How clueless are Australia’s “best and brightest” about the Internet? “Completely”, it seems. The “governance” section of the Final Report of the Australia 2020 Summit mentions the Internet just twice seriously.
Here’s what our finest minds had to say…
The “circus” of question time doesn’t give a positive view of parliament or promote confidence in the system. The community should be able to contribute questions to parliament. This could be achieved by greater use of technology such as the internet.
Government doesn’t seem to be using the internet. It could be such a powerful forum but is currently under-used in the government context.
Yes, Dear Clever People, it could be, and it is. Glad you noticed.
So what else did they have to say about the most significant factor to affect civilisation in, oh, 300 years?
In the chapter on creativity and the arts we have…
Creativity that has been unleashed through the web and internet was discussed, the focus being on the highly democratic nature of the format and the very good signs of creativity that are available to anyone who has access to computers. One participant suggested that if we were to embrace that we would have a good perception of the centrality of creativity. Another proposed that the digital environment had produced a big change in perception, and that they would not be talking about forms that have only substance and pricing. Yet another commented that the government is very interested in embracing broadband infrastructure.
Discussion moved on to the idea of digitising all museum collections and all Australian print. ‘Digitise and then what happens?’ was asked. The answer included live broadcasts on the net and leveraging what children already do and showing them a pathway to creative careers. The question of what happens with visual arts not on the internet was raised, and the answer included linking net content with popular culture.
… and a money-grabbing idea…
Pay 1 per cent of gross revenue from telecommunication companies, internet service providers and other content providers into a government cultural fund for artistic endeavours.
For our indigenous Australians:
Connect families to the internet and the digital world. All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children should have safe internet access when they start school, if not earlier.
Yes. what wonderful idea. Black people can have the Internet as well. How clever you must feel for suggesting that. Later someone observed…
It was acknowledged that digital media and the internet allow people to continue to
participate in the arts following formal education.
Gosh. I’m getting quite giddy now. Under “health” we have…
Many services will be able to be provided via the internet. It will help us cut down isolation.
And under “strengthening communities” the outcome of “standardisation of regulation and services” could be assisted by…
Development of a website (with a mail-out version for those without internet access) that provides an illustrative map of Australia that progressively charts climate change impacts.
Ah, you mean like this one?
I get the feeling that no-one had any clue about this Internet thing apart from:
- There is a thing called the Internet.
- The Internet is important.
- You can do stuff on the Internet.
I haven’t quoted every mention, but it doesn’t get any better. If this report represents what Kevin Rudd’s “best and brightest” understand, then Australia is well and truly fucked.
[Hat-tip to Stephen Loosley for drawing my attention to this.]