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  • MEDIA

    Puncturing Australia's cult of the mind

    • Zac Alstin
    • 17 September 2012
    25 Comments

    Half a million Australians have an intellectual disability and 600,000 are projected to have dementia by 2030. Yet our lives increasingly depend upon advanced cognitive activity, seen in the proliferation of online social networking, banking and shopping. Can the fullness of life really be encompassed by our immersion in the life of the mind?

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    Catholic and Aboriginal 'listening revolutions'

    • Evan Ellis
    • 12 September 2012
    12 Comments

    St Benedict of Nursia knew about living in a dying world. He was born 25 years after the Vandals sacked Rome and died months after the Ostrogoths had their turn. He watched as old certainties went up in flame. As existing institutions were hollowed out or winnowed completely, Benedict started a revolution.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    My life as a Florence tour guide

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 22 August 2012
    6 Comments

    All is not quite lost. There's still Michelangelo's David in the Academia — that's 'famous' and always makes for a good Facebook album cover. But after queuing for two hours, you feel rather underwhelmed — David isn't the 20m high statue of a ripped male you had been expecting, and there isn't a secret passageway leading from his gluteus maximus to a torture chamber beneath the Vatican.

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  • MEDIA

    Vagina dialogue

    • Moira Rayner
    • 25 July 2012
    20 Comments

    Johnson & Johnson's 'Carefree' ads talked unblushingly of women's vaginas, inter-period discharge and daily smells. According to some, we shouldn't talk about such things, not on television. Until recently commercial products for absorbing menstrual blood didn't exist, with dreadful effect on women's participation in community and public life.

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  • MEDIA

    Orwell in 2012 Australia

    • Fatima Measham
    • 16 July 2012
    2 Comments

    As word of the national security inquiry filtered through Twitter last week, one wit remarked, '1984 is meant to be a cautionary tale, not a manual'. The proposed reforms constitute a disturbing concession that our intelligence sector is not equipped to deal with the increasing sophistication of covert online activity, without resorting to questionable laws.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    HSU corpse fouls Julia's nest

    • Moira Rayner
    • 12 April 2012
    16 Comments

    Most of the media bazookas are trained on her for refusing to condemn Craig Thomson, whose warm seat is toasting the shapely behind of the Gillard Government, which is one parliamentary vote ahead of oblivion. But Thomson's status as 'innocent until proven guilty' is a critical element of the rule of law.

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  • MEDIA

    How Google is narrowing our minds

    • Edwina Byrne
    • 14 March 2012
    12 Comments

    Google's personalised search aims to supply us with content that reflects our interests. The problem is that, exposed only to the views of those like us, our position is reinforced and may tend to the extreme as we become unsympathetic to alternative perspectives.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Kony collared by the sound of a million Tweets

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 12 March 2012
    7 Comments

    No matter how many people in the West sign on to the viral campaign, bringing Joseph Kony to justice is a complicated prospect. Yet what's most fascinating and exciting about the campaign is the way it has united people behind a single moral purpose.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Opportunists could rule in 'nervous' America

    • Tony Kevin
    • 31 January 2012
    9 Comments

    The US today is a nervous nation. The old small town verities and values can no longer be taken for granted in this apprehensive, celebrity-drugged culture. Conceivably, if the economy tanks or there is some destabilising foreign policy crisis, Newt Gingrich could beat Obama.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Social networking drives inclusion revolution

    • David Cappo
    • 25 January 2012
    7 Comments

    Due to the prevalence of online opinion and information sharing, access and participation — the pillars of social inclusion — are becoming central to citizens' values. Governments need to be alert, as citizens will increasingly desire a more active role in their system of government.

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  • MEDIA

    Best of 2011: Consumers rule in Murdoch's evil empire

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 11 January 2012
    2 Comments

    The public was quick to claim ignorance and condemn the theft of private information by News of the World. But ignorance is no longer an excuse, especially in these post-Princess Diana years where the role of the paparazzi, traitorous friends and dodgy journalists is well-known. Published 21 July 2011

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2011: Australian politics could use a dash of vitriol

    • Edwina Byrne
    • 09 January 2012
    3 Comments

    The speeches of the Tea Party movement, for all their faults, are notable for their vivid symbolism and appeal to values. When was the last time you heard an Australian politician invent their own intelligible metaphor? Published 20 January 2011

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