Australia Day Monday Message Board

A special Australia Day Monday Message Board. Post on any thoughts about, or tangentially related to, Australia Day and its meaning. Please keep discussion of the Republic issue to the post on that topic.

36 thoughts on “Australia Day Monday Message Board

  1. @Collin Street
    Not sure I’d agree Abbott is on the Autism spectrum – most of us are more flexible thinkers than he is, and he doesn’t show too many of the other signs.

    I think it’s more likely a consequence of being smacked in the head a few too many times when he was boxing.

  2. I’d like to see the results of an IQ test, like the WAIS before diagnosing Tony. The differentials between the sub-tests would give more information about his intellectual abilities.

    How come he didn’t do very well in his Rhodes Scholarship?

    Did he earn the Rhodes Scholarship or was it hastily arranged to get him out of the country and away from that women he thought he had made pregnant?

    What sort of marks did he get at Uni that qualified him for the Rhodes thing and are his marks even a real indication of his intelligence or an indication of how influential his family and friends were?

    I did read somewhere among the electronic graffiti I like so much, that on one of his essays for which he ‘earned’ an A; the marker had written something like ‘next time use the prescribed text books’. Seriously, they thought he was so bright he could just submit whatever crap he wanted to and it was worth an A or did dad do a deal to help his number one son out?

    I think that his proper diagnosis is yet to be standardised; but it could be called something like Privileged White Person Hypocrisy Disorder.

  3. Possibly! I’m neither a psychologist nor a psychiatrist, after all.

    But it seems obvious that tony abbott has genuine cognitive problems, and the case for… well, pretty much most of the rest of cabinet isn’t much less obvious.

    And if you’ve ever spent much time with melbourne uni young liberals you’d probably — like me — start to think that maybe it was a party-wide issue.

    [and then you look at online RWNJ commentators and start to see the linguistic disturbances that their typically poor rhetorical style reflects, and stuff like that…]

  4. Interesting article in Scientific American about research that finds consistencies between thousands of years old Indigenous story telling and geological events like sea level rise. Makes you remember that a couple of centuries is not long to be here.

    “To most of us, the rush of the oceans that followed the last ice age seems like a prehistoric epoch. But the historic occasion was dutifully recorded—coast to coast—by the original inhabitants of the land Down Under.

    Without using written languages, Australian tribes passed memories of life before, and during, post-glacial shoreline inundations through hundreds of generations as high-fidelity oral history. Some tribes can still point to islands that no longer exist—and provide their original names.

    That’s the conclusion of linguists and a geographer, who have together identified 18 Aboriginal stories—many of which were transcribed by early settlers before the tribes that told them succumbed to murderous and disease-spreading immigrants from afar—that they say accurately described geographical features that predated the last post-ice age rising of the seas.

    “It’s quite gobsmacking to think that a story could be told for 10,000 years,” Nicholas Reid, a linguist at Australia’s University of New England specializing in Aboriginal Australian languages, said. “It’s almost unimaginable that people would transmit stories about things like islands that are currently underwater accurately across 400 generations.”

  5. @ZM

    The Documentary series “First Footprints” has some very interesting evidence about the wonderful stories that the blackfellas have to tell about their history, their culture and their religion. Some of the stories can be traced back to the first ancestor, a mother figure who is pictured in a cave painting with lots of babies in dilly bags hanging around her neck.

    Some of the ‘songlines’ type stories that are about caring for country can take days and even months to ‘tell

    The idea that they had an IQ of 80 is ludicrous – and this is the figure is derived from the IQ tests that were given in the ’30’s and this is the figure that the racists psychologist Jensen uses in all the stats that he claims show IQ differences between ‘races’.

    But there were a few alternative type studies and one showed that Aboriginal children had much better recall than the cleverist white children. This was according to one early ability test that used objects rather than paper and pencil testing – which as you can imagine is not going to lead to a fair estimation of ‘intelligence’.

    There are so many things that ‘they’ could do with their intelligence that ‘we’ were too stupid to be able to see. Like this, from the RN program Ockam’s Razor last year.

    “A decade or more ago a researcher at ANU was studying records of the stars and constellations described by Aboriginal men to a settler in the mid 1800s. He was puzzled as lots of stars seemed to be missing.

    He had heard of some work that I had done years before when I tested the vision of healthy young adults and found some Aboriginal people with the world record for vision of Europeans.

    Their vision was nearly five times finer than so-called normal vision. Armed with this knowledge and a good pair of binoculars the astronomer went back and could quickly fill in the missing stars that the Aboriginal people could see with their naked eyes.”

    This excerpt was only a bit in the middle of a program about improving the eye problems that indigenous kids suffer from now and I haven’t looked up the original research.

    There is such a lot of information and knowledge that we have available now about the first people that clearly show they were extraordinarily intelligent and law abiding people.

  6. Yes that’s true. In town there is a program for the young indigenous children where they get together from all the different schools and learn about cultural and health concerns specific to indigenous people. They published a beautiful illustrated book a year or so ago about the two volcanoes in our area, it was really lovely that they shared it.

  7. @ZM
    …and JT. You might like this article on Aboriginal science.

    JT: there was a time when I felt shame about the Australian history and the treatment of Aboriginal Australia. I entered into reconciliation wholeheartedly and these days, when I see how far the change has spread, I feel hope, as intellectuals and activists again drive the whole process forward. Around my quarter the reconciliation between fifth gen farmers and Aboriginal people united against coal, CSG and simple desecration of the land has been genuinely healing. Something will come of this.

  8. @jungney

    Good article and the author is terrific in responding to the comments.

    I think a lot of the prejudice and negative stereotyping from the farmers and townspeople around here seems to have been based on the idea that the wicked Left and the aborigines would make them give their land back.

    That was the way the land rights thing was presented to them, this hasn’t happened and it’s the banks that are taking their land.

    The times they are a’changing as you say.

  9. I know it’s only billions not trillions but

    A coalition of institutional investors has committed to expediently decarbonize US$100 billion and to measure and disclose the carbon footprint of at least US$500 billion in assets under management.

    Three major pension funds from North America and Europe announced they would accelerate their investments in low-carbon investments across asset classes up to more than $31 billion by 2020.

  10. Given the NSA, and now GCHQ, have been exposed as performing illegal mass surveillance of the citizens of the USA, and the UK, respectively, I wonder what the current practice is in Australia? Do the Edward Snowden files have anything to say about our secret squirrels?

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