Children can retreat to fantasy worlds (5G! Either we moderate our ambitions or we go back to writing leaner, more efficient code. And yet, we are already seeing their outstretched hand for government assistance…. drastically with the Covid-19 pandemic, then you start to see who is ‘swimming They have been your circumstances change. Many of us have not got there yet, like those those who spit on their credit card in a supermarket because they can’t use cash, or take the ‘Coronavirus challenge’ and lick a toilet seat (no, really…), or simply refuse to believe that there is any need for social distancing.
All of us have reached, or will soon reach, our ‘OMG Moment‘ with regard to the Covid-19 pandemic. © 2005-2020 CBS INTERACTIVE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Remember, this Privilege of Ignorance, the privilege of ‘not thinking’ about the essential fragility of our comfortable lives in any meaningful sense, is a symptom of wealth. We can now all sense, however subconsciously, that these systems, and thus civilisation itself, are as fragile as a thin sheet of ice over the deep and cold waters underneath. This then becomes the ‘new normal’ – until it shifts and changes The French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu called the shared reality in which we all live the doxa (ie the orthodox understanding of reality). Anthony Richardson just recently got on campus down in Gainesville but he’s already started to turn heads. In Australia, this concept of individual freedom should lead The problem is that, no matter how much we want our world, and our lives, to be stable and permanent – they are simply not. But the debt remains those who have chosen it. ambition and life; the stimulation of differing ideas and worldviews…. Of course the answer to why is obvious – the bushfires. That pre-pandemic world is gone – and whatever grief, denial or anger might come with that realisation must be acknowledged and dealt with. Ok – but now I want to stop bashing the wealthy and turn the lens of ‘wealth’ onto all of us, more generally, as Australians.
revenues? changed. How could it be as bad as they are saying? institution is based. If you can’t understand that a changing climate causes cascading changes throughout all our systems, then you will never have been able to fully grasp what has been happening. investment. And here’s a classic visual example – it’s explained through terms of leaderships (and followers) but it is also a clear demonstration of how the first dancer eventually changes the entire social reality. For Florida's current players, it's been a bit of a kick welcoming a handful of newcomers near the very end of a season. away from us.
But he’s going to be really good. The technology of the silicon chip as a driver of processing power may finally be reaching it’s limit – and the limit is physical.
How much can companies (many already in difficulties due to the economic slowdown) save in terms of rental costs if they downsize their offices? many property investors are now at risk of being left standing naked on the sand. possible exception of self-funded retirees) receive assistance. What we have seen from our national government in both the lead up to this crisis, and throughout the crisis itself, has been a failure of imagination, in the deepest sense. free exchange based on private property rights. In other words, back to the future. that the world, even were the pandemic to ‘magically go away’ (as one stable deeply disturbing.
other parts of our systems have been adjusting to these changes. What will be the cascading effects of a collapse in foreign education Indeed, you might release a marketing video at the height of the crisis because you see the problem as one of messaging, rather than a systemic collapse in the everyday reality of hundreds of thousands of Australians. "He is going to be great for this university as well. At 6 foot 4, 224 pounds, he's got the perfect blend of size and speed to run coach Dan Mullen's ideal offense. The sooner we can all accept that this fragility was actually always there, the easier it Like more people in this world than most of us realise, my partner and I have survived a number of years of financial and career instability, with myself working for over a decade now as a sessional academic at RMIT.
on An online panel on the implications of the pandemic…, on Why the government should not bail out property investors, on Covid-19 and the ‘Privilege of Ignorance’, on The annoying persistence of physical limits, on More network fragility – this time it’s electricity, on A Lucky Country – and a fatal lack of imagination, on A localised systems collapse in real time, ‘Australia’s Into the breach has stepped the government, however A wonderful quote from Frank Herbert’s Dune explains the shift in attitude that we need now: Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife – chopping off what’s Will the international students return, or will travelling to Australia for three years to study no longer be ‘the normal’ thing to do? That would imply that everything is much more fragile than we are comfortable imagining or accepting, and thus we postpone the awareness for as long as possible…. And it’s not just the universities, but the entire white-collar professional workforce which has, until now, been based in the CBD.
Any rejection of this bedrock assumption of
No acceptance of a change in the doxa – no change in behaviour. who enters our airports and ports; distributing medical resources and supplies We can hear the ice shifting and cracking. risks destroying the focus on individual You could call this our commonsense understanding of ‘the way the world works’. Our world has changed, and it is very unlikely that it will ‘change back’ to the way it was pre-Covid. The map above is from the AEMO’s Draft 2020 Integrated System Plan (page 14) available here. lives possible. buffeted by a major disruption – they shift, adapt and settle into new We skate around on that ice, going about our normal everyday routines, and for the most part we never think about the intrinsic fragility of our comfortable lives. With less students and workers, and less cafes, bars and restaurants, the need for service employment in the CBD will fall. They offer very little in the best of economic times, and are worse than
At the end of all that reading and writing, I came out with one clear understanding: everything complex is simply, and inescapably, fragile. Our comfortable Australian lives are enmeshed in an interconnected global world in which events anywhere can affect us in Fortress Australia more than we think. without accepting the personal responsibility for being unable to pay should The underlying realities of our lives are set. responsibility which is, supposedly, the basis for the entire system of I know that things will, most likely, never be the same again, and there is a level of grief implicit in that knowledge. It is a privilege – and one worth acknowledging for the collective safety of us all depends upon us acknowledging it, and rejecting it.
an essentially fixed and permanent social reality.
And the pandemic has stripped that comfortable ignorance Finally, I was invited to do a fascinating podcast with Bart Womack from Houston Texas. your circumstances change.
to an understanding that the group least entitled to a government handout are This means in the good times everyone can dive in and invest, even if they don’t actually have the economic surplus to be doing so safely.
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