October 27, 2017

Editor’s Note

Editor’s Note November 2017

By Nick Feik

The November issue of the Monthly looks a little different.

In fact, the magazine has been given a full redesign – the first one in its 12-year history – from the masthead right through to the final page number.

Our design partners, Public Office, have created a layout that is spacious and vibrant. Most importantly, it reads beautifully. Their typesetting is astute, and they have also called on the service of the Dinamo type foundry in Basel, Switzerland, to create our very own unique font.

Pick up a copy; you’ll find some great new writing and journalism. This month, Jim Chalmers and Andrew Charlton set their minds to the impact of automation and robotisation on prospects for human workers. In fact, the theme of technology runs through two of the essays this issue, bringing both much-needed context and new arguments. The general discussion about technology so often sticks only to the basic binary positions: technology is a kind of utopia vs technology will steal our jobs and make humans superfluous.

We often seem blind in the face of technological change, or rendered mute by its apparently overwhelming nature. But has the pace of change really been so great and disruptive, asks James Boyce, or has our thinking simply been colonised by the tech boosters and billionaires?

“Broadly similar historical narratives have been told by the powerful beneficiaries of every disruptive technological change,” he writes. “One doesn’t need to question the sincerity of the storyteller or to point out that their histories invariably justify the necessity to put away the old and embrace the new. The common theme is the omnipotence and ultimate beneficence of the technological revolution underway.” Be wary, he says.

In our minor way we have embraced change in the new issue, but readers can be assured that none of the changes have been undertaken lightly or thoughtlessly. Some change is good.

Nick Feik

Nick Feik is the editor of The Monthly.

@nickfeik

From the front page

Image of Australian Bicentenary protest, Sydney, NSW, 1988

The stunted country

There can be no republic without constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians

Image of former NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian in September. Image © Dan Himbrechts / AAP Images

Gladys for Warringah?

In attempting to take down an independent MP, Morrison is helping pro-integrity candidates across the country

Image of Oscar Isaac as William Tell in The Card Counter. Photograph © Focus Features

Debt burden: Paul Schrader’s ‘The Card Counter’

The acclaimed writer-director indulges his experimental streak in a thriller that inverts the popular conception of the gambling man

Still from ‘No Time To Die’

The Bond market: ‘Dune’ and ‘No Time To Die’

Blockbuster season begins with a middling 007 and a must-see sci-fi epic

Online exclusives

Image of Oscar Isaac as William Tell in The Card Counter. Photograph © Focus Features

Debt burden: Paul Schrader’s ‘The Card Counter’

The acclaimed writer-director indulges his experimental streak in a thriller that inverts the popular conception of the gambling man

Image of The Beatles and Yoko Ono during the ‘Let It Be’ sessions. Image © Apple Records / Disney+

‘Get Back’ is ‘slow TV’ for Beatles nuts

Despite plenty of magical moments, Peter Jackson’s eight-hour epic is the work of a fanatic, and will likely only be watched in full by other fanatics

Image of John Wilson in How To with John Wilson. Image courtesy of HBO / Binge

Candid camera: ‘How To with John Wilson’

Both delightfully droll and genuinely moving, John Wilson’s idiosyncratic documentary series is this month’s streaming standout

Image of Clint Eastwood in Cry Macho. Image © Claire Folger / Warner Bros.

Slow motions: Clint Eastwood’s ‘Cry Macho’

Despite patient filmmaking, the 91-year-old director’s elegiac feature is unable to escape the legend of the man