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
A story caught my eye a while back about a university student who’d just graduated, despite being written off at school as worthless and ridiculed by university lecturers for misspelling. It turned out the student had dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia, which sounds like a nightmare combination. In fact, all are manifestations of one basic issue: … More Why dyslexics get written off by teachers
One of the ways that George Orwell exposed the reality of authoritarian dictatorship in his novel 1984 was through the way his Big Brother authorities twisted the truth. They didn’t just lie in blatantly transparent ways – they demanded that their ‘alternative facts’ be taken as gospel, irrespective of any evidence to the contrary. If … More Orwell’s ‘1984’ and the alternative truth
When I was at primary school in Napier, New Zealand, all the kids – including me – were terrified of a particular teacher, the ‘go to’ disciplinarian who was invoked when other teachers wanted a kid especially punished. This bellowing drill-sergeant of a teacher demanded total submission to his power, even down to punishing kids … More How authoritarian bullies get away with it
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?