My week of Monday 25 September to Sunday 1 October 2023 was both productive and pleasant, though I can’t tell you much about the productivity part. Here are some of the highlights, plus all the usual Interesting Things.
- Digital developments from Canberra 55. The big stories this week were the revelations about home affairs chief Mike Pezzullo, the government’s response to the Privacy Act review, and late to this page, a comprehensive review of the intelligence services.
You can read my previous writing at Authory, where you can also subscribe to an email compilation of any new stories each Sunday morning.
Podcasts, Videos, Photos, Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse
None of these, but see below for news of forthcoming podcasts. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified when new videos appear.
I’ve been doing this weekly wrap of Elon Musk news for quite a while now, and I must say how I’m surprised by how with every passing week he seems even more of a fuckwit that I’d first imagined — and that was a lot,
- Musk ditches X’s election integrity team ahead of key votes around world, including Australia’s referendum on 14 October for an Indigenous Voice to parliament. Which of course goes with this neat headline.
- EU warns Elon Musk after Twitter found to have highest rate of disinformation.
- Germany hits back at Elon Musk after he wades in on migrant debate.
- “On Friday night, Musk decided to show off a video of himself firing off his Barrett .50 cal,” because he’s a tool.
- Linda Yaccarino’s Bizarre Performance at Code 2023 Raises Even More Questions About the Future of Elon Musk’s X.
- “Tech billionaire Elon Musk visited the United States’ border with Mexico on Thursday to get an ‘unfiltered’ look at migration across the Southern border, barging into another heated political debate and promoting his platform X as an outlet for citizen journalism.”
- And finally from the Guardian, Linda Yaccarino has a coveted gig — but Elon Musk would never give her control. “The glass cliff — the phenomenon in which women are more likely to be promoted when an organisation is in crisis — is claiming its latest victim.”
In other news:
- Inside The Small World of Simulating Other Worlds. “A niche research community plays out what existence might be like on, or en route to, another planet.”
- From the New York Times Australia Letter this week, some historical details I wasn’t aware of: Why Doesn’t Australia Have Better Trains?.
- Wine’s True Origins Are Finally Revealed, reports Scientific American. “A broad genetic study has revised the prevailing narrative about how wine grapes spread around the world.”
- In London, the Long Wait for a Super Sewer Is Almost Over.
- Is your Zoom background affecting your image? Of if you prefer to read the actual paper, Virtual first impressions: Zoom backgrounds affect judgements of trust and competence.
- 30 years of the web down under: how Australians made the early internet their own.
The Week Ahead
Monday is the public holiday for Labour Day, at least in New South Wales, but I’ll be catching up on some work for a client because we have a significant meeting on Tuesday morning.
Thursday is a day trip to Sydney for a long walk and a meal with Snarky Platypus, among other things. This time we’ll be walking from Burwood to Auburn via Rookwood Cemetery, “the largest necropolis in the Southern Hemisphere”. That’s about the same distance as we walked last time.
[Update 3 October 2023: The next four paragraphs have been rewritten to reflect some changes to the schedule.]
Friday sees another trip to Sydney for various errands and such, and the usual blog post will also emerge. I’ll then be staying in Sydney overnight because…
On Saturday I’ll start three and a bit weeks of housesitting. If you’re wanting to catch up with me, this would be a good time in which to extend invitations.
Finally, some time this week I’ll be recording and posting a solo episode of The 9pm Edict podcast. Definitely. If you’re a supporter with TRIGGER WORDS or a CONVERSATION TOPIC to throw into the mix, please let me know as soon as possible.
The finished episode is likely to be posted on Saturday.
[Update 8 October 2023: The finished podcast will in fact be posted on Monday. I’ve swapped over a few scheduled tasks to better fit client deadlines and my billing cycle.]
And if you look below you’ll see there’s two more episodes coming up quite soon.
- NEW: The 9pm Edict podcast recording with Scientia Professor Toby Walsh about his new book, Faking It: Artificial Intelligence in a Human World, UNSW, 13 October 2023. The finished podcast will be published on 16 October.
You might want to check out last year’s episode, The 9pm Killer Robot Restaurant Booking with UNSW Scientia Professor Toby Walsh.
- The 9pm Hobart Expedition, 22–25 October 2023. Snarky Platypus and I have locked in a voyage south. I may well be recording a podcast there. We’re definitely going to MONA on the Monday, and there will be an anyone-can-come evening at a bar on Tuesday 24 October, venue TBA.
- NEW: The 9pm Edict podcast recording with cartoonist and artist Jon Kudelka, Hobart, 25 October 2023. The finished podcast will be published on 27 October.
You might want to check out our previous conversation from 2021, The 9pm Snakes, Steaks, and Mistakes with Jon Kudelka.
[Photo: Mark Newton refuels his Van’s Aircraft RV-6, registration VH-SOL, at Swan Hill Airport (YSWH) en route to Goolwa on 28 September 2018. I had hoped to record some podcast segments along the way but I made a basic technical error. We’ll have to try again some time.]