March 7th 2009

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: Behind Malcolm Turnbull's pitch for green votes

CANBERRA OBSERVED: The Costello question that refuses to go away

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: China's spending spree: our sovereignty at risk

GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS: Targeted spending needed to promote Australian jobs

NEW ZEALAND: Kiwibank goes from strength to strength

QUEENSLAND: Premier Bligh calls snap election

PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY: Shooting the messenger undermines democracy

HEALTH: Labor's campaign against doctors' private practices

UNITED STATES: The nightmarish cabinet of President Obama

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: UN whitewash of China human rights abuses

GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM: What to do with Guantánamo detainees?

SPECIAL FEATURE: The agnostic who took on Darwin and Dawkins

MARRIAGE AND FAMILY: Sexual suicide of Western society

AS THE WORLD TURNS: Social websites harm children's brains - top neuroscientist / Conspiracy theory? / 'Right to die' can become a 'duty to die'

Euthanasia and dementia sufferers (letter)

Wilson Tuckey I (letter)

Wilson Tuckey II (letter)

CINEMA: Stylised miniature of feminist mythology - Revolutionary Road

BOOKS: ATTILA THE HUN: Barbarian Terror and the Fall of the Roman Empire, by Christopher Kelly

Books promotion page

Social websites harm children's brains - top neuroscientist / Conspiracy theory? / 'Right to die' can become a 'duty to die'

News Weekly, March 7, 2009
Social websites harm children's brains - top neuroscientist

Social networking websites are causing alarming changes in the brains of young users, an eminent scientist has warned.

Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Bebo are said to shorten attention spans, encourage instant gratification and make young people more self-centred.

But while the sites are popular - and extremely profitable - a growing number of psychologists and neuroscientists believe they may be doing more harm than good.

Baroness Susan Greenfield, an Oxford University neuroscientist and director of the Royal Institution, believes repeated exposure could effectively "rewire" the brain.

Computer games and fast-paced TV shows were also a factor, she said.

"We know how small babies need constant reassurance that they exist," she said.

"My fear is that these technologies are infantilising the brain into the state of small children who are attracted by buzzing noises and bright lights, who have a small attention span and who live for the moment.

"I often wonder whether real conversation in real time may eventually give way to these sanitised and easier screen dialogues."

Educational psychologist Jane Healy believes children should be kept away from computer games until they are seven. Most games only trigger the "flight or fight" region of the brain, rather than the vital areas responsible for reasoning.

- from David Derbyshire, "Social websites damage children's brains", Daily Mail (UK), February 23, 2009.

Conspiracy theory?

If I were a conspiracy buff, I'd think that the entire (feminist) movement was engineered by men. After all, look at what's happened to women in the past 40 years?

• Women are more promiscuous;

• Skanky clothing is now regulation;

• A-list actresses perform like porno stars in films and get nominated for Oscars;

• Ageing actresses hitting the big 40 feel required to pose nude on magazine covers to prove they're still attractive;

• Men no longer have to worry about shotgun weddings as women have no scruples about terminating their unborn children;

• Mad scientists have more embryonic stem-cells to tinker around with in their scheme to complete Frankenstein's experiments and imitate God.

- from Alicia Colon, "Modern feminists and their folly", American Thinker, February 15, 2009.

"Right to die" can become a "duty to die"

When a scared and depressed patient asks for poison pills and their doctor's response is to pull out the lethal prescription pad, it confirms the patient's worst fears - that they are a burden, that they are less worth loving.

Hospices are geared to address such concerns. But effective hospice care is undermined when a badly needed mental health intervention is easily avoided via a state-sanctioned, physician-prescribed overdose of lethal pills.

- from Wesley Smith, "'Right to die' can become a 'duty to die'", The Telegraph (UK), February 21, 2009.

All you need to know about
the wider impact of transgenderism on society.
TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99

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