Posts Tagged ‘psycho-babble’

Ambition, self-selection and brainless tribalism. Bleurgh!

I’ve been thinking about the subject of deceit in politics and the sad idea that the voting public ‘expects’ a certain amount of spin and marketing (BS) in its political diet. I posted this comment in discussion about my musings about tribalism ‘National’s desperados get perfervid about Peters‘ before last year’s election: I usually enjoy […]

‘Earning’ your enemies

Earlier, I quoted from Margaret Pope’s elegant book At The Turning Point: My political life with David Lange. I heard the author interviewed by Radio NZ National’s erudite Kathyrn Ryan when the book was published 1 where Ms Pope answered (beautifully) a query about the enmity she’d attracted from Michael Bassett: …There are some things […]

‘A loathsome piece of filth’

That’s actually something I said about somebody. And I meant it, as harsh as it sounds. I didn’t say it to them, I didn’t say it publicly, nor did I post it online here or elsewhere. It was my personal opinion at the time, provoked by their actions. They stand out in my mind as one of […]

Why not put it out there?

I know the cynics may try to tear this down. I don’t care. Why not aim high? – P Via Nick Bilton thanks to Tim Murphy.

Self-hate as a metric of intolerance?

This conversation, spurred by a reworking of the old saying ‘It takes one to know one’ got me thinking this morning:   I reckon Nick Denton is RIGHT. (‘Takes one to hate one.’) Or enough right that it’s worth doing a self-audit, so: How much of my own intolerances are a result of my ‘dislike’ of […]

Oops. What? He wants us to LISTEN to the murderous ultra-right nut job? Er, well, gee. OK.

In my experience, sometimes when one is interviewing someone in the news, particularly a LIVE interview, things can take an unexpected turn. Your subject says things that you didn’t expect. This morning, roused very early by an insistently affectionate cat (still getting over her spell in the cattery while we were at the beach last […]

Danger of dogma

Following our protracted discussion on conservatism and liberalism (for want of better labels)— and differing levels of willingness by adherents to validate the values of ‘The Other’ … by coincidence, here’s William F Buckley on what Andrew Sullivan calls ‘the Danger of Political Dogma’. From a brilliant article What William F. Buckley Would Think of […]

On narrow social focus and moral taste buds

A wonderful book review in the NY Times ‘Why Won’t They Listen?’ sheds some light on the ‘my tribe is better than yours’ bias we discuss here from time to time. Reviewing The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt, William Saletan describes how we acquire preferences for social values (liberal v conservative) over time, based on […]


I’m writing a post about denunciation and related matters … and look what popped up in my twitter stream: Ha! -P

The fruits of propaganda

From Gallup: Americans Still Rate Iran Top U.S. Enemy China is second on the “greatest enemy” list by Frank Newport February 20, 2012 PRINCETON, NJ — Americans most frequently mention Iran when asked to name the country they consider to be the United States’ greatest enemy, and the 32% who do so is up from […]

Trying to find our own truths

This, from Deborah Hill Cone’s farewell column Black-and-white thoughts on a world of grey in the NZ Herald today echoes something … I just write because I’m trying to work out things for myself, which is shamefully indulgent. So I really should be thanking you, Dear Fabulous Readers, after all. Thing is, we’re all just […]

Oh, wow. Enjoy

I like these optical illusions … it’s NOT moving. Even more here at Thanks to Jeremy Parkinson. – P  

Choked? Who? The Aussies?

I hesitate to say anything that might remotely jinx the All Blacks next weekend against France in the Rugby World Cup final … I had the opportunity to wish All Blacks coach Graham Henry the best of luck in person today, so like a schoolboy, I did. This is from the foot of a rather […]

Confronted with information indicating we are wrong, we get ‘cranky’

I listened to a brilliant lecture with Q&A on iTunes U last night by Eli Pariser, the author of The Filter Bubble. He was talking about the ideas in his book as part of a London School of Econmics Summer 2011 Public Lectures and Events. (Here’s the iTunes U URL [1 hr 20 min]. He’s […]

Be careful what you believe

I had a coffee with Cameron Slater this morning. I like to interact face to face with people whom I criticize — it’s far better to engage, in my opinion, than to reach for pistols at dawn dueling online personas. We discussed some of our recent disagreements (most recently noted in Cameron Slater’s defective moral calculus) in […]