One of the things I try and do daily is get out of the house around lunchtime for some exercise. As a writer it’s too easy to end up hunched over the computer for hours. A brisk lunchtime walk clears the mental cobwebs. A while back I came home to see a real estate agent’s … More The moral emptiness of real estate agents
When I was a kid, the primary school I went to had a special way of dealing with people who suffered from cognitive issues. The method was simple. If a kid had a cognitive issue, the teacher would relentlessly bash at them. They’d usually begin by demanding the kid explain why they couldn’t get letters … More The burden of having cognitive issues
I am always intrigued with people, particularly the way they can show different aspects of themselves. A while back I was discussing the local writing field with somebody and a third person’s name came up. ‘He’s a really nice guy,’ my friend said. I begged to differ: I knew him only as a stranger who’d … More How we all see different aspects of the same people
Something I’ve noticed lately on social media has slightly puzzled me. It happens to me, and I’m sure it happens to others. I always post links to my blog on Facebook – it’s one of the tools available in WordPress, and why not? The link consists of the first words of the post along with … More Why do people react to headlines alone?
One of the biggest logic traps humans fall into – which I see time and again in all kinds of places – is the false dichotomy fallacy. We are conditioned into it: the idea that the terms of discussion presented to us are the sole terms available. We therefore argue over whether one, or the … More Nature versus nurture: the problems of binary thinking
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
A while back a downtown Auckland tower-block was evacuated after the occupants fell ill with what was first thought to be gas from the air conditioning. It wasn’t. But a dozen people were hospitalised. That evening, more people fell ill and the building was closed. Before a formal investigation reported on the problem, a university … More Why the term ‘it’s psychological’ doesn’t cut it as a real medical diagnosis
I was intrigued by some research I spotted recently which seems to prove that the pen is, indeed, mightier than the sword. Well, it’s mightier than the spoken word, anyway. The research suggested that there’s a specific reason why arguments on Facebook so often degenerate to slagging matches. It’s the same issue lawyers run into … More Perhaps the pen is mightier than the voice
What defines smart? One of my memories from intermediate school, years ago, was the time my class sat a science test. One of the other kids had made it his life’s mission to jeer at me at every opportunity – mindless bully-stuff like ‘you’re an idiot’ by way of greeting – and happened to get … More What defines intelligence?
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?