Tag Archives: Media

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

When is bias no longer bias? When it’s everything.

Is Mike Hosking politically biased? I think the answer is ‘yes’. Is our media politically biased? I think the answer is also  ‘yes’. Is our society politically biased? That’s not quite so easy to answer. But for a more worrying reason … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Economics, Free Market, Human Nature, Media, New Zealand Politics, Political Psychology | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

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

Seven Sharp, Campbell Live and TV Ratings – The ‘Nudge’ Factor

University of Chicago economist Richard Thaler and Harvard Law Professor Cass Sunstein  wrote a generally well-received book in 2008 called ‘Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness‘. It was an accessible assemblage of very well known work in psychology … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Free Market, Human Nature, Political Psychology | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Blowholes and memory holes

When whales were hunted in previous centuries, the old method was to spot the intermittent bursts of spray that were shot into the air when a whale came to the surface to take a breath. The time gaps between these … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Democracy, New Zealand Politics, Political Psychology | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Selling rope

There’s an anecdote, probably apocryphal, that in the early 1920s Lenin claimed that capitalism would provide the rope to hang itself. When some wag (reputedly Grigori Zinoviev, a close associate) responded by asking ‘Where will we get the rope?’ – at … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Labour, Maori, Media, New Zealand Politics, Political Psychology, Poverty | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Six impossible things before breakfast

“I’m just one hundred and one, five months and a day.” “I can’t believe that!” said Alice. “Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.” Alice laughed. “There’s no … Continue reading

Posted in Labour, Media, New Zealand Politics | 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

‘Not Electioneering’, Key-style

‘Nothing to do with me‘, says Key (and Joyce). After all, John Key explicitly announced in the first minute of the one hour Radio Live ‘PM’s Hour’ that it was an “election free zone”. But that raises the question of … Continue reading

Posted in New Zealand Politics, Political Psychology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Boil; Pour; Stew – Drink?

The way to get tea so strong you could stand the teaspoon up in it and produce that almost unbearably metallic, bitter tannin taste in your mouth is to follow the age old recipe: Boil; Pour; Stew. Well, they call … Continue reading

Posted in New Zealand Politics, Political Polls, Political Psychology | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments