Robot
(Image: Unsplash/Lukas)

MISSING AND MURDERED INDIGENOUS WOMEN

As Celeste Liddle notes at Eureka Streetviolence against Indigenous women is ignored until it can be weaponised against Indigenous communities.  Dr Hannah McGlade explores some history and policy responses. Shirleen Campbell discusses approaches being developed by Indigenous women. This also isn’t a peculiarly Australian problem — there’s a remarkable dearth of statistics on missing and murdered native American women; lawmakers at state and federal level are starting to respond as Indigenous communities demand action. The Canadian government recently conducted a major inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls; last week Toronto police held a conference on improving how front line officers deal with and work with Indigenous women and girls.

WORK REST AND PLAY (IF YOU’RE LUCKY)

The more time we save for leisure, the less leisure we have — the hamster wheel of optimisation. Sick of double-parked delivery vehicles? That’s OK, Big Tech wants to use delivery robots on pedestrian pavements — not just drones — to cater to our growing demand for immediate delivery.

Delivery Robot
(Image: Starship Technologies, Facebook)

And while this piece has some heroic assumptions about the impact on employment of automation, it’s a good guide to how tax policies actually encourage investment in robots even when they’re not noticeably more productive than people. Another reason to hate Uber: ride-sharing apps are now accounting for a quarter of traffic delays in some US cities. The psychological perils of email tracking software. Vindication for all of us who suffered through the employment fad of performance management: workplace feedback is rubbish that reflects the giver, not the receiver. Joshua Freeman’s history of the factory, from dark satanic mills to Foxconn, continues to generate excellent long reviews. And a tactic by US employers to prevent employees litigating workplace disputes has backfired.

SCHADENFREUDIA

Recent documentaries on the Fyre Festival debacle suggest a particular kind of genre of journalism — let’s call it schadenfreudia — that details how bad things happen to terrible or very annoying people, ostensibly for reasons of explaining what went wrong, but really more to give the reader a visceral sense that someone we can’t abide has got a well-earned comeuppance. A recent piece Side View linked to on anarcho-capitalists in Acapulco fit the bill, but it’s better when people, even awful people, don’t end up dying as a result. So behold the story of Tulum, another Mexican locale overrun by utopian capitalists (and count the number of people who claim to have “brought New York to Tulum”). And remember when Blockchain was “unhackable” as well as a “gamechanger”? Yeah, not so much… there are some exciting and innovative ways to steal cryptocurrency. And a little side order of schadenfreude: social media “influencers” are now angry at being called “influencers” and want to be called “creators” instead because “influencing” now has a bad name. Meanwhile organisers of Burning Man have decided to crack down on influencers

AWAY

Anti-Semitic attacks are surging in France — including by “yellow vest” protesters. A French academic explains why. American foreign policy in the Middle East is unmoored from reality and (candidate, not president) Trump was one of the few people to get that. Now even Foreign Policy thinks Trump is marching to war in Iran.

Germany has arrested two former Syrian intelligence officials — who had sought asylum — for crimes against humanity — the first time senior perpetrators of the Assad regime face justice. And speaking of Middle Eastern murderers, the Trump administration is pursuing a plan to give the Saudi tyranny nuclear reactors — though as is so often the case, at least half of the story is which of Trump’s cronies stand to make a lot of money from it. A new report examines the slow but sure decline in democracy across Africa — but countries in West and Southern Africa are performing better than elsewhere. And the “TIGgers” who have defected from Labour and — now — the Tory parties in the House of Commons should look to Australia’s DLP for inspiration.

MID-CENTURY AMERICA

Robert Dallek isn’t my favourite presidential biographer — he’s done a single volume Kennedy and Truman, and a two-parter on LBJ, among other books — but his FDR bio was published in late 2017 and LRB finally has an underwhelmed but intriguing review (who knew FDR was no Keynesian?). It’ll be worth reading anyway — FDR was the most devious man to occupy the White House in the 20th century, although the two other progressive presidents, LBJ and Nixon, gave him a run for his money (oh sorry you didn’t think Nixon was progressive?) A new history of US culture in the 1940s explores “the violence of categorization” and the abuses of identity politics. African diplomats faced the same racism and segregation as African-Americans in the 1950s and 1960s, humiliating John F Kennedy. And can there be such a thing as a feminist western? Krithika Varagur explores a genre that, far from being dead, is relentlessly evolving.

FINALLY

Cats aren’t psychopaths, they just have resting psychopath face. And — while Side View does not condone pet videos and will never use them — here’s the empirical evidence cats are perfectly pleasant.

Peter Fray

Help us keep up the fight

Get Crikey for just $1 a week and support our journalists’ important work of uncovering the hypocrisies that infest our corridors of power.

If you haven’t joined us yet, subscribe today and get your first 12 weeks for $12.

Cancel anytime.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW