• Culture

    A toast to Pyrrho’s Hog

    Matthew Sharpe |  July 15, 2024

    Montaigne was the first essayist, and perhaps the first modern philosopher, who used the different schools of post-platonic Greek thought to turn the lens of philosophy not on the world, but on himself.

  • China

    Facing China together

    Andrew Forrest |  July 15, 2024

    Australia’s leaders must be clear about the threat which an aggressive authoritarian China poses to the world, and the need for resolve in defending our freedom.

  • Society

    In praise of Stephen King

    Hannah Murray |  July 15, 2024

    Stephen King has been pumping out horror fiction for over half a century, but Carrie, Pennywise and The Stand endure because his stories are grounded in an authentic depiction of modern suburbia.

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    Let’s hear it for Sydney

    alison gordon     |      March 19, 2008

    Sydney scores 8% lower than the "place to be" in a survey released today by recruiter Talent2.

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    Calling all polyglots

    Douglascomms     |      March 19, 2008

    We've trained our sights so far out we can't see what's in front of our noses.

  • If it’s public then it’s not private. Really?

    StephenWilson     |      March 19, 2008

    Can Metcalf's Law be applied to personal data management?

    It is often said that if data about someone is already in the public domain, then that information is no longer private. Sounds reasonable, but I reckon that can become an insidious furphy.

    "The data is already public" was the chief debating point advanced by proponents of searchable white pages. They argued that because publicly available paper white pages reveal everyone's phone numbers, surely having a searchable database didn't change anything. But a searchable digital white pages really is different. And not just quantitatively — it makes reversing names from numbers vastly more efficient — but also qualitatively.

    For one thing, the very act of searching generates new types of information, much of which is private (and commercially valuable). For instance, whomever owns the searchable white pages also gets to know stuff like who else is interested in my phone number, and why. The owner can synthesise brand new information, none of which is accessible to me, even though nothing other than my 'already public' number has been revealed.

  • Web 2.0 & rating the Police. A Bruce Schneier perspective

    Malcolm Crompton     |      March 17, 2008

    The transparency debate is nuanced & needs a lot more work.

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    Fighting inflation the old fashioned way

    proberts     |      March 13, 2008

    Is it right to use interest rates to reduce demand, when Australia's real economic issue is a lack of supply – of skills and infrastructure?

    There is a crying need for a bit of innovative thinking among those who manage our economy. The reserve Bank has taken the interest rate sledge hammer to our economy more than once too often already.

    This is especially true in this particular episode of economic overheating.

    A lot of inflationary pressures are coming from areas outside the reach of domestic interest rate policy, such as global movements in oil prices, food prices and commodity prices. These rises plus our housing shortage and the health needs of an ageing population are driving internal inflation, to be sure.

    This idea of shortages is the key. Interest rates can only affect domestic demand. Australia's core domestic contribution to inflation is linked more to lack of supply than excess demand. We haven't invested enough in skills and infrastructure and when resources of any kind get scare, prices rise.

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    Looking for Love in Decoupling World

    Douglascomms     |      March 12, 2008

    Can Australia withstand the shocks and blows of the global economy? 

  • A great day for privacy: genuine privacy respecting, user centric Identity Management has hit the mainstream

    Malcolm Crompton     |      March 6, 2008

    The bar for acceptable ID management has just been suddenly raised.

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    Wai, Kulila-ya!

    Douglascomms     |      March 4, 2008

    Now that we’ve said sorry, what can white Australia do to make up for our black history?

    Like millions of Australians I listened, somewhat tearfully, to Kevin Rudd’s apology to the indigenous custodians of Australia. At long last the Australian government was doing something of which I could be proud.  But the elation was short lived.

    By the afternoon I was again overwhelmed by the enormity of the challenges faced by the indigenous people of this nation.  

    And the phrase playing on my mind wasn’t "sorry", rather it was the Pitjantjatjara phrase Ngapartji Ngapartji.

    Earlier on in the year I was fortunate enough to see a play by the same name presented at the Belvoir Street Theatre in Sydney, and created by the amazing team at Big hART. The play was an incredible ride, and the notion of Ngapartji Ngapartji has been rattling around in my head ever since.

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    Lost generations

    Warren Reed     |      March 3, 2008

    At least a million Australias are overseas at any time, of which at least three-quarters reside on a permanent or long-term basis. Some represent Australian interests, but most don’t …

    One of Australia’s greatest achievements has taken place in Asia where much of this country’s destiny lies. And no, it’s not in the sporting arena. If it had been, it wouldn’t go unheralded.

    The story began in the 1970s when the first wave of young Australians shunned the usual option of gaining experience in the United States or Britain and started heading to Japan and the rest of Asia to study and work. The Japanese economy had taken off and trade with Australia was burgeoning.

  • EXCLUSIVE: Question & Answer with Tony Abbott

    olgabodrova     |      March 3, 2008

    In an effort to facilitate a higher level of consultation between our community and decision makers, we are planning a number of "Question & Answer" sessions with Australia's key thought leaders. Our first guest is The Hon. Tony Abbott MHR, former Federal Minister for Health and Ageing. Here are his thoughts on the national health care reform, hospital crisis, electronic health records, community consultation, and more.

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    OPEN FORUM REPORT: “Innovation Attitudes in Australia” Survey Results Published

    editor     |      March 2, 2008

    The Open Forum survey on innovation attitudes in Australia has revealed Australians believe the nation is in urgent need of a co-ordinated national policy on innovation. The survey, motivated by the recent national inquiry into the National Innovation Agenda proposal by the Victorian Government, has found 74% percent of the respondents also believe the Federal Government should establish an innovation portfolio to coordinate innovation activities across sectors and institutions.

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    BEST CONTRIBUTION AWARD: Lenovo’s notebook winner announced!

    editor     |      March 1, 2008

    Lenovo ThinkPadWe are pleased to announce Nick Mallory as the lucky winner of our "Best Contribution to Open Forum" Award. He has won a ThinkPad R61 from our sponsor Lenovo – congratulations, Nick! Thankyou to everyone who participated and contributed their ideas to the site. Our competitions for the Best Contribution and Best Participation awards will continue, so stay tuned for more great incentives!