Tag Archives: human nature

On the very idea of ISIS – Part II

In the first part of this post I argued that beliefs held by individuals are not a good basis on which to analyse geopolitical events. Both beliefs and their associated collective-level behaviours are the result of other forces operating in the environment … Continue reading

Posted in Human Nature, International Politics, Media, Military, Philosophy, Political Psychology | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why Syrian refugees?

There’s two aspects to the Syrian refugee crisis that are worth thinking about a bit more deeply. That’s because both of them represent something of a departure from past behaviour. The first is the question which a few commentators, such … Continue reading

Posted in Human Nature, Human Wellbeing, International Politics, Media, New Zealand Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

PMs just wanna have fun …

According to John Key it was all just innocent “horsing around“. It wasn’t, of course – as John Armstrong in the New Zealand Herald understands. And Key knew that too. All his protests to the contrary amount to him pulling our collective … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Human Nature, National Identity, New Zealand Politics, Political Polls, Political Psychology | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments

Adam Smith and the Left and Right of Moral Sentiment – A Christmas Tale

[I’m on holiday in a place with very limited and irregular cellphone coverage and access to the internet. That means I haven’t included links in this post but, when I’ve quoted from Adam Smith’s work, I’ve referenced the ‘Part’ and … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Free Market, Human Nature, Human Wellbeing, National Identity, New Zealand Politics, Philosophy | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Boaster roasting

[This comes with what is often called a ‘trigger warning’. Despite the tone I always try to adopt in my posts, the issues discussed here are not mere abstractions. People’s past and current suffering can be brought back to the … Continue reading

Posted in Human Nature, Media, New Zealand Politics | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

National Standards and Neanderthals – “They will know what is required …” – Part III

In Part I of this post I outlined the historical context of our modern education system and argued that  National Standards were a continuation of the controlling and directive imperatives of that system. In Part II I described the nature … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Education, Freedom, Human Nature, Human Wellbeing, New Zealand Politics | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

National Standards and Neanderthals – “They will know what is required …” – Part II

[Apologies, but this post is now in three parts, not just two – this is Part II. Part III should be up by the time you read this.] Who’s afraid of National Standards? In Part I of this post, I argued … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Economics, Education, Freedom, Human Nature, Human Wellbeing, New Zealand Politics | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

National Standards and Neanderthals – “They will know what is required …” – Part I

“School prepares for the alienating institutionalization of life by teaching the need to be taught.” – Ivan Illich There’s an interesting opinion piece by archaeologist April Nowell in a recent ‘New Scientist‘ – ‘All work and no play: Why Neanderthals were no Picasso‘ … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Freedom, Human Nature, Human Wellbeing | Tagged , , , | 22 Comments

Getting ‘stuck in’ to employment

Recently, Rodney Hide related his experiences as a manual labourer, doing casual jobs for a builder, digger driver and retaining wall builder. Hide drew a lesson from his experience about the motivation of the unemployed. Basically, it amounted to the conclusion … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Freedom, Human Nature, Human Wellbeing, Labour, New Zealand Politics | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

A better term than ‘breeding for a business’

  Back in 2002, some years before scaling the heights to the Prime Ministerial summit, John Key said that Labour’s Domestic Purposes Benefit policy had led to a situation “where people have been, for want of a better term, breeding … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Human Wellbeing, New Zealand Politics, Welfare | Tagged , , , , , | 25 Comments