I am often puzzled by the idea that – in this enlightened day and age – people with cognitive differences such as dyslexia are properly considered and catered for. Actually, it’s not really happening. As the latest example, cheques are being taken out of use in New Zealand. I guess it had to happen one … More Cognitive issues in a digital world
My phone has an annoying habit of doing things by itself. Among other things, it’s made blank Facebook Messenger phone calls to random people on my Facebook friends lists. It frequently mutes itself, meaning I miss calls. And the other day it turned the screen brightness down to almost zero, rendering the phone virtually useless. … More When phones have a mind of their own
It’s Waitangi day today – 181 years since a naval captain, William Hobson, and Maori signed the Treaty of Waitangi on the lawn of James Busby’s house in the Bay of Islands – a place called Waitangi (weeping water). So the British established a Crown Colony in New Zealand. Since then the Treaty has remained … More Waitangi – a living treaty
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
Just now the New Zealand property market has gone into turbo mode. It’s been hot for the past few years. Now it’s gone mad – and this in the middle of the deepest recession the country has seen since the 1930s. The country has long had a tradition of home ownership. Back in the nineteenth … More Why are houses so expensive in New Zealand?
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
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
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
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
This week’s resurgence of Covid-19 in New Zealand – and the very sharp government response – to me underscores the genuine care the Prime Minister shows for the people. In many ways Ardern is the right person at the right time. Just now, New Zealand – like the rest of the world – is amidst … More Why the New Zealand 2020 election is its most important since 1935
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