March 19, 2004


Sometimes taking things personally can be useful. I suppose I'm mostly thinking around queer issues. Speaking personally, I can contribute what I know from experience (rather than just hypothesis). Being offended sometimes reminds other people that we're talking about real people who might find what they are saying offensive or hurtful.

However, even then, taking it personally has its limits. Even if I do decide that the personal aspect is worth raising, I gotta remember that they didn't necessarily mean it that way. Otherwise everything has a tendancy to be overwhelmingly horrid.

I've also noticed that a certain distance from people's opinions about my performances is a necessary requirement of actually having the guts to get up there and do anything useful. In the end, the small enjoyment I give one person has to outweigh the people who think what I do has no value.

There is a lot to be said for contributing - even if other people respond poorly.

Posted by carla at 10:19 PM

March 18, 2004

music spot

big ups to Dark Tower.

I've been listening to Canterbury Drafts at work and finding it a good antidote to the seasonal empowerment-speak.

Poetic, kiwi, blokey, funny, and damn quirky hiphop.

Posted by carla at 09:04 PM

March 16, 2004

once upon a time, there was ethics

or were ethics, who knows.

anyway, about 16 years ago the 4th Labour government did away with ethics in the public service. At least in any centralised way. Instead, each department (or other government entity) was responsible for producing specified outputs for a certain amount of funding. The point was to let the government departments (or entities) get on with doing what they knew how to do. Examples include: imprison an offender, educate a child, save a native species, or collect taxes. There was a lot of fuss and bother about exactly what an output might be, but they pretty much sorted it out in time.

Traditionally, the public service's morals had been the purview of the State Services Commission, which had administered them through a complex and extensive set of hr policies and rules. These were shed 16 years ago in favour of advice and leadership. Commentators at the time were worried that the old public service ethics would fade away without the nourishing state sector rules.

Turns out the fading has been very slow, though there is some evidence that it has been occurring.

So what of paying some employees more than others based on race? Is this the poster child for the loss of centralised ethics in the public service? After all, the ferocious equalitarianism of the old public sector would never have let people be paid more simply because they were pakeha. This new flexibility has allowed the evil of racism to flourish. Funny that the National Party is now seeking to reintroduce centralised moral enforcement to a public service it has heartily advocated decentralising.

p.s. It isn't so much that nice guys come last, more that they come first - in a different game.

Posted by carla at 09:25 PM

I am not princess anastasia

Link post. This is very funny. Apparently a U.S. soldier had to be told "I am not the atheist chaplain." And 212 other rules. The pure inventiveness of this guy is wonderful.

Posted by carla at 11:18 AM

March 09, 2004


I have done far too much gardening in the last 4 days. Now everything hurts. But the garden will be nice for the landlord. bah.

Also, I have discovered a palatible alternative for California table grapes - KiwiBerries. They are grape-sized kiwi fruit and you can eat them all in one go. Tart and sweet like grapes but without the seeds.

Why was I looking for an alternative to California table grapes? Because blackwidow spiders have a habit of hitchiking into NZ on them. Eventually they'll get loose. So the only way to avoid the suckers is to stop demand for California table grapes - which means growing them local like, or finding something else to eat.

See. See how tired I am. I'll be discussing condiments next. bah.

Posted by carla at 09:05 PM

March 01, 2004

design doc research

I *knew* it. Design documents should be thoroughly checked before anyone starts a project. I just didn't know that you'd really want 3-5 people checking it before it is finalised - and checking it slowly at that (no faster than 100 words an hour).

Bother, now I am going to become a requirements and design document crank and become impossible to work with.

Posted by carla at 08:32 AM