Missing Link, Tuesday 10 July


A bit of navel gazing never hurt anyone, and in this issue, various bloggers engage our (oftimes troubled) relationship with the MSM, along with the role of new communications tools. Particularly worthwhile in this context is Peter Black’s ongoing examination of Facebook v others – this time Google – and Kim’s discussion of the Adelaide Festival of Ideas. Oz at Decomposing Trees has a different take again on Facebook.

Also worth a look is Jason Soon’s exercise in reviewing the reviewers, particularly yet another MSM jeremiad warning that blogging is going to destroy ‘quality journalism’. Tangential to this is Harry Clarke’s commentary on Channel 9’s ongoing woes, and my personal encounter with a pair of Channel 7’s flagship presenters.

Today’s Missing Link brought to you by Amanda Rose, Jason Soon, James Farrell and Legal Eagle. Helen ‘skepticlawyer’ Dale did the editing thingy. Today’s graphics come courtesy of Steve Munn (a beautiful Powerful Owl) and Channel 7 photographer Geordie McRae (yours truly with Mel and Kochie).

1. News and Politics Stuff

At Surfdom, Aussie Bob rejects the suggestion that the poll results in the aftermath of the NT intervention are paradoxical:

Most people think something had to be done, but they smell rodent in the doing of it. The improvement of Howards position in the Preferred PM beauty contest supports the former. The improvement in support for Labor in primary vote supports the latter. Nothing inconsistent at all.

At LP, Kim kicks off another good opinion poll discussion. Bryan at OzPolitics kicks off an electoral tipping competition. Not for the faint-hearted!

Andrew Bartlett sets cynicism to one side and welcomes the Federal Treasurer’s interest in the housing shortage. In a piece published in Crikey, Andrew argues that solutions have largely been worked out, if only Mr Costello will listen.

Tim Dunlop notes that the Government is encouraging small businesses to use collective bargaining in their dealings with bigger businesses – as long as they don’t use trade unions, and they’ve legislated to make sure they don’t.

Shaun Cronin thinks Mick Keelty’s unwillingness to share intelligence with state police betrays a feudal mentality.

As a no confidence motion in the Malliki government approaches, Eric Martin provides a useful update on frictions in the ruling Shia alliance in the Iraqi parliament, and outside it. Also on Iraq, since the specialist ‘good news’ blogs have all gone by the wayside, John Quiggin takes it upon himself to summarise the State Department’s latest infrastructure report.

Tim Blair exposes the carbon footprint of Live Earth, while Paul Norton previews The Great Global Warming Swindle. Paul naturally deplores the program, but the Machiavellian in him calculates that:

it may not be a bad thing to have such tripe being screened in a Federal election year at the behest of an ABC board cluttered with Howard government appointees, and for a very loud chorus of greenhouse denialism to be sustained by prominent supporters and allies of the Howard government.

Steve Edwards is back with some particularly provocative posts on Malaysian multiculturalism and the war in the south of Thailand.

Beju has a belated but well thought-out post on the pros and cons of the Government’s indigenous plan.

Broken Left Leg notices that George W Bush has become a laughing stock for the purpose of advertising campaigns. Still on intellectual issues, John Ray at a Western Heart asks some interesting questions of the research one sees showing a black-white IQ gap. It may not be as useful as some of the more racist types like to think…

Matters Muslim garnered three really great pieces this issue. First up is Amir’s discussion of niche marketing to Muslims, particularly in the case of Shari’ah compliant financial products, then there’s Chris Berg’s thoughtful response to the online bucketing he copped after writing an IPA piece on links between Islamic ideas and free market economics. Saint, meanwhile, posts a timely reminder of the salient fact that most victims of Islamic terror are other Muslims.

Tony Kevin tends to divide people along rigidly partisan lines, but Roger Migently’s interview with him is well worth a look, regardless of your views.

2. Life and Other Serious Stuff

Steve Munn has a lovely piece on Australia’s largest owl species, and its adaptation to urban environments. Highly recommended scienceblogging.

Lauredhel helps spread some practical advice from New Zealand on how to raise the national IQ by curtailing the instinctive breeding frenzy of stupid poor women.

Adelaide bloggers have been reporting furiously on their Festival of Ideas. Here’s Pavlov’s Cat on the opening session on China and India, followed by a detailed coverage of the Digital Ink session, in which she was more stimulated by Paul Chadwick than by Colleen Ryan or Francis Wheen. Tim Dunlop gives a good account of the session on employment relations (with speakers ranging from John Buchanan to Charles Firth!)

Apathetic Sarah can’t see any justification for the continued detention of Dr Mohammed Haneef. Also in this context, Gary Sauer-Thompson looks at the government’s power to detain without charge and draws a broader conclusion about administrative power generally.

Marcellous has a challenging post on knee-jerk reactions to a criminal case involving a pedophile.mcrae.gif

Andrew Norton has a superb piece on the unintended consequences of ‘family friendly’ working conditions, particularly when they’re imposed externally.

3. The Yartz

Richard Watts posts his interview with Sydney Dance Company’s Graeme Murphy.

A review of … a book at Sarsparilla.

A tribute to the recently retired principle at the Aust Ballet, Steven Heathcote.

Australian Pottery blog with an eBay bargain.

A profile of Melbourne artist Beci Orphin.

A particularly fine piece of album art at 20th Century Danny Boy.

Getting kids involved in collaborative art.

A rather unimpressed survey of Live Earth events.

A typically engrossing piece at Barista on a “community video institution” but it’s about so much more.

4. T.S.S

(troppo sports stadium)

Rank and Vile reports on the hitherto underwhelming game of the Socceroos in the Asian Cup. The Football Tragic also has an excellent round-ball roundup on the same game. Here’s hoping that they improve.

Here at Troppo, Nick Gruen combines econometrics and cricket in a beautiful post discussing Bradman’s average, and the effect on it of controlling for various periods in his playing life. ((My post of the week I have to say.~SL))

Phil Gomes manages to drag himself away from the Tour just long enough to produce a good writeup on recent developments in the world of Olympic sports and the politics of hosting.

5. Mad, Bad, Sad and Glad

A Roll of the Dice finds some research which confirms the old adage that homophobes are repressed homosexuals. Darryl Mason finds some research establishing that eating at the wheel while driving doubles the chance of an accident. Anyone for a chip?

Legal Eagle has a great piece on that most conservative of occupations, lawyers, and the attendant dress-code. Be prepared for a giggle as sundry lawyers show up in the comments and reveal their clothing gaffes.

Ken Lovell waxes lyrical about the custard apple, and has some suggestions about fruit and vegetables you should cultivate if you are lucky enough to live in tropical climes.

The Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe discovers the link between kids and bubble wrap.

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16 years ago

Troppo nearly ate this issue. Am really hoping it’s all right.

Legal Eagle
16 years ago

All looks present and correct to me. Hope the dreaded lurgi is treating you less dreadfully.


16 years ago

I dont really care about the Australian blogosphere since you outed GMB as not being as compos mentis as his deatiled outbursts imply, so I wont comment on this fuzzy ball of interlinked letters.

Just to let you know Helen, old Blighty is indeed blighted.

The whole city of Hull (near your parents old post-industrial stamping ground
of Scunthorpe) has been flooded with most homes so damaged some may not be inhabitable for years. You just dont hear about it, the same way New Orleans was just not talked about.

Record rainfall in many parts of this rainy country.

Tension and racism on the street is at a high level.

Civil liberties are at a minimum, whilst drink prices are at a maximum.

Oxford is one of the most expensive place in the country to live, even with a scholarship and a stuffy college room. The whole country is twice the price half the service (if the service is available at all). Trains are the most pricey in the world, traffic is gridlocked and there are no bike paths like Holland.

Oxford is full of yahs and yobbos, neither of which groups you belong to as an aussie with a brain. The teasing of Australians is relentless at Oxbridge. When I was kid in Cambridge, big bronzed Aussies were bashed for no reason and could not wait to get home.

If you think you don’t feel an attachment to Australia wait and see how attached you feel after a few months over here. You will remember the reasons your parents and so many others over the centuries have left. Even you if you feel like you have found your place here, it wont be a place in the sun.
There is no escape, it actually means term of your natural life and garden shears for the poppies who dont make it over the fence and attempt re-entry.

Also the other side run things over here and you have been pitching for the wrong side downunder.

Legal Eagle
16 years ago

Parkos, I found I didn’t fit in either place: England or Australia. Or perhaps, that I fitted in both, but only partially. I still love both, but I recognise the limitations of both as well.

In the end, as I’ve said to SL before, I am heartily glad that my forebears came here (or were transported here, as the case may be). Otherwise, I would be stuck in an Irish peat bog somewhere, or in Scottish slums or in a Manchester housing estate. At least my family got a chance in Australia. When I lived in the UK some 15 years ago, I found the class system to be incredibly rigid. As an Australian, I was outside the class structure, but many people would not allow me to forget my “colonial” status. That being said, once I made friends in the UK, they were very loyal and true friends, and I am still in touch with many now.