The ‘Crap Journalism’ effect

How four charts are all that’s needed to demolish the ABC’s pathetic defence of an NBN lie. If you need further explanation, it’s below. Background The other day the ABC published a story about the NBN that effectively claimed that Netflix was the cause of congestion problems in part of its network. The ABC article […]

How ‘the Netflix effect’ made the NBN’s PR dreams come true thanks to a credulous and cooperative ABC

If you’d googled “the Netflix effect” a few days ago all you’d have found was articles about binge viewing, or the sudden stardom of previously unknown actors. That changed on Monday, when in this story the ABC tried to convince us that there is another “Netflix effect”, and according to them it’s the reason why the […]

We are all equal under the law

Or – a dam doesn’t care where the river starts In a secular society like Australia the source of an individual’s moral code should be irrelevant; what matters is their behaviour. If the law says you may not throw stones at people, then if two individuals both throw stones at someone, one of them isn’t […]

Estate Sale – Lot #4

The Unsung Heroes Of Election ’19 Just as the automobile displaced the horse and buggy, so too assembly-line car workers displaced the craftsmen who made buggies and buggy-whips, and as their profession died out, with it sadly died the skills and knowledge of their craft. Today we’re witnessing another such extinction: journalism. This piece is […]

Scott and Waleed

At considerable risk to my mental health I watched Waleed Aly’s interview of Scott Morrison on The Project, and then against professional advice watched it again so that I could transcribe it. What follows is that transcription, as accurate as possible inasmuch as I had to stop listening when my ears started to bleed and […]

Arguing with a tornado, 6,000 times

You don’t reason with a tornado. It’s not a sentient being. You don’t reason with toddlers. They haven’t developed the capacity for logical thought. Even in adults, reason is pointless against grief, rage or belief, because they’re not based on logic or rational thought. They’re supported by emotions and values, not logic and facts. Which […]

Lies, Damn Lies, and Wishful Thinking

Death of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation greatly exaggerated. Writing about the Queensland election results I am struck by the similarities with the press coverage of the 45th Presidential elections in the U.S.A. which I wrote about previously. Here, as there, there have been multiple, almost 180 degree shifts in predictions about the election result. Here, as […]

The Alexander Gambit – how to resign in five moves

MP John Alexander resigned his seat in parliament on Saturday, five days after Fairfax Media revealed that it was highly likely he was a dual citizen, and nearly four months after the issue of dual citizenship became front page news with Scott Ludlam’s surprise resignation. While I’m not John Alexander, here’s my attempt at what […]

Is my enemy’s enemy my friend?

Everybody knows the proverb “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. I don’t think so. Quite apart from the simplistic, black-and-white division of the world into friends and enemies, I think it’s a morally dangerous idea. It might encapsulate a frequent truth about expedient political alliances, but more often than not I think it […]

A Regrettable Want Of Candour

Poor George. All his life he has aspired to gravitas but has never advanced beyond turgid, pompous and, in this case, petulant. You would think that after a 7-0 thrashing in the High Court a responsible Attorney-General would bow graciously to the collective and unanimous wisdom of the highest court in the land, say a […]

Evolution, Reification, Homunculi, Anthropomorphism, Teacups and Storms

What’s wrong with this sentence: “This is how evolution stops bad mutations building up to dangerously high levels in a species”? I count at least four things wrong… This musing was prompted by the following snippet: When we reproduce, our children inherit a shuffled bag of mutations, and those with a collection of particularly bad ones are […]

Liberals Embrace Science? Yeah, But No

Senator Sinodinos – the Minister for Industry, Innovation, and …  whatsitsname? Oh yes, Science – said in a recent speech to the Press Club: [I]ncreasingly, there has emerged a lack of respect for the scientific method in some quarters. We see the conclusions of experts being cast aside, in favour of ideological positions and selective use of […]