Begin Rant: the deception of Batman

The Batman by-election has made me very uncomfortable. How did Adani and refugees become the defining issues of a by-election – and why are both the leading candidates pretending that the result will affect any kind of change in Government or policy reality?

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Begin Rant: is back.

Hi. It’s been a while hasn’t it?

This blog was never dead, I just locked it because I was trying to be non-partisan and impartial academic while PhDing. That didn’t work. I kept posting stuff on medium and tweeting my head off, so I figured – particularly as my outrage level is a little higher these days – I may as well just bring this old thing back to life.

I’ve copied a few of the Medium posts over, I past do a few more, I need to add tags properly and I’m going to update the theme, as this now 9 year old one is a little hard to read, doesn’t work on phone, and the images are yuck. Just gimme a little time.

A post is currently brewing on the Batman by-election, I just haven’t decided whether to post it today, or after polls close tomorrow night.

If you have thoughts, want me to post on something, whatever, the best way to talk to me is on Twitter.

End Rant.



Begin Rant: There’s nothing wrong with Demand Driven uni places. You just don’t get ATARs.

There’s been a lot of discussion for some time now about demand driven university places and how they’re somehow bad, because it has led to a fall in ATARs and poor student completion rates.

Yeah right. The problem is not with demand driven places. The problem has always been with the ill-informed obsession with ATAR cut-offs, which almost no-one understands.

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A theory on why the polling is off.

Originally posted on Medium

There’s lots of things being written trying to explain what went wrong with the polls in the lead up to the US election. The only one worth reading in my opinion is Nate Silver’s pretty humble and honest bit here. Morons like Real Clear Politics still claiming they didn’t get it wrong should be utterly ignored.

The fact is polls have been off around the world for a number of years. They may have gotten the result right, but the margins are wrong: landslides predicted become slim victories, and vice versa. Outlier polls are derided as being ‘obviously’ wrong, which doesn’t help. The lack of tracking polls (often more accurate), focus group data and more in depth and academic study of voter behaviour to help make sense of the quick hit voter intent polling also doesn’t help; although usually there so much polling going on the US that lack of substantive research is not an issue.

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Begin Rant: Why every news outlet in Australia should be covering #notmydebt. Every day.

Originally posted on Medium

The controversy about Centrelink’s automated debt notices or ‘robo-debts’ did get some decent coverage when the story broke, and some nice deep coverage and profiles particularly from the ABC. The Senate Committee hearings are doing their thing with very few stories coming out of them, and there’s a general feeling that the media cycle has moved on.

That may be about protecting people following the release the personal information of Andie Fox and Rhys Cauzzo. Or, it may just be that the story has been done. The #notmydebt site collates all media stories on this issue and you can see the drop off in March is pretty stunning.

Don’t move on. Go back. Put someone on this as a matter of priority. Watch this issue and the #notmydebt hashtag, Reddit threads, website and Facebook group daily. There is a tipping point coming.

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