Alex Tighe

Alex Tighe is a writer and editor, and the winner of the University of Sydney’s 2018 Wentworth Medal essay prize. In 2019 he was the ABC / Kidney Health Australia’s inaugural Mark Colvin Scholar. He is the current ABR Rising Star for New South Wales.

Alex Tighe reviews 'Net Privacy: How we can be free in an age of surveillance' by Sacha Molitorisz

June–July 2020, no. 422 26 May 2020
Alex Tighe reviews 'Net Privacy: How we can be free in an age of surveillance' by Sacha Molitorisz
Spare a thought for the other existential crises. Remember climate change? Wealth inequality? The rising tide of fascism? Then there’s our newest apocalypse: bad technology. When we look back, the three years from late 2016 to early 2020 will go down as the time the scales fell from our eyes. Maybe the devices we have insinuated into nearly every moment of our lives had their own aims for us al ... (read more)

Alex Tighe reviews 'Stop Being Reasonable' by Eleanor Gordon-Smith

June–July 2019, no. 412 23 May 2019
Alex Tighe reviews 'Stop Being Reasonable' by Eleanor Gordon-Smith
If you’ve somehow avoided listening to podcasts, you will have missed out on the recent explosion of long-form audio storytelling – and I mean it, you’ve really missed out. The show which pioneered the form, This American Life (TAL), pulls a cool four to five million listeners each week, and you don’t get those numbers for nothing. TAL takes ordinary people, tells their stories, and then ... (read more)

Alex Tighe reviews 'Delayed Response: The art of waiting from the ancient to the instant world' by Jason Farman

April 2019, no. 410 18 March 2019
Alex Tighe reviews 'Delayed Response: The art of waiting from the ancient to the instant world' by Jason Farman
‘A book about waiting’ was perhaps a hard sell for Jason Farman to make to his publisher. Waiting, so the consensus goes, sucks. It is the elephant graveyard of time, the dead zone between something and something else. Who would want to spend more time on waiting? It helps to clarify that Delayed Response is not the type of book that presents its topic as life’s panacea (like ‘tidyin ... (read more)

Alex Tighe reviews 'Net Loss: The inner life in the digital age' (Quarterly Essay 72) by Sebastian Smee

January-February 2019, no. 408 10 December 2018
Alex Tighe reviews 'Net Loss: The inner life in the digital age' (Quarterly Essay 72) by Sebastian Smee
You probably own a smartphone. Chances are it’s in your pocket right now, or at least within arm’s reach – don’t pick it up. Fight the habit. Besides, you’ve probably checked it in the last fifteen minutes. If you are an average user, intentionally or not, you will spend three to four hours looking at its screen today. If you did check your phone after the second sentence, then well done ... (read more)

Alex Tighe reviews 'Tinkering: Australians reinvent DIY culture' by Katherine Wilson

January–February 2018, no. 398 27 December 2017
Alex Tighe reviews 'Tinkering: Australians reinvent DIY culture' by Katherine Wilson
What is tinkering? As Katherine Wilson makes clear in Tinkering: Australians reinvent DIY culture, there is an easy answer to that question – but also several complex ones. At the physical level, tinkering is what the protagonists in Wilson’s book do: they convert cars to run on vegetable oil; they build their homes by hand and perfect quince jam. One tinkerer whom Wilson profiles made a peda ... (read more)