Author Archive

The place of questions

I’ve been up to my ears in the physical universe (in a good way, mostly) and just spent the last few days pulling together the course notes for an annual Market Update event. Really good notes. What stands out for me is the wisdom that experience teaches. I don’t mean to say that in a […]

Out-of-date records, poor systems… are a CLUE!

There’s a very interesting article on Securities Industry News regarding the out-of-date computer systems used to fleece ‘investment strategist’ Bernard Madoff‘s victims. A highly secret, largely undocumented computer trading system was maintained and “used solely to create and maintain an alternate reality of trades never made.” Short-lived Madoff IT project manager Bob McMahon said “I […]

Mobile phone bad, GPS good

NZ lawmakers, after much delay and prevarication, and following leads from Australia, the US and others, have instituted a law banning the use of a hand-held cellphone (by the driver) while driving. From 1 November, it’s illegal to use a mobile phone for calls, text or email/web … even while stopped at traffic lights.* See […]

Whew, touchy little twittersphere, huh?

Tweetness and light as Fry ends Twitter spat Monday Nov 02, 2009 by Tom Peck The Independent Stephen Fry has apologised over a Twitter tiff that saw him threaten to quit the microblogging service. Even by the speedy pace of life in the twittersphere, it was one of the shortest break-ups in history. After being […]

Confucius shares advice for Facebook ‘friends’ …

Every word of this is true. My sister-in-law came to stay at the weekend. On Saturday night over a very pleasant dinner we had a lively discussion about social media. She’s just joined Facebook and has, after some consideration, been accepted as a ‘friend’ by one of her three adult children … so far — […]

The irresistible urge to “right wrongs”…

Apropos of my recent post “It must be true. I saw it on the internet.” This classic commentary on what drives much discussion on forums and blogs from Randall Munroe: Priceless! (You know who you are.)

Bob Dylan Chronicles vol 1

Just read it. Wow, what a beautiful book. Some of the writing is exquisite, and the insights into his journey, his influences and his drive to be the musician he wanted to be are extraordinary. His homage to Woody Guthrie and later Robert Johnson are brilliantly convincing, and it’s worth reading the book just for […]

It must be true. I saw it on the internet.

My friend Marc posted a video on his website yesterday. It’s interestng — a sort of “Oh. My. God. Social Media is not a fad. It is taking over the world!” manifesto … with waves of what Marc called “facts and figures that are hard to ignore”. Having watched it, a few things struck me: […]


How to show off about your car, but soften the blowhard-ish bit: Hi! My name is B**** Mc***, you may or may not have heard of me before, either way, that’s OK with me. I’ve never been featured in the BRW Rich 200 (nor do I want to), hardly ever wear a suit and tie […]

“it’s no surprise that no one wants to be known as a cult”

A bit of local content… Destiny Church ‘sons’ swear oath of loyalty — NZ Herald Meanwhile in the US: Follow up article on Paul Haggis’ defection from Scientology ( When the Haggis letter emerged, Davis responded quickly and strenuously, telling the Associated Press that the church does not mandate “disconnection” for anyone and that such […]

Well, who is?

Frankly, I’d worry if he said he was 100% certain. (Good on him for admitting it.) There are two aspects of this job that I think are relevant to this discussion. One is that if the problem has a clear solution, then it doesn’t land on my desk. Somebody else has solved it. So the […]

“Silence is consent … I refuse to consent.”

The following just-published news story has a bearing on an episode of hypocrisy that caught my eye … and gave me more food for thought about one of our themes: What is it ‘right’ to do in the face of wrongdoing? Or put another way, How should we then live? Read on… Paul Haggis Renounces […]

The difference between a ‘disc’ and a ‘disk’…

They’re pronounced the same, but, technically speaking, there is a distinct difference between a disc and a disk.


Re my earlier post on censorship … look at this. Creepy.

Critic — a definition

A critic is a bundle of biases held loosely together by good taste. — Whitney Balliett, Jazz critic and book reviewer for the New Yorker magazine 1954-2001. Yep, that about sums it up. Does it for me. (Of course, like beauty, ‘good taste’ is in the eye of the beholder.)