All posts for the topic: Charity and Philanthropy

Newslash: Racist anti-immigration “thinktanks” lie with statistics

Est Reading Time: 4 min [CN: White supremacy, eugenics etc] Anti-immigration groups/politicians have always been trying to intellectualise their views. Behind the veil it’s just the same old but if they put on a mask they can get more people than just their base to think they “have a point”. This is what happened when this 1996(?) video by founder of anti-immigration NumbersUSA Roy Beck recently went viral. It was misleading enough for someone I know to voice initial support, only realising after that it was not credible. Here it is: Video link The most misleading thing about this video is its existence – it […]

Continue Reading

Respectability Politics Must Die

Est Reading Time: 7 min [CN:Trump][I’ve had a bit of a hiatus due to life but now that The World Has ChangedTM I can’t help but write again.]So much to say and do. I’ll take it one bite at a time. You’ve had two weeks to look at dozens of analyses (some academic, some viral/populist) of WHOSE FAULT it was that Trump had won. I’m sure you’re familiar with this narrative. That it was a protest vote against the establishment/’elites’. That it was cast by people who have been for too long ignored, condescended to and abused with the r-word, the h-word, the m-word by […]

Continue Reading

You are entitled to a job, but not to any particular job

Est Reading Time: 4 min A prior post talked about the genuine cost of the upcoming NSW ban on greyhound racing. This got me thinking about public discussion of what job someone’s “entitled” to. Usually I’ve seen opinions about this fall closely towards one of these 3 (arranged from most to least utopian): You are entitled to the livelihood you want You are entitled to a livelihood You are entitled to the pursuit of livelihood I’m firmly with #2 but to explain why it’s easiest to first look at both ends of the spectrum: You are entitled to the pursuit of livelihood This one’s the […]

Continue Reading

2016: a wishlist for the Flying Spaghetti Monster

Est Reading Time: 4 min [CN: All the things] Dear noodly overlord, I know that 2016 has already started but you’re as generous as the FSMas season is long. I know that if you look at it from one way there’s never been a better time to be alive. Last year was the first year child mortality rates fell below 6 million. The overrall deaths from war and conflict are in decline. We might be able to cross polio off the list soon. Global life expectancy is over 70, the highest it’s ever been. Only 0.4% of the world’s population are enslaved which could well […]

Continue Reading

The Australian government is pretty good at misleading charts

Est Reading Time: 3 min The Abbott government introduced a new page in Australian tax assessments that provides a breakdown of where your taxes go. I’m not sure whose idea it was but I really like the concept. It might be one of the only positive achievements of Abbott’s 726 days in office. But the way it’s executed is seriously misleading to be in line with the Abbott government’s agenda. Here’s an example tax return with the personal details and amounts deleted: It starts off with some alarmist (ie. bold) text about the level of Australian Government debt. This is supposed to be a big […]

Continue Reading

Sydney’s war against the homeless is a form of social cleansing

Est Reading Time: 6 min [CN: Dehumanisation, crimes against humanity] In addition to the problems intrinsic to homelessness, homeless people often suffer from deliberate harm by others. For example, this story documents how often gangs of [non-homeless] people have been attacking homeless people in Melbourne, stealing their things and even throwing them into the Yarra river. It’s hard to fathom the callous sense of entitlement and belief in the just world fallacy that would drive such actions, but these have been taken to much greater extremes in parts of Latin America. Social cleansing is the act of targeting people you deem “undesirable” for the selfless […]

Continue Reading

The problem with global indexes

Est Reading Time: 7 min In the last decade, we’ve seen an explosion in the media of country-based rankings/indexes that are meant to measure more than “just” traditional economic metrics like GDP. While GDP is an important measure that tells us something about what’s going on in a region, it’s very easy to see that it misses a huge chunk of the bigger picture. That kind of stuff is a bit harder to see for something like the World Happiness Index. But we have to be skeptical. Not because these types of indexes are worthless (although some have huge problems) but because without a critical […]

Continue Reading

Anyone up for hearing some good news in 2015?

Est Reading Time: 4 min 2014 was not a great year for the world by any means. If you haven’t seen this great cartoon from The Nib summarising just some of the shitty things that happened, you should. So naturally, what did 2015 do so far? Promise to be a much much shittier year, if these trends continue. On which, all I’ll have to say is that there’s been tragedy in Nigeria on an unimaginable scale which (1) deserves the title “War on Terror” a lot more than what it’s normally used for and (2) has been completely overshadowed by [pretty important] discussions around #JeSuisCharlie. […]

Continue Reading

The Ice Bucket Challenge and its critics + meta-critics

Est Reading Time: 6 min If you’re reading this, you have access to the internet and this means you’ve heard (lots) about the ice bucket challenge. I won’t even describe it other than to mention that the amount of money it has raised is over $50M as of August 22. Given that about half of the mentions (or videos) of the challenge I’ve seen have been in the last few days, I’d bet that has gone up by a lot. As with any viral social phenomenon (especially one about social causes), it’s also attracted a lot of backlash from anti-posts on social media to full-length […]

Continue Reading

Could you be like Oskar Schindler?

Est Reading Time: 5 min Most people have probably heard of Oskar Schindler through Spielberg’s movie Schindler’s List. Schindler is the most famous member of 25,271 people called Righteous of the Nations. These are non-Jews identified by the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum to have committed courageous acts that saved Jews during the Holocaust. Schindler was a member of the Nazi party and an industrialist who ran some factories during WWII. He ended up saving approximately 1092 Jews by registering them as workers for his factory and bribing Nazi officials to be allowed to do this. Originally this was with a profit motive but apparently he […]

Continue Reading