Sunday soapbox

Sunday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse but not to abuse.
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. – Eleanor Roosevelt.

50 Responses to Sunday soapbox

  1. Freddy says:

    Lol…when you think of all the preachy self obsessed rock stars ie: Bono, Geldoff or even Lennon, the soundest and most logical is this man. Who’d have thought.

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  2. Oh dear… what sort of mind enjoys discussing all three !!!

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  3. homepaddock says:

    Mine does, Valerie!

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  4. dave kennedy says:

    My interpretation of Eleanor’s quote would relate to leadership. In which case those who are largely influenced by ideas, principles and values are the higher order thinkers, those who are mostly influenced by events are reactionary operators and those who operate in a world of personality and gossip are lower order thinkers. Obviously all of us are influenced by all three but some only engage with the lower two and those leaders who largely work with ideas are the real change agents.

    One could also say that those who deliberately use personality politics and manipulate events for their own ends are not honest operators but are taking advantage of the fact that many voters mainly operate at those lower levels. Surely we should be inspiring people with ideas and not lowering debates for political advantage?

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  5. TraceyS says:

    Dave, your interpretation of “Eleanor’s quote” is ridiculous, mainly for the reason that it was probably not her quote (although she may have repeated it). Can you cite a speech or piece of literature where she either said or wrote this and claimed it as her own words? To extract meaning as you have, from what is most likely a misattribution, is rather lightweight. At least do your research first.

    What you have done with the quote is to uncritically, perhaps unthinkingly, overlay it with your own personality and values. Had you been a little less concerned with your own views of the world then you might have noticed the somewhat haughty tone behind the words of the passage. This is what true listeners would do. And from their responses it is clear that both Ele and Valerie were inclined to detach themselves somewhat – perhaps because something in the quote felt a little “off”, a bit “not quite me”, perhaps just a tad too judgemental? Wise.

    Such feelings are a warning signal to not automatically trust that which underlies what has been written or said. It’s a red flag to dig deeper. And so I did, and found this, the earliest reference to that quote:

    “…[ Henry Thomas Buckle’s ] thoughts and conversations were always on a high level, and I recollect a saying of his which not only greatly impressed me at the time, but which I have ever since cherished as a test of the mental calibre of friends and acquaintances. Buckle said, in his dogmatic way:

    “Men and women range themselves into three classes or orders of intelligence; you can tell the lowest class by their habit of always talking about persons, the next by the fact that their habit is always to converse about things; the highest by their preference for the discussion of ideas”… (my bold)

    (Charles Stewart, “Haud immemor. Reminescences of legal and social life in Edinburgh and London. 1850-1900″, 1901, p. 33)”
    https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Eleanor_Roosevelt

    The quote is not about leadership. It is about class and the classification of people.

    I wonder, Dave, does the quote greatly impress you in its most original context?

    Your usage of terms such as “higher order thinkers” and “lower order thinkers” is a bit of a giveaway that you have a tendency to classify people. As an educator you have no doubt adopted those terms from Bloom’s Taxonomy from which they originate. But there is a subtle distinction. That system classified thinking not thinkers.

    I believe that to be a very important distinction.

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  6. Mr E says:

    What a horrible view you have of voters Dave.

    You seem to be saying personality politics is dishonest and many voters operate at this low standard.

    Dim
    View

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  7. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, my interpretation of the quote is perfectly valid and the quote itself distinguishes between great and less great minds, my use of higher and lower order thinking is perfectly reasonable in that context. As a teacher I know that individuals have many different qualities that determine how they function in society and a great or higher order thinker without work ethic or morals is unlikely to make a positive impact. I also know that while different ways of thinking can be taught, not all have the ability to think analytically and synthesize a range of information effectively. However, someone whose main priority is caring for people, and who will never be an abstract thinker should be be celebrated.

    When it come to leadership those who deal with ideas in cognitively sophisticated ways are more likely to enable constructive change that many can benefit from.

    “You seem to be saying personality politics is dishonest and many voters operate at this low standard.”

    You only need to talk to any political strategist to know that this is true and most political campaigns operate with this understanding. National effectively uses the strategy of undermining the personal credibility of the opposition leader rather than focus on policy. Many of National’s policies do not have majority support so the main focus is building the celebrity value of John Key. You will not that a lot of time is spent building his credibility by association and populist causes (All Blacks, Royalty…) and distancing him from difficult issues. This has been very effective.

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  8. Dave Kennedy says:

    You will also note that with economic predictions and confidence at the lowest level since the GFC, the housing crisis, the prison revelations, CYFs failures and the dairy crisis that National is cleverly shifting the focus on the Rugby World Cup and the flag design. Very clever.

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  9. Name Withheld says:

    the fact that many voters mainly operate at those lower levels.
    Mr Kennedy, your arrogance soars once again to new heights. You tried to introduce this (voters are too dumb to see the true facts) meme after the last election.
    Its called democracy chum. No. You are not my “chum”
    I wonder how many people would cast a valid vote if we followed your elitist thoughts to the point where the ballot paper may include the line…..
    Draw a rhomboid beside the candidate of your choice

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  10. Dave Kennedy says:

    NW, you are naive if you believe that most voters analyse and compare policies of different parties and vote according to logical rather than emotional thinking. In most of my campaigning and talking to voters I was aware that many were fed up with politics, most saw politicians as largely dishonest and used MSM to guide their views. Few were aware of the actual policies and I found many people quoted John Key’s version of Green policies as he got the most MSM exposure. Many people are too busy just surviving and do not engage with politics as they feel that no matter what they vote the outcomes won’t be much different. This isn’t being patronising or elitist, just realistic. When I have put links to Green policies here some commenters openly state that they won’t look at them and will never look at any links I put up, that is an emotional response.

    “The ratings of occupations place politicians as the least respected at 4.5 (alongside real estate agents) while nurses rated highest at 8.8. Police were at 7.9 and Public servants at 6.5. Politicians were the only occupation for whom respect diminished from the poll results the previous year.”

    http://integritytalkingpoints.com/2014/05/05/loss-of-public-respect-for-politicians-goes-against-trend-for-other-occupations/

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  11. Name Withheld says:

    NW, you are naive if you believe that most voters analyse and compare policies of different parties and vote according to logical rather than emotional thinking.
    You should STOP making stuff up Kennedy to weasel further into your elitist argument.
    Nowhere did I say, nor do I believe that.

    The ratings of occupations place politicians as the least respected at 4.5
    And you aspire to join this group?
    Figures.

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  12. TraceyS says:

    Dave, your interpretation is valid but foolish.

    Great leaders do not manage to take people with them by looking down their long snooty noses and thinking or espousing “…I have a better brain than you.”

    To lead change you need followers. Bottom line. No followers, no leader. The type of transformational change that occurs in the absence of followers is not transformation at all but force.

    “I also know that while different ways of thinking can be taught, not all have the ability to think analytically and synthesize a range of information effectively.”

    Barring severe brain dysfunction or injury ALL have the ability.

    Carrying the attitudes you do, I would not let you within a country mile of my child’s education.

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  13. TraceyS says:

    The great majority of people have an ability to think analytically and synthesize a wide range of information perfectly well. But there are reasons why a person may not be able to articulate their thoughts fluently, comprehensively and in a way which demonstrates their intelligence or “higher-order thinking”. These reasons are no indictment on their thinking ability. One such explanation; Dyspraxia*, is even the subject of a Green Party initiated inquiry at present. I would have expected Dave to be up with this. How embarrassing!

    *https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Developmental_coordination_disorder

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  14. Dave Kennedy says:

    NW, then you have lost me with your argument. If you are judging me for claiming that most voters operate at an emotional level and do not engage with voting using higher level of cognitive analysis (even if they could) then what are you saying? If you are calling me elitist for saying this but do not hold a different view yourself, then I’m not sure of your argument.

    My linking to the general perception of politicians is just what it is, a general perception. It was an explanation why many don’t engage fully in politics. In reality most politicians are not inherently dishonest and most work very hard. I don’t aspire to be a politician, I aspire to be able to bring about positive change. I think you will find MPs from most parties whose goal was to become a MP because of the status and power it provides, others end up as MPs because they want to serve.

    I was impressed by a recent Time Magazine article on the current Pope who has chosen to live in a small flat in the Vatican rather than the usual grand residence used by past popes, he drives a Ford Focus and washes the feet of prisoners. He also asks for people to pray for him to help him serve others better. I am not a Catholic, nor particularly religious but I do believe this Pope sees the position as one of service and operates with the best of motives. The MPs and Ministers that cause an erosion of trust are those that clearly relish the role of MP for it’s own sake and often operate in self interest. Sadly this is how many are viewed by the public and there is minimal compassion being shown in the actions of this Government when so many New Zealanders are struggling on minimal wages, unsafe and unfair working conditions, living in substandard housing paying exorbitant amounts for electricity and also being blamed for their circumstances.

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  15. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, you are misrepresenting me, I was reflecting on the reality of what happens (and as you say say, it is a valid position). No leader worth their salt would operate as you suggest and I never suggested it myself. I don’t disagree with you on the different cognitive realities. We are not talking about the same things as many people with extensive intellectual capacity do not necessarily apply it to politics, that is probably why you vote National (note, this is supposed to be a humorous dig) 😉

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  16. TraceyS says:

    I am reminded of the artist Martin Thompson:

    “Martin is a solitary man, but never idle; his conversation is abrupt and urgent and the sense given is that time is not to be wasted and foolish people, unreliable people (particularly bureaucrats) cannot be tolerated…I am not sure how well Martin is able to predict the final appearance of each work. Obviously, he has a natural ability to make mathematical calculations on a scale that is completely bewildering.”
    http://www.selftaughtart.org.nz/artists/artist.php?id=8

    Intellectual capacity expresses itself in many different ways – not just the written or verbal. Have you not heard on nonverbal intelligence, Dave?

    How do you assess the application of nonverbal intelligence to politics? You can’t look inside people’s heads.

    Nor can you judge people solely by what comes out of their mouths. That is the lesson of the “Eleanor” quote.

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  17. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Nor can you judge people solely by what comes out of their mouths. That is the lesson of the “Eleanor” quote.”

    No it isn’t, it is obviously referring to how different people operate and how it reflects on their intellectual capacity. It is overly simplistic, as you have identified, but has an element of truth as i suggested.

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  18. Paranormal says:

    DK the last election proved you wrong.

    It appears the majority of New Zealanders chose to cast their vote on logical analysis rather than emotion. Greens, Liabour, Mana and Internet parties campaigned strongly on emotion and it failed miserably.

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  19. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Greens, Liabour, Mana and Internet parties campaigned strongly on emotion and it failed miserably.”

    Paranormal, in relation to the Greens (as I was closely involved with the campaign) this couldn’t be further from the truth. I have regularly linked to our costed policies here, perhaps you can list National’s 10 main campaign policies that drove it’s campaign and the evidence that supported them? If I remember rightly the majority of the campaign featured Dirty Politics, National’s defensive and attacking statements and Kim Dotcom.

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  20. TraceyS says:

    Paranormal: “Greens [etc]…campaigned strongly on emotion and it failed miserably.”

    Dave: “Paranormal, in relation to the Greens (as I was closely involved with the campaign) this couldn’t be further from the truth.

    Doesn’t this exchange so aptly demonstrate that when something is right at the end of your nose it is hardest to see? Even when you are looking right down that long, long nose at those whom you deem lesser thinkers.

    Dave, the lesson from the quote is not in the face value of the words but what is behind the words. The subtle, hidden message obscured by the passage of time and confusion over the origins and context. Even though it is rooted in class discrimination you continue to stand by it. That is a lesson for us all and for anyone who might consider voting a particular way.

    People who feel things in their bones can often forgo the academic analysis. The world is full of them. It doesn’t make them any lesser in my view. The leadership challenge is to understand. Not to judge.

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  21. Dave Kennedy says:

    Examples of emotional campaigning please 😉

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  22. Paranormal says:

    DK take a look at your billboards for a start. there may well have been costed policy behind them, as with all the other parties, but your campaigning was on the emotional level.

    But then again you will fail to acknowledge that, because that would mean you would also have to consider that maybe the voters didn’t make a mistake after all…

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  23. Name Withheld says:

    I don’t aspire to be a politician, I aspire to be able to bring about positive change……
    ……others end up as MPs because they want to serve.

    Oh please……Enough of this odious self-serving claptrap.
    Reading that made me feel more than a little nauseous.

    You are impressed by the “hair shirt” routine of the Pope?
    And you call me naive?

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  24. Dave Kennedy says:

    You’re right about our billboards, Paranormal, many were crap, but they were hardly our whole campaign. We had focused on three different themes (economics, environment and social issues) and had costed policies supporting each. What were National’s Key policies again?

    NW, you don’t agree that many MP’s genuinely want to do a reasonable job?

    I guess you think that the Pope is part of the big Climate Conspiracy 😉

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/28/pope-francis-environment-rome-naomi-klein-climate-change

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  25. farmerbraun says:

    There is no conspiracy in relation to climate ; it’s not about climate .
    Read this unsubstantiated twaddle from an ex-politician;; what is it really about ;-

    “”But we all suffer. Look at the erratic climate in New Zealand now – much less predictable. You hear the same thing from the Kiwi farmers you hear from the smallholder in Africa – don’t know whether the rain’s going to come, how long they’ll be, whether there’ll be a cloudburst, whether it will be consistent rain, when do you plant, does your crop get ruined? It’s very, very difficult for agriculture.”

    For someone with a rural background, she shows absolutely no sign of understanding of the weather. How is that even possible?
    Perhaps she is lying.
    An ex-politician lying?
    Unprecedented 🙂

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  26. tom hunter says:

    She must have despised her philandering husband more than I thought, because FDR absolutely loved talking about events and people, and ideas came a distant third.

    That’s not to disparage FDR – who was a smart guy – because most of the really good politicians in history have been the ones on top of events and people in detailed ways that most ordinary people are not.

    The ones who have been “ideas” people first are often the ones that have failed (higher order thinkers – that’s another DK keeper).

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  27. TraceyS says:

    Dave, that’s higher order “thinking” which anyone with a healthy brain is capable of. I don’t see in Bloom’s Taxonomy any of what you have previously written eg. “[a]s a teacher…I also know that while different ways of thinking can be taught, not all have the ability to think analytically and synthesize a range of information effectively” and “…someone whose main priority is caring for people, and who will never be an abstract thinker should be be celebrated.”

    To say that some individuals are not capable of higher order thinking or that “those who operate in a world of personality and gossip are lower order thinkers” is to quote straight out of the book of eugenics from around the same time and place that “Eleanor’s” supposed quote was first recorded:

    “In September 1903, an “Inter-departmental Committee on Physical Deterioration” chaired by Almeric W. FitzRoy was appointed by the government “to make a preliminary enquiry into the allegations concerning the deterioration of certain classes of the population as shown by the large percentage of rejections for physical causes of recruits for the Army”, and gave its Report to both houses of parliament in the following year.[30] Among its recommendations, originating from professor Daniel John Cunningham, were an anthropometric survey of the British population. In the United Kingdom, eugenics never received significant state funding, but it was supported by many prominent figures of different political persuasions before World War I, including: Liberal economists William Beveridge and John Maynard Keynes; Fabian socialists such as Irish author George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells and Sidney Webb; and Conservatives such as the future Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Arthur Balfour.[31] The influential economist John Maynard Keynes was a prominent supporter of eugenics, serving as Director of the British Eugenics Society, and writing that eugenics is “the most important, significant and, I would add, genuine branch of sociology which exists”.[32]

    Its emphasis was more upon social class, rather than race.[33] Indeed, Francis Galton expressed these views during a lecture in 1901 in which he placed British society into groups. These groupings are shown in the figure and indicate the proportion of society falling into each group and their perceived genetic worth. Galton suggested that negative eugenics (i.e. an attempt to prevent them from bearing offspring) should be applied only to those in the lowest social group (the “Undesirables”), while positive eugenics applied to the higher classes. However, he appreciated the worth of the higher working classes to society and industry.”

    “…someone whose main priority is caring for people, and who will never be an abstract thinker should be be celebrated” fits beautifully with that last paragraph.

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  28. Dave Kennedy says:

    Good grief, Tracey, you do go off on some extreme conclusions. Of course people can learn to think in different ways, all I did was paraphrase the quote. If you actually engage with my comments I explained how people choose to engage with politics at different levels, despite their ability, because they feel disengaged with the process. I also stated why we need different kinds people in different roles in society, your eugenics reference is total misrepresentation (and a rather vicious one at that). If you look at my original comment I was referring to the sort of thinking that is best for leadership roles:
    “Obviously all of us are influenced by all three but some only engage with the lower two and those leaders who largely work with ideas are the real change agents.”

    You have your own debate about eugenics because i find the whole concept abhorrent and am appalled that you even tried to introduce it into the discussion.

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  29. Will Dwan says:

    Actually Tracy makes a valid point. Plato explicitly advocates eugenics in The Republic. And the Nazi ‘master race’ overlords were very keen. The arrogance that seems to go with ‘higher thinking’ is what makes the rest of us so skeptical around these ‘experts.’

    Why won’t you just leave us alone?

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  30. TraceyS says:

    Dave, I’m not really so much interested in your political opinion. I am very interested in your people opinion though.

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  31. Dave Kennedy says:

    Will, have that argument with ER, the originator of the quote and learn about what higher order thinking really means (miles away from Hitler). You are joining Tracey in a bizarre witch hunt 😉

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  32. Dave Kennedy says:

    Also, as one of the advisors for the Ministry of Education’s IEP document I think I have a reasonable understanding of the spectrum of cognitive ability. We don’t all have the same potential, but our differences and what we can achieve should be celebrated, not exploited (which was the point you have ignored).
    http://seonline.tki.org.nz/IEP/IEP-guidelines

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  33. farmerbraun says:

    “We don’t all have the same potential,”
    At what point in human development do potentials begin to diverge, in your opinion Dave?

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  34. tom hunter says:

    You have your own debate about eugenics because i find the whole concept abhorrent and am appalled that you even tried to introduce it into the discussion.

    Here’s the list of the Margaret Sanger Award winners for the last 50 years:

    The Margaret Sanger Award is an honor awarded annually by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America since 1966. Created to honor the legacy of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, it is the Federation’s highest honor. It is given to individuals to recognize excellence and leadership in the reproductive health and rights movement.

    A little taste of the woman herself:

    In “The Morality of Birth Control,” a 1921 speech, she divided society into three groups: the “educated and informed” class that regulated the size of their families, the “intelligent and responsible” who desired to control their families however did not have the means or the knowledge and the “irresponsible and reckless people” whose religious scruples “prevent their exercising control over their numbers.” Sanger concludes “there is no doubt in the minds of all thinking people that the procreation of this group should be stopped.

    Does that not sound familiar. You’d think people would be as embarrassed at getting this award as if they’d had the Confederate flag draped over their shoulders, but Left-wingers regard it as an accolade. I see the Wikipedia article has glossed over or outright excused her racism but there are other sources of her writings – if one cares to look.

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  35. TraceyS says:

    “Also, as one of the advisors for the Ministry of Education’s IEP document I think I have a reasonable understanding of the spectrum of cognitive ability.”

    Perhaps then, as an expert advisor, you can describe what is this “spectrum of cognitive abilities” to which you refer?

    I’ve done a Google Scholar search and cannot find a single document which uses this terminology.

    Did you make it up?

    I know that people do differ in their cognitive functions. But “spectrum” implies linearity from which people could be classified as low, average, and higher order thinkers (see Galton’s diagram above).

    Regarding your comment at 7:01pm, see:

    http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/misattributed-eleanor-roosevelt

    Henry Buckle is the originator of the quote.

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  36. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey:
    “one might talk about the spectrum of political opinion, or the spectrum of activity of a drug, or the autism spectrum. In these uses, values within a spectrum may not be associated with precisely quantifiable numbers or definitions. Such uses imply a broad range of conditions or behaviors grouped together and studied under a single title for ease of discussion.”

    Cognitive ability varies considerably and the IEP document was written for children with high needs. However, I believe all children should have one to recognise that each is a unique learner and has particular abilities that should be celebrated and learning needs that may need more support.

    In my last teaching position I was working with children who had delayed development, autism and fetal alcohol syndrome. None of these children were able to function at the same level as most of their peers and needed one to one support to advance their learning. I have also taught children who were able to work at several levels above their age group.

    Research shows that children’s learning and development doesn’t follow tidy linear progressions and some children are slower to pick up language than others in the beginning, but catch up later, others may never catch up. What National Standards has highlighted, despite its flaws, is that the Decile of a community is one determiner of academic achievement.

    The debate around nature and nurture, as they influence development and academic achievement, has been well informed by Otago University’s internationally regarded longitudinal study. It shows that the physical attributes (genes) one is born with determines potential and the environment that a child experiences in their early years pretty much decides how that potential is realised. A child with limiting natural factors like autism (to take one extreme) can go on to live a rich and useful life if born into a supportive family while the opposite may occur if a similar child does not have positive early experiences. If children are neglected in their early years the negative impacts can never be fully addressed and poor physical and mental health are likely to be limiting factors throughout adulthood.

    We are not all created equal, nor with the same same potential, and life experiences can create insurmountable barriers for many. Our prisons are largely full of people who have had early life experiences and neglect no child should have to endure or deal with.

    People are very complex and using narrow criteria like National Standards (only literacy and numeracy) or classifying people on some sort of scale of cognitive function would be dangerous and could never encompass or determine an individual’s real potential. The late Celia Lashlie spoke of how seemingly hopeless and damaged individuals can be rehabilitated if they receive timely support and can go on to contribute positively to society. However not to recognise that there is a wide spectrum of emotional, physical and cognitive abilities in our society is naive.

    Tom, you appear to be in favour of eugenics, otherwise I am not sure of the intention of your comment. Surely the best way we can ensure we have all of our society contributing positively for our collective social and economic success is to manage the causes of dysfunction and poverty. Currently a large proportion of our young families live in substandard housing and are struggling on the lowest household incomes. We can stand on the outside and condemn struggling parents for their circumstances and support eugenics or put in place programmes where we reverse the declining standards of our housing stock, ensure that education spending supports those who really need it and lift the circumstances of young families so that they can best support their children.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/8830344/Private-schools-snare-special-needs-cash

    Less and less of the wealth produced by this country goes to working people. Around ten years ago 60% of a company’s profits went to the wages of employees and 40% went to dividends and the shareholders. The ratio is now 50/50. Wages have not kept up with productivity and we now have 50% of New Zealand’s population being forced to survive on 5% of our collective wealth. As a country we work some of the longest hours for OECD counties 95% of us are in employment but the median income from all sources is about $28,000. Around 50% are having to survive on incomes at or less than that amount and most households with young children are in the lowest quartile of earners.

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  37. tom hunter says:

    Tom, you appear to be in favour of eugenics,

    Pffft. I don’t think that’s even an honest insult, just a deflection.

    … otherwise I am not sure of the intention of your comment.

    The intention is to point out that your side of the fence, the left-wing side that supposedly hates eugenics, has as one of it’s heroes to this day, a woman who absolutely preached in favour of eugenics. In the USA left-wingers of your ilk are absolutely thrilled to be given the Margaret Sanger Award.

    The further intention is to point out the commonality of left-wing thinking in Sanger’s time – that there are people too stupid to be allowed to contribute to society in any other than being instructed – with your snobbish thoughts about higher order thinkers.

    And I see that Tracey has already caught you out on the difference between “ers” and “ing”.

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  38. Paranormal says:

    DK you are showing your commercial ignorance and lack of statistical ability again with the last paragraph of your 11.58 comment.

    For example no part of a company’s profit goes to paying wages. Profit is what is left after costs, of which wages is one.

    Have you stopped to consider that what you are attempting to describe is actually a problem of your own (i.e. the lefts) making? As minimum wages creep up they are justifying the use of capital to replace lower skilled jobs.

    I know you won’t understand this, just keep on banging that drum. It does provide a level of entertainment that Will wants to deprive us of.

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  39. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tom, what claptrap. You are busy doing what you are accusing me of, classifying people into different rigid groups. You are not trying to discuss what I am saying but trying to create a whole new argument by introducing an idea I personally find distasteful. I believe education and lifting the living circumstances of families will make a huge difference to future generations and you are trying to argue that people like me support the content of a speech from over 90 years ago that divides people into intelligent and unintelligent classes. I hope you read and appreciated my more complex views in my previous comment and find your assumptions irrational.

    As for my reference to those in leadership positions where I hope higher order thinking is most used in the application of their roles, this is perfectly reasonable. Surely someone who is apple to process complex data and engage with detailed technical reports and apply higher levels of analysis when making decisions would be using higher order thinking and would also be a higher order thinker. Do you really believe that all New Zealanders would make good MPs and Ministers and function at the level necessary to be effective in this environment? Those who are not able to operate at that level are not necessarily unintelligent but may not chose to think in those ways or want to. Others may never have the ability to do so but may be able to process and think in ways that make them exceptional artists or builders.

    Higher order thinking is just a label for certain thinking skills and calling someone a higher order thinker is just recognising an individual who is able to do so. Any kind of label has its limitations, I could have talked about more complex thinking or someone with an academic approach to decision making, no matter how I would have expressed it I probably would have found myself being criticised.

    I actually find the generalistion of descriptions of those who are having to rely on benefits and social support here most offensive. Especially when there is an assumption that when someone who has a baby when they are poor are being irresponsible, but that same label isn’t used for someone who is financially secure but accidentally gets pregnant. We are not all created equal in our genetic make up, financial circumstances or cognitive and physical abilities and expecting all people to operate independently and be able to live comfortable lives without some support is not rational or fair. We do not all have the potential to be All Blacks for instance. The fact that we have one of the worst records for child health and safety in the world is not because we naturally have the highest % of bad parents but because our society has not created an environment that can successfully change these shocking outcomes.

    If we wait for market forces to address the needs of our most vulnerable we must surely fail. Governments are elected to make best use of our financial and human resources to ensure all New Zealanders can live comfortable and rewarding lives. It is the Government who must ensure that our education and health and welfare systems best meet the needs of those who are the most vulnerable and if we see ongoing cycles of family poverty and abuse, it is not just the fault of the individuals but the fault of Government leadership that allows those cycles to continue.

    Anne Tolley claimed that spending more money on CYFs would not make it perform better but when the issues identified were short staffing, high workloads, low pay (to attract the best workers), poor training and limited resources, I would have thought a greater investment of funding would make a huge difference. That investment would save a large amount of money later, especially given that it costs around $100,000 a year to keep someone in prison. Rather than blaming the individuals we should be looking at what is needed to help people into a situation where they need less or no state support. Such spending, done properly, is an investment for prosperity not an unnecessary cost that continually needs pruning.

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  40. TraceyS says:

    Dave said: “Otago University’s internationally regarded longitudinal study…shows that the physical attributes (genes) one is born with determines potential and the environment that a child experiences in their early years pretty much decides how that potential is realised.”

    Dave, here are the reports from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Research Unit:
    http://dunedinstudy.otago.ac.nz/publications

    Can you please indicate which one(s) specifically study the genes of the participants and their families?

    Like

  41. TraceyS says:

    “Cognitive ability varies considerably…”

    Yes that’s true, but 95% are in the normal range that is 70 to 130 IQ points.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRxqFQoTCPnN3dfi2ccCFWOepgodvOIBdA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.iqmindware.com%2Fiq-mindware%2Fthe-bell-curve-cognitive-elites%2F&psig=AFQjCNFcKZWvdR5tZN-mOHxQLn8qDInc6A&ust=1441332032882044

    With appropriate education all of them have brains capable of abstract or “higher-order thinking” as you call it.

    “The late Celia Lashlie spoke of how seemingly hopeless and damaged individuals can be rehabilitated…”

    I heard Celia Lashlie. She didn’t refer to people as “hopeless”…

    Like

  42. tom hunter says:

    …. and you are trying to argue that people like me support the content of a speech from over 90 years ago that divides people into intelligent and unintelligent classes.

    Ah – now I see how your mind works. This explains the assertion Tom, you appear to be in favour of eugenics,.

    No Dave, I’m pointing out to you that your ideology – left-wing ideology – has some very nasty history here in the West (nothing to do with communism), and that it arises from exactly the attitudes that you so often exhibit here:
    – a snobby superiority, in ethics, knowledge, “caring” and just about anything one cares to name.

    – a desire and a belief that you can, and should, be micro-managing people’s lives from the seat of government – especially people who are not as smart and well-informed as you are.

    – an absolute inability to learn from past failures.

    As I pointed out, the Margaret Sanger award is still being handed out to gleeful members of your side of the fence: they love it, Planned Parenthood and all that. That’s not 90 years ago, that’s today. No shame there.

    I find that distasteful – in the extreme – but I can’t find any left-winger who does, which is typical.

    Like

  43. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tom, you are presenting a flawed simplistic argument by trying to portray the Greens and the left as being interfering ‘nanny state’ type governors who like to dictate how people should live their lives. The right on the other hand (according to you) are for personal choice and freedom. This is just spin and nonsense. Brash tried to set up a watch dog to deal to the politically correct nonsense he claimed was imbedded in the system during Labour’s term and found and changed nothing.

    National are currently the party of corporate welfare and anti-democracy. We are now living in the ‘ Big Daddy’ state where a favoured few get financial gifts and good democratic process is sidelined. How many examples do you want me to list of overturned decisions by the courts and concerns from the ombudsmen of poor process?

    Like

  44. Name Withheld says:

    Tom, you are presenting a flawed simplistic argument by trying to portray the Greens and the left as being interfering ‘nanny state’ type governors who like to dictate how people should live their lives.
    That’s about the funniest thing you have written in a thread here for a long time, Mr Kennedy. And you do produce some del>funny pathetic stuff, particularly in your wee small hour efforts.

    The right on the other hand (according to you) are for personal choice and freedom.
    “According to you?”
    I have read and re-read tom’s comments, and nowhere do I see him advancing that as an alternative. Your comprehension skills are abysmal, or are you just making stuff up as usual?

    “– a snobby superiority, in ethics, knowledge, “caring” and just about anything one cares to name.
    – a desire and a belief that you can, and should, be micro-managing people’s lives from the seat of government – especially people who are not as smart and well-informed as you are.”

    A perfect summation.
    Thank you Tom.

    Like

  45. TraceyS says:

    An argument that is flawed or simplistic can still be true.

    I’ve yet to come across any argument which is flawless and some of the best arguments are simplistic!

    What is more important to strive for? Perfection or plain truth?

    Like

  46. Dave Kennedy says:

    NW, perhaps you can explain what you believe is the current Government’s philosophy that makes them better suited to governance than the Greens if it isn’t what I suggested. Surely the opposite of the so called Nanny State is greater opportunities for individual determination?

    In reality this Government does the very things that the Greens are being accused of by Tom. This Government believes that its ideology trumps the actual experts. National Standards were implemented without a research base or the support of the profession, more people in Auckland want improvements in public transport and expert advice supports the same but National is putting the bulk of transport funding into motorways instead (despite flatlining traffic numbers).

    Demanding ethical decisions, considering human rights and using good process are not applying snobby superiority, it is just about doing things properly. That is why Brash’s witch hunt failed and why so many of this Governments decisions have been overturned and questioned. Under this Government’s legislative programme New Zealand’s human rights transgressions (or recommendations) increased from 64 to 155 in four and a half years.

    Page 26 of the magazine of have linked to explains the reality of the nanny state nonsense and why we would have greater freedom of choice under a Green Governance. We would be changing from an autocratic style to one where participatory democracy and fairness would dominate instead.

    Click to access otago016864.pdf

    Like

  47. farmerbraun says:

    ” we would have greater freedom of choice under a Green Governance. We would be changing from an autocratic style to one where participatory democracy and fairness would dominate instead.”

    I’d be interested to hear the nuts and bolts of this Green plan , in particular with regard to the revisions to the RMA.

    Like

  48. Will Dwan says:

    ‘Flatlining traffic numbers.’

    ARE YOU MENTAL?!!!! Do you ever go north of Taupo?! We are in almost terminal gridlock up here! I’m not sure what the Green vision for this country was, but it’s too late. We can’t go back. You really need to get around more Dave.

    Like

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