"Delivering her maiden speech, Pauline Hanson railed against the ‘reverse racism’ perpetrated by politically correct ‘fat cats’, ‘do-gooders’ and ‘bureaucrats’ against ‘mainstream Australians’. In addition to Aboriginals, whom she claimed were enjoying special privileges over and above all other Australians, Hanson had in her sights those members of what she called the ‘multicultural industries’: Immigration and multiculturalism are issues that this government is trying to address, but for far too long ordinary Australians have been kept out of any debate by the major parties. I and most Australians want our immigration policy radically reviewed and that of multiculturalism abolished. I believe we are in danger of being swamped by Asians. Between 1984 and 1995, 40 per cent of all migrants coming into this country were of Asian origin. They have their own culture and religion, form ghettos and do not assimilate. Of course, I will be called racist, but if I can invite whom I want into my home, then I should have the right to have a say in who comes into my country. A truly multicultural country can never be strong or united. The world is full of failed and tragic examples, ranging from Ireland to Bosnia to Africa and, closer to home, Papua New Guinea. America and Great Britain are currently paying the price."

—  “Don’t go back to where you came from” - Tim Soutphommasane

"

The first began innocuously enough. It was St Patrick’s Day, 1984. In an old cinema theatre in Warrnambool, western Victoria, delegates to a Rotary Club conference gathered to hear prominent historian Geoffrey Blainey. Blainey believed that multiculturalism had cut ‘the crimson thread of kinship’, a reference to Henry Parkes’s famous invocation of British race patriotism. ‘The cult of the immigrant, the emphasis on separateness for ethnic groups, the wooing of Asian and the shunning of Britain’, he concluded, ‘are part of this thread-cutting’.

The second key attack on multiculturalism came in 1988 from then federal opposition leader John Howard. Howard called for a ‘full and open debate on the direction of Australia’s immigration policy’. He did his part by raising questions about whether the levels of Asian immigration to Australia could be absorbed by the Australian population. ‘There are some in the community who are concerned that the pace of change has been too great,’ Howard said. To raise the point was ‘not to be racist but to be realistic’. Howard called for the abolition of multiculturalism as a policy, arguing that it amounted to social fragmentation and to ‘some kind of apology for being Australian’. In its place, Howard proposed a ‘One Australia’ approach that would celebrate ‘an authentic Australian culture’.

"

— “Don’t go back to where you came from” - Tim Soutphommasane

"What held this together was a new understanding of citizenship. Multiculturalism, the National Agenda emphasised, wasn’t a policy whose relevance was confined to ethnic minorities and immigrants – it was a policy for all Australians. Such a view was possible because tolerance and respect for cultural diversity were no longer viewed as demands of cultural pluralism. Rather, as the language of access and equity suggested, they were regarded more fundamentally as demands of civic equality. Multiculturalism would defend ‘the right of all Australians … to express their individual cultural heritage, including their language and religion’. Such freedom came with full membership of the Australian political community, and was accompanied by responsibilities. Any cultural right to express one’s identity and beliefs involved a responsibility to offer ‘an overriding and unifying commitment to Australia’, and to its civic culture: multicultural policies require all Australians to accept the basic structures and principles of Australian society – the Constitution and the rule of law, tolerance and equality, parliamentary democracy, freedom of speech and religion, English as the national language and equality of the sexes."

— “Don’t go back to where you came from” - Tim Soutphommasane

"Could there really be equality of opportunity, Grassby asked, if the cultural identities and heritage of citizens from immigrant backgrounds is ‘denied the dignity of self-expression and self-determination’? There would be grave consequences to ignoring diversity, whether that involved ‘explosive pressures’ or ‘naked repression’. From the outset, we can see that equity and participation were as much concerns for the likes of Grassby and Whitlam – and Trudeau – as any cultural pluralism."

— “Don’t go back to where you came from” - Tim Soutphommasane

"The first official use of the word ‘multicultural’ in August 1973 would signify the arrival of a revolution – not one of the sort identified with coups or wars, but of that species that Donald Horne called ‘revolutions in consciousness’. It came in a speech delivered by Al Grassby, the then Minister for Immigration in the Whitlam Labor government. ‘A multicultural society for the future’, as the speech was titled, offered a contemplation of what Australia would look like by the year 2000."

— “Don’t go back to where you came from” - Tim Soutphommasane

"

The problem is that we’ve allowed ourselves to forget the distinctive qualities of the Australian experience. Critics of multiculturalism construct straw men and wrongly extrapolate from troubles overseas.

If there has been any crisis of Australian multiculturalism, it has been intellectual, one manufactured by critics. Unlike Europe, high unemployment across generations and regular street riots aren’t the characteristic experience of Australian immigrant populations – quite the opposite. After all, it is the sons and daughters of immigrants who dominate enrolments in the law and medicine faculties of our leading universities. Unruly minorities haven’t been the ones responsible for the worst of recent rioting, as the 2005 episode at Cronulla reminds us. Even so, many Australians regard the concept of multiculturalism with suspicion.

"

— “Don’t go back to where you came from” - Tim Soutphommasane

"Not far from Fisher, a young economist named Austin Bradford Hill was growing similarly impatient with the limits of statistics to account for cause and effect in health care. In 1923, for example, Hill received a grant from Britain’s Medical Research Council that sent him to the rural parts of Essex, east of London, to investigate why the area suffered uncommonly high mortality rates among young adults. Hill returned from Essex with an explanation that had little to do with the quality of medical care: the healthiest members of that generation quickly left the country to live in towns and cities. The whole British medical system was built on similarly misleading statistics, and Hill worried that the faulty inferences drawn from them put people’s health at risk. Hill joined the Medical Research Council’s scientific staff and began writing articles in the Lancet explaining to doctors in straightforward language what concepts like mean, median, and mode meant."

— “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

"Emanuel’s concerns are actually quite common among the scientific community: climate scientists are in much broader agreement about some parts of the debate than others. A survey of climate scientists conducted in 2008 found that almost all (94 percent) were agreed that climate change is occurring now, and 84 percent were persuaded that it was the result of human activity. But there was much less agreement about the accuracy of climate computer models. The scientists held mixed views about the ability of these models to predict global temperatures, and generally skeptical ones about their capacity to model other potential effects of climate change. Just 19 percent, for instance, thought they did a good job of modeling what sea-rise levels will look like fifty years hence."

— “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction” - Nate Silver

"Bayes’s theorem is concerned with conditional probability. That is, it tells us the probability that a theory or hypothesis is true if some event has happened. Suppose you are living with a partner and come home from a business trip to discover a strange pair of underwear in your dresser drawer. You will probably ask yourself: what is the probability that your partner is cheating on you? The condition is that you have found the underwear; the hypothesis you are interested in evaluating is the probability that you are being cheated on. Bayes’s theorem, believe it or not, can give you an answer to this sort of question— provided that you know (or are willing to estimate) three quantities: First, you need to estimate the probability of the underwear’s appearing as a condition of the hypothesis being true—that is, you are being cheated upon. Let’s assume for the sake of this problem that you are a woman and your partner is a man, and the underwear in question is a pair of panties. If he’s cheating on you, it’s certainly easy enough to imagine how the panties got there. Then again, even (and perhaps especially) if he is cheating on you, you might expect him to be more careful. Let’s say that the probability of the panties’ appearing, conditional on his cheating on you, is 50 percent. Second, you need to estimate the probability of the underwear’s appearing conditional on the hypothesis being false. If he isn’t cheating, are there some innocent explanations for how they got there? Sure, although not all of them are pleasant (they could be his panties). It could be that his luggage got mixed up. It could be that a platonic female friend of his, whom you trust, stayed over one night. The panties could be a gift to you that he forgot to wrap up. None of these theories is inherently untenable, although some verge on dog-ate-my-homework excuses. Collectively you put their probability at 5 percent. Third and most important, you need what Bayesians call a prior probability (or simply a prior). What is the probability you would have assigned to him cheating on you before you found the underwear? Of course, it might be hard to be entirely objective about this now that the panties have made themselves known. (Ideally, you establish your priors before you start to examine the evidence.) But sometimes, it is possible to estimate a number like this empirically. Studies have found, for instance, that about 4 percent of married partners cheat on their spouses in any given year, so we’ll set that as our prior. If we’ve estimated these values, Bayes’s theorem can then be applied to establish a posterior possibility. This is the number that we’re interested in: how likely is it that we’re being cheated on, given that we’ve found the underwear?"

— “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver

"One of the most basic applications might simply be markets for predicting macroeconomic variables like GDP and unemployment. There are already a variety of direct and indirect ways to bet on things like inflation, interest rates, and commodities prices, but no high-volume market for GDP exists. There could be a captive audience for these markets: common stocks have become more highly correlated with macroeconomic risks in recent years, so they could provide a means of hedging against them. These markets would also provide real-time information to policy makers, essentially serving as continuously updated forecasts of GDP. Adding options to the markets—bets on, say, whether GDP might grow by 5 percent, or decline by 2 percent—would punish overconfident forecasters and yield more reliable estimates of the uncertainties inherent in forecasting the economy."

— “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver

"Instead, economic forecasts are blunt instruments at best, rarely being able to anticipate economic turning points more than a few months in advance. Fairly often, in fact, these forecasts have failed to “predict” recessions even once they were already under way: a majority of economists did not think we were in one when the three most recent recessions, in 1990, 2001, and 2007, were later determined to have begun.
….
In reality, when a group of economists give you their GDP forecast, the true 90 percent prediction interval—based on how these forecasts have actually performed20 and not on how accurate the economists claim them to be—spans about 6.4 points of GDP (equivalent to a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percent).* When you hear on the news that GDP will grow by 2.5 percent next year, that means it could quite easily grow at a spectacular rate of 5.7 percent instead. Or it could fall by 0.7 percent—a fairly serious recession. Economists haven’t been able to do any better than that, and there isn’t much evidence that their forecasts are improving. The old joke about economists’ having called nine out of the last six recessions correctly has some truth to it; one actual statistic is that in the 1990s, economists predicted only 2 of the 60 recessions around the world a year ahead of time."

— “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver

"

Bjelke-Petersen on Medicare:

Mr Speaker,

Throughout history, man has had to cope with many disasters. Some of these disasters have become household names – the Biblical Flood, the eruption of Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii, the Titanic.

Well, as from Friday we can add another monumental disaster that will affect every household in Queensland and the rest of Australia – Medibank.

For that reason, Mr Speaker, I wish to propose that Friday, 1st October, 1976 be designated Bill Hayden Day.

On this day, each year, from now on, as Queenslanders sit down to fill out their tax forms, they will look back and shudder.

They will remember that on Black Friday, like Frankenstein’s Monster, Hayden’s Horror was officially born.

Its pedigree was by socialism out of mismanagement, sponsors Scott and Deeble and its fodder your and my tax funds….

Now that Hayden’s Horror is loose in the land, I remind the Opposition Leader and his mates of how they fought tooth and nail to get Queensland into Medibank.

I remind the leader writers of the Courier-Mail how they thundered that Queensland would suffer unless we joined Medibank.

Well to Mr Burns and his mates and to the leader writers of the Courier-Mail let me say this: “Friday is Medibank Day. It’s your day – share it with a headache.”

"

— “Joh: The Life and Political Adventures of Johannes Bjelke-Petersen”, Hugh Lunn

"There are special needs in Queensland, and many of these arise from the problems of decentralisation. Ten of Australia’s twenty-four most populous cities are in this state, and more people live outside Brisbane in Queensland than live in the whole of South Australia or Western Australia (1,250,000 in 1977). It is true that Western Australia is much more vast, but it’s largely empty. Queensland on the other hand is crisscrossed by roads, railways, and air routes."

— “Joh: The Life and Political Adventures of Johannes Bjelke-Petersen”, Hugh Lunn

"You could see Willie standing on a street corner, sweating through his seersucker suit, with his hair down in his eyes, holding an old enveloped in one hand and a pencil in the other, working out figures to explain what he was squaking about, but folks don’t listen to you when your voice is low and patient and you stop them in the hot sun and make them do arithmetic."

—  “All the King’s Men” – Robert Penn Warren 

"The bank is something else than men. It happens that every man in a bank hates what the bank does, and yet the bank does it. The bank is something more than men, I tell you. It’s the monster. Men made it, but they can’t control it."

— “The Grapes of Wrath” – John Steinbeck