Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Archive for the ‘Reader Poll’ Category

Are these righties serious, hypocrites, or from beyond the grave?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-10-10

Asking for minimal tweaks to a communist state for righties to have a tolerable life got a couple of responses – but these seem hypocritical as the respondents should have euthanazed themselves rather than live in any country on the planet.

Consider the responses I would have had if I’d asked about minimal health requirements for a tolerable life that would stop the necessity of suicide?  The analogous responses would have demanded as minimal the ability to run a three minute mile, leap small buildings in a single bound, and the intellect of Einstein.

I’m hoping more moderate righties will respond to the question.  If you look through the comments, you’ll see I’ve taken a respectful line to their stated needs, and tried to indicate accomodations that might satisfy their underlying psychologies.

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Posted in Politics, Reader Poll, Society | 19 Comments »

What is needed by righties for a tolerable communist state?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-10-08

Ask a member of "Teh Left" what would make a capitalist system tolerable, and you’ll get a list of things that would probably include phrases like "safety net".

What would members of "Teh Right" say would be the minimum necessary "tweaks" to make a communist system tolerable, i.e. a life that wouldn’t make them miserable directly or indirectly?  Putting it another way, what are the things without which life wouldn’t be worth living, or you’d rather die?

I could make a few guesses, but the point of this post is to discover opinions of any readers.

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Posted in Politics, Reader Poll, Society | 17 Comments »

Roman or Athenian?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-07-22

In response to the stimulating post and discussion over at Skepticlawyer ("Roman or Celt" 2009-07-20 by LE), I’ll ask the question "Roman or Athenian?".

It’s hard to say "Greek" when so much of that civilization happened outside the bounds of what we call Greece – and even outside Europe.  It’s doubly hard if you imagine yourself in Alexandria under Roman occupation.  It’s triply hard if you want to decide whether "Greek" means Spartan or Athenian (although I’m sure some readers might prefer to have lived Sybaris at the height of it’s wealth!)

So… 5th/4th century BCE Athens (except for the rule of 500) or Rome (last century of the Republic)?

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Posted in History, Reader Poll | 8 Comments »

Uncyclopedia: Your faves?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-07-09

Uncyclopedia logo: a squished version of Wikipedia logo

For relief from the continuing series of posts on use and rights of Public Service Information in Victoria, it’s time to ask readers about their favorite Uncyclopedia article, in the same vein as the question about your favorite xkcd, and a post that morphed into a thread on your favorite Tom Lehrer.

(For those who are unaware, Uncyclopedia is a spoof of wikipedia, with pages varying in quality, but the best are almost believable until you read carefully.  Either that… or they are all too true, as you can see by comparing Bogan on wikipedia with Bogan on uncyclopedia).

Perhaps my favorite is the one on Murphy’s law application for antigravitatory cats which involves sticking buttered toast (butter up) on the back of a cat.

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Posted in Humor, Reader Poll | 18 Comments »

Elementary Choices

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-02-18

Calling all students of chemistry or simply those who like the sillies: Which video of "The Elements" by Tom Lehrer appeals to you the most?  It might be for education value, cuteness, or whatever.  (Multi-choice, but no more than 3 please).

Embedded videos over the fold to help you in your choice.  Feel free to add others in comments or give reasons

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Posted in Humor, Media, Reader Poll, Science and Tech | 2 Comments »

Reminder – know any good federal ministers?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-12-08

A reminder about a recent post (here) calling for names of federal ministers who have done a good job.

We bloggers (and readers) should do more to point out the good folk in Canberra occasionally, rather than expose the baddies (who’ve gotta expect it, and it’s water off a duck’s back anyway).

And if you’re a rightie and have a compliment for a minister, please indicate you are a rightie, because it’s gotta be worth double brownie points!

Posted in Australia, Politics, Reader Poll | 1 Comment »

Pollies who have done a good job… know any?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-12-07

Can anyone suggest a current federal minister that has been doing a good job, without selling out to party or vested interests?  I ask because good outcomes and efforts, particularly if they deal with long-term issues or efficiency improvements, are almost never newsworthy, and any such efforts deserve some public praise.

However tempting, please don’t make comments like "Senator Conroy has done a great job bringing right-wingers and left-wingers into common cause through his censorship efforts".

If you can include a link to a post or MSM report about the issue(s) the minister has addressed, that would be even better.

I’m serious… there must be some of our ministers deserving praise, even if it is simply by giving the good permanent public servants in their agencies a free hand to make the improvements they’ve been waiting to do for ages.

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Posted in Australia, Politics, Reader Poll | 3 Comments »

Joh Brumby Survey

Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-12-05

It’s worth a reader survey on Brumby’s probity and the appropriateness of the nickname "Job Brumby", given that (among many other things):

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Posted in Environment, Governance, Politics, Reader Poll, Victoria | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Gershon report to be implemented in full

Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-11-28

A big round of applause to Lindsay Tanner, who has promised to implement in full the recommendations of the Gershon Report into Australian Government use of IT.

As regular readers will be aware, I was very happy with what was in the report, and indeed the report overall, even though I was disappointed at some things I thought missing (see "Gershon Report into Oz Gov IT: Good, but some holes").

Implementing the report could lead to huge savings in government spending, improved service levels, as well as being good for the environment.

I don’t just complain about, or to, politicians: I sent Tanner a "thankyou" note.

Posted in Australia, Economics and Business, Governance, Information Management, Politics, Reader Poll | 7 Comments »

Gershon report into Oz Gov IT: Good, but some holes

Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-10-16

I’ve been going through the Gershon report into the federal government’s use of ICT.  It’s not too bad, and is more comprehensive and honest than I’d hoped, apart from some glaring holes.

I’ll give mere mention to the great discussion of the lack of a environmentally responsible approach, the lack of a proper datacentre strategy, the overuse of contractors rather than public servants, and the recommendations to expand the role of AGIMO, where I’m going "hear! hear!" to Gershon’s views and recommendations, having only minor quibbles apart from the shocking absence of ValIT and ISO/IEC 20000(see the "Notes" section below), as well as no mention of the value open source in the body of the text apart from noting what Brazil and the US DoD are doing (see 2.12.7).

What is truly telling about the shocking state of things is the lack of governance outlined in chapter 1.  Let’s hope Lindsay Tanner, the responsible minister, who is doing lots of good (but unheralded) work, uses this as justification for banging the table and heads together.

So, I’ll give a few gory quantitative details that show the extent of the problem, which I’ll blame half on wilful ignorance by CEOs and enterprise architects, and half on resistance to acknowledging their past and existing sins so things might improve.  The figures come as no surprise to me – I fought the good fight against this when a public servant in EA (Technical policy and standards guru), got stomped on, got the scars and burns, and still haven’t recovered 5 years down the track.

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Posted in Australia, Governance, Information Management, Politics, Reader Poll | 5 Comments »

XKCD: Your faves?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-04-06

I wonder which xkcd posts appeal to readers.  (For those who are unaware of xkcd, which describes itself as "a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language", take a browse.)  Does anybody care to nominate between 0 and 5 that appeal?  I say appeal, not send you ROTFLOL, as whimsy can be more appealing than hilarity.

Remember xkcd uses alt text quite well for aside comments, so if your browser/reader supports display of alt text when hovering over the image, I recommend it.

So, kicking off, and in no particular order, here are a few faves of mine (yep, more than 5, but who’s blog is this anyway?):

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Posted in Humor, Reader Poll | 9 Comments »

Reader poll open: Submissions to Senate

Posted by Dave Bath on 2007-07-29

The first reader poll on this blog is now available.  You’re all invited to take it.  I’ll be archiving (and allowing votes) on a separate page: once there is more than one poll to archive.

Unfortunately, forms in wordpress posts aren’t behaving, so you can either go straight to the poll, read the full question below before doing the poll, or just view results so far.

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Posted in Australia, Governance, Politics, Reader Poll | Leave a Comment »

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