Category Archives: The World At Large

Addison [1884]

Joseph Addison is not a household name – but three hundred years ago, he was a fairly influential man of letters kicking around the Restoration. He wrote a few poems, a few plays, held a few political offices, but what … Continue reading

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Man with a Movie Camera [1929]

For my studies this year, I’ve watched in the order of 50 films, and the best of them is probably a 1929 silent pseudo-documentary called Man with a Movie Camera. It was made by a guy who got his start … Continue reading

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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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