Unsettled by Invasion

I found the University of New South Wales guidelines on history: This is what has got the Australian media worked up enough to produce yet another round of the good old topic of whether Australia was 'invaded' or 'settled'. Like Easter,  this row will surely happen every year but you can't quite be sure exactly when. The Google … Continue reading Unsettled by Invasion

Data retention: an unworkable law devised in bad faith

You should probably know, dear readers, that a journalist information warrant to secure data retention for this website does not exist and is not currently being applied for. This statement may now render me liable to two years in an Australian prison. Sorry to any regular readers who don't like partisan rants. Leave the page now. Normal service … Continue reading Data retention: an unworkable law devised in bad faith

The feedback loop as a symbol for life in the 21st Century

self-organisation is a high-level property that emerges from the underlying network, not a feature of any of the individual components. This has interesting consequences. Where any part of the mechanism is sensitive to the environment, the whole self-organising loop can be too. Here's an example from the Resilience Alliance - the adaptive cycle - that … Continue reading The feedback loop as a symbol for life in the 21st Century

Bias: it’s not a bug, it’s a feature

"Kahan’s argument about the woman who does not believe in global warming is a surprising and persuasive example of a general principle: if we want to understand others, we can always ask what is making their behaviour ‘rational’ from their point of view. If, on the other hand, we just assume they are irrational, no … Continue reading Bias: it’s not a bug, it’s a feature

Fatalist development aid

The Economist evaluates a scheme to give poor people cash handouts at random, instead of through traditional aid programmes. Mixed results..., as described by Grid-Group Cultural theory, is more than merely the worldview that blind fate rules our lives. It takes this as a given and then seeks to make the world even more random. … Continue reading Fatalist development aid

A Simple Primer on Cultural Cognition

A Simple Primer on Cultural CognitionThe New Republic has a short summary of the cultural cognition project: how to talk to climate change deniers.Those who 'deny' climate change aren't mad, deluded or evil - they're just paying close attention to the community to which they owe allegiance. Various groups make use of publicly held views … Continue reading A Simple Primer on Cultural Cognition