The social media dilemma and its consequences

I watched ‘The Social Dilemma’ a few days ago, the Netflix semi-dramatised documentary exposing the business model behind social media, and what it’s doing to world society. I wasn’t surprised; the social outcomes have been clear for a while. The ‘confirmation bubbles’ to which social media reduces people are a function of the way in … More The social media dilemma and its consequences

Recapturing the dream – memories of Apollo and a wonderful future

It’s 51 years this coming week since Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon. Just over half a century since the most stunning achievement in the history of the world. Think about it this way. Life has existed on Earth for around three billion years. For most of that time it was little more than single-celled … More Recapturing the dream – memories of Apollo and a wonderful future

When a joke about the moon hoax is taken too seriously

There’s an old joke about the Moon landing hoax conspiracy. You know: “Sure it was a hoax, but they got Stanley Kubrick to direct and he insisted that they had to be on location.” I thought everybody knew that one. It’s an oldie but a goodie that suitably lampoons the lunatic fringe who imagine the … More When a joke about the moon hoax is taken too seriously

If it’s free, you’re the product – again

As the twenty-first century approaches its third decade I am deeply worried about the nature of how social media is served to us. It didn’t really exist twenty years ago when everybody was worried about the ‘millennium bug’ destroying everything. Today it’s engaged by a really significant chunk of every human alive on the planet, … More If it’s free, you’re the product – again

Why do people fight each other over nothing?

A few weeks ago there was a rather nasty and violent incident in Queenstown, one of New Zealand’s main tourist traps, involving two groups of passers-by on the street. Something happened, a brawl broke out, and at least two people were stabbed. Apparently it came out of absolutely nowhere. And this sort of thing seems … More Why do people fight each other over nothing?

The Facebook data scandal is the thin end of a very scary wedge

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

Why it’s so hard for writers to be discovered in the online world

Ever wondered why you don’t get as much traffic as you’d like on your blog? Or why your book’s vanished without a trace of sales on Amazon? I did some checking. In this wired world, the web is one crowded place. Every second, people put: 23 posts on WordPress 463 posts on Tumblr 5700 tweets on … More Why it’s so hard for writers to be discovered in the online world