Tag Archives: Humanity

The technology that is threatening life as we know it

We are currently witnessing a pervasive and accelerating recording, modelling and processing of data pertaining to human beings as well as other living species (and even inorganic things) on a scale that surpasses what most of us can imagine. This has been made possible by bio-technologies which seem as if they are the incipient actualisation…

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Is humanity a rational species?

Most readers’ gut reaction to the question, above, would probably be something like: ‘Yes, of course!’ But please consider that the question is not whether humans are, on occasion, capable of rational behaviour. As it stands, the question bears on what would, if it could be answered affirmatively, be the supposed overriding quality of the…

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The follies of humankind, through the eyes of a young girl

In this time of economic and ecological uncertainty, which has, tellingly, given rise to the philosophical genre of “extinction studies” (see http://thoughtleader.co.za/bertolivier/2014/06/30/human-extinction-its-not-just-science-fiction/), it may be wise to remind ourselves that the human folly which has given rise to the fraught state of the present, globally, is nothing new. Human history is littered with such follies,…

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The particularity of race and the universality of being human: Derrida on Mandela

Judging by the seemingly never-ending spate of articles, debates, and to-and-fro accusations that reflect a veritable obsession with race in this country — an obsession one might have expected to abate somewhat at this point in time, almost 22 years after the demise of apartheid — it appears to me a timeous moment to return…

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Yes, the beaches were packed but that was part of the joy

By Jerome September Going to the beach over the festive period was always something I looked forward to as a child. It was the highlight of a year that was often marked by great struggle. At the beach we could lose ourselves, we could play and stand in awe of the big dam with strong…

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The pleasure of mountains

We walk past the iconic bear at the entrance to the Seoroksan National Park near Sokcho, South Korea, towards the diverging forested paths beckoning lovers of mountains. Each one of these takes one to a specific trail where one can indulge your love of mountains in various ways. Some meander along the side of a…

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Vuyo Mbuli treated everyone equally

When I saw the report in the Mail & Guardian about the death of Vuyo Mbuli, I could not believe my eyes — he still seemed so young, and life-loving. But then, death does not really discriminate between the young and the old. Still, it was saddening to learn that Vuyo, who has always come…

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Reflecting on Lance Armstrong’s flaws

By Melo Magolego I think Lance should hang up his racing shorts and head for the world of national politics. Truly this man’s other talents are lying in waste. Watching him in his interview with Oprah I thought him to be very intelligent: he gives measured responses, effortlessly tames negative questions and then masterfully spins…

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Is SA the next Zimbabwe?

The simple answer is, no. I’ve attempted to answer this question once before, in 2009. My argument at the time was that South Africa had a strong Constitution, which ensured the country stayed on democratic course. Unlike Zimbabwe, post-apartheid South Africa has endeavoured to consolidate democracy by empowering independent institutions such as the judiciary. Soon…

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