The new ABC logo

February 12, 2008

Listening to the ABC radio this morning, I was amazed at the conservatism of ABC viewers. The ones contacting the radio hated the new ABC tv logo – they don’t like change. 

I think it’s fine. Things change.

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Piers Akerman’s piece on the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre

May 4, 2007

Piers Akerman has written a piece on his Daily Telegraph blog on the Kings Cross Medically Supervised Injecting Centre at this link.

I twice tried to leave a comment on his blog, but both times received the error message “You are not authorised to do that action” when I pressed the submit button” (I wonder what you have to do to be “authorised”?!) 

Here is the comment I submitted to the blog:

Piers, as someone who has submitted mathematics papers to journals for publication, I know the importance of peers reviewing work. Non-experts don’t know if the authors of the review used a sound methodology, nor if they did a proper analysis. I am in favour of evidence-based public policy, and proper reviews of any public policy are extremely valuable. The “review” mentioned in this piece may be valuable, but non-experts have no way of judging this (eg judging its methodology).

Given that the conclusions of this review are at odds with many people think, it is important that people who are able to judge its methodology do so before the review is used as a basis of public policy.


The Free Hugs guy

April 6, 2007

As I’ve said many times, hugs are the best! 

Having said that, the Free Hugs guy appeared on Oprah today. I saw him in the Pitt St mall a couple of weeks/months ago – I didn’t know what it was all about but it looked as if it could have been for a short film/video clip. I was a bit annoyed by the whole “free hugs” thing – why should I go up to give him a hug just because he was offering one – and was he going to use images of strangers hugging him or strangers not hugging him despite him freely offering a hug to make some statements about people connecting or not connecting with each other in a short film/video?

I don’t know – it just annoyed me a bit!


Adele Horin’s column in the Sydney Morning Herald this weekend

February 11, 2007

I read Adele Horin’s column in yesterday’s SMH and thought that it was a nice summary of the idea that many people are quite reasonable in their political views and that it’s wrong to stereotype citizens of a country by referring to the policies of their government. A facile example of this kind of stereotyping is when people disparage Americans for re-electing President Bush in 2004 given his apparently disasterous war in Iraq. 

It’s nice to read opinion pieces suggesting that most people are in general quite reasonable – the first few paras of Adele Horin’s piece are as follows:

We’ve just been led astray

An old friend is returning soon to live in Australia after 15 years in France and I find myself preparing a defence of Australians against her inevitable criticisms. Like most expatriates she is ambivalent about the return. The view from Paris, reinforced by home visits, is that Australians have become selfish, bigoted and short-sighted.

The main evidence for this view is Australia’s uniquely brutal border protection regime, including the incarceration of refugee children, the enthusiasm for the Iraq war, the stubborn denial of climate change and the callous treatment of David Hicks. Read the rest of this entry »


On media and blog coverage of the Iraq war

January 13, 2007

Just a short comment – it seems to me that quite a bit of media coverage (eg at CNN and the SMH)  and blog discussion (eg at Larvatus Prodeo) about the Iraq war and the recent policy to “surge” the number of troops is about whether the US population and politicians support the policy, not about ways in which the situation in Iraq can be improved. Of course, many media reports are more “standard” (eg this BBC story), but I’m surprised at what seems to me to be misplaced energy.

I’d like to see more discussion about how the situation in Iraq can be improved.


“Italian death call for alledged Nazis”…

January 11, 2007

…is the headline of this story on the SMH web-site; yet another example of the web-pages not being proof-read before being published.

News-corp papers are worse at this than Fairfax, but Fairfax isn’t that great. I’m just amazed that “alledged” hasn’t been corrected.

On a similar note, The Australian used “nulear” in its lead story before christmas in a piece on the possibility of Australia using nuclear power. Incredible! Don’t these mistakes stick out to people working in the media?

Update: the misspelling’s been fixed.