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Analysis of and commentary on South African politics from a liberal perspective. Winner: Best Political Blog 2012.

Tag: Innovation

On originality


TheThingAboutSERIES: Few things are better able to excite the human mind than originality. It is the result of curiosity, the force behind creativity and impulse that drives discovery. Truly it is a glorious thing, the very touchstone for innovation and, with it, progress and betterment. But why is it so important? What is its nature and effect? What is it about originality that makes it such a powerful – and rare – attribute and why is it we should place such great value upon it?

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What separates the knowledgeable from the ignorant?


ARTICLE: It is difficult to think of two more different people than the person who pursues knowledge and the person who safeguards their own ignorance. If knowledge and its pursuit is not properly promoted and protected an entire society can become caught in ignorance’s false sense of comfort. Curiosity is curtailed, innovation stifled and difference outlawed, and that will bring an end to progress in turn. So it is well worth considering the question: What separates the knowledgeable from the ignorant?

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On diversity


SERIES: The Thing About is a weekly Business Day column designed to discuss democratic ideas, ideals, values and principles from a liberal perspective. At the social cohesion summit, President Jacob Zuma told the audience, “we have to build one national identity out of multiple identities”. It was a thought typical of nationalistic thinking, which routinely fails to understand diversity and its importance.

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Politics and innovation


FEATURE: Innovation is one of those words frequently used but less frequently thought through. In politics in particular, it is used almost exclusively with regards to policy. That is good and necessary, but what about political parties themselves, and the ideologies they espouse? Why is innovation an important principle in a democracy? Why should it be promoted and protected, and what are its benefits? In the short paper below I look at the idea and why it is important.

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On excellence


SERIES: The Thing About is a weekly Business Day column designed to discuss democratic ideas, ideals, values and principles from a liberal perspective. Today, a brief look at the idea of excellence. In particular, how identifying excellence is often confused with its pursuit. In other words, how a description is conflated with an attitude, why the distinction is important and what role each – being able to identify what is excellent and being able to pursue it – plays in a society.

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