Governments Can’t Self-Regulate Surveillance

10/10/2020

Reading Sacha Molitorisz’s Net Privacy: How We Can Be Free in an Age of Surveillance, I have appreciated the background and philosophical backing for protecting privacy. In particular, the relational approach to privacy he describes I think is a brilliant way to expand the scope of what actually constitutes privacy as an individual and societal concern. However, there have been a few points that I do not agree with or wish were explored more; as young as it is, the role blockchain technology has and could play in ensuring net privacy is not even mentioned once. Instead, the chapter I am currently reading speaks of regulation and legislation, talking about the privacy of individuals and society but then falling back on the State or global institutions to uphold it – a tad problematic.

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Consent Manufactured? Bill Clinton, Treasury, and Russia

27/09/2020

In his 2002 book, Globalization and Its Discontents, Joseph Stiglitz goes over how he believes Russia’s transition from “communism” to a “market economy” failed after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Despite his mistake in stating that Russia was somehow “Marxist” in nature beforehand, it does explain how, with US assistance, the country continued to freefall to levels below what they were under the Soviet regime. The minute point I want to dissect from this, however, is his faith in then President of the United States, Bill Clinton, to have taken stronger action if he “had been confronted with the arguments”.

I doubt it.

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Addressing Modern Slavery: A Reflection Pt.2

04/11/2019

Blockchain Technology

Modern slavery takes a variety of forms, but the most prominent, overarching sector it infiltrates is supply chains. From raw materials to the distribution of a final product, slave labour can be used to tarnish the origins of many things we consume without a second thought, from foodstuffs to electronics. But what if there was a way to blow this shady and opaque industry open and to the light of public scrutiny?

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Addressing Modern Slavery: A Reflection Pt.1

02/11/2019

I am currently reading Addressing Modern Slavery by Justine Nolan and Martijn Boersma, and it’s a shocking read. Not shocking in the sense that we don’t know it exists – everyone should know that it not only exists, but many of our choices as consumers are intimately linked with this wretched reality. No, that slavery exists isn’t revelatory – but many of the stories and statistics, the main one being that there are over 40M slaves worldwide, are heartbreaking. And very little is being done about it. But that shouldn’t surprise anyone either.

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Obama Haunts the Democrats – And So He Should

06/08/2019

For a Party (and their voters) who condemn Trump and his following for bringing Obama’s legacy up, the Democrats seem to have no problem doing just that in an effort to tear each other apart. But is Obama’s legacy untouchable? Discussing the history of the Democratic Party, especially the failings of Obama and Clinton – one of many factors that contributed to people swinging to Trump – should be up for discussion.

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Quick Quips: To Protest Is Your Right

01/08/2019

Nothing that benefitted any oppressed or supressed demographic was gained by doing nothing. Every major movement of the last century or so, from the black rights’ movement to the #MeToo movement, Union actions to revolts against autocratic governments, environmental and anti-war causes – all of these have involved some form of protest.

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Quick Quips: What’ll We Lose First, Money or Sanity?

15/07/2019

  • As if anyone cared what her opinion was, Pauline Hanson has pitched in on the Uluru climbing debate. She doesn’t see the ‘cultural sensitivity’ seeing as people ‘have been climbing’ it for years. Reality check – yes, it has been a culturally sensitive issue all those years too, but finally Indigenous voices are being listened to. Just don’t climb Uluru – it’s that simple.
  • Can the media please stop asking Hanson what she thinks?
  • For Australians talking about ‘raiding Area 51’, we have a perfectly good US intelligence base near Alice Springs that could do with some dismantling.

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Silencing Powerful Voices

07/07/2019

When I say “powerful”, I don’t just mean people in positions of actual political power. I mean powerful in the sense that the words of these individuals, or groups of people, have immense weight. Whether it is a single person or a population, many powerful voices are being silenced, and it’s up to the rest of us to ensure they are heard again.

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Quick Quips: I’ll Drink to That

03/07/2019

“If you voted Greens then get out of the house!” Thankfully, I didn’t get drunk that night, otherwise there may have been quite the political hurricane amid the reserved celebrations of the evening. Head down, amiable but fake smile, avoiding the gaze of my chuckling friend as the older man praised “ol’ Trumpy”. Some whiskey and a nod later, crisis was averted – a friend’s birthday saved. I’ll drink to that.

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Quick Quips: What Is a Lie?

18/06/2019

The Economist posted a video a couple of months ago discussing whether or not politicians lie. I didn’t agree with most of it, seeing as their conclusion was that something was only a lie if the person telling it had the intent and knowledge they were doing so. They instead try to palm certain things off – even Trump’s antics – as things like ‘exaggeration’, ‘untruths’ (isn’t that just synonymous with lies?), ‘nonsense’, or (quoting the academic prowess of a philosopher) ‘bullshit’. How trite.

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