Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Does anyone remember the ‘cleanfeed’?

The ‘cleanfeed’ was an attempt by Senator Stephen Conroy in 2009 to enact legislation that would apply ‘filters’ for access to the internet that would be enforced by Internet Service Providers through mandatory ISP filtering. The filters were proposed as a means of preventing harm to children by limiting access to specific content on the web: preventing harm to children online by blocking websites with adult content and preventing harm to children off the web by increasing moderation of child pornography websites. Senator Conroy proposed a filter that would block all adult content including legally accessible adult websites. A secondary filter would allow users to volunteer for access to legally accessible adult websites. The problem was that many innocent sites, such as breast cancer related websites, would be caught up in the filter. There was also the ‘small’ problem of public outcry against obstruction of civil rights and liberties.

This information begs the question: What place does censorship have in a democracy?

Well, censorship does have a place in democracy. Regardless of which system of government you participate in there will always be people who will violate laws without regard or concern for other members of society. From standards, which are theoretically set by equal and fair representation of everyone, arise parameters of right and wrong. It is from these parameters that laws are rightfully dictated. As an example in most modern societies child slavery has been deemed immoral and wrong and therefore laws have been created as preventives against and punishments for those who breach these laws. Censorship is a preventative measure to protect the victims of these crimes and to stop further crimes being committed. In some circumstances censorship is appropriate particularly when protecting civil rights. An example of when censorship is not appropriate is when it violates civil rights such as the right to free speech or the right to freedom of assembly. When civil rights are violated through censorship the act of censorship is seen as unethical as long as members of a society deem this unacceptable and continue to enact their right to have civil rights.

The key point there being “continue to enact their right to have civil rights”. To continue to have rights you must be active in maintaining them. One of the best ways to maintain these rights is to be informed. So do some reading on the Trans-Pacific Partnership before history repeats itself again.

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Assessing your Online Interactions

Have you ever assessed your online interactions? Are you aware of just how accessible your information is? Are you aware of the rights you have to keep your information private?

This post relates to a previous post on social media addiction and the sources cited within that post on online security. A quick survey that should gauge just how net-savvy you are with your information.

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Be Different

If you’re worried about finishing university with nothing but a degree to show for those thousands of hours worth of study (like hundreds of other students who will be competing with you for a career), then set yourself ahead of the pack with a portfolio of all your tedious work. Prove to everyone that you’re not just anyone by displaying your unique work in a unique way: via a timeline….

With tikitoki you’re able to link a timeline you’ve made with a blog you’ve created. A blog consisting of all your tactful, specifically chosen pieces of work. Because sometimes a blog just isn’t enough to stand out in the crowd. If you want a portfolio with a different angle, one that shows a timeline of your work rather than a listing then this looks like a pretty neat way to go about it.

To keep the sci-fi fans mentioned in previous posts up to date, here is an example of a timeline: A brief history of Cyberpunk media and literature. Hopefully this keeps you all sane throughout the mid-semester assessment period.

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As poverty goes hand in hand with war. Social media goes hand in hand with…

Internet addiction!

What a silly concept. Addicted. To the internet! Ha! As if…

I mean yeah, I have a Facebook account. I have a twitter account. I’ll admit I’ve even had Myspace and MSN. Social media is the best way to connect to friends. I have my computer at home, my laptop for uni, my Xbox with Xbox live and I don’t go anywhere without my phone. Everybody needs Instagram. But sometimes instagram isn’t good enough and that’s what my Tumblr and Flickr accounts are for. This wordpress account is for more official blogging. My Gmail account keeps everything organised. It links all my emails. My social email with my work email with my other social email with my uni email with….my other email that I created when I was twelve. I need my Youtube account to be a famous vlogger… What’re you talking about? Of course it’s a career option. Especially in this day and age. I have enough experience. If you don’t believe me then you can check my Linkedin profile. I’d also say I’m a fairly private person. Yeah, sure, people have access to my photos, a list of my friends, my videos, my contact details, I post my location all the time, they can look at everything I’ve ever done online. But it’s still all MY stuff… isn’t it? I wouldn’t know. I don’t really read terms and service agreements. They’re harmless anyway.   

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Alphaville and its Relevance

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Are you a sci-fi fan? Do you like old movies from the 60’s because every other time period of cinema is ‘just too commercialized’? Are you a student of Griffith University?

Well, if you are a sci-fi-fanboy/girl-non-conformist-liberal-Griffith student with a fascination for 1960’s cinema then you’re in luck. If you fit into this category I wouldn’t be so naive as to think that you wouldn’t have obviously seen Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville, *gasp*, totally, of course….

Know-it-all’s aside, and for those who don’t know, Alphabille is a 1965 French science fiction noir film dirceted by Jean-Luc Godard.

Synopsis: Government agent Lemmy Caution (Eddie Constantine) is dispatched on a secret mission to Alphaville, a dystopian metropolis in a distant corner of the galaxy. Caution is hot on the trail of rogue agent Henri Dickson (Akim Tamiroff) and a scientist named Von Braun, the creator of Alpha 60, a computer that uses mind control to rule over residents of Alphaville. Caution is aided in his quest to destroy the despotic computer ruler by Von Braun’s own daughter, Natacha (Anna Karina). (IMDB 2015) 

If you are genuinely interested in Alphaville and it’s relevance in cinema then hunting down these books is recommended. Also provided are a few handy bibliography references just in case you’re a film student and this is your jam.

  1. At Nathan Campus you’ll find Italian Neorealism and Global Cinema.Ruberto, LE, Wilson, KM 2007, Italian neorealism and global cinema, Wayne State University Press, viewed 14 August 2015, via Griffith University Classic Library Catalog.
  2. At the College of Art (South Bank) and Nathan you’ll find Everything is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard.Brody, R 1958, Everything is cinema : the working life of Jean-Luc Godard, Metropolitan Books,, viewed 14 August 2015, via Griffith University Classic Library Catalog.
  3. and at the College of Art (South Bank) you’ll also find The Philosophy of Science Fiction Film.Sanders, SM 2008, The philosophy of science fiction film, University Press of Kentucky, viewed 14 August 2015, via Griffith University Classic Library Catalog.

Now go. Indulge in your liberal 1960’s french-noir-sci-fi film fantasies!

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A walk down Media Avenue

Studying and working in the media industry is a tricky thing. There are many rules to follow that people often don’t follow and many ethical constraints that many people often don’t adhere to. Sometimes unintentionally but more and more often seemingly intentional. If you know of anyone struggling in the world of media in the current political climate try sending them down this pathway for some offhanded guidance.Our guide for this tour will be Stephen Stockwell. A journalist who has worked for 4ZZZ, JJJ and Four Corners (Stockwell 2000).


First stop!

Crossing cultural boundaries and struggling with fair reporting? Well, you’re in luck! Our imaginary chaperon takes us to his work: ‘All-media Guide to Fair and Cross-Cultural Reporting: For Journalists, Program Makers and Media Students‘(2). This guide provides tools for the trade on dealing with the diverse communities and people of Australia. Covering topics from the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) code of ethics to relevant legislation and codes of practices. A useful tool for any student caught up in the confusing and often unfairly perceived world of media and communications.

Follow the bread crumbs…

Our next stop is an example of proactive research covering ‘The Secret History of Democracy’ (4). This book argues that generally most historians don’t admit to the true extent and impact of democracy throughout our history. Going against the grain this book aims to reveal the secrets behind a history that appears so standardized and familiar. A good read that is recommended for those with a keen eye for hidden truths and a taste for investigation.

Investigate Further…

The third stop along the way is a look at the current political climate. In ‘ Political Campaign Strategy: Doing Democracy in the 21st Century‘ (1) Stockwell discusses the complexities of democracy. This book seeks to clarify the origins, techniques and different forms of the political campaign. ‘[the author] seeks to capture the rhetorical, ethical and strategic dimensions of the political campaign and explain its historical roots, methods and manifestations in terms of democratic theory’ (Stockwell 2005).

Democracy like you’ve never seen her before…

And last but certainly not least, tying all our previous stops along Media Avenue together is ‘Rhetoric and Democracy: Deliberative Opportunities in Current Electoral Processes‘(3). Through the study of contemporary democratic theory Stockwell analyses deliberation in the effective operation of democratic institutions. Arguing that while deliberation is applied in relationships, movements, and negotiations ‘there appears to be a hesitation in theorizing the means to improve the deliberative functions of existing representative institutions’ (Stockwell 2010). Combining proactive research into democratic institutions, democratic analyses, and community perspective this book is a collaborative example of the stops thus far.

Last Stop…

Hopefully the works of Stephen Stockwell provide you with valuable insights into the world of media in the current political climate. If they don’t, well, the ride down Media Avenue was free… And don’t forget to thank your bus drivers! Continue reading