Can humans go feral?

There was a story in the Guardian the other week about a real-life ‘Lord of the Flies’ adventure: six boys, hoping to escape life in Tonga, ended up cast away on a desert island for 18 months in 1966-67. They survived: and they did not become animals. On the contrary, they maintained the values and … More Can humans go feral?

Lockdown backlash – and why it’s not good

The growing backlash worldwide against lockdowns to restrict Covid-19 worries me. Especially because, until a vaccine is available, lockdown is the only effective tool to keep people safe from a virus that continues to surprise us with its potential to harm. I’m a Kiwi where, this week, the Prime Minister – whose leadership during this … More Lockdown backlash – and why it’s not good

Social media and Covid-19 – what it tells us about human nature

A few weeks ago, before Covid-19 had really hit, my Facebook feed began filling up with Useful Advice on How To Avoid It. Almost all of it was rubbish: urban myths, given credence because they were repeated to the point where they had become ubiquitous. My favourite was the one about keeping the mouth and … More Social media and Covid-19 – what it tells us about human nature

The coronavirus outbreak – the economic impact

What worries me about the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak isn’t so much the virus itself. It’s the economic effects of the way people – and societies – have been reacting to it since the outbreak began. Because of the way western economics has gone in the past forty-odd years, what economists call a ‘shock’ can have … More The coronavirus outbreak – the economic impact