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Bert Olivier

‘Searching for an Electric Peanut (part II)’: Jonathan Silverman’s liminal art

Liminality is a strange phenomenon: The Encarta dictionary online defines it as ‘belonging to the point of conscious awareness below which something cannot be experienced or felt’, which is only one of the ways the term is used, but nevertheless gives a good idea of what is involved when you call something ‘liminal’. The point…

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Bert Olivier

The dynamics of complex systems: ‘Flight Behaviour’

Most people don’t know what complex systems (the word ‘complex’ is important) are, despite the fact that everyone one is enmeshed in several such complex systems every minute of the day and night. One such complex system is language, which we use more or less all the time, except when we sleep, and even then,…

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Bert Olivier

Breaking down South Africa?

In 2015, it was reported that Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, speaking to followers at Nongoma, criticised black South Africans for not building further on the country they had inherited from the National Party, opting instead to destroy or break down infrastructure, in this way cancelling out the (economic) progress made during a time when the…

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Avishkar Govender

Ag sies man! They took toilet money!

In India, the caste system controls everything, even with the modernisation that has made parts of the caste system illegal. It regulates occupation, vocation, profession and education by determining who gets what opportunity. It determines association, such that the freedom of association is limited insofar as not enabling cross-caste association. In India it is the…

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Bert Olivier

Sleepwalking into a geophysical storm?

In a recent article titled ‘The perils of short-termism: Civilisation’s greatest threat’, by Richard Fisher, he makes the following sober (and sobering) remark about the people — our children and grandchildren — who are likely to be alive when the iconic year, 2100, dawns: All the decisions we make, for better and worse, will be…

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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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Featured Multimedia

Eto'o on Castle Africa 5s

Samuel Eto’o, once again graced Johannesburg with his presence as he was on hand to kick off the second season of Castle Africa 5s.

[LISTEN] This mom became a sex worker and her daughter is fine with it

Sex work is selling a service, not your body, says Mariska Majoor. There's nothing sinister about it.