Sunday, 29 November 2015

human rationality

I have come to the conclusion based on my own admittedly anecdotal experience, that people in general are not rational at all, and those that are, are rational for reasons I cannot discern; they’re the exception rather than the rule. People accept philosophical positions on most things, it seems, on the basis of statements made in an authoritative and confident tone. This is why for example so many people accept statements like “vaccines are full of toxins” or “processed food is bad for you” or “GMOs will give you cancer” or “9/11 was orchestrated by Bush”, or “Jesus christ died for your sins and came to redeem the world”, etc. As long as you say something with a strongly authoritative tone, that appeals to peoples’ existing prejudices and pre-existing world-view (whatever it is), it’s almost impossible to persuade someone of a contrary view. Indeed, it seems to me that bald assertions, for some reason, are more powerful than argument. Argument is somehow seen as obnoxious, as Nietzsche says, like ‘looking up skirts’.

Friday, 6 November 2015



This is why I am going to avoid giving SAA business in future.

1. They do not automatically credit you with airmiles when you go on their flights. You have to advise the booking agent that you have a voyager member number before you pay for your flight. Otherwise, they don’t credit you. Their system does not automatically detect, on the basis of e.g. your ID number, that you are due to receive airmiles for going on their planes at their inflated prices.

2. Their prices are overinflated. R 1500 one way to East London without airport taxes. On Airlink (a propeller aircraft — read: noisy, bumpy, slower flight). By comparison, Kulula ( was R1000 all-in on a Jet.

3. Voyager and SAA are two different companies, as far as I can tell. If you phone one or the other, either one “can’t do” certain things. So, voyager can “award” points, but can’t book a flight, and SAA can book a flight, but can’t award points. The result is you get passed pillar to post back and forth (I counted ten phone calls, not to mention waiting each time in the call centre queue). You phone the one bunch, they say, no, you can’t book a flight here, they give you the call centre number (instead of just transferring the call). You sit in the queue again. They answer; you get told, no, we can’t pay for your flight with points, you have to call voyager. You call voyager, no, they can’t book the ticket, etc, back and forth.

4. They gave me a “companion” ticket - a free ticket for my wife. I tried to claim it. No, I have to pay for my own ticket, they said. I said - I have airmiles. They said no, you have to pay for your ticket. In other words, I can use the airmiles for myself (and pay for my wife’s ticket), OR, I can use the airmiles to pay for her ticket (and pay in money for mine), but either way, EVEN WITH airmiles AND a companion ticket, I have to pay for one ticket. In short, either the companion ticket is useless, or the airmiles are useless, or both.

5. The airmiles I’ve accrued over one year, with massive spending on my card, AND with an international flight credited, were not enough for a local domestic flight. It didn’t used to be that bad; in the early 2000s I used to be able to get a flight per annum.

6. The airmiles expire before you can use them.

7. Their website is confusing. You try to book with your airmiles and it still asks you to pay with a credit card.

8. It won’t let you use airmiles for a one-way ticket.

9. You pay enough per annum for an air ticket on the “air miles” benefit. In other words, it’s cheaper to buy a ticket with than to pay an annual fee to be a “voyager member” on the odd chance/gamble that you *might* spend enough money to get a free ticket on SAA.

moral of the story, don’t bother.

I’m cancelling my membership ASAP.


I keep getting false advertising that flights are affordable with my voyager miles. I have 20000 or so miles, and I keep seeing adverts like this one that I got this morning in my smeses.

SAA JourneyBlitz offer! Return flights to Cape Town, Durban, Victoria Falls and other SAA destinations for as little as 7 400 Miles. Book at T&C's apply.

Really? I logged into their site and it says I need at least 18000 miles ONE WAY to cape town.

I am going to cancel my account because I actually just NEVER get to use my voyager miles, and it costs me 2000 per annum. I may as well just buy a ticket every year.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

on summary executions of criminals by cops

you're failing to understand the difference between the right to life and the right to property enshrined in the constitution; you've effectively called for the removal of the right to fair trial and the right to life. That is the position held by HF Verwoerd, Adolf Hitler, and Joseph Stalin. Welcome to your bedfellows. When they come for you, saying you're a white racist and sentence you to death, are you going to plead that you have a right to life and a fair trial? Or will you say, oh yes, I favour the cops having the right to issue a death penalty?

Just discovered Nassim Nicholas Taleb

" One should never do anything without skin in the game. If you give advice, you need to be exposed to losses from it." https://e...