AQ: Australian Quarterly 90.3 – July 2019
Facebook, Google, Amazon, Alibaba, WeChat...oligarch corporations with resources (and arguably, power) greater even than most of the world's countries. And the staggering amount of money controlled by these organisations is built on the harvesting, collating and selling of your data.
Surveillance capitalism - the reduction of citizens to datasets through persistent digital surveillance. Leading this new edition of AQ, Dr Zac Rogers suggests that, just as governments are starting to try and grapple with the fallout of this surveillance capitalism, the system is about to undergo another huge paradigm shift. And the world is unprepared for the consequences....
This and more in the new AQ!
Open Access: Should one model ever fit all?
The internet threatened to disrupt academic publishing substantially. Yet there has not been a widespread disruption of research publishing business models. But that is now changing. A massive wave of innovation and demand is forcing a rethinking of what it means to publish research, with a strong push to embrace open access (OA).
Yet the diversity of ways that OA is being achieved in different parts of the world means that, policies and practices can differ quite substantially and in some cases be in conflict. Who wins? Who loses? And can one model ever fit everyone?
Ginny Barbour and Scott Nicholls
Deleting Democracy: Australia and the surveillance juggernaut
The digital age means we increasingly carry out the minutia of our daily lives in an attention-harvesting, behavioural-modification Panopticon. Super-companies such as Google and Facebook have heralded in a new form of economic model built on the perpetual digital harvesting of citizens’ data – surveillance capitalism. And such concepts as privacy, autonomy and democracy are all there to be sold, quantified, or undermined. And just as governments are catching up on regulating the risks of this surveillance technology, it is about to make yet another dramatic leap away from them…
Interpreting the Dismissal. Paul Kelly’s influence
Diminished accountability, the Executive stacking the system to use mediating institutions as weapons against political opponents, the ‘whatever it takes to win’ mentality – if these can seen as markers of the modern political status quo, then this condition has a parallel in the dismissal of the Whitlam government.
For perhaps most Australians, the political crisis of 1975 has faded to become barely relevant history. Nevertheless, there are good reasons to trace the present detestable malaise of our politics to the unresolved issues of 1975.
Graham Maddox and Tim Battin
Blowback: The Sewage Intifada of Gaza
Is it possible for a besieged society to drown in its own sewage? Yes, but there was very little publicity when five residents of the Gaza Strip drowned in raw sewage when a sewage dam collapsed in 2005. Likewise, few people are aware of Gaza’s critical ongoing sewage crisis, compounded by the closure of tunnels through which cheap diesel fuel was smuggled, enabling the running of the sewage treatment plants.
Yet things are now becoming untenable for Israel as well, and for this reason alone change may come to a suffering people.