General

Ten solutions to our global problems

By Anton I. Botha As J.K. Rowling once noted, we do not need magic to change the world, we already have the power to imagine a better one. And so, as humanity finds itself faced with unprecedented global challenges the question remains, do we have the power to imagine something better or will we let…

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When work becomes inhuman, and when competition ruins relationships

Some time ago I wrote a piece on Shoshana Zuboff‘s recently published The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, and already other signs are beginning to appear that this invidious phenomenon is spreading in the workplace too, as surveillance of workers to ensure optimal productivity. In a recent edition of TIME magazine (‘When humans become robots‘; July…

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The possible destruction of the world as we know it? (And Vaclav Havel’s far-reaching insights)

On a virtually daily basis, one is confronted with more dreadful news pertaining to the destruction of the world as we know it – or knew it – by forces that seem to be, almost irrefutably, related to anthropogenic climate change in the shape of global warming. For example, a report on Yahoo News (27…

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‘Disgusting, fascist, racist Donald Trump’

The events of the last week in what is supposed to be the ‘greatest democracy’ on the planet have been very disturbing, to say the least – perhaps not for most people, who may not really care about the United States of America, but for me, who spent at least 6 years of my life…

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The resurgence of anti-Semitism

The spectre of anti-Semitism is once again stalking us, according to Vivienne Walt (TIME, July 1 2019, p. 33-37). Unbelievable, one might exclaim. Not really, and I’ll explain why – or rather, I’ll let Freud – one of the most original thinkers in history – explain why. But let’s look at the evidence for the…

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5G: Exacerbating interconnectedness?

From the point of view of complexity theory, or chaos theory, if you like, everything is interconnected. ‘Chaos’ is here regarded as just a very complex variety of ‘order’, unlike in earlier times — the ancient Greeks, for instance, opposed chaos’ and ‘cosmos’ (order), as most of us do in our daily lives. In Deleuzoguattarian…

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The Great Unravelling

A few weeks before the May 8 elections, I got lost in central Joburg. I was on a highway I had driven dozens of times before, when, all of a sudden, I realised that it had been closed down. The entire highway seemed to be barricaded by concrete blocks. My rented car and I was…

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So you think that Orwell’s ‘1984’ could only happen under a political dictatorship? Think again!

Many people — especially those who still read novels — will know George Orwell’s 1984, with its depiction of the brainwashing society of Big Brother, of Newspeak (the language designed to inhibit critical thinking), the Thought Police, and constant surveillance of every citizen, monitoring their behaviour (lest they should exhibit signs of discontent, or worse,…

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Popular art and the homogenisation of viewing subjects globally

The global hype around the HBO television series, Game of Thrones (GoT), which ended with what was apparently generally perceived by fans as an anticlimax of sorts, made me reflect once again on the pertinence of the intellectual work of that indomitable French thinker, Bernard Stiegler, for grasping the way that contemporary electronic technology is…

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Dear Western critics, your fake outrage about Botswana’s elephants is a colonial longing

By Lorato Palesa Modongo “Come Kitty. We want to empower you. No, your mother cannot do this. Your government cannot do this. Time cannot do this… We will teach you how to commune with nature, grow ecologically friendly crops, trade fairly with eco-tourists and receive visitors from United Nations who will clap when you dance.”…

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