Logic 101 – Slaying the terrible straw man

Imagine that the Duke of Sherwood offered a reward for the slaying of Robin's Merry Men. A farmer, in need of money but unfamiliar with combat, concocts a plan. Some way along a route frequented by patrols of the Duke's men, the farmer plants one of his scarecrows and dresses it in green tights (tight tights). When [...]

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While my previous blog post was not, strictly speaking, purely about the student protests that continue to liven up up South Africa, it did spark some excellent conversation on my Facebook wall in that regard, and some of those conversations did raise an additional reasonable question - is "higher education", and for that matter any education, a [...]

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When unreasonable is reasonable

Not too long ago, a decision was taken at my place of work which would have had a significantly negative impact on my environment. I did what any reasonable person would do, when faced with a problem - I used every reasonable method at my disposal to overcome it. I wrote emails, explaining the impact of [...]

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Save the bullies

Recently, the following article on News24 covered a bullying incident at Laerskool Randfontein. Comments on News24 have been disabled, but I'm pretty sure I know what I'd have seen there. There would have been a few posts by people bragging how they resolved their own bullying issue. Half of the rest would have been posted by parents complaining [...]

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The greatest sin

There are many awful things that occur in this world. Rape, murder, hate crimes. War. Genocide. But - if I may be a little melodramatic - it occurs to me that the greatest travesty is to rob a child of hope and of belief in themselves. A greater travesty than genocide, you say? Well, I [...]

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Shock Value

Every so often, a particularly emotive and gruesome topic makes it's way to our attention via social media. Most recently, images of drowned refugees were shared to highlight the plight of people seeking asylum in Europe (and often dying in their hundreds). A while back there was the story of the Planned Parenthood. Animal cruelty and [...]

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Depression – a guest post

Clinical depression is a serious mental illness. I don't think anyone sane would argue the point. And despite widespread acknowledgement and sympathy for sufferers, there remains for most  people a very real lack of understanding of this illness. If you are lucky enough never to have suffered through an episode of clinical depression, it is incredibly hard to understand exactly [...]

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(Just) Listen

Not terribly long ago, a documentary was released on behalf of a student movement at the University of Stellenbosch - Open Stellenbosch - presenting the uncomfortable accounts of students at the university. The title of the documentary was simply 'Luister' - Listen. From the sound (ahem) of it, not very many people did. Oh, it's evident [...]

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A belief manifesto

I've been accused...good naturedly...of being a fence sitter in this blog. I won't argue - it's deliberate. Context is important, and too often, I find that opposing positions are rooted in different base assumptions. Even when the implied scope of the discussion is quite specific - "Should we reinstate the death penalty (in South Africa, in [...]

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Sex(ism) Sells

I've made peace a long time ago with the insanity that is the world of children's entertainment. Some of the toys and TV shows simply make no sense, and I'm okay with that, as long as my son thinks they're cool. For example, my son is inspired by a range of toys called Trash Pack, [...]

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