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Men Commenting on Women’s Issues

A lecture at LCA 2011 which included some inappropriate slides was followed by long discussions on mailing lists. In February 2011 I wrote a blog post debunking some of the bogus arguments in two lists [1]. One of the noteworthy incidents in the mailing list discussion concerned Ted Ts’o (an influential member of the Linux […]

Taxing Inferior Products

I recently had a medical appointment cancelled due to a “computer crash”. Apparently the reception computer crashed and lost all bookings for a day and they just made new bookings for whoever called – and anyone who had a previous booking just missed out. I’ll probably never know whether they really had a computer problem […]

Mobile Phones and Cognitive Costs

I previously wrote about the case for a Basic Income in Australia [1]. Since then I read an interesting article by Rutger Bregman in the Dutch site The Correspondent discussing the benefit that such Basic Income schemes have given in various places [2], he makes a great case for giving a Basic Income to poor […]

Political Advocacy in Clubs

One topic that often gets discussed when it’s near election time is whether clubs and societies should be “political”. Some organisations are limited in what they can do, for example in some jurisdictions religious organisations can theoretically lose their tax exempt status if they advocate for one party. In practice any organisation that has a […]

A Basic Income for Australia

There has been a lot of discussion recently about the concept of a Basic Income (Wikipedia), largely due to the efforts to change the Swiss constitution to provide a Basic Income [1]. The concept of a Basic Income is that residents get a fixed payment without having to be sick, disabled, looking for work, or […]

Failures of Intelligence Agencies

There’s been an ongoing news issue related to the NSA that I’m not going to directly comment on, Charles Stross has one of the more interesting comments about it [1]. One of his major points is that any success at government secrecy relies on the type of work environment that existed 40+ years ago. Corporatism […]

The 2013 Federal Election

Seven hours ago I was handing out how to vote cards for the Greens at the 2013 Australian Federal election. I was hoping that either we would have a Labor/Greens coalition or an outright majority for Labor. Unfortunately we got a Liberal majority in the lower house and it looks like some extreme right […]

Religious Conversion

Today I was in the center of Melbourne and I saw two stands run by Muslims advocating their faith. They had a selection of DVDs and brochures to give away and seemed friendly enough for anyone who wanted a chat. I think that this is a good thing, if the majority of the Australian population […]

Speaking Stacks

Brianna Laugher wrote a blog post about the speaking stack used in the free software activism BoF at LCA 2013 [1].

Occupy Wall St uses what they call a progressive speaking stack – this means that white men step back in the queue and people from marginalised groups step forward [2].

During the free software […]

Promoting Enthusiasm

Rusty wrote an insightful post titled “What Can I Do To Help?” about reactions to new ideas [1]. He suggests that people make an effort to have a positive approach when someone talks about a new idea, it’s quite common for people to point out reasons why the new idea might not work out which […]