Monthly Archives: December 2013

Why commercialism captures the true spirit of Christmas

It’s a shame all the shopping has to spoil the true meaning of Christmas. Or so we get told at this time of year, usually by the same prophets of good cheer who want us to celebrate the season by donning hair shirts and cutting back on the booze. Continue reading

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Filed under Christmas, Economics, Freedom, History, Human nature, Religion

Three reads for Christmas: Glamour, Cicero’s web and high-tech fiction

I wrote at the end of November that the rise of the selfie marked the death of the audience and the rise of an age committed to universal self-expression and performance. This week, even world leaders have been joining in. Continue reading

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Filed under Business, Christmas, History, Publishing, Technology

Nelson Mandela: Mourning the father of a rainbow nation

One of my earliest memories is of a primary teacher encouraging my class to pray every day for the release of Nelson Mandela. “Your prayers will pile up like leaves, until their weight forces open his prison.” That would have been in the early 1980s, by which time Mandela had already spent two decades in prison – it took nearly 10 more years, and more prayers than mine, for Mandela to walk free. Continue reading

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Filed under Freedom, History, Politics