Archive for the ‘Big Questions’ Category

The zeitgeist of this photo of Ieshia Evans #IeshiaEvans

Look at this. Please click to enlarge and just take a few moments to take it in. I’ll wait. The BBC reports people’s comments about photographer Jonathan Bachman’s powerful, gripping soon-to-be-legendary photograph and he was interviewed on Radio New Zealand’s nine-to-noon show this morning. He sounded like a good man. Saying demonstrators have been trying […]

9/11 Saudi links. “Let the evidence be seen.”

“Let the evidence be seen.” Hard to argue with that, but whether a link to the ‘Saudi Government’ can be made seems questionable. The sovereign immunity angle is also messy. Good on Terry Strada and the other 9/11 families for pushing for legal accountability. It’s their right. – P

On disagreements among friends

Recently in another venue I had occasion to disagree, publicly but in a minor way, with an online friend who’d published an article that I agreed with – mostly, but not entirely. It’s not the first time that’s happened. Indeed, I’ve said before, in the context of my criticism of my beloved PropertyTalk discussion forum, […]

What is Privacy?

Nice 3 minute overview from Privacy International … A chilling line: “…Even the fact that you’re watching this video right now. All of it.” Oh great! Then read this: Even basic phone logs can reveal deeply personal information, researchers find | The Guardian Here’s a link to Privacy International’s website. – P

Something to remember when you next see some finely “balanced” political reporting

Nice seeing behind the veil for a moment, isn’t? I can tell you from my time covering politics, sometimes it’s like that y’all. — Like others I watched the near total buy-in, adoption and regurgitation of NZDF talking points about the NZ Prime Minister’s recent “top secret mission” (um, trip) to “keep his promise” to […]

On accepting refugees


Being critical


‘Harmful’ online speech. Outlawing castigation? Cactus Kate tries to vanish.

On three occasions during my ‘career’ as an online critic and avenging angel I have deliberately pulled back from castigating a ‘target’. In all three cases, I became concerned at what appeared to me to be the real possibility that the person whose actions and modus operandi I was criticising might do themselves physical harm […]

The road to Mike Hosking, vilifier of young women

Some of us have always seen radio announcer Mike Hosking as a puffed-up little prat. I was there at Broadcasting House when this shortish young guy with a big voice and a very strange manner arrived in the Network Newsroom. He’d come across from Radio NZ’s commercial network. We were one big happy family then […]

For some reason this SERCO baby ID card troubles me

I saw this image shortly after it was published on Twitter, and it has affected me. My kids both had passports at very early ages — my daughter starting walking on one of our (then) frequent business trips to Malaysia and Singapore. My son could barely hold his head up for the pharmacy assistant taking […]

Peter Watts at Canada Privacy Symposium — ‘Burn the Data to the Ground’

A surprising and very interesting presentation about authoritarian surveillance — its link to fear, and being aware of hard-wired responses including dominance and anti-predator behaviours … with a side swipe at the roots of ‘religious belief’. I like Peter Watts’ approach to the topic, looking back at the powerful and another take on ‘only the […]

Quinn Norton talking sense about ‘surveillance’

An important message and perspective delivered in an entertaining way. Good on her. Quinn Norton – When You Are the Adversary (52 mins) If your name isn’t Barton Gellman, Laura Poitras, or Glenn Greenwald, chances are that while the NSA may be a rights-violating threat to all, it’s not your actual, day-to-day adversary. Real world […]

Do opinion polls about whether climate change ‘exists’ matter a jot?

Maybe the question: What should we do about it? is the one worth asking. And answering. – P

There’s no ‘proper’ dose when it comes to heroin

From Aaron Sorkin’s obituary of Phillip Seymour Hoffman … Phil Hoffman, this kind, decent, magnificent, thunderous actor, who was never outwardly “right” for any role but who completely dominated the real estate upon which every one of his characters walked, did not die from an overdose of heroin — he died from heroin. We should […]

OK, if we’re reconsidering the flag, why not the national anthem?

Minuit – Aotearoa from Minuit on Vimeo.