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This site is for me to experiment with web design, analytics and writing. For now, it’s going to be a repository for absent minded rants, cheap cross promotion, communicative experiments and embarassing juveneillia. Enjoy.

Blog

Do we care about what we share? A proposal for dealing with the proliferation of false information by creating a public platform

Excited to see my latest article come out: ‘Do we care about what we share? A proposal for dealing with the proliferation of false information by creating a public platform’ (publicly available here: https://griffithlawjournal.org/…/gjlhd/article/view/1214)   This is a huge topic for me that returns both to the subject of my PhD (how can democracy survive …

Public interest research is what people won’t pay you for, everything else is advertising.

I’m thrilled to have had Sarah Ison cover how the proposed changes to UWA’s Social Science program are going to impact my public interest research. However, the article also over-represented some blatant mis-direction from a ‘UWA spokeswoman’ that I had rebutted with Sarah. I suspect that West Australian editors have decided to protect the interests …

Reviews

Reviews are all about perspective

  • What I thought of ‘Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind’ by Yuval Noah Harari
    Sapiens is one of those books that I’ve seen being read everywhere. As in, every time you’re on public transport or at a beach, someone seems engrossed in it. There have been a few of these books in my time, such as The Celestine Prophecy, The Secret, Bohos in Paradise, Sophie’s Choice and everything by ...
  • What I thought of ‘The Memory Code’ by Lynne Kelly
    Honestly, this was a book I’ve been looking forward to reading for about a year and it did not disappoint me. It presents a basic argument that the odd structuring of various ancient monuments and artwork is actually attributable to the fact that these once operated as technologies to encode cultural memories. Kelly’s book speaks about quite ...
  • Hannah Gadsby’s ‘Nanette’ – musings on comedy, stories, art and connection
    Hannah Gadsby and images of thought So, I went to see Hannah Gadsby on Saturday night. It was one of the best hours of entertainment I’ve ever seen… but not because it was funny. It was raw, emotional and incredibly thought provoking. It was obliterating comedy and I’d like to think through some of the issues she ...
  • ‘Zombie Capitalism’ by Chris Harman
    Wow, this was a long and sometimes arduous read. Zombie Capitalism is an orthodox marxist account of the repeated crises of capitalism. Written by Chris Harman, who is a maxist of some repute, I read the book hoping to see how the Zombie trope was employed to explain/confront capitalism. In 360 odd pages, Zombies were not mentioned, ...
  • ‘The Comming Community’ by Georgio Agamben
    Because of the need to return the book to the library, I spent yesterday reading ‘The Comming Community’ by Agamben. Translated by Micheal Hardt, who worked with the other prominent recent Italian theorist Antonio Negri on ‘Empire’, I  initially started reading this book because I felt it might be useful for one of my PhD students, ...
  • ‘Disconnected’ by Carrie James
    I’ve just finished reading ‘Disconnected: Youth, New Media and the Ethics Gap’ by Carrie James. James has taken a ‘glass half empty’ approach to how the internet is reconfugiring ethics in this crazy, mixed up world. I have to say, the book is largely empirical – James directly describes the ethical dilemmas and work around that ...
  • What I thought of ‘Move Fast and Break Things’ by Jonathan Taplin
    When Jon Taplin appeared on ABC’s Nightline a couple of months ago I had a string of recommendations to engage with his work – notably from my mum and Joe Hutton – as well as colleagues at UWA. After reading his latest book “Move fast and break things” I understand why. Taplin explores the effect of ...
  • What I think of Ryan Holiday’s ‘Trust Me, I’m Lying’
    I’ve just finished what I have to get done before tomorrow and both my kids are still having their afternoon nap. Gold. After the last post about identity politics I have reflected more on that topic and decided that I’d like to write more about it, as a way of exploring my own ideas and also ...

my stuff

This is where I put posts related to my own thoughts and research

  • Public interest research is what people won’t pay you for, everything else is advertising.
    I’m thrilled to have had Sarah Ison cover how the proposed changes to UWA’s Social Science program are going to impact my public interest research. However, the article also over-represented some blatant mis-direction from a ‘UWA spokeswoman’ that I had rebutted with Sarah. I suspect that West Australian editors have decided to protect the interests ...
  • A proposal for a wealthier, friendlier, more secure Australia,
    The Morrison government has recently made two announcements about extra funding for defence to the tune of $270 billion dollars, and an increase of numbers of students in the tertiary education sector for no extra funding (a move which essentially amounts to less funding per student across the board in tertiary education). In what follows I’d ...
  • Spleen venting about the proposed changes to tertiary education funding (and defence spending).
    The Australian minister for education Dan Tehan’s recent proposed changes to tertiary funding are, quite frankly, the stupidist policy move that Australia has made since it’s overenthusiastic approach to invading Iraq in 2003. I typically live and let live in terms of policy but when something this stupid is actually suggested, I like to make ...
  • Wondering why digital everything isn’t the answer?
    I really do hope that this COVID-19 event does make us rethink everything, and part of that has got to be a reconsideration of what we can and cannot do digitally. Generally, I’d say we could do a lot more digitally, and while there are reasonable questions about whether digital activity is environmentally clean, there are ...
  • Sports has shut down, so here’s a new League Table…
    Go to: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries  Go to the ‘Total Cases’ column and order the countries from largest to smallest number of total cases. Right, this is the new league table. Whoever has the smallest number of total cases wins. I know this might seem inappropriate but I’ve been trying to think of ways to get people I know to ...
  • Thoughts on the coronavirus
    Well there are quite a few things that this virus is bringing to mind and, while I listen to my workplace’s ‘townhall’ about how we’re going to deal with this, I’d like to get some of them down. Nationalism is an embarrasment Maybe I’m just speaking from an Australian perspective but I find that ...
  • Being woke; or identity politics destroys my mind, pt.2
    So a few things have happened lately that have bought my issues with identity politics back to my mind. First, I had a student complain that I used the N-word in a lecture. Second, the UWA student guild made a motion to stop the Dalai Lama (or his representatives) from speaking on campus, because it might offend ...
  • The video of Iranian women sneaking in to watch a football match made my day
    I loved seeing this story last night about 5 Iranian women dressing up like men to sneak in to a football ground and watch their team win the league. It tickled me for a number of reasons. First, it reminded me of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffwFXGPRDu4 While I’m generally all for respecting regional custom and law, the prohibition of women ...
  • This page has nothing to do with TAL insurance. Let me tell you why insurance is a con
    So Tauel is a strage word and not one that I hear a lot. Imagine my surprise when I heard this TVC for TAL : https://youtu.be/u04QD16crVM Nothing not to love here, right? I dig the Sia cover, the diversity of ‘Australianness’ represented, some beautiful shots and I can also see the clever messaging of starting with young ...
  • On time and drumming with Taylor Hawkins
    So I went to watch the Foo Fighters on the weekend and had a few moments when I achieved a philosophical appreciation for the excellent drumming of Taylor Hawkins. Taylor Hawkins – according to Dave Grohl ‘The answer to the question – “What if Freddy Mercury had a surfboard”? – is one of the better drummers ...

Juvenilia

Here you will find a bunch of writing and photos from earlier. Most of which is embarrassing.

Previous Experiments in writing and web design:

Firstly, my attempt to use Tumblr to help my good friend Paul escape Hong Kong

Secondly, a wix site I created to generate charity donations for my Ironman in 2014.

More embarassingly, my first website from when I taught myself html waaaay back in my early days of using the internet.

Check out my travel diary from 1999 to witness my blatant over use of the terms ‘amazing’ and ‘incredible’.

This isn’t mine – was written by a friend – but this blog details the heroic events of a DND campaign I was once involved with. This one is a Star Wars RPG campaign that eventually followed it.

And, if you want to see what travel was like before the internet; you can

download a pdf (24Mb)

of my first hitch-hiking trip around Britain and Ireland (and Thailand).