Saturday, April 30, 2011

My alleged copyright criminal activity:

Logged onto facebook this morning to find this notice:

Turns out that some one was very busy censoring the StopAVN page last night. Resulting in the disabling of 2 accounts of fellow StopAVN facebook group members. In case you were wondering. Here is the post, from the 24th of April complete with referencing:

And naturally there are very few ways of contesting these allegations. Apparently all a user needs to do is report a possible infringement. Then without any checking up on the legitimacy of the claim, facebook pulls the picture. Copyright, of course, allows for what is called Fair use.  This comment was loaded for the purpose of commentary and criticism, which are both terms of fair use.

Nice way to censor the market-place of ideas, huh Meryl?

(Not that I can be sure it was Meryl. However, the likelihood of it being someone from the Australian Vaccination Network is high, due to the large amount of content removed from the StopAVN page.)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

National Identity replacing Religious Identity as a way of forming "Imagined communities"

This link will take you to the ABC Drum where there is an audio interview with Scott Stephens. Mr Stephens is the Online Editor of Religion and Ethics for the ABC. In this interview, at about 11:10 Scott Stephens mentions that only stupid people would not acknowledge the important role of religion in 'binding people together or creating associations".

Perhaps in the past.

Baldwin, et al, Recognize the decline in organised religion in western societies and that westerns tend to create their "imagined communities' around ideas of National identity instead (2004, "introducing cultural studies" Pearson Education Limitied. pp157-158, 167, 289)

At this point I should mention that in sociology, a nation is an imagined community because the members if this community will never meet most of their fellow members, nor will they visit every historically, culturally or geographically significant place. But neither the less, members of this national community find a sense of identity and belonging to each other and these places. "It is only in the imagination that collectivities of this scale can exist" (Baldwin, et al, 2004, p158)   

But it's not like this new 'national identity' isn't without it's issues. It's built just as much upon exclusion as any other imagined community, including religions. But they are territoriality based exclusions. And the idea of national comradeship glosses over any inequalities experienced by the peoples of that nation. And in effect this lessens the social awareness of the plights of marginal groups. But this idea of mateship between Aussies seems to fit more snuggly in with the Australian world-view, than 'Christian based values'. 

Christians might think that the string of tragic world and local events in the past few months will drive more people to church in search of answers this Easter. And maybe so. But I argue that the "binding together of people" and the practice of symbolic rituals will happen down at the Pub, over a game of two-up on Anzac day


I'm so clever.

After creating this on the beach the other day, I think I now consider myself a bit of an artist. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Eternity seems like a pretty long time anyway

I was driving my daughter home from daycare yesterday afternoon, when it happened. It was in the window of one of those houses that's all 'workers cottage' old and red bricked, but on the most beautiful block: over looking the beach, the mouth of the river and out to the islands. There was a BIG, dodgey- microsoft word print-out that looked a bit like this:

Where will

Be for all ETERNITY?

"Dead, more than likely"- was my instant thought
But as I cruised along, singing wiggles and admiring the clear blue water I realized that my overly-outspoken atheist partner has a rather alarming delusion. He obviously doesn't believe in heaven, but while I contemplate the concept of 'ceasing to exist' and 'nothingness', he clings to the hope that he'll be uploaded into a computer.

That's right. His own personal back-up drive.

Now I've told him that it doesn't seem particularly likely. Although he says he agrees, I think he still hopes. We're all afraid of THE END (and I want mine written in curly writing like in old films). But to consider oneself to be reasonable, and then hope for a science-fiction miracle... well I'm no scientist, or Trekkie so I'm hardly an expert, and  maybe we're closer than I think (not-likely)... But eternity seems like a pretty long time anyway