John Faulkner calls for enhanced oversight of Australia’s intelligence agencies

John Faulkner is one of Australia's most respected Senators - on either side of politics.  He is now making a compelling case for more enhanced oversight of Australia's rapidly growing intelligence establishment, in his essay published in the Financial Review: Surveillance, intelligence and accountability: an Australian story. Since 2001 (September 11) there have been 62 new pieces of anti-terror legislation passed and enacted in Australia. … [Read more...]

Heidegger, Technology and Nazism: black notebooks add a black mark

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Many who are interested in the social and ethical aspects of science and technology have at least a passing acquaintance with 20th century German philosopher Martin Heidegger.  Heidegger's later work, particularly his essay "The Question Concerning Technology" has influenced a lot of thinking about how we experience and engage with modern technology. For myself I never ventured beyond reading one or two of his later essays; his earlier magnum … [Read more...]

Update on chemicals in bedding

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After further enquiries to some manufacturers and suppliers about chemicals in bedding, I can offer the following updates for those who like to know more about the chemicals they are sleeping with. Most of the companies I contacted were helpful in supplying specific information (although an enquiry to the manufacturers of Tontine products received no response). I can report that the Dunlop foam that is used in bedding is not treated with Ultra … [Read more...]

Keeping toxic chemicals out of our beds: a cautionary tale

Last Friday 22 August I had ABC Radio National’s Life Matters talkback program on in the background and I noticed that it was about ‘chemical overload’ and one of the guests was respected science journalist Julian Cribb. He has just published a new book, Poisoned Planet: How constant exposure to man-made chemicals is putting your life at risk. My ears pricked up as I am chemically sensitive, which means that I have adverse reactions to some … [Read more...]

Shining a light on the extremist program of neoliberalism

The arrival of the Tony Abbott-led Liberal National Party (LNP) government in Australia means the ideology of neoliberalism is once again to the fore. Neoliberalism is the dominant ideological matrix of our age, having insinuated itself into the global ‘common sense’. It is the driving ideological force behind the now familiar government (of all shades) focus in recent decades on marketization, privatization, and deregulation. Although the Labor … [Read more...]