Is this how it ends - image for article by Greg Alder

Is this how it ends?


Imagine you’re a woman. (If you’re a woman, please disregard this preliminary step.) We’ll call you Rachel. (If Rachel’s your real name, then here’s something else you needn’t imagine.) Five years ago, you married your high school sweetheart. Last year…

Shutter open - image for article by Greg Alder

Shutter open


I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking. This is a line from Christopher Isherwood’s 1939 novel Goodbye To Berlin. The line inspired a play, then a musical. The brilliant Bob Fosse directed a film…

No two architects - image for article by Greg Alder

No two architects


The macadamia farmer is a lawyer. The bicycle maker is a chemist. The artist is an accountant. People used to have a single career. Often a single job. Not today. Today we change careers. We study, we graduate, we change….

Seeds of certainty - image for article by Greg Alder

Seeds of certainty


Remember when? Chances are that you think you do. But you don’t. Chances are that some details in your memory of past events are false. They seem real and you’re certain that they’re real. But they are fake memories of…

Unschool your brain - image for article by Greg Alder

Unschool your brain


The things we learn in life. The truths, the lies, the tips, the warnings, the feelings and procedures and techniques and theories and formulae that confront us daily. The thousands of fragments of information that assault our eyes and jam…

shame of failure - image for article by Greg Alder

Shame of failure


Lots of things prevent us from reaching our full potential. One of these is our aversion to failure. It isn’t something we were born with. Babies feel no shame at failing something new, such as getting food to their mouths….

The curious child - image for article by Greg Alder

The curious child


Kids wonder. Kids imagine. Kids ask questions. Lots of questions. Questions we adults can’t imagine asking. “What happens if you throw a tomato at the sun?” “Why can’t I see my eyes?” “Why did swear words get invented if we’re…

Love comes first - image for article by Greg Alder

Love comes first


In the kitchen of a restaurant on an island off the East coast of Australia, the cook lifts another Moreton Bay bug onto his chopping board. With practiced casualness, he makes incisions in the membrane where the head and body…

Intuitive intelligence - image for article by Greg Alder

Intuitive Intelligence


About twenty years ago, on the morning after a company Christmas party, I did an online Mensa IQ test. I had been seriously overserved the preceding night. I was in far from sparkling form. Not ideal circumstances in which to…

Your life as a sieve - image for article by Greg Alder

Your life as a sieve


You have approximately 70,000 thoughts every day. If that seems like a lot, it might be because you’re not conscious of 63,000 of them. They occur subliminally. If you live eighty years, that’s 5.6 million thoughts in your lifetime. What…