Raybon Kan is an award-winning stand-up comedian

Raybon Kan: A man with enough names for a relay team

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The $43m settlement slots between koha and Chinese New Year.
William Yan is China’s fifth most wanted man. Photo / Greg Bowker
William Yan is China’s fifth most wanted man. Photo / Greg Bowker

I'm no expert in the $43 million case of William Yan, aka Yong Ming Yan, aka Bill Liu, aka Yang Liu, but it's fascinating.

One man with enough names for a relay team. He is China's fifth most wanted man - makes you wonder if the top four might be more of his pseudonyms - and the civil case against him evaporated, simply by giving our police $43 million.

This was not a fine. Guilt of anything is not admitted. It was somewhere between koha and Chinese New Year. China will get some, if not all. It's "full and final settlement". It's -beautiful.

Money talks.

And cluster bombs, say what you like, are profitable. Who is KiwiSaver to judge the manufacturers of cluster bombs?

If KiwiSaver really wants to make money from weapons, it should bottle water from Havelock North, and sell it to Assad's regime as a weapon of gastric propulsion.

Not many countries have successfully weaponised their water supply, but now New Zealand can be proud. In the Kiwi Olympic spirit, our campylobacter bacteria sure do punch above their weight. Per capita, our campylobacter bacteria don't make up a big population of the drinking water, but man, oh man, it only takes a few to send you to the medal podium, for hours at a time.

By the time you're done, you'll be in a different weight division.

Like evil Pokemon, these bacteria control the movements of the population. We still don't know the cause, but cows are looking suss.

And as if we weren't already drowning in cow contributions, now the Government has squirted out the idea of online schools.

Good grief. Online learning is, to put it politely, duh.

What's the point of education? To prepare people for jobs? Maybe. But jobs will all be eliminated within the next decade, anyway, by robots, apps, AI, and just more efficient tweens and toddlers in the developing world.

Just as life is what you do while making plans, school isn't about the subjects: it's a place to develop colds, friends, crushes, emotional scars that never go away. To get picked last, you have to attend school in person. Cyberbullying is okay, but it doesn't compare to knuckle-to-face bullying.

Everything good in life happens in person. Everything bad happens online.

Dates happen in person. Porn happens online. Facebook is what happens when life tries to go online: empty clicking, hyper-addictive and unsatisfying. Nobody feels closer to anyone on Facebook. It's Waiting for Godot, but instead of waiting for Godot to show up, we friend Godot with a click and all stay home.

Who likes online learning? Trump University. Who likes charter schools? The ACT Party. ACT only ever contests one electorate: Epsom. It's the Double Grammar Zone, the priciest electorate.

The reason Epsom houses command such prices is the quality of the public schools. (Epsom even has Mt Eden Prison, the highest decile prison in the country - and look how that went downhill once it went private.)

Who the hell would send their kids to Serco Online Primary School? Especially since that means the kids don't even leave the house. A child on a device is a child hypnotised, vacant possession for easy addiction.

Okay, if a kid absolutely has special needs that prevent in-person schooling, fine, correspondence is the backstop. But to pretend online learning is preferable to humans in a room?

We're mammals. Social. I recently MC'ed an awards ceremony for an IT conference. Think about that. IT people left their home cities, got on planes, booked hotels etc, to be in the same room together.

When IT people show up in person, to feel each other's pheromones, isn't that a lay-down misere? They know it can be done online. They prefer it in person.

Education isn't about scalability. We don't want one teacher for 100,000 pupils. Hell, who needs a teacher when you can just have a syllabus, voiced on your device by a speech app? (Sarcasm.)

My guess is the Government wants to sell off schools because: location, location, location! Schools are in residential neighbourhoods. Such huge sections! Imagine if we could find someone cashed-up, say with a spare $40 million.

- NZ Herald

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Raybon Kan is an award-winning stand-up comedian

Raybon Kan's books of humour include ‘America on 5 Bullets a Day’ and ‘An Asian at my Table’. Before comedy, he graduated with honours in law and his legal research was published in the New Zealand Law Journal. His TV work includes a documentary in which he trained to be a casino croupier. He once held his breath for 3 minutes and 50 seconds. Visit RaybonKan.com

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