accc digital platforms inquiry
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

A CLOCKWORK WARHOL

Robert Manne reads Kevin Rudd so you don’t have to. Thanks for taking one for the team, Robert.

Elsewhere, Danielle Moreau has a piece that should be required reading for every editor, producer and journalist ever tempted, or told, to write a moral panic article. And behold the other, less ultraviolent version of A Clockwork Orange.

Feel like romanticising Weimar Germany? Bad idea. And speaking of not romaticising, GQ details the unglamorous and ultimately pathetic life of a compulsive art thief.

Here’s a look at he new fashion for fake psychics: using Facebook to aid their “talking to the dead” scam. And, lastly, a new history of the Highland Clearances explores the multiple economic and cultural causes of one of the greatest disasters in Scottish history.

THE WHITENESS OF THE YELLOW VESTS

A short history of the Monroe Doctrine and how Trump is no different to previous US presidents when it comes to Latin America.

Why the sheer number of people who have died since the initial referendum means Remain would win a second Brexit vote.

India’s media is clamouring for war with Pakistan (of course, Western media are in a good position to judge, right?).

The Iranian foreign minister’s resignation, and what it means for the Iranian regime’s future.

How the reconstruction of Christchurch divided the South Island city.

Why France’s “yellow vest” protesters remain rural and white despite the widespread nature of their grievances.

Yellow vest protesters. (Image: Wiki Commons)

Are we going to run out of people? Population boom versus population bust. 

And he came, he saw, he underwhelmed: Steve Bannon’s campaign to set Europe ablaze with populism is struggling.

IT’S A GAS, MAN

Australia’s best defence journalist Brendan Nicholson on how Defence is increasingly being told to regard the media as the enemy.

Apparently it’s OK to use tear gas on civilians but not on soldiers — how loopholes allow the widespread use of chemical weapons against non-combatants.

The idiot at the heart of US defence planning gets his moment in the sun.

A new Vermont law is forcing the creepy data-broking industry — which buys, borrows or steals private information on everyone it can — out into the open. But data brokers are already headed for extinction, according to a different perspective, that says personal data isn’t anywhere near as valuable as many think — or at least not valuable in the way they think.

Finally, demonstrating late-stage neoliberalism’s tendency to monopoly, the eyewear market is now dominated by a single Italian company (don’t think that applies in Australia? Sorry). And how to use a monopoly to rip off the Pentagon.

UNCANNY VALLEY OF THE DOLLS

Last week, I mentioned cats and their resting psycho face; this week, dolls — the psychology behind why dolls are creepy (and haunted doll museums). Plus, how planetary theory is desperately playing catch-up to observation as exo-planets emerge in shapes and sizes thought impossible. On a related note, the changing economics of leaving Earth.

Moreover, the downside of content moderation: Facebook moderators are developing PTSD.

A philosopher uses epistemology to argue that no-platforming can sometimes be justified.

And near-miss mathematics explores the weird world of oh-so-close numbers.

FINALLY

Vote in the Smithsonian’s photo contest. Or, better yet, just gaze in awe.

Peter Fray

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