CAMBRIDGE, CAMBRIDGESHIRE - NOVEMBER 02: Portrait of Jordan Peterson at The Cambridge Union on November 02, 2018 in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. (Photo by Chris Williamson/Getty Images)

The best of The Spinoff this week

Bringing you the best weekly reading from your friendly local website.

Danyl Mclauchlan: The subtle art of not giving a fuck about Jordan B Peterson

“That’s the thing about Jordan Peterson. His name is Legion for He is many. You can watch hours of his videos on YouTube, listening to his insights on religion and psychology and modernity, and come away with an impression of an innocuous, fascinating and wise thinker, and you can also read dozens of scathing progressive take-downs of Peterson – the Guardian publishes a new one every few days – which aggregate all his rambling pseudo-philosophical nonsense and his creepy remarks about women and the evils of feminism, and come away with an impression of a malevolent gibberish-spouting misogynistic demon. And then people who’ve had those divergent experiences can jump on social media and scream at each other about how they’ve FAILED TO UNDERSTAND JORDAN PETERSON.

All of this turns out to be a great marketing tool.”

Geoff Simmons: Hey renters – don’t fall for the capital gains tax fantasy

“Here’s a message for young people who don’t yet own a home. In the coming months you will be told that a capital gains tax is your best bet for ever owning a home, that it’s the ‘last chance saloon’ for those struggling to get onto the housing ladder.

Don’t believe a word of it.

Don’t settle for crumbs from the table of the property-owning class. Even with Kiwibuild thrown in, on current trends your chances of owning your own home are as tiny as the room in the flat you are currently renting. Younger generations can, and should, demand better of our government. Anyone from an older generation who wants to offer real hope to future generations should do the same thing.”

Duncan McDonald (left) and Marcus Amosa

Madeleine Chapman: The bitter fight tearing Avondale apart

For 18 years a small group of local business owners ran the Avondale Business Association as they pleased. It took 18 months for two brothers to spark a revolution. Madeleine Chapman reports.

Emily Writes: These are the 10 best sandwich fillings

Usually when I am caught out and need to buy a sandwich I will get it toasted – you need to fondle the bread yourself to make sure it’s soft enough if you’re going to eat it “fresh”. If it’s even slightly stale it’s a ruined sammy.

I don’t think I need to tell you how sandwiches are the perfect breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack – you know that. They are the perfect food because they suit every single mood. Sad? Cheese sandwich. Happy? Tomato. Hungry? Any sandwich. Five? Fairy Bread. It’s an underrated gift no matter who you are. Exhausted from work? Just make a sandwich, it only takes five minutes. Existential crisis? Sandwiches are available quickly so it doesn’t impact your “we are all going to die from climate change” anxiety spiral. Parent? Kids will eat sammies and you will too. My kids are obsessed with objectively the least good bit of the loaf (all loaf is good but there’s a hierarchy), which is End Bread. They will eat this with nothing else on it. Easiest dinner you can make, my friends.

So without further ado, here we go: the top 10 best sammies.

Toby Manhire: John Oliver’s weird fixation on New Zealand: the complete works (so far)

Joining dancing dildos, flags, Eminem and ponytails, getting-left-off-maps can now be added to our rolling collection of the Last Week Tonight show’s coverage of its most favoured/lampooned nation. An ongoing series on John Oliver’s bizarre obsession with New Zealand.

Maria Slade: Salvation Army marches in with an ethical shopping truck for South Auckland

“When the Salvation Army first started in New Zealand in the 1800s it noticed the bakers of the day were exploiting people with extremely high bread prices. So, it threatened to open competing bakeries unless the industry brought its prices down.

It’s amazing how little has changed in 150 years.

The launch of the army’s first ethical shopping truck in South Auckland today is an all-out assault on the fleets of mobile traders that daily cruise around New Zealand’s low socio-economic areas targeting vulnerable consumers.

The Good Shop is a roving truck offering access to financial advice, safe credit and quality goods at no interest – a stark contrast to the 800% interest rates the church has seen in some mobile lenders’ contracts.

When it starts to see these predatory lenders disappear from the nation’s streets it will know it’s succeeding, says the director of the army’s Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit, Major Campbell Roberts. ‘This is about undermining that business model.’”


Just no! Getty Images.

Dylan Reeve: No, you really were not ‘hacked’

“It’s so common now that we barely bat an eyelid – some company holding troves of personal information is hacked and personal data is leaked online… sometimes even on the dark web!

But this commonness also makes it a go-to excuse for those who’ve been caught failing to protect the data they store.

The Sunday Star Times recently reported that the South Canterbury Property Investors’ Association, a landlords group in Timaru, was ‘hacked’ and their ethically dubious lists of rent debtors and criminal convictions were ‘leaked’ online.

The Sunday Star Times went straight to the source, SCPIA president Kerry Beveridge, who declared they were ‘investigating how this happened’ and the article reports that he suggests the ‘database had been hacked and the list posted online.’

It’s an explanation that the Sunday Star Times was happy to report, both in the article and the headline, without any scepticism.

So Kerry, let’s see if we can figure out how this happened…”

John Summers: A white man’s fantasy – and sad reality – of living alone on a Cook Islands atoll

“So then there is drama there, and yet it is all of the island. Neale wrote of feeling fatherly toward Sileia Vessey, the daughter of the two castaways, but never described what it must be like to leave your own two children on the docks without knowing when you’d see them again, nor how the desire to see no one but your wife and children might turn into a wish to see no one.

Maybe we’d have a better book had he explained this, maybe we’d have a worse one, an attempt to defend the indefensible. As it is, what we have is a story self-contained. Like an Agatha Christie, a puzzle to be solved in the company of the reader. Even with Stella’s epilogue, we’ll never know if Neale truly found his peace on Suwarrow, but while reading his book we can have it for a moment ourselves.”

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