Tim Blair WHICH NEWSPAPER IS SPINNING? A reader quiz:
The Australian: No Budget rebound for Crean
The Sydney Morning Herald: Slap for PM's plans gives Crean a lift
The Australian: Embattled Opposition Leader Simon Crean has failed to get a lift from the furore surrounding the Governor-General or the budget, with John Howard and the Coalition retaining a commanding lead in the latest Newspoll.
The Sydney Morning Herald: The Howard Government's budget tax cuts and health and education changes have been overwhelmingly rejected by voters in a new poll that gives the Opposition Leader, Simon Crean, a much-needed bounce.
The Australian: Labor is struggling to make any headway against the Howard Government.
The Sydney Morning Herald: Labor [is] back within striking distance of the Government.
The Australian: Satisfaction with the way Mr Howard was doing his job rose from 59 to 61 per cent, while Mr Crean's rating went from 23 to 24 per cent.
The Sydney Morning Herald: Mr Howard's rating as preferred leader remained strong, falling three points to 61 per cent, while support for Mr Crean rose just one point to 23 per cent.
As the United States government becomes more belligerent in using its power in the world, many people are longing for a “second superpower” that can keep the US in check. Indeed, many people desire a superpower that speaks for the interests of planetary society, for long-term well-being, and that encourages broad participation in the democratic process. Where can the world find such a second superpower? No nation or group of nations seems able to play this role, although the European Union sometimes seeks to, working in concert with a variety of institutions in the field of international law, including the United Nations. But even the common might of the European nations is barely a match for the current power of the United States.
Damn the web sucks. It's 2003 and I still can't get it to do most of the things I want it to. Bring on the "programmable" web!
For example, why the hell isn't there a way I can have some sort of application scour the web for me and tell me when Vince Jones in playing his next concert in Melbourne? The information is out there somewhere... I just don't know where to look for it or I don't look for it at the right time to find out in time to go to the concert...
Why isn't there some sort of service that will find things for me that I want to buy without my knowing I want to buy them in the first place? Example: I like Napoleonic stuff. Why isn't there an application, a software agent, that will trawl the web for me and find interesting Napoleonic stuff?
Why isn't there an application into which I can add the names of all of the kids from school I want to get back in touch with that will find those people for me?
James Hughes' argument for political representation for the pro-technology/pro-science members of our society is well thought out and articulate, even though I disagree with some of his positioning. There is currently some discussion on the Australian Transhumanism list about starting such a political party in Australia.
Hughes' "Democratic Transhumanist Agenda":
· Build the transhumanist movement
· Guarantee morphological freedom and bodily autonomy; people should have a right to change and control their minds and bodies, including the right to take drugs, have themselves frozen, opt for physician-assisted suicide, and use germinal choice technologies on themselves and their children
· Defend scientific research and technological innovation from Luddite bans, while embracing the need for public regulation for safety and efficacy
· Protect scientific access to knowledge from overly aggressive intellectual property law
· Expand federal funding for research into transhuman technologies, including genetic therapy, nanotechnology, robotics and artificial intelligence
· Create national health plans which guarantee equitable access to life extension and enhancement technologies
· Expand federal support to education, especially math, science, engineering and medical education
· Provide job retraining and a guaranteed minimum income to the structurally unemployed
· Solidarize with sexual, cultural, and racial minorities, especially with morphological minorities such as the disabled and transgendered
· Support rights for great apes, dolphins and whales
· Expand, strengthen and democratize transnational governance to regulate the apocalyptic threats from transhuman technologies.
I’ve recently been reading William Shirer’s classic history on Nazi Germany, “The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich”, and I was struck by the similarities between Hitler’s techniques for assuming dictatorship and what we’ve seen transpire in the US over the last 18 months. I went surfing tonight and found this article which, I think, draws out the similarities quite nicely…
February 27, 2003, was the 70th anniversary of Dutch terrorist Marinus van der Lubbe's successful firebombing of the German Parliament (Reichstag) building, the terrorist act that catapulted Hitler to legitimacy and reshaped the German constitution. By the time of his successful and brief action to seize Austria, in which almost no German blood was shed, Hitler was the most beloved and popular leader in the history of his nation. Hailed around the world, he was later Time magazine's "Man Of The Year."