Tag: politics

Australia Votes 2010

Australia Votes 2010

Okay, here’s my quick take on the Aussie election:
– It’ll be decided by the independents, there’s only one green in the house and he wont play ball with Liberal/National coalition.
– The independents are all former National members who felt that country Australia and the environmental factors were being ignored – more likely to side with a lib/nat coalition but it’ll be the greenest shade the coalition has ever had.
– Best case scenario for the country: one of the major parties works with greens/independents for a carbon trading scheme and tax reforms that make Australia a safe place to invest, making up for their lack of economic planing. The investment coming into the country from safe economic planning can then be funneled into long needed infrastructure.

The Ignorance of Trendy -ism Bashers

The Ignorance of Trendy -ism Bashers

I have been in the middle of many conversations recently where people have been bashing one particular way of thinking. These have ranged from creationism and Darwinism to capitalism and socialism. Without a doubt I have been playing the devils advocate and it certainly makes me unpopular with some people who don’t understand why I’m not agreeing with their “logic.”

University educated students, particularly in western countries, really think they know it all – they are certainly on the right track to knowledge, but they are certainly suckers for popularism.

Many people that I respect as critical thinkers are constantly putting their proverbial feet into their collective mouths by mindlessly insulting whatever -ism seems to be unpopular with their peers or greater society.

This -ism bashing trend is certainly not new. It used to be cool to think that our flat world was the centre of the universe, that a monarch was omnipotent or that free-thinking women were devil worshipers.

We’ve gone back and forth from polar opposites throughout our entire existence. Liberalism and conservatism. Some of our ways of thinking are so similar and yet are bashed on their different defining nuances in complete ignorance. Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism.

Statistically, it is incredibly improbable that any one of them would be completely correct. Individualism or collectivism? However, the reverse is actually very true as well. There is a very good chance that many of them will be right in many different ways. Industrialism and environmentalism.

So, what do all our favourite -ism’s have in common? They can’t all be completely right, but they can’t all be completely wrong.

Furthermore, what has history taught us? Ignorance may be bliss for a while, but no single way of thinking has lasted the time. Localism, nationalism or globalisation?

Maybe we’re just early into our evolutionary path; maybe that path was designed by an intelligent being; maybe we’ll make contact with other intelligent life forms; maybe there is more to the human psyche that we could ever conceive; maybe we can be united or maybe division and segregation is in our nature.

With our current knowledge of science, spirituality, humanity, politics, economics and the universe that we live in there is really only one option if you want save face and not be humiliated by ignorance or hypocrisy: Be humble, open-minded, practice constructive critic-ism, and most importantly, learn to bite your tongue.

Henley '08 – Instalment I

Henley '08 – Instalment I

Yes, I have been very bad at updating this, I’m sorry.

So here’s the run down…

We flew out on Wed afternoon. Nanna, Pa, Auntie Jo and Angus took me to the airport to see me off (which was really nice). After stopping over in Bangkok and getting a Thai massage (Corbs had a guy massaging him and it was rather amusing) we arrived safely in London on Thursday morning GMT.

After waiting another 2 hours because Zoe’s plane was delayed, we located our car and drove to Henley (via Staines BC to pick up some gear). The car is the SMALLEST seven seater you will EVER see, by the time we arrived in Henley to drop off our gear at the accommodation many of us had numb body parts because the bags were packed in on top of us (I don’t think I can emphasise just how tightly we were packed).

Upon arriving at Sequia House, we were greeted by the lovely Odette Moss (and her large dog) who showed us to our rooms and made us feel comfortable. She has been the most helpful, wonderful, generous host and I am so thankful that we were lined up with her.

Quick change in to zooties and we made our way down to the course to rig up the boat and go for a training row.

The training row was tough, we were all so jet lagged and the crew lacked concentration, but this was to be expected after the flight – thank God we didn’t have to qualify on the Friday!

We picked up a bit of shopping and then I cooked us some nice burritos. After demolishing the burritos we all tried to stay awake to get over the jet lag and eventually hit the sack at about 9pm — in the 51 hours prior I had only 2 hours sleep.. zzz…

Friday morning came and we awoke to a fantastic breakfast prepared by Odette, scoffed it down and then ducked away to the course for a training row. It seemed to go all right, however you could still tell we were recovering from jet lag.

Again the process of “eat, sleep, row” carried on for the rest of Friday and Saturday until we had a day off on Sunday (first day off in at least a fortnight).

On Sunday we dropped Ben, Corbs and Zoe down to the train station so they could spend the day in London; Rob, Susanne and Cadeyrn went to Oxford and I hung in Henley for the day. My folks came down from London for the day to meet me which was great 😀 I hadn’t seen them for a few weeks. I took them for a tour of the course and then we ran in to big Philthy Matthews!! So we all went to the Catherine Wheel for lunch which became afternoon tea as well.

We talked with Philthy for hours about his time at Harvard, rowing, politics, Uni, family and all the usual sort. It was great to catch up with him! Ah, I love that kid!

When we all arrived back on the Sunday evening for a wonderful meal that Odette decided to make for us, Cadeyrn was starting to get sick. His sickness lasted through until Tuesday.

This meant that we had not trained as a crew between our last row on Saturday and Tuesday morning when we went for a very short training row.

So that brings me to today. We’re racing Cambridge University at 5:20pm GMT and we are far under-prepared. As Rob said in our crew meeting yesterday, “the only way we can win this first race is with passion, and we’re going to need a heck load”.

Here’s hoping!