The ancient Greeks believed that their world was shaped by the Gods, wielders of immense power. A separate race of superior beings. So they worshipped them, passing down tales of their incredible exploits and sacrificing their own wellbeing to maintain their favour. The Greeks had no direct contact with their Gods – instead oracles served as conduits for the Gods will and city magistrates organised their veneration.
Little has changed in the years since. We still worship at the altar. The Greeks imagined that their Gods could move Heaven and Earth, striking down those who displeased them. That the Gods’ standing was a result of their might and power. Today we have new titans. The billionaire class.
Continue reading “The Titans of Industry”
We are awash with nostalgia. Resident Evil 2 burns up the video game charts. The film industry offers endless Star Wars spin offs and adaptions of every comic book known to man. Our politicians promise to Make America Great Again or a return to the civil discourse of the past. It seems that new ideas have been extinguished. The remnants are but feeble attempts to capture the reflected glow of past glories.
Continue reading “The Nostalgic Spirit of the Moment”
Once upon a time, I was an odd kid with all the potential in the world. Not just in my fevered imagination, but officially – as my high school proudly proclaimed through its Students with High Intellectual Potential program (which has probably changed acronyms several times in the intervening years). Not content with recording some of the top school results in the state, I went on to become a qualified rocket engineer. But what use is there for rocket engineers in a nation whose primary exports are shiny rocks, or even a society whose driving force is the accumulation of profit?
Continue reading “So It Has Come To This”
(T)o describe the so-called ‘safe schools’ and ‘gender fluidity’ garbage being peddled in schools as ‘cultural Marxism’ is not a throwaway line but a literal truth.
-Fraser Anning, maiden speech to the Australian parliament
We have a senator not only peddling Nazi-derived conspiracy theories on the floor of parliament, but even calling for ‘a final solution to the immigration problem’. Sky News calls upon neo-Nazis like Blair Cottrell to share their opinions on immigration and policy. Our major papers decry Jews who form colonies. The ABC’s august Four Corners decided that Steve Bannon deserved their platform to gaslight the nation. This isn’t normal. How did we get here?
Continue reading “The Breakdown of Shared Reality”
Malcolm Turnbull today brought on a leadership spill, where he beat back Peter Dutton’s challenge by a narrow 48-35 margin. This pre-emptive strike is unlikely to hold the conservative forces for long, and as I write, senior ministers are resigning from their posts. So today I ask the question, who is Peter Dutton?
Continue reading “Peter Dutton, the Minister for 2GB”
The ‘only credible plan‘ is dead. Much like Malcolm Turnbull’s prime ministership, the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) was a spineless compromise between reality and the intransigent conservative elements of his own party. As it passes into the nether realm, our PM is set to soon follow. The future of the Liberal Party and Australia’s action on climate change hang in the balance.
Continue reading “NEGligence”
Nine and Fairfax have announced a merger, with the resultant company to be called Nine and Nine shareholders to control the majority of shares. This isn’t a merger, but a takeover. Fairfax, as we know it, is dead. With the death knell of Fairfax (publishers of The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and the Canberra Times) comes the confirmation that online advertising isn’t sufficiently profitable to fund serious journalism.
Continue reading “The Death of Fairfax and the Stratification of Journalism”
So emphasising a humanist education rather than training builds reasoning, critical thinking and creativity. That’d be great, except that none of those skills are at all useful in the festering wound which is our society. Teaching children to learn and follow their interests only creates a fantasy of adult life, whereas training them for the reality of wage labour avoids any such delusions.
Continue reading “The Tension Between Education and Training – A Counterpoint”
What is the point of schooling? Is it to expand your intellectual capabilities and widen your range of thought, or just to train you in the techniques required for future employment? These objectives are not just competitive but actively contradictory and held in constant tension in our education systems.
Continue reading “The Tension Between Education and Training”
It is a commonly held truism that sports and politics should never mix. Sport is an oasis, untouched by the mundanities of life. But to watch a game of football is to break apart this illusion. Representatives of two nations clash in a contest of strength and skill. A referee enforces strict conformance with arbitrary rules. The crowd’s passions are subsumed in the game. How could this be apolitical?
Continue reading “Sport and Discipline”