Sandpit

A new sandpit for long side discussions, idees fixes and so on. Unless directly responding to the OP, all discussions of nuclear power, MMT and conspiracy theories should be directed to sandpits (or, if none is open, message boards).

44 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. @David Irving (no relation)

    There was a neuroscientist on RN today who has written a book in which he describes the way he understands addiction from his “personal experience of insatiable drug taking, and a controversial yet compassionate perspective from a physician suggesting that the main source of addiction is not to be found in genes – but in the childhood environment.”

    I got to know quite a few heroin addicts during the years I lived an alternative life and of course other drugs and drug takers and what he says seems to me to be very insightful and accurate.

    Should I put a possible sweeping statement alert out for this talk? Or shall we get over it and move on or possibly people could just ignore me if I offend with my lack of precision? So many alternatives available to avoid unnecessary conflict or is conflict, like war, a good thing?

  2. @Julie Thomas
    I interpreted the snark in your last comment as an indication of offence. But it’s hard to tell in a text-only medium, and you are particularly adroit in your use of snark, so I wasn’t sure.

    The apology is accepted, but was not necessary. I have many allergies (of the psychological kind), but I fear, like Ikon and his tennis elbow, that the methods for testing them may not be reliable. I agree that mindfulness can help, although I find that with mental allergies it’s more of a management technique than a cure. I also do sometimes wonder about the evidence…

  3. @Julie Thomas

    Should I put a possible sweeping statement alert out for this talk? Or shall we get over it and move on or possibly people could just ignore me if I offend with my lack of precision?

    I agree we should get over it. But are you sure you’re ready? 😉

  4. @Tim Macknay

    Snark? Please, context is everything.

    If you went to the social events that I have to go to among my neighbours who make jokes about those sad arse men who have thumbprints on top of their heads and – I didn’t even get that joke – you might understand that my readiness and ability to get over stuff men do is fcking awesome.

  5. @Tim Macknay

    You keep seeing snark and I think I keep telling you this conceptualisation of what I do – the way I respond to certain stimuli in my environment – is to ‘not’ take offence or snark.

    You seem to have come to the conclusion that I do snark so well it doesn’t look like snark but it must be snark, even though you are not sure it is snark.

    Now I’m confused, but as I freely admit to anyone who cares, I am often and always have been confused about why people including myself do the things that they do.

    If you want an explanation of why I sometimes respond in a way that looks to you like snark, I can’t self-analyse on demand. I’ll think about it but I usually never manage to come to any definite conclusion when I think about things that I do and wonder why I do them.

    I tend to become even more confused and I feel like I am the stupid person in that old joke – often it is an Irishman – who is put in a barrel and told to piss in the corner.

    Do you have any hypotheses?

  6. Is China going to blow our house down? The Chinese government cut interest rates, and is encouraging/coercing more lending activity. There is a big bubble of air in their stock markets, if the economic commentators are to be believed, so are we looking at some real economic disruption ahead, or is it something the Chinese government can essentially correct through systematic intervention? It sure looks wobbly from here.

    At least one writer has made the comparison with the October jitters in 1929’s Wall Street Crash, the harbinger of the Great Depression. Any economists here care to expound and explain what they think might shake out?

  7. @Julie Thomas
    The comments that came across to me as snark were the ones about not wanting to raise my ‘allergy levels’, my ‘sensitivity to sweeping statements’ and assisting me to ‘fit in’ with people who ‘can’t tell a sweeping statement from an interesting talk’. They don’t seem snarky to you? When I said I wasn’t sure, I meant I wasn’t sure if you were offended, not that I wasn’t sure if it was snark.

    Anyway, one thing this exchange has illustrated pretty clearly to me is that we can’t control how other people interpret what we say or write. You can make statements, not intending them to be snark, which others may nonetheless interpret as snarky. I can consciously try to avoid saying or writing things that are patronising, sexist or which make unwarranted assumptions about people, but others may nonetheless take statements I make to be patronising, sexist and casting aspersions on them.

    You asked for a hypothesis. To be honest, I’m a little hesitant to speculate about what motivates other people to say or do things, particularly when they’re people I’ve never met. But since you asked, here goes. My guess is that the snark is part of a toolkit you’ve developed to respond to being patronised and underestimated because you’re a woman. It’s pretty effective – I recall not that long ago on this blog some clown undergoing a spectacular meltdown with a sort of seventies, gold medallion flavour to it after an exchange with you. I could practically see the guy’s forearms lengthen, his forehead recede and his knuckles press into the ground before my eyes.

    However, evidently, my comment about the Dr Heath speech was close enough in resemblance to some kind of half-witted attempt at intellectual dominance to have the aroma of patronising man to you. Looking back I can see I used words like ‘evidence’ and ‘intuition’ in a couple of places- enough, maybe, to raise the spectre of the old stuff about men being rational and women emoting etcetera blah de blah, if you’re sensitised to it. Hence your suspicion that I was accusing you of being ‘over excited and fluffy’. Sorry if this is all terribly obvious, it takes time for me to work through these things.

    But the relative persuasiveness of the Dr Heath speech is something I sincerely believe that reasonable people can disagree about!

  8. @Donald Oats

    I’m not an economist, but I strongly recommend looking at “the automatic earth” generally, and this post in particular.

    They seem to me (having lurked there for years) to “get it” and have a lot of thoughts about where this spectacular bubble-pop may end up.

    IMHO their opinions are at least, and probably far more, as worthy of consideration as anything from our “establishment”.

  9. Ooooops!!

    Forgot the eternal no-free-speech-but-please-link-to-dodgy-Turkish-websites-moderation.

    Reply to Donald at #34:

    I’m not an economist, but I strongly recommend looking at “the automatic earth” generally, and this post in particular.

    They seem to me (having lurked there for years) to “get it” and have a lot of thoughts about where this spectacular bubble-pop may end up.

    IMHO their opinions are at least, and probably far more, as worthy of consideration as anything from our “establishment”.

  10. @Tim Macknay

    “However, evidently, my comment about the Dr Heath speech was close enough in resemblance to some kind of half-witted attempt at intellectual dominance to have the aroma of patronising man to you. ”

    Yes, there is new evidence that supports the obvious, that women who have lived most of their lives around unreconstructed and violent men, verbal or physical can suffer from ptsd.

    It was not any specific words you used, though or perhaps the jerimiah one was significant, it seems to me that it was the fact that you responded negatively that was unexpected, appeared unfair and not a response to me as an individual but as a member of a class of people who are flaky and might need to be set back on the right path to rationality.

    Perhaps my ‘latest’ defence mechanism – in my search to find a way to live with dignity among the patriarchs – is to put any person who responds to me as a flaky woman in this category and the most functional way of interacting with both old fashioned patriarchs and the libertarian patriarchs, for me and them, is to adopt a “tragically flip”? attitude that puts the onus or responsibility on the patriarch to examine their own words and behaviour in a different context.

    There is no doubt that we could disagree about Dr Heath and her macro view of what is wrong with medicine. I suspect or know that I come from a very rare perspective on the benefits of medicine; that of someone who has never had any physical health problems. My mother is mid eighties and still lives alone in her own house, plants her own trees, mows her own grass and won’t go to the pensioner’s groups because she hates old people.

    We all have very good genes for physical health in my family and my belief in the wrongness of modern medicine is of course founded in this context.

  11. @Julie Thomas
    Very fortunate about the good genes. I don’t have any significant physical health problems, although I am a bit prone to chest infections. I’ve noticed that insurance companies tend to focus in on that. Epilepsy and breast cancer both run in my family, although fortunately for me I am not personally afflicted by either of them.

  12. @Donald Oats
    Trying again sans link…

    Donald and Megan: The Grauniad has an interesting graphic that shows estimates of the costs to various countries of the Chinese downturn. Australia is estimated to cop 1.4% of GDP. I won’t link to it ‘cos automod.

  13. Alex Kidman has an article on the NBN difficulties, especially the question as to what they have bought with respect to choosing the copper network for the last leg. My personal experience, and that of a few other people I know, is that getting broadband speed on copper is like betting on a recently injured marathoner: perhaps they’ll make the distance, or perhaps they’ll fade in and out, eventually pulling out of the race altogether.

  14. Australia spent $40 million dollars to ensure that 4 refugees didn’t come to Australia.

    Actually, it’s much more than that because that was just the bribe to Cambodia. We are also paying for all their costs there and we spent billions to create the system that spat out those 4.

    This is stupid and cruel.

    And, in any case, Cambodia says there won’t be any more.

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