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Archive for April, 2014

We, the Ignorant

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

It’s difficult to deal with the sheer volume of ignorance in the World. Like a lot of people, I struggle with the hard graft of tolerating idiots. But, when you think about it, ignorance (and to a degree idiocy) makes us very human.

We’re skimmers by nature. We’re hard-wired towards pattern recognition and our minds like to fill in gaps between the things we do (or think we do) know and the wilderness of uncertainty of those (most of the Universe) that we don’t.

Ignorance really stands out when someone says something about sugar causing diabetes, for example. Or not understanding there are two types of diabetes… or, more precisely, lots of types of diabetes that we’ve generally lumped into two categories of Type 1 and Type 2.

Until it happens to you there’s the bliss of ignorance, as I’m told. Ignorance lets us sleep soundly… and often sees us saying dumb things to people who aren’t as ignorant on that specific subject.

I had a malignant melanoma removed in 2010. Do you know how many people tell me that they had a melanoma removed – but they really mean a harmless bit of sun damage? Lots. They don’t understand anything beyond the cliche marketing about slip, slop, slap and be careful in the sunshine. I’m told by a skin specialist that it isn’t the first melanoma that kills us… it’s the second or third. I envy the ignorance of somebody who hasn’t had melanoma enter their life.

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TasWater Billing & Strata Unit Tenancy

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Note: I am not a lawyer and have no qualification to offer legal advice. However, if this issue is relevant, you might contact the authorities listed at the bottom of this article to pursue your stolen money. Also, I hope at least some people stop paying illegal water bills to Tasmanian landlords. This article includes research conducted by my partner and I because my property manager emailed an illegal water bill.

If you are renting a unit (in a block of units) in Tasmania there is a good chance your landlord is passing on water bills that are illegal. If so, you may even be entitled to ask for all of that money returned.

The issue is that Tasmanian landlords and property managers (like BluEdge Property) don’t have the right to chop up a water bill into (say six) parts. If there is only one water meter to the property then it would be illegal to merely divide the water component of that bill by (for example six) units. It would be arbitrary… either for the number of rooms (on the assumption that more rooms means more responsibility for usage), the number of tenants (assuming more people use more water), or time into the tenancy agreement (assuming a linear progression of water usage over time).

An added complication that makes this type of billing impossible (and therefore unfair) is that unit occupancies stagger through a billing period. So whatever the billing regime that calculation was based on it would be a guess. And landlords may try to dupe you by saying it’s in your Tenancy Agreement or they have sighted the bill. Or that the Act says metered to the property (a meter on the property), when it means metered to the part of the property that you are legally responsible for as a tenant.

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The Social Politics of Shooting Film

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Bronica ETRS

A lot of people pull me up to chat about film cameras. Most often it’s because I’m carrying a piece of gear they used decades ago (Nikon F2A Photomic) or the oddity of seeing an unusual camera (Zenza Bronica ETRS) on the street. But every so often I meet someone I’d describe as the Post-Film-Pro-Digital Apologist. I find myself being expected to apologise for shooting film.

This happened again on Sunday when Megan and I were at the Derwent Valley Autumn Festival. She was shooting the Holga 120n and I had my lovely old Nikon F2A Photomic around my neck.

The guy who started this conversation was in his mid-50s, grey wild hair; he was a little out there in a conformist type of way. Maybe that’s a confusing description. He looked well to the left of corporate, if that helps. Like… oh… a photographer.

So he starts with the line asking about whether it’s a Nikon F2 around my neck. He used to shoot film back in the day. And I’m thinking great. You used to shoot film and we’ve got some connection in this crowded festival area just for a few moments and that’s a kind of nostalgic niceness that I can appreciate.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark (aka nortypig) and I live in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a photographer making pictures with film. A web developer for money. A business consultant for fun. A journalist on paper. Dreams of owning the World. Idea champion. Paradox. Life partner to Megan.

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