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Bert Olivier

‘Dark technology’ and human ‘nature’ or ‘nurture’?

In the later 19th century there was a protracted debate among thinkers of various stripes about the question, what ultimately determines human actions — ‘nature’ or ‘nurture’ — a debate that is still going on today. But while it was then influenced by the evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin, on the one hand, and empiricist…

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Mandela Rhodes Scholars

What parents can do to make up for gaps in our basic education?

By Lehlohonolo Mofokeng Here is a reality many of us do not want to talk about: our basic education encourages surface learning than deep learning. One of the reasons I encourage my learners to enter for Accounting Olympiads is to show them that our content is weak; by consequence, disadvantages them when they enrol at…

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Psychological Society of South Africa

‘Ubuhle bendoda, izinkomozakhe’ and the trouble with paying lobolo

By Refiloe Makama “Men are never ugly”. Nnu Ego makes this statement in Buchi Emecheta’s novel, The Joys of Motherhood, set during the colonial period in Nigeria. In a scene between two friends, the protagonist Nnu Ego had recently lost her first child, and Ato, her childhood friend comes to comfort her. In a memorable moment,…

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Bert Olivier

People are not as free as they think they are

Some (older) people may recall the 1983 Warner Brothers mockumentary, Zelig, written by, and starring Woody Allen, together with Mia Farrow as the psychiatrist who treats him for his strange disorder. Lately I have been thinking a lot about this classic portrayal of conformism on the part of a man who manifested his adaptation to…

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Psychological Society of South Africa

Being Cuban and black in post-apartheid South Africa

By Sol Maria Fernandez Knight Growing up, my mother always told me that I was a special child. But then again many parents want their children to feel unique and valuable, to instill a sense of pride in their identity, and to remind them of their heritage. As a child I did not think how being…

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Bert Olivier

A world in need of redemption

This morning my two sons and I were having a texting exchange on Skype, while all of us were on our computers and online for various reasons — I was working and chatting to them in-between reading a PhD-student’s latest chapter of his thesis, and at least one of them was working while chatting too….

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Bert Olivier

‘Pictures at an Exhibition:’ Mussorgsky, painting and Virilio’s ‘grey ecology’

In my previous post, I pondered the work of Paul Virilio on the ‘accelerated’ lives we lead in the early 21st century, and tried to explain what this has to do with the never-ending stream of images bombarding one on a daily basis. What I did not have space to do, was to draw attention…

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Featured Multimedia

A lone gay man says 'enough' to hate rapes in Cape wheatlands

Marchillino Ambraal explains why he refuses to drop charges against the gang members who have been terrorising the community in which he lives.

PIMPLES: Team Zupta and the hole in the wall

Hole in the wall: Zuma, Atul Gupta, Manyi and Motsoeneng