Don Quixote, who cannot tell the difference between illusion and reality, is a story for our times

Don Quixote about to attack windmills which he believes are giants I’ve been reading Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Acclaimed by many as the world’s first novel and one of the world’s top 100 works of literature, the first part was published in 1605, the second in 1615. As well as being enormously … Continue reading Don Quixote, who cannot tell the difference between illusion and reality, is a story for our times

Nineteen Eighty-Four – Now?

My 1969 Penguin Modern Classics edition of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four You know you live in curious times when satire merges with reality, or rather reality begins to assume the form of the world that has been satirised. Increasingly that’s how I feel reading about developments in the United States, Russia, China, India, the UK … Continue reading Nineteen Eighty-Four – Now?

Beware National’s New Caring Face

Christopher Luxon’s first National Party caucus retreat, held in Queenstown was a curious affair. More than curious, it was characterised by strange connections, decisions and utterances. TV One News reported Luxon as saying that “his party should care about people, not just the economy”, that "what we have to demonstrate to the New Zealand people … Continue reading Beware National’s New Caring Face

How Reality TV and the Internet paved the way for populists

A backslide in positive human and social values has paved the way for the rise in populism and populist leaders and this can be sheeted home to Reality TV and the Internet. We vote in the leaders we admire, so we must conclude that many people these days admire leaders that flout social norms and … Continue reading How Reality TV and the Internet paved the way for populists

Pandemic Resilience: Old Ways for a New Future

I’m lucky. Pandemic lockdowns and restrictions don’t actually make much difference to my daily life. My needs are modest. I’m retired, 70+ and spend much of my time at home. I’m physically active, walk or cycle most days, read widely, listen to podcasts and music, “work” on my laptop on volunteer and/or personal projects, communicate … Continue reading Pandemic Resilience: Old Ways for a New Future

IN PLAGUE SIGHT

Lockdowns, closed borders, quarantine facilities, special laws enacted to control behaviour and spread of disease, health boards to manage the pandemic, infected citizens isolated in special facilities, people required to remain in their homes, health passes, protests, business interests lobbying to keep international trade moving, people fleeing cities to avoid disease and restrictions, punishment for … Continue reading IN PLAGUE SIGHT

Hike in the Grose Valley, Blue Mountains April 2019

Prefatory note: I had intended to publish this months ago but it's been a busy old year. Now, with bushfires almost surrounding Sydney and threatening many national parks including parts of the Blue Mountains, it's timely to pay tribute to the stunning and glorious Grose Valley. Hopefully it will survive. So here finally is the … Continue reading Hike in the Grose Valley, Blue Mountains April 2019