Posts Tagged ‘authenticity’

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 […]

A dark, cynical, political thrill

I saw this film ‘The Ides of March’ with a pal on Friday night and it was brilliant. Dark, sinister, awful, and brilliant. What is it about politics that provokes acts of treachery and intrigue? Why does it so often descend into the arena of personal destruction? Plutarch records the intrigue surrounding Brutus’ assassination of […]

Fabrications, lies, errors – and ‘dramatic licence’

A huge embarrassment for ‘This American Life’ … RETRACTING “MR. DAISEY AND THE APPLE FACTORY” 16 March 2012 Ira [Glass, Executive Producer and Host of This American Life] writes: I have difficult news. We’ve learned that Mike Daisey’s story about Apple in China – which we broadcast in January – contained significant fabrications. We’re retracting […]

Why I’m leaving …

Here’s a sensational way to resign from your job … which became an instant internet meme. Followed (very quickly) by a wonderful spoof… There’s no saying how much Greg Smith’s resignation-in-the-round was influenced by the very serious ‘Why I left Google’ blog post by James Whittaker … who’s gone to work for Microsoft (!) Wow. […]

Allegations without credibility

I heard New Zealand Cricket Players’ Association boss Heath Mills describe the allegations of (un-named) Kiwi cricketers being involved in match-fixing as not credible “whatsoever”. “These are unsubstantiated claims from people of ill repute — known criminals…” Reminds me of some bloggers. -P

Self-awareness is a precious thing

In the spirit of writer Philip K Dick, here’s an examination of sentience … more self-aware than most bloggers? “I’m a sort of merchandise, is that right?” via Kara Swisher Allthingsd with thanks. Made me think.

Politicians will say ANYTHING

Spotted this tonight … The sight of Mitt Romney trying to out-Conservative the religious right’s darling Rick Santorum is breathtaking. Poll-driven fruitcakes. It’s like that here in NZ (and everywhere I guess) when people throw up clichés and then pillory and demonize their ‘opponents’ — rather than argue or debate issues with them. Here’s a clip […]

@NZHerald puts its anti-Peters bias in plain sight

Can there be any doubt that the NZ Herald is taking an anti-Winston Peters editorial line? Here’s today’s story (by the intrepid Claire Trevett) about a recent dinner — gasp! — involving the NZ First leader and Labour Party leader David Shearer. Look at the photo of Peters. Distinctly unflattering, isn’t it? It’s also not […]

NOT taking their own ‘advice’ … for better outcomes

Last year I read an article called How Doctors Die which I highly recommend you also read. In a nutshell, and as a generalization, Ken Murray MD finds that doctors faced with their own terminal disease seek none of the high level medical interventions they might carry out or recommend to their patients, but rather […]

Of goose and ganders. ACT on Campus referred to police for breaching the law

I was idly checking the 2011 election results on the Electorial Commission’s website tonight, to doublecheck my basis for recently referring to fringe political party ACT as the one-point-one percenters … they got 1.07% of the vote … and look: Referral to the Police 2 February 2012 The Electoral Commission has referred the following matter […]

Louise Mensch right wing vixen part 2

I mentioned UK Tory MP Louise Mensch in July applauding her handling of a blackmail attempt. Here’s a profile from The Guardian‘s Decca Aitkenhead Louise Mensch: ‘We’re not all ogres’ which is very interesting for similar reasons, and more… We were still swooning at her brio when rioting broke out across Britain and she made […]

Lack of truthtelling devastates media, old & new

Forget (for now) the place of unwanted ‘opinion’ in ‘news’ (or somewhere near by) — there’s a bigger issue at stake in modern media … whether (or not!) to call out politicians and other newsmakers for false statements they make. As noted elsewhere, I am troubled by political activists and proxies masquerading (or fancying themselves) as […]


Heard on Radio NZ National’s World Watch this afternoon: “There’s strong evidence to suggest the worst of the eurozone crisis could be over…” Crikey. Ya reckon? How to say something without really saying anything or committing yourself. Shoot me (joke) if I write something so equivocal. Please. It’s almost as bad as hyperbolic self-promotion. – […]

Hitchens on Clinton

He’ll say anything. He’ll try anything. He’s a complete solipsist and completely without scruple. Christopher Hitchens RIP

Scrutiny and criticism starts at home

It is my belief that the writer, the free-lance author, should be and must be a critic of the society in which he lives. It is easy enough, and always profitable, to rail away at national enemies beyond the sea, at foreign powers beyond our borders who question the prevailing order. But the moral duty […]