The Null Device


A poll about "Australian values" (you know, the great woolly thing that Professional Australians of all stripes will pontificate endlessly on) reveals that the Prime Minister's cherished value of "mateship" (whatever that involves) isn't regarded as very important, with freedom of speech and tolerance.

Interestingly enough, the poll reveals a generational shift in values; older people (those who lived through the cultural thaw between the 1970s and 1990s) are more likely to rate freedom of speech as most important and fret that religion has excessive influence in public life; meanwhile, younger people (Generation Hillsong?) and residents of Queensland (what the Americans would term a "red state") regard "mateship" as more important. Which suggests a shift away from the permissive individualism born in the 1960s towards a stronger group identity and possibly an endorsement of the majoritarian paternalism embodied by the Howard government.

Similarly, "freedom of speech" is most popular with Labor and Greens voters, whilst Tory voters give priority to "respect for democracy and parliament" (which sounds like "respect for authority" dressed up in tastefully unthreatening muted earth tones, with a touch of the ever-popular "majority rule").

australia paternalism politics society 0

An Italian television programme invited 50 politicians to its studio on the pretext of being interviewed and surreptitiously tested them for drugs; the result was that 12 politicians tested positive for cannabis, and 4 for cocaine:

The programme sent a reporter to interview lower house deputies allegedly for a programme about the 2007 draft budget currently going through parliament.
But unbeknown to each of them, the make-up artist employed by the show was dabbing their brow with swabs, and their perspiration was later tested for cannabis and cocaine.
The satirical programme, Le Iene ("The Hyænas") is on the network run by right-wing ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, so it is not known how impartial the target selection was. Given that cannabis was more prevalent than cocaine, one does wonder.

(via RRR) drugs hypocrisy media politics pranks 0

I've just discovered a slightly nifty feature in MacOS X, when running on a relatively recent *Book.

If you hold down Ctrl and drag up on the trackpad with two fingers (as you would to scroll upward), the screen zooms in around the cursor. Releasing Ctrl keeps it magnified, though following the cursor. Holding down Ctrl and scrolling down zooms back out.

I'm told the feature is new to the 10.4.8 update that recently came out.

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