I got a lot done in my week of Monday 5 to Sunday 11 December 2022, most of it currently-invisible work for clients. One lovely surprise was seeing a brand new NSW TrainLink Mariyung D-Set train, so new it still had plastic sheeting over its windows and seats. I hope the industrial dispute and modifications to the trains are completed soon so we can actually use them.
- Digital developments from Canberra 17, 9 December 2022. Parliament may have finished for the year, but that just means there’s time for some announcements. Cybersecurity! Foreign influence! The myGov app! DNS! And more.
You can read my previous writing at Authory, where you can also subscribe to an email compilation of any new stories each Sunday morning.
- On Thursday I spoke about the BBC and maybe the ABC going online-only on ABC Adelaide.
Podcasts, Photos, Videos, Corporate Largesse
None of any of these things. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified when new videos appear.
First, a whole bunch of links on the Musk-Twitter drama.
- The big news this week was the release of The Twitter Files, a trove of internal messages from before Musk bought the company, given by Musk to freelance journalists Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss . Musk claims they show some sort of systemic effort to suppress conservative thought. Others claim they show senior staff discussing how to best apply their own policies in controversial matters, and that Musk and his crew are misrepresenting what’s going on. This story has been moving too fast to track in detail, but that first link, to the Wikipedia article, is as good a place to start as any. I’ll be talking about it on my next podcast.
- Twitter moderators turn to automation amid a reported surge in hate speech, and a disturbing dek: “New head of trust and safety Ella Irwin says Elon Musk is urging Twitter ‘to take more risks’ in the wake of mass layoffs.”
- San Francisco investigating Twitter over complaint it added beds to office rooms.
- Twitter sued for disproportionately firing female workers after Musk buyout.
And in other news:
- “So, not COVID related, however, this is REALLY exciting news I wanted to share. Only a Phase I study, BUT clinical trial results for HIV vaccine candidate eOD-GT8 60mer have shown 97% of participants (ALL but one) generated an antibody response against HIV! That is ASTOUNDING.”
- This feature by Cameron Wilson is a wonderful tale of muddled and mishandled media machinations. Recommended. ‘Complete chaos’: how an ex-Fox exec and investor buying Junkee became a shambles.
- I thought I’d mentioned this guy before but apparently not, @PerunAU is “An Australian covering the military industrial complex and national military investment strategy”, and he makes some bloody good videos about such things which are essentially one-hour lectures on a specific topic. A lot of them are about Ukraine, of course. As a way in, maybe try these two: The Naval War in Ukraine – The Moskva, Missiles & Lessons, and How lies destroy armies – Lies, coverups, and Russian failures in Ukraine.
- “The Australian Election Study (AES) is the leading study of political attitudes and behaviour in Australia. The study has surveyed voters for 35 years, since 1987, providing an unparalleled source of evidence on voter attitudes towards politics in Australia.” Indeed And here’s the Australian Election Study 2022.
- Will China seek to exploit its rare-earth dominance?
- New from Ze Frank: True Facts: Animal Awards. Some fantastic entries in the category Least Inviting Orifice.
- And finally, something, erm, cheerful from Umair Haque: The 2020s Are the World’s Most Depressed, Stressed Decade… Ever.
The Week Ahead
It’s another busy week for me, and just like last week there’s plenty of work in the queue for two different clients, as well as the crowdfunding campaign to launch, and more.
The week starts in Sydney, however, where I’ll have a slow-start Monday after Sunday’s alcohol-based social events. Errands, shopping, and a train back to the Blue Mountains will fill out the day.
Update 13 December 2022: On Thursday morning I’ll be watching a livestream from the US National Academy of Science, Apollo 17 – 50th Anniversary Celebration.
On Thursday night I’m finally launching The 9pm Hardware Refresh 2023 crowdfunding campaign, accompanied by a solo episode of The 9pm Edict podcast. This campaign is about replacing my now 7-year-old MacBook Pro, bought by my supporters back in 2015, before it becomes critical.
The final special-guest episode of The 9pm Edict spring series is running late, but I’ve pencilled in a few potential guests and plans will congeal very soon.
- The 8pm Quiz of the Year 2022 Part 1, 20 December 2022, 8pm AEDT. Note that this first one is on Tuesday while all the rest are on Thursdays.
- The 8pm Quiz of the Year 2022 Part 2, 29 December 2022, 8pm AEDT.
- The 8pm Quiz of Everything 2023 Part 1, 5 January 2023, 8pm AEDT.
- The 8pm Quiz of Everything 2023 Part 2, 12 January 2023, 8pm AEDT.
- NEW DATE: End of The 9pm Hardware Refresh 2023 crowdfunding campaign, 19 January 2023 (TBC).
- Everything Open conference, Melbourne, 14–16 March 2023 (TBA).
- NSW state election, 25 March 2023. I’ll definitely do something special for this one.
- The Sydney Dialogue, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, online, 4–5 April 2023.
- Coronation of Charles III, 6 May 2023, although I have no idea what I’ll actually do about it.
[Photo: A brand new NSW TrainLink Mariyung D-Set train, the New InterCity Fleet (NIF) and subject of much industrial action, at Sydney Central station platform 1, on 11 December 2022. There’s a few more photos on Twitter.]