Thursday, July 28, 2011

National Classification Scheme Review Submission

Here is my submission for the ALRC's National Classification Scheme Review. At time of writing this, it isn't live on their site, as they were inundated with over 2000 submissions, so I thought I'd post my response here. I think it is pretty good, but not perfect, so let me know how you think it could be improved.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Abuse of Statistics

I've been thinking about the abuse of statistics. I'd like to make a point about it, which will start off seeming contrived, but will hopefully end up being somewhat informative, so here goes. I'll avoid doing any complicated maths, and my numbers are approximate.

I've walked across a train crossing near my house around 500 times, so I must be lucky to be alive.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Religion, Bigotry and the Census

The Atheist Foundation of Australia, in the leadup to the 2011 Australian census, is running a campaign for people to mark No Religion on their census forms. The justification for this campaign is that many people who are no longer religious still write the religion of their youth, as a matter of habit, rather than due to any real beliefs.

The purpose of the census is to accurately record the demographics of Australia in order to better target services for the people, and for posterity. As such, I support the AFA's campaign, because I would rather decisions about how tax money is spent are made based on accurate data. I also personally agree that the AFA's goal, of taking religion out of politics, is a worthy one in a secular country.

Unfortunately, it seems that we live in a country populated by enough bigoted morons to have a noticeable effect on online discourse. I don't mean the term 'bigoted moron' to be a slur. I mean it literally. And I don't mean 'literally' the way Jamie Oliver means it, i.e. figuratively. I'm sure that many of these apparent morons are actually somewhat intelligent, but it makes me wonder to whom they have been listening.