Arts & Culture

Cheating at cricket just one of the unthinkable things Aussies do now

I can’t see why people are so shocked to discover our cricketers have been cheating. Surely that’s only to be expected in a nation that’s drifted so far from our earlier commitment to decency, mateship and the fair go. Ross Gittins The Sydney Morning Herald Such behaviour is unAustralian? We do, or condone, many things that used to be thought of as unAustralian. There was a time when it would have been unthinkable for Australians to stand by while an ... Read More »

Truth, Power, and the Academy: A Response to Hal Brands

Academic expertise should guide U.S. foreign policy. Unfortunately, it does not really work that way. John Glaser War On The Rocks On a host of issues, there is an enormous gap between scholarship on international relations and the policy consensus in Washington. The United States persistently pursues foreign strategies that run contrary to the policy implications of the academic consensus. And on questions that are hotly debated in academia, Washington displays inviolable bipartisan unity. Hal Brands addressed the gap in ... Read More »

Australia’s real leadership failures are in politics, not cricket

Where’s the national outrage over a terrified boy being abandoned to violent despair by our political leaders? Van Badham The Guardian Australian cricketer Cameron Bancroft has been caught on video shoving some yellow sticky tape into his underpants. Fortunately – or unfortunately – there was a cricket match in play at the time. The image of him shoving sticky tape into his underpants was broadcast live to the crowd at the Newlands ground in South Africa, and they booed. “I ... Read More »

Taking Offense at the Opera

‘Turandot’ is musically irresistible, but can it survive today’s cultural sensitivities? Nicholas M. Gallagher The Weekly Standard When French president (then-candidate) Emmanuel Macron waxed lyrical about his passion for the composer Gioachino Rossini in spring 2017, the transatlantic chattering classes gushed in admiration (and… But when British foreign minister Boris Johnson was caught on a hot mic a few months later quoting Rudyard Kipling’s imperial-era poem “Mandalay” on a trip to Myanmar, the reaction was swift, sharp, and negative. Not ... Read More »

March For Our Lives: Hundreds of thousands of people protest against US gun laws in rallies around the world

The demonstration of global solidarity comes after 17 children were massacred at a school shooting in Florida – and the UK is taking part too Ian Simpson & Jamie Bullen Mirror Student survivors of the Florida school massacre are among the half a million people expected to march through Washington DC calling for tighter gun laws. Across the USA alone, 800 separate marches are taking place where hundreds of thousands more are expected to take part, according to organisers. Protests ... Read More »

Interview Best teacher in the world Andria Zafirakou: ‘Build trust with your kids – then everything else can happen’

After the London art teacher won her $1m prize, she was showered with praise by Theresa May and the education secretary – but she is exactly the kind of teacher this government actively discourages Decca Aitkenhead The Guardian Andria Zafirakou has been functioning on three hours’ sleep a night for weeks, but looks radiant. “It’s adrenaline, it’s excitement, it’s everything.” Nominated by current and former colleagues for the Varkey Foundation’s annual Global Teacher prize, dubbed the Nobel for teaching, last month ... Read More »

The lost children of the Empire and the attempted Aboriginal genocide

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has concluded that British children who suffered abuse when they were forcibly sent abroad should now be paid compensation from the government. David Pilgrim The Conversation The inquiry has looked into the cases of children who were sent to Australia and parts of the British Empire from 1945 to 1970 by charities and the Catholic church. Its findings are damning. But if society is looking for a fuller social and historical account of ... Read More »

Embracing multicultural voices can lead to a more democratic future

One of the great moral challenges of our time is the rising tide of inequality in liberal democracies around the world. Duncan Ivison The Conversation This includes Australia, where both income and wealth inequality are increasing, especially the latter. There are arguments about the rise of China and other authoritarian regimes threatening the viability of liberal democracy. But a deeper problem is the persistent inability of liberal democracies to live up to their own moral promise. That promise is one ... Read More »

Bombed into oblivion: The lost oasis of Damascus

Ghouta, the one-time oasis of Damascus, is being destroyed. Every day brings with it news of renewed bombing, deadly chemical attacks and starved or crushed bodies, accompanied by desperate scenes of mass exodus. Karen Pinto The Conversation Located a mere seven miles from Bashar Al Assad’s palace, Ghouta is the last surviving rebel enclave close to Syria’s capital, where the Assad family’s dictatorial regime has ruled for 47 years. The Syrian revolution that began seven years ago has failed, and ... Read More »

Machine Learning, Big Data and the Future of Higher Ed

These new technologies have much to offer colleges and their students, but if we are not careful how we incorporate them, the risks may outweigh the gains, Vincent Del Casino Jr. writes. Inside Higher Ed If you ask, many people will say we are in a new era of higher education, one where machine learning and big data analytics­­ are driving rapid change. From the influx of adaptive learning technologies to the automated student support services and predictive analytics models driving ... Read More »

Facebook, Uber and the end of the Great American Tech Delusion

Tech Bubble Part II has arrived in America but China will probably navigate around it thanks to a culture of innovation By SPENGLER Asia Times We’ve been there before, in the crash of the dot-com bubble of 2000, when we believed that downloading pop music and porn would drive the economy of the future. We’ve done it again: We made another tech bubble on the premise that Americans would write the apps and Asians would make the hardware, and the miracle ... Read More »

We need to rethink our moral obligations to create a better world

Our collective overuse and misuse of antibiotics is accelerating resistance to these universal drugs, leaving people increasingly vulnerable to infections that can no longer be treated. Anne Schwenkenbecher The Conversation This applies not only to the use of antibiotics in human medicine, but also in animal industries. Antibiotic resistance is an example of a collective action problem. These are problems where what is individually rational leads to a collectively undesirable outcome. Small things that many of us do, often on ... Read More »

In Uganda, Unmarried Women Must Fight to Keep Their Homes

For unmarried women living with their partners in Uganda, there is no law – legal or customary – to stop them from losing their homes when their relationships end. Amy Fallon News Deeply KAMPALA, UGANDA – After almost two decades living with a man nearly twice her age, who first got her pregnant when she was 15, Jane Zamukunda finally had one small comfort: a nice home that she felt was… Her partner and father of her three children had bought a piece ... Read More »

Why Denmark dominates the World Happiness Report rankings year after year

The new World Happiness Report again ranks Denmark among the top three happiest of 155 countries surveyed – a distinction that the country has earned for seven consecutive years. Marie Helweg-Larsen The Conversation The U.S., on the other hand, ranked 18th in this year’s World Happiness Report, a four-spot drop from last year’s report. Denmark’s place among the world’s happiest countries is consistent with many other national surveys of happiness (or, as psychologists call it, “subjective well-being”). Scientists like to ... Read More »

A history of loneliness

Is loneliness our modern malaise? Former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy says the most common pathology he saw during his years of service “was not heart disease or diabetes; it was loneliness.” Amelia S. Worsley The Conversation Chronic loneliness, some say, is like “smoking 15 cigarettes a day.” It “kills more people than obesity.” Because loneliness is now considered a public health issue – and even an epidemic – people are exploring its causes and trying to find solutions. While ... Read More »

Berlin 24/7: Why Berlin is so dirty

Rotting food, cigarette butts, old furniture: these items litter the streets of Berlin — and reflect the mentality of the inhabitants of the German capital, thinks Gero Schliess. City cleaning efforts are laughable. Gero Schliess (ad) DW Each time when American friends of mine visit me in Berlin, they actually praise the city for its cleanliness. That’s when I start to pity my pals. If they seriously think that Berlin is clean and neat, what on earth do the streets look like in ... Read More »