In this fourth episode of the Spring Series 2020, I’m joined once more by Fiona Patten MLC, leader of the Reason Party in the Victorian Parliament.Continue reading “The 9pm Sweet but Disappointing Reality with Fiona Patten MLC”
In this episode of The 9pm Probe, I visit Victoria’s Parliament House in Melbourne for a long chat with Fiona Patten MLC, leader and sole elected member of the Reason Party, formerly the Australian Sex Party.Continue reading “The 9pm Probe: Fiona Patten MLC”
In an episode recorded live but in private in Hobart, Tasmania, we hear about sexuality and neuroscience, the sexuality of the stars, and the curious sexualities of the sex industry.
In this episode there’s talk of truth in advertising, Pluto, foetal development, frisbees, autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR), the recently-discovered glymphatic system, the escorting business, the beginning of the universe, and much more.Continue reading “The 9pm Private House Forum 1: Hobart”
Not deep, existential shark bites. More like bee stings, or perhaps spider bites. Plus a couple of dog bites, like the one I got from that goddam collie back in the mid-1980s. The damn thing infected my hand and it took a cocktail of three heavy-duty antibiotics to be rid of it. To this day, my left hand is significantly weaker.
Yes, your past can bite you, and you are then weakened.
The lesson there is to never entrust the proper training of a dog to rent boys, no matter how good their drugs are.
Yeah I think the rest of this story can probably wait until another time.
During my two weeks in (mostly) Singapore and Coffs Harbour, I was too exhausted to mentally process Certain Events. I flew to Singapore before I’d completely killed a throat infection, and I didn’t realise that the antibiotic I was taking was increasing the severity of my insomnia. I arrived on Shopping Mall Container Terminal Island in a run-down state.
Exhaustion goes well with Endless Free Alcohol, does it not?
Fortunately I’d almost-planned this week to contain a little less work. My intention was to start pondering my plans for 2013 and beyond, both professionally and personally. For various reasons I won’t go into today, both are at turning-points. Clarity of thought must be obtained, because decisions must be made.
The Certain Events provided much food for this thought. Two of the more significant Certain Events were re-establishing contact with two people — quite unconnected with each other — who I hadn’t seen in something like 14 or 16 years.
One was a reminder of… well, let’s just say it was a reminder that our lives are full of choices, many of them unconscious. Had our choices been different, then our lives would have unfolded very differently also.
In Singapore I discovered that 16 years ago there was a choice I could have made. Had I been consciously aware of it, I might well have said yes. But that door has long since been closed. My life unfolds as it does. As does his.
The other was a reminder that… well, that 14 or 16 years is a long time, and I’m getting older. That in turn triggered some very deep reflections indeed about many other choices made, large and small, wise and less so. So many of the last.
On Friday a very different piece of the past came back to haunt me. A client decided to dredge out an HTML email template that I’d written for them some time in the Early Neolithic Era, and use it in a campaign that very day. Needless to say, this ancient code didn’t render properly in recent versions of Microsoft Outlook.
Friday suddenly became hectic. But thanks to excellent technical support from Sydney-based email marketing platform Campaign Monitor, and in particular from Stig Morten Myre in Norway, I could skip the whole “re-learn email-client HTML rendering because time plus arseholes equals frustration” bit and just focus on implementing tricks that would, in fact, work. Thank you Stig.
This extra work meant that Saturday became a long working day too. But everything was smooth, if time-consuming. And now here I sit, in the quiet of the eucalypt scrubland near Wentworth Falls. A quiet that is likely to be the calm before a literal storm this evening. Pondering.
- Patch Monday episode 164, “InfoSec in flux, facing fads with FUD”. A conversation with Sourcefire founder and CTO Martin Roesch.
- Ryde your way to disaster-recovery success, TechRepublic, 18 November 2012.
- Password exposed in Click Frenzy security slip, ZDNet Australia, 21 November 2012.
- On Wednesday I spoke about the Click Frenzy debacle on ABC 702 Sydney.
- On Tuesday night I attended Nokia’s Lumia Lounge event at Kaya Sydney, where we were all provided with rather pleasant food and drink.
The Week Ahead
The week ahead is apparently the start of the Christmas party season. Jesus wept. Added to that, technology companies look like they’re blowing their remaining PR budgets for the quarter on media briefings. So there’ll be plenty of corporate largesse to report next time.
As far as media production goes, I’ve got the Patch Monday podcast to finalise first thing Monday morning, then a story each for CSO Online and Technology Spectator before the end of the week. I want to lock in some more, and I think I’ll be able to pitch something both to ZDNet and Crikey.
Logistically, I plan to head to Sydney on Wednesday morning and stay a few days attending various events.
On Wednesday there’s a Retail Tech Forum lunch organised by Bass PR for some of their clients, and in the evening there’s a party with Securus Global.
On Thursday there’s the lunchtime Sydney media launch for Uber (which is essentially the on-demand ordering of a black town car via smartphone apps, so screw you taxi industry oligopolists!), followed by the Internet Industry Association’s Nautical Policy Party on Sydney Harbour (don’t ask), and then an evening party held jointly by the four boutique PR firms known as “The Indies”.
How the end of the week will play out has yet to be decided, but on Sunday I’ll be transferring myself to Hurstville to house-sit for a friend through until early January.
At least that’s the plan as of now. Stay tuned. Eris is a fickle bitch.
[Photo: Japanese-inspired toilet door signage, at Kaya Sydney. These cartoon characters are all well and good, but when I’m in a hurry to take a slash I don’t need the extra puzzle time of reading highly-stylised gender markers in a dimly-lit corridor.]
Here are the web links I’ve found for 12 September 2009 through 19 September 2009, posted not-quite-automatically.
- Steak House or Gay Bar?: Can you pick the steakhouses from the gay bars, just by their names? It’s harder than you might thing!
- Greenpeace frees ocean life from Pacific longliner | Greenpeace Australia Pacific: Greenpeace’s report on their ship Esperanza “freeing tuna, sharks, marlin and an endangered sea turtle from a Taiwanese longliner”, the Ho Tsai Fa 18. Or, as I prefer to label it, Greenpeace committing piracy and endangering the lives of mariners going about their business.
- Fish Now, Pay Later | Greenpeace Australia Pacific: Darren Smith told me the article on dolphin-safe tuna wasn’t right, that Greenpeace didn’t support any kind of industrialised fishing. Here’s what Greenpeace is currently doing in the Pacific.
- The ecological disaster that is dolphin safe tuna | Southern Fried Science: By promoting “dolphin-safe tuna” — I prefer to spell it with a hyphen thusly — we’ve ended up with a system that’s unsafe for pretty much everything else.
- Meet my hot new stripper wife / Turns out the mid-life crisis is a cruel global phenomenon. Can it be stopped? | Mark Morford: Mark Morford is rapidly becoming one of my favourite writers. In this piece from February 2008 he explains a man’s mid-life crisis rather too well. And entertainingly. I’ll never be able to listen to Justin Timberlake in the same way again.
- The Lost Seasons | ABC: More details of the Australian Aboriginal six-season cycle, including a nice explanation of the system used by the Sydney basin’s D’harawal people.
- War 2.0: Political Violence & New Media | ANU Department of International Relations: I’ve been invited to attend this 2-day symposium in Canberra on 7-8 October. Now, to figure out who’s paying for it, which will be the key factor in deciding whether I can go.
- Jimmy Carter says that tea baggers hate President Obama because he's black | The Root: The former president points out a truth so self-evident you wonder how it could possibly be controversial. But controversial it is. Has modern journalism become so timid that it can’t handle the truth?
- Understanding the Telstra d-i-v-o-r-c-e | SearchNetworking.com.au: Richard Chirgwin’s backgrounder explains just how difficult it will be to separate Telstra into separate wholesale and retail divisions.
- The next generation bends over | 37signals: The makers of Basecamp, something I use every day, reckon the sale of online accounting software Mint to Intuit, the makers of Quicken and Quickbooks, is “indicative of a VC-induced cancer that’s infecting our industry and killing off the next generation”.
- Kid Cannabis | Rolling Stone: “How a chubby pizza-delivery boy from Idaho became a drug kingpin.” It’s just another product distribution business, just illegal.
- Rudd & Conroy Gambling On Mandatory Internet Censorship Working | broowery.com: An odd statistical analysis of the likelihood of stumbling across banned material online.
- ACMA Blacklists Iran Protest Video & Boing Boing: Another example of why the ACMA blacklist process is seemingly out of step with what the community might want. That’s not ACMA’s fault, they’re just implementing a dodgy policy.
- Why Sol Trujillo should be sued for stuffing up Telstra: Kohler | SmartCompany: There’s so many historical analyses of Telstra coming out this week, what with the government announcing its break-up and n’all. This one is marvellous.
- 2009 Menzies Lecture by John Howard (full text) | The Australian: “In the Australian context the adoption of a Charter or Bill of rights would represent the final triumph of elitism in Australian politics,” reckons our former Prime Minister. A fascinating read if only for its disingenuous use of political rhetoric and coded messages rather than rational argument.
- Oil Rocks | BLDGBLOG: Imagine a city of 5000 people built on stilts and causeways some 45km out into a lake. Well, it exists, and it’s called Oil Rocks, in the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan.
- The Mushroom Tunnel of Mittagong | BLDGBLOG: A fascinating look, with photos, of a mushroom farm inside a disused railway tunnel. The tunnel itself is still government property, with the farm existing on a 5-year lease.
- Death by Information Overload | HBR.org: “New research and novel techniques offer a lifeline to you and your organization,” it says.
- The Economics of Sex Work | Core Economics: Good to see an update of knowledge since I did a little research on the sex industry for ABC Radio all those years ago.
- CHART OF THE DAY: Primetime On Facebook Is Monday To Wednesday | Silicon Valley Insider: “Social media marketers, take note. The best days to spam, erm, publish wall posts on Facebook that you want your ‘fans’ to pay attention to are Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.”
Stilgherrian’s links for 20 April 2009 through 21 April 2009:
- A criminally stupid war on drugs in the US | FT.com: Clive Crook pulls no punches, calling the US “War on Drugs” immoral, brainless and, yes, “criminally stupid”.
- Twitter Telepathy: Researchers Turn Thoughts Into Tweets | Wired.com: What's interesting about this is not that a message was generated from a person’s brain via EEG, ‘cos that’s been in use for a while, but that the researchers linked that to a remote messaging system. Using Twitter is a bit of a gimmick IMHO, since any text system would work similarly, but then it did get them the media attention.
- How the 3Rs empower Telstra staff online — Social Media Guardrails | nowwearetalking: Released this week: Telstra’s 6-page social media policy. Billed as the first by a major Australian company (which I doubt), I daresay it’ll be analysed to death.
- Blogging from a Corporate Perspective | www.nickhodge.com: Microsoft’s blogging policy, on the other hand, it just nine brief bullet points. If only governments could get to the point so quickly.
- Circular 2008/8: Interim protocols for online media participation | Australian Public Service Commission: The Australian government’s guidelines for public servants using social media. Of course it’s written in bureaucratic language, but it covers some good territory.
- World’s Biggest Submarine [with pics] | English Russia: The Typhoon was the biggest submarine in the world, and one of Russian’s deepest Cold War secrets. Now it’s a minor tourist attraction, and very rusty.
- Five menu items at Silver Spoon Thai that could also be the name of an unsuccessful sex worker | 5ives: What it says.
- Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable | Clay Shirky: A must-read article. “When someone demands to know how we are going to replace newspapers, they are really demanding to be told that we are not living through a revolution. They are demanding to be told that old systems won’t break before new systems are in place. They are demanding to be told that ancient social bargains aren’t in peril, that core institutions will be spared, that new methods of spreading information will improve previous practice rather than upending it. They are demanding to be lied to. There are fewer and fewer people who can convincingly tell such a lie.”
- NEO Living: The website for a new apartment block to be built on Enmore Road, Newtown. Some wonderfully creative PR bullshit about how wonderful the area is. For some reason, the website completely fails to mention that the development is sited on a busy and rather noisy Enmore Road, and is directly under the flight path leading to Sydney Airport’s runway 16L.
- Debate: Hugh White and Australian defence policy | The Interpreter: Rory Medcalf kicks of a debate of Hugh White’s paper at the Lowy Institute’s blog.
- A focused force: Australia’s defence priorities in the Asian Century | Lowy Institute: Professor Hugh White calls for Australia to abandon the “Balanced Force’ concept and refocus its military on managing strategic risks related to the rise of China. Professor White argues that Chinese power will challenge US primacy, undercutting the basic assumptions of Australian defence policy. This paper, with its controversial force-structure recommendations, is a major contribution to the Australian security debate on the eve of the 2009 Defence White Paper.
- NavyNorthernTrident (navytrident09) on Twitter: An innovative use of Twitter? Tweets from two Royal Australian Navy ships embarking on a 6-month deployment taking them to 13 countries.
- Ashton Kutcher Punks Twitter: A Giant Million Follower PR Stunt | NowPublic News Coverage: I wasn’t going to write anything about the supposed race to a million Twitter followers, and now I don’t have to because this article says it all: “This is not a story of the ‘little man’ beating out ‘big media’ — this is the story of a major Hollywood celebrity orchestrating a massive, social media publicity campaign that was specifically designed to promote himself, Twitter and, by extension, Ted Turner and CNN.” Once more, this will have triggered thousands into joining Twitter, and once more they’ll imagine its main purpose is for them to passively absorb the message of the “famous”. Such a wasted opportunity. P.S. Who’s Ashton Kutcher?
- Disturbing Strokes | YouTube: MontyPropps takes the opening credits from the TV series Diff’rent Strokes and, by replacing the original jaunty music, creates something far more sinister. A demonstration of the power of music to set the mood.