Nineteen years of blogging!

Beginning offline, if that counts. See some of the earliest here.

These entries have been pasted from Angelfire. There may be some oddities in presentation here.

I first got a real (borrowed) computer in late 1999 and didn’t go on the Internet until a few months later. My first site on Talk City came about in around April 2000, and the first internet diary entries soon after. The earliest entries here were written in a Brother PowerNote (memory 32k!) which I still have and sometimes use.

Go to Found — a whole stack of my old entries! [January 14 2008] for an index to what is available still on the Wayback Machine.

And a sample, strangely relevant today:

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Notorious hypocrite Howard rants about ‘values’.

I am so bloody angry that I have put this entry to record how personally insulted I feel, and disgusted on behalf of all my colleagues, by John Howard’s recent gratuitous attack on state schools in Australia. As far as NSW state schools are concerned, what the PM has said simply reveals that he has not done his homework:

NSW public schools teach essential values for life to children and young people.

Love of learning

NSW public schools aim to create young Australians who value learning and knowledge and who relish the effort and possess the confidence needed to resolve problems, or to master a skill, topic or subject; who can compose clear and precise prose and construct well-founded arguments; who have mastered the art of talking with others as a route to better understanding; who are deeply interested in finding common ground with other people, other ways of life and ways of thinking and believing; and who are interested in imaginative and new ideas, and in seeking out truth.

NSW public schools teach the value of:

  • scholarship, accurate and extensive knowledge, wide reading and understanding of traditional and new fields of study, including information technology
  • rational inquiry and logical, well-founded argument
  • clarity, confidence and coherence in thinking, writing and speaking
  • curiosity and imagination as the basis for pleasure in learning
  • communicating with others as a way of establishing agreement and arriving at truth.

Aiming for high standards

NSW public school students are encouraged to achieve their personal best and to aim for excellence in everything they do.

They are encouraged to participate in sport and creative performances and to learn ways of winning and losing graciously.

NSW public schools teach the value of:

  • aiming for the best in academic, creative and sporting achievement and in all public performances.

Care and respect for ourselves and others

In partnership with parents and carers, NSW public school students are taught how to respect and care for themselves and others, in order to achieve self-discipline and physical and mental well being. They learn respect and care for others through the codes and practice of good manners, the give and take of friendship, the routines of companionship and the management of friendly rivalry. They learn respect for expertise, legitimate authorities, and leadership through acceptance of responsibility. They are taught ways of recognising right from wrong.

NSW public schools teach the value of:

  • recognising right over wrong
  • honesty and courtesy
  • health, fitness and well being
  • discipline, punctuality, reliability
  • experience, expertise and authority
  • friendship, companionship and friendly rivalry
  • self-discipline, independence and responsibility

Care and respect for families and communities

NSW public school students are encouraged to feel and demonstrate empathy and respect for those who are vulnerable and dependent. They learn to demonstrate the values of generosity and compassion and the principles of fairness. In turn they earn the right to expect to be treated by others with respect and fairness. As members of families and communities they learn how to treat others with consideration.

NSW public schools teach the value of:

  • kindness and helpfulness towards those who are vulnerable, or who are less able than others
  • the rights of individuals and groups to a fair go
  • sharing and equity as principles of personal and social relationships
  • different histories, customs, cultures and outlooks within home and school communities and in the Australian community

Respect for work

NSW public school students learn the need to grasp opportunities, the rewards of effort, and the value of work. They learn to see how work is changing and how new forms of work encourage experiment and resilience. They learn with new and evolving technologies and are taught to welcome innovation. Public school students learn to work well together with different kinds of people.

NSW public schools teach the value of:

  • paid, unpaid and voluntary work
  • opportunity, aspiration and enterprise
  • creativity, experiment and resilience
  • working together and in competition
  • skilled workmanship
  • productive habits and methods.

Proud Australians and citizens of the world

As young Australians, NSW public school students learn to understand and appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of their land.

They learn about Australia’s creative arts, literature, and history, and the insights to be gained for the future good of Australia. They learn to appreciate the significance of Australia’s Indigenous people and of immigration to Australian identity.

NSW public school students are taught to respect the rule of law and Australia’s democratic institutions and procedures. They are taught their own rights and responsibilities, and those of groups and governments under the code of law and systems of justice.

NSW public schools teach the value of:

  • Australia’s democratic institutions and procedures
  • the rights and obligations of governments, individuals and groups under the rule of law
  • the contributions of Indigenous people to Australia, and their history and struggles as our country’s first custodians
  • the beauty and uniqueness of Australia’s landscapes and environments
  • the histories and cultures of all Australians
  • the role of migration in building Australia’s place in the world
  • the interdependence of human beings with each other and with the natural world

Values for Australia’s future

These values help each NSW public school student to take full advantage of new ideas and knowledge which characterise the social and economic environment emerging in Australia, and in the world community.

In conjunction with an excellent general and vocational education, this code of values enables young Australians educated in NSW public schools to freely choose and enjoy their paths through adult life, to master the complexity and variety of the contemporary world, and to contribute as citizens to making Australia a better, more prosperous and happier place.

Perhaps the PM regards some of these as “excessive political correctness”? There are probably some values there the PM would have a problem with — but that is his problem, and ours in having a neanderthal for a Prime Minister. I can understand someone who hasn’t had an original or really broad-minded thought in the past forty years thinking that way, just as I can find it quite remarkable that a man whose prime value is how to hang onto power, stifle debate, and lie to the Australian people whenever it seems necessary to achieve his goals is suddenly the mouthpiece for “Australian values.”

Am I being disrespectful?

Bloody oath I am.

I have no respect for John Winston Howard, none at all.

Meanwhile any bigots or loonies who wants to gather half-a-dozen kids together to start a “school” advocating, say, “flat-earthism” as a parental value, are sure to get their hands on government cash these days.

Roll on the election!