A while back I went for a walk down Lambton Quay, Wellington’s ‘golden mile’ of retail shopping. It was swathed in stale cigarette smoke and the noxious sick-sweet smell of ‘vapers’. You know, the idiots who get their nicotine through ‘e-cigarettes’ and blow out vast clouds of sugary steam for others to choke on along the … More A counterblast to vapers
Figures released by Symantec indicate that in July 2017, 55.7 percent of all emails sent were spam. More than half. Ouch. Luckily the spam filters are fairly effective. But if you add to it the way that automated bot-diallers are spraying junk calls around both landline and cellphone networks, other bots write comments for those … More Is the internet being spammed into uselessness?
Back when I was at primary school one of the many risks kids faced was being seen near other kids who drew the attention of a teacher and were punished. The thing was that anybody in the area was – by definition – part of the group and would be scooped up and also punished. … More Why ‘online profiling’ is so dangerous
I can’t help thinking that the western world (at least) is approaching a general social crisis. Perhaps even rolling to the end of one of its grand historical cycles. When I say ‘social crisis’, I don’t mean anything pre-destined or inevitable. Nor are grand historical cycles automatic. The way I see it is this. Societies … More The coming general social crisis of the twenty first century
Albert Einstein once explained that nuclear weapons changed everything – except the way we think. He was right, of course. That worries me. There’s been a lot of talk about rogue-state nuclear weapons of late. A war using such appalling devices seems a real possibility – more so than during the dark days of the … More Einstein’s warning – and why even a small nuclear war could destroy humanity
New Zealand has one of the highest rates of asthma in the world, and a good deal of research has been done locally to find out why. Recently it appeared that tests run on asthmatics and non-asthmatics show much the same response to specific inflammatory markers, therefore asthma can’t be due to allergy and must … More New Zealand’s asthma rates and immune system problems aren’t ‘psychological’
I spotted some protestors a while back in central Wellington. “Aha,” I said to myself, “the people’s revolution is happening a century too late.” But it wasn’t. It was a group of public servants wanting a pay rise. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the western world was riven by upheaval; the radical … More The illusions of revolution – how Karl Marx misled historians…and the world…