The USS Quad Damage

Not exactly Dangerous

Richard Glover says some reasonable things, but leaves them at conjecture. I try and form theories.

Richard Glover uses the festival of dangerous ideas as a shield to put up some dangerous ideas of his own. Here’s my analysis1 of his ideas:

The bad public transport in Sydney is not the fault of the NSW government

I disagree. I think people councils and state governments shape the zeitgeist of housing and development, as well as what’s considered fashionable. If governments pushed housing quality to the stratosphere — with respect to how “green” they are, the materials used, the “feel” of being in the house -- every house would be exquisite, and big houses would be expensive to the point of ridiculous. High density living is a dumb idea. It’s basically city guys saying “live like us”, versus suburb guys saying “live like us”. What we need is a re-think of how we exist in our environment, and how we get around.

Rupert Murdoch has saved journalism. Twice

You could equally well say “Rupert Murdoch has saved child molestors. Twice!” It doesn’t mean journalism is worth saving. Like I’ve said in the past, Rupert believes that everyone’s money belongs to him, he just hasn’t found a way to get at it yet.

Wikipedia is accurate


Most of the ways Australians describe themselves are not true

I was half afraid this was going to be an enlightening insight, but no, it’s just letting other countries in on the self-deprecating humour. The thing is, without the lie the truth cannot exist: We work hard purely because we value our time off. Men can be sensitive purely because they also have the opportunity to be _in_sensitive. We aren’t anti-intellectual, but we don’t hold prejudices against people who aren’t super-educated. It’s not a lie, just a complex truth.

Books are great but ...

Video games are better. Glad someone said it.

We don’t mind the ads on TV

This is double-sided. On the one hand, there’s too many ads. Over time, the number of minutes of ad-time has increased dramatically, and even the shows have advertising in them. On the other hand, finding out about products is genuinely useful. New technology, new ideas, things that can actually improve our lives are often communicated by ads.

Mainstream media is not dead

I don’t know what he mean by “mainstream media”, but I’m reading him online. I watch most of my TV on the net, or exclusively internet TV shows. Pure Pwnage recently came onto regular TV, and the only thing I’ve really noticed is that it’s slightly longer. You might say mainstream media has changed so much that you may have to call it something different, but it’s not dead, or you could just say it’s dead.

Parking meters are a good thing

When they work, yeah. When they charge you money and don’t give you a ticket, no. Basically, all new technology needs to have its impact assessed. There are issues with all sorts of technological “improvement” when bureaucracy is involved.

Personal privacy is overrated

Thank you! I’ve got a revisit to my privacy article which is just too hard to write, but I’m glad someone is with me on this. The Google talk about Google Me I found abhorrent.

Plastic bags are not so bad

He’s right. Not about the plastic bags not being so bad, but about the comparison to other things. Case in point: I have a TV at home (old CRT), and I cannot recycle the thing. I also shouldn’t throw it away because it has a bunch of chemicals — lead, etc. — in it. The TV also bloody works! We really need to think of a way of disassembling these things in a nice way. The problem isn’t the disposable stuff, it’s the stuff that really ought to be recycled which isn’t (or can’t).

1 While it might sound fancy, my analysis is really just a finger in the air.