Archive for the ‘Greatest Hits’ category

Universities To Blame For Credentialism?

June 10, 2004

It’s all everybody else’s fault:

EMPLOYERS are sick and tired of graduates who cannot function in the workplace, and university funding should be linked to ensuring students complete a graduate skills test, Education Minister Brendan Nelson has warned.

In an interview with The Australian, Dr Nelson has flagged plans to force universities to publish the results of the tests, revealing how many of their graduates are ready to go to work.

Why should universities do the recruiter’s job for them? If your recruiting department is continually hiring people who aren’t capable of the job, perhaps it’s time to take a look in your own backyard.

Do you test people for skills they will need in the job, or do you take a look at their degree and them give them one of those stupid fucking questionaires that ask things like “Describe a time when you had a problem and solved it.” or “Describe what you’d do in a situation if you had a problem with your boss.”

Newsflash, morons: People study up on that shit and regurgitate canned answers. There are plenty of people around who will teach a course on how to pass it. It’s not much of a secret.

The reality is that most university degrees are an absolute waste of time and money, and that employers have nobody but themselves to blame for that. Twenty years of recruiting based on credentials rather than ability have led to the degree factories that churn out graduates with no skills.

Here’s a novel approach that you might like to try out: When recruiting for a position, set the applicant some tasks that reflect some things he or she will actually be doing in the job. You know, like replacing the toner in the printer, or showing the brainless-but-tenured personal assistant how to use the “fill down” feature in Excel. The applicant who does the best at these job-related tasks is going to be the person most suited for the job. Not the one with the most degrees.

The fact is that the emperor of tertiary education has no clothes. Unless you are recruiting an actual accountant or financial analyst, there’s nothing you learn in a 3 year business degree that couldn’t be better learned on-the-job in 2 weeks.

If you insist on recruiting graduates, then you must be prepared for the fact that they are not going to be any more skilled than your average 17 year old school leaver. The only real difference is that you’ll have to pay them more, because they have rather large HECS debts.

The solution is pretty simple, really. Judge applicants on their merits rather than their credentials, and you’ll be more successful. Not to mention that taxpayers would be saved umpteen millions of dollars each year by way of not having to pay for useless degrees.

Rage Against The Taximeter

May 1, 2004

Last Saturday night, on our way from Scarborough to Northbridge, myself and 2 fellow punters lined up at the cab rank on The Esplanade. There were no cabs in sight. There were, however, 2 young Italian looking guys in a tricked up Commodore sitting in the taxi rank.

“Fuck off you cunts! How are the taxis gonna get in?” We politely enquired.

“Where you guys going to?” Asked one of the guys in the car, who for the purpose of this article I will call Tony.

We told them we were going to Northbridge, they said they’d take us there for $10. Good deal, the usual metered fare is $20-25. We got there in record time, in a new, clean car, with the added benefit of a top-shelf CD Stacker pumping out very loud music. Probably the best taxi ride I’ve ever had in Australia, not to mention the cheapest.

Glen Jakovich Is A Fuckwit

April 28, 2004

One of the truisms of football is that Glen Jakovich is not only one of the most overrated players ever to pull on the boots, but also a gigantic crybaby. How he managed to get his contract extended for season 2004 is a mystery to just about everyone, but he’s making the most of his fame while it last, because this time next year his car accessory ads will be his sole source of income.

Martial Law Imminent In WA

February 18, 2004

The weather is a constant 40c and the air is full of moisture. A violent monsoon strikes at 7pm, but is gone a half-hour later. Citizens, sweating in their homes, are commanded by the administrators to operate only those appliances which are necessary for survival. The government threatens those who disobey with hefty punishments.

Suharto’s Indonesia?

Communist Vietnam?

No, fellow travellers. It’s just good old Western Australia, where the black kids have a curfew and air conditioners are BANNED.

Oh, It’s Just Too Good To Be True

February 3, 2004

By day, he’s badly mannered, borderline retarded, leftist blogger Niall Cook. On the weekends, however, he’s racist road rager man!

These four shots are the result of an ignorant, slitty-eyed, slimy little Landcruiser-driving vietnamese prick which tried to squeeze past me on the freeway entry ramp this morning. […]

I’ll teach the ignorant, non-english-speaking immigrant to go around rubbing up against other peoples cars and fucking off without barely a word.

As always, Niall has a perfectly good explanation.


Update: Greatest thread ever? You decide.


and with that, comments are turned off. I find the Australian Blogosphere just way too biased and derogatory, not to mention simply irrational, for me to be wasting my valuable bandwidth on a bunch of weak, spineless ponces who continually hide behind their internet screens. If regular readers have anything worthwhile to say, or wish to carry a logical debate regarding anything I might choose to write about, then the email address is on the left…..where it rightfully belongs. I dare say the Bastards, Murphs, Slatts and Frozen Israelites of this world will continue their tirades, and good luck to them. Blatant displays of social ignorance appear to be their way, but not mine. Have at it, Chaps. Nothing I say will likely slow you down, until you find another mark to occupy your time with.

The real question is: Why did Niall ever have comments turned on the first place? He gets around 15 hits a day, at least 10 of which are myself and fellow RWDBs looking for our daily Niall fix. Now that he’s turned comments off, we’ll be forced to take the piss out of him on our own blogs instead!

Oh, the humanity! The blogosphere will never be the same.

QANTAS: It’s Australian For SHIT

December 9, 2003

This Post Has Moved:

What Does The Public Need?

November 10, 2003

As one drunk blogger said to another on Saturday night: The WA Liquor industry is an absolute fucking disgrace.

I’ve done a fair bit of travelling in my time, and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that I’ve attempted to drink a beer or two in every city I have visited in the world. Out of all the cities I’ve gone out in, Perth’s pubs are, if not the worst in the world, then pretty bloody close to it.

The reason is pretty simple: Draconian licensing laws, and a ridiculously powerful special interest group that will do absolutely anything to preserve their unnatural monopoly.

The real key to shittiness of Perth nightlife is to be found in a tiny sentence in section 38 of the WA Liquor Licensing act known as the “Public Needs Test“:

In the case of an an application for the grant of a category A licence (Hotel, Tavern, Hotel Restricted, Liquor Store, Cabaret and Special Facility licence), the applicant has to demonstrate that the licence is needed in order to provide for the reasonable requirements of the public.

Hotel, Tavern, and “Cabaret” Apply to anything that can reasonably be called a pub or nightclub. The only organisations exempt from the test are restaurants (which may only serve alcohol when the kitchen is open) and sporting clubs.

As is pretty apparent from the wording of this test, the legislation can be read as “No new licences in already serviced areas, ever.” You can’t even attempt to open a pub or club in Northbridge or Fremantle – the “public need” is already served by the many licences already in operation there.

Who needs a free market for this sort of thing anyway? We know what the public needs, and they’ve already got it. What the public needs is $7 pints and dress codes in suburban dive bars. What the public needs is a market that so closely resembles a monopoly, punters have devised their own rosters for bar visitation – most of them left over from a time when Pubs were legally allowed to engage in customer seeking tactics such as the long-forgotten “Happy Hour”, “Ladies Night” and “Drink Specials”.

Those of you reading from other states: You aren’t seeing things, Happy hours and Drink Specials are a thing of the past in Perth. Why have a special? It’s not like the punters can go anywhere else. Dress Code? Hell, why not. Either they dress up or they stay home. No skin off our nose. Don’t like your haircut? FUCK OFF MATE, you’re “too pissed”. We don’t need your money, there’ll be a line down the block for the next 3 hours.

Owning a liquor licence in Perth is a licence to print money. It’s no great the surprise that the AHA of WA is extremely happy the situation.

The reforms first proposed by the Court government (allowing liquor stores to trade sundays, removing the “Public Needs” test, and letting restaurants keep the bar open after the kitchen is closed) are STILL waiting to be put to Parliament, where they will be undoubtedly rejected by the greens on some sort of “social conscience” platform. The AHA of course, is quite keen on any of the measures that will let them sell more grog, as long as nobody ELSE gets to sell grog. This is known as “Harm minimisation” in the liquor industry, and “restraint of trade” elsewhere.

I’ll elaborate on this absolute farce of a system in a subsequent post. Until then, remember: If someone spills their beer on you, you were BOTH drunk!

Sam’s Study Tips

October 8, 2003

Here’s a useful tip that I have worked out, for any of you who may be studying subjects that allow you to submit work via E-Mail.

The way these kind of things usually work, is that they have an automated e-mailbox that tags any emails that arrive before the deadline. Submit after that and your work won’t be accepted.

But what if you are snowed under with work and can’t make the deadline? What if you are like me, and decided to start your assignment an hour before the deadline, only to discover that it would take about 6 hours?

Here’s what you do.

Go into your windows/system folder, and find a binary file (.bin) about 60-100k in size. This is about the average size of a Microsoft word document. For the purpose of this experiment, I used unicode.bin, but any binary file will work fine.

Right click the file so the menu comes up and click copy. Go to your desktop and paste it there. You now have a working copy of some windows file that does god knows what.

We don’t care what it does. We care what it doesn’t do. And what it doesn’t do is make any sense at all when opened in Microsoft Word.

Click on your file’s name, and change it to something snappy like “Assignment1.doc”. The .doc is important, because you can now pretend it’s a Microsoft Word file. You will need to have filename extensions visible to do this. If you don’t, it will be called “Assignment1.doc.bin” and the gig will probably be up.

You can now try opening your file by double clicking it. What will happen is either your computer will explode, or Microsoft Word will attempt to open it, and display a mess of gibberish. It’s all good.

Now, submit your assignment like nothing’s wrong!

2-5 days later, depending on when your lecturer checks the emails, they are going to find your assignment, submitted on time and all in order. Oh, but wait, what’s this? The poor dear has somehow buggered it up. I had better give him a chance to hand it in…After all, it’s not his fault that he’s stupid, most of the kids are this semester:

Hi there Sam,

Unfortunately the attachment which contains your assignment below is scrambled.

Please re-submit ASAP in standard Microsoft Word format or you can fax it to me on


(name deleted)

There you go! 7 Day extension on assignment, no questions asked!

All that remains is to actually do your assignment and submit it properly this time. To keep the ruse ultra-tight, I might take the understanding prof up on his offer to fax it. That way he’ll continue to assume I’m a computer illiterate moron, and I’ll continue to assume the same about him.

That’s all for today. Class Dismissed.

Kournikova Officially Hot: Den Beste

September 18, 2003

Steven Den Beste has posted one of his trademark epic essays, this time on the subject of Anna Kournikova. The conclusion: Anna could probably be better at tennis if she wanted, but there’s more money in being a super-hot “good” tennis player than hatchet faced man-impersonating “great” tennis player.

A tangential discussion on the differing body types necessary to excel in certain sports gives this observation:

Every sport favors certain physical characteristics, and that tends to be reflected in the body shapes of the people who are best at it.

Of all the major sports, the one which seems to have the most balanced requirements is baseball, and that’s demonstrated by the very broad range of physical characteristics of the men who play it professionally, especially those who excel. I don’t know of any sport where there’s as much variation in height and weight, for example, and when you meet a baseball player, unlike most other sports professionals he generally looks like a man who is optimally developed without being freakish.

Obviously, being an evil yankee imperialist, Steven is probably unfamiliar with Australian Rules Football, which is probably the most obvious example of a sport which is not dominated by any particular body type. Cricket is another example, but is a much less physical endeavour, so I’ll stick to footy for now.

The presence of so many unrelated skills in Aussie Rules – kicking, sprinting, high marking, athletic endurance, tackling and even ruck-tapping means that it is almost impossible for any body type to excel at all the disciplines. This is why, even after many years of application of modern coaching techniques and biomechanic analysis, you still have a huge range of body types in any given team.

You’ve got the fast, lean, skillful types who would be quite at home on a soccer field – A low centre of gravity and small turning circle are a feature of this type of player. Gavin Wanganeen is a good example.

Alongside them, you’ve got the barrel-chested upper-body dominant key position players, many of whom would pass for rugby players if they’d had enough beers at the pub. Brute strength is their key. Glenn Archer, Jason Cloke, Leigh Brown.

Then you’ve got the dinosaurs of the ilk of Aaron Sandilands and Spider Everitt. Predominantly used in the ruck, but also found frequently as key forwards, there aren’t many contact sports where a bloke over 6’9″ could make a big impact. Port Adelaide’s Dean Brogan once played in the national basketball league, and ex-Adelaide star Sean Rehn was a dead ringer for Aussie fast bowler Bruce Reid, but in America, they’d be pretty stuffed.

There’s even a place in the AFL for pure athletes. Hawthorn’s Shane Crawford isn’t a standout player in any major discipline, although he’s a good all-rounder. What makes him great is his capacity for running long distance at near-top pace.

Then again, there are a reasonable number of players running around who aren’t blessed with any athletic greatness at all. Brett Ratten, Dean Rioli, Paul Hasleby and the like, who still manage to dominate games primarily by being experts at reading the play and the fall of the ball.

No one player really comes close to mastering all the athletic disciplines, and that’s the beauty of the game. I’ve always thought that Aussie Rules’ primary attraction came from the fact that anyone can play, even goal-hungry mop-headed freakazoids like Paul Medhurst.

Parents, especially in the US, are catching onto the fact that it’s unlikely their kids will grow up to be NBA or NFL stars, simply because of the tyranny of genetics. Increasingly, they are sending them to play soccer at a young age in the hope that their skills won’t be overshadowed by the physical attributes of rival kids. It’s a fine plan if your kid turns out to be a 5’8″ Mr average, but what if he grows into Matthew Burton or, god forbid, Rene Kink? It’s too late to switch when you’re 15 if you want to make to the big time.

The AFL seems to have no problem appealing to parents in terms of trying to cut down on biffo, and taking a dim view of those players who get a skinful or have a ciggie. There’s precious little to be heard about AFL’s advantages, though.

The most lucrative potential markets in Japan and the US are already being rapidly taken over by soccer, despite the presence of a strong AFL following among both expats and natives in those countries. If Steven Den Beste, the man who knows almost everything, isn’t aware of Aussie Rules, then I think it’s fair to say that they aren’t really serious about promoting the game overseas.

It’s time they did.

A purely local market is increasingly looking poor on a global scale. What kid (or more accurately, parent) wouldn’t be convinced by a $50 million a year soccer contract? By comparison, the top AFL players are still earning less than $1 million a year. The game’s survival depends on pushing it overseas, and I’m sorry, but Ireland isn’t going to cut it. Lift your game!

Update: US Readers who want to know more about Australian Rules Football, check out the website of the Australian Football Association of North America (AFANA).

Derby Round-Up

September 1, 2003

116843al.jpgIf you thought I had nothing to say about the greatest football game ever played in Western Australia, you were sadly mistaken. Likewise, if you thought I was far too mature and sensible to engage in cheap triumphalism at the expense of the soft, chardonnay + shandy drinking metrosexuals that are sometimes referred to as the “West Coast Eagles”, then you’re obviously a first time reader of this site. Welcome!