May 19, 2012

Big Ideas 2012

ABC Radio National: Big Ideas

William Faulkner (1897 – 1962):
The past is not dead.
It is never dead.
It's not even past. …

Alan Trounson (1946) [President, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine]:
The returns on the human genome [project —] $3.8 billion last year — is somewhere between $700 and $1,400 for every dollar invested over 23 years.
(Stem cells in medicine: Opportunities and challenges, Dean of Medicine Annual Lecture Series, University of NSW, 12 July 2012)

Paul Barklay:
… 70% of the world's poor are women.
They earn less than 10% of the world's wages [for] two thirds of the world's work.
(International Women's Day, 8 March 2012)

Rear Vision: 2011

ABC Radio National: Rear Vision

Rashid Khalidi:
[What we are seeing now in the Arab Spring is the] expression of sentiments and aspirations that seem to cut across different classes and groups and age groups within the Arab world.
[That transcend] divisions that everybody thought were hard and fast.

[Most] people in the Arab world … have a sense of what's going on the rest of the world.
They understand that other people benefit from some elements of democracy and constitutional rule and they want that for themselves. …
[People] in the Arab world actually are like everybody else.

In most other parts of the world [people] have similar aspirations towards freedom and some social justice.
[The] tides that have affected the rest of the world affect this part as well.
It is not … a place made up of crazy fundamentalists who if you allow them to have a free system, will turn towards extremism.

[What] we've seen in Tunisia so far, what we're seeing in Egypt so far, has been an expression of this exact thing kind of sentiments that we saw in Eastern Europe at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall, we saw in South Korea, we saw in Brazil, we saw in other countries that have managed to overcome autocracy and move towards democracy.

Raymond Carver:
I am a cigarette with a life attached.

Simon Chapman [Director of Research, School of Public Health, University of Sydney]: [According to] internal tobacco industry documents [the price of cigarettes] is the single greatest determinant of smoking in the community. …

[They also] show that the main purpose of [cigarette additives] is to make smoking more palatable for young people.
[A] lot of work has gone [into reducing] 'throat grab' [‒ that initial coughing you get when you first start smoking.]
[Menthol] acts as a sort of a gentle local anaesthetic in the throat, which makes [smoking] easier, particularly for young women, who tend to favour menthol cigarettes …

Robert Proctor:
[Smoking] is not like drinking …
[It's] like being an alcoholic.
Only about three per cent of people who drink are addicted, whereas 80 to 90 per cent of people who smoke are addicted. …
[Smoking] is not a recreational drug …

[The] cigarette pack itself [is] the last bastion of advertising.
The cigarette pack [is] like a micro-ad …
[Cigarettes are an undifferentiated product, they're] basically all … the same.
[From a marketing viewpoint, the packaging is the] product. …

Simon Chapman:
[If you] open any tobacco industry trade magazine [there is] page after page of advertisements from packaging companies, talking about how packaging is front and centre of branding …
[The package] is the centre of the advertising effort.

There's been a lot of experimental evidence by people showing young people different versions of packs and asking them which ones that they would prefer.
[They] always say that they don't like the plain-packaged ones, they want the nice looking packs …
[It's] a no-brainer.
[The] next generation of kids will grow up never having seen a packet of carcinogenic products packaged in a beautiful box.

May 14, 2012

The Monthly

Green Army: Communications

Paddy Manning:
Beneath all the politicking, there is one almighty driver for the Greens.
It’s the climate, stupid.
  • The temperature is still rising,
  • the sea is turning acid, [and]
  • the coral is dying. …
Which is why, in the end, the Green vote, and the fate of the Greens, matters.
(A Good Hard Look At The Greens, August 2016)

Kevin Rudd:
Climate change is the great moral challenge of our generation …
(National Climate Change Summit, 31 March 2007)

Kevin Rudd


Labor Prime Minister: 2007–2010; June–September 2013

Warren Buffet had recognised the emerging risks of financial innovation, easy money and weak regulation in 2003 when he noted that many of the new financial instruments were akin to
financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that, while now latent, are potentially lethal.
In its 2007 annual report, the [Bank of International Settlements] warned that
[Years] of loose monetary policy have fuelled a giant global credit bubble, leaving us vulnerable to another 1930s-style slump. …
The time has come … to proclaim that the great neo-liberal experiment of the past 30 years has failed, that the emperor has no clothes.
Neo-liberalism … has been revealed as little more than personal greed dressed up as an economic philosophy.
[It] now falls to social democracy to prevent liberal capitalism from cannibalizing itself. …

[The] pursuit of social justice is founded on the argument that all human beings have an intrinsic right to human dignity, equality of opportunity and the ability to lead a fulfilling life. …
Accordingly, government has a clear role in the provision of such public goods as
  • universal education,
  • health,
  • unemployment insurance,
  • disabilities insurance and
  • retirement income.

(The Global Financial Crisis, February 2009)

May 5, 2012

Background Briefing: 2012

ABC Radio National

Nassim Taleb (1960) [Author of The Black Swan]:
[The] system is too fragile [and the] regulators are [not] particularly intelligent.
[What is needed is] simplicity with the financial instruments to counter this complexity.
Zombie banks, 12 April 2009)