Slacking, staycation, and the Optimism Bias

Me in pink shirt on the right, trying my best to dig myself out of a hole during a short seminar sponsored by the Thomson Reuters Foundation in Manila in August 2019. Facilitators include Nick Phythian (left, standing) and Pulitzer Prize winner Manny Mogato (center, standing). (Photo by Emmanuele Parra/Thomson Reuters)

Immediately after I quit my job last year, I looked forward to a month of staying in the Great Indoors and do absolutely nothing.

You got that right, San Mig Light: nothing — just laying about, lollygagging, drifting in and out, like a vegetable fitted with a mediocre human mind (i.e., a set of string beans with brains, a drunkard with an intense hangover, a certain Philippine president, etc.)

Continue reading

COMING SOON: New Duterte biography to be released

Writer, researcher, and freelance journalist Earl Parreño has finished writing a biography of President Rodrigo Duterte. (Bernard Testa)

A new biography of Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duterte will soon be released, its author Earl Parreño said.

The biography “will not demonize him but at the same time, it won’t pass him off as a saint because he’s not,” Mr. Parreño said during an interview.

Continue reading

The accidental witness

There are no accidents.

That’s one of several things I learned during the Global Road Safety Seminar I was lucky enough to attend in Nairobi early this year.

Which is to say that yes, road crashes aren’t exactly accidents at all. To a greater or lesser degree, they are results of personal, cultural, and institutional neglect.
Continue reading