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
I read a while back that a proportion of the photos being taken these days don’t even get looked at afterwards. The advent of the cellphone camera hasn’t just killed the ‘pocket snappy’ camera, it’s thrown us into the age of disposable imagery where photographs are taken and then forgotten. It’s kind of ironic, as … More Why ‘free’ stuff destroys our sense of worth – a lesson from photography
A significant hallmark of an authoritarian government is the way it uses the power of the state to bully people. The spectre was raised a century ago by Franz Kafka, whose unfinished novel The Trial summed up the whole problem. In the story, Kafka’s narrator was arrested and put on trial – all without even … More What Franz Kafka’s ‘The Trial’ tells us about authoritarian bullying