response to Howard Davis’ review of movie ‘Brazil’ (1985, Terry Gilliam)


I first saw this movie (Brazil, Terry Gilliam) soon after its release, making a good impression on me, but haven’t seen it since, so I was especially glad to have this opportunity from the Film Society. I only remembered one thing over the years about the movie and that was the gross (large scale) nature of the surveillance/bureaucratic infrastructure.  It must have been clear even in 1985 that miniaturisation (computerization) of those systems was on its way, but Gilliam’s approach seemed to be a means of warning society what was in store for it.

I would like to ask you about the use of shoppers, diners, and others going about their business in the face of terrorist bombs, intrusive and bizarre police raids, etc, apparently without noticing and definitely not acknowledging them. Is that any different from the attitude people have today?  By 1985 it was perfectly clear that an exploitative mentality toward the planet, colonization, sexism, racism, and the list of explicits can go on if you want, had passed its use by date, had become a destructive force, and was anachronistic.

Mainstream politics was in denial of this by the end of the 70s, desperately describing ‘killing the goose that laid the golden egg’. This led to the desperate growth of these destructive tendencies we’ve experienced, and now in the 21st century of climate change, when aggressive/defensive denial strategies are no longer possible, denial has reached the mainstream as the Post Truth Era.  Our daily consumerist lives are best understood by looking at the society depicted in the movie.



Our superior Jane has ‘still got it’ as the Mother Superior in ‘Nunsense’.

Hi Friends,

Yes, Jane has ‘still got it’ as the Mother Superior in a new locally produced Wing It production of the musical comedy, Nunsense.  Opening to great reviews Tuesday, the show goes until 10 February at the Gryphon Theatre on Ghuznee St.  (see link below to iTicket for times, dates, and tickets) Read the rest of this entry »

Response to Elizabeth Kolbert, psychologist, in her New Yorker article Feb, 2017.

“The Enigma of Reason,” “The Knowledge Illusion,” and “Denying to the Grave” were all written (Elizabeth Kolbert), before the November election. And yet they anticipate Kellyanne Conway and the rise of “alternative facts.” These days, it can feel as if the entire country has been given over to a vast psychological experiment being run either by no one or by Steve Bannon (emphais ed.). Rational agents would be able to think their way to a solution. But, on this matter, the literature is not reassuring. ♦

“This is how a community of knowledge (emphasis ed.) can become dangerous,” Sloman and Fernbach observe.


My response to Ms Kolbert:

Do you not see that this thought takes your discussion dangerously close to sociology and culture and sliding away from psychology? (“vast psychological experiment”)               It sounds like you do but how is the ‘academic psychology community’ taking this?

Submission to Let’s Get Wellington Moving

These paragraphs were used in creating my submission (on their form) to the Let’s Get Wellington Moving project.

Scenario A is the place to start and finish. Getting people onto public transport is the top priority.  Providing better public transport must happen.  Light Rail would be the centre of those improvements.   This should be referred to as “Scenario A+”. Read the rest of this entry »

Response to Scoop article on public transport in Wellington.

Keep in mind that the GWRC has majority suburb (Hutt, Kapiti) membership.  Cr Donaldson is anathema to Wellington and should be sacked for the vandalism she has led, but she is representing the suburbs not Wellington.  The burbs are pressing their resentment at Wellington City being a hindrance to them getting to the airport easily.  Mayor Lester should take the lead in fighting back but seems to be acting more a regional mayor than a Wellington mayor.

Response on Scoop article by Infratil on bus tendering and driver wages and conditions in Wellington

One must always bring the Regional Council into the forefront of this type of discussion.  Note that the Regional Council is dominated by the suburbs, generally known as The Hutt and Kapiti, but most transport issues involve Wellington City which is in the minority at the Regional Council.  The Regional Council has been out to get the City for some time because – well, we all know why but it is a taboo subject to actually mention in polite political discussions.

Correspondence with my friend Mike in Columbus, Ohio

(from Mike) – I am anxious to hear about your elections and the new PM. She sounds like someone you would have supported. What is your perspective? Read the rest of this entry »