A call for a culture of critical thinking

Abstract: South Africa's neglect of its children is damaging its global competitiveness... As highly developed as we humans think we are, we still retain elements of mammalian instinct, the strongest of which is to protect our young, even if it's at the expense of our own lives. Ironically, it is this mammalian instinct that defines one of the cornerstones of our humanity - it is considered abhorrent, even inhumane, to willfully subject a child to abuse, or to neglect its cries for help. It's helpful to bear this in mind when examining South Africa's ranking in global competitiveness. Every year the WEF (World Economic Forum) publishes the Global Competitiveness Report, which assesses the competitiveness landscape of a list of countries around the world according to twelve key indices. This year that list of countries totals 148. The report draws on an extensive spread of

Hearts on our sleeves

Abstract: How can we expect to win by 'working together for a better South Africa'? We each need to take our respective bows... As far as international sport is concerned, August was a month of mixed blessings for South Africa: We were emasculated in Sri Lanka; in Athens we scored what SABC radio news called a 'haul' of medals (less gold medals than a single swimmer - Michael Phelps - and only a few more in total than we collected 12 years ago in Barcelona); and yet we powered our way to victory in the Tri-Nations. Does this mean our cricket team are pathetic, our athletes kind of so-so, but our rugby team are kings of the world? No. But it does convey the impression that magic muti works. Think about it. Other than sheer bulk, what is it that our rugby team had that

Handy lessons from North Korea

Abstract: What we can learn from North Korea about populace control... Given the smattering of rather bizarre official reports that emerge from North Korea, and the fact that they're invariably distorted in an attempt to protect it as the world's most secretive state, it's hard to imagine that the country could teach us anything. However, if there's one thing it's hit squarely on the head, it's how to keep its people in place; something I'm sure most governments wish they could get right. If you'd like to try something a little weird but not that difficult, take a couple of minutes one day to pop into your local travel agent and tell them you feel you deserve a holiday, and that you were thinking of Pyongyang. The chances are they'd discourage you and suggest somewhere a little more upbeat; say Siberia. If I were