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Viewing entries tagged with 'democracy'

"Should we believe this or not?" sure ain't gonna fix it

Posted by Philip on 28 April 2014, 3:23 pm in , , , , , ,

Yes! No!The last episode of TVNZ's Sunday left me wondering whether the human condition will ever evolve to a level beyond which binary logic prevails. Maverick Australian broadcaster Derrin Hinch's crusade for a public sex offenders' register epitomises, once again, the inability for people to problem-solve further than a choice between A or B, yes or no, true or false. 

Our own duality demon, legal highs, is another prolific example of politicians (but aren't they just better paid, yet not necessarily better quality broadcasters, really?), this time caving to the whim of a few hysterical could-be voters, who can't live with a few people blowing a few unused brain cells on synthetic cannabinoids to avoid going to prison. The current law was actually a reasonable attempt to find a happy medium — silly them, they made a mistake.

The majority of society thinks that children will be safe from sex offenders if we publicly name and shame them, and that addicts will be rid of drugs if we ban them. That is a really BIG problem. A public opinion poll — "Should we believe this or not?" — sure ain't gonna fix it.

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14 things I'd like to see happen in 2014

Posted by Philip on 31 December 2013, 9:07 am in , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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New Zealand's relatively small population, land mass and infrastructure creates so much opportunity to lead the world in recognising some fundamental changes that would improve society in general. Here's my bucket list.

  1. Economies other than financial — eg. resources, time, value — are discussed, considered viable and used in more viable ways.
  2. As the Pope pointed out, poverty and wealth inequality is officially recognised as the cause of most, if not all, social problems.
  3. Government invests in technology — such as breath tested ignition locking and GPS-enabled vehicle intelligence — to lower vehicle-related deaths and injury, rather than more policing.
  4. New conversations about universal needs — such as shelter, food and clothing — begin to create the conditions for nobody to be homeless or hungry.
  5. Government portrays a true representation of society's diversity in social campaigns.
  6. Schools use a wider understanding of diversity as a way of making education more accessible and relevant for students.
  7. Labour wins the election.
  8. Politicians have job descriptions and regular performance appraisals.
  9. The internet is used to enable more democratic, public involvement in local, regional decision-making.
  10. The Zeitgeist Movement and Venus Project's ideas and designs of a resource-based economy become common knowledge and popularised.
  11. I win Lotto. Just kidding — Lotto is abolished and proceeds are used to alleviate poverty.
  12. Everyone realises that alcohol and drug addiction is about dosage, not about substances, and are symptoms of poverty and wealth inequality (see 2 above).
  13. Apple, Microsoft, Android, Google etc stop competing and start collaborating to make some really cool shit.
  14. Lorde doesn't forget where she comes from.

Happy New Year!

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My 17,000 pageviews of 2013

Posted by Philip on 13 December 2013, 2:23 pm in , , , , , , , ,

Today is officially my last day of work until February so I thought I'd look back through my five most popular posts of the year.

5. Understanding disability from a place of empathy

The fifth most read post on my blog in 2013 was one I actually wrote way back in February 2012, where I wanted to encourage, in the disability social change space, empathy in place of sympathy. When considering the difference between empathy (understanding) and sympathy (pity), I got thinking about the astounding amount of sympathy or pity people display about the experience of disability.

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