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

Disturbing signs of the neo-liberal end game

I keep seeing signs, these days, of corporate moral over-reach. Take direct debits, for example. Has anybody noticed lately how power suppliers, insurance companies, city councils – all of the organisations we have to deal with when paying for normal household services – have switched to direct debits? It’s an insidious shift which has happened … More Disturbing signs of the neo-liberal end game

The most important election in decades

New Zealand’s upcoming election is, without question, one of the most important the country has held in decades. It isn’t just a matter of policies to manoeuvre the country through the churning waters of Covid-19. It’s more fundamental. The neo-liberal paradigm that has essentially been the governmental ‘operating system’ since the 1980s is well past … More The most important election in decades

The social media dilemma and its consequences

I watched ‘The Social Dilemma’ a few days ago, the Netflix semi-dramatised documentary exposing the business model behind social media, and what it’s doing to world society. I wasn’t surprised; the social outcomes have been clear for a while. The ‘confirmation bubbles’ to which social media reduces people are a function of the way in … More The social media dilemma and its consequences

How to understand 2020 – the worst year in living memory

It’s fair to say that 2020 has been the worst year in living memory. The world has, in the span of just a few months, been plunged into one of the most widespread and severe crises since the Second World War. Even the Cuba Crisis of 1962, with all its implication of nuclear armageddon, was … More How to understand 2020 – the worst year in living memory

What it’s like in the fourth best democracy in the world

Back in 2019 New Zealand was listed on the EIU Democracy Index as the fourth best democracy in the world with a score of 9.26. That follows Norway (9.87), Iceland (9.58) and Sweden (9.39). To put that in perspective, the top twenty two countries of the 167 listed are classed as ‘full democracies’. And New … More What it’s like in the fourth best democracy in the world