irene graham

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Stilgherrian’s links for 23 November 2008 through 24 November 2008, gathered with spite and a little too much nasal mucosa:

  • Mapping the World’s Fastest Supercomputers | NYTimes.com: Nice map. Why are there no Australian computers here?
  • Journalists warned of two years of carnage ahead | The Australian: The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) report Life in the Clickstream: The Future of Journalism warns that the Western media industry faces "two years of carnage", squeezed by the global economic meltdown and the unravelling of traditional economic models. I supposedly have an essay in it.
  • Who Moved My Brain? Revaluing Time and Attention | SlideShare: A fascinating presentation from Merlin Mann of 43folders.com which has been updated with text so it works without the presenter being present. Much food for thought.
  • WordCamp Australia 2008 | WordCamp Association: Apparrently there's a WordCamp on in Sydney this weekend which I only just found out about.
  • Charles Fogden: An entire page about my great great grandfather Charles Fogden who in 1838, with is wife Sophia (nee Slater) their two baby girls, secured selection by Mr H Watson (South Australia’s colonisation commissioners’ agent at Chichester) as suitable assisted immigrants for the new province of South Australia. They left England on 12 September on board the 500-ton barque Prince George. About a thousand miles from Australia Mary Emma was tragically burned to death. She was buried at sea on the 8th December. The Prince George reached Holdfast Bay, Glenelg, at 11pm on 26 December 1838. The story includes bushrangers, fraud and a controversial marriage to a “coloured” man.
  • TheShipsList: Passengers, Ships, Shipwrecks: Ships’ passenger lists from the 1700s through 1900s, plus immigration reports, newspaper records, shipwreck information, ship pictures, ship descriptions, shipping-line fleet lists and more, as well as hundreds of passenger lists to Canada, USA, Australia and even some for South Africa.
  • Rudd will need a stiff upper lip | PerthNow: I never thought I'd agree with Glenn Milne on many things, but apart from any personal or ideological flaws he IS a canny political analyst. This piece on Internet censorship makes some good points. It even portrays EFA, which Senator Conroy and Clive Hamilton would have us believe is an “extreme libertarian” organisation, as “an independent industry watchdog”.
  • Can Labor implement “clean feed” without legislation? | Defending Scoundrels: Dale Clapperton has analysed the Australian government’s plan to censor the Internet from a legislative point of view. Currently to pass new laws the Rudd goverment needs either the support of the Liberal-National Coalition in the Senate, or the support of the Greens plus Family First Senator Steve Fielding plus independent Senator Nick Xenophon. Given The Greens’ opposition, and the Liberals’ stated opposition, Clapperton;s analysis shows that it probably couldn’t be done.
  • Australian Government Mandatory ISP Internet Filtering / Censorship Plan 2008 | Libertus.net: Irene Graham’s updated, concise and clearly-written guide to the Rudd government’s Internet censorship plans which clearly highlight the, erm, ambiguities and inaccuracies in Senator Stephen Conroy’s accounts. She links to references. Conroy just accuse you of supporting child pornography.
  • Seven Revolutions | Global Strategy Institute: “A project led by the Global Strategy Institute at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) to identify and analyze the key policy challenges that policymakers, business figures, and other leaders will face out to the year 2025. It is an effort to promote strategic thinking on the long-term trends that too few leaders take the time to consider.”
  • Societies worse off “when they have God on their side” | Times Online: “Religious belief can cause damage to a society, contributing towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according to research published today. According to the study, belief in and worship of God are not only unnecessary for a healthy society but may actually contribute to social problems.”
  • South Korea’s Madagascar land lease: it gets worse — much worse | Global Dashboard: South Korean company Daewoo has managed to lease half of Madagascar’s arable land for 99 years, and all Madagascar gets in return is an opportunity to work on the farms.
  • Minor Landscapes and the Geography of American Political Campaigns | BLDGBLOG: A delightful riff off one statistic: that there are now more World of Warcraft players in the US than farmers, yet mainstream political coverage insists on making sure we know what farmers think about an issue — but not WoW players. Of course some WoW players are farmers, and all demographics overlap. But what tags are relevant in choosing a political candidate? Are we looking at the right ones?
  • Mandatory ISP filtering mind map | Somebody Think Of The Children: This mind map is actually from Jay’s fingerpuppetmafia.com but the linkage was nicely arranged here. It’s a work in progress, so feel free to offer suggestions.
  • With a public intellectual like this, who needs barbarians? | Somebody Think Of The Children: Jon Seymour’s guest post rips apart Clive Hamilton’s Crikey article in far more detail than anyone else’s so far.
  • Fears over Australia’s £55m plan to censor the internet | The Guardian: A view from the UK: This summary for a British readership points out that Australia’s Internet censorship plan is mandatory and ill-defined. The lead is that it’s the usual “protect the children” appeal to emotion.
  • Live Piracy Map | ICC Computer Crime Services: A map showing all the piracy and armed robbery incidents reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre during 2008, updated as new reports come in. This is the real kind of piracy, about boarding ships, not copyright infringement.
  • The end of the story – as we know it | The Guardian: Another version of Jeff Jarvis’ notion that in online journalism the “article” is replaced as the unit of reportage by the “topic”.

Photograph of Irene Graham

Free speech campaigner Irene Graham (pictured) has updated her page on the Australian government’s Internet filtering plan.

Very little detail has been made publicly available, although the Labor Party (ALP) announced a mandatory ISP filtering policy in 20 March 2006. Two years later, all indications are that their “plan” is still quarter-baked at best.

A good non-technical summary, opening with a great quote:

“[P]reventing information flow, communication or the exchange of art, film and writing on the internet is a task only King Canute would attempt.”
— Bob Debus, (then) NSW Attorney General, Speech at the OFLC International Ratings Conference 2003.

Ms Graham also has a quick world tour of Internet blocking. For a good technical summary, Electronic Frontiers Australia’s paper is still one of the best.

Photograph of Irene Graham

Here’s a nice twist linking this week’s discussion threads. It turns out that Labor’s Internet filtering policy was largely driven by petitions to parliament — the very petitions which Chairman Rudd plans to make more effective.

Irene Graham (pictured), who commented here as “rene”, has been following censorship issues for years at libertus.net. In a post to Link she reminds us that back in October 2006, Senator Stephen Conroy was presenting a petition to parliament:

In March, Kim Beazley announced that a Labor Government would require all Internet Service Providers to offer a ‘clean feed’ internet service to all households, schools and public libraries that would block access to websites identified as containing child pornography, acts of extreme violence and x-rated material.

In the Senate today, I tabled a petition signed by more than 20,000 Australians endorsing Labor’s policy… [which] clearly shows that this view is widely shared in the Australian community.

However those 20,646 signatures were gathered through churches, hardly “representative”.

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