Change the date

Malcolm Turnbull recently released a short video with his thoughts on Australia Day. In it he says …

“Australia Day is a day to come together and celebrate what unites us.”

A thought I wholeheartedly endorse. But he also says …

“I’m disappointed by those who want to change the date of Australia Day, seeking to take a day that unites Australia and Australians and turn it into one that would divide us”

… which is just nonsensical.

26 January marks a day when Europeans arrived on these shores to inhabit this land, and in doing so radically affected the indigenous peoples already occupying the continent. The newcomers of 1788 came with a mix of good, evil, and indifferent attitudes towards the native peoples. They also undeniably brought disease, death, dispossession, and decline to the indigenous peoples. And for this reason, 26 January can never be a date that unites all Australians.

Malcolm Turnbull is 100% wrong when he says that those who want to change the date are being divisive – it is those who want to maintain 26 January as Australia Day who are perpetuating division.

Let’s change the date, so that all Australians can celebrate Australia Day together.

Liddell Power Station

Not Liddell power station – ABC News gets it wrong. (Actually Bayswater.)

Liddell power station (near Muswellbrook NSW) has been in the news this week, with a bit of a public stoush between its owners AGL who intend to close the station in 2022, and Malcolm Turnbull who wants to keep it open for five years beyond that date.

One of the frustrating aspects of this has been how frequently the media shows a picture of a power station other than Liddell when reporting on Liddell.

I’m familiar with Liddell power station as I worked there as an electrical engineer from December 1986 to January 1988 in my first job  after graduating from university.  Since the media is incapable of showing pictures of Liddell, I thought I’d scan and post some of the photos I took while I worked there. It was an interesting time, as there was a lot of repair and remediation work going on, and I got to look inside a lot of equipment that would normally be unseen.

Liddell High Voltage Certificate.

Fakebook

I’m not on Facebook. There are many reason’s why, but in an excellent article discussing the role of the media in the recent U.S. election Joshua Benton of NiemanLab expresses one of my misgivings very succinctly …

Facebook has become a sewer of misinformation … Facebook has built a platform for the active dispersal of these lies — in part because these lies travel really, really well.

Our world has rolled from “post-modern” to “post-factual”, and Facebook is one of the biggest wheels in the grubby machine that profits from lies and misinformation.

UPDATE

So it’s not just me imagining a void of veracity… less than 24 hours after posting this blog article, Oxford Dictionaries announce that their Word of the Year for 2016 is “post-truth”.