Consilium: Social media is destroying society? Good!

Last month I took part in a fascinating discussion about the impact of social media and related breakthroughs at Consilium [PDF], an invitation-only annual conference put together by the Centre for Independent Studies. Here’s part of what I said.

The panel was called “Social Creatures: How social media is changing the landscape”. I joined Iarla Flynn, Google Australia’s head of public policy and government affairs; Nick Holder, a partner at LEK Consulting; and Cassandra Wilkinson, co-founder and president of FBi Radio, and author of Don’t Panic! Nearly Everything is Better than You Think.

The full blurb and a scheduled duration of 1 hour 45 minutes gave us plenty of scope for discussion and, as became clear once we were under way, for this particular audience much of what we were saying was new.

Consilium was held under a modified Chatham House Rule, which means I can’t bring you the whole discussion. But I did record my opening remarks and my summary, and I have permission from those I namechecked to mention their names — except for one that’s redacted.

Somehow I managed to use the phrase “arse end of the bell curve” and mention Prince Harry’s pubic hair. It’s a gift.

Play

The full transcript is over the jump. Audio and text ©2012 Stilgherrian.

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His Benevolence Stilgherrian’s Christmas Message

Here it is. The full video of His Benevolence Stilgherrian’s Christmas Message, originally broadcast on Christmas Night as part of the Stilgherrian Live Christmas Special.

For some reason Ustream only recorded the first 70 minutes of that program, so the remaining 2+ hours is lost forever. Apart from this inaugural Christmas Message, which must be preserved for future generations! If the video player does not appear immediately below, try watching it directly at Viddler.

Warning: There is “strong language”. Well, not by my standards, but maybe by yours.

The full text is over the jump, should you wish to read along. However my main aim in putting it there was to attract Teh Googles.

Also, the Message is riddled with continuity and other errors. Perhaps, if you’re bored, you can amuse yourself by listing them in the comments. I won’t mind.

My especial thanks to ’Pong for the massive amount of work on this silly project.

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Who do you nominate for “Cnut of the Week”?

Image of King Cnut, labelled Cnut of the Week

Stilgherrian Live, my live Internet program, returns tomorrow night, and I need nominations for this week’s “Cnut of the Week”.

If you missed the last two episodes, well, the segment “Cnut of the Week” is dedicated to the memory of King Cnut the Great, also known as Canute, a Viking ruler of England and Denmark, and Norway, and of some of Sweden variously from 1016 to 1035 CE.

Cnut is best known for attempting to hold back the tide. As 12th-century chronicler Henry of Huntingdon tells it, Cnut set his throne on the shore and commanded the tide to halt — but of course it didn’t stop. Cnut leapt back and said:

Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but He whom heaven, earth, and sea obey by eternal laws.

He then hung his gold crown on a crucifix, and never wore it again.

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Weekly Poll: Who should be sacked over Dr Haneef?

By any measure, the arrest and detention of Dr Mohammed Haneef on terrorism charges turned into a debacle. Much has already been written about it — and there’ll be a lot more to come, rest assured. The question that interests me right now, though, is who’ll wear the blame?

The new poll on my website asks a simple question: Who should be sacked?

  • Federal police commissioner Mick Keelty? News today is that he’s blaming everyone else — but his organisation was in charge of the investigation, wasn’t it?
  • Damian Bugg QC, Director of Public Prosecutions. While he did step in eventually, you’d have thought that in such a politically-sensitive case he’d have been involved from the start.
  • Kevin Andrews, Minister for Immigration. Dear dear dear, Kevin, first WorkChoices and now this. Last week’s poll suggested you’d be first voted off the island, and it’s looking even more likely now.
  • Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock, for sticking his oar into the mess.
  • and I’ve made some other suggestions too.

[poll id=”4″]

If you vote, also feel free to post some comments here explaining your choice.

Fed Police chief proposes “Reprogramming”

You probably missed it, but last week Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Keelty actually proposed forcibly “reprogramming” people’s political beliefs.

Speaking on ABC TV’s Lateline on 8 March, Keelty says we should look at techniques which have been used “successfully” in such bastions of human rights as Indonesia, Singapore and Pakistan — even referring to it as “best practice”.

Keelty equates reprogramming people to convincing an informer to give evidence, and says this is the next step… to re-program somebody who has a belief or holds a belief. It has already been discussed with the government in the context of anti-terrorism control orders.

Commissioner Keelty, just in case you’ve forgotten Articles 18 and 19 of the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, here’s a refresher…

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