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Sandpit

April 13th, 2012

A new sandpit for long side discussions, idees fixes and so on.

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  1. Dan
    April 19th, 2012 at 09:40 | #1

    That sounds like a concession to me.

  2. Fran Barlow
    April 19th, 2012 at 10:28 | #2

    @Dan

    That sounds like a concession to me.

    He conceded ages ago on the other thread when he dug in his heels and started saying he didn’t have to prove anything, failed to point to any peer reviewed study supporting what ought to have been a simple thing to prove, if the causal chain he alleged existence was there, and instead started baiting those who disagreed with him as self-deluding.

    He retreated constructively to “let’s call it a draw” — when that is a logical impossibility. That is a concession.

    As I said there, I suspect he is annoyed at having been suckered into buying into an urban myth sourced to the “war on drugs” but having painted himself into a corner, sees no honourable way out. Sad really.

  3. Dan
    April 19th, 2012 at 11:52 | #3

    Reminds me of the Nihilists in The Big Lebowski: “Okay. So we take ze money you haf on you, und ve calls it eefen.”

  4. Freelander
    April 19th, 2012 at 14:23 | #4

    @Dan

    Talk about deluded. Now we have a new species – the ganja harm denier!

  5. Freelander
    April 19th, 2012 at 14:27 | #5

    When I pointed you to the literature and you then claimed it supported you I knew we were through the looking glass!

  6. Freelander
    April 19th, 2012 at 14:30 | #6

    Lord Monkton may I introduce you to your cousins? Extant? Afraid, not.

  7. Dan
    April 19th, 2012 at 14:34 | #7

    @Freelander

    I’m afraid I didn’t even realise that you had pointed me to the literature (thus utterly, as a matter of logic, negating your claim that I though it supported my position) and I still can’t see where you have done so. Link right here, please.

  8. Dan
    April 19th, 2012 at 14:34 | #8

    IUn any event, at no point have I denied that it can be harmful. I’ve just asked for a rational explanation of why it’s illegal but alcohol isn’t.

  9. Freelander
    April 19th, 2012 at 16:45 | #9

    @Dan

    Interesting species, somewhat lazy and very demand ing.

    Just like an infant.

    If you need guidance for that task no wonder there seems little hope for you.

    Isn’t it time for you to pass the baton of stupidity to one of your fellows?

    And do try to up the entertainment level least I tire of this sport.

  10. Dan
    April 19th, 2012 at 16:56 | #10

    Were I in your position, I’d step up (and have). So I’ll leave it to others to decide who’s lazy.

  11. Wooster
    April 19th, 2012 at 17:43 | #11

    @Freelander

    Bit of a barney here, it seems.

    I note that our culture appears to extol the virtue of booze in all its ubiquity. Why, there’s almost a bottle shop or alcohol purveyor on every second corner. If we’re going to get all angst-ridden about “drugs”, we should surely begin by questioning why one is sanctioned and the rest are not?

    In my little city of late, the two biggest constructions have been a new Catholic cathedral and a huge bottle shop – guess which one attracts the most patrons?

  12. Freelander
    April 19th, 2012 at 18:39 | #12

    @Wooster

    Yes. The opium of the masses is not doing great business of late despite it favoured tax status.

    Maybe alcohol us now providing what the Catholic church once did? The world needs something more substantial than belief in an after life where you sit around forever sustained by praising some old dude.

    Hope Dan Monckton isn’t running out of puff? Puff being requisite for ‘safe’ and fulfilling pasttimes.

    …..

  13. Dan
    April 19th, 2012 at 23:06 | #13

    You’re acting like a troll. I can only surmise that you or someone close to you has had a lousy experience with weed. If that’s indeed the case, I’m sorry. But it’s still a different issue from the prohibition one.

    As impervious to rational debate as you’ve demonstrated yourself to be on this thread, let me try – this is my final attempt! – to get some sense out of you.

    Imagine a scenario in which both alcohol and marijuana are and have always been banned (although both are used illicitly). For some reason – religious edict, whatever you like – you have to decriminalise one. Which one do you pick? And moreover, why?

  14. Freelander
    April 19th, 2012 at 23:11 | #14

    @Dan

    I knew there was still puff to spare!

    Not all consumed on ‘safe’ pasttimes?!!

  15. Dan
    April 19th, 2012 at 23:15 | #15

    I had a lovely beer (Balmain Pale Ale) and a glass of wine (SA pinot noir) tonight, if that’s what your thrust is…?

  16. Freelander
    April 19th, 2012 at 23:51 | #16

    @Dan

    And a good drag? Puff, puff …

    You’re dragging long and hard here .. cough, cough. Where are those fumes coming from? Those fumes that seem to make the imagination run rampant!

  17. Dan
    April 20th, 2012 at 00:05 | #17

    I don’t smoke pot or do any other drugs. Alcohol and caffeine is it. Back to the question at hand, now…

  18. Dan
    April 20th, 2012 at 00:08 | #18

    You do realise that you’re behaving in a ludicrous, childish and mindless way, do you not?

    If you’d prefer not to discuss the issue, just say: ‘I’d prefer not to discuss the issue.’

    If you’ve got anything constructive to say, say it.

    If neither of the above, go jump.

  19. Fran Barlow
    April 20th, 2012 at 00:28 | #19

    Well here we are with the latest from the repugs …

    First, a rare thing — a repug who accepts the science of climate change:

    Paul Douglas: Climate Change has nothing to do with Al Gore

    Needless to say, there were the usual denier trolls in response, though they were more polite that Douglas said he got privately. It must have annoyed many of them that he quoted Matthew from the Bible on “stewardship of the Earth”.

    Now someone more in the mainstream of the Repugs:

    Apparently, smoking regulations are just like the Star of David provisions under you know who

    He’s also in favour of child labour laws, abolishing the minimum wage, lasers in space and says he got his wealth the old-fashioned way — inheriting it. Nice.

  20. Freelander
    April 20th, 2012 at 02:40 | #20

    Dan :
    You do realise that you’re behaving in a ludicrous, childish and mindless way, do you not?
    If you’d prefer not to discuss the issue, just say: ‘I’d prefer not to discuss the issue.’
    If you’ve got anything constructive to say, say it.
    If neither of the above, go jump.

    A sequence of self-referential statements, methinks!

    Boundless puff in this new species. Maybe it, rather than cockroaches shall inherit the earth. (Lets face it, the meek were never in with a chance!)

    Humble suggestion: try to raise the entertainment factor. Your fans are failing…

  21. Dan
    April 20th, 2012 at 06:51 | #21

    I really don’t know how under the circumstances I could have been more reasonable or patient. Would you act like this if we met in person? (Maybe don’t answer that.)

    You have behaved foolishly and somewhat mean-spiritedly here – certainly failed to engage with the issue – and I have lost all intellectual respect for you in short order.

    Ironically I am now more convinced that my original position was correct; if someone on the opposing side is limited to blowing raspberries and resorting to ad-homs then their case must be weak indeed.

  22. Fran Barlow
    April 20th, 2012 at 07:10 | #22

    @Dan

    Can I just register my dislike for the use of “ad hom” as a synonym for abuse or vituperation? It seems to me that the term ad hominem (really argumentum ad hominem) ought to be limited to situations in which someone says that a person’s claim ought to be rejected merely because of the character or standing of the person. I blame the deniers for the corruption of this usage, but there’s no reason for us to copy their fashion trend.

    If someone becomes abusive, let’s use that word or a bona fide synonym.

  23. Fran Barlow
  24. Freelander
    April 20th, 2012 at 08:36 | #24

    Dan :
    … Would you act like this if we met in person? [Please answer that.]
    You have behaved foolishly and somewhat mean-spiritedly here – certainly failed to engage with the issue – and I have lost all intellectual respect for you in short order. …

    More of the self referential.

    I really don’t know how under the circumstances I could have been more reasonable or patient.

    Endless puff!

    This new species is more impressive than the Everready battery!

    I bet it’ll never claim that it never inhaled! (Oh, that’s right. It already has.)

  25. Fran Barlow
    April 20th, 2012 at 08:44 | #25

    Speaking of poker machines as a health problem alongside smoking and alcoholism, Charles Livingstone at Croakey makes the following point:

    The worst aspect of this is that poker machines are disproportionately located in disadvantaged communities, such as the NSW federal electorate of Blaxland, where in 2010-11 $177 million was spent on poker machines and $2.5 million (1.4%) claimed by clubs as providing a community benefit. The median individual weekly income in Blaxland is about $396 per week so, allowing for that proportion of the population who actually play poker machines (around 24% in NSW) the average pokie user in Blaxland spends more than a third of median income on that pursuit.

    This may understate the problem as that 24% takes into account places where poker machine use would be quite low. It also takes no account of how heavy the usage is for those using machines. Still, even as it stands, that puts poker machines right up there with housing for the middle class as a proportion of after tax expenditure.

  26. Freelander
    April 20th, 2012 at 08:44 | #26

    @Dan

    Just a little word of encouragement, young Dan. I have no criticism of the way you have chosen to use the term ‘ad hom’. Seems a fine use to me, even if misdirected in your choice of target.

  27. Freelander
    April 20th, 2012 at 08:48 | #27

    @Fran Barlow

    Yes. I would ban pokie machines too. And have young James thrown in prison for using his money in such a corrupting way. Young James – ‘im that got his money the old fashioned way. Him that seems to be showing how you can end up with a small fortune – inherit a larger one.

  28. Tom
    April 20th, 2012 at 09:51 | #28

    Fran Barlow :Well here we are with the latest from the repugs …
    First, a rare thing — a repug who accepts the science of climate change:
    Paul Douglas: Climate Change has nothing to do with Al Gore
    Needless to say, there were the usual denier trolls in response, though they were more polite that Douglas said he got privately. It must have annoyed many of them that he quoted Matthew from the Bible on “stewardship of the Earth”.
    Now someone more in the mainstream of the Repugs:
    Apparently, smoking regulations are just like the Star of David provisions under you know who
    He’s also in favour of child labour laws, abolishing the minimum wage, lasers in space and says he got his wealth the old-fashioned way — inheriting it. Nice.

    People might actually only agrees with a certain political stance (e.g. Democrats or Republican in the US) for a certain issue, e.g. economics or politics. Whether if they are wrong or right (although I hardly find them to ever be right in economics), they can actually have a fair view on other issues e.g. climate change.

    From my personal experience, quite a lot of people do easily get persuaded by mainstream media. However, some that have actually went and looked at the otherside of the debate do get convinced. Most likely thats what happened in the case you have presented. Unfortunately through my understands in US politics, climate change denial is a pre-requisite and a must for the Republican Party. So what will happen to Paul Douglas politically from now on is the interesting part.

  29. Fran Barlow
    April 20th, 2012 at 09:58 | #29

    @Freelander

    I’m not sure about banning poker machines, though I wouldn’t lose much sleep over such a move. Some of the enemies of regulation rhetorically challenge the government to do that much as deniers challenge the government to ban coal exports.

    I think you could do enough by regulation to cap damage and delegitimise them to get the clubs to phase them out as of too little benefit. Capping payouts to some comparatively small sum — say the median weekly income in the bottom two quintiles rounded up to the next $100 along with slowing the cycle down, randomly having machines switch off and stay off for 30 minutes, maximum value $1 bets with no stacking, no ATMs withing 20 minutes walk of poker machines etc

  30. Freelander
    April 20th, 2012 at 10:15 | #30

    Yes cap payouts for a start and make the maximum bet 5 cents. And start taxing sports clubs and RSLs. Make a rule a minimum of 5 metres between machines. And no drinking or eating while in the pokie machine room. I am sure there could be other improvements but they could do as a start.

    Oh, thats right. Ankle bracelets for users of pokie machines…

  31. April 20th, 2012 at 10:31 | #31

    Ban pokie machines? What a waste of thousands of perfectly good Skinner boxes! Instead of banning them, I suggest that in addition to gambling, all pokie machines also contain educational programs that a person must study in order to continue gambling. Basic probability would seem a logical place to start. Properly implemented we could end up with one of the best educated populations in the world. Well, we already are one of the best educated populations in the world, but we could end up one of the best educated populations in the world even betterer.

  32. Wooster
    April 20th, 2012 at 11:03 | #32

    @Freelander

    I don’t quite get your antipathy to Dan.

    Although I have to say that I’ve recently struck the same phenomenon on another forum – a perfectly reasonable leftish type adopts the most exquisite high dudgeon, the equivalent of a posse replete with rhetorical pitchfork and burning torch – at the mere mention of someone “inhaling” a drug as the preferred method of consumption.

    Or have I missed something?

  33. Freelander
    April 20th, 2012 at 11:04 | #33

    @Ronald Brak

    Great idea. We could feed them puzzles to solve. Like folding proteins and so on. (Already being done by industry to willing participants over the internet.) Finally put their addiction to some beneficial use.

  34. Freelander
    April 20th, 2012 at 11:08 | #34

    @Wooster

    No antipathy toward young Dan. Just a measure of fascination.

    I’m particularly impressed by his stamina on what seems inevitably futile.

  35. Tim Macknay
    April 20th, 2012 at 11:15 | #35

    Freelander, I’m not sure if you’re upset over Bob Brown’s retirement, or something, but on this thread you’re coming across as even more Catallaxian than the recent visitors from Andrew Bolt’s blog – all snark, no substance. What gives?

  36. Fran Barlow
    April 20th, 2012 at 11:39 | #36

    @Ronald Brak

    Not a bad idea. Perhaps there could be random questions about the world, facts of climate change, income distribution, gambling losses and so forth. For every correct answer you get one free spin and if you save them up and get five in a row correct, you get 10 free spins.

    I’m liking that one.

    Note that the word g*mbling* triggers automoderation – JQ

  37. Freelander
    April 20th, 2012 at 11:45 | #37

    @Tim Macknay

    People have some responsibility for their own perceptions.

  38. Tim Macknay
    April 20th, 2012 at 11:52 | #38

    @Freelander
    That’s a pretty obtuse reply.

  39. Freelander
    April 20th, 2012 at 11:59 | #39

    @Tim Macknay

    Not at all.

    I am not saying you are wrong. Simply opening you to consider that possibility.

    Perception is not quite the passive process “come across ” implies.

  40. Tim Macknay
    April 20th, 2012 at 12:22 | #40

    Well, this is the sandpit thread I guess.

  41. Freelander
    April 20th, 2012 at 12:34 | #41

    @Tim Macknay

    And that response, is not obtuse, I guess …

  42. alfred venison
    April 20th, 2012 at 13:02 | #42

    dear Tim Macknay
    you’re wasting your time.
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison

  43. Tim Macknay
    April 20th, 2012 at 14:09 | #43

    So it would seem, a.v. Oh well, never mind.

  44. Freelander
    April 20th, 2012 at 14:19 | #44

    @Tim Macknay

    Exactly. So listen to reason.

  45. Dan
    April 21st, 2012 at 10:03 | #45

    Freelander: “I’m particularly impressed by his stamina on what seems inevitably futile.”

    I think Freelander probably intended something different from what I read here, haha.

    My predictions – in ten years:

    1) marijuana will have been decriminalised in Australia.
    2) the sky will not have fallen, much as it has not fallen in places where it has been decriminalised.

    Anyway, enough of that.

    Here’s one for Mel: http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/04/20/at-the-pearly-gates/

  46. Tim Macknay
    April 21st, 2012 at 22:35 | #46

    @Dan

    My predictions – in ten years:

    1) marijuana will have been decriminalised in Australia.
    2) the sky will not have fallen, much as it has not fallen in places where it has been decriminalised.

    I’m not so optimistic, Dan. Cannabis possession was decriminalised in WA around a decade ago, and the policy was a success in all its intended aims – it reduced the pressure on the courts and the wasting of police time, avoided pointless criminal convictions for moderate cannabis users, and cannabis use declined during the period of decriminalisation. However, cannabis was subsequently re-criminalised by an incoming conservative government running a ‘laura norder’ campaign. No consideration whatsoever was given to the fact that the policy was effective.

    I’m afraid that rational drug policy is just too easily pushed aside by political expedience.

  47. Dan
    April 22nd, 2012 at 09:30 | #47

    Well, it was decriminalised for personal use in Canberra for a while, so in a sense what I’m proposing has already happened. But I’m happy to wait and see.

  48. Fran Barlow
    April 22nd, 2012 at 10:09 | #48

    @Tim Macknay

    However, cannabis was subsequently re-criminalised by an incoming conservative government running a ‘laura norder’ campaign. No consideration whatsoever was given to the fact that the policy was effective.

    People say that women are too soft to be good campaigners — witness that adviser in QLD just recently, but has there ever been a male lobbyist in the same ballpark as Ms Norder? She approaches the two parties with the knowledge that “all your minds are belong to me”.

    Poor little Mary Jane never had a chance. ;-)

  49. Freelander
    April 22nd, 2012 at 10:24 | #49

    @Fran Barlow

    But it was women who, given the vote, managed to get alcohol banned.

  50. Freelander
    April 22nd, 2012 at 10:26 | #50

    Women are wonderful campaigners.

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