Monday, June 21, 2010


I've been too busy to post a running commentary on the crocodile-teared billionaires who are trying to save the country from the resources tax that will destroy those eternally suffering "working families" that constantly seem on the brink of destitution but today's article with Twiggy Forrest announcing the end of the tax (without any evidence or announcement from the Government) takes the cake.

The fact that these billionaires have made it clear that they expect to be consulted on any significant announcement from the Government has shown me the degree to which the tail is already wagging the dog. That they are willing to spend multi-millions on advertising tells me alot about how much spare cash they seem to have lying around. And any Australian who continues to fall for this scare-mongering re superannuation and so on deserves the feudal system they're heading for.

I don't know what else to say. I'm just astonished.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Evaluate this

Interesting to see undertaking what seem to be genuine public consultations into draft curriculum in kindergarten - year 12 English, maths, science and history.

The television advertisement for the consultations has a bunch of kids on the bus dreaming of what they're going to be when they grow up including a couple of girls who want to "be a writer" and "help people" and boys who want to "invent things", "build bridges" and "save the world".

Here's my feedback/suggestion:

Get rid of the advertising agency who writes this sexist crap. What is this, the 1950s?

Friday, May 7, 2010


I was gonna tell you something really important today, but my fat finger slipped and wiped out $10 billion worth of insights.

But don't worry - I'll send you an invoice.

Monday, May 3, 2010

What the hell is a liberal education and where do I get one?

From the preface of A General Introduction to the Great Books and to a Liberal Education 1959:
What is a liberal education? It is easy to say what it is not. It is not specialized education, not vocational, avocational, professional or preprofessional. It is not an education that teaches a man to do any specific thing.

I am tempted to say that it is the education that no American gets in an educational institution nowadays. We are all specialists now. Even early in high school we are told that we must begin to think how we are going to earn a living, and the prerequisites that are supposed to prepare us for that activity become more and more the ingredients of our educational diet. I am afraid we shall have to admit that the educational process in America is either a rather pleasant way of passing the time until we are ready to go to work, or a way of getting ready for some occupation, or a combination of the two. What is missing is education to be human beings, education to make the most of our human powers, education for our responsibilities as members of a democratic society, education for freedom.

This is what liberal education is. It is the education that prepares us to be free men. You have to have this education if you are going to be happy; for happiness consists in making the most of yourself. You have to have this education if you are going to be a member of the community; for membership in the community implies the ability to communicate with others. You have to have this education if you are going to be an effective citizen of a democracy; for citizenship requires that you understand the world in which you live and that you do not leave your duties to be performed by others, living vicariously and vacuously on their virtue and intelligence. A free society is a society composed of free men. To be free you have to be educated for freedom. This means that you have to think; for the free man is one who thinks for himself. It means that you have to think, for example, about the aims of life and of organized society.

Fast forward 50 years or so:
Most colleges are organized to give an average education to average students.

And what are we doing in Australia at the moment? Reforming higher education, introducing compulsory testing in schools around the country, assembling expert panels to review schools funding - read the press releases - there's very little about education per se - it's all training, economics, countless committees and interest groups.

I'm quite fond of La Gillardine, especially after Heffernan gave her a hard time for being "deliberately barren". She's easily the smartest crayon in the (very clever) Labor box but I can't help feeling glum nonetheless. Mabye I'll be able to tell you why once I've done the 1959 DIY course.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Peas be with you

Hear ye, hear ye.

I have seen the light.

Quantum chrystal ascention can be yours NOW. Keys to the secret mysteries will be given to those of pure heart and compassionate intention. Access your theta energetic prana shaman light-body self. Activate the animal dreaming of cosmic consciousness and pagan healing that will repattern your neurobiology and astral self through timeless algorithms, lost by the Aztecs during the vibration of the seventh sostice of the Aryan year in Atlantis - hearth of the pagan Excalibur, archangel Gabriel and the goddess Aknetulaanaiiaiiaii - a time of transformative warrior spirit providing alternative modalities in the metaphysical universe.

Break through the limitations, take control of the seven chakras, your hidden third eye and the divine energies that are only revealed to the chosen who will know wholeness.

Find joy, freedom, tantric ecstasy and a deep deep knowing of the minds of others. Be part of the inner sanctum. Health, wealth and happiness is guaranteed.

Just send this goddess your filthy earthly money immediately and all this and more will be yours.


Mug's game

One unexpected consequence of the Rudd government's rise to power has been the quiet equilibrium I've settled into where I pretty much equally dislike both major parties. This has allowed me to occupy my time with other important pursuits like watching paint dry, musing on the random workings of the universe that periodically spawn phenomena like the Bieberbub and wondering who had the pleasure of naming the latest horticultural pest that's assailing inland NSW.

But nothing lasts forever, so it's no surprise that my attention is being drawn back to the ugly game. And no wonder when our new Liberal leader, who was propelled into power through his party's refusal to accept the need for a new "great big tax", (ousting the equally eccentric Turnbull, who was more partial to the idea) is now crowing from the rooftops accusing Rudd of not being able to push through what the Liberal party would prevent if they had the opportunity.

Given that Abbott seems to spend half his life prancing about in leisure gear and the rest carping at people, I reckon it's time the Liberal party got themselves a leader who'll do some real work.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Storm in a teacup

Let me see if I've got this right...

We live in a society where you can almost depend on a sportsman scandal every season without any real damage to teams or careers;

it's perfectly legal to give politicians lots and LOTS of money for no apparent reason;

we get most of our information from actors pretending to be doctors, pharmacists, mom, the plumber... in expensive "little lies" paid for by the organisation taking your money;

our politicians - the 3rd least trusted group in the country - to whom we entrust our money, our laws, our environment, our children's education, our military decisions and our health - behave appallingly and no-one seems to do anything about it;

and even when we like them, they're still a bit pathetic;

unlike our captains of industry, who we cheer as heroes, who so often draw on the labour of those who would need "around 11,000 years to earn the $109m banked last year by Yahoo chief Terry Semel" - and if visuals are more your thing, try this.

But you can't pay footballers more than a certain amount so that people don't buy all the best players, thus ending the competition.

And now at least one group has.

And apparently it's the most disgraceful thing that's ever happened. So important that there's been almost nothing else on Australian media all day.

Go figure.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Glacial information

Interesting post a coupla days ago from David Weinberger on the poor information and comunication flow during the recent Eyjafjallajokull volcano eruption.

Was it because it wasn't an "emergency" per se, such as the unfortunate journalist who found himself stuck in Paris? Or is it simply revealing the degree to which organisations aren't particularly competent at using information technologies?

In all the examples I can think of (Katrina, London bombings, Mumbai etc) it was the work of the few that galvanised the many.

I'd like to see the budgets for the organisations Weinberger refers to - I bet they've spent quite tidy sums in recent years on social media "experts" and other technology implementation. Yet they've clearly learned little.

Update 24 April 2010:
Slideshare presso on those airlines who did use social media during the period.

Day 2 and already I feel like Cinderella

So it's day 2 and instead of going home from work I'm thinking about blogging and if I don't today I prolly won't tomorrow so then I feel like I ought to do at least something and then I get all flustered cos what I really want to do is go buy some indian (food) and just get out of here and you know what, most people don't even really post anything interesting on their blogs except warmed up left-overs from somewhere else so here goes for day 2:

1. Factory Joe is one of life's geniiii - I always meant to mention that but was reminded today when I came across this.

2. Leonard Low is an amazing photographer and yesterday took this.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Here we go again

OK. I'm back.

I gave up blogging more than 2 years ago for lots of reasons.

Just spent 40 minutes explaining why, reading and rereading and editing and eventually deleting the whole thing.

Yeah. Now I remember. Shit. I used to hate this.

Anyway here I am. Please bear with me while I get my chops back.