Brief updates from Austhink Consulting




July 2013

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Election Forum Preview
Any day now we're likely to see the Federal election date confirmed and the official election period commence. That's of course when the YourView Fairfax Election Forum will go live.  There is a preview up and running on the YourView site.  Your feedback is most welcome.  
Campaign with a Difference - Fairfax Op Ed
Today an opinion piece by Tim van Gelder and Paul Monk is appearing in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.  It succinctly explains why Australian democracy needs something like the Fairfax YourView Election Forum, and how it works.  
Critical Thinking Education in China
Tim is now a Foreign Advisor, Critical and Creative Thinking Education, to the Chinese Ministry of Education. He has recently done a small amount of research into the interesting topic of how argumentation is represented in Mandarin, and whether this affects critical thinking.  
More about our critical thinking offerings
What to read about China 
While on the theme of China, Paul was interviewed on Saturday Extra by Geraldine Doogue, on Saturday 20 July, about recent books on China. He highlighted four first rate works of history and biography published in the past twelve months and six books on current Chinese affairs.
"Anti-corruption" in China
Paul was asked on Thursday 25 July to talk on Radio Australia about the "anti-corruption drive" that the Chinese Communist Party has launched this month. He pointed out that corruption is rampant and the only crackdowns are directed at those not kowtowing to the new political leadership. He drew attention to the arrest of the country's leading anti-corruption activist Xi Zhiyong just a fortnight ago.
The Jewish Diaspora
On Monday 22 July, Paul addressed an executive luncheon about his visit in April to Israel. It centered on a set of intensive one-on-one discussions with senior journalists and national security officials about Israel and the Middle East. It also put the whole question of Zionism and the Jewish diaspora into historical perspective. Written version available on request. 
The Historical Jesus
Apropros last month's mention of the book AKA Shakespeare, we've also started looking at Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus by Richard Carrier. This book ambitiously presents a general theory of historical reasoning based on Bayesian inference. The Bayesian gospel continues to spread......

Austhinking previous editions: 
  • June 2013 - Elections, Predictions, Spies and Shakespeare
  • May 2013 - Meta-analysis, Mapping and Democracy
  • April 2013 - Collective Knowledge, Rise of China, Intelligence, and a Puzzler
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