Monday 15 Oct 2018 | 12:59 | SYDNEY

Blogs and blogging

Friday linkage: Mayan apocalypse, Defence White Paper, Russia and more

A major scoop for The Australian, getting its hands on a draft of next year's Defence White Paper. The US-Japan alliance continues to strengthen, with the Pentagon announcing a deployment of stealth fighters to Japan. (Thanks Malcolm.) Maritime Security: A Practical Guide. (Thanks Chris.) The

Farewell to the Canberra Column

After five years and 300,000 words, this is my final Canberra Column. Is that a mountain of punditry or just a maze? A quick wade through the wordage leaves little doubt about the recurrent theme that runs through the five years: this was the era of Kevinism. As Prime Minister, The Kevin was his

Tuesday linkage: China in NZ, missile defence, gun laws, DPRK and more

Wow: more members of China's Communist Party central committee visited New Zealand in the past decade than almost any other country. (Thanks Danielle.) Just how well did Israel's Iron Dome rocket defence system perform in the most recent Gaza conflict? Indonesia will redenominate the Rupiah in

Monday linkage: Japan election, gun control, Mayan apocalypse and more

Even before the polls closed in Japan, China's state-run media was airing its dissatisfaction. Will the LDP's sweeping victory mean a swing to the right for Japan's foreign and security policies? Don't believe the hype. If the Mayan apocalypse happens, US decision-makers will be safe on their '

Thursday linkage: Social media, car webcams, solar power, Santa and more

A Pew survey tracks the unstoppable global rise of social media. Why does so many Russians put webcams on their dashboards? The explanation is revealing about life in modern Russia. A promising new TV political drama from Denmark. 'If solar is really the Next Big Thing and the renewable energy

Monday linkage: Predictions, male workers, Singapore, China and more

'Political analysts think they know a lot more about the future than they actually do'. An interview with Philip Tetlock about expert political judgment. (H/t 3QD.) Canada has reversed its commitment to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Will this affect other buyers, such as Australia? Why is US

Wednesday linkage: Secrecy, Doha, Homeland, TPP, migration and more

The Guardian's environment blog is carrying regular updates from the Doha climate conference. Anyone want to suggest some good Doha reading? The internet was meant to make governments more responsive to citizens, but a statistical study in seven countries shows parties and candidates aren't

Friday linkage: Land mines, space boom, manufacturing, PNG and more

The transcript of PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill's address to the Lowy Institute yesterday on 'Papua New Guinea in the Asian Century'. Is commercial spaceflight about to have its 'Netscape moment' (ie. the start of a long boom)? The latest issue of The Atlantic is out, with a cover story

Tuesday linkage: FOX News, think tanks, Taiwan, climate change and more

Taiwan didn't get much attention in the Asian Century White Paper, despite its importance to Australia. How to build a better think tank ranking system (thanks Danielle). And here's a thoughtful response. '...the best clues to Chinese foreign policy under Xi Jinping may be found in the lengthy

Monday linkage: Commonwealth, econoblogging, foreign aid and more

Hubris, paternalism and sentimentality: our aid program is an anachronism, and needs to be drastically revamped. The Economist pours cold water on Euro sceptic suggestions that the Commonwealth could be an alternative to Europe. And in case you're feeling sympathetic towards the Commonwealth,

Tuesday linkage: Cold War, Garuda, Japan, urbanisation, Europe and more

The failed merger of two European defence giants, BAE and EADS, and what it says about the surprising resilience of 'political Europe'. 'The orthodox view says making cities more compact is essential to improve sustainability significantly. However research suggests the environmental pay-off is

Wednesday linkage: US-Japan ties, Party Congress, Lowy Lecture and more

The US and Japan are revising their defence cooperation guidelines, and 'there is little doubt as to the nature of the new antagonist.' Fiji's Attorney-General heckled by protesters in Brussels. (Thanks Danielle.) The unnerving atmosphere in Beijing during Party Congress week. That atmosphere

Monday linkage: China reform, Bond villains, PNG democracy, Fiji and more

China watchers having their Twitter accounts hacked during the Party Congress? (Thanks Danielle.) Don't ignore the history of liberalism and reform in China. There's another China story out there, says Paul Monk. Scathing assessment of David Petraeus: 'More so than any other leading military

Wednesday linkage: Sandy, China nukes, G20, People Daily and more

Climate change has been absent in the US presidential campaign. Will superstorm Sandy change that? Britain's Institute of Arts and Ideas has video of a recent debate on 'the rise of the east', featuring an eminent cast.  Epic own-goal: China's People's Daily tries to do a hatchet job on the NY

Monday linkage: China military, lying pollies, Asian century and more

Critics such as Greg Sheridan and Alan Kohler have been scathing about the Asian Century White Paper. Responses from Lowy Institute analysts available here. The Pentagon's annual report on China's military. Why do politicians lie to us? Because we don't want them to tell us the truth. China's

Thursday linkage: China, game theory, drones, Bretton Woods and more

Isidor's Fugue: a photo-heavy blog on daily life in China. (H/t Fallows.) Foreign Policy lists the world geography mistakes of the presidential candidates. (Thanks Rodger.) From 2006, a RAND Corp war game which looked at the economic consequences of a nuclear terrorist attack. (H/t Small

Wednesday linkage: Fiji at the UN, Japan, debates, Joe Biden and more

Brilliant: 'I'm Joe Biden and I'll be your server'. Next week Lowy's Michael Fullilove will launch his new paper on the foreign policies of Obama and Romney. Tickets here, though if you want to score two free tickets, head to our FB page and suggest a question for Michael, which we will ask

Thursday linkage: Gillard in NY, drones, skyscrapers, ASEAN and more

A transcript of Prime Minister Gillard's speech to the UN General Assembly. More on this later in the day.Self-driving cars again: one observer predicts a huge boost in productivity. 'It would be, from an economist's point of view, the Pennsylvania oil fields of man-hours...' (H/t WRM.) 

Tuesday linkage: Panetta, embassy architecture, lost drones and more

Don't forget our 'Ask James Fallows' competition. Send us your question and you could attend Friday's Fallows event for free. A TVNZ interview with Leon Panetta, who visited New Zealand recently. (Thanks Andrew.) The Opposition 'aspires' to lift the defence budget by 3% per year. Barack Obama,

Thursday linkage: Submarines, Singapore, Japan, China and more

Hugh White's latest essay in The Monthly perhaps hasn't had the attention it deserves, since he makes the eyebrow-raising recommendation that Australia needs a minimum of 24 submarines (nb. that's more than Japan). What's the use of economics, and how should we be teaching it to the next

Tuesday linkage: Romney, Keynes vs Hayek, Afghanistan and more

Via the Nautilus Institute, a 1966 US State Department study of Australia's role in the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia. (Thanks Graeme.) Another new stealth fighter prototype unveiled in China. Anti-Japan sentiment in China is pretty ugly. (H/t Fallows.) The US Marine Corps suffered its

Friday linkage: China, Philippines, Japan, Obama in Libya and more

The AFR has a neat infographic on China\'s leadership change, outside the paywall. The Dutch election results reveal three poor performers: the far right, the far left, and the pollsters. The mayor of Osaka launches a new political party. Will it disrupt Japan\'s orthodoxy? More here from

Wednesday linkage: Super Trawler, Xi Jinping, Burma, Papua and more

Real change: CSIS experts have some interesting observations about Burma following their recent visit. (Thanks Milton.) Chris Kenny is right. The \'super trawler\' decision sends a dreadful message to foreign businesses looking to invest in Australia. ChinaFile, a new online magazine from

Monday linkage

US airport security: \'As far as I know, the vast airport apparatus has not stopped a single incident of mayhem; the foiling of plots comes from other forces, such as advance intelligence or actions on board.\' Interview with a photographer who spent two years with Japan\'s yakusa organised

Thursday linkage: Assange, Cook Islands, missile defence and more

One of the few economists to predict the global financial crisis is again sounding the alarm. Evan Osnos in the New Yorker: Clinton\'s Cook Islands visit shows US-China competition \'has entered a complex new phase\'. For wonks only: a newish blog devoted mostly to the technical elements of

Tuesday linkage: Driverless cars, APEC, drones, intervention and more

3 Quarks Daily is hosting an online symposium on humanitarian intervention, with contributions from David Petrasek, Kenneth Roth and Gareth Evans. More from the ABC\'s Mark Corcoran on drones, with news that Australia is reviving its plans to buy a fleet of Global Hawks. More from Corcoran

Monday linkage: Global Hawk, public diplomacy, Imran Khan and more

Not only in China do amateur military sleuths reveal secrets. To America\'s discomfort, Australia has plane spotters too, as the ABC\'s Mark Corcoran discovered. (Thanks Michael.) I have just discovered the University of Southern California\'s Public Diplomacy blog. Online education is

Thursday linkage: GOP convention, foreign aid, economic growth and more

The end of growth? A new paper argues that \'the rapid progress made over the past 250 years could well turn out to be a unique episode in human history.\' VS Naipul\'s account of the 1984 Republican Convention: strangely comforting to know so little has changed. Conciliation as a counter-

Wednesday linkage: Gangnam Style, Philippines, Neil Armstong and more

The Economist charts R&D spending in five big economies since the \'80s. On the face of it, there doesn\'t seem to be a strong correlation between growth and high R&D spending. I wish I could write like this: Anthony Lane\'s stirring obit for Neil Armstrong. On Australia\'s integration

Tuesday linkage: Mobile money, Cook Islands, Dalai Lama and more

What, no philosophy? Stephen Walt list ten things aspiring foreign policy wonks should study. As trade grows in Asia, so does investment in seaports. Should Malaysia tilt towards Beijing, New Delhi or Tokyo? Thanks to AFR columnist Christopher Joye for his kind words about The Interpreter.

Monday linkage: Zakaria, Denmark, Baltimore drugs, Syria and more

Powerful piece from Dan Drezner on Fareed Zakaria and the celebritisation of the American academy. Denmark\'s central bank goes there: negative interest rates. ANU\'s Crawford School has launched a new journal, Asia & The Pacific Policy Studies, and is calling for papers. An interview&

Thursday linkage: China re-balancing, Italy, Gladwell, cyberwar and more

Michael Fullilove has started work as the Lowy Institute\'s new Executive Director. He\'s also finishing a book on FDR and in October will publish the third in a series of analyses he\'s written comparing the foreign policies of the two presidential candidates (here\'s the Obama-McCain paper, and

Wednesday linkage: Burma, JSF, China then and now, Richard Gere and more

Reports about the lifting of censorship in Burma may not be all they\'re cracked up to be. (Thanks Milton.) The first Dutch joint Strike Fighter took its maiden flight in the US recently, but with the project deeply unpopular, the Defence Ministry barely acknowledged the event. Donors should

Tuesday linkage: Holden, China cities, copyright, Asian Century and more

Asia\'s emerging economies are among the most exposed to financial risks from natural disasters, says a new study. (Thanks Malcolm.) China\'s cities may be unlivable, but some people are getting around the crush (if not the smog) by building their McMansions on top of a shopping mall. The

Monday linkage: Indonesia, Niebuhr, Vietnam, Pacific Islands and more

\'Beyond the boom\': A new study of the Australian economy from McKinsey\'s inhouse think tank, the McKinsey Global Institute. Melbourne the world\'s most liveable city? The appellation is pretty meaningless. Indonesia\'s democracy is less consolidated than many think, and the quality of

Thursday linkage: Banks, Solomons, Japan, multilingualism and more

Australian troops are set to come home from the Solomon Islands next year. Is the mission accomplished? (Thanks Danielle.) The era of growth miracles is over, says Dani Rodrik, because manufacturing is changing. The Economist collects opinion on this controversial op-ed. Why China\'s

Wednesday linkage: Mars, Indian energy, Afghanistan, solar and more

A 360° panorama of Mars from NASA\'s Curiosity rover. Definitely put this one of full screen. (H/t TDW.) Posted during India\'s now-resolved black-out, but still useful: 10 interesting facts about India\'s energy sector. Speaking of energy, this is a rather naive bit of solar boosterism from

Monday linkage: Paul Ryan, Zakaria, China-US war, Olympics and more

A global study of education systems finds three critical factors for success: exit exams, private school competition, and good teachers. Republican VP nominee Paul Ryan had an early affection for the work of Ayn Rand. James Fallows and The Economist each argue that the Ryan pick is

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