reddit ama

Gareth Hughes Reddit AMA in review

It appears Gareth expected some sort of negative Whaleoil effect, but instead he was actually asked some decent questions.  I guess we all fear what we don’t know.

The whole AMA is here, but I’m sure he’ll forgive me if I cherry pick some of the more interesting bits from it.

I’ll start the the most popular question, as voted by the people, and Gareth’s answer to that most popular question:

Can you tax Sanitarium for us? We lose out on tens of millions in tax revenue because of that loophole. thanks in advance.

I’ll look into it. Cheers

That fell a bit flat, didn’t it?

Is there any truth to the rumor that you orchestrated the Rena grounding, in order to highlight the dangers of oil spills to New Zealand and in turn get the public to rally behind the Greens cause?

LOL, I can confirm it’s all a massive Whale Oil inspired conspiracy.

Speaking of conspiracy theories…

Where do you stand on NZ being a secularist government? (don’t take this the wrong way) how has your degree in religious studies helped your career?

I actually mostly focused on flying saucer cults in my studies because it was interesting and a totally modern manifestation of religion and I’m an atheist. I think it’s helped in the sense of learning about the world and people.

I support a secular Government and for example find Parliament’s Anglican prayer offensive.

I think I can safely leave it at that.  If you’re interested in the rest, it’s all here for your personal edification.

One last thought:  how can an atheist be offended by a prayer?

Gareth Hughes Reddit AMA on now (link in post)

Click here.

He should have started a new thread, but he’s not the sharpest Redditor in the drawer, so he’s stuffed it up.

UPDATE:  He was badgered into starting his own thread, as he should have known if he was a true Redditor as he was pretending to be.  So, now, click here.

His intro was this

Kia ora! I’m Green MP Gareth Hughes. This is the second AMA I have done on Reddit and I appreciate your engagement with me here. I love how the Internet has changed the ways politics is done.

To all the new members who signed up today on the bequest of your spiritual commodore Cameron “Whale Oil” Slater, welcome to Reddit! You will find a community of people who are in large part clever, diverse and respectful of others. You might have a hard time adjusting to this, but I want to also say that I welcome your questions.

So I’m a boy from Gisborne who grew up loving cars and not really caring about politics, but moving to study at Victoria university I got into environmentalism; met my wife, turned vegetarian and started getting active in environmental and progressive causes. I was privileged to make a career at Greenpeace before entering Parliament as the youngest MP last term (I’m no longer the youngest, just the youngest looking) and this term I’m the Greens musterer (whip) and I’m focusing on clean energy, healthy oceans and a free and open Internet. I live in Wellington and have two kids.

Gareth Hughes, MP, will do a Reddit AMA at 7:30pm today

via ODT

via ODT

Gareth Hughes must think he’s somebody.  Reddit AMAs (Ask Me Anything) are crowd interviews normally reserved for top statesmen and women, top people from business, or those that constantly dominate the news in some way.

People like Barack Obama, Bill Gates and even Helen Clark have turned themselves over to the Reddit crowds for a no holds barred, unedited, meet the people AMA exchange.

So it’s only natural that Gary thought “Obama?  Clark?  This is for me!”

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Whaletech: 3D printing of meat



I’m posting this myself, as Cam is currently being restrained in a padded room.  (A place a lot of people would like him to remain).

Why?  Because of the travesty that is 3D printed meat.   As one of meat’s greatest aficionados, Cam simply thinks this isn’t acceptable.

The CEO of Modern Meadow, Andras Forgacs, did an AMA on Reddit a few days ago about his company’s tech that includes the 3D printing of leather and meat.

His AMA introduction was this

At Modern Meadow we’re developing technology to 3D-bioprint meat and leather. In fact, we’ve already made some, which you can see my co-founder and father eat in his TED talk here (at 5:33).

Why are we doing this? Meat is one of the most environmentally taxing resources, taking up one third of all available (ice-free) land and is a leading contributor to climate change. Conversely, growing cultured meat requires 99% less land, 96% less water, emits 96% fewer greenhouse gases, and harms no animals in the process.

Our work has been covered in TIMEScientific AmericanCNET, and here’s a video of a recent talk I gave at Google’s Solve for X conference. Ask me anything!

Even though the idea of laboratory meat may be abhorrent to Cam, the truth is that basic proteins for use in sausages, pate and other deli products don’t have to come from the nicest marbled Angus steaks.   Read more »

Helen Clark does her Reddit AMA


As mentioned a few days ago, Helen Clark was scheduled for a Reddit AMA at 5 am today.  It’s all done and dusted, and can be found here.

Every AMA has an introduction explaining what the AMA is roughly about, and some proof that it really is the person you’re talking to:

Dear Redditors,

In two days I will attend the conference “Making the MDGs Work: From Advocacy through Implementation to Acceleration and beyond” in Bogotá, Colombia (event page: ). There, I will speak on the development agenda post-2015 and on what comes after the Millennium Development Goals which will expire in two years.

I’m looking forward to your questions on this topic and on anything else you may want to know! I will begin answering them at 11AM EST for approximately an hour.

EDIT 12:13PM Thanks everyone – must fly. Tonnes of questions! Very stimulating. Let’s do it again some time. Thanks for your interest in development (and New Zealand!). Spread the word about the MDGs and the importance of speeding up progress over the next 1,000 days! Follow our big MDG conference in Bogota – on Twitter #MDGs2013 and! Over and out!

Proof it’s me: More:

“Making the MDGs Work: From Advocacy through Implementation to Acceleration and beyond”.


A few of the more popular questions/answers (as voted by the readers) are:   Read more »


Helen Clark to do a Reddit “AMA” early Tuesday

via: Reddit

via: Reddit

A celebrity “AMA” is an Ask Me Anything session run on the Reddit Web site.  The idea is that people of note, celebrities if you will, come along and the people can ask that person any question directly.  There is no filtering, there is no PR person doing the answering on behalf of him/her, and so on.

It started out when people on Reddit (Redditors) would ask each other anything, and this still happens every day: “IAMA a prison guard in a maximum security prison, AMA”.  (IAMA = I am a).  Or “IAMA 15 year old male with Aspergers Syndrome AMA”. And so on.

After some time, the odd celebrity would pop in, and this proved a lot of fun.  These days, it’s part of the PR circuit to publicise a book, movie, or cause du jour.  Having lost its purity, the AMA is still attractive because many times the ‘celeb’ really does sit there and answer the questions of  anyone.

The attraction of a crowd having direct access to the person being interviewed is what continues to make the Reddit AMA a very popular event to participate in.  Recent high profile AMAs included Barack Obama and Bill Gates.

Which brings us to Helen Clark.   Read more »

WhaleTech: Bill Gates does an AMA


What is an AMA, you may ask?

Social networking site Reddit has a ‘thing’ where those aloft and aloof drop by and get interviewed by people like you an me.  AMA stands for, Ask Me Anything.  And the public genuinely get access to the actual person, and are able to pose questions.

This used to be a relatively pure experience, but over the last year or so, PR people and publicists add a “Do an AMA” to the list of to-do’s to promote a new movie, book, or whatever.

Some people don’t understand the concept behind the AMA and fail badly, but most are are aware before they arrive that the last A in AMA does really mean Anything, so they tend to make it an equal exchange, much to the delight of those posing the questions.

And so, Bill Gates, of Microsoft fame, has been on his philanthropic kick for a number of years now, and together with his wife Melinda, they run the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.  This foundation is doing a lot of good all round the world.

Isn’t it nice to know that all that yelling you’ve done at your PC over the years is paying off in vaccines and better education?  Well, at least it is something.

Over the break, some of the most popular questions, and Bill’s answers.

Read more »