Tech

New walls in cyberspace: Internet shutdowns and authoritarianism in Africa

Cutting off communication has become a favourite ploy of some of the continent’s Big Men. Ironically, this harms their standing in the long term Although the Berlin Wall was toppled 30 years ago, new walls have continued to crop up around the world — virtual ones that block or limit internet access to avert political…

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Education policy and the future of water

On Tuesday, I watched a video on the deteriorating water situation in the Arabic state of Jordan, which foregrounded to me the imperative, that countries give a central place to essential concerns such as the continued availability of water in their education programmes, from primary school through high school to universities. Unless they pay urgent…

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Theoretical psychology: A direct attack on neoliberalism in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is a beautiful city. It is also a financial black hole for South Africans. With a currency that is constantly edging lower against international currencies because of an inept and corrupt ANC government which cannot manage the country’s economic relations in such a way that its toxic internal political conflicts do not impact negatively…

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A new world awaits: Who is brave enough to imagine it?

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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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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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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