Go Read Merchants of Doubt

25/06/2020

Merchants of Doubt, a 2010 book written by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, is a must read. As one of the testimonies on the cover of my copy says, if there is one nonfiction book you read this year, it is the one to go for (obviously try to read more than one, but make Merchants of Doubt a priority). It follows a number of stories that mar the history of scientific progress by telling them from the perspectives of actors we often don’t hear from in the modern “debates”: the scientists themselves.

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Defunding the Police and Changing Focus

21/06/2020

There is a post going around at the moment that is supposedly meant to paint the police in a positive light during the recent global protests again police violence towards native peoples and people of colour. Honestly, it really sounds like the author (unknown, at least I’ve not seen a name with it) is telling the population to submit to power because… it’s power.

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Drew Pavlou and the UQ-CCP Saga

30/05/2020

I first heard of Drew Pavlou, a UQ student Senator, in the height of the Hong Kong protests last year when he made local waves supporting Hong Kong at the University of Queensland’s (UQ) St Lucia campus. This demonstration, as I recall, got a little heated, but I didn’t hear much come of it until recently, with Pavlou reaching an international audience and entering the national discourse. The reason? That protest has since become a small movement of its own against UQ’s connections with the Chinese Communist Party.

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The Purpose of Science

21/05/2020

Controversial opinion on a site with “anarchist” in the name, but I don’t think science should be commercialised and portrayed as a product for consumers. Scientific research and exploration should transcend material goals, particularly monetary ones, and should strive to reach a forever receding horizon of knowledge.

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Eroding Privacy During Coronavirus Pandemic

22/04/2020

We live in a world where the concept of privacy is all but a myth, a reality that people only a couple of decades ago would probably have been horrified of. As the Coronavirus lockdown shifts how the world operates, online solutions to numerous obstacles are charging to the forefront. Some of these changes are, however, questionable.

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The Language of Academia as A Barrier

03/02/2020

When I refer to the language used in academic circles as a “barrier”, I don’t intend it to be entirely negative. As someone who has graduated from university and has taken an avid interest in probably too many topics beyond my formal studies, I have no trouble understanding the complexity that oft times permeates academic prose, and I am somewhat exaggerating my point by throwing some relatively mild examples right here because I am guilty of the same. But another may read the same text and be overwhelmed by it, which is problematic when the ideas you are expressing are of great import to the wider populace.

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The “Protest” Against the Brisbane Drag Queen Duo

13/01/2019

What I thought would be a rather small, local story in the South East Queensland area, having first seen the associated video on a Facebook group for QUT, has turned into a national story with the Guardian, the ABC, and social media (mainly Twitter) taking hold of it. I’m surprised that I’m surprised about that, and I decided against writing a post about it last night, but with more information coming to light and some interactions I have seen take place, I feel it’s worth discussing a few points.

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Looking Back on 2019

01/01/2020

At the start of 2019, I set out with the rather insane goal of writing a post a day. This quickly turned into a post a day on average, i.e. 365 posts. In hindsight, that seems incredibly unrealistic, especially when you consider how much other stuff I had to focus on throughout the year. While I’m disappointed to the extent that 365 posts would have been amazing, I’m still impressed with how much I was able to get done.

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Media Hasn’t Really Changed: Colonial Tasmania

28/12/2019

I am currently reading The Vandemonian War by Nick Brodie. As always, when I learn more about Australia’s history involving the Indigenous peoples, I grow more and more disappointed with the shallow understanding that our education system throws at countless disinterested students. But I’ve written about that already, and there was a small point Brodie made about the press coverage that made me chuckle – rather cynically – at the parallels to today.

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