information I compiled and subsequently found my name excised from every piece of work I ever did in relation to those projects (representing hundreds of hours of my time)… yeah, well, give them a punch in the academic chops for me.

    The people at AUT were almost as bad as SPARC for helping themselves to my work then removing my name from everything I’d written.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Ethics, eh

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to dyan campbell,

    Dyan - that is most emphatically violation of *your* copyright, and is sueable-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    I think one thing the Auckland occupiers really got right was not setting themselves against the Rugby World Cup, which would have been death to any idea of an inclusive action.

    It'd be like shooting yourself in the foot and I've seen too much of that lately.
    But action and thoughts kinda different beasts. And maybe the action benefits from the "right" kind of thought put into it.
    And Paul Moon's stupid drivelling critique, fuck me. One doesn't one need a qualification to write drivel, anyone can do it.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Paul Moon's reputation among Maori scholars is......variable, I am told.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to dyan campbell,

    I nearly said something in defense of AUT’s academic reputation . . .

    My attempted 'If you believe that AUT’s a university' snark wasn't motivated by any kind of snobbery. Just a festering annoyance at the underlying shabbiness of doing education on the cheap, brought to a head by the Herald's collusion in passing off the weaselling results as a contribution to public debate.

    I should fess up to a long-ago passing involvement with the old ATI. Despite the glaring contrast between its run-down facilities and those of the 'real' university literally across the street, with the feeling that most of the students were there under sufferance, there were still dedicated teachers of 'tech' subjects who did a phenomenal job.

    Rather than consecrate the place as a university in its own right, with the virtual duplication of many subjects already taught by its immediate neighbour, why wasn't it simply made part of the existing University's campus? Presumably because it wouldn't have met Auckland University's standards without a massive upgrade. As Frank Zappa said, if you can't be free you can always be cheap.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Islander,

    Paul Moon’s reputation among Maori scholars is……variable, I am told.

    On the one hand, he caused a furore with a book on cannibalism. On the other hand, he got into a stoush with the macro-nationalists who call themselves the Coastal Coalition.

    Dyan – that is most emphatically violation of *your* copyright, and is sueable-

    I’m sure Graeme Edgeler could help with some advice.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5439 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Moon also brought out a book on a tohuka on his acquaintance that contained, to my certain (non-scholar speaking) knowledge, a couple of truly egregious errors.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    I was going to critique at this late date Moons column, but cant be assed registering at the Herald’s site, so hope no one minds it’s here.

    those who know little about generating wealth, but thump their chests when it comes to demands for its redistribution.

    Oh not so subtle dig there Paul, you want to have another go mate. You know call people unlettered, unqualified, why not throw in “smelly & dirty” or maybe “unwashed” is more your style.

    Like a cork being tossed around on the ocean, New Zealand has comparatively limited control over its economic direction. Moreover, Dame Anne offers no example of the specific policies she blames,

    Nice metaphor there Moony “a cork in the water” yes it wasnt the dumb fucks running the place, They were innocent puppets in some dastardly plot. And obviously you havent been paying attention for the past few decades because there are no specific policies to blame. It is the false direction in which we have all been heading, or dragged OK!

    There are plenty of examples of nations throughout history with collective values whose economies have approached collapse (the Soviet Union, North Korea and Albania come to mind), whereas countries where the social values are much more diverse, such as the United States, have tended to prosper.

    Got a broad enough brush there Paul? I think you may have missed a spot over there.

    I am sure that if someone told a New Zealander in 1971, for example, that 40 years later, there would be people classified as being in the poorest quartile in the country owning more than one telephone, a car with power steering and air conditioning, they surely would have scoffed at the possibility.

    So you’ll just leave out the prices and the changed social conditions then. A prepay mobile is cheaper than a land line FYI, tho a cheap landline for internet will give a bigger down load cap that a Vodafone stick thing and applying for jobs it is virtually indispensable. Price is the last consideration for the consumer usually. And you try and keep you use down when looking for work! OOooooo power steering, my mind is agog. I think Paul virtually all cheap imports have power steering, cause like you, the manufacturers think its some kind of selling point, or it was back when these shitbox’s were made.
    You got in a car lately where the aircon is nothing more than in name only, of course you probably wouldnt have, unless you got in a students car. Ridden on any public transport lately? You know its better of you live close to the routes made 50yrs ago right? Done the economics of car v PT? I guess not.

    redistribution of wealth a doctrinal priority, a visit to North Korea would be an instructive exercise.

    And then maybe they could cross the border to South Korea and experience the sort of assertively capitalist economy

    Must be getting close to finishing eh! Got those broad strokes going on again.
    Got any idea of the power structure there have you? Or too inconvenient and running out of column inches are we?
    Just enough room for this eh……

    Maybe we could both take solace in the observation of the great economist John Kenneth Galbraith, who asserted that economic policy “is the choice is between courses that are almost equally good or equally bad. It is the narrowest decisions that are most ardently debated”.

    What if we are way off course? Oh thats right running out of room must finish with a zinger. Overqualified moron!

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    No shirking tricky treats...
    Speaking of books - I see a fine list of Halloween reading in the Guardian's Book section - Good to see a kiwi author amongst Calvino, Atwood, Ballard, DeLillo and Greene, et al...
    Well done that man!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7948 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Well done that man!

    Not wrong.
    Seems like only yestermorn that he were gracing this very neck o' the web.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    Dyan – that is most emphatically violation of *your* copyright, and is sueable-

    Thank you Islander, but it's not a matter of words, where I can prove it's this passage or that passage. it's a set of ideas. Even

    I wrote a huge number of letters letters to a few of key people at SPARC - over so many years that I think there were 3 people in one position - that were like the following (see below, and please forgive the length) and I had numerous meetings with them, there was promise of flying me down to Wellington and paying me for my work, if only I'd explain a little bit more what I meant.

    What galls me is how careful I was to name each and every person whose ideas had spurred my own - and then after literally several years of correspondence like the piece below - I pick up a copy of the Listener and see a whole raft of my ideas being touted as this great new idea from SPARC. That's not strictly illegal. Is it? I'd been talking about this stuff for years to anyone who'd listen, and most people don't want to. Hell, they got Mike Chunn to help, and he'd been one of the people I'd rung, and talked the ear off about my ideas along the way.

    But see for yourself, I say help yourself. All the talk of pay and inclusion in committees never made it to print.

    Please excuse the massive length of the following letter:





    Hullo
    I very much enjoyed meeting you and, a propos of that conversation, here is an overview of some (far from all) of my ideas.

    Making as many links between the categories of school-based education, public education, social marketing (a different thing to public education, as you would well know) the built environment, and as much cross-pollination between the intended demographic groups is the key to success.

    Attached is a copy of an article I wrote about Prof. Lewis Wolpert, who has remained a good friend since the time of the interview, and would be an excellent speaker should we ever decide to have a forum or conference on the subject of depression. He may be coming over to New Zealand for a Great Blend event, as Russell Brown (Public Address Russell Brown) has invited him (no dates chosen yet) and it might be worthwhile to set up a forum or public talk on the subject of depression and lifestyle and invite Lewis as a speaker. The obesity-depression link is very interesting, and the role of the hypothalamus/pituitary/adrenals axis is enormously relevant in any country that is simultaneously battling epidemics of obesity and depression.

    I have also attached a copy of the fitness project I developed with friends, but as we have all been extremely busy, it has remained dormant and stalled at the development stage.
    An integrated approach when teaching the fundamentals of diet and exercise that could be dovetailed into a school curriculum has long been a dream of mine.
    Lewis Wolpert is Professor of Biology as Applied to Medicine in the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology of University College, London, and
    has written extensively (as well as written and presented a 3 part BBC series) about depression and is a keen exponent of maintaining an optimum diet and a fairly high level of exercise as a way of maximizing serotonin production and minimizing anxiety. Lewis (pls. see attached article) was Chairman for the Public Understanding of Science at the time I interviewed him, and he remarked how very interested people are in science, especially as it pertains to their own health. This is true even of children, despite the fact they have no fears of mortality or sickness.
    The level of information can easily be tailored to the age of the student - some of the simplest measurements in physiology such as 1) taking a resting heart rate, 2) doing an interval of exercise 3) taking an elevated heart rate, 4) then timing the return to the resting rate could be taught to children as young as 10 or 11 and would be of enormous interest from the both a scientific and an athletic point of view. A project of this nature could be attached to an already existing physical exercise class.

    While this could be delivered on as small a scale as a single class, requiring only a clock with a second hand and children that can be taught to find their pulse and count, and it could also be adapted to internet communication, via myspace or something of that nature. An interschool or even international project could be undertaken for very little expense, as children in various regions could participate in various projects, and compare results, opinions or ideas with each other.

    In my older siblings' era dance crazes swept North America - so along with the latest hit song would come dances like the Watusi, the Frug, the Pony, the Twist, the Shake, the Mashed Potato, the Dog, and some like the Madison, intended to be performed as a group. The silly-but-athletic, frenetic quality and the accompaniment of music to each of these dances is ideal for the Youtube and Myspace age, the time is certainly ripe for a revival of dance crazes.
    While it is an ambitious dream, I would like to see the competitive aspect of games eliminated in physical education classes, leaving class time to be as sharply focused as possible on lessons, applications and results - and most importantly - the sheer joy of movement and play.

    Michael Groom's "Samba Soccer School" is an excellent example of what I mean.

    HYPERLINK "http://www.sambastylesoccer.co.nz/about.htm"Alegria School of Samba Style Soccer

    In any game where competition is ignored until the players are very proficient in their skills, not only can the sheer joy of play be more readily found, the players actually have a greater chance to develop proficiency that would otherwise not be developed, as it would entail risking a competitive result.

    Canadian philosopher John Ralston Saul writes of competition:

    "The theory is that competion draws each individual along, bringing out of him or her the best he or she has to offer. Competition and the resulting fame are thought to be among the great achievements of our rational meritocracy. They promise both self-improvement and participation.

    "The reality is almost the opposite. In a world devoted to measuring the best, most of us aren't even in the competition. Human dignity being what it is, we eliminate ourselves from the competition in order to avoid giving other people the power to eliminate us. Not only does a society obsessed by competition not draw people out, it actually encourages them to hide what talents they have by convincing them that they are insufficient. The common complaint that we have become spectator societies is the direct result of an overemphasis on competition."

    I would add to that - as an ex-coach and ex-teacher of many years - competition neatly eliminates any child who actually needs exercise and concentrates all the focus on the few children who are already physically fit. This always struck me as counter-productive. This would be even more so in a classroom - where I taught gymnastics the children were almost athletic to begin with, but in a class where fully 30% are going to be unfit, competition will not only exclude them from the activities but will inevitably turn them against physical activity in general.

    Any lessons on fitness, physiology, nutrition must be delivered in a way that engages students. So any lesson in biology might mention nutrition, and perhaps include both a class garden, from which could flow both lessons in plant growth but also lessons in food appreciation - i.e. teaching perception of "sweet" or "salty" can depend on the context of the food. It would be helpful to teach children that a new food needs to be tried 20 times or so before an individual can actually decide whether they like it or not. This is a single example, but it would be one of many, many facts that are in some way relevant or interesting to students. Most teenagers are very keen to know that vigorous exercise can speed up the healing of a blemish by 70% for instance, or that an increase in calcium rich foods and sufficient vitamin D before the final growth stage can profoundly affect their final adult height, or that sweat that is produced as a response to anxiety is produced on different areas of the body than sweat that is produced as a result of exertion. There are many facts of this nature, and geneticist David Suzuki, whose enormously popular TV show The Nature of

    Another idea I have is a restaurant review written from a nutritional point of view, as well as a culinary one.

    Fitness Life publisher and editor Tania Greig has lamented in print the absence of healthy options on children's menus at family restaurants, and many times I have been perplexed by the absence of vegetables in a menu item that has been presented as a dinner. A review that kept consumers informed as to the nutritional value of the food would be a welcome feature to many besides Tania Greig and myself. This would be of particular interest to parents looking for an option besides fish and chips or chicken nuggets, but would also be relevant to anyone who wishes to get the biggest nutritional bang from a dinner out, as well as the best cuisine. Restaurant reviews of this nature would also serve to link the idea of good food and good nutrition, rather than presenting them as polar opposites.

    Other food oriented ideas I have include population specific recipe contests - such as perhaps a Samoan, Tongan or Maori favorite - puha and pork, hangi, umu or a corned beef and taro dish - adapted by a chef with a view to making a healthy, delicious, superior option. Anne Thorp, who presents the Maori TV show Kai Ora is doing exactly this thing, but I can see each community's favourite dishes being adapted in just such a way. A national contest, one division open to amateurs, another for professional chefs - with the public invited to vote for the dishes they would like to see adapted and also selected to judge the results - could spark trends and facilitate a change in food choices.
    .
    Another idea I have is reall from the Canadian organisation

    HYPERLINK "http://www.mushkeg.ca/"Welcome To Mushkeg
    103 Villeneuve St. W, Montreal, Qc.

    and they have had enormous success attracting First Nations students to hard sciences by delivering the curriculum in the Native language, as well as integrating traditional concepts into the field. In Canada, where First Nations students will happily study literature, history or anthropology, very few ever venture into the sciences. Obviously this had a terrible effect on the number of physicians or researchers they produced, but the Mushkeg programmes have been enormously successful. The principles of their approach could easily be adapted to Pacific Island and Maori culture, and an increase in the number of Pacific Island and Maori health professionals would be very valuable in New Zealand.
    George Orwell observed in The Road to Wigan Pier his upper class friends looked fully 10 years younger than his working class friends by the time they were 30, and the difference became even greater with time. Before the industrial revolution though, the reverse would have been true.

    I have a huge amount of material on these subjects - I will spare you any more literary or historical references as I will spare you all the articles and clippings - but I really have more ideas than I know what to do with. I am going to Vancouver in a couple of weeks, and I will be seeing some friends on the various City Councils (Janice Harris - a NZer originally - is a popular alderman in North Van, and Gordon Price is an old, old friend and is on the Vancouver City Council) and I will come back with even more clippings no doubt. I hope these will be useful to NZ governing bodies, but in any event, I am happy to help.

    cheers

    dyan campbell

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    Dyan – that is most emphatically violation of *your* copyright, and is sueable-

    Thank you Islander, but it's not a matter of words, where I can prove it's this passage or that passage. it's a set of ideas.

    I wrote a huge number of letters letters to a few of key people at SPARC - over so many years that I think there were 3 people in one position - that were like the following (see below, and please forgive the length) and I had numerous meetings with them, there was promise of flying me down to Wellington and paying me for my work, if only I'd explain a little bit more what I meant.

    What galls me is how careful I was to name each and every person whose ideas had spurred my own - and then after literally several years of correspondence like the piece below - I picked up a copy of the Listener and saw a whole raft of my ideas being touted as this great new direction from SPARC. That's not strictly illegal. Is it? I'd been talking about this stuff for years to anyone who'd listen, and most people don't want to. Hell, they got Mike Chunn to help, and he'd been one of the people I'd rung, and talked the ear off about my ideas along the way.

    But see for yourself, I say help yourself. All the talk of pay and inclusion in committees never made it to print in their correspondence with me. I did not notice that at the time.

    Please excuse the massive length of the following letter:


    Hullo
    I very much enjoyed meeting you and, a propos of that conversation, here is an overview of some (far from all) of my ideas.

    Making as many links between the categories of school-based education, public education, social marketing (a different thing to public education, as you would well know) the built environment, and as much cross-pollination between the intended demographic groups is the key to success.

    Attached is a copy of an article I wrote about Prof. Lewis Wolpert, who has remained a good friend since the time of the interview, and would be an excellent speaker should we ever decide to have a forum or conference on the subject of depression. He may be coming over to New Zealand for a Great Blend event, as Russell Brown (Public Address Russell Brown) has invited him (no dates chosen yet) and it might be worthwhile to set up a forum or public talk on the subject of depression and lifestyle and invite Lewis as a speaker. The obesity-depression link is very interesting, and the role of the hypothalamus/pituitary/adrenals axis is enormously relevant in any country that is simultaneously battling epidemics of obesity and depression.

    I have also attached a copy of the fitness project I developed with friends, but as we have all been extremely busy, it has remained dormant and stalled at the development stage.
    An integrated approach when teaching the fundamentals of diet and exercise that could be dovetailed into a school curriculum has long been a dream of mine.
    Lewis Wolpert is Professor of Biology as Applied to Medicine in the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology of University College, London, and
    has written extensively (as well as written and presented a 3 part BBC series) about depression and is a keen exponent of maintaining an optimum diet and a fairly high level of exercise as a way of maximizing serotonin production and minimizing anxiety. Lewis (pls. see attached article) was Chairman for the Public Understanding of Science at the time I interviewed him, and he remarked how very interested people are in science, especially as it pertains to their own health. This is true even of children, despite the fact they have no fears of mortality or sickness.
    The level of information can easily be tailored to the age of the student - some of the simplest measurements in physiology such as 1) taking a resting heart rate, 2) doing an interval of exercise 3) taking an elevated heart rate, 4) then timing the return to the resting rate could be taught to children as young as 10 or 11 and would be of enormous interest from the both a scientific and an athletic point of view. A project of this nature could be attached to an already existing physical exercise class.

    While this could be delivered on as small a scale as a single class, requiring only a clock with a second hand and children that can be taught to find their pulse and count, and it could also be adapted to internet communication, via myspace or something of that nature. An interschool or even international project could be undertaken for very little expense, as children in various regions could participate in various projects, and compare results, opinions or ideas with each other.

    In my older siblings' era dance crazes swept North America - so along with the latest hit song would come dances like the Watusi, the Frug, the Pony, the Twist, the Shake, the Mashed Potato, the Dog, and some like the Madison, intended to be performed as a group. The silly-but-athletic, frenetic quality and the accompaniment of music to each of these dances is ideal for the Youtube and Myspace age, the time is certainly ripe for a revival of dance crazes.
    While it is an ambitious dream, I would like to see the competitive aspect of games eliminated in physical education classes, leaving class time to be as sharply focused as possible on lessons, applications and results - and most importantly - the sheer joy of movement and play.

    Michael Groom's "Samba Soccer School" is an excellent example of what I mean.

    HYPERLINK "http://www.sambastylesoccer.co.nz/about.htm"Alegria School of Samba Style Soccer

    In any game where competition is ignored until the players are very proficient in their skills, not only can the sheer joy of play be more readily found, the players actually have a greater chance to develop proficiency that would otherwise not be developed, as it would entail risking a competitive result.

    Canadian philosopher John Ralston Saul writes of competition:

    "The theory is that competion draws each individual along, bringing out of him or her the best he or she has to offer. Competition and the resulting fame are thought to be among the great achievements of our rational meritocracy. They promise both self-improvement and participation.

    "The reality is almost the opposite. In a world devoted to measuring the best, most of us aren't even in the competition. Human dignity being what it is, we eliminate ourselves from the competition in order to avoid giving other people the power to eliminate us. Not only does a society obsessed by competition not draw people out, it actually encourages them to hide what talents they have by convincing them that they are insufficient. The common complaint that we have become spectator societies is the direct result of an overemphasis on competition."

    I would add to that - as an ex-coach and ex- gymnastics teacher of many years - competition neatly eliminates any child who actually needs exercise and concentrates all the focus on the few children who are already physically fit. This always struck me as counter-productive. This would be even more so in a classroom - where I taught gymnastics the children were almost athletic to begin with, but in a class where fully 30% are going to be unfit, competition will not only exclude them from the activities but will inevitably turn them against physical activity in general.

    Any lessons on fitness, physiology, nutrition must be delivered in a way that engages students. So any lesson in biology might mention nutrition, and perhaps include both a class garden, from which could flow both lessons in plant growth but also lessons in food appreciation - i.e. teaching perception of "sweet" or "salty" can depend on the context of the food. It would be helpful to teach children that a new food needs to be tried 20 times or so before an individual can actually decide whether they like it or not. This is a single example, but it would be one of many, many facts that are in some way relevant or interesting to students. Most teenagers are very keen to know that vigorous exercise can speed up the healing of a blemish by 70% for instance, or that an increase in calcium rich foods and sufficient vitamin D before the final growth stage can profoundly affect their final adult height, or that sweat that is produced as a response to anxiety is produced on different areas of the body than sweat that is produced as a result of exertion. There are many facts of this nature, and geneticist David Suzuki, whose enormously popular TV show The Nature of

    Another idea I have is a restaurant review written from a nutritional point of view, as well as a culinary one.

    Fitness Life publisher and editor Tania Greig has lamented in print the absence of healthy options on children's menus at family restaurants, and many times I have been perplexed by the absence of vegetables in a menu item that has been presented as a dinner. A review that kept consumers informed as to the nutritional value of the food would be a welcome feature to many besides Tania Greig and myself. This would be of particular interest to parents looking for an option besides fish and chips or chicken nuggets, but would also be relevant to anyone who wishes to get the biggest nutritional bang from a dinner out, as well as the best cuisine. Restaurant reviews of this nature would also serve to link the idea of good food and good nutrition, rather than presenting them as polar opposites.

    Other food oriented ideas I have include population specific recipe contests - such as perhaps a Samoan, Tongan or Maori favorite - puha and pork, hangi, umu or a corned beef and taro dish - adapted by a chef with a view to making a healthy, delicious, superior option. Anne Thorp, who presents the Maori TV show Kai Ora is doing exactly this thing, but I can see each community's favourite dishes being adapted in just such a way. A national contest, one division open to amateurs, another for professional chefs - with the public invited to vote for the dishes they would like to see adapted and also selected to judge the results - could spark trends and facilitate a change in food choices.
    .
    Another idea I have is really from the Canadian organisation:

    HYPERLINK "http://www.mushkeg.ca/"Welcome To Mushkeg
    103 Villeneuve St. W, Montreal, Qc.

    and they have had enormous success attracting First Nations students to hard sciences by delivering the curriculum in the Native language, as well as integrating traditional concepts into the field. In Canada, where First Nations students will happily study literature, history or anthropology, very few ever venture into the sciences. Obviously this had a terrible effect on the number of physicians or researchers they produced, but the Mushkeg programmes have been enormously successful. The principles of their approach could easily be adapted to Pacific Island and Maori culture, and an increase in the number of Pacific Island and Maori health professionals would be very valuable in New Zealand.

    George Orwell observed in The Road to Wigan Pier his upper class friends looked fully 10 years younger than his working class friends by the time they were 30, and the difference became even greater with time. Before the industrial revolution though, the reverse would have been true.

    I have a huge amount of material on these subjects - I will spare you any more literary or historical references as I will spare you all the articles and clippings - but I really have more ideas than I know what to do with. I am going to Vancouver in a couple of weeks, and I will be seeing some friends on the various City Councils (Janice Harris - a NZer originally - is a popular alderman in North Van, and Gordon Price is an old, old friend and is on the Vancouver City Council) and I will come back with even more clippings no doubt. I hope these will be useful to NZ governing bodies, but in any event, I am happy to help.

    cheers

    dyan campbell

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    I am so sorry about that double post. Was correcting typos...

    Paul Moon’s reputation among Maori scholars is……variable, I am told.

    You ain't just whistlin' Dixie, as they say. He's a loon, but he's fun to laugh at.

    He seems to think cannibalism is incredibly bad. Really, is it that much worse than other indignities committed against dead enemies in other cultures? Did he not read any history? What was done to live people by slavers was a whole lot worse. They bred their own children - or contracted overseers to breed theirs - to sell into slavery, for profit. It doesn't come much worse than that, and it makes cannibalism seem pretty civilised in comparison.

    Here's a song by a guy who's married to a school friend of mine:

    This is Black Man Clay, singing about his Great-great-grandfather:

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I agree about the discouraging effects of competition, Dyan. The problem is that it seems to work for the very top performers, driving them to extremes. The various human prowess records would possibly be lower if they hadn't been driven by competition.

    But what is also missed in this drive is the toll that it takes on those athletes. Having been driven to the very limits of human strength and endurance, they very often don't age well. So competitiveness doesn't serve general health objectives at any level, it would seem.

    There are other exceptions, where people use competition to focus, without really much caring if they win. But it seems to be a fragile balance, easily dominated by urge to win.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • NBH,

    Dyan, please don't take this the wrong way, but I don't really see anything in that letter that hasn't been talked about for a fairly long time in public health, nutrition etc. circles already. I agree with a lot of what you describe - and obviously don't have the context that you do for this discussion - but given that these ideas do have pretty widespread currency I think it's a pretty harsh call to accuse SPARC of stealing them. What were the specific actions they proposed/pursued that you had issues with?

    Wellington • Since Oct 2008 • 97 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    I agree about the discouraging effects of competition, Dyan. The problem is that it seems to work for the very top performers, driving them to extremes. The various human prowess records would possibly be lower if they hadn't been driven by competition.

    In my discussions with SPARC people I was talking specifically about pre and primary school age children, and my point was that it was useless to teach any sport or expect any competition before the basic physical skills of strength, flexibility, proprioception and endurance were mastered first.

    And some motor skills which are required to play sports, are damaging if taught "properly" to subjects too young. There is a reason tiny kids pitch with that feeble looking side-arm flick.

    Dyan, please don't take this the wrong way, but I don't really see anything in that letter that hasn't been talked about for a fairly long time in public health, nutrition etc. circles already. I agree with a lot of what you describe - and obviously don't have the context that you do for this discussion - but given that these ideas do have pretty widespread currency I think it's a pretty harsh call to accuse SPARC of stealing them. What were the specific actions they proposed/pursued that you had issues with?

    My communications, meetings and discussions with SPARC date back to 2003, and my problem with them is that they met with me repeatedly, asked me to explain things in ever greater detail, saying they were going to pay me for contract work, that I would be perfect for this committee or that planning group. As I've said to Islander, there is no specific group of words I can object to them using, but the fact that them met with me repeatedly and ask provide the details of many proposed projects. I can't prove they used any of the ideas I discussed with them, or provided to them in great detail. Right down to staffing and costing, and how progress could be monitored.

    An article like this one :

    http://www.listener.co.nz/commentary/kids-just-wanna-have-fun/ doesn't contain any specific passages from my correspondence, but I would like to know if SPARC ever published anything about these issues before I sent them my some of my ideas and handed over even more - after meetings where payment for my work was offered. But never given.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to dyan campbell,

    We should swap stories about lack of basic ethics in public entities sometime. Once I can afford to do such frivolous things, that is.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    And so it begins. Occupy Dunedin has been issued a trespass warning from the Octagon, effective 20:00 today, and after refusing the Council's offer of an alternative that's rather further out of the centre of town, they're being evicted entirely.
    Not sure how I feel about this. I don't like the Council using public space laws to evict a legal protest just because the protesters don't want to go to a smaller, less-visible location.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • DCBCauchi, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Not sure how I feel about this.

    Unsurprised? The Dunedin cops are hard-arses, dull but hard. I remember in the early 90s how they were after a student protest got violent. They got it violent. After they took the numbers off their uniforms before the charge.

    Then they patrolled the town like they owned it for quite some time, jumping on anything and everything, no matter where you went or what you were doing. Only criterion was how you looked.

    Dunedin. Back in the day, the underground events were timed for big rugby events. Rozzers too busy for harassment. And far too unimaginative. No doubt what attracted them to the job in the first place.

    Soldiers, police, revolutionaries. Young, dumb, and full of come. Wind them up and point them in the right direction. That's how the generals think.

    Since Feb 2011 • 320 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to DCBCauchi,

    The Dunedin cops are hard-arses

    So you're alleging that the Dunedin fuzz put the city council up to this? That's a pretty hefty allegation. Got proof?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • DCBCauchi, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    So you’re alleging that the Dunedin fuzz put the city council up to this? That’s a pretty hefty allegation. Got proof?

    Nope. Not alleging that at all. But can you see the Council doing it without checking with the cops first?

    Since Feb 2011 • 320 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Hmmm - I wonder if Jinty (elected to council as part of the mayor's own coalition) is going to stay with the occupiers ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Does anyone (in the next hour and a half) know a rights website which outlines the powers of the Police if one is in the Octagon but not camping or erecting tents at 8pm? Asking on behalf of people for whom this may soon be relevant.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

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