Art

Placeholder Content Image

Trump’s presidency is sinking deeper into crisis – but will he still get re-elected?

<p>Violence has <a href="https://www.thestar.com.my/news/world/2020/05/30/protests-flare-around-the-united-states-over-minneapolis-killing">erupted across several US cities</a> after the death of a black man, George Floyd, who was shown on video gasping for breath as a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck. The unrest poses serious challenges for President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden as each man readies his campaign for the November 3 election.</p> <p>If the coronavirus had not already posed a threat to civil discourse in the US, the latest flashpoint in American racial politics makes this presidential campaign potentially one of the most incendiary in history.</p> <p>COVID-19 and Minneapolis may very well form the nexus within which the 2020 campaign will unfold. Trump’s critics have assailed his handling of both and questioned whether he can effectively lead the country in a moment of crisis.</p> <p>And yet, he may not be any more vulnerable heading into the election.</p> <p><strong>A presidency in crisis?</strong></p> <p>As the incumbent, Trump certainly faces the most immediate challenges. Not since Franklin Roosevelt in the second world war has a US president presided over the deaths of so many Americans from a single cause.</p> <p>The Axis powers and COVID-19 are not analogous, but any presidency is judged by its capacity to respond to enemies like these. With <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/america-at-boiling-point-how-one-death-rocked-a-nation-numbed-by-100-000-20200529-p54xpw.html">pandemic deaths now surpassing 100,000</a>, Trump’s fortunes will be inexorably tied to this staggering (and still rising) figure.</p> <p>Worse, the Minneapolis protests are showing how an already precarious social fabric has been frayed by the COVID-19 lockdowns.</p> <p>Americans have not come together to fight the virus. Rather, they have allowed a public health disaster to deepen divisions along racial, economic, sectional and ideological lines.</p> <p>Trump has, of course, often sought to gain from such divisions. But the magnitude and severity of the twin crises he is now facing will make this very difficult. By numerous measures, his is a presidency in crisis.</p> <p>And yet.</p> <p>Trump, a ferocious campaigner, will try to find ways to use both tragedies to his advantage and, importantly, makes things worse for his challenger.</p> <p>For starters, Trump did not cause coronavirus. And <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-21/trump-accuses-china-of-coronavirus-mass-killing/12270140">he will continue to insist</a> that his great geo-strategic adversary, the Chinese Communist Party, did.</p> <p>And his is not the first presidency to be marked by the conflagration of several US cities.</p> <p>Before Minneapolis, <a href="https://www.history.com/topics/1960s/1967-detroit-riots">Detroit</a> (1967), <a href="https://www.britannica.com/event/Los-Angeles-Riots-of-1992">Los Angeles</a> (1992) and <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/08/08/ferguson-missouri-riots-5-years-since-shooting-race-tensions-worse/1952853001/">Ferguson, Missouri</a> (2014) were all the scenes of angry protests and riots over racial tensions that still haven’t healed.</p> <p>And in the 19th century, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/science/civil-war-toll-up-by-20-percent-in-new-estimate.html">750,000 Americans were killed in a civil war</a> that was fought over whether the enslavement of African-Americans was <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/09/how-the-constitution-was-indeed-pro-slavery/406288/">constitutional</a>.</p> <p>Trump may not have healed racial tensions in the US during his presidency. But, like coronavirus, he did not cause them.</p> <p><strong>How Trump can blame Democrats for Minneapolis</strong></p> <p>Not unhappily for Trump, Minneapolis is a largely Democratic city in a reliably blue state. He will campaign now on the failure of Democratic state leaders to answer the needs of black voters.</p> <p>Trump will claim that decades of Democratic policies in Minnesota – including the eight years of the Obama administration – have caused Minneapolis to be one of the <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/05/30/minneapolis-racial-inequality/">most racially unequal cities</a> in the nation.</p> <p>Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis will never be mistaken for the late, great General Douglas McArthur or great fighter General George Patton. How come all of these places that defend so poorly are run by Liberal Democrats? Get tough and fight (and arrest the bad ones). STRENGTH!</p> <p>In 2016, Trump <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-jasg-_E5M">famously asked African-Americans</a> whether Democratic leaders have done anything to improve their lives.</p> <p><em>What do you have to lose by trying something new, like Trump?</em></p> <p>He will repeat this mantra in the coming months.</p> <p>It also certainly helps that his support among Republican voters has never wavered, no matter how shocking his behaviour.</p> <p>He has enjoyed a stable <a href="https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/coronavirus-polls/">80% approval rating</a> with GOP voters throughout the coronavirus crisis. This has helped keep his approval rating among all voters steady as the pandemic has worsened, <a href="https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/coronavirus-polls/">hovering between 40 and 50%</a>.</p> <p>These are not terrible numbers. Yes, Trump’s leadership has contributed to a series of disasters. But if the polls are correct, he has so far avoided the kinds of catastrophe that could imperil his chances of re-election.</p> <p><strong>Why this moment is challenging for Biden</strong></p> <p>Biden should be able to make a good case to the American people at this moment that he is the more effective leader.</p> <p>But this has not yet been reflected in polls, most of which continue to give the Democrat <a href="https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/polls/president-general/">only a lukewarm advantage</a> over Trump in the election.</p> <p>The other problem is that the Democratic party remains discordant. And Biden has not yet shown a capacity to heal it.</p> <p>Race has also long been a <a href="https://www.history.com/topics/us-politics/democratic-party">source of division</a> within Biden’s party. Southern Democrats, for instance, <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/znycnrd/revision/4">were the key agents of slavery</a> in the 19th century and the segregation that followed it into the 20th.</p> <p>After the 1960s, Democrats sought to make themselves the natural home of African-American voters as the <a href="https://www.history.com/news/how-the-party-of-lincoln-won-over-the-once-democratic-south">Republican party courted</a> disaffected white Southern voters. The Democrats largely succeeded on that front – <a href="https://press.princeton.edu/ideas/why-are-blacks-democrats">the party routinely gets around 85-90% of black votes</a> in presidential elections.</p> <p>The challenge for Biden now is how to retain African-American loyalty to his party, while evading responsibility for the socio-economic failures of Democratic policies in cities like Minneapolis.</p> <p>He is also a white northerner (from Delaware). Between 1964 and 2008, <a href="https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-makes-southern-democrats-unique/">only three Democrats were elected president</a>. All of them were southerners.</p> <p>To compensate, Biden has had to rely on racial politics to separate himself from his primary challenger – <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/03/bernie-sanders-black-voters/607789/">Bernie Sanders struggled to channel black aspirations</a> – and from Republicans. And this has, at times, caused him to court controversy.</p> <p>In 2012, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYtEuuhFRPA">he warned African-Americans</a> that then-Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney would put them “all back in chains”. And just over a week ago, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/05/28/heres-why-black-americans-were-mad-bidens-comment-even-if-theyd-say-same-thing-themselves/">he angered black voters</a> by suggesting those who would support Trump in the election “<a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-23/joe-biden-apologises-for-aint-black-comment/12279428">ain’t black</a>”.</p> <p>Biden is far better than Trump on racial issues and should be able to use the current crises to present himself as a more natural “consoler-in-chief”, but instead, he has appeared somewhat flatfooted and derided for being racially patronising.</p> <p>The opportunities COVID-19 and the Minneapolis unrest might afford his campaign remain elusive.</p> <p><strong>There is reason for hope</strong></p> <p>America enters the final months of the 2020 campaign in a state of despair and disrepair. The choice is between an opportunistic incumbent and a tin-eared challenger.</p> <p>But the US has faced serious challenges before – and emerged stronger. Neither the civil war in the 19th century or the Spanish flu pandemic in the early 20th halted the extraordinary growth in power that followed both.</p> <p>Moreover, the US constitution remains intact and federalism has undergone something of <a href="https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2020/05/04/covid-federalism/">a rebirth</a> since the start of the pandemic. And there is a new generation of younger, more diverse, national leaders being forged in the fire of crisis to help lead the recovery.</p> <p><em>Written by Timothy J. Lynch. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/as-minneapolis-burns-trumps-presidency-is-sinking-deeper-into-crisis-and-yet-he-may-still-be-re-elected-139739">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

France told to sell Mona Lisa to cover coronavirus losses

<p>France should offset its financial losses from the coronavirus pandemic by selling Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece Mona Lisa for at least €50 billion, a tech CEO has suggested.</p> <p>Stephane Distinguin, founder and CEO of tech company Fabernovel, told <em>Usbek &amp; Rica </em>magazine that the country should “sell the family jewellery” to help deal with the “unfathomable” crisis.</p> <p>“Day after day, we list the billions engulfed in this slump like children counting the fall of a stone into a well to measure its depth,” Distinguin said.</p> <p>“We are still counting, and this crisis seems unfathomable.</p> <p>“As an entrepreneur and a taxpayer, I know that these billions are not invented and that they will necessarily cost us. An obvious reflex is to sell off a valuable asset at the highest price possible, but one that is the least critical as possible to our future.”</p> <p>Distinguin said France has “a lot of paintings”, which are “easy to move and therefore to hand over”.</p> <p>He said: “In 2020, we have to get the money where it is. So sell family jewellery … The price is the crux of the matter and the main subject of controversy. The price has to be insane for the operation to make sense.”</p> <p>The 46-year-old also suggested that the 16th century Italian Renaissance painting could be “tokenised” with a form of cryptocurrency, allowing it to be shared between countries around the world.</p> <p>“It would be like a big global subscription,” he said. “Legally and technically, this solution would have many advantages: it would allow France and the Louvre to keep control of the painting.”</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WEO/Issues/2020/04/14/weo-april-2020">International Monetary Fund</a> expected France’s GDP to contract by 7.2 per cent in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Many French tourism operators also <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/tamarathiessen/2020/05/02/forget-french-travel-this-year-tourism-operators-warn/#4719c0b554bd">fear the country will remain off-limits to international visitors this year</a>.</p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

Look in your attic! Hunt begins for Australia’s missing portraits

<p>Australians are being encouraged to look in their attics and reach out to their great aunts and uncles for one of more than 6,000 missing Archibald Prize artworks as the major prize is approaching its 100<sup>th</sup> anniversary.</p> <p>In celebration of the prize’s centenary next year, the Gallery of New South Wales is looking to fill the gaps in the prize’s history and complete its online catalogue of submissions.</p> <p>“With over 6,000 portraits created, they could have ended up anywhere – in private clubs, galleries, museums and collections,” Natalie Wilson, the gallery’s curator of Australian and pacific art told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-19/archibald-portrait-hunt-launched-ahead-of-centenary-of-prize/12259050" target="_blank">ABC Radio Brisbane</a>.</p> <p>“There are so many out there we think are in private collections across the country, possibly in your great uncle’s dining room.</p> <p>“We’re calling out to people around Australia to look in their attics or ask their great aunts and uncles if there is a portrait in their family that was perhaps painted by an Archibald artists.”</p> <p>Wilson said they located 1,500 portraits, but are still looking for the rest to “put together an archive online that people around Australia can use and to have a look at the history of the prize”.</p> <p>Some of the most wanted portraits included works from the early decades of the Archibald by artists such as Enid Dickson and Gwen Grant. Another piece the Gallery is looking to track is Constance Paul’s 1929 portrait of landscape architect Walter Burley Griffin.</p> <p>“We cannot find that portrait anywhere, and we thought, as the architect that designed Canberra, that someone might know where that one is.”</p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

Supermarkets claim to have our health at heart – but their marketing tactics push junk foods

<p>Supermarkets like to <a href="https://www.woolworthsgroup.com.au/page/community-and-responsibility/group-responsibility/environment/inspiring-healthy-choices">portray</a> themselves as having the <a href="https://www.coles.com.au/about-coles/community">health</a> of the community at heart. And in the middle of a pandemic, we’re all grateful supermarkets are still open and, for the most part, the shelves are well stocked.</p> <p>But our <a href="https://www.insideourfoodcompanies.com.au/supermarkets">new report</a>, published today, finds our supermarkets are overwhelmingly pushing junk foods on us rather than healthy foods.</p> <p>They have more promotional displays and more special offers for the least healthy food options, and they tempt us to buy unhealthy products at checkouts.</p> <p><strong>Our research – what we did</strong></p> <p>For our report, we surveyed more than 100 Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and independent stores in Australia.</p> <p>In each store, we measured the shelf space allocated to different foods and how they are promoted at checkouts and end-of-aisle displays. We also looked at discounts on healthy compared with unhealthy items.</p> <p>We categorised the healthiness of food and drinks based on the <a href="https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/sites/default/files/content/n55_australian_dietary_guidelines.pdf">Australian Dietary Guidelines</a>, which classify foods as “five food groups” foods (healthy) and “discretionary” foods (unhealthy).</p> <p>We analysed the findings by supermarket chain and by the level of disadvantage of the area in which each store was located.</p> <p><strong>Promotion of unhealthy food and drinks at checkouts</strong></p> <p>We found 90% of staff-assisted checkouts included displays of unhealthy food and drinks. These displays typically included chocolate, confectionery, soft drinks and energy drinks.</p> <p>The food and drinks on special at checkouts was also 7.5 times more likely to be unhealthy than healthy.</p> <p>These results show how checkout displays encourage impulse buys of unhealthy snacks. This is in stark contrast to displays near the entrance of most stores, where fresh fruit and vegetables feature prominently.</p> <p><strong>Unhealthy food is promoted all over the store</strong></p> <p>The displays at the end of aisles, particularly those in high-traffic areas nearest the front of the store, are where supermarkets put their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0969698917307257">biggest promotions</a>.</p> <p>Our survey found that of all end-of-aisle displays with food and drinks, 80% had at least one type of unhealthy item. In Coles, Woolworths and independent supermarkets, there was twice as much unhealthy food as healthy food on display.</p> <p>Around two-thirds of all specials on food and drinks were for unhealthy items.</p> <p><strong>It matters where you shop</strong></p> <p>On the measures we looked at there was little difference between Coles and Woolworths.</p> <p>But Aldi stores were quite different. They had fewer promotional displays and discounts overall. This means unhealthy food is not being pushed on Aldi shoppers in the same way it is at the other major chains.</p> <p>Independent stores varied widely. On average, they were no better than Coles or Woolworths.</p> <p>But the two healthiest stores in our study were both independent stores with abundant fresh food, and few promotional displays for unhealthy food and drinks. This tells us a healthier supermarket environment is possible.</p> <p><strong>It also matters where you live</strong></p> <p>We found supermarkets allocate more shelf space to unhealthy food and drinks (chips, chocolate, confectionery, sweet biscuits, soft drinks and energy drinks) compared with fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables.</p> <p>Critically, this was more pronounced in stores located in more disadvantaged areas.</p> <p>People living with socioeconomic disadvantage have <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/fe037cf1-0cd0-4663-a8c0-67cd09b1f30c/aihw-aus-222.pdf.aspx?inline=true">higher rates of diet-related diseases</a> and are <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/public-health-nutrition/article/association-between-socioeconomic-position-and-diet-quality-in-australian-adults/48106AB58906A3D5A4B3534D670A9F4A">less likely</a> to eat healthy, nutritious food. They are also more likely to <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/public-health-nutrition/article/discretionary-food-and-beverage-consumption-and-its-association-with-demographic-characteristics-weight-status-and-fruit-and-vegetable-intakes-in-australian-adults/689B3A1CE7E8B21680775430DED5623B">over-consume unhealthy food</a>.</p> <p>The extent to which unhealthy food is pushed at us shouldn’t depend on the suburb in which we live.</p> <p><strong>We need higher standards in Australian supermarkets</strong></p> <p>The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of supermarkets in our daily lives.</p> <p>But when the pandemic is finally over, we will still have an <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.5694/j.1326-5377.2010.tb03503.x">expensive national health problem</a> resulting from our unhealthy diets and high levels of <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-data/behaviours-risk-factors/overweight-obesity/overview">obesity</a>.</p> <p>Supermarkets can be part of the solution to that problem. They can help all Australians move towards healthier, more nutritious diets.</p> <p>Some improvements could include:</p> <ul> <li>providing healthier checkouts that do not display chocolate, confectionery and sugary drinks</li> <li>replacing unhealthy items with healthy food and drinks at end-of-aisle displays</li> <li>allocating less shelf space to unhealthy items</li> <li>offering fewer discounts on unhealthy food and drinks</li> <li>ensuring stores in the most disadvantaged areas do not disproportionately market unhealthy food and drinks, in comparison to stores in other areas.</li> </ul> <p>If supermarkets don’t take action to improve their practices, the government should be ready to step in to ensure the supermarket environment encourages the selection of healthier options.</p> <p><em>Written by Gary Sacks, Adrian Cameron, Lily Grigsby-Duffy and Sally Schultz. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/supermarkets-claim-to-have-our-health-at-heart-but-their-marketing-tactics-push-junk-foods-138292">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

Should we re-open pubs next week? The benefits seem to exceed the costs

<p>Nothing our leaders can do now will return the economy to where it was before COVID-19. For one thing, international travel is likely to remain closed for a long time.</p> <p>But there are things they can do, and on Friday the prime minister outlined a <a href="https://theconversation.com/australia-starts-to-re-open-but-the-premiers-have-the-whip-hand-on-timing-138218">roadmap</a>.</p> <p>Of interest to us is whether it makes sense to reopen bars and restaurants.</p> <p>The Australian Government committed <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Overview-Economic_Response_to_the_Coronavirus_2.pdf">A$320 billion over six months</a> to support businesses and workers whose incomes has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.</p> <p>That amounts to $12 billion per week.</p> <p>Reported job losses suggest around 29% is being paid out to support the <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs%40.nsf/mediareleasesbyCatalogue/400084FDCC1353C9CA2585500026370F?OpenDocument">accommodation and food services</a> industry.</p> <p>That’s about $3.4 billion per week. Bars and restaurants are likely to account for half of it, $1.7 billion per week.</p> <p>That can be thought of as one of the costs of keeping bars and restaurants closed.</p> <p>What about the benefits? What costs do we avoid by keeping bars and restaurants closed?</p> <p>It helps to illustrate our thinking as a decision tree.</p> <p>The upper branches of the tree represent the decision about whether or not to lift restrictions.</p> <p>If restrictions are lifted, there may, or may not, be a new outbreak that requires the reintroduction of restrictions.</p> <p>While we don’t know the likelihood of a new outbreak, we can test different assumptions.</p> <p>Given the very low number of new cases of COVID-19, the assumption we have tested is that there would be a one in ten chance of a new outbreak requiring the reintroduction of restrictions.</p> <p>We also assume that if there was a new outbreak, there would be a 95% chance it could be controlled by re-imposing restrictions on bars and restaurants and only a 5% chance it could not.</p> <p><strong>It’s a matter of probabilities</strong></p> <p>If the outbreak was controlled by reimposing restrictions (the 95% probability) we assume an extra 40 COVID-19 deaths and an extra four weeks of restrictions at a financial cost to the government of $6.8 billion.</p> <p>If the outbreak was more severe and a broader set of restrictions are required (the 5% case) we assume an additional 200 deaths and extra cost to the government of $17 billion.</p> <p>(We also assume that 25% of the government spending to support the hospitality industry would remain because a decision to reopen bars and restaurants would not result in the industry returning to it’s pre-COVID-19 state – many people would remain cautious about the risks of contracting COVID-19 or have become conditioned to less frequent socialising.)</p> <p>When we weigh these costs by their probabilities we get expected costs to the government from reopening of $1.1 billion, compared to costs from keeping bars and restaurants closed for another week of $1.7 billion.</p> <p><strong>Is the $600 million per week value for money?</strong></p> <p>It suggests the government would be $600 million per week better off it it reopens bars and restaurants.</p> <p>We would expect a number of extra COVID-19 deaths. Multiplying the probabilities of the extra deaths under each scenario by the likelihood of each scenario suggests there would be an extra 4.8 deaths if bars and restaurants are reopened this week.</p> <p>Because the average age of people dying due to COVID-19 is around 80 years, and each might have around ten more years to live, the number of life years per week that would be lost as a result of the $600 million per week the government saved would be 48.</p> <p>It suggests each life year saved as a result of keeping bars and restaurants closed costs around $12.5 million.</p> <p>Decisions on whether government should fund health interventions are commonly based on an assessment of whether the health gains justify the <a href="https://theconversation.com/new-cancer-drugs-are-very-expensive-heres-how-we-work-out-value-for-our-money-44014">additional costs</a>.</p> <p>As a ballpark figure, new measures are funded if they are shown to gain an additional life year at a cost of around $50,000.</p> <p>This suggests that by keeping bars and restaurants closed the government is paying 250 times more than it would usually pay to gain a life year.</p> <p><strong>It is funding that doesn’t pass the usual test</strong></p> <p>A <a href="https://www.pmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/publications/Value_of_Statistical_Life_guidance_note.pdf">separate guideline</a> used by Australian governments to assess regulations and infrastructure projects puts the value of a statistical life year at $200,389 in today’s dollars.</p> <p>This suggests that by keeping bars and restaurants closed the government is paying 60 times more than it would usually pay to save a life.</p> <p>It’s why we think governments should reopen them, next week.</p> <p>Like all such analyses, ours depends on the assumptions used.</p> <p>We have put a <a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1beOxNP0tYjP0YqYZCHOc4E2bwf1T3AMj4xeqK8oSBvU/edit#gid=1610584329">spreadsheet</a> of our decision tree online to allow readers to experiment with different ones.</p> <p>Our analysis leaves much out. It includes neither the negative impact of COVID-19 on people’s quality of life, nor the negative impact of shutting bars and restaurants on people’s health and quality of life.</p> <p>It gives us an indication of how many life years the government is saving for the $600 million per week it is costing it to keep bars and restaurants closed.</p> <p>It suggests the government could save many more life years by spending the money in a different way.</p> <p><em>Written by Jonathan Karnon and Ben W. Mol. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/should-we-re-open-pubs-next-week-the-benefits-seem-to-exceed-the-costs-137609"><em>The Conversation.</em></a></p> <p> </p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

Archie turns one! Royal baby has grown up SO fast

<p>Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, the son of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, has celebrated his first birthday on May 6.</p> <p>It is hard to believe the love-struck Duke and Duchess of Sussex became parents to their first child together a year ago, but to celebrate their beautiful family we are looking back at some of little Archie’s most memorable moments.</p> <p>Archie was born on May 6, 2019 and in just one year the toddler has already achieved incredible milestones.</p> <p>To celebrate his birthday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex released a video of the growing tot sitting on his mother's lap as she reads him a children's book. </p> <p>The clip was posted on behalf of Save The Children UK and seeks to help raise urgent funds for the organisation's coronavirus appeal. </p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/tv/B_2A6IwBeM-/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/tv/B_2A6IwBeM-/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Save The Children UK (@savechildrenuk)</a> on May 6, 2020 at 4:01am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>From the most intimate moments to his highly publicised royal debuts, here are some of his most adorable moments.</p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

Woman makes ‘monstrous’ knitted masks to encourage social distancing

<p>An Icelandic woman has promoted social distancing through a novel, innovative way: knitting.</p> <p>Knitwear designer Ýrúrarí Jóhannsdóttir has gone viral after sharing her knitted masks and other isolation creations on social media.</p> <p>The 3D masks – which feature knits of mouths, teeth and jutting tongues – have been described by fans as “grotesque”, “<a href="https://www.vogue.com/article/icelandic-knitwear-designer-tongue-masks-yrurari-johannsdottir">trippy</a>” and “<a href="https://10daily.com.au/news/a200505cmtfy/woman-makes-grotesque-knits-to-scare-people-into-social-distancing-20200505">freakish</a>”.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B_DKJ3xgUWt/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B_DKJ3xgUWt/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">I’ve been experimenting with some of my sweater ideas to wear on a face, always interesting to see the outcome 👽 It has been fun to see masks inspired by mine, good use of quarantine time to knit💜But a reminder again, my masks are not made for safety, knitted masks are not safe to start with! Take care 🦠❌🦠❌🦠 #mask #knitting #fashionforbankrobbers</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/yrurari/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Ýrúrarí</a> (@yrurari) on Apr 16, 2020 at 10:00am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-4JbBOABY5/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-4JbBOABY5/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Ýrúrarí (@yrurari)</a> on Apr 12, 2020 at 3:22am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The 27-year-old designer said she has always been interested in tongues because “they are kind of rude, sticky, and strange”.</p> <p>She extended her work from sweaters to face masks due to the coronavirus pandemic.</p> <p>“I didn’t really make the masks to wear,” she told <em><a href="https://mashable.com/article/knitted-face-mask-tongue-lips/">Mashable</a></em>. “In my mind they are more like wearable sculptures, not made for safety [but] more as a fun approach to the rule of keeping distance.”</p> <p>“If you look scary enough people will stay away!”</p> <p>Jóhannsdóttir said the masks promoted the idea that “using masks can be fun”.</p> <p>“Everything we put on us can also be fun if we want it to, and bringing smiles to people’s faces in times like these is also important,” she told <em><a href="https://www.vogue.com/article/icelandic-knitwear-designer-tongue-masks-yrurari-johannsdottir">Vogue</a></em>.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B_PcEsSAByb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B_PcEsSAByb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Ýrúrarí (@yrurari)</a> on Apr 21, 2020 at 4:27am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B_aQTE0gOyo/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B_aQTE0gOyo/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Ýrúrarí (@yrurari)</a> on Apr 25, 2020 at 9:16am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

Government orders mandatory code of conduct for Google and Facebook

<p>The government has told the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to develop a mandatory code of conduct to address bargaining power imbalances between media companies and digital platforms such as Facebook and Google - and the question of payment for content.</p> <p>Earlier the ACCC was directed by the government to facilitate a voluntary code. But slow progress and the impact on the media of the coronavirus have convinced the government of the need for more urgent and compulsory action.</p> <p>In its Digital Platforms Inquiry report of last year, the ACCC identified a bargaining power imbalance between news media organisations and these large digital platforms, and recommended codes of conduct to govern commercial relationships.</p> <p>Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher have said in a statement the timeframe needs to be accelerated.</p> <p>“The Australian media sector was already under significant pressure - that has now been exacerbated by a sharp decline in advertising revenue driven by coronavirus,” the ministers say.</p> <p>“At the same time, while discussions between the parties have been taking place, progress on a voluntary code has been limited, according to recent advice provided by the ACCC”.</p> <p>The ministers say the ACCC considers it unlikely any voluntary agreement would be reached on the key issue of payment for content.</p> <p>The code will cover data sharing, ranking and display of news content, and the monetisation and the sharing of revenue generated from news. It will also include enforcement, penalty and binding dispute resolution mechanisms.</p> <p>The ACCC will release a draft before the end of July, and the government wants the code finalised soon after that.</p> <p>The University of Canberra’s 2019 Digital News Report said the majority of surveyed consumers who access news online get this news via indirect methods, such as social media, news aggregators, email newsletters and mobile alerts.</p> <p>According to Nielsen Panel Data for February 2019, Google search had a unique audience of 19.7 million in Australia, and Facebook had a unique audience of 17.6 million.</p> <p><em>Written by Michelle Grattan. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/government-orders-mandatory-code-of-conduct-for-google-facebook-136694">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

The Gates Foundation’s prophetic coronavirus pandemic simulation

<p>On 18 October last year, the Gates Foundation, the World Economic Forum and the John Hopkins Centre for Health Security held a pandemic simulation exercise, with the aim of “educating senior leaders” about an adequate response to the type of crisis the planet is currently in the grips of.</p> <p>The simulation was called <a href="http://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/event201/about">Event 201</a>. Fifteen participants took part in a mock pandemic emergency board. This included representatives from the UN Foundation, the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Johnson &amp; Johnson, Lufthansa and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.</p> <p>Representing Australia was ANZ board member <a href="http://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/event201/players/halton.html">Jane Halton</a>, who incidentally has been <a href="https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/morrison-shuts-down-parliament-hands-nation-corporations">appointed</a> to the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission by Scott Morrison. The NCCC is a local body of corporate representatives designed to coordinate the economy during the very real COVID-19 crisis.</p> <p>The Event 201 scenario involved a new coronavirus – a disease that causes respiratory tract infection – that developed in pigs in South America and then infected farmers. The virus spread around the world, with some people developing mild flu-like symptoms, while others perished.</p> <p>Stranger than fiction</p> <p>Watching the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoLw-Q8X174&amp;app=desktop">highlights of Event 201</a> – which took place just five and a half months ago – is eerie. Simulated “GNN” newsreels appear between footage of emergency board discussions, one of which involves an immunologist outlining that efforts to find a vaccine during the outbreak failed.</p> <p>The Gates Foundation’s Christopher Elias asserts that keeping global supply chains open would take “knowledge that only the private sector has”, while the UN could play a role coordinating the various private entities. But, it’s clear to Elias that this aspect of the response would rely upon corporations.</p> <p>The most distressing part of the highlights comes when the issue of the “overwhelming amounts of dis- and mis- information circulating over the internet” is broached. The board members go on to discuss whether internet shutdowns would be necessary to deal with fake news.</p> <p>Think about it – as we sit locked down in our homes during a real pandemic, with newly imposed restrictions on gatherings with others outside of our own households – what would it be like if the government and private business decided to close down the main mode of communications?</p> <p>Too little too late</p> <p>Event 21 led to seven key recommendations, all of which, it would seem now, came too late. These suggested that governments and business sectors should plan for a pandemic situation, which would include stockpiling medical supplies and investing in <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/should-child-vaccination-be-compulsory/">vaccination</a> development capabilities.</p> <p>The outcome of the simulated pandemic was catastrophic, with 65 million people dying in the first 18 months. The outbreak was small at first and seemed controllable. But, once it started spreading through the poor neighbourhoods of megacities, it exploded, with cases in nearly every country.</p> <p>“We have to ask, did this need to be so bad?” says a GNN mock news presenter. “Are there things we could have done in the five to ten years leading up to the pandemic that would have lessened the catastrophic consequences?”</p> <p>The presenter concludes, “We believe the answer is yes.” However, that timeframe to prepare is now lost.</p> <p><em>Written by Paul Gregoire. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/the-gates-foundations-prophetic-coronavirus-pandemic-simulation/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a> </em></p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

Make your own mask from a tea towel, t-shirt or vacuum bag

<p>The worldwide coronavirus pandemic has led to a shortage of protective face masks, leading to a number of online tutorials on how to make your own using items found around the house.</p> <p>Homemade masks offer significantly less protection than the N95 medical masks, which are made of a thick, tightly woven material that fits over the face and can stop 95 per cent of all airborne particles.</p> <p>And while many health organisations have recommended to ditch the masks unless in a medical setting, there is a good reason to think DIY masks could be effective in tackling the pandemic.</p> <p>They’ve been used extensively in countries such as Hong Kong, Mongolia and South Korea – places that have the disease largely under control.</p> <p>The World Health Organisation also does not recommend that people without the illness wear the face mask, but they’re looking at reversing their decision due to evidence from Hong Kong that it may be effective in fighting the virus.</p> <p><strong>Here’s how you can make your own at home using a kitchen towel</strong></p> <p><strong>What you will need:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Kitchen towel</li> <li>One tissue</li> <li>Masking tape</li> <li>Elastic bands</li> </ul> <p><strong>Method:</strong></p> <ol> <li>Cut both the paper towel and tissue in half and apply masking tape on each end to make sure the mask is stiff.</li> <li>Punch holes through either end of the mask and thread the elastic bands through the holes.</li> </ol> <p>Your mask is ready in two simple steps.</p> <p><strong>How to make a face mask with a t-shirt</strong></p> <p>A tutorial by YouTuber Runa Ray shows how to make a face mask with a t-shirt, no sewing required.</p> <p><strong>What you will need:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Scissors</li> <li>Pencil</li> <li>Ruler</li> <li>Unwanted t-shirt</li> </ul> <p><strong>Method:</strong></p> <ol> <li>Cut out a 16" by 4" rectangle from the middle of the t-shirt, then fold it in half, and measure four inches on either side.</li> <li>Mark the t-shirt with an even number of tassels on each side and use scissors to cut them.</li> <li>Turn the t-shirt inside out and separate the corner tassels, but tie the remaining ones in-between.</li> <li>With the remaining t-shirt material cut some ear straps using the hem of the shirt. </li> <li>Attach the straps to the remaining outer tassels and you have yourself a face mask, with no sewing involved, and using an old t-shirt.</li> </ol> <p><span><strong>How to make a face mask from vacuum cleaner bags</strong></span></p> <p><strong>What you will need:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Vacuum bag</li> <li>Paperclip</li> <li>Two rubber bands</li> <li>Stapler</li> </ul> <p><strong>Method:</strong></p> <ol> <li>Cut the bag into a rectangle. Make sure to keep all the layers together.</li> <li>With the inside of the bag facing upwards fold twice along the bottom and top.</li> <li>Fold both bottom corners of the bag.</li> <li>Get a paperclip or other thin wire and straighten it out.</li> <li>Take two rubber bands and fold the far ends around them. Staple the folds to secure them.</li> <li>Push the straightened wire through the centre of the top.</li> <li>Stretch the rubber bands around your ears to hold the mask against your face. Pinch the wire to secure around your nose.</li> </ol>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

When one door closes just open a window - 14 sites with great free art

<p>As the coronavirus outbreak forces the closure of museums, art galleries, libraries and theatres around the word, the concept of “on demand culture” is gaining momentum.</p> <p>Institutions – museums, galleries and concert halls, which by their very nature rely on in-person visits – are seeking out digital solutions in the form of live-streamed performances, virtual tours and searches of online collections. The Sydney Biennale announced a <a href="https://www.biennaleofsydney.art/?gclid=CjwKCAjw3-bzBRBhEiwAgnnLCh7Dci4zUp2TZ2UWAdSHNyu4crESwT52p0og5UA-FouEesZ8lzZ_7xoCD3AQAvD_BwE">shift to digital</a> display this week and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra has streamed a <a href="https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/culture/music/online-and-on-song-mso-keep-the-music-going-20200322-p54cm2.html">performance</a> of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony to a live audience that peaked at 4500 and gathered thousands of subsequent viewers.</p> <p>The current pandemic is dragging cultural institutions into the 21st century, forcing them to catch up with technological solutions to replace on-site experiences. But many institutions are already well down this path. They have already found the shift online has benefits and dangers.</p> <p>Voorlinden will have to wait. <a href="https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1525067445930-5968dc619dfb?ixlib=rb-1.2.1&amp;auto=format&amp;fit=crop&amp;w=765&amp;q=80">Christian Fregnan/Unsplash</a>, <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/">CC BY</a></p> <p><strong>Crossing technical boundaries</strong></p> <p>From as early as the 1920s, museums have been using the technologies of the day. Back then, it was presenting <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books?id=XDZ7DwAAQBAJ&amp;pg=PT78&amp;lpg=PT78&amp;dq=1920s+museum+lectures+on+public+radio&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=gD-dFO6UN8&amp;sig=ACfU3U2pXdZIo3UGAnTODDW7VUcvtJvjbA&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=2ahUKEwjDreuvu7ToAhX-zzgGHb-3CfMQ6AEwA3oECAoQAQ#v=onepage&amp;q=1920s%20museum%20lectures%20on%20public%20radio&amp;f=false">public lectures on broadcast radio</a>.</p> <p>From the early to mid-1950s, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology collaborated with CBS to produce <a href="https://www.penn.museum/collections/videos/playlist/list.php?id=7">What in the World</a>, a program that presented storeroom objects to a panel of industry specialists who had to figure out what in the world the objects were and who made them.</p> <p>A more recent turn is towards cultural institutions partnering with digital media organisations to deliver access to mediated cultural content. <a href="https://artsandculture.google.com/">Google Arts &amp; Culture</a>, a digital platform, makes the collections of over 12,000 museums available online. Web portal <a href="https://www.europeana.eu/en">Europeana</a>, created by the European Union, hosts over 3,000 museums and libraries.</p> <p>Well before the coronavirus closed ticket desks and moved some experiences onto digital media platforms, virtual gateways had become an important means of generating awareness and engagement with culture.</p> <p><a href="https://www.annefrank.org/en/">Anne Frank House</a> has illustrated how online visitors can take part in holocaust remembrance without travelling to Amsterdam. Anne Frank House now uses a chatbot to create personalised conversations with users globally via Facebook messenger. Similarly, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/eva.stories/?hl=en">Eva.Stories</a> is an Instagram page that recounts, via a series of 15 second videos, the diary of a 13-year-old girl killed in a concentration camp.</p> <p><strong>Doors shut</strong></p> <p>The forced closures as a result of coronavirus will accelerate and amplify this shift towards digital transformation.</p> <p>At a time of social distancing, individual artists, small private companies and major public cultural institutions are quickly re-purposing technology in creative ways.</p> <p><a href="https://www.artscentremelbourne.com.au/festival-and-series/morning-melodies">Morning Melodies</a> is an online broadcast of the usually popular live performances offered by the Victoria Arts Centre.</p> <p><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/doublej/music-reads/features/isol-aid-festival-review-2020-covid-19-julia-jacklin-spacey-jane/12082228">Isol-Aid</a> live streamed a music festival over the weekend, with 72 musicians across Australia each playing a 20-minute set on Instagram.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.acmi.net.au/events/melbourne-cinematheque/">Australian Centre for the Moving Image</a> has set up an online weekly film nights, while acknowledging it “can’t replace the joy of being in the cinema”.</p> <p><strong>What might be lost</strong></p> <p>Despite the benefits of this mediated content, social media scholars Jose Van Dijck and Thomas Poell <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2309065">point out</a> digital technologies come with a set of core logics or rules that shape users, economic structures and institutions. These underlying rules of online engagement have long-term implications for how we engage with culture. For future generations, it’s conceivable that a visit to the library, museum, theatre or art gallery won’t be something experienced in person but rather through a digital media platform.</p> <p>With the “on demand culture” comes a dispersal of audiences into online spaces. In those spaces, their private contemplation of art and culture can become fodder for data mining and analysis.</p> <p>Art gals on google arts &amp; culture...</p> <p>This data then feeds into the repurposing of cultural content according to the priorities of social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. In 2018, Google Culture launched a <a href="https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/01/15/578151195/google-app-goes-viral-making-an-art-out-of-matching-faces-to-paintings">face match app</a> that matched user selfies to images drawn from cultural collections. It expanded access for new global audiences, but questions remain about the extent to which phone camera images were used to train Google’s facial recognition algorithm. Some users were critical of the collection’s <a href="https://twitter.com/KaraBTweets/status/952572084076646400?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E952572084076646400&amp;ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.npr.org%2Fsections%2Fthetwo-way%2F2018%2F01%2F15%2F578151195%2Fgoogle-app-goes-viral-making-an-art-out-of-matching-faces-to-paintings">lack of diversity</a>.</p> <p>The mediation of culture highlights a new set of ethical dilemmas as content goes online.</p> <p><strong>What we gain</strong></p> <p>This isn’t to say the availability of “on demand” cultural content isn’t a good thing. At “normal” times it can allow people to virtually visit exhibitions or enjoy performances they can’t access in real life. Online presentations can enhance understanding with “explore more” links or additional information.</p> <p>During times of crisis, online cultural experiences can be a <a href="https://www.fastcompany.com/90478442/for-artists-the-show-must-go-on-and-zoom-is-their-venue">lifeline for both art audiences and creators</a>. It is vital that we create avenues through which the community can access culture and seek out technological solutions to keep artists and cultural workers employed during what could be a long hiatus.</p> <p><strong>14 art &amp; culture links</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://abiawards.com.au/">Australian Book Industry Awards</a> will be awarded online, as will the <a href="https://thestellaprize.com.au/prize/2020-prize/">Stella Prize</a> for female authors.</li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/1143946145941832/">Born to Boogie Dance Connection</a> is hosting a much-needed online groove this week.</li> <li><a href="https://www.instagram.com/dnice/">Club Quarantine</a> is where DJ D-Nice or Derrick Jones from 90s hip-hop group Boogie Down Productions is spinning tracks for 100,000+ viewers. Guest appearances include Michelle Obama, Naomi Campbell, Chaka Khan, Halle Berry, Rihanna, and Diddy.</li> <li><a href="https://www.europeana.eu/portal/en">Europeana Collections</a> are celebrating Women’s History Month.</li> <li><a href="https://artsandculture.google.com/">Google Art and Culture</a> Explore collections from around the world, from the British Museum to Macchu Pichu.</li> <li><a href="https://www.guggenheim-bilbao.eus/en/">Guggenheim Museum Bilbao</a> in Spain is the place for Mark Rothco, Jeff Koons and Richard Serra.</li> <li><a href="https://karaoke.camp/">Karaoke Camp</a> uses Zoom to connect singers worldwide.</li> <li><a href="https://museumsvictoria.com.au/melbournemuseum/at-home/">Melbourne Museum</a> has virtual tours of the Phar Lap, dinosaur and First Peoples displays.</li> <li><a href="https://www.mmca.go.kr/eng/">National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art</a>, South Korea is showing meet the curators chats on YouTube.</li> <li><a href="https://nowadays.nyc/">Nowadays</a> live music lounge in New York is streaming DJs online.</li> <li><a href="https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en">Rijksmuseum</a> is home to Dutch masters: Vermeer’s Milkmaid, Van Gogh’s Self-portrait and Rembrandt’s most well-known painting: the Night Watch.</li> <li><a href="https://www.socialdistancingfestival.com/">Social Distancing Festival</a> is drawing live streaming performances together in one place.</li> <li><a href="https://www.zoo.org.au/animal-house">Zoo Victoria’s Animal House</a> is livesteaming lions, giraffes, snow leopards cubs, penguins and the occasional <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/video_and_audio/headlines/52000441/coronavirus-melbourne-zookeeper-s-livestream-dance-goes-viral">dancing zoo keeper</a>.</li> </ul> <p><em>Written by Caroline Wilson-Barnao. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/when-one-door-closes-open-a-window-14-sites-with-great-free-art-134153">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

Good people break bad laws: Rough sleepers

<p>In terms of the law, people who are forced to sleep out on the streets are already on the wrong side of it, seemingly because they have no fixed address. Indeed, the <a href="https://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/community/community-support/homelessness/street-count">334 rough sleepers</a> counted in the City of Sydney last month are simply criminalised by default.</p> <p>Sleeping rough can guarantee intensified policing. Being moved on can get to be a part of daily life. Places where the homeless are camping together can be busted up. And even having a drink can be problematic, as consuming alcohol in the park or on the street is often a crime.</p> <p>It’s not like things are getting any better either. Recent years saw then Melbourne lord mayor Robert Doyle move to ban sleeping rough in his city <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/nsw-premier-broadens-police-powers-to-remove-the-homeless/">in early 2017</a>. The plan <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/violation-of-human-rights-un-condemns-melbournes-homeless-camping-ban-20170314-guxkld.html">was eventually</a> dropped after United Nations condemnation.</p> <p>And after a <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/premier-demands-that-council-moves-on-martin-place-rough-sleepers/">very public tit for tat</a> between the NSW government and the City of Sydney over responsibility for the Martin Place Tent City, the Berejiklian government decided to rush through new laws that forced the rough sleepers to vacate the public square.</p> <p>RMIT homelessness professor Guy Johnson explains that people sleeping outside only make up <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/the-homelessness-crisis-an-interview-with-rmit-professor-guy-johnson/">about 20 percent</a> of the overall homeless population. But, while they may not be the majority, they’re certainly bearing the brunt of a society that treats they’re circumstances as criminal.</p> <p><strong>Pushing them out</strong></p> <p>“The City of Sydney has unambiguously had a policy since the mid-90s of trying to move homeless people out,” said frontline homelessness advocate Lanz Priestley. “There’s no consideration for Sydney to house homeless people, other than a token solution.”</p> <p>“They tend to point to housing estates somewhere else, whether that be the traditional estates or the community model, which is problematic in itself,” he told Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</p> <p>The City of Sydney website sets out that it’s <a href="https://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/community/community-support/homelessness/street-count">the only council in NSW</a> to run a specialist homelessness unit, which was launched in 1984. Operating on a 7 days a week basis, the homelessness unit <a href="https://news.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/articles/reducing-rough-sleeping-in-the-city">aims to reduce</a> rough sleeping by putting those on the street in touch with the right services and support.</p> <p>However, according to Priestley, the purpose of the homelessness unit is to manage rough sleepers in the local government area in response to issues raised by ratepayers. And there’s no consultation with the actual people doing it rough.</p> <p>“They’re doing it in consultation with the poverty industry,” Mr Priestley continued. “They’re doing it in consultation with a whole lot of other external groups, without asking homeless people what the solutions are that they want.”</p> <p><strong>Moving them on</strong></p> <p>The NSW government introduced the <a href="https://www.homelessnessnsw.org.au/sites/homelessnessnsw/files/2016-12/TheProtocol_Factsheet.PDF">Protocol for Homeless People in Public Places</a> in 2000. It sets out that homeless people have the same rights as all citizens in public places, and government organisations, including the NSW Police Force, should treat them accordingly.</p> <p>But, as Priestley puts it, “that doesn’t mean it always happens”. And when asked about laws that impinge upon homeless people unfairly, he pointed to move on powers, which were introduced <a href="https://research-repository.griffith.edu.au/bitstream/handle/10072/49245/78970_1.pdf%3Bsequence=1">in the 1990s</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://www7.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/leara2002451/s197.html">Section 197</a> of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 (NSW) (the LEPRA) provides police with the power to direct people to move on in public places if an officer believes on reasonable grounds that the person is obstructing, harassing, intimidating or causing fear to others, or they’re supplying or buying prohibited drugs.</p> <p>And <a href="http://www7.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/leara2002451/s199.html">section 199</a> of the LEPRA provides that an individual who refuses to comply with such an order can be fined $220.</p> <p><strong>Word from the street</strong></p> <p>As Priestley tells it, move on orders were first used in the late 90s to deal with homeless people sleeping in the lanes around Woolloomooloo’s Matthew Talbot Hostel in an effort to move the rough sleepers out of the city centre.</p> <p>“Cops would go up to them and say, “move on”. The guy would go to pick up his gear and be arrested for failing to follow a move on order,” Priestley explained. “They were given a court date two years down the track, and a 10 kilometre exclusion from the Matthew Talbot”, as part of their bail.</p> <p>“The effect of that was that without going to court, they excluded these people who were getting these move on orders from the city,” he added.</p> <p>Other tricks of the trade that Priestley recalls are <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/police-officer-charged-with-murder/">NSW police officers</a> repeatedly searching homeless people at Central’s Belmore Park until they’d leave for good, along with people being held on remand for a longer period of time than the maximum penalties that applied to the minor charges they were facing, only to have the prosecution drop them after they’d served the time.</p> <p><strong>Pushing them along</strong></p> <p>Mr Priestley founded the Martin Place Tent City <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/sydneys-24-7-street-kitchen-and-safe-space-an-interview-with-lanz-priestley/">in late 2016</a>. Initially, it was in response to women sleeping on the street reporting that they didn’t feel safe, and that men had been trying to sexually assault them. The setup provided a secure place for the homeless to spend the night and get a meal.</p> <p>By August 2017, Tent City numbers had swelled and NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian had <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/premier-demands-that-council-moves-on-martin-place-rough-sleepers/">complained</a> that the rough sleepers made her feel “completely uncomfortable”. So, her government decided to rush through new move on powers to get rid of them.</p> <p>The aim of the <a href="https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/bill/files/3421/Passed%20by%20both%20Houses.pdf">Sydney Public Reserves (Public Safety) Bill 2017</a> (NSW) was “to deal with an occupation of a public reserve in the City of Sydney that interferes with the reasonable enjoyment of the rights of the public or that is unlawful and, in particular, to deal with the unauthorised camp site at Martin Place”.</p> <p>“My reaction then and now remains that it’s an absolute shame that as a kneejerk reaction, they could pass laws like that with such haste,” Priestley said, “instead of passing laws that solve homelessness.”</p> <p>The new laws enabled police to move on people deemed to be hindering the enjoyment of others in a public reserve, as well as seize their belongings. Failure to comply with such an order can result in a $220 fine and trying to prevent officers from taking one’s belongings incurs a fine of $2,200.</p> <p>And facing these enhanced laws, the rough sleepers left Martin Place, prior to NSW police moving in.</p> <p><strong>Preventative measures</strong></p> <p>Mr Priestley relates that at present, he’s been seeing a different cohort of rough sleepers on the city streets. These are people who only find themselves without a home for short periods of time – usually under six weeks – before they sort their issues out and are back off the streets.</p> <p>The long-term social justice activist is still running his street kitchen once a fortnight in Martin Place. And for every other night, there are different groups doing the same.</p> <p>And as for the issue of homeless people in this state, he advises that authorities should be looking at the bigger picture, rather than “parking the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff”, there should be moves to stop people becoming homeless in the first place.</p> <p>“We need to work towards a point in time when there’s not the possibility of becoming homeless,” the unofficial mayor of Martin Place concluded. “And I don’t think it’s an impossibility to build that.”</p> <p><em>Written by Paul Gregoire. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/good-people-break-bad-laws-rough-sleepers/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a></em></p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

Dark web not dark alley: Why drug sellers see the internet as a lucrative safe haven

<p>More than six years after the demise of Silk Road, the world’s first major <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1748895813505234?casa_token=xjYBG0jb8Y8AAAAA:8NyrWITwd0jAIZxW-ZDyIoWGbdiTG34kkYpibnTX6blXkZOtApmx4Mmf-wCeBqIUGU9DbRFwKors8A">drug cryptomarket</a>, the <a href="https://theconversation.com/explainer-what-is-the-dark-web-46070">dark web</a> is still home to a thriving trade in illicit drugs.</p> <p>These markets host hundreds, or in some cases thousands, of people who sell drugs, commonly referred to as “vendors”. The dark web offers vital anonymity for vendors and buyers, who use cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin to process transactions.</p> <p>Trade is booming despite <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0376871617300741">disruptions</a> from law enforcement and particularly “exit scams”, in which market admins abruptly close down sites and take all available funds.</p> <p>Why are these markets still seen as enticing places to sell drugs, despite the risks? To find out, our <a href="https://academic.oup.com/bjc/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/bjc/azz075/5645405">recent study</a> surveyed 13 darknet drug vendors, via online encrypted interviews.</p> <p>They gave us a range of reasons.</p> <p><strong>More profitable</strong></p> <p>First, selling drugs online is safer and more profitable than doing it offline:</p> <p><em>Interviewer: So you still sell on DNMs [darknet marketplaces], and prefer that to offline. Correct?</em></p> <p><em>Respondent: YES. Selling offline is borderline stupid. You can make so much more money online, the risks [in selling outside cryptomarkets] aren’t even remotely worth it.</em></p> <p>Both of these claims correspond with <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0955395913001722">previous research</a> showing that the dark web is perceived to be a safer place to buy and sell drugs.</p> <p>Regarding profits, darknet vendors do not have to limit their trading to face-to-face interactions, and can instead sell drugs to a potentially worldwide customer base.</p> <p><strong>Less violent</strong></p> <p>Encryption technologies allow vendors to communicate with customers and receive payments anonymously. The drugs are delivered in the post, so vendor and customer never have to meet in person.</p> <p>This protects vendors from many risks that are prevalent in other forms of drug supply, including undercover police, predatory standover tactics where suppliers may be robbed, assaulted or even killed by competitors, and customers who may inform on their supplier if caught.</p> <p>Other risks, such as frauds perpetrated by customers and exit scams, were considered inevitable on the dark web, but also manageable.</p> <p>Some respondents said that being protected from physical risk on the dark web is not only a benefit for existing drug suppliers, but may also make the activity attractive to people who would not otherwise be willing to sell drugs.</p> <p>While some of our respondents had previously sold drugs offline, others were uniquely attracted to the perceived safety and anonymity of the dark web:</p> <p><em>I hadn’t ever thought about selling drugs in any capacity because I dislike violence and it just seemed impossible to be involved in selling drugs in “real life” without running into some sort of confrontation pretty quickly… I was always too scared and slightly nerdy to do that and never really contemplated it seriously until the dark web.</em></p> <p><strong>More customer-focused</strong></p> <p>Some vendors told us the feeling of safety and control lets them focus on providing a more courteous service to their customers or “clients”:</p> <p><em>I try to provide the best products and service I can, when someone has a problem or claims [their order was] short on pills (as long as they have ordered from me before) I usually take them at their word.</em></p> <p>This is a stark contrast with perceptions of the street trade, which some of our respondents perceived not only as “small-time”, but also rife with danger and potential violence:</p> <p><em>The street trade is a mess. I wanna provide labelled products, good advice and service, like a real business. Not sit in a shitty car park selling $10 bags from a car window all day.</em></p> <p><strong>Not just about profit</strong></p> <p>Dark web vendors also pointed out the various non-material benefits of their work. These included feelings of autonomy and emancipation from boring work and onerous bosses, as well as excitement and the thrill of transgression. One respondent described it as:</p> <p><em>Exhilarating … and nerve-wracking. Seemed so alien. “Drugs? Online? In the post? Naaaah surely not.” Plus if I’m honest, my inner reprobate buzzes from it. The rush of chucking a grand’s worth of drugs into post boxes… unreal, man.</em></p> <p>Interviewees rationalised their participation in the dark web drugs trade in a variety of ways. These included pointing out the <a href="https://files.transtutors.com/cdn/uploadassignments/1509030_1_article-1-seminar.pdf">relative safety</a> and medicinal benefits of some illicit drugs, and the <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0004865814524424?casa_token=P1q12ppNwlIAAAAA:iRe-gQHWLKsD0fqCl45Bj7ms1eRqCHY6sa0zYtMjoyuORRQBfj_7A0JLub2FZCt65-u2UjxXCnQzBQ">dangers associated with drug prohibition</a>.</p> <p><em>Let’s face it, a LOT of people like getting high… It’s human nature, but to ban it and make it criminal so that it’s hard to get, then you get poison and people die… I can tell you that the use of darknet protects users from buying products that during traditional prohibition would likely kill much more people. It also takes drugs off the street, reducing some violent crime.</em></p> <p>These insights help us understand why the dark web is increasingly attractive, not only to consumers of illicit drugs but to the people who supply them.</p> <p>For those who are averse to confrontation, and who are sufficiently tech-savvy, the dark web offers an alternative to the risk and violence of dealing drugs offline.</p> <p><em>Written by James Martin and Monica Barratt. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/dark-web-not-dark-alley-why-drug-sellers-see-the-internet-as-a-lucrative-safe-haven-132579"><em>The Conversation</em></a><span><em>.</em></span></p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

Police accused of lying about use of “ineffective” facial recognition software

<p>An <a href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/hannahryan/clearview-ai-australia-police">online tech news source</a> recently ran a story detailing a data breach at controversial facial recognition company Clearview AI, which exposed its entire client list.</p> <p>According to the report, the list includes four Australian police organisations, comprising the Queensland Police Service, Victoria Police, South Australia Police and the Australian Federal Police.</p> <p>The leaked client list suggests that police officers have used the highly inaccurate technology in an attempt to ‘identify’ around 1000 suspects in Australia – a process which has been <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/queenslands-facial-recognition-regime-a-complete-failure/">proven over and over again</a> to lead to <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/facial-recognition-database-could-lead-to-wrongful-arrests/">the false identification and arrest of innocent persons</a>.</p> <p>Indeed, a previous trial of facial recognition technology in Queensland was ruled a ‘<a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/queenslands-facial-recognition-regime-a-complete-failure/">complete failure</a>’ – with the software misidentifying people the ‘vast majority’ of cases – and a trial in the United Kingdom in 2016/17 got it wrong in 98% of cases.</p> <p>Police had previously denied using the Clearview AI software and, despite the leak, have continued to do so – with the South Australian Police Force issuing a statement which asserts that its officers have not been using it.</p> <p>Queensland has been slightly more forthcoming, saying that facial recognition technology is one of ‘many capabilities’ available to its officers.</p> <p>Victoria Police claims the software has not been used in any ‘official capacity’, which begs the question as to why police organisations would spend large amounts of taxpayer dollars on purchase and licensing.</p> <p>The AFP has remained silent.</p> <p>Clearview AI’s programme has attracted an enormous amount of controversy worldwide, being variously labelled as ‘ineffective’, ‘wasteful’, a ‘gross breach of privacy’ and a ‘honeypot for hackers’.</p> <p>The Clearview database contains billions of images amassed from sources such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and other public websites, and the application of the software has the potential to lead to wrongful arrests, whereby innocent persons are wrongly matched to suspected offenders.</p> <p>The reports regarding the leaked client list have heightened concerns that ill-intentioned hackers will gain access to a wealth of private information and use it to engage in criminal conduct such as <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/the-rising-cost-of-identity-crime-in-australia/">identity theft</a>.</p> <p><strong>Privacy laws</strong></p> <p>Under current Australian privacy laws, biometric information, that is your face, fingerprints, eyes, palm, and voice is considered sensitive information.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2014C00076">Privacy Act 1988</a> (Cth) makes clear that any organisation or agency collecting this ‘sensitive’ information must first obtain consent to do so.</p> <p>However, there are exceptions to this general rule including where the information is “necessary” to prevent a serious threat to the life, health or safety of any individual.</p> <p>It’s an exception many believe has been exploited by law enforcement agencies, with legal commentators suggesting it is not broad enough to encompass all of the conduct that police have been engaging in.</p> <p><strong>National surveillance</strong></p> <p>Red flags were raised last year when the Federal Government announced plans to <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/australias-future-is-nationwide-facial-recognition-surveillance/">create a national facial recognition database</a> by collecting photos from drivers’ licences and passports.</p> <p>The government justified the implementation of the database, by saying that it would both help to combat identity theft <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/the-rising-cost-of-identity-crime-in-australia/">(which is on the rise)</a> as well as be a useful tool for protecting national security, because the database would be made available to law enforcement agencies too.</p> <p>The legislation presently before parliament allows both government agencies and private businesses to access facial IDs held by state and territory traffic authorities, and passport photos held by the foreign affairs department.</p> <p>The legislation is currently stalled because of concerns about privacy implications and lack of safeguards in the proposed law.</p> <p>But most state and territory governments have already updated their driver’s licence laws in anticipation of the database after an agreement at the Council of Australian Governments in October 2017. If you’re applying for, or renewing a passport, then you are required to sign a consent form.</p> <p><strong>Facial recognition AI is unreliable</strong></p> <p>One of the most significant concerns is that AI technology is still unreliable – the benefits don’t outweigh the massive intrusion into our personal privacy. Plus, there are inherent problems with the current technology. False positives are a major issue.</p> <p>In 2016 and 2017, London’s Metropolitan Police used automated facial recognition in trials and reported that more than 98% of cases, innocent members of the public were matched to suspected criminals.</p> <p>Despite these concerns, the Home Affairs Department is impatient to implement the technology and says that facial recognition experts (humans) will work with the technology to provide more accurate outcomes.</p> <p>But that’s of cold comfort to anyone concerned about their privacy. <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/welcome-to-1984-the-governments-relentless-assault-on-democracy/">Because, as is already the case in China</a>, facial recognition can be used for mass surveillance.</p> <p>And, we’ve already seen many examples of how data breaches can occur even with appropriate legislation in place.</p> <p><strong>Data breaches in government departments</strong></p> <p>Last year, information came to light showing that <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/dozens-of-breaches-of-the-my-health-record-database-have-already-been-recorded/">data breaches of the My Health Record</a> database rose from 35 to 42 in the past financial year, despite consistent claims by the federal government that the database is safe and secure, and that the privacy of those who choose not to opt out is protected.</p> <p>In 2018, the South Australian government was forced to shut down guest access to its online land titles registry, after an unidentified overseas ‘guest user’ was able to download the personal details of more than a million Australian home owners, information that could potentially be used to develop a false identity.</p> <p>Police forces and other government organisations have repeatedly failed to <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/police-officers-misuse-private-information-for-personal-gain/">properly secure confidential information</a> of members of the public, and some rogue police officers have <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/police-officer-jokes-about-giving-victims-address-to-abusive-partner/">broken the law by releasing sensitive information</a>, putting vulnerable individuals in danger.</p> <p>Right now, the fact that Australian police forces exist on Clearview AI’s client list, and they’re not forthcoming about it should also set alarm bells ringing for all Australians.</p> <p>The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has launched an inquiry into whether the software is being employed in Australia, or if its database contains information on Australians. The commission’s final report will no doubt reveal all.</p> <p><em>Written by Sonia Hickey. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/police-accused-of-lying-about-use-of-ineffective-facial-recognition-software/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a></em></p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

Why do people believe con artists?

<p>What is real can seem pretty arbitrary. It’s easy to be fooled by misinformation disguised as news and deepfake videos showing <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/09/technology/ben-nimmo-disinformation-russian-bots.html">people doing things they never did or said</a>. Inaccurate information – even deliberately wrong information – doesn’t just come from snake-oil salesmen, door-to-door hucksters and TV shopping channels anymore.</p> <p>Even the president of the United States <a href="https://www.worldcat.org/title/deciding-whats-true-the-rise-of-political-fact-checking-in-american-journalism/oclc/941139313&amp;referer=brief_results">needs constant fact-checking</a>. To date, he has made an <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/trump-claims-database/">average of 15</a> false or misleading public claims every day of his presidency, according to a tally from the Washington Post.</p> <p>The study of <a href="https://www.ideasworthteachingawards.com/2019-course-winners/market-manipulations">business history</a> reveals that people everywhere have always had a sweet tooth for the unreal, enthralled by what should be taken as too good to be true.</p> <p>Cognitive scientists have identified a number of common ways in which <a href="https://www.worldcat.org/title/not-born-yesterday-the-science-of-who-we-trust-and-what-we-believe/oclc/1099689542&amp;referer=brief_results">people avoid being gullible</a>. But <a href="https://www.worldcat.org/title/ponzi-scheme-puzzle-a-history-and-analysis-of-con-artists-and-victims/oclc/851345711?referer=di&amp;ht=edition">con artists</a> are especially skillful at what social scientists call <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/9781405186407.wbiecs107">framing</a>, telling stories in ways that appeal to the biases, beliefs and prominent desires of their targets. They use strategies that take advantage of <a href="https://theconversation.com/humans-are-hardwired-to-dismiss-facts-that-dont-fit-their-worldview-127168">human weaknesses</a>.</p> <p><strong>Unpleasant reality</strong></p> <p>Often, people who are “<a href="https://www.ft.com/content/7802f662-a7b2-11e9-984c-fac8325aaa04">emotionally vulnerable</a>” are <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/1f90bdfe-4522-11e9-b168-96a37d002cd3">unwilling to accept an unpleasant reality</a>. Consider Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the British author who created Sherlock Holmes, the ultimate deductive rationalist – a character who said, “<a href="https://www.gutenberg.org/files/2097/2097-h/2097-h.htm#chap06">When you have eliminated the impossible</a> whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”</p> <p>Yet, after experiencing family tragedies and the horror of the deaths in World War I, <a href="https://www.worldcat.org/title/conan-doyle-and-the-mysterious-world-of-light-1887-1920/oclc/1052838293&amp;referer=brief_results">Doyle publicly announced in 1916</a> that he subscribed to <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/10/silencing-the-dead-the-decline-of-spiritualism/264005/">Spiritualist beliefs</a>, including that the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/oct/20/seances-and-science">spirits of the dead can communicate with the living</a>.</p> <p>In 1922, Doyle visited Harry Houdini in his home in New York City and was shown a clever magic trick involving automatic writing on a suspended slate. Houdini could not convince a stunned Doyle <a href="https://web.archive.org/web/20170412193049/http:/www.csicop.org/si/show/houdinirsquos_impossible_demonstration">it wasn’t paranormal activity</a>.</p> <p><strong>Envy and opportunism sideline doubt</strong></p> <p>Sometimes <a href="https://www.worldcat.org/title/envy-at-work-and-in-organizations/oclc/945169819&amp;referer=brief_results">people covet what their peers have already achieved</a> so badly that they will overlook the obvious and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1750-4716.2007.00002.x">deceive themselves and others</a> in an effort to claim better opportunities and a better life.</p> <p>In 1822, a Scottish con man, Gregor MacGregor, convinced countrymen seeking easy wealth and their neighbors’ better lives to buy bonds, land and special privileges, fill two ships and sail to an idyllic country, the <a href="https://www.worldcat.org/title/land-that-never-was-sir-gregor-macgregor-and-the-most-audacious-fraud-in-history/oclc/229019939&amp;referer=brief_results">Land of Poyais</a>.</p> <p>MacGregor priced land in Poyais to make it affordable to Scottish tradesmen and unskilled workers who had heard of promising South American investments but lacked the means to take advantage of them. Poyais had a distinctive flag, its own currency and a diplomatic office in London. The only problem was that Poyais did not exist. Most of those who sailed died on the Mosquito Coast of Honduras. Some of the few survivors were so taken in that they refused to accept that Poyais did not actually exist and argued that it was MacGregor who had been defrauded.</p> <p><strong>Greed is blinding</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.worldcat.org/title/ponzi-scheme-puzzle-how-victims-get-caught-in-the-net-and-how-self-awareness-can-help-protect-them/oclc/809163533&amp;referer=brief_results">Greed can prevent people from seeing</a> that they have made a decision that defies common sense.</p> <p>In 1925, the con artist Victor Lustig took advantage of the French government’s public complaints that it would cost more to renovate a decaying Eiffel Tower than to demolish it. He gathered together scrap iron dealers, convinced them the tower would be taken down and sold it to one of them. Then he sold it again. Lustig gained a reputation as the “<a href="https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/man-who-sold-eiffel-tower-twice-180958370/">man who sold the Eiffel Tower</a>.”</p> <p><strong>Ignorance of customs and business practices</strong></p> <p>Swindlers can find opportunity in their marks’ ignorance and unfamiliarity with local customs. The confidence man George C. Parker <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/27/nyregion/thecity/for-you-half-price.html">sold the Brooklyn Bridge four times</a>, usually to recent immigrants who did not understand that the bridge could not be sold. He also sold Grant’s Tomb, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Statue of Liberty.</p> <p><strong>Misery generates desperate belief</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/why-people-fall-for-miracle-cures#6">Desperate people can suspend disbelief</a>. People believe promises have to be true when the alternative is too miserable. <a href="https://www.worldcat.org/title/titan-the-life-of-john-d-rockefeller-sr/oclc/866583942?referer=di&amp;ht=edition">John D. Rockefeller’s father, William,</a> was a bigamist and seller of alleged cures and ineffective patent medicines to ailing people, riding the circuit through rural towns. Bill “Doc” Rockefeller is said to have tutored his son, the builder of the <a href="https://www.britannica.com/topic/Standard-Oil">Standard Oil Trust</a>, in business.</p> <p><strong>Sometimes it’s just about trust</strong></p> <p>People believe stories because <a href="https://www.worldcat.org/title/ponzi-scheme-puzzle-how-victims-get-caught-in-the-net-and-how-self-awareness-can-help-protect-them/oclc/809163533&amp;referer=brief_results">they trust those who tell them</a>. They don’t know how to, or don’t want to bother to, investigate the claims – or see no need to do so.</p> <p>Starting as early as the mid-1980s, swindler <a href="https://www.worldcat.org/title/wizard-of-lies-bernie-madoff-and-the-death-of-trust/oclc/1022907270&amp;referer=brief_results">Bernie Madoff</a> sought investors in his <a href="https://www.sec.gov/fast-answers/answersponzihtm.html">Ponzi scheme</a> among wealthy Jewish retirees and their philanthropic organizations in the U.S., and, in Europe, among members of aristocratic families. His victims simply trusted others in the group who vouched for Madoff and his investments.</p> <p><strong>Claims are difficult or costly to disprove</strong></p> <p>In 1912, a skull, some bones and other relics were found in Piltdown in East Sussex in the U.K. The remains appeared to be from a creature who could be the long-sought “missing link” between apes and humans. It took over 40 years to confirm that <a href="https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/08/study-reveals-culprit-behind-piltdown-man-one-science-s-most-famous-hoaxes">Piltdown Man</a> was a hoax, and over 100 years to identify who forged it. It’s hard to disprove untruths – consider the ongoing searches for Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster.</p> <p><strong>People want dreams to be true</strong></p> <p>Sometimes, <a href="https://www.worldcat.org/title/not-born-yesterday-the-science-of-who-we-trust-and-what-we-believe/oclc/1099689542?referer=di&amp;ht=edition">despite built-in skepticism,</a> <a href="https://www.worldcat.org/title/ponzi-scheme-puzzle-how-victims-get-caught-in-the-net-and-how-self-awareness-can-help-protect-them/oclc/809163533&amp;referer=brief_results">people badly want improbable but wonderful things to be true</a> – to move the world with a dream. For instance, if alien spacecraft had really crashed and were being analyzed in <a href="http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1860871_1860876_1861006,00.html">Area 51</a> in Nevada, it could mean that interstellar travel is possible.</p> <p><strong>Repetition – the hallmark of social media – creates belief</strong></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/unbelievable-news-read-it-again-and-you-might-think-its-true-69602">Hearing a false claim over and over</a> can be enough to generate belief in it. A common advertising and public relations strategy is to be extremely visible by multiplying “<a href="https://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/impression.asp">impressions</a>,” so people see the message everywhere.</p> <p><strong>Independent matching claims are seen as credible</strong></p> <p>Repetition alone may not be sufficient. When people try to assess whether something is true, they often look for objective reasons on which to base their belief, such as finding two similar, independent judgments about events. In my research I call this the “<a href="https://ssrn.com/abstract=1278110">Rule of Two</a>.”</p> <p>On social media, users often see a claim repeatedly, posted by different friends or connections. The same information seems to come not only from everywhere but from apparently independent sources. But often there is <a href="https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/jan/07/nikki-haley/nikki-haleys-pants-fire-claim-top-democrats-are-mo/">just one source</a>, though easy online sharing makes it appear there are more than that. That is why so many observers worry about the role that social media has assumed in politics – it can lead people to believe that false claims are true.</p> <p>The 1938 radio broadcast of ‘War of the Worlds’ generated multiple reports and confused some, but did not cause mass hysteria.</p> <p><strong>People believe what others appear to believe</strong></p> <p>People have a built-in willingness to defer to confident assertions made by an <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1037/gpr0000111?journalCode=rgpa">apparently expert or legitimate authority</a>. In <a href="https://www.worldcat.org/title/obedience-to-authority/oclc/877329529?referer=di&amp;ht=edition">experiments by Stanley Milgram</a>, ordinary people complied with directives from the scientist to administer to subjects what they (falsely) believed were painful shocks. A passionate and convincing swindler, often masquerading as an expert – for example, an art dealer or researcher of miracle cures – exploits that weakness to get people to believe false claims.</p> <p>A related mechanism introduced by Robert Cialdini is called “<a href="https://www.worldcat.org/title/influence-science-and-practice/oclc/476204687?referer=br&amp;ht=edition">social proof</a>”: Seeing someone else do what you are thinking about doing frees you to act. It’s evidence of the correctness of the action. This is why con men often use “shills,” helpers who confirm to the victim that the con man’s scheme is legitimate.</p> <p><a href="https://www.worldcat.org/title/not-born-yesterday-the-science-of-who-we-trust-and-what-we-believe/oclc/1099689542?referer=di&amp;ht=edition">Research by Hugo Mercier and others</a>, as well as my research on the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/000765030003900405">theory of testaments</a> and ongoing work with <a href="https://ryanrc11.wixsite.com/robertryan">Robert C. Ryan</a> on the “skeptical believer model,” argues that human defenses against scams and falsehoods are more robust than the entertaining tales of bridges sold and voyages to nonexistent paradises would suggest. In more ways than one, social interaction can become a “con-test.”</p> <p>Society – including government – cannot function well if every claim requires fact-checking. Yet con artists thrive, year in and year out, in business, politics and everyday experience. Ultimately, however, a world of “<a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/video/conway-press-secretary-gave-alternative-facts-860142147643">alternative facts</a>” is not the world that our dreams want to be true.</p> <p><em>Written by Barry M. Mitnick. Republished with permission of The </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/why-do-people-believe-con-artists-130361"><em>Conversation.</em></a></p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

Beware: Your private data could be shared with strangers

<p>Just to remind us that even the world’s biggest and wealthiest tech companies are not immune to privacy breaches, Google made worldwide headlines recently after a glitch that sent thousands of users’ private videos backed up on Google Photos to complete strangers.</p> <p>Google Takeout is a service that allows Google Photo users to backup their personal data or use it with other apps. <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com.au/google-photos-accidentally-sent-users-private-videos-to-strangers-report-2020-2?r=US&amp;IR=T">Google mixed up user-data</a> and sent many Take-out users’ personal videos to random people.</p> <p>While the issue lasted several days, Google says it only affected 0.01% of users – but with the number of users in excess of 1 billion, the number is believed to run into the thousands.</p> <p>The way big tech companies like Google and Facebook collect, store and share user-data has <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/facebook-defiant-in-the-face-of-data-scandal/">come under scrutiny in recent years.</a></p> <p><strong>The ACCC has taken legal action against Google</strong></p> <p>Last year, the Australian consumer watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) filed legal proceedings against Google, accusing it of misleading smartphone users about how it collects and uses personal location data.</p> <p>It’s the ACCC’s first lawsuit against a global tech giant, but one which the Commission hopes will send a clear message that tech companies are legally required to inform users of how their data is collected, and how users can stop it from being collected.</p> <p>Other countries are said to be watching the proceedings closely, as they too consider how to keep tech companies accountable.</p> <p>In a nutshell, <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-australia-google-regulator/australian-regulator-files-privacy-suit-against-google-alleging-location-data-misuse-idUSKBN1X804X">the ACCC alleges that Google breached the Australian Consumer Law (ACL)</a> by misleading its users during the years 2017 and 2018 by:</p> <ul> <li>not properly disclosing that two different settings need to be switched off if consumers do not want Google to collect, keep and use their location data, and</li> <li>not disclosing to consumers on which pages personal location data can be used for a purposes unrelated to the consumer’s use of Google services.</li> </ul> <p>Some of the alleged breaches carry penalties of up to A$10 million or 10% of annual turnover.</p> <p>According to the ACCC, Google’s account settings on Android phones and tablets have led consumers to believe that changing a setting on the “Location History” page stops the company from collecting, storing and using their location data. It alleges that Google failed to make clear to consumers that they would actually need to change their choices on a separate setting titled “Web &amp; App Activity” to prevent this from occurring.</p> <p>It is well known that Google collects and uses consumers’ personal location data for purposes other than providing Google services to consumers, although users are often surprised to realise just how much information these tech giants have and profit from.</p> <p>For example, Google uses location data for its navigation platforms, using the data to work out demographic information for the sole purposes of selling targeted advertising. And, as it has become increasingly clear, digital platforms have the ability to track consumers when they are <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/smile-facebook-may-soon-be-filming-you/">both online and offline</a> to create highly detailed personal profiles.</p> <p>These profiles are then used to sell products and services, but companies like the ACCC believe the way the information is gathered is misleading or deceptive, and could also breach <a href="http://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/police-hacking-in-australia-a-case-of-breach-of-privacy/">privacy laws</a>.</p> <p><strong>No ‘blanket’ protection for users globally</strong></p> <p>The closest thing to a cross-jurisdiction set of rules regarding privacy rights is the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR), which were introduced in 2018 and govern data protection and privacy in the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA).</p> <p>The regulation also addresses the transfer of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas. The instrument aims to give individuals control over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the rules within the EU.</p> <p>Not all companies and organisations have adopted the GDPR. Rather, only those with offices in an EU country or that collect, process or store the personal data of anyone located within an EU country are required to comply with the rules.</p> <p>But because many businesses have an international focus and reach, <a href="https://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/guidance-and-advice/australian-entities-and-the-eu-general-data-protection-regulation/">many Australian businesses have adopted the regulations</a> and given consumers some assurances regarding privacy.</p> <p>And the GDPR laws do have teeth. In January, a French regulator fined Google 50 million euros (about AUD$82 million) for breaches of privacy laws. And Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner is currently investigating Google over contravening the privacy rules.</p> <p>Facebook is also under fire for privacy breaches as well as for misuse of data. Last year, it was fined a record-breaking $5 billion in the United States over the misuse of data and inadequate vetting of misinformation campaigns, which were used together to help sway the 2016 presidential election in favour of Donald Trump.</p> <p><strong>Beware of posting or uploading information</strong></p> <p>In the meantime, the ACCC has not yet specified the nature and scope of the corrective notices and other orders it is seeking against Google.</p> <p>However, the regulator has sent warnings to <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/thinking-of-getting-a-digital-assistant-device-think-again/">all technology users to be vigilant</a> in updating their privacy settings and being aware the information they provide when setting up devices and apps can be used and, indeed, profited from by tech companies.</p> <p><em>Written by Sonia hickey and Ugur Nedim. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/beware-your-private-data-could-be-shared-with-strangers/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a> </em></p> <p> </p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

If Diana were alive: Artist shows how modern royal portraits might look with the People's Princess

<p>An artist has honoured the late Princess Diana by creating artworks with her in modern royal life with her two sons and their families.</p> <p>Why the late royal could not be there for her eldest son’s wedding to Kate Middleton in 2011, artist Autumn Ying took to social media to create painting that imagine what it would be like if she had been able to meet her daughters-in-law.</p> <p>The artist has shared a number of her incredible artworks with social media, including a post of Princess Diana where she wrote: “While Princess Diana won’t get to see her daughters-in-law in reality, I’m thinking of visualizing this scene as a touching tribute to the late mother of Prince William and Prince Harry.”</p> <p>In another, Ms Ying showcased a painting that featured Princess Diana, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle as they were on their wedding days altogether.</p> <p>Another stunning sketch depicted Princess Di with all four of her grandchildren, Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 4, Prince Louis, 1 and Archie, nine months.</p> <p>Ying shared the prints of the royals are available for purchase and that proceeds from the sales will go to charity.</p> <p>"While for every art print purchased, the amount will be donated to <em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.unicef.org/" target="_blank">UNICEF</a></em>, in hope of helping the children in need out of malnutrition in Cambodia," she wrote on Instagram.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see Autumn Ying’s prints dedicated to Princess Diana and the royal family.</p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

Are all body modifications legal in Australia?

<p>From horn implants to split tongues and scrotal injections – extreme forms of body art, sometimes called ‘body modifications’, are becoming increasingly popular and gaining greater social acceptance.</p> <p>But Australian law doesn’t seem to be keeping up with changing attitudes regarding such forms of self-expression.</p> <p><strong>Body Art and the Law</strong></p> <p>Standard tattoos and piercings are accepted forms of body art in Australia, and are regulated by public health laws and local council bylaws in all States and Territories.</p> <p>In NSW, the <a href="https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/act/2012/32/part4/div1/sec28">Tattoo Parlours Act 2012</a> requires all tattooing businesses and their staff to be licensed. Tattooing without a licence carries a maximum penalty of 100 penalty units, or $11,000, as well as a criminal record.</p> <p>Tattoo licensing systems focus heavily on the perceived character of those who apply for a licence, requiring criminal record checks and prohibited those who are suspected of being linked to alleged criminal organisations such as ‘bikie gangs’.</p> <p>Body, nose and ear piercing as well as tattooing fall within the definition of ‘skin penetration procedures’ under the <a href="https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/skinpenetration/Documents/skin-ph-act-2010.pdf">Public Health Act 2010</a> (NSW) and its corresponding regulations.</p> <p>The laws impose <a href="https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/skinpenetration/Documents/skinpen-public-health-regulation-2012.pdf">standards of hygiene</a> that all practitioners must abide by, but do not regulate more extreme forms of body art such as embedding objects into the skin, branding and splitting tissue.</p> <p>Due to the omission, practitioners who perform these procedures can place themselves at risk of falling foul with the criminal law – as two men from New South Wales recently discovered.</p> <p><strong>Body Mods Charged</strong></p> <p>The men are currently facing charges of manslaughter and <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/legislation/crimes-act/female-genital-mutilation/">female genital mutilation</a> in a matter that has been set down for trial in May 2020.</p> <p>Brendan Russell is facing a charge of manslaughter for allegedly implanting a snowflake under a women’s skin with her consent in 2017, which subsequently became infected. The woman died of blood poisoning a few weeks later.</p> <p>Mr Russell is also accused of using a branding iron to mutilate a female customer’s genitals in 2016, with the assistance of his co-accused Howard Rollins.</p> <p>Mr Russell is also facing a third charge relating to a ‘tummy tuck’ on a woman who later had to seek medical attention, as a hole allegedly severed her stomach muscles.</p> <p>The case is expected to set an important precedent relating to work of this kind.</p> <p><strong>What about consent?</strong></p> <p>It is important to be aware that consent is not a valid defence to certain criminal offences.</p> <p>So while consent can overcome certain charges, including where a person is playing a contact sport and the subject injury was sustained in the course of the game, it may not help a person who is accused of inflicting serious harm, especially if their actions was outside accepted conduct.</p> <p>For example, the infamous House of Lords case of <a href="http://www.cirp.org/library/legal/UKlaw/rvbrown1993/"><em>R v Brown [1993] All ER 75</em></a> set a longstanding precedent – that has been cited with approval in Australian case law – that in cases of serious harm, consent will not suffice as a defence.</p> <p>The facts of the case involved consensual sadomasochistic activities including genital torture, branding and bloodletting, and the House was called upon to decide whether consenting to these activities means they are legal.</p> <p>In reaching his decision, Lord Templeton found that:</p> <p><em>“Society is entitled and bound to protect itself against a cult of violence. Pleasure derived from the infliction of pain is an evil thing. Cruelty is uncivilised.”</em></p> <p>The Court drew a line between harm that is caused in the course of accepted social conduct, such as playing football or boxing, and ‘uncivilised’ acts such as torture, which consent does not excuse.</p> <p>And in the 2018 UK case of <a href="https://www.casemine.com/judgement/uk/5b2897fe2c94e06b9e19ebb2"><em>R v BM</em></a><em>,</em> the court found that similar rationale can be applied to body modification practitioners.</p> <p>In <em>R v BM,</em> a body mod artist was charged with three counts of actual bodily harm for removing a customer’s ear, another customer’s nipple and splitting another’s tongue all without anaesthetic. All of the customers consented to the procedures.</p> <p>Relying on the rationale of <em>R v Brown,</em> the England and Wales Court of Appeal found that consent to extreme body modifications does not act as a defence to criminal charges. In summing up, Justice Nawaz stated:</p> <p><em>“…medical procedures performed for no medical reason and with none of the protections provided to patients by medical practitioners…the personal autonomy of the appellant’s customers did not justify removing body modification from the ambit of the law of assault.”</em></p> <p><strong>Legislation in New South Wales</strong></p> <p>Laws have been passed in our state which make it clear that certain acts can never be excused, regardless of whether or not consent is given.</p> <p>For example, female genital mutilation is offence under <a href="http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/ca190082/s45.html">section 45 of the Crimes Act 1900</a> which carries a maximum penalty of 21 years in prison.</p> <p>To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant:</p> <p>1. Excised, infibulated or otherwise mutilated the whole or any part of the labia majora, labia minora or clitoris of another person, or</p> <p>2. Aided, abetted, counselled or procured another person to do so.</p> <p>It is not an offence to perform a surgical operation which causes female genital mutilation where it is done by:</p> <p>1. A medical practitioner and is necessary for the medical welfare of the other person,</p> <p>2. A medical practitioner or authorised professional on a person in labour or who just gave birth and is connected with that labour or birth, or</p> <p>3. A medical practitioner and is a sexual reassignment procedure.</p> <p>A ‘medical practitioner’ is a person authorised under the law to practise medicine.</p> <p>An ‘authorised professional’ includes:</p> <p>1. A registered midwife</p> <p>2. A midwifery student, and</p> <p>3. A medical student</p> <p>A ‘sexual reassignment procedure’ is that which alters the genital appearance to that of the opposite sex.</p> <p>So in summary, body modification practitioners would be well advised to steer away from inflicting what may amount to serious injuries under the law, as to do otherwise could render them liable for criminal prosecution in addition to civil remedies such as damages.</p> <p><em>Written by Jarryd Bartle and Ugur Nedim. Republished with permission of Sydney Criminal Lawyers. </em></p> <p> </p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

What is the place of the performing arts fair in the age of the internet?

<p><em>Review: Platform Papers 62: Performing Arts Markets and their Conundrums, by Justin Macdonnell (Currency Press)</em></p> <p>The performing arts may be a public good that serve to enrich Australia’s cultural imagination, but they are also a product competing for audience share and government, corporate and private support.</p> <p>Established in 1994, the <a href="https://apam.org.au/">Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM)</a> has aimed to facilitate one aspect of this “arts market” by hosting biennial trade fairs that connect national and international producers and programming venues.</p> <p>From 2020, APAM will move from hosting these biennial conferences to “<a href="https://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/international/australian-performing-arts-market-apam/">gatherings</a>”, dividing its promotional activity across existing arts events such as Darwin Festival and Melbourne’s AsiaTOPA.</p> <p>Author Justin Macdonnell brings a commanding insider’s perspective to the topic. He has worked in and around touring arts companies for several decades, and is currently executive director of arts industry advocacy organisation <a href="http://www.anzarts-institute.com/index.htm">Anzarts</a>.</p> <p>Noting APAM’s new model might lessen the intensity and impact of its work – especially given that overseas producers are unlikely to make multiple excursions to Australia a year – Macdonell asks whether the arts fair has outlived its usefulness.</p> <p>This might seem at best an issue of marginal concern to people who work outside the performing arts industry. However, Macdonell argues the current system has led not so much to “good art” but “convenient art” being promoted to Australian audiences.</p> <p>Given the significant role that public funding and public bodies such as the <a href="https://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/">Australia Council</a> play in supporting the performing arts and arts venues, his question deserves wider attention.</p> <p>Frustratingly (but, no doubt, diplomatically), Macdonnell does not offer concrete examples of “convenient art”. He nevertheless argues that the “dominating presence of state and federal agencies” in the Australian arts market has led to the stifling of independent arts managers and small-scale producers, and also of innovative and risky projects.</p> <p>It is time we asked, he suggests, whether an arts fair is necessary, let alone desirable, in today’s digitally empowered, globalised marketplace.</p> <p><strong>An online world</strong></p> <p>Macdonnell notes trade fairs are at odds with calls to curb air travel due to its <a href="https://theconversation.com/sustainable-shopping-is-it-possible-to-fly-sustainably-88636">environmental impact</a>.</p> <p>He also wonders if touring itself is so desirable or necessary in the age of YouTube and teleconferencing:</p> <p><em>This is not to say that these means have replaced seeing a work or meeting the artist in person. In all probability, they never will. But they have revolutionalised access to knowledge of the work and are creating and maintaining contact about it.</em></p> <p>In this digitally enabled market, companies and individual artists can also now bypass the traditional arts brokers and gatekeepers such as arts agencies, or indeed APAM itself, and promote themselves directly to producers.</p> <p>APAM, he further observes, has “never has been the practitioner’s market”, rather it has “come to be about just one part of the industry (non-profit)”. Presenters and producers might attend to seek out new and innovative work, but they are not given a comprehensive overview of what might actually be available.</p> <p><strong>Left unsaid</strong></p> <p>Although Macdonnell does not explore this, such institutionalised impediments to free choice may help explain the growing trend towards <a href="http://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2005.06.002">homogenisation</a> in major arts programming across the developed world.</p> <p>Artistic directors of major performing arts festivals, in particular, can appear impregnable to pitches from outside established promotional routes.</p> <p>But if, as Macdonnell notes, “anyone, anywhere in the world at any time can now see the newest show on YouTube”, why would we seek to rely on the filter of agents or industry bodies to select what we will see or hear?</p> <p>The potential for market distortion under the current system can be made worse by horsetrading behind the scenes. The most powerful artist agencies routinely leverage access to their most profitable performers or productions to make hiring companies and venues take on other acts they represent, with little regard for local circumstances.</p> <p>To my mind, the major buyers in the arts marketplace – artistic directors, festivals and venues – should be specifically resourced and encouraged to look for acts outside these existing industry networks.</p> <p>Wesley Enoch’s provocative 2014 Platform Paper, <a href="https://currencyhouse.org.au/node/42">Take Me To Your Leader</a>, however, suggested we lack this kind of cultural leadership across the Australian performing arts:</p> <p><em>With the growth of government-led cultural leadership we have seen the voices of the mob, the dissenters and the opposition slowly becoming tamed and included in a sort of official culture […] Government champions the arts more these days than artists do.</em></p> <p>Enoch asked whether those who run subsidised organisations might be brave enough to bite the hand that feeds them.</p> <p>Macdonnell refrains from concluding his platform paper with similarly provocative statements.</p> <p>But he has done a useful service to both the arts industry and the wider Australian public by asking us to consider whether there might be better ways for our major performing arts institutions to seek out, and promote, their wares.</p> <p><em>Written by Peter Tregear. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-is-the-place-of-the-performing-arts-fair-in-the-age-of-the-internet-130542">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

“I want to stare death in the eye”: why dying inspires so many writers and artists

<p>It may seem paradoxical, but dying can be a deeply creative process.</p> <p>Public figures, authors, artists and journalists have long written about their experience of dying. But why do they do it and what do we gain?</p> <p>Many stories of dying are written to bring an issue or disease to public attention.</p> <p>For instance, English editor and journalist Ruth Picardie’s description of terminal breast cancer, so poignantly described in <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/424646.Before_I_Say_Goodbye">Before I say Goodbye</a>, drew attention to the impact of medical negligence, and particularly misdiagnosis, on patients and their families.</p> <p>American tennis player and social activist Arthur Ashe wrote about his heart disease and subsequent diagnosis and death from AIDS in <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/698054.Days_of_Grace">Days of Grace: A Memoir</a>.</p> <p>His autobiographical account brought public and political attention to the risks of blood transfusion (he acquired HIV from an infected blood transfusion following heart bypass surgery).</p> <p>Other accounts of terminal illness lay bare how people navigate uncertainty and healthcare systems, as surgeon Paul Kalanithi did so beautifully in <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25899336-when-breath-becomes-air">When Breath Becomes Air</a>, his account of dying from lung cancer.</p> <p>But, perhaps most commonly, for artists, poets, writers, musicians and journalists, dying can provide <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25733900-the-violet-hour">one last opportunity for creativity</a>.</p> <p>American writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak drew people he loved as they were dying; founder of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud, while in great pain, refused pain medication so he could be lucid enough to think clearly about his dying; and author Christopher Hitchens <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books/about/Hitch_22.html?id=H6nbV6nLcWcC&amp;redir_esc=y">wrote about</a> dying from <a href="https://www.cancer.org.au/about-cancer/types-of-cancer/oesophageal-cancer.html">oesophageal cancer</a> despite increasing symptoms:</p> <p><em>I want to stare death in the eye.</em></p> <p>Faced with terminal cancer, renowned neurologist Oliver Sacks wrote, if possible, more prolifically than before.</p> <p>And Australian author Clive James found dying a mine of new material:</p> <p><em>Few people read</em></p> <p><em>Poetry any more but I still wish</em></p> <p><em>To write its seedlings down, if only for the lull</em></p> <p><em>Of gathering: no less a harvest season</em></p> <p><em>For being the last time.</em></p> <p>Research shows what dying artists have told us for centuries – creative self-expression is core to their sense of self. So, creativity has <a href="https://www.headspace.com/blog/2017/04/18/grief-creativity-together/">therapeutic and existential benefits</a> for the dying and their grieving families.</p> <p>Creativity <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jocb.171">provides</a> a buffer against anxiety and negative emotions about death.</p> <p>It may help us make sense of events and experiences, tragedy and misfortune, as a graphic novel did for cartoonist Miriam Engelberg in <a href="https://www.harpercollins.com/9780060789732/cancer-made-me-a-shallower-person/">Cancer Made Me A Shallower Person</a>, and as <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;id=MkcGiLeATe8C&amp;oi=fnd&amp;pg=PP2&amp;dq=%5BCarla+Sofka+and+Illene+Cupit+(eds)++Dying,+Death,+and+Grief+in+an+Online+Universe:+For+Counselors+and+Educators,+Springer+2012&amp;ots=vdXYa_3cvU&amp;sig=Od3eQ4A7_hadLwgIn4liIEoyo5c&amp;redir_esc=y#v=onepage&amp;q=%5BCarla%20Sofka%20and%20Illene%20Cupit%20(eds)%20%20Dying%2C%20Death%2C%20and%20Grief%20in%20an%20Online%20Universe%3A%20For%20Counselors%20and%20Educators%2C%20Springer%202012&amp;f=false">blogging and online writing</a>does for so many.</p> <p>Creativity may give voice to our experiences and provide some resilience as we face disintegration. It may also provide agency (an ability to act independently and make our own choices), and a sense of normality.</p> <p>French doctor Benoit Burucoa <a href="https://www.cairn.info/article.php?ID_ARTICLE=INKA_181_0005">wrote</a> art in palliative care allows people to feel physical and emotional relief from dying, and:</p> <p><em>[…] to be looked at again and again like someone alive (without which one feels dead before having disappeared).</em></p> <p><strong>A way of communicating to loved ones and the public</strong></p> <p>When someone who is dying creates a work of art or writes a story, this can open up otherwise difficult conversations with people close to them.</p> <p>But where these works become public, this conversation is also with those they do not know, whose only contact is through that person’s writing, poetry or art.</p> <p>This public discourse is a means of living while dying, making connections with others, and ultimately, increasing the public’s “<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29402101">death literacy</a>”.</p> <p>In this way, our <a href="https://www.thegroundswellproject.com/">conversations about death</a> become <a href="https://www.penguin.com.au/books/the-end-9781742752051">more normal, more accessible</a> and much richer.</p> <p>There is no evidence reading literary works about death and dying fosters <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumination_(psychology)">rumination</a> (an unhelpful way of dwelling on distressing thoughts) or other forms of psychological harm.</p> <p>In fact, the evidence we have suggests the opposite is true. There is plenty of <a href="http://www.artshealthandwellbeing.org.uk/appg/arts-and-palliative-care-dying-and-bereavement">evidence</a> for the positive impacts of both making and consuming art (of all kinds) at the <a href="http://www.artshealthandwellbeing.org.uk/appg-inquiry/Briefings/WWCW.pdf">end of life</a>, and specifically <a href="https://spcare.bmj.com/content/7/3/A369.2">surrounding palliative care</a>.</p> <p><strong>Why do we buy these books?</strong></p> <p>Some people read narratives of dying to gain insight into this mysterious experience, and empathy for those amidst it. Some read it to <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/opinion/sunday/the-neuroscience-of-your-brain-on-fiction.html">rehearse</a> their own journeys to come.</p> <p>But these purpose-oriented explanations miss what is perhaps the most important and unique feature of literature – its delicate, multifaceted capacity to help us become what philosopher <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/07/25/martha-nussbaums-moral-philosophies">Martha Nussbaum</a> <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/2026358.pdf?seq=1">described as</a>:</p> <p><em>[…] finely aware and richly responsible.</em></p> <p>Literature can capture the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/books/2003/apr/01/londonreviewofbooks">tragedy</a> in ordinary lives; its depictions of <a href="https://partiallyexaminedlife.com/2016/08/12/martha-nussbaum-on-emotions-ethics-and-literature/">grief, anger and fear</a> help us fine-tune what’s important to us; and it can show the <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books/about/Love_s_Knowledge.html?id=oq3POR8FhtgC">value of a unique person</a> across their whole life’s trajectory.</p> <p><strong>Not everyone can be creative towards the end</strong></p> <p>Not everyone, however, has the opportunity for creative self-expression at the end of life. In part, this is because increasingly we die in hospices, hospitals or nursing homes. These are often far removed from the resources, people and spaces that may inspire creative expression.</p> <p>And in part it is because many people cannot communicate after a stroke or dementia diagnosis, or are <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2019/01/how-do-people-communicate-before-death/580303/">delirious</a>, so are incapable of “<a href="https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691628554/last-words">last words</a>” <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Final-Gifts-Understanding-Awareness-Communications/dp/1451667256">when they die</a>.</p> <p>Perhaps most obviously, it is also because most of us are not artists, musicians, writers, poets or philosophers. We will not come up with elegant prose in our final days and weeks, and lack the skill to paint inspiring or intensely beautiful pictures.</p> <p>But this does not mean we cannot tell a story, using whatever genre we wish, that captures or at least provides a glimpse of our experience of dying – our fears, goals, hopes and preferences.</p> <p>Clive James <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/sep/01/clive-james-poem-story-mind-heading-obivion">reminded us</a>:<em> “There will still be epic poems, because every human life contains one. It comes out of nowhere and goes somewhere on its way to everywhere – which is nowhere all over again, but leaves a trail of memories. There won’t be many future poets who don’t dip their spoons into all that, even if nobody buys the book.”</em></p> <p><em>Written by Claire Hooker and Ian Kerridge. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/i-want-to-stare-death-in-the-eye-why-dying-inspires-so-many-writers-and-artists-128061">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Art