Avatar: The Last Airbender and the Philosophy of Pacifism

Avatar: The Last Airbender was a mid-2000s children’s TV show chronicling the journey of Aang, a young superhero aiming to master control of the four elements. Set in a pseudo-Asian mythological world, Avatar leant heavily on eastern philosophy, drawing on ideas of balance and harmony, flow and self-restraint. The show presents these ideas visually, in ...

The Writing of Kavita Bedford – Friends and Dark Shapes

I stumbled upon the work of Kavita Bedford in a newspaper article. She'd written about the launch of her latest novel, Friends and Dark Shapes, but the article was just as much a love letter to Sydney - a city that, at times, refused to love her back. Bedford wanted to write about Sydney in ...

The World According to F. Scott Fitzgerald

When I was younger, I read many of the books of F. Scott Fitzgerald, a man considered to be one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. Prized for his literary style - Fitzgerald has been linked to the jazz age, the roaring twenties and the success of young, precocious men. More recently, his ...

The Art of Simon Stålenhag

A few years ago, I came across a painting by the artist Simon Stålenhag. The painting showed a remote landscape in the Swedish countryside. A father and son were out walking together and in the distance, a giant mechanical structure lay in ruin. The mechanical structure looked like it was from the future. The father ...

YouTube Video Essays

For the last few weeks, I have been working on a new project creating YouTube video essays. The essays are all derived from existing and hopefully soon new content of my blog New Intrigue. They will cover a range of topics but generally focus on philosophy and literature. The process for creating the video essays ...

The World According to Haruki Murakami

Ten years ago, I tried to read Norwegian Wood, a semi-autobiographical novel by the author Haruki Murakami. I couldn't finish it, but for some reason, the first few pages stuck with me.  The book begins with Norwegian Wood, the Beatles song, playing on an airport speaker system. The protagonist is boarding a flight. He hears the ...

German Romanticism and the Philosophy of Beauty

My interest in romanticism comes from the way in which it might address some of the key problems of modern technology. Today's technologies - our phones and gadgets, screens and notifications - disconnect us from the real world, other people and ourselves, triggering a crisis of both identity and authenticity.  I've written before about Neil ...

Short Story: The Dancer

What does it mean to get lost in the dance? I arrive late in the evening. She opens the door, half shocked that I’m even there. We sit in different chairs with Japanese food between us. Sushi, fish and some hot gyoza, in these little rectangular brown cardboard boxes. “A feast,” she says, staring at ...

What motivates people to work hard? (Or: Productivity and Frederick Herzberg)

Imagine a man sitting across from you. He has brown wavy hair, kind eyes and a broad smile. He is dressed in a black suit and talks, very appropriately, as if he is a professor of esteemed learning. Leaning forward in his chair, he speaks slowly and methodically. Think of a time when you felt ...

Should I work for free? A Reflection on Unpaid Internships

David Leo Hyde is visiting his family home in the Port Hills of Christchurch, New Zealand. He looks relaxed standing on the balcony, running his fingers through his hair. Politely, he asks me if I found the place okay. The house is accessed by a steep driveway that winds up through dense greenery. It takes ...

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