Looking down on epic Wellington from Mt Kaukau

The Pros and Cons of Moving to Aotearoa New Zealand 2021 Edition

Every country has its shadow side, dark secrets, embarrassing problems and PR nightmares that governments attempt to sweep under the rug and hush-up. Here are New Zealand’s. I’m doing this so that people who have this idealised, naïve view of New Zealand as some sort of Utopia actually come here knowing what to really expect,…

Book Review: The Life Project: The Extraordinary Story of 70,000 Ordinary Lives by Helen Pearson

Book Review: The Life Project: The Extraordinary Story of 70,000 Ordinary Lives by Helen Pearson

Genre: Non-fiction, social sciences, history, public health Publisher: Counterpoint Rating: 🌟 🌟 The Life Project is published by Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Books that focuses serious non-fiction from different realms like history, politics, science and philosophy. I really expected a lot from this book and it didn’t deliver. The Life Project is written…

Barry Schwartz and the Tyranny of Choice

Barry Schwartz and the Paradox of Choice

"We laud our almost boundless freedom of choice as if it were a good thing per se, irrespective of what the choice is between. This is of course absurd because any rational person would prefer to choose between two good things rather than between a thousand bad ones. But, under these circumstances, how do we…

Pagan date: Litha

Comforting Thought: From ‘harder, better, faster, stronger’, back to circadian rhythms and rituals

"The cycles of nature and the cycles of time predate the modern world. The world we currently live in is linear and about more, more, more or ‘harder, better, faster, stronger’. This way of thinking dictates that we should not miss out on anything. We are encouraged to grow throughout our lives, as a part…

Book Review: Standing Firm: Resisting The Self Improvement Craze by Svend Brinkmann

Book Review: Standing Firm: Resisting The Self Improvement Craze by Svend Brinkmann

‘Standing Firm’ in the sense of this book means to counter the incessant drive towards more, more, more of everything. It’s a call to action to resist and stand firm against ‘improvement culture’, not just self-improvement and personal development, but also the constant acceleration and growth in our economic systems, and the overuse and destruction…

Olivia Laing, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

Comforting Thought: Disruptive Creators Versus Custodians & Curators

"If we were all disruptive artists all the time – nothing in society would be coherent. No one would be obliged to do anything other than follow whatever short term whims took their fancy. Fortunately- many people are instead curators. Those who set up permanent exhibitions based on unifying themes and help to rein in…

If we want to do something well, we cannot do it all

Comforting Thought: If We Want to Do Something Well – We Cannot Do It All

"Opt out of the relentless pursuit of personal optimisation of our lives. Opt-out of picking and choosing a new partner when we get bored of the person we have been with for many years simply because we are bored. Opt out of trying to become a social media influencer with a million friends on Instagram…

Inhumans of late capitalism

How to Counter the Anthropocene: Frugality and the ‘Joy of Missing Out’

"The main threats to humankind were once posed by the forces of nature. Now they are self-inflicted. We are the cause of our own problems and they can only be solved at the level of the society that created them. One help would be to collectively rediscover the ancient virtues of frugality, moderation and the…

The Joy of Missing Out by Svend Brinkmann

Book Review: The Joy of Missing Out by Svend Brinkmann

Book Review: The Joy of Missing Out by Svend Brinkmann This book could have become a shallow antidote to the internet term for FOMO or Fear of Missing Out. Yet the Joy of Missing Out is brimming with exciting, novel and interesting ideas. It’s a slender book of around 90 pages that’s jam-packed full of…

The Black Swan Model: the domesticated chicken and what it never expected

The Black Swan Model: the domesticated chicken and what it never expected

Writer Nassim Nicholas Taleb calls the phenomenon of people being unable to predict the future based on the past the Black Swan principle. This name is inspired by the the 17th Century early explorers. People in Europe had always assumed that all swans were white. Imagine their surprise when they found that black swans that…

Book Review: The Future by Nick Montfort

Book Review: The Future by Nick Montfort

As long as people have been on this planet they have been formulating, imagining and planning for the future. And their individual and collective visions of this – their future-making and how they frame the future says a lot about the present. The Future by Nick Montfort is a fascinating look at futurism. From the…

Film Review – Utopia directed by John Pilger

Film Review – Utopia directed by John Pilger

Utopia is veteran and respected journalist John Pilger’s attempt to tell an extraordinary story, one hidden from the eyes of everyday Australians, of Australia’s first people. Pilger uses words like apartheid and hidden genocide to describe it. And the evidence he presents in this documentary is overwhelmingly convincing. It’s difficult to do justice to this…