Tomorrow afternoon I’ll find myself at an event called Putting The Penis Into Envy, On The Couch With Sigmund Freud. “Sigmund Freud is synonymous with sexuality — penis envy, mother love, the Oedipus Complex, therapy for heavens sake! In the Gothic splendour of the Nicholson Museum and an informal champagne cream tea, a panel in the field will discuss gay issues raised by the work of Freud. An exhibition from the Freud Museum in London displays antiquities that surrounded and influenced the man.” Hosted by Marc Pesce, of all people. Wanna join me?
If History is the set of stories we tell ourselves to explain the Past, then I guess Society comprises the stories we tell ourselves about the Present — plus the conversations which create our Future. I suspect that’s why certain people seem to be excited by the Australia 2020 Summit: Australia does seem to be starting a new conversation about its own identity.
The other day I quoted an historian who said that the Prussian enlightenment [of the 18th century] was about conversation. “It was about a critical, respectful, open-ended dialogue between free and autonomous subjects,” he said. So I’ll be so bold as to suggest this new conversation will lead to the Australian Enlightenment.
Yesterday I read two pieces which reinforce this idea of a new conversation. The first was Maxine McKew’s First Speech to federal parliament as the Member for Bennelong.
Continue reading “Australia, let the Enlightenment begin!”
Last night Channel Nine screened the crime drama Underbelly everywhere across Australia — except Victoria, where it was banned following a Supreme Court order. But thanks to the joys of BitTorrent, thousands of people have already downloaded it from the Internet. The law cannot cope in this new era.
As the screenshot shows, Underbelly was online within two hours of broadcast. By mid-morning today, 6500+ people had downloaded it from Mininova alone.
As with the Corey Delaney episode before it, this highlights the stupidity of the law in the bold new age of the Internet. I have no complaint with Justice Betty King’s decision. She’s just upholding the law as it stands. The law, alas, is hopelessly inadequate.
Who, I wonder, has this kind of law reform on their agenda. Anyone?
Mark Pesce has knocked off a quick piece for the ABC on how the power of the “forward” button is changing politics. He reckons it’s a bit rushed, but I think it still has value.
Chairman Rudd’s got a clever strategy going, unless it’s just a coincidence. The usually-secret Red Book warns of approaching “challenges” like climate change, an aging population and the economic growth of India and China. Then we announce the Australia 2020 Summit.
As any management consultant will tell you, develop a shared vision and folks will endure short-term pain — like interest rate rises and having to change the light bulbs.
Actually I’m not that cynical about it. I’m quietly enthused. After a decade of Howard’s backward-looking short-term thinking we seriously need to look to the future. Fast. Of course, back when Barry Jones was science minister we had a permanent organisation to keep watch, the Commission for the Future. Maybe I’ll read Lessons from the Australian Commission for the Future: 1986-1998 [PDF file] when I get the time. But I digress…
If Chairman Rudd wants 1000 of our “best and brightest” in Canberra on 19-20 April, who should they be?
It’s flattering that Nick Hodge and Peter Black nominated me, bless their sycophantic little hearts. And I’ve already gained four votes at Bloggerati. I’d love to be part of this Summit, sure, because I’d be Fighting the Hallucinating Goldfish hands on. However I have a few more modest suggestions…
Continue reading “So, who’s for Chairman Rudd’s Australia 2020 Summit?”
Nothing better than spending a rainy Sunday reading some thoughtful articles and listening to raindrops and corellas and koels chattering away — in between arguing with Laurel Papworth, of course! I’ve been reading some stuff Mark Pesce has posted recently, including his own essay Unevenly Distributed: Production Models for the 21st Century, as well as The Register saying that people are tiring of social network websites and a piece explaining why Malcolm Gladwell’s bestselling book The Tipping Point is bullshit. I may reflect upon some of them later.