| Although we love the idea of choice - our culture almost worships it - we seek refuge in the familiar and the comfortable.
| Is it possible that literacy standards are falling because young Australians are growing up in a culture in which they can be entertained and informed, and in which they can communicate effectively, without having to master any but the most rudimentary literacy skills?
| Universal literacy was a 20th-century goal. Before then, reading and writing were skills largely confined to a small, highly educated class of professional people.
| I wish we didn't have to own up to a policy deliberately designed to inflict suffering on people who have already been traumatised in the countries from which they've fled.
| Indeed, in the present climate of mistrust of institutions, many people who yearn for a more meaningful and fulfilling life would regard the church as an unlikely place to go for guidance.
| No one welcomes chaos, but why crave stability and predictability?
| A strangely reflective, even melancholy day. Is that because, unlike our cousins in the northern hemisphere, Easter is not associated with the energy and vitality of spring but with the more subdued spirit of autumn?
| Some researchers sensibly suggest that rather than worrying too much about which programs our children are watching, we should concentrate on trying to reduce the total amount of time they spend in front of the screen.
| On average, Australians watch more than three hours of television a day, compared with 12 minutes a day spent by the average couple talking to each other.
| Obviously, every child should be given the best possible opportunity to acquire literacy skills.
| Still, most of those effects occur in the context of harmless play and it is patently obvious that children are not normally turned into aggressive little monsters by TV or video games, since most children do not become aggressive little monsters.
| Even more worrying is the violence we do to our personal relationships when we let media consume time we might otherwise spend with each other.
| Perhaps it's the people whose lives have taken sudden new twists - people who have learned to embrace the creative possibilities of change - who stand the best chance of penetrating life's mysteries.
| It's Australian to do such things because, however uncivilised they may seem, it's human to do them.
| But many researchers operate as if it is their responsibility to demonstrate that video violence has a direct effect on the behaviour of young children, because that will help to explain why society is becoming more violent.
| The underlying message of the Lancet article is that if you want to understand aggressive behaviour in children, look to the social and emotional environment in which they are growing up, and the values they bring to the viewing experience.
| One reason we resist making deliberate choices is that choice equals change and most of us, feeling the world is unpredictable enough, try to minimise the trauma of change in our personal lives.
| Frankly, I'm more worried about the violence we do to ourselves and our children by allowing the media to create an expectation of instant gratification.
| Actually, I can't imagine anything more tedious than a perfect person, especially if it was someone who also demanded perfection from me.
| Reading is a huge effort for many people, a bore for others, and, believe it or not, many people prefer watching TV.