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  • PODCAST

    ChatterSquare: Osmond Chiu on navigating post-GFC polarisation

    • Podcast
    • 18 July 2017

    When UK Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn appeared to some acclaim at Glastonbury Festival, it triggered some amount of pining in Australia. Why do we not have someone like that? With Osmond Chiu, the Secretary of the NSW Fabians and Deputy Editor of Challenge magazine, we unpack what this sentiment is about and whether it gets to the heart of what is wrong with our current politics.

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  • MEDIA

    Encryption and liberties on the 'ungovernable' internet

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 14 July 2017
    6 Comments

    Turnbull's attitude echoes the fear all autocracies have: that control is slipping away, and that citizens cannot be trusted to behave in a modern communications environment without government intrusions. Arguments are repeatedly made that such enlarged powers are never abused - a charmingly naive assumption - and that law enforcement authorities merely need the 'capacity' to have them. These can either abate, or be extended, after a review. The reality tends to be different.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Victory claimed in Mosul, but other battles loom

    • William Gourlay
    • 14 July 2017
    2 Comments

    With ongoing celebrations in Baghdad and scenes of devastation in Mosul, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has announced the 'liberation' of Iraq's second-largest city from ISIS. This moment, after an umbrella force of military units fought for nine months to relieve Mosul of the ISIS yoke, represents a victory for the people and government of Iraq. However, many challenges loom, among them reconciling conflicting interests amongst Iraq's peoples and restoring the ravaged landscape.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why 'white' isn't a racist slur

    • Sonia Nair
    • 13 July 2017
    10 Comments

    I hung out with a group of Indian-Australians while I was a university student who called themselves 'curries', but the unspoken camaraderie that ensued from this self-identification stood in stark contrast to that time I was called a 'f***ing curry' by a passing car full of white people. You often hear from white people that they can't be called 'white' because that too is racist language. This reflects a flawed assumption that societal structures advantage and disadvantage people in the exact same way.

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  • PODCAST

    ChatterSquare: Jonathan Green on Australian journalism in transition

    • Podcast
    • 11 July 2017

    The latest exodus from The Age has again drawn attention to shifts in the media industry. Are Fairfax papers indispensable? What does the future hold for Australian journalists who have lost their job? If the business model for newspapers is no longer viable, what does that mean for the value we place on journalism? Jonathan Green joins us on ChatterSquare to ponder these and other questions.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Draconian citizenship mindset means no one's safe

    • Fatima Measham
    • 06 July 2017
    10 Comments

    The Guardian has revealed that two men holding dual Australian citizenship were sent to Christmas Island under section 501 of the Migration Act. The law enables the minister to detain or deport non-citizens who fail the 'character test'. The detention of these citizens was without question unlawful. The error was identified and they were released. It looks like a happy ending, but you'd have to squint hard.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Data, distrust, and the disastrous My Health Record

    • Amy Coopes
    • 06 July 2017
    7 Comments

    Plagued by sluggish uptake, clinician reticence and a substantial privacy backlash, the $1.2 billion My Health Record has proven, thus far, something of a lemon. The putative benefits of an electronic health record have been expounded at length by the government. But for success there must be buy-in, and for buy-in, there must be trust, according to the Productivity Commission. Both are lacking, and it is important to consider why.

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  • PODCAST

    ChatterSquare: Cardinal Luis Tagle on contemporary life and politics

    • Podcast
    • 05 July 2017

    Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle is the Archbishop of Manila and president of Caritas International. He is associated with Pope Francis in terms of pastoral sensibility. In this episode of ChatterSquare, he tackles some of the uneasy questions of our time. What does leadership look like in polarised and violent places? How do we hold together diversity within the Catholic Church? How can religious wisdom be brought to bear on public life without crossing the line between church and state?

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Tolkien's inspiration for climate advocates

    • Tim Beshara
    • 29 June 2017
    14 Comments

    To Tolkien, 'the long defeat' described the idea that so often in the world you find yourself fighting for a cause where there is very little chance of success, but you fight for it anyway because it is the right thing to do and because you can't imagine doing anything else. He paired this with the concept of eucatastrophe, a sudden and unexpected change of fortune for the better. Despondent climate activists do well to remember that the latter doesn't come without the former.

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  • PODCAST

    ChatterSquare: How science intersects with politics, religion and the humanities

    • Podcast
    • 27 June 2017
    3 Comments

    Is science political? Does it actually have something in common with religion? And how do the humanities enhance scientific endeavour? We tackle these questions with @realscientists co-founder, science communicator and nanotech researcher Upulie Divisekera.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Health gap widens as wage growth falls

    • Amy Coopes
    • 26 June 2017
    7 Comments

    Universal health care is an ostensibly bipartisan prerogative, but what it actually means and how it's achieved is a somewhat moveable feast. Spending, we are told, is unsustainable as the population ages and we move toward ever-more personalised and technologically-advanced treatment paradigms. The objective of this rhetoric is to rationalise the privatisation of our health system by stealth. The latest wages figures are something of an inconvenient truth in this 'unsustainable spending' fiction.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Petty political class is stunting Australia's growth

    • Fatima Measham
    • 21 June 2017
    15 Comments

    In the latest Essential poll, the primary vote for Pauline Hanson's One Nation lifted to 11 per cent. It does not bode well when competence is no longer the baseline; though in a leadership vacuum, 'someone else' holds a natural appeal. In any case, there can be worse things than incompetence. There is timidity. Mediocrity. Running up the cost of doing nothing at all. In so many ways, the Australian political class is holding us back. That is the crux of nearly every policy impasse over the past several years.

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