Recent Posts

Avishkar Govender

Economic Justice

Durban January 25 2019 The First Officer of State, and The First Officer of Government Republic of South Africa I hereby tender an offer to purchase from the state and the government of the Republic of South Africa the parastatals, now in part known as the state-owned enterprises of the Republic of South Africa, in…

comments (0)
| views (2789)
Bert Olivier

Metaphors (as models), and our own ‘networked’ existence

In The Prison-House of Language (Princeton University Press, 1972) Fredric Jameson opens the Preface with the following thought-provoking remark (p. v): The history of thought is the history of its models. Classical mechanics, the organism, natural selection, the atomic nucleus or electronic field, the computer: such are some of the objects or systems which, first…

comments (0)
| views (3256)
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…

comments (0)
| views (4826)
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,…

comments (0)
| views (4916)
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…

comments (0)
| views (4773)
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…

comments (0)
| views (3094)
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…

comments (0)
| views (4291)

Featured Multimedia

Hammanskraal crisis: Slow tender stops clean water flowing

Little has changed in Hammanskraal since the Mail & Guardian last visited the area in August, when residents said the tap water had made them sick.

More battles ahead for domestic worker unions

Florence Sosiba, speaks to the Mail & Guardian about how important domestic workers are and exclusion in the COIDA