Cyberspace, commodification and the history of me

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A friend of mine recommended I watch the documentary “All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace”, a three-part series devoted to exploring the culture of technology, its evolution and its impact upon modern society.

The first episode, “Love and “ starts off by using Ayn Rand’s objectivism as a touchstone (never a good thing in my view) but breaks off into a variety of discussions on the rise of Silicon Valley in the 1980s and 1990s and, more importantly, the unleashing of western markets on the worldwide economy, where faith in market stability was hedged on the … Read the rest

On non-compulsory voting in Queensland state elections

The Queensland Government has opened up a discussion paper regarding electoral reform. It covers a lot of things, but one issue that has been making people take notice is the proposal to remove compulsory voting in state elections, meaning the responsibility of turning up at the ballot booth would become entirely optional.

Many writers have already thrown down their two cents, but I have a few idle thoughts regarding this development.

Whatever your political views, I think that introducing voluntary voting this is fundamentally a bad idea.

Many think that being forced to vote is fundamentally undemocratic, but … Read the rest

Adieu Rave

On the 26 June, Brisbane’s best street press Rave Magazine abruptly ceased publication after 21 years and 1047 print editions. I had been contributing to the magazine for almost two years, signing on as an indie reviewer in August 2009.

This started off a long, meandering piece lamenting the magazine’s death, but after reading Justin Edward’s great tribute, I’ll simply say that I was always very proud of having the opportunity to contribute to the publication.

Despite not being able to be as prolific as many other contributors, I wrote nearly 100 record reviews, 9 video game reviews, conducted … Read the rest

Australian politics and integrity.

I happen to be reading Plato’s Republic, and am deep into his treatise on how democracy should work and his ideal of the philosopher king. It’s fairly interesting, though I’m not sure of its contemporary practical value and can see why some of the more psychopathic dictators of the past have been inclined to Plato’s ideas, but it serves as an interesting sidenote to another article I happened to read this week regarding the current health of contemporary Australian politics.

Should personal integrity the most important facet of being a politician in Australia? Gregory Melleuish argues that it should Read the rest

Thinking about arguing

Came across this fascinating video about how one can think about arguments and prepare themselves to objectivily evaluate them. This one came via The Intepreter.

In this video Julia Galef from Measure of Doubt discusses some techniques that can help you think about the true meaning behind argumentation, herself arguing that the process should be more about striving towards having true beliefs rather than ‘winning’. She discusses argumentation as collaboration rather than combat, encouraging one to try visualise the process as seperate from ones own body or ego. Other techniques she discusses include:

  • Visualising being wrong.
  • Taking a long
Read the rest