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Monthly Archives: October 2008

Today, my International Studies teacher used an interesting, if roundabout, example to demonstrate the ludicrousness of self-determination. He said, “Suppose that Melbourne decides to break away from the rest of Australia. If we have the right of self-determination, we can do that, can’t we? Well, but if you grant that, then perhaps the people of western Melbourne might decide they’re different to the people of eastern Melbourne, so they might exercise their right to self-determination. But then, the people of Sunshine might decide they’re different to everyone else in western Melbourne, and exercise their right. Then the boys of west Sunshine might decide they’re different to the boys of east Sunshine, and before we know it, we’ve got a West Sunshine Republic on our hands. Do we want one of those? So the question with self-determination, therefore, is, ‘Where do we stop?'”

Keep in mind that South Ossetia is on the “Sunshine” end of the scale. Read More »

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Harvard has tests available to measure your subconscious prejudices. We were taking them in Psych today. Apparently, I more readily associate “Australia” with “good” than I do “United States” with “good” (and the inverse is true for “bad”); subconsciously, I’m a “moderate” nationalist. There are some very, very interesting tests, even you don’t like the results…

Something which has appeared on the BBC a couple of times now, but not once that I have seen in our own local media, is the Rudd government’s plan to erect a firewall to block Australians’ access to certain websites. The “cyber-safety plan” apparently comprised part of the 2008-09 budget, but was unfortunately overlooked by the Liberals so they could complain about taxes on luxury cars. The plan’s stated aim is to “help protect Australian children from the dangers of the internet” (as seen on the DBCDE website). Sounds good, right?

Well no, actually, it’s not good at all. I don’t care how many government-appointed consultative committees there are, how much they educate young Australians on how to be “responsible cyber-citizens”, how many different groups they insist they will be “working with”, nor how many excuses they offer as to why a mandatory firewall is necessary. Plainly and simply, it is not. This plan is an erosion of our rights, nothing more and nothing less — and should be opposed.

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