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Keywords: Nobel Prize

  • ECONOMICS

    The rise of the machines

    • David James
    • 31 January 2022
    5 Comments

    There is a great deal of commentary about the growing importance of artificial intelligence, or AI, especially in business circles. To some extent this is a self-fulfilling prophecy — if people think something will have a seminal effect then it probably will. But if the supposed commercial benefits are significant, the dangers are potentially enormous.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Legitimised judicial captivity: The Assange case

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 16 December 2021

    The legal pursuit of Assange is disturbingly unique not only for using an archaic law against a non-US national; it is also the first instance of an international application of it against a publisher. The law, if applied in the way suggested by the charges, criminalise the receipt, dissemination and publication of national security information, irrespective of motive. If the US Espionage Act 1917 were applied in this way, it would appear to subvert the free press provision in the United States Constitution.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Outgrowing apartheid: FW de Klerk

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 23 November 2021
    29 Comments

    The passing of South Africa’s last apartheid president, FW de Klerk, raises pressing questions about a complex historical character who, according to his brother, Willem de Klerk, slowly outgrew apartheid. In a critical sense, he was bound, understandably, by both time and context: race, the need to defend a racial hierarchy, the historical role of a segregationist system that saw his all-white National Party retain power for decades. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Slow Train Coming: Bob Dylan’s spiritual journey

    • Paul Mitchell
    • 01 June 2021
    11 Comments

    Like the best religious poetry, Dylan’s works resists easy interpretation and remains open to endless meditation. Dylan’s overtly political songs — ‘Hurricane’, ‘Political World’ — and love songs — ‘Idiot Wind’, ‘Tangled up in Blue’ — have often been challenging. It’s the same with his religious output.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The sometimes United Nations

    • Barry Gittins
    • 22 October 2020
    1 Comment

    The UN describes itself as ‘a global forum where countries can raise and discuss the most difficult issues, including problems of war and peace’. Saving lives that would otherwise be taken in wars is the big-ticket item; the reason the body was formed. So, 75 years on, how would the UN be graded in terms of achieving those five tasks?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Learning in a time of pestilence

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 04 May 2020
    15 Comments

    What turned out to be extraordinary was the familiarity of the subject matter, and the routines that Camus makes the authorities of the plague-ridden Algerian town Oran put in place: the quarantine, the isolation hospitals, the attempts to develop a vaccine, the volunteer health workers, and the way in which funerals were conducted in haste.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    On friendship with China

    • Jeremy Clarke
    • 30 April 2020
    13 Comments

    China will continue to become the dominant global player, perhaps joined by the USA if it retreats from its new isolationism. However, outbursts from President Trump, obfuscations from President Xi, threats of economic boycotts from China’s Ambassador to Australia and the recent muddied messaging from Australian political figures show that widespread uncertainty exists as to how to shape the relationship.

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  • RELIGION

    Farewell to a revolutionary

    • Antonio Castillo
    • 22 March 2020
    13 Comments

    Nicaraguan Ernesto Cardenal, Catholic priest, poet and revolutionary, was an essential figure of Latin American liberation theology. He died on March 1. He was 95. Cardenal’s spiritual life was the unyielding foundations of his country’s social and political struggle.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Hypocrisy and hysteria over Chinese influence

    • Tim Robertson
    • 16 October 2019
    8 Comments

    Chinese interference in Australian politics is an issue of genuine concern. But why is the hysteria exclusive to China? Like the outrage surrounding the awarding of the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature to Mo Yan, accused of working within the bounds of China's censorship program, why don't we hold our own government to the same level of scrutiny?

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  • EDUCATION

    Research funding regime gets personal

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 01 November 2018
    2 Comments

    Birmingham's intervention, and Tehan's consolidation of that ill-exercised discretion, suggests Australian Research Council funding will be politicised by executive veto. Expertise will be subordinated to the whimsy of the education minister of the day; researchers will be pondering how to shape their applications accordingly.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Trump summit a PR coup for Kim

    • Erin Cook
    • 18 June 2018
    6 Comments

    There is no basis for this claim that, if the summit and its outcomes had occurred under Barack Obama, some have argued, those on the centre left would be cheering. The reality is, the summit would never have occurred, because no other president would have made the concession of a meeting at all for no apparent gain.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Karl Marx would find no home in modern China

    • Mark Hearn
    • 21 May 2018
    15 Comments

    On recent the bicentenary of Marx's birth, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that the Communist Party 'has combined the fundamental principles of Marxism with the reality of China's reform and opening up'. In reality China's economic system bears no resemblance to the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism advocated by Marx.

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