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
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?
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
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
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
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
Whatever happened to TV science shows? I read with a certain sadness that NHNZ Ltd where I spent 16 years is being dissolved and relaunched as NHNZ Worldwide. I have no idea what direction the re-constituted company will take under Dame Julie Christie, but I do have a plea to the new owners: make science … Continue reading Bring back Science TV
“It’s what you fail to imagine that kills you.” Michael Lewis, The Fifth Risk In one of Eddie Izzard’s classic sketches, he satirizes the Church of England in medieval times for being too nice. Instead of torturing unbelievers, the inquisitor offers a choice: Cake or Death. Not surprisingly they choose cake. Why would you choose … Continue reading Sustainability or Death
Whenever there are surveys of human happiness and social well-being, or we look for examples of how to deal successfully with social issues, how best to educate our children, look after our elderly, address mental health and child poverty – almost inevitably we find ourselves being told about what the Scandinavian countries are doing. Why … Continue reading Why we should look to Scandinavia for the future of humanity.
One of the toughest things to deal with after you stop full-time work is how you define yourself and how you describe yourself to people you meet. Previously, your profession or occupation worked as a kind of passport that helped you across the “borders” of human interaction, particularly with new people. Rightly or wrongly, people … Continue reading Who am I? Life and Self after work