Circles or spirals?

I am feeling like we have headed back around a loop, with the return to Level 3 Alert in Auckland and Level 2 Alert across the country. We have seen in other countries how the reinstitution of lockdowns initiates the same sorts of behaviours as the first time they happened…buying up of toilet paper, generalContinue reading “Circles or spirals?”

Contrasts

Sitting in a café in Sumner, Christchurch, reminds me how much I like contrasts. Sumner and Gibbston are quite different in a considerable number of ways. In Gibbston at present there is snow on the mountains (if a rather thin cover for mid winter) while in Christchurch yesterday the sun and warm air felt likeContinue reading “Contrasts”

Our stories

It is surprisingly hard to remember that there are 8 billion people in the world all with their own stories, in which they are the principal character. One’s own story is paramount in one’s own brain, with oneself at the centre and everyone else as players at various degrees of remove. To really listen to,Continue reading “Our stories”

A cleft stick

It turns out that water diviners no longer necessarily use bisected wooden sticks, No. 8 fencing wire will also perform. The question, however, is…what is a household of scientists doing employing a water diviner? I have been very clear about my scientific approach to matters in life, including COVID-19. I still maintain that the wayContinue reading “A cleft stick”

Future insights

One of my favourite recent quotes was from Cameron Bagrie, economic consultant and previously Chief Economist at ANZ. A series of economists was asked to predict house prices in New Zealand in the new reality framed by the global pandemic. They all gave their considered opinions, mostly predicting falls of various magnitudes which they comparedContinue reading “Future insights”

Elastic people?

I was pondering as to the degree of behavioural elasticity people have demonstrated throughout COVID-19 changes in New Zealand. People are frequently elastic in the sense that you push them hard in one direction and their behaviour shifts, until they are released, then they bounce back to their original state. Elasticity seems like a desirableContinue reading “Elastic people?”

Politics & people

It goes without saying that politics is fraught with people; my thinking on this has been driven by yesterday’s political fiasco around the disclosure of names of COVID-19 sufferers. Politics is no simple matter, just for a start there are many definitions of the word. They include “who gets what, when and how” (Lasswell), “theContinue reading “Politics & people”

Fool’s Paradise?

COVID news of this week was that three eminent New Zealanders think we should reopen the border and abandon our elimination strategy. Reactions, and reactions to the reactions, rebounded around the air and social media waves. However, what was reported wasn’t necessarily in the actual conversation piece provided by the previous Chief Science Advisor PeterContinue reading “Fool’s Paradise?”