Bookmarked Morrison has sailed into treacherous waters that sunk the dreams of those before him (abc.net.au)

Usually it’s brand new prime ministers still high on the dopamine surge of winning an election whose thoughts stray to reforming the Federation. But Morrison has a different sort of political capital, writes Annabel Crabb.

With Scott Morrison’s decision to retain the National Cabinet in place of COAG, Annabel Crabb takes a look at the history of federalism in Australia beginning with the decision with the decision during World War II to consolidate income tax in the Commonwealth’s coffers. She talks about the continual negotiations that occur and the temptations to link this to certain conditions.

The temptation for federal governments to attach ideologically-driven conditions to these payments is nearly irresistible, as is the temptation to dive into what are ordinarily state government responsibilities.

This is something that has a significant impact on education.

Liked How The Avalanches went from hip hop brats to world-conquering stars (Double J)

The band’s justification for using samples was simple: they couldn’t afford the real thing.

“None of us had much money so it was just a very cheap sampler, a cheap computer and lots of time going through Melbourne’s op shops,” Chater told triple j.

“Trying to find weird and wonderful sounds to make a record that sounded kinda fancy without actually having access to orchestras or amazing sound.”

“If we want an original ’60s pipe organ sound, we can’t afford to go and hire a studio,” Seltmann said in 1999. “We can just get one off a record. You can create the kind of sounds that sound authentic and beautiful to us.”

It’s an exceedingly smart idea, but one that looked as if it might backfire when it came time to release Since I Left You. With something in the vicinity of 3,500 samples to clear – many of which the band couldn’t identify – the record hit a serious snag before its release.

Bookmarked The Looming Bank Collapse (The Atlantic)

The U.S. financial system could be on the cusp of calamity. This time, we might not be able to save it.

Frank Partnoy discusses the sleeping giant that are ‘collateralized loan obligations’.

The reforms were well intentioned, but, as we’ll see, they haven’t kept the banks from falling back into old, bad habits. After the housing crisis, subprime CDOs naturally fell out of favor. Demand shifted to a similar—and similarly risky—instrument, one that even has a similar name: the CLO, or collateralized loan obligation. A CLO walks and talks like a CDO, but in place of loans made to home buyers are loans made to businesses—specifically, troubled businesses. CLOs bundle together so-called leveraged loans, the subprime mortgages of the corporate world. These are loans made to companies that have maxed out their borrowing and can no longer sell bonds directly to investors or qualify for a traditional bank loan. There are more than $1 trillion worth of leveraged loans currently outstanding. The majority are held in CLOs.

Bookmarked Do Protests Even Work? (The Atlantic)

Movements, and their protests, are powerful because they change the minds of people, including those who may not even be participating in them, and they change the lives of their participants.


In the long term, protests work because they can undermine the most important pillar of power: legitimacy.

Zeynep Tufekci explores the potential of protests to challenge the legitimacy of those in power. As she explains, what would have taken years to coordinate in the past can now be organised in days with apps and digital platforms. This lack of friction can subsequently dilute the impact of such movements. However, what can make a protest more pertinent is the level of risk associated with it. As Tufekci highlights with the current situation in America.

The current Black Lives Matter protest wave is definitely high risk through the double whammy of the pandemic and the police response. The police, the entity being protested, have unleashed so much brutality that in just three weeks, at least eight people have already lost eyesight to rubber bullets. One Twitter thread dedicated to documenting violent police misconduct is at 600 entries and counting. And nobody seems safe—not even a 75-year-old avowed peacenik who was merely in the way of a line of cops when he was shoved so violently that he fell and cracked his skull. Chillingly, the police walked on as he bled on the ground. After the video came out to widespread outrage, and the two police officers who shoved him were suspended, their fellow officers on the active emergency-response team resigned to support their colleagues. Plus the pandemic means that protesters who march in crowds, face tear gas, and risk jail and detention in crowded settings are taking even more risks than usual.

The challenge with any protest is the fear repression. This is what stopped the Chinese protests in 1989 and the Egyptian protests in 2013. However, such measures have their limits.

Force and repression can keep things under control for a while, but it also makes such rule more brittle.

The challenge to power and repression is overcome by changing the culture and conversation. This is required to undermine the legitimacy.

Legitimacy, not repression, is the bedrock of resilient power.

This is why Anne Helen Petersen argues that small protests in small towns matter because there have been a lot of them, therefore the bedrock is crumbling.

Rebecca Solnit uses the metaphor of a waterfall to describe such change:

The metaphor of the river of time is often used to suggest that history flows at a steady pace, but real rivers have rapids and shallows, eddies and droughts. They freeze over and get dammed and their water gets diverted. And sometimes the river comes to the precipice and we’re all in the waterfall. Time accelerates, things change faster than anyone expected, water clear as glass becomes churning whitewater, what was thought to be impossible or the work of years is accomplished in a flash

When they are a consensus idea, that’s the end of the insurrection, or the waterfall, and politicians are smoothing things over and people have accepted the idea that they at first resisted, whether it’s the abolition of slavery or the right to marriage equality

Although she suggests there are groups who deserve credit for escalating the current situation.

One more group deserves credit for the present moment: the police. They themselves have made a fantastic case for defunding or abolition—at least as they currently exist. Nationwide, with the whole world watching, these civil servants showed they use public funds to brutalize, murder, and deny the constitutional rights of members of that public. One might imagine they’d have wanted to be careful in the wake of the Floyd murder, but they went on a spectacular display of their own sense of immunity by—well, shooting out the eyes of eight people with “sublethal” weapons, managing to blind a photojournalist in one eye; attacking and arresting dozens of members of the media at work, especially nonwhite ones; San Jose police shooting their own anti-bias trainer in the testicles; knocking over an old man who’s still in critical condition as a result (yeah the one Trump theorized must be Antifa); teargassing children; pointing weapons at other small children; and generally showing us that the only people the police protect are the police. They struck the match that lit the bonfire. Because they thought they could not themselves burn, and that they were indispensable. They’re wrong on both counts.

The Black Lives Matter movement itself has been building since 2013.

However, as Stan Grant highlights in regards to the recognition of Australia’s indigenous people in the consitution, such success can be a long time coming. This is something Doug Belshaw touches on in his reading of Guy Debord’s Comments on the Society of the Spectacle

Here is the problem for the person, or group of people, wishing to smash the spectacle, to dismantle it, to take it apart. It must be done in one go, rather than piecemeal. Otherwise, the spectacle has too much capacity to self-repair.

RSVPed Attending The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Virtual Meetings

We Are Open Co-op is proud to present our new, free email-based course: The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Virtual Meetings! This is part of a new series we have entitled… Skills for the New Normal

This is a useful email-based course that helps break down virtual meetings into seven points of consideration:

  1. Preparation
  2. Privacy
  3. Collaboration
  4. Communication
  5. Projection
  6. Etiquette
  7. Affirmations

Although some aspects may seem obvious, what the course does really well is clearly laying out a map of the land. I think that the challenge is reviewing and refining the new normal that has quickly become ingrained.

Liked The ‘silver bullet’ for coronavirus might one day cure cancer. So how does it work? (ABC News)

Broadly speaking, there are three classes of vaccine and each has its own promises and drawbacks.

The old-school approach that can carry some risk.
The new-school approach that’s worked well before but still takes time we don’t have.
A silver bullet that’s cheap, could be produced quickly and could take us closer to a cure for cancer — but it’s never been used in humans before.

Bookmarked Why must Indigenous claims for justice always be cast as an attack on the state? (abc.net.au)

Why would young Indigenous people entrust their futures to another generation of politicians — black or white — who keep telling them to wait, asks Stan Grant.

Stan Grant discusses the long history of waiting to be recognised in the Australian constitution. The crisis is therefore a critical test for democracy. As Grant explains:

We walk the same fault lines here. Why would young Indigenous people entrust their futures to another generation of politicians — black or white — who keep telling them to wait?

Liked The Lockdown Lessons of “Crime and Punishment” (The New Yorker)

Every day, in Trump’s America, it seemed as though we were coming closer to the annihilating turmoil—the mixed state of vexation and fear—in Raskolnikov’s dream. The disease was everywhere, and it only heightened our world’s fissures and inequities. More than a hundred thousand had died, tens of millions were unemployed, many were hungry, and, at times, the country appeared to be unravelling. Some spoke of racism as a “virus,” the American virus; and the language of disease, though it miscasts a human-made scourge as a natural phenomenon, captures just how profoundly it has infiltrated the life of the country. The President’s every statement, meanwhile, was designed to widen chaos. He spoke of the need to “dominate,” and many of us were determined not to be dominated. We would not lose our individuality, like the poor murderer in his exile. But neither could we escape responsibility for the mess we had made, a mess we had bequeathed to the students, and to all of the next generation. I kept returning to Dostoyevsky’s book, looking for signs of how collective purpose can heal social divisions and injustices, stoking hope and resolve alongside fear, anything that would overtake the desperate anomie that Raskolnikov’s dream had conjured: “In the cities, the bells rang all day long: everyone was being summoned, but no one knew who was summoning them or why.”

Liked Autism review concerns NDIS users (The Saturday Paper)

As the National Disability Insurance Agency awaits the findings of research it has commissioned into autism support and treatment, members of the autism community are concerned the report may never be made public.

Marginalia

“I know more about what goes on inside ASIO and the Australian Signals Directorate than I do the NDIA,” says Bob Buckley, convenor of Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia.

Buckley says the agency’s handling of autism has been a “shambles” and suggests it’s concerned by the large number of users presenting with autism.

Replied to Morrison’s 332-word answer to a reasonable question ended with a triple-somersault-with-pike (abc.net.au)

As though the news cycle wasn’t bad enough, that brief moment when our leaders seemed to make decisions in the broad public interest is over, writes Laura Tingle.

So James Purtill, I guess the discussion of MMT and free university is now off the table.
Bookmarked Africa’s Lost Kingdoms (The New York Review of Books)

It may remain a little-known fact, but Africa has never lacked civilizations, nor has it ever been as cut off from world events as it has been routinely portrayed. Some remarkable new books make this case in scholarly but accessible terms, and they admirably complicate our understanding of Africa’s past and present.

Howard French’s dive into Africa’s complex past is a reminder that history is always more complicated than we may want it to be.
Bookmarked The intense, magnetic genius of Philippe Zdar (Double J)

“People call me because I am honest and I will never go behind the desk for something I don’t love and will not fight for until the end”

In an extract from Off The Record: One Woman’s Global Adventure in Search of the World’s Greatest Producers, Mel Bampton dives into the world of the late Philippe Zdar. One of the really interesting observations was in relation to having different speakers to capture different perspectives:

“When you are mixing, you have all these speakers in front of you,” Philippe explains, pointing at all the speakers in front of us. “It’s very important to understand why.

“We have this little one for when I listen to mono, then I have bigger speakers and bigger than enormous. It’s like when you look at a house. You can look at the house one millimetre away, but eventually you have to look at it from a hundred metres away if you want to paint it.

“One hundred metres away is the little speakers; you see the whole house at once, and if you want to go and paint the lock you go to the big speakers, you zoom right into the lock.

“This is how you mix an album; to make sure you have looked at it all as a whole. This is what I did with Dan, this is what I do for everything.”

When Dan brought the album back from France and played it to the rest of Cut Copy, they responded with cries of ‘Holy crap!’ As did the nation, with the Zdar-touch helping to give non-mainstream Australia one of its finest dance albums of 2004.

Replied to Experimenting with online events – Austin Kleon (Austin Kleon)

I recently figured out that software like Zoom lets you select different cameras and microphones on your computer, so it’s possible without much effort to quickly switch between my MacBook Pro camera, which is pointed at me, and my document camera, which is pointed at my desk, all while continuing to speak into my nice microphone.

Not sure if you are interested Austin, but I really enjoyed Aaron Parecki’s breakdown of his setup and workflow

Quite amazing what can be done now on the fly.

Replied to CUE Announces “Transition” of Long-Time Leader Jon Corippo | CUE, Inc. (CUE, Inc.)

CUE recently announced the “transition” of long-time CUE leader Jon Corippo as he returns to the classroom this Fall – bringing a “pedagogical revolution” with him! After more than six years in leadership roles at CUE, Jon Corippo has announced his transition from Chief Learning Officer to 6th and 7th-grade classroom educator with the Chawanakee […]

Good luck Jon with your transition from sabbatical. Exciting times.
Bookmarked The 7 elements of a good online course (The Conversation)

Research shows few differences in academic outcomes between online and face-to-face university courses. A professor who’s been teaching online for years offers advice on good online courses.

George Veletsianos reflects on his experience studying online learning to provide some advice about what to look for as many sectors stay online for the foreseeable future.

  • A good online course is informed by issues of equity and justice.
  • A good online course is interactive.
  • A good online course is engaging and challenging.
  • A good online course involves practice.
  • A good online course is effective.
  • A good online course includes an instructor who is visible and active, and who exhibits care, empathy and trust for students.
  • A good online course promotes student agency.

I particularly like Veletsianos’ closing remarks:

These qualities aren’t qualities of good online courses. They are qualities of good courses, period.

Although online learning is different, I feel that what is most interesting is the distance it provides and the opportunity to reassess. This is something that David White and Will Mannon have been discussing.

Listened Is the future of live music an illusion? from ABC Radio National

As Australia’s live music industry has been left decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic and unprecedented damage to venues from bushfires, we’re attending more online concerts, virtual gigs and streamed festivals than ever before.

Technology is evolving at a rapid pace, pushed along by the demand for content and even giving rise to the reality that not all live musicians have to be living.

But what does this mean for the future of live music? Can the digital and physical industries co-exist?

And what does the future hold for musicians, how they’ll be paid and immortalised in digital technology?

Edwina Stott takes a soundcheck.

Guests

John Wardle – Live Music Office of Australia

Professor Aaron Corn – Director of the National Centre for Aboriginal Language and Music Studies at the University of Adelaide

Dr Diana Tolmie – Senior Lecturer at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University and she teaches professional practice

Jeff Pezzuti – CEO and Founder of Eyellusion

Oisin Lunny – Forbes Senior Contributor, Professor of UX Driven Business, Barcelona Technology School and Host of the AudioMatters podcast

Edwina Stott leads an investigation into some of the areas of opportunity and innovation when it comes to live music. Two examples she discusses are Travis Scott’s virtual performance in Fortnite as well as the use of holograms to stand in for artists who are no longer able to perform. It will be interesting to see how this space changes and what the take-up will be.
Liked 17 Equations That Changed the World (medium.com)

One of the masters of writing mathematician Ian Stewart wrote about 17 equations that he believes have changed the world. In his book, In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World, he discusses each equation in an engaging and practical manner, and he gives a number of illustrations of how those equations have and are impacting our lives.