Software algorithms get a lot of bad press at the moment. They're accused of forcing us into siloes and echo chambers, of shaping our views and attitudes, and of generally being the earthly manifestation of Lucifer. But that's not the real problem. The problem with software recommendation algorithms is that they don't work very well.… Continue reading Algorithms
Canberra gets a lot of bad press. Some of it is deserved, but less that you might think. Being the capital of Australia, it suffers the same curse which afflicts Washington DC and Brasilia; namely that it is an invented settlement which has been located for reasons of politcs rather than practicality. In the case… Continue reading Canberra
In this election season I have been forced to conclude that Clive Palmer's electoral office are trying to sabotage him. I mean, look at that poster. Looks like it's been put together by the year nine work experience kid. Awful Photoshopping, lurid colours, typography that could only be worsened by the addition of WinDings. It's… Continue reading 7 April 2019, Union road, Surrey Hills, Victoria
Most churches in Australia give off a strong air of swimming against the tide. The buildings are spic and span, gardens watered and mantels dusted by a committee of keen parishioners. But the demographics are inescapable. There are no young people. There are twee little poems posted on the bathroom wall about not leaving the… Continue reading 6 April 2019, Surrey Hills Uniting Church, Victoria
Public holidays in Victoria are a confusing mess. They give people an extra day off (which is nice), but strange and contradictory dates have accreted over the years. While no-one would suggest that we have fewer holidays, perhaps we should reorganise them a bit to make them more reflective of contemporary life in this State.… Continue reading Public Holidays
I came to the Gold Coast like everyone does – because I had some business to attend to and it seemed like a pleasant escape from the gloom of the southern states. “Australia’s Gold Coast” is the claim, a somewhat redundant effort to differentiate between Queensland and Ghana. Actually it’s Queensland’s Gold Coast, judging from the self-promoting hoarding slapped up everywhere. If you can’t advertise to the tourists, advertise to the locals I suppose.
Do you ever get frustrated with people around you in the city who don't seem to pay attention? People who can't walk? People with no apparent peripheral vision? This concept from wild navigator Tristan Gooley may illuminate this problem. "A study by the US Military found that soldiers of equal military experience did not see… Continue reading Why people in cities can’t walk properly
If I asked you what "good food" is, I can guarantee that your answers would be different to those of people in other times and places. But human physiology doesn't vary that much - why would good food for you be bad food for me? Clearly there are some people with allergies or other intolerances who… Continue reading Food is fashion… sort of