On Filters and Censorship in Australia

This post started out as an attempt to use WordPress’s new email feature. I was writing from early morning Mongarlowe in rural New South Wales when my Internet access froze and I managed to lose my email post! Events seemed appropriate given the topic of this post.

Two posts in recent days have caught my attention in the discussion of the proposed filter (censorship) of Internet content in Australia. The first was by Josh Mehlman on the ABC’s Drum Unleashed entitled Filter opponents: change tactics or fail. The second was by Senator Kate Lundy Further thoughts on the filter. Both posts have drawn a large amount of comments and discussion (Josh’s post has 126 comments at the time of writing this post and Senator Lundy 118 comments).

I thought Josh’s post was insightful and informative and exemplified some of the exciting space available to contributors to The Drum. I thought Senator Lundy’s post was an impressive synthesis of discussions stimulated by her first post on the filter (censorship). I think she has displayed enormous courage in stimulating the debate an exploring her own position on these matters in a blog that has the subtitle Taking Australia forward with openness and vision.

Both posts encouraged me to think about a non zero sum solution to filtering and censoring. I wondered if the debate could acknowledge the diversity of views without creating folk devils and moral panics. What if we could accommodate each other? What if opting in and opting out were indicators of an informed, sensitive society that celebrated openness in a world that needs our connectedness?

I am off to reread Josh’s post to reflect on his advice about advocacy and then on to Seth Simonds’ post Bye with a Warmly Huggs to learn more about pitching.

Vicarious Learning and Reciprocal Altruism

I follow 257 people on Twitter and am moving towards 500 tweets. Whenever I access Twitter I find a treasure trove of links and discussions. Twitter has accelerated for me the connectedness that Stephen Downes offers in his work. My access to Twitter, Stephen’s work and my aggregation of blog posts has transformed my reading, thinking and practice (CCK08 was my tipping point). Leigh Blackall‘s arrival as a work colleague has added to this momentum.

It has led me to think how vicarious learning (ambient awareness) can promote reciprocal altruism.

This post is a twenty-four hour snapshot of some of the sharing that came through my personal learning environment.

On Sunday I came across a link to Tom Davenport’s post about Forwarding is the New Networking. I checked in to Twitter a little later to find Typeboard‘s (1,011 tweets) link to Online Content Plagiarism at its Best.

Shortly after reading that article I came across Malinka‘s (1,863 tweets) tweet about tag clouds. This post reminded me very much of Rose Holley‘s observations about tag fog.

Kate Caruthers (26,180 tweets) tweeted about Social Media 2009 and Beyond. (I caught up with Steve Wheeler’s Networked Naughties too.) Shortly after following up Kate’s lead I found some tweets from Alec Courosa (32,697 tweets) about his students including Kelsi McGillivray and Bradie Mann. They demonstrate wonderful social commitments to reflection and sharing. (In the process I found their shared a Prezi.) I think Alec’s students exemplify some of the characteristics discussed by John Sener in his review (via Harold Jarche 6,792 tweets) of Disrupting Class:

individualizing instruction, situational research— as a means for building alternative systems which truly are student-centered and utilize online learning technologies, but also individualize student inputs and outcomes while enhancing the teacher’s role in the process, while utilizing rigorous and flexible assessment methods.

I noticed a link to the European Graduate School in another tweet and read carefully the disclaimer at the bottom of the front page that included:

This website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. Google Analytics uses cookies, which are text files placed on your computer, to help the website analyze how users use the site. The information generated by the cookie about the use of the website, including IP addresses, will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States. Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating the use of the website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on the behalf of Google. Google will not associate IP addresses with any other data held by Google. The use of cookies can be refused by selecting the appropriate settings in the web browser, however please note that if you do this you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website. By using this website, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner and for the purposes set out above.

Mark Drapeau (via Iggy Pintado 8956 tweets) provides some interesting insights about How to Win Friends and Twinfluence People. By coincidence I found a Graham Attwell (1.960 tweets) tweet drawing attention to Howard Rheingold’s (May 2009 post) Twitter Literacy. I have been following Howard Rheingold’s output since his guest appearance on CCK08. I liked his observations that:

  • I think successful use of Twitter means knowing how to tune the network of people you follow, and how to feed the network of people who follow you.
  • You have to tune who you follow. I mix friends who I know IRL (“in real life”) and whose whereabouts and doings interest me, people who are knowledgeable about a field that interests me, people who regularly produce URLs that prove useful, extraordinary educators, the few who are wise or funny.
  • When it comes to feeding my network, that comes down to putting out the right mixture of personal tweets (while I don’t really talk about what I had for lunch, the cycles of my garden, the plums falling from my tree, my obsession with compost and shoepainting do feature in my tweetstream), informational tidbits (when I find really great URLs, that’s when Twitter is truly a “microblog” for me to share my find), self promotion (when I post a new video to my vlog share the URL – but I do NOT automatically post everything I blog on smartmobs.com), socializing, and answering questions.

Perhaps reciprocal altruism can transform the reliance on a small number of people to transform thinking and behaviour. George Siemens (4,016 tweets) links to this Onion post about ‘the four or five guys who pretty much carry the whole Renaissance’.

Just as I was concluding this post I received Stephen Downes’ OLDaily that contained an apology:

December 20, 2009

Better Late Than…
Well – there’s a first. Though I wrote some posts on Friday, I actually forgot to publish the newsletter and send the emails. First time ever. So, here it is, a couple days late, but intact. Enjoy.

Stephen’s news is an important marker in my day and usually initiates the sharing that Tom Davenport extols. His news arriving was a great end to a day of thinking about learning and sharing. I am off to read Seth Simonds’ post Bye with a Warmly Huggs.

Photo Credit

Nature and Technology

Hidden Treasure Explored

Engines Ticking Over: David Crawford's Review of Australian Sport

My last blog post about to the publication of the Independent Panel’s Review of Australian Sport was on 27 November. There has not been a lot of publicity about the report since that time. (This report on 2 December points to ‘crisis talks’ and this post contains a report of the meeting between the Minister and the President of the AOC. Richard Hinds wrote about developments on 4 December. On 11 December Athletics Australia posted its response to the Crawford Report and this article outlined Athletics Australia’s position.)

Two recent events have opened up discussion again.

Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers of Sport and Recreation met in Melbourne on 14 December.

The meeting received a presentation from David Crawford, Chair, and Colin Carter, Panel member, of the Australian Governments Independent Sport Panel on the “The Future of Sport in Australia”. The report was welcomed by Commonwealth and State and Territory Ministers who consider the report an important step forward for the future of Australian Sport. All Ministers agreed that a holistic and strategic approach to the organisation and development of sport and recreation at both community and elite levels is crucial to our success.

All Ministers agreed to the establishment of a Government working party to comment on key areas of the “The Future of Sport in Australia” report to assess:

  • structural reform opportunities, which includes the AIS and SIS/SAS; and
  • issues to be addressed under the National Policy Framework.

It was agreed that the Ministerial Council would reconvene early in 2010, following advice from the working party, to finalise a joint position from the Commonwealth, State and Territories on the National Policy Framework and structural issues arising from the report.

This is a press statement about the meeting.

On 18 December the Australian Olympic Committee’s eighty-three page response to the Crawford Report was released.

This is the Contents page of the AOC’s response:

The AOC has posted some video clips of about the response here. This is a link to an AAP report (18 December) of the release of the AOC response (see also here and here). Dan Silkstone has an article in The Age (19 December) about the response. Nicole Jeffrey wrote about the release of the response in this Australian article (18 December). Michael Owen posted an article in the Australian (14 December) that looked at funding issues raised in South Australia. This is an Inside the Games story on the same topic on 13 December. An Around the Rings post on 18 December had a brief summary of the release of the response. The Australian (18 December) carries news of a meeting between the Minister for Sport, Kate Ellis, and John Coates, President of the AOC.

The Australian Sports Commission has held a series of forums in Canberra and Melbourne to allow other community and sports organisations to respond to the Crawford recommendations.

Photo Credits

Race 1912 Olympic Games

North Sydney Olympic Pool

Australian Olympians 1932