‘Is Tony Abbott the most incompetent leader of any industrialised democracy?’

Great question, and it was reported just about everywhere. Interestingly, the original blog post by Joshua Kurlantzick was called ‘Tony Abbott Has To Go‘, and you should read the whole thing, but first let’s just all take a moment in our busy lives to appreciate some quotes from the original piece:

in less than two years as prime minister, Abbott has proven shockingly incompetent … so incapable of clear policy thinking, so unwilling to consult with even his own ministers and advisers, and so poor at communicating that he has to go.


Abbott’s policies have been all over the map, and the lack of coherence has often made the prime minister seem ill-informed and incapable of understanding complex policy issues.


… In addition, he appears to have one of the worst senses of public relations of any prime minister in recent Australian history. At major economic summits, he has embarrassed Australia with his coarse rhetoric.

And for bonus points, Mother Jones on Abbott: ‘One of the World’s Worst Climate Villains Could Soon Be Booted From Office‘.

Four kinds of privacy

It’s hard to talk about ‘privacy’ without more precise language, so I’m posting this as a good start.

writes in The Social Filter, ‘In the introduction to The Offensive Internet, a collection of essays about online privacy issues, editors Martha Nussbaum and Saul Levmore list four distinct ways to conceive of the stakes of privacy:

There is the value of seclusion, which is the right to be beyond the gaze of others. There is intimacy, in which one chooses with whom to share certain information and experiences. There is also the interest in secrecy, which is to information as seclusion is to the physical person. And then there is autonomy, which is the set of private choices each person makes.’

And from the same article: ‘From Facebook’s perspective, privacy is a kind of transaction cost weighing on “peer productivity” within its vertically integrated social factory. Giving users apparent control over privacy settings pacifies their concerns and elicits more voluntary labor from them.’

And ‘As Woodrow Hartzog and Evan Selinger point out in their chapter on “Obscurity and Privacy” for the forthcoming Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Technology, “Even if one keeps a relatively obscure digital trail, third parties can develop models of your interests, beliefs, and behavior based upon perceived similarities with others who share common demographics.” Regardless of what you have chosen to share, you can always be modeled more broadly. Companies like Facebook can ascribe simulated, probable data points to you, which will become factors in the way other institutions treat you, regardless of whether those probabilities are realities.’

On blogging?

I’m just leaving this here as something to think about when I’ve more time: Blogging is very much alive — we just call it something else now.

I’ve been posting on this site in a sorta-bloglike way since 1996 (and boy was I classy back then). I never really felt part of a wider blogosphere, particularly as more and more people I knew and read stopped blogging, but my posts were definitely part of wider conversations with friends and randoms. What now?