Tag Archives: wellbeing

Is that all there is?

Apparently, McDonald’s hamburgers are the result of the best technology that food and taste engineers can provide. All ingredients and processing events are managed to within an inch – maybe less – of their lives. The consumable item is the culmination … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Human Nature, New Zealand Politics, Political Psychology | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Ten years of stress in New Zealand: Update

Update: Looking at this visualisation from p. 2 of the latest Canterbury Wellbeing Index, it seems that it is accepted that ‘High Stress’ has indeed gone up in New Zealand – and more so in Canterbury – between 2008-2010 and … Continue reading

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Ten years of stress in New Zealand

The 5th anniversary of Canterbury’s devastating earthquake on 22nd February, 2011 is looming. A recent after-shock of 5.7 magnitude quake has provided added stress to an already stressed population. There have been recent reports of increased suicides and suicide-related calls, depression and anxiety in … Continue reading

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Varieties of poverty in New Zealand

The debate over various ‘food in school’ programmes is remarkably lively, especially now that the Government is seemingly covering its flank on the issue – and perhaps even attempting to outflank those on the left. In fact, it’s now gone well beyond being … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Education, New Zealand Politics, Poverty, Welfare | Tagged , , , | 6 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 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

Back to school in happy town

How are you feeling? If you’re in Christchurch, CERA thinks you’re doing really well. A media release cheerily announced that ‘Wellbeing Survey reveals positive outlook‘. Conducted for CERA by Nielsen Research from August to October, 2012, “2,381 residents completed questionnaires [of whom] … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Earthquakes, Freedom, New Zealand Politics, Welfare | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

‘Human capital depreciation’ and the Pike River Mining Disaster

There are moments when a few words can open up a vista on an entire worldview. The words shoot through the air for a few days like a rapidly fading spark on Guy Fawkes night but, every so often, and … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Education, Free Market, Human Wellbeing, Labour, New Zealand Politics, Welfare | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Underneath the ‘underclass’

Joe Bageant died on the 26th of March last year. Apparently, he was sometimes referred to as an American ‘leftneck’ – which is not a bad label for him. Bageant’s book (and, more generally, his literary life) has been devoted to laying … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Economics, Education, Free Market, Human Wellbeing, New Zealand Politics, Welfare | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 13 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