Written Work

Jacqui Lambie and the limits of Remix Culture

Originally published in Kill Your Darlings

The combination of Google Image Search, Photoshop, and Facebook is a dangerous one, providing web users with the ability to seek out swaths of copyrighted visual material, rip and manipulate these pictures so the original source is obscured, then share the freshly “remixed” images to a broad audience with no fear of legal action.

Don’t Look: The emergence of Streisand criticism

Originally published in Kill Your Darlings

In the wake of the recent nude celebrity photo leak, I noticed something strange about the ways different publications skewed their coverage. Tabloid-style publications tended to be honest about their motives. The behaviour of left-leaning broadsheet-style outlets, however, was more complex.

The Rise of the High-Minded Startup

Originally published in Kill Your Darlings

On every page of Ello, the self-described ‘simple, beautiful and ad-free’ social network, is a link to their “manifesto”. The manifesto-based startup represents a shift in how we understand online services, allowing founders to obscure a new service’s crude or derivative feature set behind an inspirational, jargon-filled call-to-arms.

Little common ground and less understanding at pro-life conference

Originally published in Crikey

I attended the World Congress of Families and discovered that pro-lifers feel just as misunderstood as their pro-choice counterparts.

Humour overrules hate speech

Originally published in Overland

Considering hate group Page administrators have access to a ‘cheat sheet’, the idea that repeatedly reporting offensive content to Facebook constitutes an effective form of political action may be a flawed one.

Anti-Islam, but pro-gay? How mosque opponents tie themselves in knots

Originally published in The Guardian

I examine why the Australian anti-mosque movement are courting the LGBT community.

Review: Holly Childs’ No Limit & Maxine Beneba Clarke’s Foreign Soil

The cult novel is a funny thing. ‘Cult’ doesn’t necessarily collapse neatly down to ‘divisive’ (if that were the case, Fifty Shades of Grey and its progenitor Twilight would surely be works of cult fiction), nor can it simply be reduced to ‘underrated’ (Hunter S. Thompson is, by almost any yardstick, a cult writer, yet […]

Best Ever: Erlend Loe’s ‘Naive. Super’

This review was originally published over at Annabel Smith’s blog – she runs a series in which bookish types are asked to share their all-time favourite work of fiction and describe what it means to them.  I’ve tried to get friends reading Erlend Loe’s Naïve. Super for years, with relatively little success. It’s one of those books that’s virtually […]

Reading List: Long Stories Short

A few months ago, I was at a panel in which several Australian writers spoke about how the short story was a form in need of preservation. It’s kind of funny that particular creative forms are implicitly recognised as endangered. After all, you don’t hear many divas worrying about the continued existence of the three-minute […]

Reading List: Zeitgeisty Fiction

Reviewed: Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan  A Working Theory of Love by Scott Hutchins  Microserfs by Douglas Coupland  Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple   How we see that past is so often determined by how we fictionalised it: is it possible to even begin to understand Victorian England without reference […]

Tomely Zeitgeisty Books Bundle

In the spirit of demurely tooting my own horn, over at Tomely we’re currently running a sorta-neat project: a pay-what-you-want charitable Zeitgeisty Books Bundle. The bundle is full of stories about the internet, startups of all kinds, geekdom, and pervasive technology. Every book in this bundle asks a question: what does it mean to be alive today? […]

Tooting Your Own Horn

About a month ago, I was picked to write for The Listserve. I wrote a short-ish piece titled “Tooting Your Own Horn”, looking at how our culture of loud self-promotion makes it difficult for those with small voices and subtle ideas to make themselves heard. Here’s a little bit from the end of it: My […]

All the online assholes

We launched Tomely a few weeks back. Almost everything people had to say about it was very nice. Of course, we also got a bunch of support requests and bug reports, but that’s all part of the fun of managing a fledgling web service. One user took things to a level that wasn’t okay. The specifics aren’t important, but he […]

 

The Curious Case of Twitter’s #Music App

Yesterday, Twitter announced #Music, their music discovery platform. It looks beautiful, but conceptually it’s a bit of a mess. (The Verge have a good #Music hands-on, but the idea is that #Music crawls Twitter for links to songs in order to calculate which artists and tracks are ‘trending’ on the network, then allows you to play through those […]

In Defence of the Floppy Disk Save Symbol

or “Why The Best Symbol is the One That Gets the Job Done”   For at least the better part of a decade, tech bloggers and designers have batted blog posts back and forth discussing the necessity of replacing the old floppy disk “save” icon with something more “timeless”. Basically, the issue boils down to the fact […]

20% Time and the New Google

In late 2011, I wrote a piece arguing that Google operated as an applied research lab, with employees encouraged to pursue interesting ideas as ends-in-themselves. Over the past decade, Google’s search engine has basically functioned as a cash cow, allowing the company to develop two freely-distributed operating systems, self-driving cars, augmented reality glasses, and a […]

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