Russell Brown

The truth about TEDTalks

We all like TEDTalks don’t we…I’ve seen some interesting ones that is for sure…but I’ve sort of waned in my interest and only fleetingly wondered why.

Perhaps it was the manifestation of TEDTalks in NZ that did it in for and how the usual suspects lined up to wax lyrical about really uninteresting people talking at them.

But then I read this article at VICE about TedTalks and it clicked.

Over the last few weeks, for example, I’ve been making a sustained effort to watch at least one TED talk a day. I’m not sure what it is about my generation, exactly, but I’ve noticed a weird trend to watch or listen to “informative”, Horrible History-style things for adults rather than actually think. It seems to be a cultural reference point to think about the idea of thinking, rather than actually engaging the old noggin.

Which is why I basically sleep walk through everything. I haven’t had an independent thought in years. Sometimes, I forget my own name.

Maybe it’s because I’m a card-carrying member to a tinfoil hat society for the infuriatingly smug, but I think there’s something inherently wrong with passivity. And yet I write this from my bed.  The most common response I received when I told people I was working on this was, “What? Have you never enjoyed one?” Which, I suppose, is my whole point. When thinking about thinking becomes entertainment rather than a challenge, something has fucked up.

It feels like almost bad manners to have a go at something that is so overwhelmingly positive. But, fuck it, I’m going to do it because, just as Justin Lee Collins making a handful of people laugh didn’t mean he wasn’t a horrible, horri​ble man, TED entertaining you doesn’t mean it isn’t a sneaky pyramid scheme, designed to suck off your ego while pretending to inseminate your mind with world-altering concepts.

From my vantage point, swinging from the nether regions of society,  TED (and all other “thinkies”) is the road of least resistance to thought, dishing out toilet stall profundity willy-nilly for those like me whose cognitive ability languishes somewhere between a turtle’s and a slice of bread.

I have watched, I’d wager, 50 videos at least, because a) I have a lot of time on my hands and b) I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. And I’ve concluded that it’s basically having Alain de Botton in your house with a biro scribbling: “AdB woz ere,” on the back of the shitter door and getting applauded for the effort.

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Russell Brown thinks Little is a disaster

Pots, pans and pannier bags blogger Russell Brown rarely, if ever these days, writes about politics.

He has broken habit by writing about Labour’s just completed leadership election.

Unusually for him it is brief, he’s normally a big fan of the tl;dr post.

I’ll be brief (it’s 5am where I am and have to catch a plane) but the Labour’s leadership result and the means by which it was achieved both seem disastrous for the party and for the prospects of the centre-left.

Little didn’t win the support of the party or the caucus, he loses his electorate more badly every time he contests it, and he’s vowing to dump all the intellectual capital built up by David Parker. I can’t see any good thing about this.

Am I missing something?

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Russell Brown dissects the election

tearsofimpotentragePosts, pans, and pannier bags blogger Russell Brown is having conniptions over the minutiae of the election.

1. Christ, what a shellacking. Click around Harkanwal Singh’s Herald interactive. In electorate after electorate, polling place after polling place, National won at least a plurality of the votes. Even where voters collectively chose to return their Labour MPs to Parliament, they generally gave their party votes to National. Labour won the party vote in only five general electorates. I don’t think it’s viable for Cunliffe to stay on after this.

No it isn’t. Cunliffe must go and go now….he lost his own party vote in New Lynn FFS!

3. The election was not primarily about policy. Although it will understandably be regarded as a mandate for National’s policies, I don’t think this has been an election about policy, but about who the voters have seen as fit to govern. Where discrete policies have been tested in polls, the public has often-as-not favoured Labour’s over National’s. They just didn’t back Labour to enact them. I’m very concerned now over what happens in education, where I think the degree of the mess National has already made (National Standards is objectively a shambles) is not widely appreciated.

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Dimpost on the left’s slaughter

Danyl McLauchlan writes about the slaying of the left.

  • The National Party is an incredibly well resourced, well managed, professional political party and it turns out that these things counted for a lot last night.
  • The phone was not off the hook for Labour. Twelve months ago, just after Cunliffe won the leadership of his party Labour were on 37% with the Greens on 12%. There’s a cliche that oppositions don’t win elections, government’s lose them, but Labour lost this election. Cunliffe is probably the worst campaigner in New Zealand political history.
  • Based on the preliminary figures I think turnout will end up being slightly higher than last time but still very low. I was a strong advocate for a strategy of having left-wing parties try and improve their vote by targeting and mobilising younger voters, but it turns that that strategy is electoral suicide! Sorry guys!
  • So the lesson from last night’s right-wing landslide seems to be that older New Zealanders are very engaged with the political process and younger New Zealanders are not. That’s a shame but it’s a message politicians cannot ignore. No one’s going to waste time and energy chasing ‘the youth vote’ again for a very long time.

Youth don’t vote, ever. A few Nat MPs I know don’t bother chasing this vote, the effort required for the payoff means you are better off working elsewhere.

  • I think that the best way forward for Labour is for Cunliffe and ‘the old guard’ – Goff, Mallard and King – to resign. They’ve been at war for six years now and they’re tearing their party apart. I doubt this will happen though. The civil war will drag on for another parliamentary term. That party is dying.

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Laila Harre on the “extent to which [the Government] will control our behaviour”

“Here we are, at the center of global democracy” — Laila Harre

The other side of “citizen journalism”.

Even poor old Russell Brown can’t swallow rats this size.   Read more »

Do the main stream media engage in dirty politics?

Yes.  They do.   If you don’t believe me, here’s a great example.

Last night, on TVNZ Corrin Dan floated the following as fact (he even went on Twitter)

32

23

In other words, snuggling up to National instead.   Now, if true, that would be news.   If not true, it is nothing but … dirty politics!   (I don’t mind, but remember, these are the people that constantly pretend they are above that sort of carry on.   Read more »

Hackers have no ethics, but Russell Brown does. And for that I thank him.

Whaledump released a Facebook conversation that covered a lot of personal stuff about me, and more specifically my mum. She battled cancer and as these things go, it took quite a toll on the lives around her too. It’s the sort of thing you talk about with friends.

But. Hackers, in their own way, want to destroy me, so anything goes.

Publicaddress told off whaledump: because there’s lots of personal stuff in the chats (e.g. about cam’s mum)

Dirty Politics ‏@DirtyPoliticsNZ 5m
Links to recent @whaledump release have been retracted.In the process of sifting through the info to create own link with relevant info only

Idiot/Savant ‏@norightturnnz 31m
Dear @whaledump there is no public interest in “exposing” people talking about their ill parents.

Mark Hubbard ‏@MarkHubbard33 37m
Unfollowed @whaledump Yes, #dirtypolitics uncovered by Hager is dreadful, Whale should blog off, but that account is juvenile & as bad.

Although Idiot Savant is a ranty lefty he shows he has compassion too.   Read more »

Steven Joyce just went up a teeny, tiny, bit in my estimation

Pots, pans and pannier bags blogger Russell Brown has blogged about Steven Joyce.

In a departure from blogging about cooking or sad old gits pretending to be hip with the kids on music and net stuff, he attacks Steven Joyce.

The first time I saw Steven Joyce speak to an audience, he was a prize prick. Indeed, I can’t recall a senior politician being as openly contemptuous of a crowd as Joyce was opening the second day of NetHui 2011. It was astonishing.

I’d be more than openly contemptuous of those bunch of smelly hipsters spending days on end talking and achieving mot much at all, ever.

The second time was last month, when he spoke at the launch of a new business service, to an audience of banking and business people. He was relaxed and wrly humorous, transgressing only in the frequency with which he used the opportunity to campaign for votes.   Read more »

Labour’s Nigella Lawson omnishambles dominates social media

Dr Rajen Prasad’s Nigella Lawson brain fart has animated many on Twitter and Facebook

His own Labour colleagues started to scramble for safety

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Media people were astonished…

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Pots ‘n Pans and Pannier Bags wades in trying to run damage control and teach Prasad a lesson in being more precise when making up policy on the hoof Read more »

Groucho Marx’s Labour party

Groucho_Marx_on_Politics

This accurately sums up the state of the Labour party.

You can see the evidence of this in their ham-fisted attacks and smears on Judith Collins and now John Key. Aided by their pals in the compliant media, like Patrick Gower and Corin Dann they really are making a mockery of politics, their party and journalism.

The excuse making and justifications of Gower’s recent behaviour in Shanghai, by journalists like Russell Brown, just make that sort of scurrilous reporting available to all.

I look forward to Patrick Gower invading the office of Selwyn Pellett and rummaging his drawers, fridge and bookshelves looking for evidence of his cozy relationship with Labour and the unions. Of course that won’t happen.

Since the departure of Helen Clark the party has been stagnant, and now since the arrival of the entirely false and contrived David Cunliffe in freefall in the polls. The current state of the Labour party can be sheeted home entirely to the legacy of Helen Clark.  Read more »