There was a headline the other week on the Fairfax news site ‘Stuff’ about a southern New Zealand high school that was forbidding children to wear warm headgear – beanies – despite temperatures dropping into the negatives. Based on the report it appeared to me to be simple power assertion. Beanies weren’t in the uniform, … More When power assertion is disguised by the rules…
Have you ever noticed how buzzwords come and go? They must be among the fastest evolving words in English – and with good reason, given that most of them are vacuous attempts to hide one thing by couching it as another. Back in the 1980s the in-word in New Zealand was ‘corporate’, particularly in government … More Buzzword stupidity – part 3,996,843
There was an incident the other week, here in New Zealand, in which a supermarket customer was reportedly pulled aside by staff and questioned on allegation of prior shoplifting. It turns out the guy was wrongly accused. Apparently the supermarket used surveillance cameras with facial recognition technology, and reportedly mis-identified the customer. Yet curiously, when … More Remember, if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear
One of my pet peeves is the way logic is misused in some social media. It happens a lot, as far as I can tell on the subjective evidence of my Facebook feed. The way it works is like this. Somebody comes up with a postulate about something specific, which they then use to ‘disprove’ … More How social media deceives you with fake logic
It’s funny how things change. These days allergies are well understood as a genuine medical matter, they can affect anybody, and they can also be fatal if we’re not vigilant. What’s more, allergies seem to be getting more prevalent in western society. That’s totally turned around from when I was a kid. Back then, allergies … More Why are allergies becoming an epidemic?
The privacy issues kicked up by the current Facebook data scandal – which reportedly saw $83 billion wiped off its stock value last week – are scary not so much for the specific relevations that triggered it, or for the particular issue itself; but because of the deeper issue underpinning it, one shared by all … More The Facebook data scandal is the thin end of a very scary wedge
Have you ever noticed how, more often than not, pictures of ‘early humans’ in action often show them walking somewhere. And the pop-image of our evolution, unscientific though it actually is, has much the same imagery. Part of that is because there’s empirical evidence that ancestral humans did walk a lot, and various tracks have … More The endless human journey…