In recent months I’ve found myself pulling up in traffic queues to find the car suddenly filled with low-frequency thumping of the kind I’d normally associate with a failed big-end bearing. Every time it’s been the car ahead of me, which has its stereo blasting away for the benefit of everybody in a wide radius. … More Car stereo systems and gorilla chest thumping
I am often puzzled by the idea that – in this enlightened day and age – people with cognitive differences such as dyslexia are properly considered and catered for. Actually, it’s not really happening. As the latest example, cheques are being taken out of use in New Zealand. I guess it had to happen one … More Cognitive issues in a digital world
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
How do you want to be remembered? It’s a pertinent question as our current civilisation apparently enters its end times and the focus turns to the way each of us responds to the growing collapse. But it’s also apt, I think, at any time. Historically, the way famous people are remembered flows from a mix … More How do you want to be remembered?
A good deal of what I’ve been seeing of late on social media – but also in mainstream journalism – revolves around the notion that the Covid-19 pandemic will be the trigger for a shift away from the neo-liberalism that has characterised leading western economic policies since the early 1980s. That might be right. Back … More Has neo-liberalism reached use-by date? Ayn Rand and the failure of philosophy
Social media, of late, has been abuzz with the expectation that one golden lining to the Covid-19 crisis will be a change of world paradigm. A shift away from the neo-liberalism that has fuelled the growth and wealth of corporates at the expense of those who actually produce the wealth, the labourers at the bottom … More Will the pandemic show us the way to the future?
I am beginning to wonder whether the real nature of humanity is not care or nurture, but psychotic violence. It’s not just the relentless streams of the latter that flow past me in the news. It’s something I discovered directly, the other week. I was in my home town of Napier, taking a photo of … More Are humans really just violent, psychotic apes?
The idea of a political spectrum defined by ‘left’ and ‘right’ wing views has been around ever since September 1789, when they were invented. The revolutionaries had set up a National Assembly – meeting initially in a tennis court – which they declared indissoluble until they had resolved their issues with the King Louis XVI. … More What do we mean by ‘left’ and ‘right’?
One of the funniest – yet unintentional – ironies I’ve heard of in recent years was the time a local ‘peace action group’ were charged with possession of unlicensed firearms. That’s right. A ‘peace’ group apparently felt justified in illegally having weapons. Apparently, in order to stop violence and promote peace, you have to fight … More When ideologues are blind to their own hypocrisy
These days, it seems, some people only read headlines before reacting. I suppose it always happened, but social media means the response is right there for everybody to see. Sometimes they get entirely the wrong end of the stick. A while back I published a piece on the early 1950s sex scandal at the Elbe … More It’s annoying when people comment without reading the substance