Democratisation or Theft?

We were discussing developments in Artificial Intelligence with our neighbours over dinner this week. The development of Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is progressing at extreme speed. AI refers to the development of computer systems that perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, e.g. visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, or translation between languages. Many of theContinue reading “Democratisation or Theft?”

Buying Values

There are many things for sale in today’s world. Here’s one of the best displays of available toilet seats I have seen – in a Slovenian hardware store. This week I have been considering buying and selling of values. What set me off on this train of thought was negotiating a contract with a potentialContinue reading “Buying Values”

Solar power

Solar power – it sounds great having panels sitting quietly on your roof generating electricity, doesn’t it? You don’t have to do anything other than maybe clean them once in a while (I figure rain mostly does that for us). Having written a blog where I pointed out that installing solar power is not theContinue reading “Solar power”

Where’s COVID at?

Back in New Zealand from South Korea, the almost complete lack of masks is really evident. What’s funny is how one’s norm shifts. We went to South Korea and felt like wearing masks was something of an imposition because we didn’t have to any more in New Zealand. We return to New Zealand and IContinue reading “Where’s COVID at?”

The ladder of luxury

Last week I posted pictures of English used in South Korea to give the impression of luxury accommodation (or not!). What I thought about for the ensuing week was the trap that is called ‘luxury’. Luxury is a never-ending ladder driving consumption. I’m going to illustrate the luxury trap using the example of lawns. “Lawns?”Continue reading “The ladder of luxury”


We have encountered relatively little English written or spoken on our trip round South Korea so far (for more pictures have a look here). The only consistent use of English is on accommodation buildings, generally but not always, higher end. It looks like is English is being used for hotels/motels to differentiate themselves from theContinue reading “Winner”

Travel dilemmas

We are cycling for three weeks in South Korea (see our tour blog here). Our last cycle tour outside New Zealand was in Colombia and this is quite different! We haven’t toured in Asia since we worked in Vietnam a lot in the early 2010s. It’s fun to be back in Asia and in aContinue reading “Travel dilemmas”

Power of the People

This week has demonstrated how a small number of people with the right connections can have big impact in New Zealand. Franco, our back-paddock Argentine, says that’s why he has chosen New Zealand as the country in which he wants to live. Here you can make change if you have to will to do so.Continue reading “Power of the People”

When Things Don’t Work

When things don’t work properly you want to fix them, right? The pictures above are illustrate one of those situations where a former home owner leaves you something that doesn’t work properly. Greg, who sold us this property, dug out a big hole in the paddock, put a clay liner in with gravel over theContinue reading “When Things Don’t Work”