Scrolling mindlessly on my device for the fifth time today. Primed for the little red notification that will send dopamine bliss my way.
Faces of people I hardly know pass by in a pixelated blur. Alleged social connection, but within my beating chest no feelings stir.
On the street and crowded trains, heads absorbed in the blue light of LSD screen. But who am I to judge as just another participant among this sad and sorry scene?
Purchase and consume, be just like the rest. Maintain that online presence, rack up the likes, while inside you scream for redress.
I rustled into the back seat of the taxi as the door clicked shut behind me. It was dark and well past midnight. My driver was still outside chucking luggage in the boot. Glancing through the window, I saw the cigarette in his mouth flare orange as he took a heavy drag. A thick cloud of smoke evaporated into the summer air accompanied by an acrid smell — an odour that over the next seven months I would grow all too familiar with. …
What does it mean to be a Samurai? One who lives and dies to usher a battlecry.
To emerge unscathed from the danger of battle. No space can be made for distraction nor idle prattle.
Fronting the vanguard on the attack and holding the line in retreat. Cowardice for the Samurai is the lowest form of self-deceit.
A lifetime of years spent preparing for death. Loss of honour though cowardice would be the greatest of thefts.
Martial expertise manifest in the glint of blinding metal. Through suffering the Samurai can still appreciate the flower petal.
Overcome fear of death and…
When the outlook for the future is grim and the world appears bleak
What is it we ought to pay attention to, pursue, and seek?
Personal and collective journeys put on hold thanks to a tiny, abstract killer
Hopes and dreams suspended, the fragility of civilisation has never felt realer
Holed up inside I’ve come to appreciate that suffering and ego are birds of a feather
But are they destined to flock together forever?
Is humanity’s descent into the realm of the unconscious a predetermined path?
Or will we come full-circle, guided by the wizard’s staff?
What is it the…
“The same tools that can be used to sell me something I don’t really need can now be used to sell me a politician I really don’t need or an ideology that I really don’t need. It’s the same tools. It’s the same hacking of the human animal and manipulating what’s inside.” - Yuval Noah Harari
Freedom and control have forever been entangled in an intricate dance, where the swing of one partner animates the graceful sway or floundering blunder of the other.
On the micro level, maintaining control over the trajectory of one’s life and the decisions made within…
National governments the world over are coming to deploy exceptional surveillance measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the People’s Republic of China, the past several months of crisis management has presented the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with the opportunity to operationalise, test, and refine reward and punishment mechanisms foundational to the logic of the country’s emerging ‘Social Credit System’ (SCS). The SCS relies on the use of big data collection, sharing and analysis methods to secure enhanced control over market and social processes on the behalf of the government.
If successful in containing the pandemic or at…
At the heart of every great question lies an irreconcilable paradox. The previous article in this series described the metaphysical camp of positivism, highlighting how this worldview continues to maintain dominance over collective understandings of reality. Positivism insists that we can separate ourselves from reality and view the world as a detached observer. It advocates that our understanding of facts can be separated from our relationship with them. In doing so positivism asserts that we can obtain objective facts about the world around us and the social realities we inhabit. …
Envisage a wooden chair standing alone in a room. One could say the chair exists as an object in and of itself. It has an identity in time and space. It has physical integrity and appears solid. If you picked up and moved the chair to another location it would still be appraised as the same chair. An individually oriented analysis such as this identifies the chair as a unique and isolated unit existing apart from the relations that constitute it. …
The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly.
— Richard Bach
Though it might not appear as such, we have been granted a gift in these extraordinary times of pandemic. A gift unexpected and for many of us undesired, yet a gift nonetheless. It is likely a gift which accompanies other hardships and losses. Reduced work hours, a struggling business, a lost job, a strained home environment, an uncertain future. Yet if we are to utilise the gift provided…