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Weighing Wikipedia

15 January 2012 | Philip Harvey

WikipediaSomedays it looks like the most extravagant love letter to the humanist project, other days like the biggest ragbag of unsorted intellectual capital. The sheer scale of information is truly amazing. But as a reference, the time has come for Wikipedia to up its game.

Best of 2011: Bolt beyond the pale

12 January 2012 | Binoy Kampmark

Dog muzzleThe Federal Court found that fair-skinned Aboriginal people were likely to have been 'offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated' by Bolt's articles. Bolt lamented the passing of free speech in Australia. But free speech cuts both ways, and no freedom is absolute. Published 29 September 2011

Best of 2011: Consumers rule in Murdoch's evil empire

10 January 2012 | Catherine Marshall

The public was quick to claim ignorance and condemn the theft of private information by News of the World. But ignorance is no longer an excuse, especially in these post-Princess Diana years where the role of the paparazzi, traitorous friends and dodgy journalists is well-known. Published 21 July 2011

Julian Assange's clear and present danger

14 December 2011 | Tony Kevin

Julian Assange, TimeIf Julian Assange is soon extradited from UK to Sweden, as now seems likely, he faces rendition to the US, and the prospect of a long prison sentence or even assassination. The Australian Government continues to do almost nothing to protect its besieged citizen. 

Germaine Greer and gay exploitation

27 November 2011 | Matthew Holloway

ManIt is commonly thought that men represent both the main producers and consumers of pornography. Germaine Greer points out that men are also its victims. In the case of gay porn, just because there is no woman involved doesn't mean that it is not exploitative.

Peter Roebuck's ordered passion for cricket

14 November 2011 | Andrew Hamilton

Peter RoebuckAs a cricket writer Roebuck appreciated that other things in life matter more than sport. But precisely because sport does not matter ultimately, he was freed to take it very seriously indeed.

'Perverted' Sharia slaps artistic freedom

13 October 2011 | Ellena Savage

Marzieh VafamehrMarzieh Vafamehr, the Iranian actor awaiting corporal punishment in Iran for acting in a subversive Australian film, is the victim of a legal system that has abandoned any pretence to public interest. I'm drawn to this case as I, too, am a young woman forging my own way in the arts.

Syria's hopeless democracy dream

13 October 2011 | Ruby Hamad

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad My family belongs to the same Alawite religious minority as beleagured Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. There are great and legitimate fears that Assad's downfall will result, not in democracy, but in civil war and large-scale massacres of minorities, including the Alawites.

Bolt case a win for free speech

13 October 2011 | Dilan Thampapillai

Mouth taped shutParadoxically, the Andrew Bolt case has advanced each of the three rationales that typically support free speech. A democracy cannot flourish when some members of the community are free to say what they want while others are forced to speak from the margins of society.

'Fundamentalist' Albrechtsen's Malaysia misfire

12 October 2011 | Max Atkinson

Janet AlbrechtsenIn supporting her opposition to gay marriage, the best Janet Albrechtsen could say was that the opinion was her own, and was 'fundamental'. These remarks shed light on Albrechtsen's bizarre attack on the judges of the High Court over their decision on the Malaysia solution.

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