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
The other week I was confronted in a supermarket by another customer who appeared out of nowhere, boiling with anger and screaming at me to apologise to them. It turned out my trolley had accidentally touched theirs, some time earlier. It happens a lot in supermarkets, but to this customer it was a mortal insult, … More A disturbing lesson about human aggression
There was a time when the apocalypse seemed close. The climate was changing. It was a time of unprecedented storms, when crops failed and the people went hungry. Governments fell before an unprecedented wave of popular change. A mercenary army roamed the lands in the name of religious zeal, destroying all before it and seizing … More When the apocalypse loomed
These days I am left thinking that the flood of ‘fake news’, baseless scare-mongering and other rubbish pouring over and around us from Facebook – and the internet in general – has reduced news to village gossip. Back in the old days – by which I mean less than ten years ago – journalism involved … More Fake news and village gossip – 2017 style
Full beards are in these days, it seems. Especially for those twenty-somethings who cycle past on their designer bikes, sipping designer coffee in a designer take-away cup with one hand while steering with the other. This is the hip way of the future; urbanised, up to the minute, millennial, mobile-enabled. And bearded, if you happen … More Let’s beard like it’s 1849
When I was at Tamatea High School in Napier, years ago, one of the gangs of bullies who prowled the place always greeted me the same way. “Here comes Wright. He must die!” Usually it was posed as a public question: “Hello Wright, do you want to die?” It was a daily event. I wasn’t … More Are humans bullies by nature?
I have been fascinated of late with the way our understanding of human evolution has forged ahead in leaps and bounds. This year alone we’ve discovered that Homo naledi, the previously unknown ‘archaic’ species that was discovered in a South African cave, was still going just 250,000 years ago and – very likely – had … More Re-thinking human evolution… again