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  • arts and culture

    Between sense and sensation

    • Nathan Scolaro
    • 11 April 2024

    Can a chatbot write a poem? The answer reveals something about the heart of human interaction. True connection, like true poetry, requires discomfort, vulnerability and a richness of experience that defies the simplicity of algorithms.  

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  • international

    When war becomes personal

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 April 2024

    Our attitudes to war change drastically when it becomes personal. The killing of Zomi Frankcom, together with other members of the Charity organisation World Central Kitchen, made the war between Israel and Hamas personal. It has led many people to see the destruction of Gaza and its people as not only regrettable but intolerable.

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  • australia

    By the world forgot

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 10 April 2024

    For the men in these conflicts, there was an expectation they would resume the lives they had left behind as if nothing had happened, as if they had been on an extended business trip. It calls to mind a phrase that has become common in recent years: unexamined trauma.

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  • australia

    Australia's dysfunctional housing quagmire

    • Peter Mares
    • 12 April 2024

    The ABC’s recent Q+A housing special left many questions unasked and unanswered. Labor, Coalition and Green MPs all say they want more people to be able to buy their own homes. The most obvious way to achieve that would be to reduce the price of housing. Yet no politician will make that an explicit policy aim.

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  • international

    Kate Middleton and the end of all boundaries

    • Laura Kings
    • 09 April 2024

    In a world where the public appetite for private news on public figures is insatiable, how do we foster ethical media behaviour that respects privacy and dignity in situations like this? Would well-wishes for Kate's recovery, even before her diagnosis was public, have been too much to ask?

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  • arts and culture

    Nam Le's 36 Ways of Writing a Vietnamese Poem

    • Peter Craven
    • 05 April 2024

    Nam Le is one of the strangest writers in the history of Australian literature and is also one of the most incandescently brilliant — which is very weird if you bear in mind that his primary claim to legendary status is a book of short fiction published in 2008. With 36 Ways of Writing a Vietnamese Poem, Le returns with a new work that encapsulates the brilliance and complexity that fans and critics have come to expect.

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  • The Dinner Guest

    • Damian Balassone
    • 09 April 2024

    The rhetoric of elites / sets off his built-in shit detector. He much prefers to eat / with hookers, drunks and tax collectors.

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  • Easterwards

    • John Kelly
    • 28 March 2024

    Dante and Hopkins named it lavishly: Christ’s vita nuova, shared to Easter in us;  Ignatius of Loyola called it: magnanimity . . . How could we then, receiving,  hoard or dispense it stintingly, like Scrooge before his Christmas haunting?

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  • The Centre of Zero

    • Warwick McFadyen
    • 13 March 2024

    You open the atlas and run your fingers along the edges of continents, climb mountains, trace valleys, pause at coastlines of sand and wave. This is where you have been and this, fingers arched, is where you want to go. Death is too faint to be seen. Though you know it’s there, the undiscovered country.

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  • Why do referendums bite the dust?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 March 2024

    Much like Australia's recent Indigenous Voice Referendum, the recent Irish referendum sought to change constitutional perspectives on family and marriage met with overwhelming defeat. What does this reveal about the relationship between public sentiment and the process of enacting constitutional changes?

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  • Gaza by day and night

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 07 March 2024
    2 Comments

    By day, Gaza is news and images in the media. During the day, we nod as we see the plausibility of all the arguments. But sometimes at night, we may hear again the voice of lamentation, weeping and great mourning. 

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  • The Russia-Ukraine war two years on

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 28 February 2024

    After two years, the attack on Ukraine by Russia on February 24 has left half-a-million dead, traumatised a generation, and promises little in the way of a halt to hostilities. The unpalatable reality to this conflict is that some diplomatic solution will have to be found in this war of murderous attrition.

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  • Dodgy brothers lawmaking

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 April 2024

    This week, the Federal Government quickly introduced a new policy in response to a recent High Court decision that prevents them from indefinitely detaining a small number of individuals they wish to remove from Australia. 

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  • Spare the rod and respect the child

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 March 2024

    As a response to a wave of youth crime, some State Governments and Federal politicians have committed to policies that neglect the human reality of the young people concerned. This will likely have negative consequences both for those immediately affected and for society at large.

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  • Shifting the goalposts on discrimination and inclusion

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 28 March 2024

    How do we live and work happily together with people whose views on the world and human nature are fundamentally different to our own? Can different beliefs within organisations be lived with, or even celebrated, without necessarily undermining the organisation’s own core mission?

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  • The optimism of Timothy Radcliffe

    • John Warhurst
    • 09 April 2024

    Timothy Radcliffe has a hopeful vision for the Church, yet noting the slow pace of institutional change in his recent visit to Australia, he presented a sort of optimism that eschewed any hope for immediate outcomes. The basis for Radcliffe’s optimism seems to be his assumption that it is acceptable for the Church to take its time. 

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  • Old rituals, new revelations

    • Geraldine Doogue
    • 02 April 2024

    Each year, the Stations of the Cross liturgy affects me more than I had planned. Annually, I am left wondering: why does this ritual work? Well, it has much to offer: a narrative with exposition, climax and denouement; characters big and small; blood, gore, politics, virtue, cowardice and a pointer towards mystery.

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  • Flowers for Father Rahner

    • John Honner
    • 02 April 2024

    Karl Rahner, a Jesuit priest whose ideas helped modernize the Church, left an indelible legacy on contemporary Catholicism. On the 40th anniversary of his death, what can a flower left at his niche tell us about the lasting bonds between belief, memory, and the enduring search for human connection?

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