Sunday, April 28, 2013

Battles with my phone

It's been an uneventful week. I'm still grappling with my smart phone. The touch-the-screen-and-things-happen facility is both a blessing and a curse. Mostly a curse. Literally. One time I accidentally activated a function whereby anything you say is displayed on the screen. Before I knew what I'd even pressed, "oh f*** off" appeared, asterisks and all. I never felt the need to swear at my dumb phone. And I only had to charge it twice a week. I can't imagine booking flights on my smart phone or anything clever like that. Way too fiddly. Apparently you can download an app for that, but it's not like I book flights every day. On the other hand it's great to know that I have a camera in the exact same place as I have my alarm clock. And if I wanted to see who's updated their Facebook status I could do that too, in the exact same place. If I was actually on Facebook, that is.

Ever since social media became really big I've been trying to figure out why I haven't engaged in it. It's not as if I've made any big conscious decision to disengage in it; I've just never been drawn to it at all. And it's not like I feel smug about not wanting to go anywhere near Facebook and the like. On the contrary, I wonder what's wrong with me. I think I've finally figured it out. I'm interested in people. I care about people. In some cases, I care about them a lot. But I care about them on a purely individual basis. If I connect with people, I prefer to do so individually, not a dozen or more at a time. I've rarely felt part of a group or team. Of course I do spew out this blog to many thousands of people (!), but I think of all my followers as individuals rather than one big group. So that's what's wrong with me, or different at the very least.

My brother's ex wrote and shared a lot of pretty nasty stuff about him on Facebook, which she later deleted. So that's another reason to avoid it. I got a text from my brother last week; there was a lot of anti-NZ sentiment there. Mum and Dad hope that he joins the army again on his return to England. I have mixed feelings about this. No question, being an elite soldier is what he's good at. I'm very proud of him, and a little envious because I've never shown anything like the same level of competence in any of my roles. I'm sure he'll slot right back into his army position if he rejoins, and he'll do an exceptional job. But it's the whole war thing I have a problem with. He put his life squarely on the line three times, and for me that's enough, especially because one of those times was (as far as I could see) a result of a complete fabrication by various politicians.

I attended the Anzac Day service at the National War Memorial which is almost literally right on my doorstep. All the road works (building the new Memorial Park in time for the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli in two years) and repairs to the bell tower detracted a bit from the ceremony. Still it's important that we remember, and it has some extra significance for me due to what I said in the previous paragraph. It's interesting that Anzac Day has in some ways overtaken Waitangi Day (or Bob Marley Day as I call it) as our national day. I can see people want to get away from the divisiveness we see on Waitangi Day, but in recent years going to Anzac Day parades - even getting up at five o'clock to go to dawn services - has for some reason become fashionable.

I saw this article in the Dom Post on Monday about the Wellington region's economy compares to that of Auckland and Christchurch. It gave some statistics about Wellington, presenting them under the headings "good", "bad" and "ugly". In the "bad" section it gave three pieces of information:
1. House prices in Wellington haven't gone up recently like they have in Auckland and Christchurch.
2. Wellington, with its large public sector workforce, has one of the least diverse business sectors. Only Nelson is ranked worse.
3.  Business units: Business size growth in Wellington since 2002 is below national average.

Right, number two I agree with. That's not good. But why are ever-increasing house prices a good thing? And why is bigger business necessarily better? Somebody please explain.

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