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  • economics

    Are we in a post-industrial society?

    • David James
    • 20 February 2024

    What does it mean when ideas of scarcity – supposedly the driving principle in understanding supply and demand – are no longer the only or best way to think about economic activity? What is needed to understand the post-industrial environment is a new way of thinking about economics and finance. 

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  • australia

    The return of the native

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 15 February 2024
    3 Comments

    Tolstoy once wrote that exile is a long dream of home, but the dreaming does not persist forever, so that you eventually wake to the knowledge that home exists only in your head and in your memory. Welcome home, various people have been saying, but my silent question is Where is it? 

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  • australia

    Living with the death of the referendum

    • Brian McCoy
    • 14 February 2024
    1 Comment

    Months after the referendum, can we allow this referendum to die while preserving the essence of its vision and optimism? This is akin to our response to the loss of a loved one — we hold onto their memory, reluctant to let go. How do we keep the deeply treasured aspirations of the referendum journey alive while facing the reality of its death?

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  • australia

    In praise of Ercolina

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 February 2024
    1 Comment(s)

    The heroine of last week’s most diverting news story was a cow when she and her minders were refused entrance into St Peter’s Square in Rome. Ercolina’s mission was to protest against the low prices and excessive regulation of farming In Italy, highlighting how economically more efficient production has come at a cost to a way of life.   

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  • international

    The love of a good convent

    • Gerard Windsor
    • 16 February 2024
    1 Comment(s)

    Casamari, my destination for the night, was fifteen kilometres more walking. The signs pointed off the road, but I must have missed one. By this time, I had wandered too far to simply retrace my steps. I was lost. To be on this walk is to convince you that Italy is composed entirely of mountains.

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  • australia

    On optimisation

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 12 February 2024
    1 Comment(s)

    A coffee shop used AI technology to track and measure the activity of its employees and customers to 'optimise' team performance. Not only does this raise a slew of ethical issues, but also leads us to consider: can the human element that makes a team or business successful ever be truly quantifiable?

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  • Six books to read this summer

    • Sarah Klenbort
    • 20 December 2023

    Summer is upon us, and with it — I hope — the reading season. So here are my top reads from the last two years (and one that feels relevant from 2014). What are your recommendations for summer reads?  

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  • Looking for the language of hope

    • Warwick McFadyen
    • 12 December 2023

    In the gathering days to year’s end, a phrase will rise – as it does every year: Peace on Earth, goodwill to all. The phrase carries a warmth of common humanity. Unfortunately, common humanity has shown itself through history to be rather tribal than universal. 

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  • Can't Let It Be

    • Barry Divola
    • 06 December 2023

    A group’s break-up is no longer an impediment to the band’s – or, more to the point, the brand’s – ability to continue. The release of Now And Then was one of the biggest music events of 2023, a foregone conclusion when something is billed as ‘the final Beatles song’. And the result? Well, that’s where the arguments start, don’t they?

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  • When is a fashion fad a nationalist signal?

    • Jeremy Clarke
    • 14 February 2024

    In China, the resurgence of traditional Hanfu garb from the Han dynasty is capturing the imagination of social media users, sending a multi-layered message about Chinese identity. The trend goes beyond most online fads, subtly conveying China's desire to project  cultural and political influence. 

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  • Accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 25 January 2024
    1 Comment

    Proving genocide is an onerous task, notably on the issue of intent. The acts alleged must be specifically intended to destroy the group members in question. The UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect considers this element ‘the most difficult element to determine.’

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  • How justified is South Africa's allegation of Israeli genocide?

    • Chris Middleton
    • 24 January 2024
    6 Comments

    South Africa has taken Israel to the International Court of Justice claiming genocide has been committed against Palestinians during the Gaza conflict. As the world anticipates a preliminary verdict, we consider key questions.  

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  • We need a real conversation about tax reform

    • Joe Zabar
    • 12 February 2024
    1 Comment

    Much of the discussion about tax reform is about the mechanisms of collection; around changes to things like negative gearing, stamp duty, land tax, capital gains tax, and superannuation. But what is missing is a statement of values about what we expect our tax system to fund.

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  • Building on the rock of the apology

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 08 February 2024
    3 Comments

    Kevin Rudd's Apology to the Stolen Generations in 2008 seems to belong to a different age. It can never be unsaid. It can, however, be disregarded. For that reason it continues to be important. It is a measuring stick by which both Parliamentary behaviour and the treatment of Indigenous Australians can be judged.

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  • Lessons from the referendum

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 February 2024
    10 Comments

    The referendum result was a disaster for the country and a tragedy for First Australians and there has been little appetite for public discussion about lessons to be learnt from this abject failure. If we are to move forward, it’s time to begin the conversation about past mistakes.

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  • Can ashes find a voice?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 February 2024
    4 Comments

    In a world grappling with war, inequality, and environmental devastation, can a celebration of sacrifice offer hope? For a secular Australia, the relevance of Lent may lie in bridging the gap between a seemingly dehumanizing act and the profound belief in the preciousness of human life. Can this paradoxical notion inspire action to heal the wounds of our world?

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  • Ministering to euthanasia patients

    • Bill Uren
    • 30 January 2024
    6 Comments

    As Australia adopts voluntary assisted dying nationwide, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference addresses ethical challenges for end-of-life care in this new legal landscape. What is to be done when a terminally ill Catholic patient requests access to the sacraments when their intention is to embark on assisted suicide?

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  • Unearthing hidden gems of reform following the synod

    • Bill Uren
    • 12 December 2023
    2 Comments

    The Synod on Synodality raised possible Church reforms like expanding communion to non-Catholics in interchurch marriages and reevaluating the stance on divorced and remarried members. This raises the question: Can the Church reconcile longstanding traditions with emerging calls for inclusivity and ecumenical openness?

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