Social Media is Dangerous for Freedom

The introduction of new communications technologies have almost always been heralded with almost absurd optimism. When television was introduced, for instance, it was predicted that this new technology would lead to a new golden age of education and information. Instead, audiences almost immediately flocked to light entertainment and, ultimately, Keeping up with the Kardashians. Similar …

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The death of knowledge

O, weep for Academia — he is dead - apologies to Shelley. Two years ago, Camille Paglia stated bluntly that “universities are a wreck right now”. Two separate events in recent weeks have shown that she is right. In the first, academic activists have forcibly purged published papers they didn’t like. In the second, three …

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Principled Media Stand or Last Gasp of Hypocrisy?

Recently, Australia’s newspapers took the unprecedented collective action of publishing their front pages entirely redacted. This, they say, is a united call for greater media freedom following a sustained attack on the rights of journalists to hold governments to account and report the truth to the Australian public. Are the nation’s newspapers really taking such …

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Why You Should Talk to People You Disagree With

In what should be essential viewing, Steven Crowder memorably outlined just how social media intrinsically leads to echo-chambers. This is just as true of the right as the left. Leading by example, Crowder’s “Change My Mind” videos attempt to break the groupthink by explicitly reaching out and talking only to people who disagree with him. …

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Hong Kong Protests: A Local’s Perspective

Their voice has been digitally altered for their protection. https://youtu.be/YKiQJLNLIdM Clarification: According to The Financial Times, the extradition bill in question – provisions added to Hong Kong’s previous Fugitive Offender Ordinance – “if approved, would allow extradition of people not only to China but to any jurisdiction in the world with which Hong Kong has …

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The Threat of Religious Freedom

When Australia passed same-sex marriage legislation, the government has also acceded to calls to protect religious freedoms. Former Howard government minister Philip Ruddock was appointed to chair the Religious Freedom Review. As the review prepares its final report, senior government members have called for a religious freedom bill. Many Christians in Australia are concerned about …

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Shake the Fault Lines and Watch the Hypocrites Fall Out

Federal police raiding union offices in 2017. Photo: AAP. There’s not a lot that I agree with Martin Hirst about, but on one thing he is absolutely right: journalism operates on “fault lines”. Fault lines are those ethical conflicts that are part and parcel of the trade of journalism. Sometimes the fault lines are as …

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What the cry-bullies don’t get about free speech

Julie Birchill coined the term “cry-bullies” to describe the hideous hybrid of victim and victor that characterises contemporary “progressives”. Fuelled by the poisonous ideology of “intersectionality”, which argues that everyone is merely an accumulation of either privileges or injustices, “social justice warriors” pose as victims (or claim to speak for them) while behaving like the …

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