The American Psychiatric Association recently called for study into a condition they call ‘Internet Gaming Disorder’. My gripe? However much it’s been intellectualised, ‘psychiatry’ is not a science because its diagnoses depend on personal opinion, not on testable (technically, ‘falsifiable’) empirical criteria. Where somebody is obviously in trouble, that’s not a problem. But for normal people who end up… More Is the APA’s ‘internet gaming disorder’ really a fair label for ordinary gamers?
I was presented the other day with a slightly disturbing story about an academic (has PhD, works at a university) whose day reportedly begins by slothing out of bed around 11.00 am and ambling to the nearest fried chicken joint, swiftly ingesting 7896 of the 2000 calories a normal adult needs in a day, along with triple the allowance of salt… More Has fast food made us lazy cooks? You decide…
Human inventiveness seems limitless these days, so I wasn’t surprised to discover the other week that food technologists have been experimenting with 3d printed meat – currently produced, at astronomical expense, in the shape of chips. Artificial food has been a long-standing SF staple – brilliantly played by Arthur C. Clarke in his hilarious 1961 satire… More 3D printed steak chips? It’s enough to make me go all hippy and vegetarian…
Another iconic building in my home town, Napier, New Zealand, bit the dust a while back. The Williams building – 103 years old – survived both the devastating 1931 earthquake and fire that followed. Now it’s gone down before the wrecking ball. And a good thing too. You see, it apparently only met 5 percent of the… More When ethics overcome history
I have a small gripe. Vandals keep tagging a power pole just along from where I live. Marking territory, animal-fashion. It happens every few weeks. The local council always has it painted out within the day; but it highlights what, for me, is one of the saddest sides of the human moral compass. Vandalism. If somebody has… More Is vandalism part of the human condition?
I am always astonished at the limitless capacity humanity has for intellectualising itself away from care and kindness. Many years ago, when I was at school, there was a coat cupboard at the back of the classroom. Next to the cupboard was a trestle table on which had been set a class construction project. The bell went.… More What ever became of all the good in the world?
How long is ‘now’ – you know, the evanescent moment we live in and usually let past without properly experiencing it. Now, like time itself, is largely seen as a philosophical issue; a personal perception that stretches or shrinks depending on what we are doing. For a kid, an hour spent in a classroom listening to the teacher… More How long is the ‘now’ moment we live in?