How bad is The Conversation?

According to the blurb, “launched in March 2011, The Conversation is an independent source of information, analysis and commentary from the university and research sector”.

The site makes the boast that it is “curated by professional editors”.  Perhaps it should read: convenient bolt-hole for former Age editor-in-chief, Andrew Jaspan.

Based on a consortium of a number of universities as well as the CSIRO (organisations which are providing substantial funding given the list of paid staff), this site strikes me as emblematic of all that is wrong with Australian universities.  Crammed with puerile, naïve, left-wing tosh, the contributing academics (yes, Sinc, what were you thinking?) really have no idea when it comes to serious public policy contributions.

Take the recent piece by political scientist, John Keane, on the debt crisis in Greece.  All of a sudden an all-knowing economist, he sees only virtue in the demonstrating lazy, tax-evading Greeks.  His response: just forget the debt and onwards and upwards.

If democracy is a way of life and a type of self-government which respects and protects the dignity of people, then by that measure the Greek system of party politics and representative democracy has badly failed its citizens.

It has done something far worse than corrupt their state, bankrupt their economy and herd citizens into the frightful uncertainty that comes with unemployment, massive debt and poverty. It is robbing them of their dignity.

Dignity after all involves retirement on a full pension at the age of 50 for hazardous occupations, including television presenters, and being a public servant but never turning up to work.  Paying taxes – purely optional.

If I had more manual dexterity, I would provide further examples of the complete drivel that is emerging from The Conversation.  So go have a look over at theconversation.edu.au yourself and WEEP.

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23 Responses to How bad is The Conversation?

  1. Rafe Champion

    This is Monckton’s reply to a piece on Conversation. Sounds like standard leftist slanders.

  2. Louis Hissink

    Independent of what – the commerical sector? Government funded and these individuals think they are editorially independent??????

  3. papachango

    I’d only vaguely heard of The Conversation because a Facebook ‘friend’, one of these types who changes his profile picture to read ‘This Time I’m Voting Green’ every election, keeps posting links to it.

    I figured it was just the usual lefty/ Green religion sewing circle and haven’t bothered to look.

  4. JC.

    He destroyed what was left of The Age. He walked and did everything possible to ruin that paper.

  5. papachango

    Myabe so but they’re worse than ever now he’s gone.

  6. Adrien

    Greek friend of mine says the place is a crony paradise. To get anywhere you have to join one of the major political parties which are fronts for powerful families. When they get in you’ve got a job, when they don’t you don’t either. Everyone outside the loop gets screwed, those on the inside are basically thieves.

    Fubaria.

    I’d wager that no-one on the conversation could name the head of state of Greece ’til this came up.

  7. JC.

    Adrien

    WTF are you talking about?

  8. papachango

    Greece was full of government cronyism and bloated public service corruption? Quelle surprise..

  9. How bad is The Conversation?

    Very bad.

    Gillian Hewitson, Lecturer in Political Economy at Sydney Uni, has a piece lauding the live export controversy as it is discouraging the consumption of meat.

    Her most “frightening statistic”:

    “And as the middle classes of the developing countries grow, they aspire to the Western diet. Global meat consumption is expected to double by 2050.”

    I wonder if she likes organic German bean sprouts.

  10. JC.

    Some of these nimrods ought to be conscripted for service in Afghanistan particularly the most hostile areas. We could waive height restrictions for Jaspan.

    http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2007/08/09/jmNATIONALaward_wideweb__470x340,0.jpg

  11. m0nty

    Adrien

    WTF are you talking about?

    You didn’t figure out he was talking about Greece? You clown.

  12. JC.

    Wasn’t sure if he was talking about Greece or The Age as the points he was making sort of apply to both failed enterprises.

  13. CK

    Well, what would you expect with Jaspan at the helm?

  14. Reading The Conversation (what a pretentious name) works better when listening to the Omega Man soundtrack, especially Birthday Party / Death at the Circus.

    Luddite light hating mutants versus the last normal people on Earth- somewhat of a familiar tang to that.

  15. JJ

    Say what you liike about Jaspan – anjd I detest him – but he’s clearly smart enough to get people to subsidise him. THey’re falling over themselves to fund him.

    *shrug*

  16. Seb

    Why was The Conversation started? Because as the author of the attempt to turn the world economy upside down as a response to the “science” of climate change, academe correctly perceives there is unprecedented pressure on it to justify its attempt to hijack the public policy agenda in Australia. The broad Australian population are demanding accountability from academics. In their cloistered little leftwing world of the academic sinecure, they’re not used to it. So they’ve mounted the only defence they understand: lots of self-justifying propaganda. In my opinion, The Conversation will succeed only in demonstrating how out of touch academe is with the mainstream. The fact it is led by a candidate for the mostly poorly regarded former editor in the modern history of Fairfax originally aroused my suspicion, which is now being confirmed.

  17. Ken

    soory Greece or Australia. “It has done something far worse than corrupt their state, bankrupt their economy and herd citizens into the frightful uncertainty that comes with unemployment, massive debt and poverty. It is robbing them of their dignity.” sound like the work of a liar PM.

  18. JS

    Contributors also have to be affiliated with a university to get on the site, so sensible people can even reply to the nonsense. This locks out people in the think tanks as well.

  19. Chris M

    When a government is so deeply corrupt and extravagantly wasteful as the Greek government is it becomes a dilemma for taxpayers – is it the the right moral thing to pay taxes and thus support this economic train wreak or withhold them for the longer term good of the country?

  20. .

    Good point. But in a democracy, you get the Government you deserve.

  21. Sinclair Davidson

    yes, Sinc, what were you thinking?

    (1) Being a good corporate citizen.
    (2) encouraging academics to write more in different fora.
    (3) Annoying lefties in a whole new forum.
    (4) Okay – I’m so ashamed. 🙂

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