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Weekend reflections

June 28th, 2008

It’s time once again for weekend reflections.Feel free to write at greater length than for a standard comment thread. As always, civilised discussion and no coarse language.

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  1. swio
    June 28th, 2008 at 19:22 | #1

    Firefox 3.0 rocks.

    Finally a new release of windows software that is just faster.

  2. Peter Wood
    June 28th, 2008 at 19:35 | #2

    The McKinsey Institute has released a new report that uses cost curve analysis to estimate the cost of reducing global greenhouse emissions. Readers of this blog may recall a similar report for Australia’s emissions, the new report is for the world’s emissions. They estimate that stabilising greenhouse gases at 450-500 ppm will cost 0.6-1.4% of global GDP by 2030.

  3. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    June 28th, 2008 at 22:00 | #3

    Two bits of good news for libertarians this weekend.

    1. District of Columbia v. Heller. The US second amendment right to bear arms is confirmed as an individual right not a state right. The good guys are allowed to have guns. The states will be on the back foot if they try and harass law abiding gun owners. Those that live in DC will now be able to legal defend themselves and their homes. Clearly sanity has prevailed.

    2. The LDP gets a respectable result in the Gippsland bi-election (4.6% of the vote). Especially good given that 2007 was the first time ever that the LDP was involved in a federal election.

    Socialists won’t like the first but probably won’t give a stuff about the second. But hey, I’m happy. :-)

    On the gun issue Skepticlawyer has an interesting angle in relation to witness intimidation:-

    http://skepticlawyer.com.au/2008/06/i-wont-testify-im-afraid/

  4. Peter
    June 28th, 2008 at 23:10 | #4

    There is an interesting link below:

    http://globalhighered.wordpress.com/2008/06/24/australias-global-highered-export-industry/

    Figure 3.2 shows that student population growth is much higher than full-time faculty growth. The comparison is done with respect to US and Canada.

    Looking at the figures it looks that the Australian government and the Universities themselves do not seem to be interested in improving the quality of higher education. This could potentially lead to drop in International student numbers, who may choose alternative education destinations in European countries where there is an attempt made to improve the quality of higher education.

  5. Jill Rush
    June 29th, 2008 at 00:46 | #5

    What a disappointment the Senate Committee system was this week with its report on the sexualisation of children in the media. It is hard to believe that the good senators really believe that the advertising industry will do anything differently.

    The number of suggestions about what the industry could do and the promise to review in 18 months is an indictment of all sides of parliament of their unwillingness to address the lack of self regulation. It seems that noone in a position in power is prepared to risk offending the media, whilst trying to pretend to be doing something to quiet the critics.

    Report here http://www.aph.gov.au/SENATE/committee/eca_ctte/sexualisation_of_children/index.htm

  6. beej
    June 29th, 2008 at 17:53 | #6

    Jill, was that you on Q&A the other night?

  7. Jill Rush
    June 29th, 2008 at 21:24 | #7

    No – not I. I did see the show and enjoyed the number of young people interacting.

  8. June 29th, 2008 at 22:23 | #8

    Was the PM serious with his apology to Aboriginal people on 13 February 2008? Or were his words merely some sort of cruel trick?

    Part of the vision that he set out was to right the wrongs of the past:

    “The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia’s history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.”

    A key aspect of this would surely be to reunite traditional owners with their land whenever the chance arises. At least I thought this would be an obvious step to take.

    However, in the case of the Adnymathana people of northern South Australia, the federal and SA governments appear to be doing absolutely nothing to prevent the sale of Angepena Station (pastoral land in Adnymathanha country) from being made to Operation Flinders against the wishes of the Adnymathanha people. More information is at:

    http://antarsa.auspics.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=126&Itemid=2

    and

    http://www.vincecoulthard.com/Angepena/index.htm

  9. June 29th, 2008 at 23:54 | #9

    In case anyone’s not heard yet, global warming denialist Anthony Watts has created an online poll regarding climate scientist Jim Hansen’s remark that “CEOs of fossil energy companies [...] should be tried for high crimes against humanity and nature.”

    Watts says, “I will run this poll 1 week until next Wednesday at 9AM PST, at which time it will close. The results will be submitted to a member of the U.S. Senate for distribution, NASA’s director, and will also be mailed to Dr. Hansen at NASA GISS.”

    Which means… vote on the poll now! (I did.)

    – bi, International Journal of Inactivism

  10. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    June 30th, 2008 at 07:18 | #10

    Was the PM serious with his apology to Aboriginal people on 13 February 2008? Or were his words merely some sort of cruel trick?

    Ian – The answer to both questions is probably yes.

  11. Will
    June 30th, 2008 at 07:34 | #11

    I think this would be worth a topic of its own.

    http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/magazine/16-07/pb_theory

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