Learning in traffic

The microlearning revolution

Two years ago I loaded Duolingo on to my phone to learn a few sentences of conversational Spanish before a holiday.

Decadence to decay

Empires rise and most certainly fall. Of most interest to me, though, are the periods between. It is interesting to note, varying from case to case, an almost inverse relationship between the entitled decadence of subsequent generations of heirs

Creatures great and small

We share this planet with such a rich variety of creatures. Often animals symbolize different traits to which we aspire or simply appreciate.

No Logo

There are many ways to recognise a truly great book. Does it alter or enlighten your perspective on a topic? Does it retain relevance? Does it explain or predict phenomena that will impact your job – or even your life?


Albert Einstein is credited with saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”.

The ugly truth about ‘pretty privilege

In 1889, legendary Russian writer Leo Tolstoy said, “It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness” (Kreutzer Sonata).

Tit for Tatt and the vampire bat

If you’re familiar with the expression “nice guys finish last” you’ve probably considered whether it’s true, and wondered if you should be meaner.

The art of dying

I’m not talking about the ‘Eastern Philosophy’ offered by self-styled gurus who present common sense as universal truths to a slew of admirers for a hefty fee.

Rocnation? What’s that in English?

NOT long after Siya Kolisi became the Springboks’ first black captain in 2018, the Gwijo Squad – a passionate and particularly vocal group of young black professionals who revived an old tradition of singing Xhosa songs at sporting events – factored his name into the lyrics of an old favourite.

Controversial? Perhaps

It is virtually impossible to make a non-ideological statement. Phrase an observation one way, and you are a Marxist Vegan ready to wipe the slate and history clean…

Resilience Part 1: Shellshock and Snowflakes

“You are not special. You’re not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.”

Bowling alleys and social capital

You might ask what bowling alleys have to do with social cohesion? Or even what relationship exists between individual health predictors and membership in a book club?

How not to be an art pleb

Strolling through the Louvre, I realise my mind has already left the building. It’s contemplating the gateau I’ll enjoy later in a lovely Parisian patisserie.

Extreme Ironing

Air-guitar, hobby horsing, bunny jumping, curling… there are tonnes of sports that do not get their due. If you are looking to combine a love of white goods and extreme challenges, then Extreme Ironing may be for you.

The evolution of ‘Woke’

Considering the origins of this activist byword, has it been diluted into mere online slang by mainstream use?

Do you consider yourself to be woke? If you do, you probably know that this term for being enlightened or aware, particularly about racism and social justice, is a political byword of African-American origin.

The 4th Industrial Revolution Series: The Robots are NOT coming

When the short stocky man in the front row started to shout at me, I was horrified. He waved his hands as he growled in a deep voice. He blamed me for “this Fourth Industrial Revolution”.


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