There have undoubtedly cases where Nintendo has been a bit old fashioned and overprotective at times. But deriding Nintendo for being parochial and conservative and supposedly not wanting to allow “lesbian love” into The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is to fundamentally miss the point. It’s seemingly to push an agenda which is unlikely to even be there. Are games in The Legend of Zelda series really even about love? Eiji Aonuma’s comments (which could be somewhat lost in translation) about “balance in the Triforce” and choosing the “simpler” option of retaining the traditional gameplay roles of the male Link and the female Zelda does not seem unreasonable, given the size and scope of the new Zelda game, the storyline of series, and the nature of the games themselves. They’re about fun, adventure, exploring dungeons and solving puzzles. They are games to be played and enjoyed. Escapism. Where ...Read More »
Tag Archives: Op-Ed
Should the Word “Guys” be Removed from Language in the Workplace?
“Hey guys,” David Morrison, the 2016 Australian of the Year and retired Army Lieutenant General, wants to do away with that phrase, and others, in the workplace. Launching the Diversity Council Australia (DCA) campaign WordsAtWork, Morrison wants to build inclusion through the power of language. Morrison states: “DCA’s new campaign is not about being ‘politically correct’ – it is about encouraging people to use language at work which is respectful, accurate, and relevant to everyone.” The WordsAtWork campaign aims at building inclusion, acknowledging that language can be a powerful tool for this. The effect of language and words used ranges from validated and replicated psychological research to well-meaning (but often questionable) pop-psychology anecdotes. Where the latter may be taken as supposed proof of what is someone’s personal opinion, all too frequently when confirmation bias is also in play. Whether the phrase “hey guys” or even “guys” is exclusionary or non-inclusive ...Read More »
Are the New Levels of Australia’s National Terrorism Threat Advisory System Seriously Flawed?
Level of Discussion The Council of Australian Governments (COAG), held its 40th meeting in Sydney, 23 July 2015. Amongst the topics of discussion, was the proposed changes to Australia’s National Terrorism Public Alert System in an effort to ensure that the threat levels “provide more precision, and provide better information to the public on changes to the national terrorism threat level”. Under the existing National Terrorism Public Alert System as used to “communicate an assessed risk of terrorist threat to Australia” there are four alert levels: Low: Terrorist attack is not expected. Medium: Terrorist attack could occur. High: Terrorist attack is likely. Extreme: Terrorist attack is imminent or has occurred. As stated within the levels, the current system is conveying the expectation of a terrorist attack. In addition to being a source of public awareness, the system also aims to guide preparation and planning, inclusive of precaution and vigilance undertaken ...Read More »
The Superannuation System is Not Sexist
As was recently reported on the Australian television channel SBS, on 7 July by The Feed, the superannuation system in Australia is apparently biased against women. Drawing upon the Australian Government Productivity Commission’s research paper for Superannuation Policy for Post-Retirement, the television show states that “there is a massive gap in super funds between men and women”. With the show citing estimates of average retirement payouts from superannuation for men were around $250,000 and for women around $150,000. Whilst The Feed tends to be a rather irreverent look at news and currents events – and is best treated and viewed as such – the suggestion that the difference in superannuation retirement payouts between males and females is because super is a “dude’s system” is utterly false. Even acknowledging and allowing for the tongue-in-cheek nature of The Feed, this line of specious reasoning that somehow the superannuation system unfairly favours males ...Read More »
Decadent Claims: Why Same-Sex Marriage Should Not be Decided by Politicians
Question: How does Barnaby Joyce think Asia will see Australia if same-sex marriage is legalised? Answer: As “decadent”. It may have been difficult to believe that Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce could’ve topped his earlier comments about Johnny Depp’s dogs being “stateless” but clearly there’s a new contender. Joyce is arguably taking his cues on this matter from his fellow cabinet minister, Senator Eric Abetz whose views have included that same-sex marriage may lead to polyamory; and then there were earlier comments from Senator Cory Bernardi that same-sex marriage could lead to an acceptance of bestiality. In reference to Asian countries, Barnaby Joyce said the following regarding same-sex marriage: “When we go there, there are judgements, whether you like it or not that are made about us. “They see us as decadent.” When asked if Australia embracing gay marriage would be seen as decadent in Asia, Mr Joyce said: “I think ...Read More »
Anzac Day – Politicians Hands Off
25th April 2015, Anzac Day. The pre-dawn world is dark. No hint of the sun yet to rise somewhere to the East. There’s a certain silence to it all. Rather fitting given the solemnity of the day. People move about the streets. More than normal in a time which is normally the preserve of the few early risers and late workers. Hurriedly they move and file in. Cram into and close ranks about the memorial site. Those of age and those distinguished are given seats. Most stand, almost still. In the dark waiting. The odd child stirs, shifts and murmurs. Some are placed atop shoulders to better see in the gloom. Others are held closer. Urged into silence. Each here is a part of the centenary of Anzac Day. That we remember those before us is the request. That we do not repeat past mistakes is understood and need not ...Read More »
Greyhound Racing Scandal: From Patterns to Pets?
Every dog has its day. So the saying goes. Yet for some greyhounds, what that day has involved has not exactly been pleasant. Following in the wake of the ABC’s Four Corners exposé in February of the greyhound live baiting scandal, which saw rabbits, possums, and even piglets being used as lures on training tracks for the greyhounds to chase and kill, positions in the official greyhound industry have met a similar fate. The board of Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) was dismissed by the NSW State Government; standing down 10 trainers and suspending 28 dogs. Racing Queensland has acted similarly, 36 greyhound trainers have been suspended, six of which have been banned for life. Two Queensland men were charged over the live baiting incident. Were the live baiting scandal not enough, this was followed shortly by the discovery of a mass grave of 55 greyhounds near Bundaberg, Queensland. Like dominoes ...Read More »
A Tax on Bank Deposits: Thought Bubble or Preventing Economic Bubbles?
Taxes, Bread, and Circuses The Australian Government is now proposing a tax on bank deposits. Set to be introduced in the May 2015 budget. Intentions, apparently honourable, are that such a tax would be used to ensure sufficient funds are available to be paid out to depositors in the event that the bank (or other Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions, ADIs, which includes banks, building societies, and credit unions) were to become insolvent. That is, the deposit tax (or levy, if preferred), would serve as a bail-out to depositors in the event of a bank collapse. This is in contrast, but little different, to the current system of the Financial Claims Scheme (FCS) where deposits of up to A$250,000 per account-holder per ADI are protected for free. The Australian Government guaranteed deposits seal may be displayed if the institution is covered under the FCS. That the current system is truly free, is ...Read More »
Is Calling Someone an “Ape” Racist?
You’re an “Ape” The Australian Football League (AFL) Sydney Swans player Adam Goodes, stopped midgame at the MCG to point out the 13-year-old girl (apparently a Collingwood supporter) after she called him an “ape”. Security staff subsequently escorted her from the grounds. Goodes, is both a dual Brownlow medallist and is considered one of the AFL’s most decorated indigenous players. “To hear a 13-year-old girl call me an ape … it was shattering,” Goodes said. Amidst the rest of his statement he also said that girl needed support and education. Adding that: “I’ve got no doubt in my mind she’s got no idea what she was calling me last night.” The girl had later called Adam Goodes to apologise. In an interview, she also said: “I didn’t mean it in a racist way and I’m sorry to the club and the AFL.” What About Context? This raises the question, that whilst the ...Read More »
420 and Social Proofs
420 and the Culture of Marijuana The 20th April is a meaningful date to many. Of course given the history of the world, it won’t take much to pull out something apparently significant, purely by chance, and link it to such a date. For example, Adolf Hitler was born on 20th April, 1889. Delving into confirmation biases and relatively prime numbers for mistaken numerology, is a topic for another time. Rather the 20th April here, will first be morphed into April 20, then converted into 420, and maybe 4/20 if need be. And yes, guilty of using numerology as charged. Although the whole idea of the 420 here is linked to not being charged. At 4:20pm on 4/20, stoners across North America, meaning the US and Canada, lit up their joints to advocate for the legalisation of marijuana. Presumably with smoking this weed, some did actually inhale as well. The origins of 420 are ...Read More »