Monday, 25 January 2016

Blame the media as well as the pollsters and other news and views

Blame the election pollsters – and the papers that printed their work - It’s fair enough to conclude (with a Guardian editorial) that the polls “are flawed, but better than nothing”. It’s not fair, though, to stop at that point. Papers and broadcasters must test the information they display. They have a duty not merely to mention sample size or methods used, but comparative costs of various surveys (more expense should mean more skilled resource) and the record of individual pollsters. They need someone to hand like Professor John Curtice who can crunch his own numbers. They need the utmost caution when they blithely turn data into a shock headline.

The threatened mahogany glider
2020 target set for more threatened species - The mahogany glider, eastern quoll, western ringtail possum, woylie, black-footed rock-wallaby, Gilbert’s potoroo, northern hopping-mouse and Christmas Island flying-fox will join the list of 20 mammal species prioritised for action under Australia’s first Threatened Species Strategy. The cassowary, swift parrot, eastern curlew, Australasian bittern, malleefowl, south-eastern redtailed black cockatoo, white-throated grasswren and golden-shouldered parrot are also in line for special attention, as the latest additions to the list of 20 priority bird species.

The ‘necessity defence'– should climate activists be allowed to break the law?

Troubles at Yale: An Exchange - Freedom of speech and discrimination on university campuses

Hard Evidence: this is the Age of Dissent – and there’s much more to come - The year 2011 is widely viewed as the peak of protest and dissent in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and the austerity agenda that followed it. It was the year of the Arab Spring, Occupy, UK Uncut, indignados, urban riots and anti-austerity and tuition fee protests – and in which Time magazine famously named “The Protester” as its person of the year
Yet in the UK, protests continue to occur at a rate rarely seen prior to the global economic crisis in 2008. Indeed, 2015 seems to have confirmed the suggestion, made at the beginning of the year, that 2011 was “really only just the beginning”. In fact, we appear to be facing a longer-term age of contestation, perhaps prompted by the experience of low growth, and the hardening of attitudes by mainstream politicians despite growing popular demands.
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