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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Politics Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, Like the Planet

30/05/2020

I’ve made the observation before that a lot of what we consider to be political issues are, in fact, a collection of other issues given a controversial spin that generally leads nowhere but a breakdown in discourse and understanding. The main example I used at the time was that abortion was a healthcare and women’s rights issue, not political, and certainly not religious. The most impactful on a global scale is, of course, climate change.

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Report Truth, Not Views

23/05/2020

The idea of journalism being an adversarial “pillar of democracy” is laughable, as I have written a few times on this site before. One of the books I am reading at the moment, Merchants of Doubt, provides examples of how the “fairness” and “balance” aspects of journalism, however desirable in theory, are corrupt and abused in practice. As “conservative intellectuals” of the Internet age love to say, facts don’t care about your feelings, folks.

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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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Is Renewable Energy Not the Capitalist Dream?

19/05/2020

I am currently reading Merchants of Doubt, a 2010 book written by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway about how a number of global issues have been corrupted by a small number of “experts” and powerful special interests. The topics covered are quite varied, from smoking, to environmental concerns like acid rain, to Reagan’s Star Wars plans, etc. Probably the most important one is climate change, which I have not reached yet, but it’s an obvious one. But why? The free market loving capitalists should be flocking to support renewable energy, not because they give a shit about the planet, but because it could be the freest market ever created.

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Invoking 1984: Chomsky and Silber

27/04/2020

I always enjoy it when people turn to George Orwell’s 1984 in a debate. It must just be the interviews and videos I stumble across, but in a fair number of them they do so from a position of ignorance about Orwell himself and/or in a way to smear their opposition despite them being the founts of questionable information. Words have always been louder than actions in “democracies”.

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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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Bernie Sanders and the Movement He Started

18/04/2020

When I first heard of Bernie Sanders near the end of 2015, it was rather exciting. My knowledge of politics (in hindsight) was tragic, particularly regarding the US circus, but I knew enough to understand that Sanders was an upheaval to their “business as usual” manner. Since, he’s run for and dropped out of two Presidential campaigns, bringing together probably the most significant grassroots movement in that country’s history. Now, some of his supporters are turning against him.

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Ignorance, Instruction and Rhetoric

14/03/2020

I am partway through Daniel DeNicola’s Understanding Ignorance: The Surprising Impact of What We Don’t Know, and while it has been interesting (if, at times, stumbling over seemingly simple questions as philosophy often does), there are a few lines that have really stood out for me. Lines that instantly made me draw connections with other works and ideas, prompting some questions I thought worth exploring.

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Anarchism and the Neutrality of Technology

15/02/2020

The more varying anarchist literature and essays I read (which is, admittedly, not even that much overall), the more I realise that, beyond the central theme of “opposing” all forms of authority and hierarchy, anarchism only has one other uniting feature – it can’t really decide or agree on much more than that. One such field is that of technology, with anarcho-primitivists and crypto-anarchists essentially being on opposite ends of that particular spectrum.

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