Ian Barrett

Auckland, New Zealand

About Ian

Bio

Grew up a British army brat.Ten pound Pom migrant to Australia. Living in New Zealand for the last 36 years .... law degree and work as technical wordings manager for insurance broker.

I'm passionate about

Beauty, fairness, art and the human mind

Comments & conversations

Noface
Ian Barrett
Posted about 2 years ago
Do you agree with euthanasia? (for humans)
The right to self determination is a fundamental plank in a free and open society. In the west we don't do "death" very well and the old and infirm and physically and mentally handicapped are by many seen as a waste of space. The truth is that we all are born and we all die ... it is a matter of when and how. A more healthy approach is to just look at "what is" honestly without the filters of unexamined belief and ask what kind of society do you want? One that is caring and compassionate that also acknowledges the right of ewach individual to make their own decisions regarding the subject of euthenasia. Despite the unbelievable strong imperative to survive at all costs (think survivors of the Holocaust for example) there are times when, as a caring society, we do no justice by allowing people who are suffering with no chance of remission to be allowed to take the necessary steps to leave this plane. I do not think that anyone takes the decision lightly but because it is hard we should not shrink away and pretend ... Voluntary euthenasia with ample checks in place does not mean we are entering the Nazi world of eugenics. We also then remove the dreadful stigma around the loved ones who, not able to watch that terrible suffering and at the request of the ill person, assists them in ending their time in a dignified and painless way. I had a gay friend with HIV in Melbourne who ended up dying and the loss of dignity and autonomy at the end was tragic. He wept and rued the fact that he had not taken the opportunity to end his own life while he had the independence to do so.
Noface
Ian Barrett
Posted over 3 years ago
Should public schools in the United States eliminate the traditional A to F grading scale? And if so, what assessment do we replace it with?
I guess it depends on what or who such letter grades serve ... for potential employees it is a unidimensional way to measure you against the herd in terms of perceived academic excellence ... it could just as well reflect an ability to cram for exams successfully, show that you have a great mind, prove you are a able to cheat sneakily, that you have mastered great exam technique or that you are an erudite scholar. It does not necessarily indicate you have a grasp on the fundamentals of the various topics. Our education system has the hidden curriculum and message that says if you get good marks you will be a success and get a good job etc. There are so many aspects of intelligence ... the ability to apply learning, to adapt it, to communicate it and to synergise with other disciplines .... Our world is too obsessed with how athletic, beautiful, rich, connected we are rather than shifting to a different paradigm where we value each other in the total honesty and effort we put int o living together in harmony .. That is the real "win win" that educatio has to work on ... not just rote learing but teaching kids how to think and also how to act ethically.
Noface
Ian Barrett
Posted over 3 years ago
We can all be heros! We share many of the same insecurities and fears, so why do some people take action while others continue to look away?
Sounds like the David Bowie song ... in some cases I can be a hero but if I stop to think too long and engage at an intellectual level rather out of compassion I can talk myself out of it. There are all sorts of heroes including those who will take time to be with someone that "normal" society often shuns, acts of selfless kindness, acts that cost us something and acts that require danger to our physical or mental well being .... And a person can be a hero one day and the next walk right on by ... Findamentally for me at the heart is the ability to step outside my own narrow constraints, bias and self serving mentality to seek the diminution of suffering for another ... it could be as simple as supporting a person's argument or aspect of it where others are shouting it down. The more we engage with the right of us all to express ourselves so long as we do not deliberate harm the more we become a community of heroes ...
Noface
Ian Barrett
Posted over 3 years ago
If you could learn 1 thing from a child what would it be ?
To constantly be in the present moment of wonder ... this constant moment is all we ever live in / are conscious in but the world infects us / affects us and we become self absorbed, self conscious, dissatisfied and anxious. I don't want the "childish" baggage that kids sometimes exhibit but the "childlike" sense of wonder and immediacy is a gift we lose too soon. In losing the sense of wonder to self absorbtion is why the world is in a fine state ... greed and narrowness are the enemy