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What I've been doing and saying: July 2023
I’m just back from three weeks in Denmark and France, the first time I’ve travelled overseas since the onset of the pandemic; in fact, I’ve barely left Queensland. Most of the time this isn’t a problem for my work. I always preferred teleconferencing to travel, and now everyone else has been forced to learn how to do it.
But some in-person contact is still necessary. Having travelled all the wat across the world, I made good use of the time, with three conference presentations, a seminar and work with colleagues. I made lots of interesting connections with scholars in fields like linguistics and psychology. We were all concerned in different ways with how we can make decisions while knowing that we can’t possibly know or articulate everything we need to know.
I did my best to protect myself against Covid and flu, and seem to have escaped infection. I’m back to avoiding crowds and inadequately ventilated indoor settings (which is most of them) as much as possible.
I’ve been feeling pretty despairing about Australian politics, and about the lack of an adequate global response to the climate disaster. The horrific fires we endured in 2019 and early 2020 are now being seen all around the world. With an El Nino beginning, it will soon be our turn again. But the denialists are unmoved, and there’s no sign that Albanese is going to do anything.
I’m even more depressed about Tanya Plibersek, who I believed to have some integrity. If she had any, she would have resigned by now.
And things don’t get any better when you look at tax and expenditure policy. The unexpected surplus is being saved up to pay for Stage 3 Tax Cuts and AUKUS (plus a bizarre handout for a stadium in Hobart) rather than addressing urgent social needs.
Hopefully, there will be some better news soon. In the meantime, I’ll do my best to keep up the good fight.
As usual, you can track my media appearances here (password quiggin)