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Speaker: Why we need to stop talking about inequality

90 Responses

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  • SHG, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    There is obvious inequality present; Tracy Chapman and I are unequal in, to choose but one example, the fact that she has won a Grammy and I have not. However that is not inequality that I care about very much.

    nup • Since Oct 2010 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to SHG,

    Easier to explain...

    How about we generate a Kiwi version of this?

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    That was sourced from here...https://www.hrc.co.nz/news/ever-wondered-what-privilege/

    I uncharacteristically did one of those rather moronic "test your real age quizzes a few weeks ago.

    I was doing ok until the "do you have financial worries?" and "are you caring for a family member with health and disability issues?"...gone...ten years off my lifespan.

    I guess that's an example of inequality.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to SHG,

    However that is not inequality that I care about very much

    Apples and oranges. Modern inequality is being propped up by survivorship bias dogma that thinks anyone can be a CEO or a dropout tech tycoon.

    Is a zero-tax, zero-government society worth it, if you have to live in a bomb shelter and be escorted in your daily life in an armoured car by SAS troops? Somalia is a little bit like that, and to a lesser extent Joburg, Lima and La Paz.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5443 posts Report Reply

  • SHG, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Apples and oranges.

    On the contrary, it's 100% apples to apples. There's a clear inequality but I don't give a shit about it. And I don't see why I SHOULD give a shit about it.

    Seriously, this is the problem. I'm an interested literate politically-aware correspondent asking for a definition of inequality and why I should care, and no-one has yet been able to provide one. If you can't engage with me you don't have a shit show of getting Joe Sixpack to care.

    nup • Since Oct 2010 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to SHG,

    There’s a clear inequality but I don’t give a shit about it. And I don’t see why I SHOULD give a shit about it.

    Are you, or is anyone you know, on a benefit, minimum wage, or studying? Do you have a disability? Are you a sole parent, or on an average wage wanting to buy a house of your own? Do you have access to healthcare? Might you ever need surgery? Do you ever plan to retire? Will you ever need childcare, or schooling for your children? Do you want criminals to be rehabilitated before they are released back into the community?

    If any of these situations could apply to you or those dear to you, you should care about inequality.

    Also, many of us want every person in NZ to have a chance of a good, productive life. Accepting inequality means we accept that only some of us should have that chance.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3894 posts Report Reply

  • SHG,

    See again you're using the word "inequality" as a symbol for something that you're not explaining.

    There is a clear inequality in the number of Grammys won between myself and Tracy Chapman. I have none; she has one. Inequality.

    Do you care? If so, why?

    If you don't care about that inequality but you do care about something something disability something something productive life something? then there are obviously some specific SORTS of inequality that you do care about, and about which you think other people should care, and you - collectively, all of you - need to know how to explain the difference. And if this thread is any indication, you can't.

    nup • Since Oct 2010 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to SHG,

    Seriously, this is the problem. I'm an interested literate politically-aware correspondent asking for a definition of inequality and why I should care, and no-one has yet been able to provide one.

    The - or your - problem is you're auctioning your intellectual virginity and no-one's come anywhere near the reserve?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    I’m getting kind of sick of this.
    Inequality is: people from different backgrounds (class, gender, ethnic, cultural, physical or mental differences) having systematically different access to such things as education, healthcare, food and shelter.
    If you care about other people at all, you should care about inequality.
    But even if you’re a selfish tosser who doesn’t give a shit about others, you should still care about inequality because (i) one day it could be you; and (ii) it eventually affects the quality of society you have to live in. A society with a larger number of marginalised people is a more dangerous and depressing society to live in.
    If you still don’t give a shit, that can only mean you don’t see yourself as part of society.

    That said, look at the title of this thread. Inequality is too neutral a word. We need to call it what it is: unfairness.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to SHG,

    all things being…

    Inequality …and you – collectively, all of you – need to know how to explain the difference.

    Does this ‘royal – all-of-you’ include your good self SHG?
    What do You think it means?
    Let’s start at the beginning…

    I think your linchpin ‘example’:

    There is a clear inequality in the number of Grammys won between myself and Tracy Chapman. I have none; she has one. Inequality.

    is disingenuous and fatuous, you would need to place it in a context.
    As the Grammy Awards are decided by a vote of peers, just how many songs/albums have you submitted for selection?
    But as you asked for help from the group here are some tips on how to win a Grammy.

    <edit – actually linger ^^ says it all much better than me, I always leave too much extra reading between the lines to do..>
    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    What do You think it means?

    SHG?

    As "an interested literate politically-aware correspondent", help me out here....

    Being cryptic is all very well...but I thought the thread was about communication of ideas...

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to ,

    Equality is having a fair shake of the dice and playing the game according to Hoyle.

    Hoyle's handy when things get tense at the Samba table....but is there a rule book for how life is played?

    Or are the rules set by those holding the power?

    But then...in a democracy...

    Democracy is not working for the majority.

    Has it ever?

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to ,

    When someone says firefly, what do you think?

    “I am a little glow bug,
    A glow bug’s never glum,
    How can I be unhappy,
    When the sun shines out my bum?”

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to ,

    When someone says firefly, what do you think?

    Joss Whedon...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    I must watch more telly....

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to ,

    lightning bugs flicker...

    Flash go’s the orange tree.
    Thunder crack, drawn pencil graphite black; gray.
    Blue lime green cloud and rain.

    Bloody synesthetes!

    Ya can't take them anywhere...

    Give 'em the cold light of crepuscular Lampyridae and they'll sense the order behind it all - a veritable Coleoptera Opera of tactile sound and light! (lucky buggers!)
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    Inequality is too neutral a word. We need to call it what it is: unfairness.

    Well in the current circumstances, its the better off stacking the rules in their favour and fuck anyone else.
    And to their minds If somehow someone's life isnt roses, well its their fault. Personal responsibility and all that, their dinner party argument.
    But this govt is worse even than that.They put me in mind of the time the pope sold papal dispensations to heaven. They'll do anything to make a buck.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    How can I be unhappy, / When the sun shines out my bum?

    (Illuminating illustration of survivor’s bias!)

    Ignoring mass-energy conversion
    (so, casting light aside, rather than behind),
    the law of conservation of fecal matter entails that
    someone who doesn’t give a shit must be full of it.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report Reply

  • SHG,

    Thought experiment.

    DAY ONE: My three friends and I live in abject poverty.

    DAY TWO: A lotto ticket falls from a passing aeroplane and I pluck it out of the air, and upon taking it to a Lotto shop I find that I have just won ten million dollars. Being a nice guy I give each of my three neighbours a million dollars.

    Which day is the best day for us? Which day is the worst day for inequality?

    nup • Since Oct 2010 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    Hey...do we get remunerated for participating in this focus group/experiment?

    (Is this my Lotto Ticket fluttering earthwards?)

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Re munificence...

    ...focus group/experiment?
    Is this my Lotto Ticket fluttering...

    The Powerballs of Aesop?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    SHG has already sold that many times over on other sites. No surprise we can't be bothered haggling.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to SHG,

    Thought experiment.

    Nah dumb
    How about you try this one.
    You are the wealthiest person in a small group of people in community.
    Everyone has animals though you have the most and are able to have a shelter to put them at night. No one else does, so let them keep their animals in your shelter and take responsibility for looking after them.
    One morning all the animals are gone, stolen. You can afford to pay everyone for their lost animals but it will leave you with no wealth, tho you are likely to gain the respect of the community.
    So do you say tough luck to everyone else, or do you pay them for their animals and leave yourself poor?

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to andin,

    What kind of livestock are we talking about here? Firstly I’d call the cops, I’d compensate everyone with a couple of ewes, buy a couple of rams and ewes for myself, then lend out the rams to everyone for a bit of the old breeding. I’d pay for the drenching and shot supplies for the community’s ewes in the meantime. I’d also set about teaching the community how to build their own shelters and suggest we work as a community to chop down trees and build beta shelters for everyone’s livestock, set up a neighbourhood watch group, brand or microchip all the new livestock and get folk into distributing seeds, cuttings and the essential rooting hormone so there’s always some horticulture for the community to fall back on should there be any more animal thieving. Wherever possible I’d encourage those with relevant expertise to lead the way.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    See, I'd be wanting to know how I got to be the wealthiest person in town....

    And who in their right mind would trust the wealthiest person in town with their sheep?

    Stolen? Yeah right. Betcha I 'forgot' I sold 'em.

    For goodness sakes...have they not heard the one about the wolf....?

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

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