The problem with self-appointed online experts

Something I’ve noticed online of late is the number of people who believe they are experts in fields in which they’re manifestly not qualified. The ones I’ve run into clearly believe themselves to ‘know more’ even than those qualified and professionally working in that territory. On my experience of them, such people don’t want to … More The problem with self-appointed online experts

A word about my handwriting, with apologies to Shakespeare

Back when I was at Napier’s Nelson Park School, a large-ish amount of time ago, I was always picked on by the teachers for writing with the wrong hand. The problem assumed crisis proportions in Standard 3, where kids had to write with fountain pens. Such pens were, of course, essential to a Proper Education … More A word about my handwriting, with apologies to Shakespeare

When ideologues are blind to their own hypocrisy

One of the funniest – yet unintentional – ironies I’ve heard of in recent years was the time a local ‘peace action group’ were charged with possession of unlicensed firearms. That’s right. A ‘peace’ group apparently felt justified in illegally having weapons. Apparently, in order to stop violence and promote peace, you have to fight … More When ideologues are blind to their own hypocrisy

Hard lessons in the unprovoked malice of strangers

As a rule these days, I don’t engage with local enthusiasts who style themselves ‘historians’. It sounds harsh, but my experience of being attacked – out of the blue – by strangers with an interest in the field has been so consistent I’m reluctant to respond. Let me reveal a few experiences of my work, … More Hard lessons in the unprovoked malice of strangers