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John Brookes
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John Brookes's posts

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Death by a thousand cuts
And on it goes at UWA. The School of Physics at UWA is now part of the Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences. The School used to have its own budget.  We used to make all our own decisions about how our money was spent.  Weird, strange decisions,...

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More about taxes
Following on about democracy, I realise there are two threads that tie together. Lets go back to tax cuts.  People vote for politicians who promise them.  No one enjoys paying tax.  No one like seeing taxes come out of their pay packet.  No one likes the 10...

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I, Daniel Blake
So you should probably go see this movie.  It is rather good.  But it paints an entirely dystopian view of both the present and the future.  A horror story. And the movie leaves you wondering how we can turn this around.  I've come up with something that sh...

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The UWA restructure revisited
UWA is part way through a restructure.  We've done the easy bit.  We've got rid of "excess" admin staff and re-organised into different teams.  We've also got rid of excess academics, and are in the process of employing 50 "star" academics.  I'm not sure th...

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UWA Marks Policy
Now universities are from time to time accused of "grade inflation".  That is, they give higher marks than they used to.  Of course in the long term this can't really be true, because by now all students would have to be getting 100% all the time.  But I'm ...

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What makes good teaching?
A fellow worker in the School of Physics at The University of Western Australia (UWA) got a teaching award, as he does most every year, because he’s a fantastic teacher.  So the Dean of our new faculty (Engineering et al) asked him to come in for a chat.  A...

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Coming to a meeting unprepared
Dawn Freshwater is a smart cookie who is currently acting VC at UWA.  Basically that means she's the boss of the university for now.  Now she's also been in charge of a restructuring process that is going to see some of us lose our jobs. And Dawn has these ...

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With a day to think about it.
Democracy sort of worked in the US.  The voters delivered a message to the establishment that they aren't happy with the status quo.  There are lots of horrible things about who they chose, but that was the choice they were faced with. Trump will fail.  He'...

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Fuck. He won.
I live in a world that I don't understand any more.  It is changing so rapidly. Donald Trump just won the US presidency. And he won by appealing to white people.  They are the biggest single group in the US, and Trump made it very clear he would represent t...

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Science and the future
On todays ride, Mark and Paul were talking material science.  The discovery of some new alloys that were amazing.  And I had a sudden revelation about the future.  You see, I'd recently been thinking of a somewhat dystopian future, where we only bother trai...
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