General

Racism, an idea whose time has come, again

As Britain votes to leave the EU, Polish immigrants have come under fire with xenophobic and racist attacks in the bastion of parliamentary democracy. This is no coincidence, as millions of migrants from north Africa, eastern Europe and the Middle East pressurises the once hospitable European community on issues of immigration and race relations, there…

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Anthro-pessimism, robots and Garland’s ‘Ex Machina’

What does the demonstrable pessimism regarding robots and their projected “attitude” towards humans in recent science fictional films tell us about our understanding (or perhaps imagining) of artificial intelligence? To be sure, let me state at the outset there are exceptions to this, even in some of the most pessimistic instances of such films –…

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Balance of power contests are driving violent community protests

As a society we must all resist and reject the temptation to accept that the violent protests and political killings that seem to occur all the time during the local election years is the new normal. It should not be! The time has come to take responsibility, show leadership and engage through all our stakeholder…

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Super citizens and the art of improving civic behaviour

Cities, at least in the global South, seem to share something with adolescents; the potential for transformation is real and it drives a profound sense of power and ownership. However, very much like in our teenage years, change is only long-lasting if enough discipline and commitment are in place over the years. I am currently…

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It’s a simple choice: Are we going to make South Africa great?

Last week I wrote about racism in our public discourse and I was accused of merely describing the problem and negating the role of politics in fixing our economy. Well, here is a stab at a solution: – Every South African corporation with a national footprint should employ one intern aged 20-29 for every 10…

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Why American market capitalism is broken

Yes, you’ve read correctly. You may not know who Rana Foroohar is, so let me inform you that she is a highly respected business and economic journalist working for TIME magazine, who has just published a book called Makers and Takers, published in May (Crown publishers), in which she makes this (to some startling) announcement….

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From Columbine to Orlando: Why bother having children?

The most harrowing book I have read is the one I have just finished, the recently published memoir-journal, A Mother’s Reckoning, by Sue Klebold, parent of Dylan Klebold, one of the two teenage murder-suicide shooters of the Columbine school massacre in 1999. Though tragic, it is unfortunately not that uncommon for parents to deal with…

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Slowly, slowly I merge into Germany’s ‘right’ stream…

One never really contemplates how traffic is routed in various countries, until one starts to travel. I am therefore rather blasé when it comes to crossing the road, assuming that I will be fine. Surely sticking to the right hand side of the road is or will be easy? I don’t intend driving in Münster…

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Decolonising course content. Whatever does that mean?

Discussions around “curricula decolonisation” are notoriously unfruitful and unstructured. There are two principal reasons for this. The first is that these discussions occur in a jargon which is vague and imprecise. The second, leading on from the first, is that the subject matter under discussion inherits this vagueness and imprecision. One is tempted, then, to…

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Hlaudi weather ahead – (a satire)

In news just in, SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng has announced that the SABC will be abandoning weather “forecasts”, reverting instead to more reliable weather “backcasts”. “We have found weather backcasts to be more accurate,” said Motsoeneng, “removing frivolous speculation and uncertainty. We know the DA wants to bring bad weather back into the country, and…

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