General

‘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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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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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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‘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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The healthy way to get around our cities

Cape Town, like any urban area, is a city on the move. You can see it in every corner of its 2 461km2 metropolitan area, where 3.7-million people jostle for space on our roads. From Mitchells Plain to Milnerton, Sea Point to Strand, congestion is commonplace and smog levels are rising. Traffic jams mean lost…

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Revolutionary

I take great exception to larceny. It is something that just irritates me. Then again sarcasm also irritates me, and for what its worth I don’t think that highly of narcissism either. Notice that all three of these words: larceny, sarcasm and narcissism have the letters ~arc~ in the middle of them. That must mean…

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How (virtual) ‘speed’ has changed our way of life

Paul Virilio is a very important, if unusual, thinker. An architect and philosopher, his work has transformed the way people think about the relationship between speed (or acceleration), visuality (or visual culture), technology, the military, and the distinctive mode of existence of people in the early 21st century. This is how Virilio expresses the links…

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Why Americans should vote Democratic in the mid-term elections tomorrow

The American midterm elections – halfway through the American president’s term, where voters decide on their representatives in the two houses of American ‘democratic’ government, Congress and the Senate (as well as on some state governors) – take place tomorrow, on 6 November 2018, and all indications are that these will be the most significant…

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Does Philosophy have a function in society?

A doctoral student in philosophy at the University of the Free State, Mark Amaridakis, recently reminded me of the important contribution made to philosophy — specifically the Critical Theory of the so-called Frankfurt School — by Max Horkheimer, one of the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research’s early directors. This made me pick up one of…

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Dutch Reformed Church leader misrepresents paedophilic disorder as same-sex sexual orientation: An open statement by PsySSA

Introduction The Psychological Society of South Africa’s (PsySSA) Sexuality and Gender Division (SGD[1]) welcomed the Dutch Reformed Church Synod’s decision in 2015 to embrace gay and lesbian ministers/reverends, ordain them in their calling as ministers/reverends, and acknowledge and bless gay and lesbian congregants’ unions by conducting and officiating their marriages under the Civil Union Act….

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