Sunday, November 05, 2023 | RECENT NOTES

Goodbye Buffy, Hello Bev

A Canadian documentary has unveiled evidence – including official documents and family interviews – that it says suggests singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie, widely celebrated as an indigenous icon, was born in Massachusetts to a white couple.

This whole business saddens me, not least because it seems much more complicated than mere appropriation.


Vegemite turns 100

Vegemite has turned now officially existed in the world for one hundred years.

The Guardian has a celebratory article, with some historical tidbits.


Wednesday, February 14, 2024 | THE TIME OF DAY


Wednesday, October 08, 2014 | ESSAYS

Zurker’s short unhappy life: an interview

This is an edited version of an email interview that I did about Zurker, a “Facebook replacement” that was founded by Nick Oba.

Zurker had an in-site virtual currency which was supposed to make members wealthy as the site grew, and many people began to suspect that it was a ponzi scheme. Nick Oba could never convincingly explain how the value of the “zen” was determined, and how new zen could be created without devaluing the existing “currency”. The site closed very suddenly in strange circumstances in 2012.

Two years later I discussed what I had learned from participating in Zurker’s short but not dull life.