Penny Sharpe MLC asked me to say something controversial at her NSW Sphere event back on 4 September. Here it is. The full video and transcript (below) of my somewhat rambling discussion of the challenges facing the Government 2.0 revolution.
Hi. I’m Stilgherrian, and I’m avoiding the whole projection thing today.
My presentation, the long name was “Risk, Fear and Paranoia: Perspective, People!”, and I just want to spend a few minutes throwing in some ideas which might trigger some discussion point around those, those words.
Continue reading “Risk, Fear and Paranoia: Perspective, People!”
Following established mainstream media tradition, my year-in-review pieces will start appearing well before Christmas. He’s a list of the most-read items on this website for (most of) 2008.
- Heath Ledger dead: jokes here please. It’s rather depressing to discover that my tasteless little experiment was this year’s highlight. Maybe I should’ve put advertising on this page.
- So this is human sexuality?
- How do you treat your staff? Like 37signals, or like this prick?
- Topic 9 to discuss Australia 2020 Summit’s government topic. This is actually spurious, as most hits are from link-following robots attempting to spam my blog at topic9.com.au (which has been since been abandoned).
- 67 Australian SAS captured airbase defended by 1000, though most of this traffic is to see the photo. The miltech fanboys are incapable of hosting their own photos, it seems, because most of their troll-filled forums don’t allow people to upload photos. Dark Ages.
- About Stilgherrian, which would seem to be a popular second page for people to visit once they’ve arrived here for other reasons.
- Corey Delaney, freedom fighter (for the right to party) — and increasingly I think Mr Corey Worthington Delaney is one of the true heroes of 2008. But not thereafter.
- Spaceport America, designed by Foster+Partners.
- Jason Calacanis and the Evil Cult of the Internet Start-up.
- Achtung! Die grosskapitalistischen Hühner kommen!
As with last year’s list, I’m somewhat disappointed with the results. I’ll therefore choose my own selection of “best” posts, just like I did last year.
Continue reading “Most popular posts of 2008”
Stilgherrian’s links for 21 November 2008 through 22 November 2008, after being tickled with a feather duster:
- Danger Room Debrief: How to do Defense, When the Money’s Gone | Danger Room from Wired.com: “The current global economic and financial meltdown may yet become something worse: a protracted global depression. As with the last century’s Depression, which spawned fascism and WWII, it could recast the world at a fundamental level. As such, it may soon represent our biggest security challenge in over 50 years.”
- The Power of Nightmares | YouTube: The 2.5-minute introduction to The Power of Nightmares, to give you a flavour of the full 3-hour documentary series.
- The Power Of Nightmares (DVD) | Internet Archive: This film explores the origins in the 1940s and 50s of Islamic Fundamentalism in the Middle East, and Neoconservatism in America, parallels between these movements, and their effect on the world today: “Both [the Islamists and Neoconservatives] were idealists who were born out of the failure of the liberal dream to build a better world. And both had a very similar explanation for what caused that failure. These two groups have changed the world, but not in the way that either intended. Together, they created today’s nightmare vision of a secret organized evil that threatens the world, a fantasy that politicians then found restored their power and authority in a disillusioned age. And those with the darkest fears became the most powerful.” The full DVD image is free to download.
- Irrelevant Al Qaeda | Jon Taplin’s Blog: Is it time to declare Al Qaeda irrelevant and downgrade the War on Terror a police action that’s just mopping up the stragglers?
- Mother Earth Mother Board | Wired 4.12: A massive 1993 feature article in which Neal Stephenson toured six countries following the roll-out of fibre optic cables. It introduced me to his writing and it remains an excellent read today.
- The End | Flickr: A collection of classic “The End” title cards from a wide variety of films.
- Fiscal Conservative vs. Tax & Spend Liberal | Be the signal: Another variation of an infographic pointing out that the Republicans don’t have the best track record for the US economy.
- Opinion graph | Junk Charts: On average, the US stock market does much better under Democrat Presidents than Republicans, as this graph shows.
- How Twittering Critics Brought Down Motrin Mom Campaign | Advertising Age: A groundswell of opinion on Twitter caused Johnson & Johnson to pull an adverting campaign.
- Thesis Theme for WordPress | DIY Themes: A high-quality but not-free theme framework for WordPress. While I currently use the free Tarski theme for my website maybe this is worth a look at some point.
- NSW Parliamentary Research: Mandatory ISP filtering is not what it seems | Internet Industry Association: Research by the NSW Parliamentary Library shows that Senator Conroy’s claims about other nations’ compulsory Internet censorship regimes are wrong.
- Kerr's curse | ABC Unleashed: If nothing else, I love this essay for the phrase “cardboard cutout think tanks”. But there are many other reasons to like it.
- Internet Censorship and the Irukandji Jellyfish | First Dog on the Moon: Only First Dog on the Moon could successfully combine Senator Conroy’s Internet censorship plan and jellyfish in one cartoon.
- PG Nation | ABC Unleashed: An interesting essay about the neo-wowserism of the Rudd government.
- Europa Film Treasures: An archive of European cinematographic treasures. It looks like there’s a lot of material here.
- The Trojan Horse | Business Spectator: “The current government policy of forcing ISPs to offer their customers a so-called ‘clean feed’ has the overt intention of helping parents to protect their kids while surfing the Internet. It is, we are told, all about child protection. However, the use of content filtering to make the Internet ‘safer’ for kids is already available, to the extent that any statistically significant real demand exists to solve it.”
- Failing hard drive sounds | Datacent: A collection of the sounds made by dying hard disc drives. Yes, they can be used in music provided you contact these guys first.
- 19-year-old Commits Suicide on Justin.tv | NewTeeVee: Abraham K Biggs committed suicide on Wednesday while broadcasting himself on video site Justin.tv. Apparently the 19yo Floridian was egged on by commenters on Justin.tv and forum users on bodybuilding.com. The article canvasses some of the legal and ethical issues.
I’m surprised. I thought that given Senator Conroy’s three-in-a-row victory as “Cnut of the week”, this week’s winner would be Clive Hamilton for his irrational rant in favour of Internet censorship in Crikey yesterday. But no.
Hamilton is certainly Cnutworthy, trying to hold back two strong tides of change: the change of the Internet, which will deliver whatever people want to send down its pipes, whether you try to block it or not; and the tide of rationality which increasingly renders shrill fear-mongering and name-calling irrelevant. But no.
The winner was Qantas for continuing to resist a tide of public opinion which clearly shows their reputation slipping thanks to unreliable service — which appears in turn to be the result of cuts to maintenance processes.
Last night’s episode of Stilgherrian Live is online for your viewing pleasure, though it’s not the same without the live chat.
But Clive Hamilton… Two hints, Clive.
Continue reading “Clive Hamilton doesn’t quite win “Cnut of the Week””
William F Buckley is dead. Given that “Mr Buckley’s greatest achievement was making conservatism — not just electoral Republicanism, but conservatism as a system of ideas — respectable in liberal post-World War II America. He mobilized the young enthusiasts who helped nominate Barry Goldwater in 1964, and saw his dreams fulfilled when Reagan and the Bushes captured the Oval Office,” I should probably know more about him, even though I’ll probably hate him. Perhaps you should too.