Australians believe good things about the Internet
Net users describe themselves as left-leaning law-breakers ... or not
The problem with a study like the Australian National University’s ANUpoll ”Public opinion on internet use and civil society isn’t the study itself, but the ease with which people over-interpret its findings.
I have no problem with the hard data in the study. For example, the idea that 82 per cent of respondents were frequent internet users with broadband connections is hardly startling.
Nor do I have a problem with the “soft” data – questions asking for respondents to describe themselves in various forms.
But extending a self-description, such as “I believe I am more engaged because of the Internet”, to the ANU’s headline – “Society saved by the social network” – is a bridge too far.
If we simply accept the opinions as an accurate reflection of the “real world”, here’s what the Internet does to Australians (from page 10). Netizens are:
* More likely to support those worse off than themselves; * Less likely to obey laws and regulations; * Less likely to be politically active; * Less likely to be a volunteer.
[A digression: what kinds of activities on the Internet might count as “volunteering”, except that the respondent didn’t think of it as such?]
@veti -- But remember we Australians might want to read the article too.
As a good mag, El Reg is just caring for all its readers.
@D.M. -- Sorry, I apologise to all monkeys for the unwarranted insult.
Unfortunately, I lack the necessary vocabulary to adequately describe the woeful state of just about everything technical in Australia.
From a competent country of the 1960s that once valued science and engineering and could put rockets into space*, Australia has descended into a postmodernist dark age where scientists, engineers, technicians, trades people and common sense have all but gone the way of the dodo.
What's left is a Scaredy-Cat kowtowing society frighted of its own shadow and obsessed with the utterly trivial, a parliament run by accountants and lawyers--a place where no techie dare show his face--and where the Prime Minister's science adviser resigns** after having never met the Prime Minister whilst in the job. (Right, it just staggers belief!)
The Australian Parliament is a cesspit of the mind-numbingly dull who obsess over issues such as their newly-found religion of Environmentalism-sans-science--where wayward and strange beliefs are to the fore and facts irrelevant. Or in the independent-foreign-policy-free zone of Australia, they're to be found groveling to and ingratiating themselves with leaders of other countries. In their effort to please, and without any real concern for the actual welfare of the nation, not to mention the sheer delight and bemusement of their hosts, you'll find them signing away Australia's sovereignty by agreeing to any treaty or trade agreement that floats by.
In the race towards irrelevance, these sycophantic Cretins would leave Hyacinth (bouquet) Bucket of 'Keeping Up Appearances' for dead.
As if that weren't enough....
Where else in the world other than Australia would you find governments (of both major political parties) that, in a frenzy, sold off the nation's state-owned telco, Telstra, and replaced it with a market-based competitive model that was so totally fucked--failed so miserably to provide an effective competitive communications environment--that it now has to go groveling to the now-public company Telstra, et al, to buy back at least part of the communications network that it once owned for twice the price it initially sold it for?
...And I'm stuck here in Australia.
'Tis no wonder I'm lost for words!
* Blue Streak missile, Woomera Rocket Range, Parkes Radio Telescope etc.
you also got four times the ads and 3 additional clicks...
besides, maybe he was formatting it for those readers who can't digest more than a few paragraphs at a time.