musings

It's okay...

It's okay to not carry a gun but support gun rights.

It's okay to not be gay but support gay rights.

It's okay to be an atheist but support religious freedom.

It's okay to believe in charity but oppose a welfare state.

It's okay to be anti-abortion but support a woman's right to choose.

It's okay to support the right to kill in self-defence but oppose the death penalty.

It's okay to respect someone's decision to change their gender but know biology is real.

It's okay to know Covid kills but lockdowns don't work.

The silent threat of technology

I was in Beijing in 2017 and came close to being wiped out by a scooter. The previous time I visited China's capital, this would not have happened, because I would have heard it coming. This time, I did not, because the scooter was electric, and almost completely silent as a result.

I've been thinking about this a lot in the years since during my frequent visits to the bush (as we South Africans generally refer to our Big 5 game reserves). 

Name your price

Driving home this evening, I came across a sight which is not unfamiliar to my fellow South Africans: cars parked on the side of the road with "for sale" signs and numbers to call. 

Neither of them had a price tag.

My fellow South Africans, help me understand, why do we do this?

'Reject your inner dung beetle'

If you’re visiting any of South Africa’s magnificent game reserves and look down, chances are you will see one these: Scarabaeus Zambesianus is the African Dung Beetle, and its lot in life is to find a mound of fæces, roll it a couple of hundred metres from where it was dumped, and bury it in an underground chamber. The beetle lays an egg in the ball which hatches into larva which feeds on the dung. The larva turns into a pupa, the pupa hatches into a new beetle which goes out into the world in search of more dung…

Racist emoji

Have you ever heard someone says something that sounded completely outrageous, and you turned around to see a smile on their face and heaved a sigh of relief?

Humans rely on a wide range of signals to communicate with each other, and most of these are non-verbal: What we say is modified by pitch and loudness of voice, body language, hand gestures, and facial expression.

Written communication has none of those signals, so letter writing was very formal and structured to avoid miscommunication:

"Dear so and so...

Some thoughts on GDP

I was asked a question: "Would I be right in saying GDP is not always a good indicator of an economy?"

My response: "GDP is an important piece of a larger puzzle which should never be looked at in isolation."

Here's a brief explainer:

GDP (gross domestic product) is the value of services provided and goods produced in a year.