Aussie Politics



  • @Rembrandt said in Aussie Politics:

    You can't stop progress!

    https://m.themorningbulletin.com.au/news/parent-fury-as-primary-school-bans-cupcakes/3943752/

    I don't recall celebrating my birthday at school.





  • @Tim that is astonishing.

    Universities seem to have evolved into glorified training colleges, where independent thought is only OK if it aligns with the whims of the day. Really not great at all.





  • @nzzp

    I can't read either article, cos fuck the Guardian, and I'm not paying for the Australian. But, it sounds like ridiculousness from UQ.

    However, as someone who works at one, university staff are finding it hard going too - many students simply do not care and as the profit motive grows with user pays, the ability of institutions to guide students towards and through critical reasoned thinking is getting harder and harder. So, it's not great, but it follows society - look at what (and who) is valued in society, and then try to come at 19 year-olds with deductive and inductive reasoning and counter argument techniques, and see where that gets you.

    I'd add that university administrators and university staff are (generally) very different too. One problem is that educators and researchers generally want to avoid administration and focus on education, while administrators are focused on spin, student numbers, and the avoidance of any risk. Again, that follows society.

    Sorry for the diversion.

    Anyway, why universities are trying to limit debate about this issue is beyond me.



  • @gt12 said in Aussie Politics:

    Anyway, why universities are trying to limit debate about this issue is beyond me.

    $$$

    UQ has about 11k students from China, and a Confucius institute.



  • @Tim

    Sorry, I should have put in a sarcasm sign.

    I recently just lost an opportunity to apply for my dream job there due to Covid - it was opened then taken off the market as the entire system is dependent on Chinese students.

    Apparently, it won't come back up for years.



  • @gt12 Friend of a friend accepted a senior position at an Australian university last year, and started just as covid hit. The faculty there are paid from foreign student fees ...



  • @Tim

    Yeah, I’ve been wondering about the security for those positions. It was full-time but I don’t know at what point tenure is secured for new hires (usually 6 month review I think my friend said at the lecturer/senior lecturer level, but that could be school dependent).

    I’m certainly not giving up my tenure here lightly; I was pretty happy to go elsewhere but I imagine there will be extensive cuts at places for quite a while, so we’ll wait for a bit.



  • @Tim said in Aussie Politics:

    @gt12 said in Aussie Politics:

    Anyway, why universities are trying to limit debate about this issue is beyond me.

    $$$

    UQ has about 11k students from China, and a Confucius institute.

    It's terrible doing postgrad work with classes that are almost entirely foreign students. The pretence of competency in English no longer exists - somehow they're able to do the coursework without being able to speak, read or write.



  • @antipodean said in Aussie Politics:

    The pretence of competency in English no longer exists - somehow they're able to do the coursework without being able to speak, read or write.

    We struggled with this when hiring grads. For some people, the ability to communicate wasn't a big deal apparently. How do we deal with english as a second language, but still get diversity so we're not monocultural. It doesn't help that if we write poorly, we potentially get sued.



  • @gt12 said in Aussie Politics:

    @nzzp

    I can't read either article, cos fuck the Guardian, and I'm not paying for the Australian. But, it sounds like ridiculousness from UQ.

    However, as someone who works at one, university staff are finding it hard going too - many students simply do not care and as the profit motive grows with user pays, the ability of institutions to guide students towards and through critical reasoned thinking is getting harder and harder. So, it's not great, but it follows society - look at what (and who) is valued in society, and then try to come at 19 year-olds with deductive and inductive reasoning and counter argument techniques, and see where that gets you.

    I'd add that university administrators and university staff are (generally) very different too. One problem is that educators and researchers generally want to avoid administration and focus on education, while administrators are focused on spin, student numbers, and the avoidance of any risk. Again, that follows society.

    Sorry for the diversion.

    Anyway, why universities are trying to limit debate about this issue is beyond me.

    Disagree.
    Universities the world over have introduced identity politics and censorship to society for a long time.
    Evergreen uni
    Jordan Peterson
    Gad Saad
    Peter Borgosian
    Safe spaces
    Trigger warnings
    Berkeley riots of Milo
    Massey university and Don Brash
    Gender studies
    White privilege
    Diversity doctrines

    For those of us aghast at the weak principles of progressiveness, we sought the origin for such a facile ideology and universities come up time and again.

    Your claim is like saying Google follows society.



  • @Siam said in Aussie Politics:

    Berkeley riots of Milo

    Which is the most interesting / funny one from the pov that Milo is a fucking clown and stood for nothing but his own promotion. πŸ˜‰



  • I remember back in the 90s we had foreign students at our rural campus and it was the first time I'd met a lot of nationalities and religions. There was a Sri Lankan guy in particular who stuck to me like glue during one of the Geoscience subjects, because he explained how much it was costing him to attend and how his family couldn't really afford to fuck up.

    The thing is, he had no feel for it. He was just doing it to get the piece of paper, so it was a punish to try and backfill his knowledge. No idea what grade he got, but mine was pleasing from memory.

    When I worked at Sydney Uni in the early 2000s the amount of Chinese students was eye opening - the finance/economics faculty was just completing their brand new computer lab and quite proud of the balance of foreign money coming in.

    Not sure how, in that environment, you can accurately evaluate critical thinking - they're just going to re-hash what you want to here in order to get the marks.

    At the same time, I think romanticising about universities of days past is a little dangerous - universities tend to be a reflection of the society at the time. Let's not pretend that the boomers who went to Uni in the 60s and 70s are still the same free-love-hippie pot heads.



  • @NTA said in Aussie Politics:

    @Siam said in Aussie Politics:

    Berkeley riots of Milo

    Which is the most interesting / funny one from the pov that Milo is a fucking clown and stood for nothing but his own promotion. πŸ˜‰

    I agree mate, but there's a principle at play. I like your former deputy pm, John Anderson. He talks about a shift from principles in politics to middle management ( expedient measures to placate) these days and I think he talks sense



  • @Siam said in Aussie Politics:

    @NTA said in Aussie Politics:

    @Siam said in Aussie Politics:

    Berkeley riots of Milo

    Which is the most interesting / funny one from the pov that Milo is a fucking clown and stood for nothing but his own promotion. πŸ˜‰

    I agree mate, but there's a principle at play. I like your former deputy pm, John Anderson. He talks about a shift from principles in politics to middle management ( expedient measures to placate) these days and I think he talks sense

    The political class has definitely become more adept at politicking for the sake of it.

    I think anyone looking at State or Federal politics in Australia for the last decade would see much more than wasted opportunities and infighting.



  • @Siam

    I'm not here to debate identity politics in another thread. I'm totally fucking over that in this place.

    I hope you'll notice that I pointed out the gap between staff and administrators in my original post.

    My point was that in an instagram age young people are confronted by the image that where being hot, rude, naked, obnoxious, or otherwise will get you further than being being smart and well read. As a result, if you are educator, you've already got some barriers to break down.

    It's also worth noting that the fightback to many of those IP ideas has come from teaching and research staff in universities (e.g., Jordan Peterson), which goes to my original point that many of these changes make things harder for university staff (rather than administrators who have been right in the middle of driving some of these bad things, such as identity politics, in some places).

    Finally, I'd add that Identity politics doesn't feature very strongly at all in my teaching context. People get diversity, are kind to others, call someone what they want to be called by (it's never happened to me btw) and it works well - the ridiculousness from, primarily US liberal arts Unis is almost entirely absent from my Japanese liberal arts university.

    So, when I say that we are finding it hard, I'm not talking about kids protesting to me about safe spaces; I'm talking about kids who only want to surf the gram and send nudes, and don't care that they are dumb and couldn't give a fuck about the tens of thousands of dollars that their parents are paying for their education.

    Identity politics is not the defining feature of every discussion, on every thread, everywhere.



  • @gt12 awesome reply thanks mate. Yes, my take on further examination does place blame and distinction at administrators. Many of the teaching staff relate to being afraid to challenge the admin, with justification.
    Your quick summary of the "less motivated" students definitely tallies with my experiences in Thailand.

    You've corrected my vague assertions, thanks. Good luck with what you're doing man, I don't know many more feelings of joy when you teach and succeed with willing students. It's a wonderful thing to do. πŸ‘



  • @gt12 said in Aussie Politics:

    where being hot, rude, naked, obnoxious, or otherwise will get you further than being being smart and well read

    I've met a helluva lot of people in corporate life who had less talent or intellect than many others, but got further by being a total crunt. A lot of good ones as well, but the people who get paid well just for being visible while contributing absolutely zero ... it boggles the mind.

    Sure, there was hard work in there, and sacrifices, but ultimately our society long ago sailed on success being related to cruntility, and our political system is definitive proof of that.



  • @antipodean said in Aussie Politics:

    @Rembrandt said in Aussie Politics:

    You can't stop progress!

    https://m.themorningbulletin.com.au/news/parent-fury-as-primary-school-bans-cupcakes/3943752/

    I don't recall celebrating my birthday at school.

    In the same breath the people protesting little Tyffanie-Rae not getting cupcakes will say that people should stop being entitled.



  • @Siam said in Aussie Politics:

    @NTA said in Aussie Politics:

    @Siam said in Aussie Politics:

    Berkeley riots of Milo

    Which is the most interesting / funny one from the pov that Milo is a fucking clown and stood for nothing but his own promotion. πŸ˜‰

    I agree mate, but there's a principle at play. I like your former deputy pm, John Anderson. He talks about a shift from principles in politics to middle management ( expedient measures to placate) these days and I think he talks sense

    Anderson is sorely missed not just by his party but politics more broadly. He was a sensible measured type with an old school approach where he knew which fights to take on but with a bit of class and respect.



  • Rent-a-crowd retards are at it again. Something's happening in America, jump on the bandwagon:

    alt text

    'Over a thousand people gathered at Garmea Place in the city this morning to join the Black Lives Matter protest in Canberra.

    The protest saw a large group of people walk over the Commonwealth Ave bridge causing delays for some commuters. Some motorists showed their support by sounding their horn.

    The march saw people chanting about a number of issues as they moved up to the lawns of Parliament House.'



  • @antipodean said in Aussie Politics:

    Rent-a-crowd retards are at it again. Something's happening in America, jump on the bandwagon:

    alt text

    'Over a thousand people gathered at Garmea Place in the city this morning to join the Black Lives Matter protest in Canberra.

    The protest saw a large group of people walk over the Commonwealth Ave bridge causing delays for some commuters. Some motorists showed their support by sounding their horn.

    The march saw people chanting about a number of issues as they moved up to the lawns of Parliament House.'

    I'm sure they did.



  • What is Branch Stacking?

    And why is it bad?



  • @booboo said in Aussie Politics:

    What is Branch Stacking?

    And why is it bad?

    You have people that don't actually exist voting for your candidate.



  • @antipodean said in Aussie Politics:

    @booboo said in Aussie Politics:

    What is Branch Stacking?

    And why is it bad?

    You have people that don't actually exist voting for your candidate.

    Basically what you do when you don't want to risk anyone but your preferred brand of nepotism



  • @booboo said in Aussie Politics:

    What is Branch Stacking?

    And why is it bad?

    So most party pre-selections are done by a vote of the local branches. Those branches consist of 'rank and file' party members - generally old ducks and young fools who want to be involved in the party in some way.

    Branch stacking is when one candidate 'stacks' the branch by introducing dozens of new members that have no real party affiliation, and their sole purpose is to vote for that candidate in the coming pre-selection.

    So instead of a pre-selection considering the merits of the candidates, it comes down to who can bring the most people in the door to vote for them. Key targets for stackers - family members, student groups, churches, ethnic groups.

    What it means broadly is the best local candidate is often overlooked in favour of local stackers. This impacts the supply chain of future leaders, as you want the backbench to be a breeding ground of talented people rather than a cesspool of local hacks.

    How do you fix it? Tighter rules around membership, perhaps. More central oversight in candidates maybe. But there is no easy answer as both of those things can have unintended consequences.


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