Who started democracy in Australia? How did this benefit the Australians?

Blame Canada!

(And thank you, Gareth Jones, for pinging this in my brain.)

Been reading Geoffrey Blainey’s Shorter History of Australia this week. I have serious gaps in my knowledge of Australian history before… oh, before I was born.

Australia in the 1850s had de facto universal male suffrage, which made it one of the most democratic countries in existence. There was a minimum income constraint in place of £10 a week; but once the gold rush drove inflation through the roof, just about every household in the country made that threshold.

As with much of the boon this country enjoys, Australians didn’t fight for democracy; they got lucky. (There’s a reason the book The Lucky Country was titled the way it was.) Britain had learned its lesson from 1776, and learned it even better in Canada, after the Rebellions of 1837. The Report on the Affairs of British North America that Lord Durham drew up in the aftermath recommended giving the colonials (at least, the white colonials) self rule. Britain sat on its hands about the report for a decade, but then set up legislatures in Canada—and in the Australian colonies. Per Wikipedia,

The general conclusions of the report (Report on the Affairs of British North America) that pertained to self-governance were enacted in Australia and New Zealand and other mostly ethnically British colonies. The report became a sort of Magna Carta for representative self-government even for remote places like Saint Helena. The parallel nature of Government organisation in Australia and Canada to this day is an ongoing proof of the long-enduring effects of the report’s recommendations.

As Blainey winks, there was a revolution to gain Australia democracy, after all. The revolution, though, happened in Canada.

What is the right way to say “congratulations” in Greek?

Sofia Mouratidis is right. She’s also right in the formal synonyms, and in one of the informal synonyms.

I’ll add a second informal synonym: συγχαρίκια. Amusingly (to me anyway), the original meaning of συ(γ)χαρίκια is “congratulatory gift”. When you brought someone good news, they were expected to reward you with a synkharikin. In fact, before telling the good news, it became a thing to tease the lucky person with τι θα μου δώσεις για συγχαρίκι, “what’ll you give me as a gift? (for me bringing you the good news)”. As the custom died out, people retained that synkharikin had something to do with good news, and just used the plural as “congratulations!”

But I gotta say, the true colloquial equivalent of “congratulations!” is a simple μπράβο, “bravo!” In Greek, it’s more like “well done! good for you!”

What is the opposite of “eureka” (I found it)? In other words, how should I say “I lost it” in ancient Greek? Modern Greek is something like το έχασα.

Ryan Guthrie’s is the most correct word.

Another word: ἀπώλεσα. I have lost (something), or, quite felicitously, I have destroyed. Which is why Apollyon, Revelation’s Angel of the Abyss, is not The Loser, but The Destroyer.

Not that absurd a connection. That Modern Greek word, έχασα? Comes from *χαώνω < *χαόω. To turn something into chaos.

Is there any etymological relationship between “arche” and “arete”?

Zoef De Haas answered a version of the question involving argē and aretē. OP actually intended archē and aretē; they are still not related.

  • ἀρχή: Verbal noun from ἄρχω ‎(árkhō, “I begin”), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ergʰ- ‎(“to begin, rule, command”), according to Wiktionary.
  • ἀρετή: From Proto-Indo-European *h₂erh₁- ‘plough’ according to Wiktionary; from areskō ‘to like’ or areiōn ‘better’, according to Frisk.

If Stephen Hawking were incredibly racist, would people still call him smart?

Geoffrey Sampson is a very good scholar in Natural Language Processing. One of my .sigs quotes him.

He’s also a UKIP member who got kicked out of the Tories after saying he was an unashamed racialist. Protests at his university wanted him kicked out, saying no person of colour could comfortably sit his classes. And some protesters cast doubt on his academic record.

For me to consider Sampson a good scientist does not mean I endorse “racialism”.

People are complicated. Caravaggio was a thug and a killer; he also was the first man in the West who made painting an art. Ben Carson, by all accounts, really is a brilliant surgeon, who thinks strange things about pyramids.

The notion that politicians, or sportspeople, or teachers should somehow be moral exemplars is absurd to me. It’s not relevant to their job, and it’s not their job. If racism is bad, it’s bad in everybody, the sanitation worker no more or less than the professor. If people have talents and expertise, those are not diminished by their prejudices, even if we consider that their humanity is.

Some would allow a hypothetical Hawking’s racism to call his work into question, just as they did with Sampson. I won’t. I read Sampson’s books to get a grounding in pronoun resolution, not to learn about the hierarchy of the races. Not, in fact, to engage with Sampson as a person at all. And anything valid I learn about pronoun resolution from his books remains valid, whatever his political opinions.