Words Still Matter
Ev Williams, Medium: "It’s not just about creating great tools for writing. We must also create the right reward systems. The current reward system that drives content online looks like this: Attention = Money. As a result, the path to profit is to manufacture attention more cheaply than what you get paid for it."
The Disappearance of Willie Bingham
Vimeo: "Inmate Willie Bingham is the first man selected to undergo a gruesome new punishment introduced under the State’s revised stance on capital crime."
How The Streets captured what it really meant to be British
Jacob Bernard-Banton, Dazed: "As Original Pirate Material celebrates its 15th anniversary, we look back at how Mike Skinner embodied the re-emergence of an urban voice that was distinctly UK."
The Big Empty
Catherine Merchant, Neighbourhood Paper: "Why are venues like the Hopetoun Hotel being left vacant?"
Google and Facebook Have Failed Us
Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic: "The world’s most powerful information gatekeepers neglected their duties in Las Vegas. Again."
Get Spiritual With New Age Group’s Punchy Power Pop
Tim Scott, Noisey: "The Canberra band prove that the Australian capital isn't just one soulless cess pit."
The top 10 reasons I'm voting 'no' on same-sex marriage
John Birmingham, Sydney Morning Herald: "Because a red-headed Tasmanian tried to headbutt Tony Abbott and he missed and if I can’t have the only thing that could make me truly happy neither can you, gay people."
why love is love and voting yes is vital
Ben O'Connor, i-D: "Going through Immigration at LAX last year, I went to the desk and Guy hesitated behind me in the queue, as we often do at airports. When the Immigration official asked if we were together, I replied, 'He's my partner.' Seeing his confusion, I followed with 'my boyfriend of 20 years.' He warmly motioned for Guy to come over, 'Together so long and you're not married yet? What are you waiting for?' I told him it wasn't legal in Australia, even if we did it somewhere else. He commiserated and welcomed us to America."
The judges' verdict on equal marriage: change in Australia only comes with pain
David Marr, The Guardian: "Australian politics does only one thing superbly: delay the inevitable."
The Internet of Hate
April Glaser, Slate: "After Charlottesville, Nazis, white supremacists, and the alt-right have become a lot less welcome on the web. So they’re building their own."
A message from The Betoota Advocate to The Onion's Editorial Board
"That being said, it would be unwise for you to not make hay while the sun shines. Your visit to Australia is a good example of this – and what better place than the Sydney Opera House. We can think of no better place for comfortable white social commentators to stand upon a soap box in front of other white social commentators. The acoustics are magnificent – it’s almost like an echo chamber."
Can our cities' thriving creative precincts be saved from ‘renewal’?
The Conversation: "Governments are busily rezoning our cities for high-rise apartments. The New South Wales government, for example, plans to rezone a 20-kilometre corridor in Sydney, from Sydenham to Bankstown, for urban density, in concert with a new metro rail line. Residents and community groups have reacted vociferously to the prospects of high-rise buildings in previously low-density suburbs. / But there is another, overlooked dimension to the redevelopment. Much of it is on industrial land: pockets of old factories and workshops, portrayed as decrepit and in need of renewal."
"You must go offline to view this page."
'Cassette 2017' by Alex Macfarlane
Hobbies Galore, Bandcamp
The Gig Economy
Clint Caward, Neighbourhood Paper: "Where does it deliver you?"
Inside Conor McGregor’s Dublin: the making and shaping of a fighting superstar
Donald McRae, The Guardian: "As Conor McGregor prepares for his $100m boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather, Donald McRae uncovers a complex genius with the help of those who know him best."
Pick a Side
Dave Pell, Medium: "You can’t vote for a guy who’s racist and not be racist."
Abbott's obstruction of gay marriage is a defence of privilege and the power of shame
David Marr, The Guardian: "If only Christians fought like this for refugees."
Coalition risks more tortured time-wasting in bid to break marriage equality impasse
Katharine Murphy, The Guardian: "Marriage equality campaigners will have to make a significant strategic call. Organise and field a campaign and win, (or lose); or protest, boycott the process as a farce, and write off the end result, gambling that Bill Shorten will win the next federal election in 18 months, and sweep up the wreckage?"
What's a few men?
Andrew P. Street, Renegade Inc.: "The leak of the Trump-Turnbull conversation shows that the Australian PM not only doesn’t have a plan B for his government’s offshore detention system: he doesn’t have a plan A."
Conor McGregor is still shaped by his Dublin roots as he prepares for fight against Floyd Mayweather
Wright Thompson, ESPN: "Most Irish sporting champions reflect the lilting reserve of the green hills. That's not Conor. He's inner-city Dublin personified. He carries the lingering spirit of the tenements off O'Connell Street, the projects of Oliver Bond and the cruelly named Fatima Mansions, where his old boxing coach Phil Sutcliffe lost a brother in a drug deal gone bad. Any mysteries about him can be solved on his home turf: an area named Crumlin, built in the 1930s just south of Dublin's center, when the government tore down the inner-city tenements and needed a new place to house the poor. The Irish revolutionary writer Brendan Behan was one of those moved there, and he described his new home as a place 'where they eat their young.'"
The Drug Runners
Ryan Goldberg, Texas Monthly: "It was a half hour hour after midnight and Silvino Cubesare Quimare was approaching the ghost town of Separ, in southwest New Mexico. Tall and lithe, his skin browned from years of laboring under the desert sun, he strode through the darkness. Strapped to his back were two homespun burlap packs, one filled with 45 pounds of marijuana bricks and the other with enough burritos and gallon jugs of water to survive another week in the wilderness. With him were five cousins and a nephew, each shouldering a similar load. They trudged silently past the scars of an old copper mining trail, long-gone railroad tracks and trading posts that once upon a time exchanged men, minerals, and equipment across the border to Chihuahua. Up ahead, they saw the lights of a highway and knew they were within a dozen miles of their drop-off. They’d reach it before daybreak."
On Apple Removing VPN Apps From the App Store in China
John Gruber, Daring Fireball: "The real issues are two-fold: Should Apple be doing business in China at all? and; should the App Store remain the only way to install apps on iOS devices?"
'Snow' by The New Year
Bandcamp. Third LP from Texas quartet.
'Leon' by Leon
Bandcamp: "Four little gestures by Oooga Boogas front man and bon vivant Leon Stackpole - Castlemaine’s first citizen. What you find here is a fine distillation of Tony Abbott era buffoonery and daily life from a man with a keen eye / ear for the poignant and absurd."
The internet is fucked (again)
Nilay Patel, The Verge: "Rolling back Title II is a massive corporate handout that will line the pockets of Comcast and AT&T, while doing nothing for the average American."
The Warriors Duped The NBA
Kyle Wagner, FiveThirtyEight: "But look a little closer and it’s apparent that the Warriors’ game doesn’t reflect the analytics it has come to represent. The Warriors aren’t math — they don’t represent order; they upend logic. They’re Bugs Bunny pulling himself out of the hat. The Warriors are the punchline."
Kevin Durant And The Warriors: The Text That Started An NBA Dynasty
Lee Jenkins, Sports Illustrated: "About 30 minutes after Game 7 of the 2016 Finals, Warriors forward Draymond Green sat at his locker in full uniform, fiddling with his phone. All around him, teammates hastily showered and dressed, rushing from Oracle Arena and the champagne fumes that polluted the air. But Green was in no hurry to leave. He replayed in his mind the climactic moments of a weeklong collapse against Cleveland: the chase-down block by LeBron James on Andre Iguodala, the clanked three-pointer by Steph Curry over Kevin Love, the mysterious cold front that froze Golden State’s usually reliable flamethrowers. How, Green wondered, can I make sure this never happens again?"
meatspin monthly: june 2017
New label from legend Max Easton - with bonus monthly gig wrap-up thrown in for good measure.
Facebook is Broken
Jon Evans, Techcrunch: "The problem is this: Facebook has become a feedback loop which can and does, despite its best intentions, become a vicious spiral. At Facebook’s scale, behavioral targeting doesn’t just reflect our behavior, it actually influences it. Over time, a service which was supposed to connect humanity is actually partitioning us into fractal disconnected bubbles." "
The Loneliness of Donald Trump
Rebecca Solnit, Literary Hub: "Once upon a time, a child was born into wealth and wanted for nothing, but he was possessed by bottomless, endless, grating, grasping wanting, and wanted more, and got it, and more after that, and always more. He was a pair of ragged orange claws upon the ocean floor, forever scuttling, pinching, reaching for more, a carrion crab, a lobster and a boiling lobster pot in one, a termite, a tyrant over his own little empires. He got a boost at the beginning from the wealth handed him and then moved among grifters and mobsters who cut him slack as long as he was useful, or maybe there’s slack in arenas where people live by personal loyalty until they betray, and not by rules, and certainly not by the law or the book. So for seven decades, he fed his appetites and exercised his license to lie, cheat, steal, and stiff working people of their wages, made messes, left them behind, grabbed more baubles, and left them in ruin."
If it’s broke, go build it: The Birth of DISCO
DISCO Blog: "Now, a little less than a year later, we have over 100 companies across four continents using DISCO to manage and share their most valuable asset: copyrights. The last few months have been a bit of a whirlwind: late last year, we were selected as one of the winners of SF Music Tech Startup Competition, and this year our user base has already increased by a third. We now manage over 2.2 million copyrights, with 50% of our monthly active active users using the app daily."
Frank Deford, 1938-2017
Longform: "Five of our favorite articles by the longtime Sports Illustrated writer, who died Sunday."
'The Living Man' LP by Party Dozen
Bandcamp. "A sonic partnering of saxophonist Kirsty Tickle and percussionist Jonathan Boulet, Party Dozen is a project loosely based around improvisation."
Google now knows when its users go to the store and buy stuff
Elizabeth Dwoskin and Craig Timberg, The Washington Post: "Google has begun using billions of credit-card transaction records to prove that its online ads are prompting people to make purchases – even when they happen offline in brick-and-mortar stores, the company said Tuesday."
Picket fences or picket lines: is an Ashes strike really likely to happen?
Sam Perry, The Guardian: "Unafraid of lighting the proverbial cauldron, David Warner last week gave life to a worst-case scenario in the ever-freezing pay stalemate between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association. The inferred threat was simple: if the current model is not retained, we may not play. “The Bull goes bang,” said Ed Cowan in reference to Warner’s comments on Twitter, and it was indeed a statement of intent in keeping with someone called The Bull. It set in train a raft of hypotheticals that kept speculation bubbling: how would Ashes opponents England feel about it? Who would pay for lost revenue? Will we see Australian cricketers cross not only a picket-fence, but a picket-line to earn themselves a baggy green?"
The Story Of Aldous Harding's 'Party,' Track By Track
Andrew Flanagan, NPR: "If folk conjures an image in your head, Aldous Harding's Party is that image sieved, sifted and twisted, upended like a rock to show the fat, interesting bugs squiggling beneath it. A dark document of ambition and growth and heartbreak, it's a piece of work that, by design, demands patience."
‘The Internet Is Broken’: @ev Is Trying to Salvage It
David Streitfeld, NY Times: "The trouble with the internet, Mr. Williams says, is that it rewards extremes. Say you’re driving down the road and see a car crash. Of course you look. Everyone looks. The internet interprets behavior like this to mean everyone is asking for car crashes, so it tries to supply them."
JSON Feed: Version 1
"Our hope is that, because of the lightness of JSON and simplicity of the JSON Feed format, developers will be more attracted to developing for the open web."
The Barbarians Are at Etsy’s Hand-Hewn, Responsibly Sourced Gates
Mark Chafkin and Jing Cao, Bloomberg: "The ur-Brooklyn online craft marketplace is under pressure to start acting more like a conventional, shareholder-focused company."
The Strokes: An Oral History
Lizzy Goodman, Vulture: "In 1998, five New York friends — Julian Casablancas, Albert Hammond Jr., Fabrizio Moretti, Nick Valensi, and Nikolai Fraiture — formed a band called the Strokes. They released a debut album, 'Is This It', in 2001. In 2009, NME named it Album of the Decade; Rolling Stone ranked it No. 2, behind Radiohead’s 'Kid A'. This is an account of what happened in between, starting in 2002."
Dwayne Johnson for President!
Caity Weaver, GQ: "So, after all that consideration, Johnson doesn't hesitate when I ask him whether he honestly might one day give up his life as the highest-paid movie star on earth—which is unquestionably easier, more fun, and more lucrative than being president of the United States—in order to run for office. 'I think that it's a real possibility," he says solemnly."
Perhaps this one will be my last sharehouse
Fiona Wright, Sydney Review of Books: "On a disgustingly hot day in February, one of those days that the air is so hot that you feel it dry your eyeballs, I helped Alex move house. He and his housemates had been issued with an eviction notice a few weeks earlier; and it came less than a day after they’d asked their landlord for some repairs – including fixing some exposed power points, and the back fence of the property, which leaned sideways at an angle easily large enough for a decent-sized person to climb through. Alex had received the notice while we’d been on holidays, and immediately rang the Tenant’s Union for advice, and what he was told was yes, this is clearly a retaliatory eviction, yes, it is definitely illegal, and yes, you have a very clear-cut case and all the evidence you need, but there’s no point taking it to tribunal, because all you’re likely to get is a bit more time to move, or lower rent until you do, but the eviction notice will not be overturned. What he was told, that is, is you are right, but you don’t actually have rights; and Alex is the second of my friends to be evicted after asking for repairs within a year."
Home, James - 10 Quick Thoughts About the Comey Firing
Dave Pell, Medium: "Remember how incredibly smart, fair, and impressive Sally Yates was during her Senate testimony? Those are the kinds of people Trump likes to fire."
No Suburb Left Behind - The boom that is reshaping the city
Leon Batchelor, Neighbourhood Paper: "Hemmed in by the Pacific, Sydney has struggled to cope as huge levels of investment and people have flowed into the region from overseas and interstate. Reproductive sex has made a return and we are witnessing the cries of a localised baby boom."
Muji to sell tiny blackened-timber prefab huts for £21,000
Dezeen: "The Muji Hut's price tag will cover all the materials needed for the construction as well as the costs of the project's contractor. The brand is yet to release a date for sale outside of Japan."
The incredible shrinking Malcolm gets even smaller spouting 'Australian values'
Greg Jericho, The Guardian: "A look at the document outlining the proposed changes also shows just how false is the entire premise. The introduction uses 'recent terrorist attacks around the world' as the reason for justifying the changes. Dog whistling used to be so much subtler."
David Walsh, MONA Blog: "But if the extreme form of consequentialism had merit (if ends really justified means), Martin Bryant, the perpetrator of that heinous deed at Port Arthur, would be labelled a hero. The Port Arthur Massacre changed the political climate regarding gun control, and it enabled John Howard to spend half-a-billion dollars buying back some types of guns. The result: there have been no mass shootings since Port Arthur, the decrease in the homicide rate has accelerated but, most particularly, gun-related suicide rates have plummeted with no commensurate increase in suicides by other means. The Port Arthur Massacre has saved hundreds of lives."
Trump and The Problem of Militant Ignorance
Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo: "What is endearing, terrifying and hilarious about Trump is not simply his ignorance, really his militant ignorance, but his complete lack of self-awareness about his ignorance. Trump told a reporter for The Wall Street Journal that his understanding of the problem of North Korea changed dramatically after hearing ten minutes of history from the President of China. Needless to say, Trump didn’t need to admit this. But neither was it candor."
Le Cinq, Paris: restaurant review
Jay Rayner, The Guardian: "The dining room, deep in the hotel, is a broad space of high ceilings and coving, with thick carpets to muffle the screams. It is decorated in various shades of taupe, biscuit and fuck you."
The Cocaine Kings of the Pittsburgh Pirates
Aaron Skirboll: "In the early ’80s, an A/C repairman, an unemployed photographer and a Major League mascot became the dealers of choice for the city’s sports stars – and changed baseball history along the way."
THE SMACKWAVE EP by SPIKE FUCK
Research Blog: Announcing Guetzli: A New Open Source JPEG Encoder
Inside the Hunt for Russia's Most Notorious Hacker
Garrett M. Graff, Wired
Every Sean Spicer Press Briefing
Keaton Patti, McSweeney's: "First, I just want to say: Please don’t make me do this. Second, good afternoon, everyone. I hope you had a good morning. The President spent his morning traveling between Mar-A-Lago, the Winter White House, and the White House, the Winter Mar-A-Lago. Once he arrived at the White House, he immediately left for Mar-A-Lago."
On a Texas prairie, distance grows between neighbors over an American birthright
Mary Jordan & Kevin Sullivan, The Washington Post: "On a Texas prairie, distance grows between neighbors over an American birthright."
Jimmy Breslin's columns on Donald Trump
Into the woods: how one man survived alone in the wilderness for 27 years
Michael Finkel, The Guardian: "At the age of 20, Christopher Knight parked his car on a remote trail in Maine and walked away with only the most basic supplies. He had no plan. His chief motivation was to avoid contact with people. This is his story."
Death Is Real: Mount Eerie’s Phil Elverum Copes With Unspeakable Tragedy
Jayson Greene, Pitchfork: "A day in the life of the singer-songwriter following the death of his wife, Geneviève."
Pogi Split - Antok / Ingat
by Angelo + King Single, via Perfect Hair Records
It’s Time for a Bluexit
Kevin Baker, New Republic: "For more than 80 years now, we—the residents of what some people like to call Blue America, but which I prefer to think of as the United States of We Pay Our Own Damn Way—have shelled out far more in federal tax monies than we took in. We have funded massive infrastructure projects in your rural counties, subsidized your schools and your power plants and your nursing homes, sent you entire industries, and simultaneously absorbed the most destitute, unskilled, and oppressed portions of your populations, white and black alike."
Human, All Too Inhuman
James Wood, New Republic: "On the formation of a new genre: hysterical realism."
March First Book Club: An interview with Peter Polites
Meaghan Dew, Kill Your Darlings: "Kill Your Darlings’ first First Book Club pick for 2017 is Peter Polites’ debut novel Down The Hume (Hachette Australia), a queer noir novel of addiction, secrets and misplaced love, set in the shadowy places of Western Sydney. KYD Podcast coordinator Meaghan Dew spoke to Polites about the novel, Australian noir and building resilience."
Architect Turns Old Cement Factory Into His Home, And The Interior Will Take Your Breath Away
The dirty secret of penalty rate opponents: business is booming
Bernard Keane, Crikey: "The inconvenient truth of the penalty rates debate is that, far from being destroyed by penalty rates as employers and right-wing lobbyists claim, Australia’s cafe and restaurant sector is booming and in recent years has been one of Australia’s fastest-growing sectors and employers."
4chan: The Skeleton Key to the Rise of Trump
Dale Beran, Medium: "Trump’s younger supporters know he’s an incompetent joke; in fact, that’s why they support him."
In the fight club of Australian politics, the public suffer the knockout blow
Katharine Murphy, The Guardian: "Spend too long in a cauldron and you end up as essential nutrients for a witch."
Inside the Macedonian Fake-News Complex
Samanth Subramanian, Wired: "The first article about Donald Trump that Boris ever published described how, during a campaign rally in North Carolina, the candidate slapped a man in the audience for disagreeing with him. This never happened, of course. Boris had found the article somewhere online, and he needed to feed his website, Daily Interesting Things, so he appropriated the text, down to its last misbegotten comma. He posted the link on Facebook, seeding it within various groups devoted to American politics; to his astonishment, it was shared around 800 times. That month—February 2016—Boris made more than $150 off the Google ads on his website. Considering this to be the best possible use of his time, he stopped going to high school."
The Man Who Broke Ticketmaster
Jason Koebler, Motherboard: "The last piece of the puzzle was Ticketmaster's anti-bot CAPTCHA system, which requires a human to type in crossed out or fuzzy words to prove he or she isn't a robot. Wiseguy learned that Ticketmaster's CAPTCHA system had only loaded 30,000 unique images into its database, rather than millions. So Lowson's team downloaded every image they could find as a .jpeg file, stayed up all night typing them out, and taught their bot how to match the images."
Why Amazon Is The World's Most Innovative Company Of 2017
I Helped Create the Milo Trolling Playbook - Stop Playing Right Into It
Ryan Holiday, Observer: "I realize there is legitimate fear of normalizing repulsive behavior. I’m not suggesting anyone give credence to real Nazi doctrine. However, historically, it’s usually true that banning and blocking usually has the opposite of its intended effect. Effective counterinsurgency usually involves bargaining, partnering and the reestablishment of norms - not hardlines."
Travel ban ruling: judges refuse to reinstate Trump's order
Live Updates, The Guardian
A Dangerously Isolated President
Benjamin Wallace-Wells, The New Yorker: "In normal times, an Administration this isolated and divorced from public opinion would seem to be fatally weak. The argument made by the President’s first week is that these conditions, combined with the general assent of a Republican-controlled Congress, might in fact create the opposite situation, freeing him to do whatever he wants."
No ‘G’day, mate’: On call with Australian prime minister, Trump badgers and brags
Greg Miller and Phillip Rucker, The Washington Post: "At one point Trump informed Turnbull that he had spoken with four other world leaders that day - including Russian President Vladimir Putin - and that 'This was the worst call by far.'"
"Real Death" by Mount Eerie
The first track from "A Crow Looked At Me" by Mount Eerie (ELV040 from P.W. Elverum & Sun, March 24th, 2017).
Trial Balloon for a Coup?
Yonatan Zunger, Medium: "...the administration is testing the extent to which the DHS (and other executive agencies) can act and ignore orders from the other branches of government. This is as serious as it can possibly get: all of the arguments about whether order X or Y is unconstitutional mean nothing if elements of the government are executing them and the courts are being ignored."
The Immigration Ban is a Headfake, and We’re Falling For It
Jake Fuentes, Medium: "When I read about the incredibly active first week of the Trump administration, I struggle with two competing narratives about what’s really going on. The first story is simple: the administration is just doing what it said it would do, literally keeping its campaign promises. Lots of people won’t agree, but it’s playing to its base. They’re also not really good at this whole government thing yet, so implementation is shaky. The second is more sinister: the administration is deliberately testing the limits of governmental checks and balances to set up a self-serving, dangerous consolidation of power."
How America’s rejection of Jews fleeing Nazi Germany haunts our refugee policy today
Dara Lind, Vox: "Desperate people, fleeing a terrifying, bloodthirsty regime, try to find refuge in the US. But the American government and the public don't want to accept them. They worry that accepting refugees would put citizens at risk, and they don't see the refugee crisis as their problem to fix. So they are turned away. This is what President Donald Trump is about to sign America up for, if widespread reports are correct that he's on the verge of signing an executive order that would ban all refugees from settling in the US for 4 months and ban Syrian refugees indefinitely. We've been here before."
The Japandroids Just Made One of the Best Pure Rock Albums of the Decade
Rob Harvilla, The Ringer: "You're smarter than this. More sophisticated and discerning. You prize music that challenges, that surprises, that rejects the cheap comforts of nostalgia, that refuses to pander to your basest instincts. No way are you falling for yet another cornball Japandroids song, all cheesy distorted guitars and yelpy self-help vocals and beer-lit classic rock romanticism. It's too easy. It's too simple. It's the same half-dozen ingredients shrewdly recombined: the Taco Bell menu in sonic form, a mild riot of empty calories. And yet..."
Voting Should Be Mandatory
Waleed Aly, NY Times: "In a compulsory election, it does not pay to energize your base to the exclusion of all other voters. Since elections cannot be determined by turnout, they are decided by swing voters and won in the center. Australia has its share of xenophobic politicians, but they tend to dwell in minor parties that do not even pretend they can form a government."
I have no advice for Gladys Berejiklian but I do have some for the media
Kristina Keneally, The Guardian: "Resist the urge to write about – or read about – their shoes, hair, nail polish or jewellery. They will wear the same dress twice, just like male politicians wear the same suit over and over. Deal with it."
Julia Jacklin covers The Strokes 'Someday' for Like A Version
With Sydney finally dead, Mike Baird's work is done
Andrew P. Street, SMH: "Let's look at the legacy of the premier who bravely stood up to the weak and made the state safe for mining, property development, and casinos. Especially casinos."
Let's Talk About The Immense Privilege (And Struggle) Of Doing What You Love
Rebecca Varcoe, Junkee: "This is not an essay about being poor. I’m not poor, I don’t even like saying that I’m ‘working class’ because that suggests in some way that I haven’t been incredibly lucky to be given lots of wonderful opportunities and my life isn’t a shining beacon of insane privilege. I’m being paid for writing an opinion piece for Junkee, which should speak volumes as to how lucky I am. This isn’t about blaming everyone but yourself."
Living In The Beautiful Bubble Of The Not-Quite Internet
Anne Helen Petersen, Buzzfeed: "When I started college in 1999, the digital revolution was in its awkward infancy. That awkwardness gave rise to moments of lovely serendipity - and pockets of blissful ignorance."
Ombudsman launches investigation into Centrelink debt recovery crisis
How government blunderfucked its way into an unholy, disorganised robot-war on the nation’s huddled masses...
Brilliant take on the Centrelink debt-collection debacle from John Birmingham.
A Selection of the 30 Most Disappointing Under 30
Bess Kalb, The New Yorker: "Started a Bay Area 'summer camp' where exhausted tech bros can 'unplug' for two thousand dollars a weekend."
La La Land is a terrible film, but it will win Best Picture at the Oscars anyway
Lee Tran Lam, SMH: "For a musical obsessed with classics, really it's the Pokemon Go of movie references."
Done & Done-r
The Wrens' new album is finally done?
I’ve left Twitter. It is unusable for anyone but trolls, robots and dictators
Lindy West, The Guardian: "For half a decade on the platform, I have been micromanaged by strangers and neo-Nazis have mined my personal life for vulnerabilities to exploit."
True crime, comedy and the G-spot: the best Australian podcast episodes of 2016
The Guardian: "From Bowraville to Fiona O’Loughlin’s harrowing tales of alcoholism, it was a great year for the medium."
Centrelink debt notices based on 'idiotic' faith in big data, IT expert says
Christopher Knaus, The Guardian: "The government’s automated compliance system, which began in July, has been the subject of repeated complaints, which stem from its comparison of income reported to Centrelink and information held by the Australian Taxation Office."
A Bigger Problem Than ISIS?
Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker: "The Mosul Dam is failing. A breach would cause a colossal wave that could kill as many as a million and a half people."
How a TV Sitcom Triggered the Downfall of Western Civilization
David Hopkins, Medium: "I see Kim Kardashian’s ass at the top of CNN.com, and I am scared."