Kyle MacDonald: Human Rights Commission Complaint Over David Seymour's Letter
A couple of weeks ago a letter was circulated in parts of Epsom from Act party leader and local MP David Seymour. It encouraged protesting Housing New Zealand's plans to expand its current housing in the Epsom area. And it stated: "There is also a chance that some of the future residents will have social and mental health issues who will need to have special support measures in place."
Well, I've got some news for you, David: Based on the national data about the prevalence of mental health difficulties, there are already about 3500 people currently experiencing "mental health issues" in Epsom. What's more, about 10,000 Epsom residents will go on to experience mental health issues at some point in their lifetime.
One (or more) might even be your neighbour. Heaven forbid!
Kyle MacDonald: What We're Forgetting About Cannabis
With so much talk around medical cannabis, legalisation and how "safe" it is as a recreational drug, it is important to remember that, for many, the drug can wreak havoc on their lives.
One such person who can attest to the impact is Dave Chant, who was our guest last weekend on the Nutters Club.
Cannabis addiction was a problem for Chant for most of his adult life. Like many, it's a tale of gradually slipping from social use to increased daily use to needing to be stoned every minute he was awake.
Kyle MacDonald: Women and Young People Most Stressed in Work Place
It's a big week in the United Kingdom: and I'm not talking about a wedding. No, it's Mental Health Awareness Week and as part of that a survey of 4500 people has been published, reporting on stress in the workplace.
And if you're young, or a woman, it isn't good news.
The thing that is so useful about this survey is that it places the cause of stress - work - at the centre of the conversation. And it's no surprise to me that young people and women experience more stress.
Kyle MacDonald: Why 'Involuntary Celibacy' is a Growing Concern
I'd heard of the "Involuntary Celibate" movement but in the interest of my own wellbeing had largely avoided engaging in any detail.
"Incel", for short, is a small but growing online community of men. They describe themselves in this manner because they believe the lack of sexual interest they get from women is a deprivation of what is naturally theirs: namely, the servitude of women.
It is a world of hate, misogyny, contradiction, male entitlement and disturbance. The Toronto van killing is being described as the action of an "Incel" bent on death and mayhem.
How the hell did we get here? How has this become a movement?
Kyle MacDonald: Why you Should Compare Yourself to Others
We all do it. We look around and compare ourselves with others: our success, what we have, where we live.
As a social animal, it's natural to look for signs that tell us where we might fit in our social groups and communities.
Not only is it natural, it's amplified by capitalism via our advertising-saturated world.
Kyle Macdonald: The Problem With Being Optimistic About Life
Plans, as the saying goes, are what men make while the Gods laugh.
But of course we make them anyway. Because a life without a future, even only an imagined one, isn't much of a life.
Yet when reality crashes headlong into our plans, it is deeply disturbing. Grief, loss, unexpected health changes: we don't plan for these.
Most of us see our future rolled out before us like a straight road that travels uninterrupted to the horizon. And for most of us, this isn't how it will work out.
Kyle MacDonald: Why Israel Folau's Gay Comment is Hate Speech
As a one-eyed All Black fan and rugby tragic, I don't generally like Australian Rugby players.
It's not personal. In fact I'm sure many of them are decent people. David Pocock stands out as an exception, not so much for his on the ground work at the breakdown but his outspoken stands on same sex marriage and environmental issues in Australia.
I've also really admired Israel Folau as a player; a fullback that plays the game like an All Black (that most egocentric Kiwi compliment) and a naturally gifted, multi-code athlete.
For such a modern player, though, it's a shame his views belong in the 1950s.
Kyle MacDonald: Reality TV, Should People's Suffering be Entertainment?
The most interesting studies in psychology occurred around fifty years ago. It's not that we haven't found out anything interesting since then, it's that academic psychology is now required to have all human experiments approved by ethics boards.
Famous studies such as the Milgram Experiment - which measured the likelihood people would cause pain to others if ordered to do so by an authority figure - or the Stanford Prison Experiment which took ordinary people and randomly assigned them to be prisoners or prison guards and had such shocking results the experiment was abandoned - would never have happened if they had to pass through ethics committees.
So while psychology has had to find novel ways to understand human responses in different situations, at the same time not causing them undue or lasting harm, reality TV faces no such inconvenient restrictions.
Kyle MacDonald: It's Dangerous to Teach Kids About Gun Safety
It's amazing how well-intentioned adults can get things profoundly wrong when they wade into a child's world and fail to understand the nature of child's play.
Even the most imaginative child understands the division between play and the real world; the difference between what is pretend and what is true, and from a surprisingly young age.
Most of the time adults get this too. We don't get anxious that children don't understand which end of the dragon is safe to approach, or require them to don an asbestos suit before they battle one. We don't insist they go through rigorous pre-flight checks before taking off in an imaginary jet fighter.
And when children aged 3 and 4 play at driving we don't worry about their later driving habits, anxiously trying to teach them safe following distances.
Nor should we engage children that age with the reality of real gun safety when they're playing at shooting each other, or imaginary baddies.
Kyle MacDonald: Why it's so Hard to Accept Change
Human nature is such that we all have a tendency to consider our way of doing things as the right way. Others and difference are wrong by default.
However, we all grow up, learn, evolve and move away from what we know. But it can be very hard to shift our thinking.
Cultures grow up in the same ways and in many ways it has felt like the current political climate, certainly in the west, has been one of regressing: not moving forward.
If you've been foolish enough to wander into the comments sections of any political blog site it's hard not to be shocked by the degree of vehemence, the intensity of the righteousness.