Category: Philosophy

The Ethics of Brain Implants

Brain implants are such a risky technology that we should consider banning them before they get released. If not, we risk losing a freedom we take for granted every day, our freedom of thought. On August 28, Neuralink, a company founded by Elon Musk, revealed a working prototype of a brain implant in a demonstration ...

An Intellectual History of Our Troubles with Technology

We often evaluate new technologies based on old standards. How should we update our evaluative tools for the digital age? Our troubles with technology have mythical origins. In the Phaedrus, Plato recounts the tale of the Egyptian god Theuth, who once tried to sell the invention of writing to Thamus, the king of the gods: ...

What COVID Teaches Us About Big Tech (The Blog Post the Government Made Me Take Down)

In April, I published the following blog post here on my personal blog New Intrigue and on the Oxford Political Review. A few months later, I was told to take down the post or get fired from my then job as a public servant in the Australian Federal Government. Although the post had no criticism ...

The Philosophy of Byung-Chul Han

In the 1980s, there were a series of writers who challenged the way people thought of the then-growing popularity of colour television and news media. I have written before about Neil Postman, and his fear of our world becoming a 'trivial society' and Marshall McLuhan, who warned us that 'the medium is the message'. (Technology ...

Australia’s Bushfire Crisis

It is difficult to talk about the current bushfire crisis facing Australia with anything close to the objectivity required of a journalistic article. As my home, I have struggled to come to grips with the scope of the disaster that has occurred here. For a long time, we have had the benefit of sitting on ...

4 Ways to Innovate: Lessons from the Global Scholars Symposium

In June 2019, Rhodes House hosted the Global Scholars Symposium. The theme was Cultivating Innovation. Over the two-day event, speakers from all over the world talked about different ways to innovate. I left the event with a newfound appreciation for innovators, and several take-home messages. According to the dictionary, to innovate is to “make changes in ...

Fireworks Fly at Jeff Koons Event: Should An Artist Credit Their Assistants?

Fireworks flew in question time yesterday at an event celebrating the internationally acclaimed artist Jeff Koons. Visiting Oxford to promote his exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum, Koons was questioned by the Emeritus Professor of Art History Martin Kemp, before receiving mostly hostile questions from the live audience. Koons is best known for his reproduction of ...

United Kingdom Considers New Laws: Age Restrictions for Facebook Likes, Snapstreaks

The recent call for age restrictions on likes and streaks on Facebook and Snapchat is long overdue, but does not go far enough.  People of all ages should be protected from the psychological damage caused by likes, streaks and other online ‘reward’ mechanisms used by giant social media companies to make us all addicts. Likes, ...

Long Working Hours Are Making Australians: Unproductive, Mentally Ill, Physically Ill

Research indicates working more than 48 hours a week is associated with significant declines in productivity, more mistakes and more mental health problems. Yet the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons reckons working up to 65 hours a week “is appropriate for trainees to gain the knowledge and experience required”. It’s an attitude that explains why a 2017 audit found ...

Top UK universities remain unreachable for 70% of students

Eight top schools have as many Oxford and Cambridge admissions as the next 2894 UK schools combined, according to a new report by the Sutton Trust. The Trust suggests that little has changed regarding access to opportunity at Oxbridge since its last report in 2011. For nearly three quarters of school leavers across the UK, ...