Archive for the ‘Big Questions’ Category

Essential viewing — Nelson Mandela on Yasser Arafat: Your enemies are not automatically our enemies.

I know this is contentious, the claim that Yasser Arafat was murdered using Polonium (as the Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko was, his killers leaving a radioactive trail through London). I reproduce this Al Jazeera banner (above) here, prompted in part by the clever use of the Po 84 periodic table reference to spell ‘POISONED’. Whatever your […]

Question: Is compromise an inevitable part of ‘growing up’?

I promise I will spare you any New Year’s resolution navel-gazing. But this wry commentary on Google’s acquisition of Boston Dynamics which I screen clipped at the time, and came across again tonight, raised (in me, anyway) a question: Where am I rationalising such extreme, comical-if-it-weren’t-so-serious compromise in my own life? The whole Jungian ‘shadow‘ […]

Philosophy and slippery ethics

Reader & commenter here at The Paepae, Ivan the Terrible, asked me last night whether I ‘fancy’ myself as a philosopher. This was in the context of my post Settlement of legal action as a ‘peace premium’ about the wisdom/risk management of settling a dispute, where possible, rather than pursuing it through the courts. I […]

Spotted on a wall. Fill in the last part.

I saw this incomplete* slogan on a wall near where I parked for the Armageddon expo at the weekend. Looks like the ‘artist’ was interrupted, because a school caretaker would probably have made more impact if they’d been washing it off. What do you think the last word(s) would have been? – P * Or […]

Dealing with something new in your environment

This very cool photo, taken through the periscope of a US Navy submarine which had surfaced through ice in Arctic Ocean, shows a polar bear — investigating something remarkable, novel and outside its previous experience. (Well, I assume it hadn’t encountered a nuclear submarine’s tail fin before, but I can’t be certain.) Thinks: What is […]

Flogging a dead horse? Yeah, consider stopping that.

On a visit to New York City in the lead-up to the 2008 US Presidential election, I was walking along a Manhattan street when someone thrust this flyer into my hand: Wow. The legendary consumer and industrial safety advocate (Unsafe at Any Speed) and left wing political activist Ralph Nader would be speaking that very […]

Please read this NY Times column — ‘The Banality of Systematic Evil’

Goodness me, I just want to quote the whole thing! Gah! Please, if you care about these issues of whistle-blowing and state surveillance (as I do) go and read this article by Peter Ludlow, a professor of philosophy at Northwestern University writing in the NY Times: The Banality of Systemic Evil … In a June […]

I love this: Jay Laga’aia as the Wizard of Oz

I love seeing ‘barriers’ like this ‘broken’. See NZ Herald report: Milestone on hold for the Wizard of Oz which tells us “Jay Laga’aia says the Wizard is a huge deal for him, and he is the first Polynesian to portray the iconic character.” Yeah. Go Jay. I’ll like it even more when the race […]

Groping for the truth

Why does a lie offend us? Why is it that a lie — especially a lie to our face — vexes us so? Our efforts to identify the veracity of a claim (sometimes a very basic claim), can be frustrated by liars and rogues. So much of our lives can be taken up with efforts to […]

Dealing with one’s disillusionment with an elderly man

Rolf Harris is innocent until proven guilty, of course. But it struck me as sad that prosecutors have said (as quoted): “We have determined there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest.” Quite unrelated to Rolf Harris, I know the sharp pang of disillusionment one […]

Public versus private forgiveness. And unforgiveness.

It’s been a while since we’ve discussed forgiveness here, although this post, “Do I believe in the forgiveness of sin?” and this one, Remembering Karla are never far from me … especially when I consider what I’ve learned and observed about the toxic effects of ‘harbouring’ unforgiveness. Last night I read of journalist/blogger/writer Andrew Sullivan’s […]

Sports mascots as racial stereotyping? (Or is that being ‘precious’?)

There’s a fascinating discussion — on Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish website — with input from all sides about the use of Native Americans and other groups as sports mascots. Have a read of it, if that subject interests you. I was struck by the National Congress of American Indians‘ effective use of substitution and juxtaposition to […]

Of logs, eyes, and attributing motives

I got talking over lunch with a friend of mine, Graeme (who comments here at The Paepae as ‘Graeme’). 🙂 Afterwards, I asked him to send me his thoughts about an aspect of that discussion, and he sent me this. I found it good … and share it with you. – P — Peter, I’m […]

Sir Robert Muldoon: ‘Always On the Record’

I remember an interchange I had with Sir Robert Muldoon back when I was a young Press Gallery reporter and he resembled an aged warrior chief — still with teeth, and claws and MIND more than sharp enough to puncture those he wanted to, don’t-you-worry-about-that. It’s here, in comments on my post ‘Banks: Doing the […]

Is this what we want? Internet ‘take down’ and indefinite gagging orders?

I didn’t want to be the one who ‘broke the news’ that, as the Herald on Sunday‘s Kathryn Powley put it in her story ‘Blogger told to stop‘: a blogger has been ordered to remove dozens of posts and comments from her website and issued with a restraining order against a lawyer she harassed on-line. […]