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

New Zealand’s parliamentary protest and the lessons of 1848 Europe

The occupation of New Zealand’s Parliament grounds by a disparate group of protesters – ostensibly over the Covid mandates, but representing a multitude of causes and apparently without a single organiser – follows similar occupations in Canada and elsewhere. It’s a disturbing development. Protests usually focus on an issue. They are usually led and organised … More New Zealand’s parliamentary protest and the lessons of 1848 Europe

And so 2022 backs into view, complete with butt-trumpet

Back in January 2021 I published a rather gloomy post speculating that the year would be worse for the world than 2020. It was. By the end of 2021, New Zealand – which had escaped the pandemic until then – was amidst a Delta outbreak and struggling to keep Omicron out. The science was underscored … More And so 2022 backs into view, complete with butt-trumpet

Household cleaning products and their annoyances

Something that annoys me about household cleaning products is that they’re often not labelled ‘cleaners’. It’s usually ‘cleanser’. A one-letter difference that carries a world of advantage for sales. Though to my mind it shouldn’t. My problem is that ‘cleansing’ is also used as a euphemism for genocide. You know – ‘ethnic cleansing’. One of … More Household cleaning products and their annoyances

Remembering the dream in the age of a billionaire space race

It’s 52 years this week since the first moon landing. For all the politics shrouding Apollo, it captured a dream: the idea that humanity could – if it wanted – conquer any challenge, no matter how difficult. And, back in the 1960s, that moon landing was really difficult. That dream faltered, but now there’s a … More Remembering the dream in the age of a billionaire space race