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Keywords: Web

  • AUSTRALIA

    When the moaning stops: How porn is damaging young people

    • Melinda Tankard Reist
    • 20 July 2022
    1 Comment

    Exposure to pornography has been linked to an increase in in sexually aggressive behaviour and adolescent dating violence. This mass, industrial-level grooming of our young is causing lasting damage to their social and sexual development and leading to even more women and girls being viewed as less human.   

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Reducing flood risk in Lismore starts with better data

    • Jerry Vanclay
    • 19 July 2022

    How is it that Lismore, one of the most flood-prone towns in Australia, can be so ill-prepared and so badly affected by floods this year? What can Lismore do to reduce its flood risk, and what are the implications for others? These are important questions, especially now as the newly constituted Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation assists flooded towns in the region to make pivotal decisions. Flood frequency is critical information, so you might expect that such guidance was based on the best available data – but this does not appear to be so.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Stray thoughts: A more powerful lens

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 18 July 2022

    If there is another civilisation out there peering into the skies like us, what would they see as they catch a glimpse of life on Earth in the 21st century? I wonder what they would make of our preoccupations, and what they might see through their powerful lenses that we ourselves cannot? 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Memory and Austen

    • Juliette Hughes 
    • 14 July 2022
    1 Comment

    History is on my mind at the moment, all because of yet another awful Austen adaptation. The latest cinematic mud-pie thrown at her in the new Persuasion movie may even be the worst one yet, which is something, because there’s a lot of competition. Who can forget Gwyneth Paltrow in the 1995 Emma driving a carriage in a yellow ball gown as though she were doing the time trial in Top Gear?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    LaMDA and the (lack of) body

    • Julian Butler
    • 05 July 2022
    2 Comments

    Just over a fortnight ago Google suspended Blake Lemoine, an engineer for Google’s AI organisation, for publicly claiming a computer chatbot he was working on is sentient and thinks and reasons like a human. The publicity surrounding the suspension has raised questions about the development of artificial intelligence (AI), about our shared understanding of what it means to be conscious and sentient.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Can the Class of '22 fix Australian Democracy?

    • Tim Dunlop
    • 22 June 2022
    5 Comments

    Concern about political malfeasance in Australian politics was one of the issues that drove the influx of new members (mainly women) into the Australian Parliament on 21 May, and they are promising a raft of reforms. The astounding thing is that we managed to leverage the change of 21 May 2022 within the confines of a system that inherently favours the status quo, the preferential voting system tending to channel votes back to the major parties.

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  • RELIGION

    What can we expect from the Plenary Council? A Roundtable

    • Geraldine Doogue, Greg Craven, John Warhurst, Julian Butler
    • 17 June 2022
    2 Comments

    After four years, the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia is nearly at a close with the second and final assembly in July. So what has been the significance of the Plenary Council so far, and what can we expect from the final session? In this Roundtable, Geraldine Doogue, John Warhurst, Greg Craven and Julian Butler reveal their hopes and expectations for the process and discuss likely outcomes.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Back to Bilo: The Murugappan family and Australian refugee policy

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 09 June 2022
    4 Comments

    In Australia’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, notably those arriving by boat, compassion and fairness have rarely threatened a policy deemed cruel, costly and ineffective. The fate of the Muragappan family has been a continuous, scandalising flashpoint about the nature of Australia’s border protection policies. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Back to Bilo for a Tamil family

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 02 June 2022
    6 Comments

    The case of the Murugappan family illustrates the punitive and puritanical approach of the previous government towards human beings arriving in Australia by boat and then seeking asylum. The tone of each message clearly reflects totally different attitudes towards the people affected, with special note of the fact that Minister Chalmers rang the family to tell them, and then rang people in Biloela to pass on the news.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Longing for the multiverse

    • Cherie Gilmour
    • 02 June 2022
    1 Comment

    At a time when a second baby meant my own choices were fading into the background, I thought a lot about Nora and her life-jumping. What if I’d had kids later? What if I’d finished that degree? What if I’d taken that job? What if, what if, what if… The multiverse casts a web of different lives, all endlessly diverging like branches from a tree. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The content of our winter

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 24 May 2022
    1 Comment

    Next week we officially enter winter. The associations of winter are largely negative. They mourn the loss of the summer that has passed. For that reason it may seem incongruous that winter should begin immediately after a Federal Election campaign that ended with the excitement of the people’s choice of a new Government. The potential for a new beginning might fit better with spring.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Big ticket promises won't help our hidden millions

    • Claire Victory
    • 19 May 2022
    1 Comment

    There is an Australia that many people seldom encounter and its citizens number in the millions. These citizens live in all cities and regional towns, often in sub-standard yet costly housing, and struggle to survive week to week on low wages or inadequate government assistance.

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