Showing all posts tagged: current affairs

Self identity, work, careers, Gen Z are doing it differently

4 May 2023

Generation Z has an identity crisis. People aged between about ten and twenty-six say they struggle to define who they are. Other demographics, I dare say, would have no such trouble. But, according to recent research carried out by in Australia by Snapchat, zoomers, as Generation Z members are also known, are pretty clear on other things.

When it comes to the identity of others around them though, Gen Z dislike binary definitions, and not just those applied to gender:

More than half (56%) of Australian Gen Z have said they don’t like binary definitions based on sex, gender, ability or culture, and prefer to just be defined as themselves.

Many zoomers also see themselves as intersectional, being people who embrace a number of identities. Gen Z may not have been the first demographic to realise just about everyone is really intersectional, but they may be the first to consider being intersectional as part of who they are.

Gen Z also takes a different view to work and careers. They’re keen to avoid burnout, and what they call the nine to five hustle:

That’s not to say that Gen Z are shunning work however. The vast majority (87%) have said they’re actively seeking new ways to earn money outside of a traditional job, with side gigs and passive incomes (e.g. selling handmade goods, investing in the stock market and cryptocurrency, or becoming a blogger or influencer).

Eighty percent of zoomers say they would prefer to work on a freelance basis, or be self-employed. About sixty percent of survey respondents say they’ve taken courses (from “traditional learning institutions”) to skill themselves for this sort of work.


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Australian Writers’ Guild stands by Writers Guild of America

3 May 2023

The Australian Writers’ Guild (AWG) has issued a statement of support for the strike action presently being taken by Writers Guild of America (WGA) members. The AWG has asked its members to refrain from having any involvement with active projects within the WGA’s jurisdiction:

With strike action now in force, the AWG advises members not to work on active projects within the jurisdiction of the WGA, to pitch new projects designed for production within the jurisdiction of the WGA, or to cross picket lines, actual or virtual, for the duration of the strike.



Instagram creators launch news reading app called Artifact

3 February 2023

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, creators of the original Instagram, who sold the photo-sharing to Facebook for one billion dollars in 2018, have launched a new app called Artifact. Rather than curating photos though, Artifact serves up popular news articles and blog posts:

The simplest way to understand Artifact is as a kind of TikTok for text, though you might also call it Google Reader reborn as a mobile app or maybe even a surprise attack on Twitter. The app opens to a feed of popular articles chosen from a curated list of publishers ranging from leading news organizations like The New York Times to small-scale blogs about niche topics.

Artifact sounds like the sort app I could make use of, but ads appearing on the news pages the app displays, don’t make for a smooth reading experience, according to John Gruber, writing at Daring Fireball, who has been trialling Artifact:

I’ll give it some time, but at the moment, it’s a disappointment. The articles they show come directly from publishers’ websites, but because Artifact isn’t a web browser, per se, there’s no ad filtering. It’s just ads ads ads, interrupting seemingly every single article, every couple of paragraphs. This same “man, I miss ad blockers” feeling strikes me when I use Apple News too, but Apple News articles have way fewer ads, and better ads, than what I’m seeing so far in articles I read in Artifact.


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When the famous die, people flock to their Wikipedia pages

14 September 2022

When someone famous dies, visits to their Wikipedia page usually surge, as this visualisation by The Pudding shows. Sometimes the count goes off the scale. A case in point is late musician Prince. When he died in 2016, his Wikipedia page was viewed over eleven millon times in the two days afterwards.

More than 1,300 notable people died in the past three years, according to Wikipedia. Here are 84 who got over half a million pageviews in the first 48 hours after their deaths. Although no one grabbed our attention quite like Prince, the spike in pageviews after a celebrity’s death can often overshadow that of other major events, even a presidential inauguration.

One can only imagine what the pageview numbers will be for British monarch Queen Elizabeth II, who died last week. Incredibly, or perhaps not, her death was noted on her Wikipedia page within seconds. Editors of the online encyclopaedia were also swift to change the page of then Prince Charles, to King Charles III, this before his regnal name had been officially confirmed.


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Kylie Moore-Gilbert: the difficult return to a normal life

15 August 2022

Kylie Moore-Gilbert is an Australian academic who spent over two years in Iranian jails after being accused of spying, despite no evidence backing up the claims ever being published. Last week Moore-Gilbert wrote about being incarcerated, and the challenges of rebuilding her life, on returning to Melbourne in November 2020.

I am a 35-year-old childless divorcee with a criminal record. It was never meant to be this way, of course. A few years ago I was on track to achieving that comfortable middle-class existence of husband, dream job and a mortgage on a house in the suburbs. I was driven, I was hard-working, I was ambitious. After years of juggling full-time study with multiple part-time jobs I had finally gained an unsteady foothold on the precarious academic ladder. I was working on my first book, an adaptation of my PhD. I taught undergraduate and masters courses, and supervised research students. I used to think I had life more or less figured out, and myself too for that matter.

Incidentally, Moore-Gilbert’s memoir My 804 Days in an Iranian Prison, is among shortlisted titles for the 2022 The Age book of the year award. Winners will be announced when the Melbourne Writers Festival opens on Thursday 8 September 2022.


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Rachel Kleinfeld: there won’t be a second American civil war

20 July 2022

Rachel Kleinfeld, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, doesn’t see an oft spoken of civil war erupting in the United States, but the prospect makes for sombre reading.

Civil wars happen largely in countries with large, poor populations facing a bulge of young men, the demographic most likely to use violence. They generally require governments with low capacity levels, and high rates of corruption and brutality. When the U.S. Civil War erupted in 1861, the Union army had just ten infantry regiments controlled by a miniscule federal government riddled with corruption. Civil wars don’t happen in wealthy countries with strong institutions and strong militaries, like the modern United States, because it would be quixotic to try to overthrow such states.

On the other hand, Tom Klingenstein of conservative think tank the Claremont Institute, believes America is already in a state of cold civil war, with the battle lines drawn between those who want to preserve the American way of life, and those who he thinks seek to destroy it.