Category: Philosophy

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

The Ethics of Brain Implants

Brain implants are such a risky technology that we should consider banning them before they get released. If not, we risk losing a freedom we take for granted every day, our freedom of thought. On August 28, Neuralink, a company founded by Elon Musk, revealed a working prototype of a brain implant in a demonstration ...

An Intellectual History of Our Troubles with Technology

We often evaluate new technologies based on old standards. How should we update our evaluative tools for the digital age? Our troubles with technology have mythical origins. In the Phaedrus, Plato recounts the tale of the Egyptian god Theuth, who once tried to sell the invention of writing to Thamus, the king of the gods: ...

What COVID Teaches Us About Big Tech

In April, I published the following blog post here on my personal blog New Intrigue and on the Oxford Political Review. A few months later, I was told to take down the post or get fired from my then job as a public servant in the Australian Federal Government. Although the post had no criticism ...

The Philosophy of Byung-Chul Han

In the 1980s, there were a series of writers who challenged the way people thought of the then-growing popularity of colour television and news media. I have written before about Neil Postman, and his fear of our world becoming a 'trivial society' and Marshall McLuhan, who warned us that 'the medium is the message'. (Technology ...

Australia’s Bushfire Crisis

It is difficult to talk about the current bushfire crisis facing Australia with anything close to the objectivity required of a journalistic article. As my home, I have struggled to come to grips with the scope of the disaster that has occurred here. For a long time, we have had the benefit of sitting on ...

4 Ways to Innovate: Lessons from the Global Scholars Symposium

In June 2019, Rhodes House hosted the Global Scholars Symposium. The theme was Cultivating Innovation. Over the two-day event, speakers from all over the world talked about different ways to innovate. I left the event with a newfound appreciation for innovators, and several take-home messages. According to the dictionary, to innovate is to “make changes in ...

Fireworks Fly at Jeff Koons Event: Should An Artist Credit Their Assistants?

Fireworks flew in question time yesterday at an event celebrating the internationally acclaimed artist Jeff Koons. Visiting Oxford to promote his exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum, Koons was questioned by the Emeritus Professor of Art History Martin Kemp, before receiving mostly hostile questions from the live audience. Koons is best known for his reproduction of ...