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Sometimes it’s about you

By johnboy - 10 June 2009 72

The Canberra Times brings word of the end of an era in Canberra legal matters with Michael Firestone’s epic and voluminous disability complaint against the ANU finally being dismissed.

    Mr Firestone, a former PhD linguistics student, alleged the university discriminated against him when it kicked him out for harassing students and staff and again when it refused to process a job application from him.

    The university’s decision, in April 2003, to exclude Mr Firestone was backed up a month later by Magistrate Maria Doogan, who banned him for one year from the Canberra campus and from contacting university employees.

His stated disability is depression.

It’s the curse of higher learning institutions that those they aggrieve will often turn to the law with peculiar tenacity.

Michael should thank his lucky stars that the ACT Discrimination Tribunal in dismissing his complaint saw fit to not award costs to the ANU and move on with his life.

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72 Responses to
Sometimes it’s about you
phototext 1:46 pm 10 Jun 09

Personally I would place documenting some obscure indigenous language above the following careers which contribute eff all to the advancement of our society in my opinion.

1. Rugby League player.

2. Rugby Union player.

3. AFL player.

4. Politician.

barking toad 1:37 pm 10 Jun 09

Karl Marx was handy for all! Couldn’t even win a lounge suite!

Equating people who actally achieve things to a spotty sad linguist is a stretch.

trilobite 1:23 pm 10 Jun 09

barking toad said :

Yeah, but what does a PhD in linguistics actually produce for the majority of us?

Naff all. If all there is in life is changing washers, fixing cars, etc. Most research disciplines don’t provide any immediate practical effects. So what? Tell Marie Curie, Karl Marx and Isaac Newton to stop messing with the glowing stuff, economics and apples – they’ll never lead to anything.

peterh 1:23 pm 10 Jun 09

Thumper said :

They are cunning, those linguists…

well done thumper. I was waiting for someone to say it.

astrojax 1:14 pm 10 Jun 09

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

You think someone with advanced linguistics knowledge would understand when told to “f*** off”.

unless it was told in an undocumented language…

and ‘toad’ & ‘enlightenment’ in the same sentence? now that’s a job for a trained linguist to disentangle!

Thumper 1:01 pm 10 Jun 09

They are cunning, those linguists…

barking toad 12:54 pm 10 Jun 09

Yeah, but what does a PhD in linguistics actually produce for the majority of us?

Can the bloke fix a leaking tap? Put in a power point, build a deck? Do a tax return? Change a tyre? Give head?

I’ll ask the lads at the pub on Friday night, but I don’t think documenting some obscure indigenous language will be high on the list. Some of them even struggle with Latin.

Sleaz274 12:50 pm 10 Jun 09

1 part Noam Chomsky

1 part Steven Pinker

1 part linguistics

combine, google and become enlightened my dear toad at least for a while

trilobite 11:24 am 10 Jun 09

barking toad said :

What exactly does a PhD in linguists contribute to society?

High-level research that can then be used in computer science. Being able to talk to machines or have them talk back to us. A mixed blessing, I agree… but serious research with a practical spin-off.

We mostly think in language: for the most part, adults can’t think much without words, so there’s something deeper here about human nature.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 11:04 am 10 Jun 09

You think someone with advanced linguistics knowledge would understand when told to “f*** off”.

jakez 10:51 am 10 Jun 09

sepi said :

A PhD in linguistics enables someone to translate and document a previously unknown or undocumented language – in Australia we have plenty of Indigenous languages which are falling into disuse and could be very usefully documented.

Blam!

sepi 10:20 am 10 Jun 09

A PhD in linguistics enables someone to translate and document a previously unknown or undocumented language – in Australia we have plenty of Indigenous languages which are falling into disuse and could be very usefully documented.

Sad that this man fell into obsession about his court case instead of his studies.

G-Fresh 10:03 am 10 Jun 09

Let’s never speak of this again.

Pommy bastard 9:50 am 10 Jun 09

Depression is an illness, not a disability, surely?

barking toad 9:44 am 10 Jun 09

What exactly does a PhD in linguists contribute to society?

These perpetual students are a drain on it.

At least the ANU recognised this one. There’s plenty more on the payroll though.

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