Thursday, March 30, 2006

Does not play well with others :-(

I am struggling with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) on my youngest boy Zac. We casually dismissed thoughts of him being autistic until his first week in Kindy. If he had have been born 40 days later than he had been, he wouldn't even be in kindy until next year. However, his behaviour in a group setting has stuck out as being the odd one out. Stuff like lying on his back facing the other way while everybody else dances to the wiggles music, climbing adventurously by himself while everybody else is doing an outside group activity. Reacting to instructions of a change in activity by screaming (loud). Talking in gestures and single words rather than sentences. We just thought he was a little bit behind and a little younger than the others, but the other evidence is starting to become a little compelling.
The thing that is frustrating me the most is that the diagnosis was rather forced on to us by what I can only describe as special education economics. Every diagnosis of ASD is a ticket for more funding for the Kindy, special education units, parents etc. If I could have helped it, I would have avoided the diagnosis because it does come with so many attachments, including possible stigma. However, denying the diagnosis would have denied him and us the best possible outcomes and supports. I am struggling with this whole concept. Ten years ago, there would have not been this kind of economic push for a diagnosis.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Devine's Intervention

This Sydney article - Enough whingeing by Miranda Devine has created quite a stir in NQ. It is basically an opinion piece based on a selective scan of articles which were themselves selective in looking for the few negative feelings out there. There is no whingeing going on at all. The quotes come from people at their lowest point having barely spared with their lives, but newly destitute. I hope Miranda catches a rare disease that could have been easily prevented with nutrients available only in avocadoes and bananas! That would be Devine Justice.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Contrast Hurricane Katrina with Cyclone Larry - discuss

Mayor of New Orleans "Hey mr President we need some help". Bush - "We've got a whole army with experience in Iraq and Afghanistan - they can come in overnight, guns blazing". Mayor - "aah, give me a few days". Bush - "What! To think about it". Mayor - "No - We'll need to wait until they REALLY get desparate so they'll take any help they can get"

Mayor of Innisfail - "Johnny, Pete, we need help". Howard - "Well, we've got this army unit in Townsville with experience in rebuilding East Timor, Banda Aceh and Kashmir. It costs just as much for them to do nothing, but they'd rather do something useful again." Mayor - "but you're always at the Games watching the Netball, who's going to lead the effort?". Premier Beattie - "Me - Or maybe I should look for someone better?"

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Don't do it for yourself - do it for the children!

I know selfish interests may come into it. Wanting bananas to be available in the shop, have them at a reasonable price, and wanting to help Innisfail get back on its feet. But think of the hundreds of thousands of children in Australia that rely on the humble banana for sustenance! It is one of the few "fruits" in existence that have quantities of all necessary vitamins. By refusing imports we deny these children healthy meals for several months. I know we could ration them out or let prices skyrocket such that the desparate can still get the local product, pricing everyone else out of the market, but surely there is a better way. Banana growing families in the Phillippines (etc.) need to feed their children as well. Wouldn't it be better to buy their bananas at this stage rather than doling out aid?

THINK OF ALL THE CHILDREN - Free trade in bananas can help them all!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

We need free trade in Bananas NOW!

Now that our entire Australian Cavendish banana crop is out of commission, can we buy Philippine bananas please?!!! I'm sure that in other years they'll be yearning for ours because of their own cyclone disasters. As Howard said to Bush's offer of money- we don't need the money but just make it as quick and easy as possible for us to buy the things we need. FREE TRADE RULES!



Sunday, March 19, 2006

Larry's coming over and he's bringing us a flood apparently

Looks like the cyclone is going to bring us here in Townsville the rain without much of the wind. I suspect flooding rain, cut roads, power outages, trees down. Should rival the flood of 98 (night of Noah floods) if the reading of the fabled cactus flowers (made a week ago incidentally) are anything to go by.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Dismal scientific world view

It was useful to my own self-analysis to compare a scientific world view to a religious world view. I tend to slip into an Economic world view often enough to confuse any philosophical argument. Economics is often labelled (even by economists) the "dismal science" in the sense that broad approximations have to be made with any model, and this leaves it open to the type of criticisms which just wouldn't fly with any other science. The more complex the model, the more useful it can be, but the less likely a lay person can understand it enough to agree with it. Thus people's concept of an economy in some circumstances, can be completely wrong because of the model used.

Thus the same concept I have for a world view. Religions as various models describe reality imperfectly but usefully. So what of my (non)belief in God? What, if not God is tracking the absolute morality which I believe exists regardless of people believing it exists? Well, an all-seeing God is useful but imperfect model therefore.

Monday, March 13, 2006

What I've been doing

I haven't posted for a while and it has been mainly other obsessions keeping me busy. Generally, my philosophy is to put this kind of thing in my sidebar and save the main area for philosophical discussions/wars. I'll get to that. I've been playing correspondence chess as a beta tester on ChesSos, which has been taking up most of my idle net time. I've been reading this book "America - the book" - a citizen's guide to democracy inaction - Very, very funny and also somewhat educational to someone who wasn't brought up on US history. I've also busied myself with worrying about work - to little avail. Even less work (or leisure for that matter) gets done until the object of worry gets improved.