My week of Monday 27 March to Sunday 2 April 2023 saw me sleeping a lot, which means there isn’t much to show you. But as usual there’s some interesting links.
Yesterday’s surprise win by Labor in the Aston by-election has all the political commentators aflutter, although these days I feel somewhat distant from all that. Australia is definitely changing somehow, however.
Meanwhile I stumbled across a photo from exactly three years ago today, when we were at the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Was it all just a matter of staying inside for a few days and standing on the yellow markers? Do I remember that right?
Public House Forum reminder
Remember, the next Public House Forum recording and livestream is on Saturday 29 April from 1pm AEST, with the livestream starting at 2pm. Please let me know if you’re coming so I can tell you the venue details — because it is not the Chamberlain Hotel as pictured.
We continue to see the young fox making regular visits to Bunjaree Collages. I’m putting out the infrared cameras most nights now, and once I’ve established the pattern we’ll organise a trap. It seems to come by every second or third night, unless it’s raining heavily.
- Digital developments from Canberra 30. While the NSW election results and the Indigenous Voice to Parliament dominated the political news this week, there was plenty of action in the background. Cybersecurity, secrecy and freedom of information, censorship, esafety, online gambling, 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.
- I have become part of the “woke” debate! I was informed this week that one of my tweets has been cited in the 2017 book A World Without “Whom”: The Essential Guide to Language in the BuzzFeed Age by Emmy J Favilla and, um, BuzzFeed.
- My 2019 photo of a Sydney Trains K-Set standing at Telopea station, now closed, was used in a YouTube video, The Cumberland Line Sucks! But it Could be Better!, by Cities, Transport and Kangaroos.
- I was quoted in Alex Kidman’s Apple Music Classical In Australia: What You Need To Know. Did you know that my first radio work was presenting classical music on what is now Radio Adelaide? I did some really good work back then, and I’m wondering if I should see if I can dig some of the documentaries out of the archives.
- My photo of the Hope and Anchor Tavern in Hobart was selected for use by a travel advisory website in Ethiopia and Lebanon, although the text of the website is in German. Hey I get around…
Podcasts, Photos, Videos, Corporate Largesse
None of these things. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified when new videos appear. At some stage I really should upload some more photos and videos.
I’ll skip the Musk-Twitter saga this week and just point to some interesting bits and pieces.
- Torrents of Antarctic meltwater are slowing the currents that drive our vital ocean ‘overturning’ – and threaten its collapse, so that’s handy.
- From Adam Something, another cheery video, Saudi Arabia’s Mukaab is a Dystopian Nightmare. Warning: Contains trace quantities of Slavoj Žižek.
- Adam Something himself was a guest recently on the podcast The 15-Minute Cities Conspiracy (with Adam Something). The what now? Bloomberg has a decent explainer, The 15-Minute City Freakout Is a Case Study in Conspiracy Paranoia.
- AI and the American Smile: How AI misrepresents culture through a facial expression, a fantastic example of how AI models replicate the biases of their training data.
- From the YouTube channel Train of Thought, a brief video that isn’t so much about trains as American history: America’s awkward propaganda express – Freedom Train 1947-49.
- It’s Not the Bike Lane’s Fault You’re a Bad Driver, which remarkably, is from motor vehicles fan site Jalopnik.
- Recently it was discovered that freshwater turtles communicate underwater by sound.
The Week Ahead
Monday is a Sydney expedition day, mostly one of recreation after working on Sunday. There’s an errand in Rockdale and lunch with a co-conspirator (yes that one) in Jannali, and a return journey to the Blue Mountains via Thaitown. Will I end up spending more time on public transport than In did on 25 March?
On Tuesday and Wednesday I’ll try to catch some sessions from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s The Sydney Dialogue, but as you probably know my track record for doing this has been abysmal lately. [Update 4 April 2023: Turns out it’s not being live-streamed.]
From Friday on it’s the Easter long weekend. I have no plans yet, but I’m sort of intending to catch up with some work-related things and instead take a holiday a few weeks later.
- The 9pm Public House Forum 7 livestream and recording, Sydney venue TBA, Saturday 29 April 2023, 1pm. Guests include Sydney Morning Herald cartoonist Cathy Wilcox and satirist Mark Humphries. Please click through to book a free ticket, or just tell me, so I know how many people might be coming and I can tell you when I choose the venue.
- Coronation of Charles III, 6 May 2023, although I have no idea what I’ll actually do about it.
- AusCERT Cyber Security Conference, Gold Coast and online, 9–12 May 2023 (TBA).
- The 9pm Public House Forum 8 livestream and recording, 13 May 2023 at 1pm (TBA). This is also World Cocktail Day.
- Truth, Trust and Hope, “a global dialogue on disinformation and the erosion of public understanding and trust in science”, Nobel Prize Outreach, Washington DC and online, 24-26 May 2023.
[Photo: Three years ago today: Taped markers on the floor show how people are allowed to queue at Greenwell & Thomas Pharmacy, Katoomba, during the coronavirus lockdown on 2 April 2020.]