New Zealand has a fantastic record of biosecurity. We are the only country in the world to have eliminated microplasma bovis from the cattle population. We eliminated hydatids from the sheep population. We got rid of fireblight from the apples. And recently we also eliminated pea weevil where it had arrived in the Wairarapa. New … More New Zealand’s looming failure to control Covid
As I have learned more about human nature and the way societies work I’ve come to realise that many of the fundamental frameworks wrapping the darker side of humanity are right there in front of us. Often. As just one example, when I was a kid at Nelson Park primary school in Napier, New Zealand, … More Why humans keep failing the moral test
I suppose I should consider myself a beneficiary of the Myers Briggs test: according to its judgement I am the ‘Mastermind’. But I already knew that – I mean, hardly a day passes before I emit an Evil Laugh at the thought of my latest plan to conquer the universe. More to the point is … More How I failed my Myers Briggs test, and other adventures
One of the things I try and do daily is get out of the house around lunchtime for some exercise. As a writer it’s too easy to end up hunched over the computer for hours. A brisk lunchtime walk clears the mental cobwebs. A while back I came home to see a real estate agent’s … More The moral emptiness of real estate agents
I’ve been writing for a US magazine website for a few years now. The other day, one of my articles from it was stolen. I discovered the theft while on the train, idly scrolling the Facebook app on my phone. Somebody who runs a page focused on a suburb of my home town Napier – … More How I dealt with the theft of my intellectual property
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
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
The idea of a political spectrum defined by ‘left’ and ‘right’ wing views has been around ever since September 1789, when they were invented. The revolutionaries had set up a National Assembly – meeting initially in a tennis court – which they declared indissoluble until they had resolved their issues with the King Louis XVI. … More What do we mean by ‘left’ and ‘right’?
I was deeply impressed by last week’s climate change rally – I was in central Wellington, New Zealand, when the local march came past. It was not just for kids; people of all ages were there. And it pointed up the fact that what’s happening today will impact the next generation. And the one after … More What legacy will neo-liberal greed and climate change leave for our kids?
This year there’s a new kid on the block in internet land. Solid. It’s a project devised at MIT by Sir Tim Berner-Lee – yes, THAT Sir Tim Berners-Lee – to enable web users to use the web safely and not have their data appropriated. The web never developed the way Lee envisaged when he … More How the world wide web reveals true human nature