Posts by Chris Miller

  • Hard News: Sick with Anger,

    Yeah the house my parents bought when they found out they were going to have me is at the end of a 100m or so no exit street that comes off a river road. We used to swim in it as kids, climb the trees on the banks, plus we had a play space under the house, etc. As for disappearing, my mother has a story about getting a phone call from a neighbour asking, "Are you aware that your son is on the roof?" and apparently once I learned to walk she could turn her back for a moment and suddenly I'd be outside playing with a tap. I have four siblings and there's a ten year spread between us, even with mum not working until we were all in high school there's no way she could have watched all of us all the time.

    Otautahi, Aotearoa • Since Nov 2011 • 17 posts Report

  • Speaker: You ain't from round here, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Personally if I'd recently moved I'd probably put something like "former resident of x years" in my mini bio thingie. People who've been heavily involved in the community usually list the groups/boards/etc they've been members of, it's the same thing, shows your local cred. I tend to assume people who don't note extenuating circumstances generally don't have them.

    Otautahi, Aotearoa • Since Nov 2011 • 17 posts Report

  • Speaker: You ain't from round here,

    Hell, I probably know more of what's going on than some of them, and I had to get out three months ago after working for the Red Cross off and on (mostly on) for two years, commuting from '"nice" St Martins'. No word yet on when I'll stop referring to Christchurch residents as "us" but it could be a long while yet. Maybe the EQC assessments will have even been finished.

    Otautahi, Aotearoa • Since Nov 2011 • 17 posts Report

  • Up Front: Good Counsel,

    I'm one of those with severe depression, the kind that actually is able to be treated with drugs. It's diagnosed as "chronic" and "endemic" - always there, not going away - but I'm not on SSRIs either. I take an SNRI because the first medications we tried didn't work, or had bad side effects, or worked at first and then lost effect. (The months where I had to wean myself off one drug and onto another were a living hell. One of the most awful things I've ever experienced.) SSRIs are probably some of the least reliable drugs on the market. Even aside from the side effects they can make you worse, actually cause suicidal tendencies. There are terrible stories out there about people dying during trials who previously, as unwell as they were, hadn't been a danger to themselves. My SNRI is hardly much better of course - it has a short half-life. If I don't take it for a day, I notice. I couldn't not, through the nausea, the fatigue, the fogginess, the leaden weight. It's notoriously difficult to quit, as well, with whole forums on the internet dedicated to people who are in the process of it. Sometimes it takes over a year to do it safely, and I'm on a high dose. It works, though, so for me it's worth the downsides, because even if there were no withdrawal symptoms I couldn't simply stop taking it. Off the medication I'm useless. For people with less severe depression, where it's mild to moderate or due to external events that need to be worked through, the side effects and the withdrawal could not be worth it, not if there's an alternative. Therapy is hardly perfect either - it depends largely on finding someone you connect well with. Some therapists are outright harmful, and many more just plain might not be the right fit no matter how good they are at their job. But typically therapy is not, in and of itself, dangerous. Not like the drugs can be.

    Otautahi, Aotearoa • Since Nov 2011 • 17 posts Report

  • Hard News: Violence in the streets, in reply to Sacha,

    Funny, coz my only experience with the justice system was after a completely random bashing when I was waiting for a bus. They didn't even ping my danger sensors as they were walking towards me, they just looked like they were heading down the street as normal. Anyone who doesn't think this shit happens needs to get their head out of their arse.

    Otautahi, Aotearoa • Since Nov 2011 • 17 posts Report

  • Hard News: Violence in the streets,

    As an interesting piece of trivia, celebrity culture was born during the reign of Henry VIII. His marital issues had the right combination of scandal and relevance (the religious beliefs of whoever he was currently in love with, for example, had a huge impact on who was likely to be victimised) to get people's interests and they haven't stopped since.

    More to the point, Christchurch has ALWAYS had this problem and it will continue, and probably get worse over the next few years. The idea that he isn't allowed to celebrate with his team is ludicrous. Why the fuck should he have to stay at home while his teammates go out? Unfortunately it's just easier to blame him, since criticising celebrities is already part of the culture, than it is to change the behaviour of all the overly-macho dispossessed men in Christchurch (and in the rest of the country) who think the only thing they can do to have some power over their lives is to smash up other people.

    Otautahi, Aotearoa • Since Nov 2011 • 17 posts Report

  • OnPoint: The Source, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    Fairly likely that someone in employment would do that for any number of reasons - they're underemployed (ie, have a shitty part time job only), their job is terrible, they're helping someone else, they want to move and find a new job there, they do like their job but a better position is opening up and they want to try for it.

    More importantly, what does it matter whether he's employed or not?

    Otautahi, Aotearoa • Since Nov 2011 • 17 posts Report

  • OnPoint: The Source, in reply to Martin Connelly,

    Presumably they discussed it again in light of the fact that MSD revealed they'd been contacted by someone last week who'd "asked for money" and Ira changed his mind so they could get their side of the story out.

    Otautahi, Aotearoa • Since Nov 2011 • 17 posts Report

  • OnPoint: MSD's Leaky Servers, in reply to James George,

    They're meant to at my job too. (Most of the actual information is stored hard copy; things like name, address, bank details, action history is in the database file.) The point is more that staff are familiar enough with the back end to know how to get around the checks and balances. Not all of them, but enough of them. External fraud has less knowledge of that sort of thing and often has a higher failure rate - we have a fair few cases that went to the courts as attempted fraud, but only a very few that actually GOT money they shouldn't have.

    Otautahi, Aotearoa • Since Nov 2011 • 17 posts Report

  • OnPoint: MSD's Leaky Servers, in reply to niceness,

    When I say most, I would probably be talking more like 60% than 90%. It's a conclusion reached from a combination of several studies so unfortunately I can't link you to any one document, but certainly there's plenty to show that fraud by people applying for benefits is far lower than most people seem to think and a large number of confirmed frauds consist of things like staff members using the system to set up payments to people who have not been vetted (it would be extremely easy to do this at my job, incidentally, all I'd have to do would be to set up a file with junk personal information and the target bank account number, not sure what the WINZ systems are like for similar schemes). Simply put staff have far more opportunity to commit fraud while also having a higher level of trust.

    Otautahi, Aotearoa • Since Nov 2011 • 17 posts Report

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