Consider a Notebook

Consider a notebook. Thick parchment, licked yellow by salty air, and brown ink in a grand loopy hand. It sits in the cabin of one James Cook, and specifies, in no uncertain terms, that a “discovered” land may only be claimed in the name of the King under one of two conditions – that itContinue reading “Consider a Notebook”

Beyond Bluewashing

Content Note: The following piece contains reference to mental illness and suicide A fortnight ago, the Weekend Australian published a profile of Jeff Kennett so glowing you’d be forgiven for thinking he wrote it himself. The obsequious puff-piece gushed about the resigning chair of Beyondblue, citing the “indefatigable can-do spirit hard-wired in his soul” andContinue reading “Beyond Bluewashing”

One Nation

There’s worse news every day. Thursday, 15th of September: in her maiden speech to the Senate, Pauline Hanson declares that Australia is “in danger of being swamped by Muslims”. Sunday, 18th of September: speaking to a forum of European conservatives, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott describes the influx of refugees to Europe from “Middle EastContinue reading “One Nation”

Randomocracy

There are questions that cleave nations, the junctures where the paths of history fork. Who has the right to vote? Is this is our war to fight? Should above the line Senate voting change from a group ticket preference system to an optional preferential system wherein voters are instructed to number a non-mandatory minimum ofContinue reading “Randomocracy”

This Machine Cuddles Fascists

Last week, former Keating Minister Gary Johns wrote a piece for ruling class vanity zine The Australian in which he argued that people on the dole should under no condition be allowed to reproduce. “Potential parents of poor means, poor skills or bad character will choose to have children. So be it.” lamented the Labor MPContinue reading “This Machine Cuddles Fascists”

Chocolate and Rubber

You may remember that last week was Remembrance Day, when we remembered the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the end of the war to end all wars. Until recently, I never really got the importance of the two sides choosing that particular time to end hostilities. It just seemed likeContinue reading “Chocolate and Rubber”

Close the Pod Bay Doors, Siri

A few weeks ago a bunch of reports claimed that for the first time ever, a computer passed the Turing Test. What followed was a half-hearted flash flood of apocalyptic histrionics about Skynet and cybercrime. (By the way, since when does stapling “cyber” to the start of any old noun suddenly make it a realContinue reading “Close the Pod Bay Doors, Siri”