Category Archives: Literature

Battle: an article by Vance Palmer, Meanjin, 1942

I happened upon this yesterday and thought it might be of interest to readers here. THE next few months may decide not only whether we are to survive as a nation, but whether we deserve to survive. As yet none … Continue reading

Posted in History, Literature | 5 Comments

The Secret River: The Play ★★★

I went to see The Secret River last night – and returned from the experience underwhelmed. It tries to be a truthful depiction of one aspect of the ‘frontier wars’ and so it presents a bunch of European setting up shop … Continue reading

Posted in Films and TV, Life, Literature, Philosophy, Political theory | 4 Comments

Much ado about ‘middlebrow’ #GetALife

Curtesy of reading Susan Johnson’s fine and latest novel The Landing and then following her on Twitter, I came to read this review. It’s an interesting read, but I was intensely irritated with its preoccupation with the category of ‘middlebrow’. It’s not a question … Continue reading

Posted in Literature | 9 Comments

Professionalism as tyranny: a liberationist fantasy

Adam Smith put it memorably above. I’ll be forever grateful for my time at the Australian Centre for Social Innovation because it has shown me the generality of that statement. Whether Smith intended it or not, it applies not just to businesspeople … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Economics and public policy, Literature, Philosophy, Political theory | 4 Comments

Reading list for the Opposition leader

OK. The Grattan Institute with all its funding is producing, as it always does, a reading list for the PM. To show the power of blogging I thought we’d do the same here.  I wrote “Opposition leader” above just to … Continue reading

Posted in Literature | 11 Comments

What’s wrong with TED talks – hint: quite a lot

I have almost certainly fulminated in various asides against TED talks on this blog, and even one full on cri de coeur against retail profundification. (I promised one on business class profundification but I haven’t managed to do it yet. … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Economics and public policy, Education, Literature, Media, Philosophy, Political theory | 11 Comments

Happy little optimisers we

I know I took the notion of optimising to heart as I learned it – implicitly – from my economist Dad. And there are those who might argue that the idea in economics came from the society around economists as the discipline came into … Continue reading

Posted in Life, Literature, Philosophy, Religion | 5 Comments