Opinion

Capitalism isn’t an ideology — it’s an operating system

Bhu Srinivasan researches the intersection of capitalism and technological progress. Today’s TED Talk Instead of thinking about capitalism as a firm, unchanging ideology, he suggests that we should think of it as an operating system — one that needs upgrades to keep up with innovation, like the impending take-off of drone delivery services. Learn more about the past and future of the free market (and a potential coming identity crisis for the United States’ version of capitalism) with this quick, ... Read More »

Emotional intelligence: What it is and why you need it

When emotional intelligence first appeared to the masses, it served as the missing link in a peculiar finding: people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70% of the time. Travis Bradberry World Economic Forum This anomaly threw a massive wrench into what many people had always assumed was the sole source of success—IQ. Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. Emotional ... Read More »

Big Data, Large Concerns

Consent and accountability should be at the core of the new privacy law. The Supreme Court recently affirmed a fundamental right to privacy. by Amba Kak , Jason Schultz The Indian Express The government is now moving to enact a data privacy law, the Justice Shri Krishna Committee has released a comprehensive report and the consultation process is coming to a close. Multiple legal challenges against Aadhaar — many involving citizens’ privacy — are being heard before the Supreme Court. The government is keen to ... Read More »

Cornered in the shower and assaulted: the torment of a prisoner with disabilities

I was interviewing prisoners in a male prison in Western Australia, on a sweltering afternoon, when Coen (not his real name) walked in, in his faded green prison uniform. Kriti Sharma The Sydney Morning Herald  For the first five minutes all he could say was, “It’s too shameful. I can’t tell you.” Coen, an Aboriginal man in his early 20s with a cognitive disability, had only been in prison for a few months but he looked defeated. With tears rolling ... Read More »

Turkey and the Law of the Sea: some facts

IN HIS interview with “Kathimerini” on February 4, 2018, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu asserted certain positions on the Law of the Sea in relation to Cyprus, which cannot remain unanswered. Andrew Jacovides * Cyprus Mail The legal position of Cyprus on the Law of the Sea is solidly based on the provisions of UNCLOS III of December 10 1982, in which the Republic actively participated. Article 121, Regime of Islands, expressly provides in Paragraph 2 that “the territorial sea, contiguous ... Read More »

Outraged by the Attacks on Yazidis? It Is Time to Help.

Three years ago I was one of thousands of Yazidi women kidnapped by the Islamic State and sold into slavery Nadia Murad The New York Times I endured rape, torture and humiliation at the hands of multiple militants before I escaped. I was relatively lucky; many Yazidis went through worse than I did and for much longer. Many are still missing. Many have been killed. Once I escaped, I felt that it was my duty to tell the world about ... Read More »

Tony Wright’s column: Life is brief. Pluck the day and share it with friends

A valued mate is celebrating his 70th birthday next month. He’s been insisting I attend the dinner he is giving to mark this venerable achievement. Tony Wright The Age The thing is that he has taken himself across the world, and is living in the exotic city of Tangier, Morocco. Too far, I figured. Too difficult. Haven’t got the time. Or the spare cash. Dithering, it became easy to offer excuses to myself. And yet. My friend will never have ... Read More »

Trump’s ‘America First’ meets China’s ‘community of common destiny’

Just as President Donald Trump has reached back into U.S. history to draw inspiration for his “America First” policy from President Andrew Jackson’s mid-19th century populism, so too is Chinese President Xi Jinping reaching back to the Zhou dynasty 3,000 years ago — which lasted longer than the… Nathan Gardels The Washington Post Xi’s idea of a “new era” of global relations based on a “community of common destiny” is drawn from the concept of tianxia — or “all under heaven,” ... Read More »

Why not fund an Australian tobacco industry? We’re doing it for weapons

The Australian government should consider setting up, or at least subsidise, a major domestic and export cigarette industry in Australia, even if the subsidies go to foreign companies or the domestic industry is run by foreign companies. Crispin Hull Brisbane Times It would create jobs and promote exports. If the demand for the product can be boosted here and abroad, the jobs created would outweigh any downsides. True, cigarette smoking causes ill health injury and death, but, again, the flow-on ... Read More »

The U.K. Is Down Since Brexit. Guess Who’s Up.

Greece is growing faster than the U.K. and is outperforming it in financial markets Matthew A. Winkler Bloomberg When British voters decided in June 2016 to exit the European Union, investors who had anticipated the opposite result stampeded out of sterling and the currency plummeted a record 8.05 percent to a 31-year low. Almost 20 months later, the pound has mostly recovered, providing some satisfaction to commentators who’d predicted that Brexit would prove more distressing to the… So much for wishful thinking. ... Read More »

When judges wear wigs and robes, what’s so offensive about a niqab?

The statue representing justice is blindfolded for a reason – to symbolise that all people are treated equally in our courts no matter their wealth, position in society or religious beliefs. Duncan Fine The Age Sometimes the courts fail to live up to that ideal. This week Justice Christopher Beale in the Victorian Supreme Court banned a woman who was wearing a niqab from sitting in the public area of the court where her husband is facing a trial on ... Read More »

A lonely death in Adelaide’s leafy suburbs

Opinion At a small and heartbreaking funeral in suburban Tusmore, Adelaide lawyer Mal Byrne says he grasped the full horror of the damage wrought by Australia’s immigration detention system. Mal Byrne / Tindall Gask Bentley In Daily His name was Aref. He died in November 2017 at the age of 47. He was my client. He died alone in his unit tucked away in the leafy eastern suburbs of Adelaide. It was several days before his body was found. He ... Read More »

Why is it so hard for Jim Molan to apologise for sharing Britain First material?

London: Jim Molan says he is anti-violence. This is precisely why he should admit that reposting Britain First material on Facebook was wrong. Latika Bourke The Sydney Morning Herald As anyone who has spent time in the UK recently knows, it is a… Founded in 2011 by a Scottish anti-abortionist called Jim Dowson, Britain First’s short history is already tied to several politically-motivated attacks. “Britain first, keep Britain independent, Britain will always come first,” Thomas Mair was heard yelling as he stabbed ... Read More »

Truth about toxic banking culture may never be told

Year after year, scandals revealing the ongoing unethical behaviour of banking senior management have shown the need for scrutiny of wrongdoing in our nation’s finance sector Julia Angrisano Brisbane Times The royal commission is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on these hidden practices, to improve the experiences of customers and finance workers. However, shadows are being cast over the process of the banking royal commission before it has even begun. Legal schemes that banks use to silence their staff ... Read More »

Attacks on the judiciary by politicians weaken our democracy

The separation of powers sounds like the stuffy, abstract domain of lawyers and academics. But it needn’t be and it shouldn’t be. Morry Bailes * Brisbane Times Because, the actual freedom of each and every one of us – in a very real and practical way – relies on the complete independence of the executive, the Parliament, and the judiciary. At its most basic level, the separation of powers simply means that if one of the powerful arms of our ... Read More »

Corruption will never die, but we can do more to stamp it out: here’s how

Corruption is not always an easy thing to pin down Sure, brown paper bags stuffed with wads of cash are easy enough to figure out. Jessica Irvine Brisbane Times But outright bribery is only one of the myriad ways individuals or businesses may seek to pervert government decisions to their advantage. The problem stems from the fundamental nature of our economy In first-year text books, economics students are taught that market forces of supply and demand determine prices. But rarely, ... Read More »