What I've been doing and saying
Taking a break from day-to-day politics
Here’s a report on what I’ve been up to in June and early July. My biggest news is that I’ve decided to take a break from commenting on day-to-day politics. Even starting with low expectations, I’ve been deeply disappointed by the Albanese government. That feeling seems to be widely shared, especially as regards Covid and Climate. Perhaps the public response will turn things around, but I don’t have anything much to add beyond what I’ve said already.
Instead, I’m trying to think about longer term issues, making the case that we need a utopian vision as an alternative to the current dystopia. I gave a webinar on this to the to the Australian Industrial Transformation Institute at Flinders Uni. The slides are here - I’ll update when the video becomes available
I’ve just finished teaching my Politics, Philosophy and Economics course, focused on climate change, which was very rewarding, but time consuming both for me and the students. The required work is two 5000 word essays (as well as blog posts). With just under 50 students, reading and responding to all of them is like being a reviewer for War and Peace. This work is also the basis for assessment, an aspect of university teaching I don’t believe in, but have to go along with. Fortunately, I have good students, so everyone who took the task seriously got a good grade, and no-one failed.
I’m at the stage of my career where I get lots of invitations to write book chapters, festschrifts (articles honouring distinguished colleagues) and similar. I nearly always accept these, so I’m usually overcommitted. I’m hoping to wind down a bit. Anyway, some recent outputs include
Production under uncertainty and choice under uncertainty in the emergence of generalized expected utility theory (in a special issue of Theory and Decision, honouring Peter Wakker)
Poverty alleviation as a global public good: The case for Basic Income, Economic Analysis and Policy
The Evolution of Neoliberalism chapter in Sustainability and the New Economics https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-78795-0_6
I’ve been very busy on mass media and social media as usual. Thanks to Alysha Hiluevo from the Business, Economics and Law Faculty at UQ, I have a detailed report you can check by logging in to Meltwater here (password is quiggin). As usual, some impressive (if not entirely believable) estimates of my global reach (2.6 billion potential viewers) and advertising value to UQ ($24.5 million).
As far as sporting activity is concerned, I spent June focused on training for the Gold Coast marathon, where I started out hoping to beat four hours. I had a great training run in the Brisbane half-marathon, and also an enjoyable ride in the Brissie-to-Bay ride for MS Queensland, where I raised over $2000. Sadly, when race day came I couldn’t keep going past 30km, and ended with a DNF (Did Not Finish). I’m still recovering slowly.
But I run, swim and cycle for enjoyment, with races as a reward, and fundraising as a side benefit. I’ve now signed up for Fred’s Big Run, supporting the Fred Hollows Foundation , planning to run or walk 150km in August. After that, I’ll line up for the Sunshine Coast Ironman 70.3 (1.9km swim, 90km cycle, 21.1 km run - the 70.3 is the distance in miles)
As always, I welcome comments, criticism and (particularly) compliments
Until next time
I'm also a little skeptical about social media reach and some of the numbers they come up with.
I have been reviewing for Google Maps for a few years. Some of the reviews and images I post receive +250,000 views... and I'm talking about say Yeronga Public Swimming Pool, or the dining experience at a pub in Gympie. If the currency of social media is "popularity", it seems a little disingenuous to allow the social media businesses to self report this (on this issue I'm probably sympathetic to Musk's Twitter claims).
Basically my experience is either the numbers must be very exaggerated or just plain wrong.