Category Archives: The World At Large

12 Books of Christmas: The Death and Life of Great American Cities

There were quite a few failed attempts to create the Panama canal before someone finally got it done. The problem wasn’t really a technical one, it was malaria. We’d always wanted a direct route from the Atlantic to the Pacific, … Continue reading

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12 Books of Christmas: Freakonomics

I tend to describe myself as a communist at the outset of political discussions with strangers as a strategy for tuning them into the idea that I’m not convinced of the inherent and unassailable correctness of any current political and … Continue reading

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12 Books of Christmas: Discourses on the First 10 Books of Titus Livy

My friends’ children are one by one tipping over some kind of invisible cognitive line into what I might cynically call the Age of Reason. I had a quite lengthy discussion with one recently which ranged over a number of … Continue reading

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#ShouldnabeenBernie

My favourite living philosopher is Slavoj Zizek, who I first encountered at NZIFF a few years ago in the film The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology. Since then I’ve read a half-dozen of his books, all of which are challenging and controversial … Continue reading

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The Life, Death and Afterlife of Buildings

There is a conscious effort being made in Wellington, and I’m sure other Colonial Cities ™, to build a sense of historical continuity by designating certain areas and certain buildings as “heritage”. I think civil authorities like the Wellington City Council … Continue reading

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General Report 2: the New Abduction of Europe [2016]

This isn’t so much a documentary as a curation of a series of discussions between various kinds of big thinkers on issues of interest to contemporary Spain. There’s a huge amount of interesting thought expressed in an intelligent way by … Continue reading

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All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception and the Spirit of I.F. Stone [2016]

This was a braided-stream of a documentary, cutting between several major threads: a mass grave in Texas, the effect of I.F. Stone on various journalists, the Iraq War and a few other minor threads. I had never heard of I.F. … Continue reading

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