Thursday, May 31, 2012

Welcome to Life

Taking Risks

The reason none of us like to take risks is because by doing that we may find that we know less than we do.  In other words, we may experience what it means to be wrong (or mistaken). And it's important to virtually everyone to know that we are right.  About everything.  To challenge this is to shake the ground under our feet, or worse, the foundations of our very lives.

It's interesting then to look at the attraction some (probably most of us) have to gambling.  While we might be risk averse in general, when the opportunity to gamble presents itself, some people jump in with both feet.  I can think of one particular individual who never married, who appears not to have taken too many chances romantically (or otherwise) and who eventually got so addicted to gambling, she would literally wait at an ATM machine for her paycheque and then go straight to the casino and blow whatever she had almost immediately.

Today it is even easier to gamble in the comfort of one's own home. Take All you need is a credit card, an internet connection and off you go. But it seems to me, the attraction to gambling hides a natural element in risk-taking that many of us repress. Repression causes perversion, and gambling with money is a perverse way of satisfying that 'adventurous spirit'.

The odd thing is that when we take risks (healthy risks), perhaps challenging ourselves to meet new people, or losing weight, or moving to a new neighborhood, we also invite opportunities for growth. Anthony Robbins describes happiness as continuous improvement. In other words, we're happy when we're growing. But you can't grow if you don't take risks. Or if you're afraid of making mistakes.

It's an odd adjunct in society today, as Kathryn Schultz notes in 'Being Wrong - Adventures in the Margin of Error', that we "annoint the ultraconfident leaders" yet we deplore the hesitant, cautious leader and tend to label them flip floppers. In other words, society - by and large - feel it better to be bold and wrong, than less certain and right.

"If we assume that people who are wrong are ignorant, or idiotic, or evil - well, small wonder that we prefer not to confront the possibility of error in ourselves," Schultz writes. So, to address this - when we stop judging others or comparing ourselves, we free ourselves to make mistakes (and to learn and to grow). If not, head to the nearest casino.

New Logo

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sports Photographer: Nick van der Leek [CYCLING, TRIATHLON, SWIMMING etc)

Accredited for: Cape Epic, Cell C Tour of South Africa, Tour de Boland, OFM Classic etc.
Published in Bicycling, Cycling Weekly, Ironman Magazine, Triathlon Plus, Tour de France magazine etc.
Interviews: Tim Don, Raynard Tissink, Daryl Impey, Kristian House, Rapha Condor Sharp's John Herety, Andrew McLean, Phil Liggett, Alec Riddle etc.

Diary of a Sub 40 10K #2

Last week I said I'd be talking about eating this week, but recent events have prompted me to focus on HR instead.  (We'll get to eating either next week or the week after).
HR is fascinating as a very accurate measure of performance, and especially measuring improvements in performance, and as such HR is a very effective (and useful) training tool.  Before I begin, one thing to note: using a HR monitor becomes especially interesting when you use it at around the same time of day, on the same course.  The idea is to make yourself the only variable.  Once you change times, temperatures and route profiles, it's more difficult to credit oneself with a good day.

So on that basis I'm pleased to report that on last Sunday's 6km run (May 27) I was able to carve another 30 seconds off my personal best on that course, one week after slicing more than a minute off the previous record. If this sounds like all in day's work - hold it right there!  Just a few short weeks ago I was running that route in 31: 15 and couldn't seem to go any faster.  Literally.  I mean over two consecutive weeks I was purposefully GUNNING for the record, hoping to go under 31 minutes - but all I managed was  a 31:15.  Guess what: 7 days later I went - alone - to the road, and filled with sheer determination and chutzpah, all I managed to do was run a second slower.  My heart rate average was 158, maximum 167. 

What has changed since then?  Well I've been on a low carbohydrate diet (one of the three initiatives I mentioned in #1) for the past 3-4 weeks, and today when I weighed myself I tipped the scales at 86.2kg - the lightest in more than a few months.  So running faster has happened thanks in large part to simple weight loss.  But psychologically it's been helpful to have a specific target in terms of exertion, to measure the run against - in REAL TIME.  What I mean is, at any moment, whilst running the course, I can look at my HRM and see whether I'm not going hard enough or not.  So what was helpful on the 27th was having this data (from May the 20th) in the back of my head:

 For starters, note the time it took to reach the psychologically significant level of 160 BPM.  Just over 10 minutes, or almost 2km.  Remember this is running along an uphill gradient for at least the entire first 10 minutes.  Also interesting is that there's a slight dip in HR after the 25 minute mark - exactly when one ought to be digging deep and speeding up for a final surge.  Even so, this run represented a real breakthrough - if breaching 30 minutes was big after struggling to break 31, imagine the surprise going 28:52 without going for broke.  I mean, look at that HR: 159 BPM average, that's just 2 BPM higher than when I ran 31:16.  My maximum HR here is just 3 BPM higher.  Point is, when I looked at these values I had an idea that another chunk of time was there for the taking.

So I set myself about the task of trying to push my maximum HR over 170.  I decided the perfect opportunity for that was on a weekly run with Craig Booth up Albrecht Road - one of the steepest, sharpest climbs in the city.  So here's what happened.
Strange for me - but despite putting in a big effort, I wasn't even able to hit 170, let alone go higher.  So the idea for the next hard run was simple - SEE HOW HARD YOU CAN PUSH YOUR HR.  The focus was more on maximum HR than average HR, and the idea was to get it elevated sooner rather than later.  Which is why I reached the 160 level in about half the time on the 27th - around 6 minutes.
You'll also notice that unlike the run on the 20th, my HR doesn't level out nearly as much, and there is no dip after the 25 metre mark although it is fairly flat.  The gray line represents the gradient, so you can see why it's not straightforward to maintain a high level of exertion - here the road goes downhill fairly steeply.

It remains interesting to me that even though I amputated 30 seconds off my PB I managed to raise my average HR by a mere 2 BPM over the previous record.  I was happy to get my HR MAX to 172 (also just 2 BPM more than previously). So the mark to beat when next I go over Albrecht will be 172. And my sights in the 6km have to be on going under 28 and getting to 27 - which is 4:30 min/km, and halfway (in my mind) to getting to the ultimate goal which is a sub 40 minute 10K.

Sidenote: Today (Tuesday, 29 May) was the first run since last year in my Vibram Fivefingers.  Ran 7km at around 6 minutes per kilometre.  The left side of my right foot's heel felt a little bruised; otherwise the run felt very comfortable.  We'll see how my calves hold up tomorrow morning.
 UPDATE: On Wednesday I got my HR up to its highest yet, 173 - 5 more than the previous week - going over Albrecht.  See above:

Friday, May 25, 2012

The cost of living goes up and up and up...

INEPTOCRACY by David Hill [via The]


Much like inheriting a billion pounds only to die broke or forfeiting a three goal half time lead; ineptocracy is one’s failure to succeed from a position of strength.

A political example of ineptocracy would be South Africa’s ruling party the ANC; who after 18 years of leading one of the most fertile and resource rich countries in the world hasn’t developed any sustainable solutions to generating wealth for its people beyond affirmative action, land redistribution and the nationalization of assets.

After almost two decades of rule, the ANC’s sole solution to endowing its people is still to merely take wealth away from others. Surely this is their failure?

Consider that South Africa is the only country in the world whose affirmative action policy favours a majority who also happens to have complete political control. In the rest of the world affirmative action is designed to favour the politically un-represented minority, not the politically strong majority.

South Africa now appears to have a system of government whereby the ruling party is elected by the non- contributing majority, who in turn are then rewarded with subsidies, goods and services paid for from the earnings of the contributing minority.

The flaw with this system is that nowhere does there exist a plan, nor an incentive, for this impoverished majority to actually start contributing to the economy and hence they continue to demand more from their elected leaders who in turn continue to deflect the wealth generation burden onto the contributing minority.

Clearly this cycle of diminishing returns is not sustainable as eventually the expectation of the non-contributing majority will become too high and the burden on the contributing minority will become too great. In the end something has got to give as no economy can bear 20 million people supporting 50 million people.

To further illustrate just how poorly the ANC has done at generating wealth solutions for its people over the past 18 years, consider Germany and Japan who at the end of World War II were completely decimated by the Allied bombings and were thus economically distraught. Neither had any industry, agriculture nor natural resources to generate wealth from, yet within 20 years both countries had uplifted themselves to being highly employed, economic powerhouses. Clearly both these governments achieved vastly more for their people with significantly less over a similar period of time and without disadvantaging any demographic.

So the fact that after two decades of complete political control the ANC has failed to secure wealth generation systems for its people beyond affirmative action and nationalisation, well is that not the very definition of ineptocracy?

Shark Riders - Introducing GoPro's New Dive Housing

Diary of a Sub 40 minute 10K #1

The idea to revisit the 4 minute per kilometre (and faster) territory hit me this year, when I turned 40 on the 19th of January. There's an irony in the goal - turning 40 years old, effectively reaching the halfway mark through a lifetime - and then trying to run a time I last ran when I was half my age.

Going under 40. That's the goal.

You know, if I hadn't already run faster than 40 minutes in what sometimes seems like a former life - and if I didn't have it on record - it's possible I'd consider it a bridge too far. Because let's face it, in the good old days as a triathlete speedster I weighed 20 kilograms less than I do now. Literally.
To be honest, I've still had my doubts, that it was a bridge too far in spite of successful earlier efforts several decades -  okay, let's not exaggerate - two decades earlier.  Let's just say that I respect the difficulty of the goal.  And this is why, although I had my heart set on the sub 40 goal as early as January, I've only just started communicating that desire to others over the last few days.

Why now? Because recently I've broken through the 50 minute barrier. It's taken 5 months to go from 58 minutes to 48 minutes, but the real work starts now.

My strategy is threefold.
1. Train consistently.
2. Lose weight (to get to sub 45 minutes I need to be under 80kg, to get to sub 40 minutes, I'll need to drop another 5kg, probably more.)
3. Run barefoot, or at least, strengthen the feet and legs by using increasingly minimalist footwear.

As I begin this diary, I've balanced those three goals quite nicely, which is why I've seen fairly rapid improvements.

Here's a summary of my training, copied from an email I sent to a friend last week:

 I haven't been injured in a long time.  One thing someone noticed not long ago was that my left foot was sort of collapsing inward at the heel. You couldn't see it from the front. He said it was painful to look at.  When I got home I checked in the mirror and so waar, it was pronating inwards badly. It's because those shoes have a very high and soft heel. So I tossed away my Nike Pegasus and bought a pair of Nike Frees (5.0) which has a much lower heel (3.0 are even lower).  Now I do all my running in fairly minimalist shoes, the Frees and Puma Faas.  Once I've adapted a little better I'll do occasional runs in my Vibrams.  

You have to transition slowly to less cushioned shoes.  You feel quite stiff initially, so you have to be patient.  It doesn't feel right running in 2-3 different pairs of shoes a week, but I think it teaches your feet and legs to adapt.

But beyond everything I've mentioned here, what's helped my running the most is running often, but quite slow. I run about 4-5 times a week, mileage is around 40km a week, and starting to add a bit to that now again.  I started with quite a few very easy 5km runs, and then occasionally added a 10-14km run once a week, and then one hardish fast/uphill run.  My easy runs are now each 7km.
Because I've been quite heavy it's been tough to run fast right off the bat, which has also helped gradually, slowly strengthen the muscles.

It's interesting that in the old days it was verboten to mix shoes; it was considered a prerequisite for injury. Now the opposite appears to be true. Incidentally, the above image is the best evidence I have of my fastest 10km, which was at a triathlon on the West Coast, Mykonos.  If memory serves me I've run 37-38 minutes 3 times.  During those years I was aiming for 35 minutes but never got there.
If that race seems like a flash in the pan, I remember this race (in Plett) below, like it was yesterday.  I remember it well because I seemed to get stronger and faster as the 5km run went on, which for me was the exception, rather than the rule.  I also remember the Plett race because by girlfriend at the time was there, and a friend from school, Garth, and both said that I actually finished 3rd, not 4th.  It's one of my long time regrets that I never went to the organisers to make certain.  I remember waiting for Rassie Smit in the parking lot to ask him what he thought, except I couldn't find him.  In any event, it's stuff like this that leaves one with unfinished business.  Something to prove.
The above race, a standard triathlon shows a near 40 minute 10km.  Given my cycling and transition time (1:03:18) it's a fairly decent time. And below is another low 40's 10km run.
My fastest standard triathlon ever was a 2:00:00 in Richard's Bay, a SA TRI CHAMPS event.  I got off the bike joint first with Francois Vorster and then lost 5 places on the run.  But that was almost certainly another 37 minute 10km.

But that was then.  My weight has gone from a skinny 66-68kg (and 7% body fat) to 94kg.  Over the past 5 months I've lost 8kg, but even 86kg is heavy.  My fastest 10km was 2-3 weeks ago, a 48:55 in the first 10km of the Glen half marathon.
My fastest 6km was just last Sunday, when I ran 28:52, more than a minute better than my previous effort (29:59).  My average heart rate on the last run was 159, 1 lower than on my previous record attempt.

Next Thursday (I'll be blogging on this each Thursday) I'll write more about what I'm eating, and how that has significantly changed my energy levels and weight.
Wishing you well for your road.

Monday, May 21, 2012

New Title Sponsor of Cape Pioneer Trek

Emile Aldum, CEO bridge, a market leader in the financial services industry, announced that the bridge company is the new title sponsors of the Cape Pioneer Trek.

The bridge Cape Pioneer Trek route is designed by the legendary adventurer, Katot Meyer. The route traverses two mountain ranges, across the arid semi-desert Karoo and continues through the coastal forests of the garden route coast. The final route will be announced at the end of May 2012.
The bridge Cape Pioneer Trek takes place between 14 and 20 October. Only 250 teams of two riders will be allowed to enter.

“This partnership will enable us to bring even better service to the riders, and increase the allocation of resources to our ever willing and passionate community partners. bridge is a company with strong social responsibility principles, and this aligns perfectly with what this race stands for”, said Henco Rademeyer from Dryland Event Management. He added: “. The bridge values include the uniqueness of the product, the accessibility, efficiency and dynamism in which challenges are addressed, and the calculated risks that riders face on this pioneering exploit”.                 

Emile Aldum of bridge says that the bridge Cape Pioneer Trek is the ultimate test of endurance and aligns with the core values of the bridge business and daring to be different. He says that the family atmosphere and the camaraderie of the riders he experienced during last year’s race, influenced his decision to sponsor the Cape Pioneer Trek .

Johan van Wyk, CEO Marketing of bridge says that the company is proud to be associated with such a prestigious event and is looking forward to a long lasting relationship with the bridge Cape Pioneer Trek.

“In addition, we will be serving and be visible in the communities we serve. By sponsoring this race we will uplift the community. This is just another way of thanking them for the loyal support they have shown us over the last 18 years”, says Johan van Wyk.

The duration of the sponsorship will be five years.

About bridge
The success of bridge  can be ascribed to the appetite for risk the Aldum family has shown over the years. In addition to this, the company understands its clients and their needs, while remaining focused. The bridge company aims to be an employer of choice where bridge is a household name and synonymous with fast, uncomplicated and easy financing.

The business grew from humble beginnings in 1994 at the back office of a dry cleaning business in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, into the hugely successful business it is today. It has become one of the fastest-growing business opportunities in the industry. The head office moved to Pretoria to accommodate the growth and to position it as a foremost loans company.

More information can be found at

The Facebook Phenomenon -

Therapists fear that social networking is changing the way we relate to each other

“People are coming home and getting on their computers instead of having sex with their partners,” says Cameron Yarbrough, a couples therapist in San Francisco and a friend of the reporter. “I see couples break up over this stuff. This is real.”

Read the original article here.

On another level, communicating over electronic channels strips the emotional context from conversations. Some people, young and old, are choosing to communicate with each other through texting and social networks specifically to avoid the ambiguity and awkwardness of telephone and in-person conversations. But it is through those ambiguous, awkward moments that people truly get to know one another. It is by interpreting facial expressions, tones of voice, and half-finished sentences that we figure each other out, and become sympathetic to others’ points of view.

Some experts worry that the more people habituate themselves to these rational, binary communication channels – thumbs up, thumbs down, smiley face, frowny face – the less they pay attention to, and tolerate, the nuances of emotions. Our brains are increasingly colonising our hearts.
“Those parts of who we are as human beings are becoming less available as we become more attached to our technology,” says Michael Klein, a clinical psychologist and couples’ therapist in San Francisco. “It has a very negative impact on relationships.”

In the past few years, Klein and other therapists have also noticed an increase in extramarital affairs facilitated by Facebook.
“People reconnect with old flames from college or school, and there’s this easy way to flirt or chat,” he says. “And when people are dissatisfied in their marriages, which is a fairly chronic condition in our society, it’s easy for those flirtations to catch fire.”

There is little quantitative research on these points. Various studies have been conducted about people’s use of technology and social media platforms, but few have examined the kinds of sensitive issues that arise in therapy offices on a larger scale. Many questions remain to be asked, let alone answered, about the effects online social networks have on our closest relationships.

We are in a transition. Humans have always created technology before figuring out how to manage it socially. Both benefits and pitfalls emerge, and humans adapt. Many people praise mobile phones and social networks for keeping them connected to loved ones, especially those they must be apart from – for work, school, or even military service. Humans are still identifying and balancing the pros and cons. Online social rules and etiquette have yet to be codified. But the trend is forging ahead, and people, young and old, are increasingly living their relationships online.
. . .
When Facebook was in its infancy, Mark Zuckerberg and his co-founders sat around a table in a house in Palo Alto and zeroed in on their computers. Eyes glued to the computer screen, no one talking. Early accounts of Zuckerberg, by venture capitalists and journalists, describe him as an introverted, socially awkward guy. Brilliant, visionary, yes. But willing to chit-chat or engage in social niceties, no.

When we tweet, we get surges of dopamine and other neurochemicals that make us feel excited - Stan Tatkin, assistant clinical professor, UCLA
Silicon Valley is a land of introverts. Scores of geeks flock to the area to join or start their own technology company. They are idealistic and passionate about the computer code stored in their laptops. But social charmers, there are few. Many, though certainly not all, are painfully shy, quiet, awkward. They are reluctant to make eye contact, staring at the table while they describe how they get people to connect with each other online. They detest talking about themselves. And yet these are the young men Valley venture capitalists call “the geniuses of social”.

How these engineers define social in the online context is, of course, markedly different from how their psychotherapists would define it. In Facebook-land, social = clicks. What these engineers are good at is manipulating which buttons you click, so that you click more of them. Accept more friend requests. Like more posts. Join this game. The idea is that the more you share, the more you invite your other friends to join the site, the bigger Facebook’s audience grows and the more robust the virality of the network becomes. This enables the company to demonstrate what a dominant internet powerhouse it is – to convince other companies, such as music businesses and newspapers, to allow Facebook to distribute their content; to convince advertisers to spend money on advertisements, and to convince investors to buy its stock in the public markets.

Facebook measures its success by the 901m monthly users it has around the world, who “Like” things or write a comment 3.2bn times every day, and who attracted $3.7bn in advertising sales and gaming payments for the site last year.

That is why Facebook’s debut on the public markets this month has been one of the most hotly anticipated in history, and why venture capitalists are eagerly scouring Silicon Valley for the next social media phenomenon. They have invested billions of dollars in recent years in a range of “social” start-ups that provide us with even more opportunities to log in to our devices – to share photos, celebrity news, our shopping habits, our eating habits, our illnesses. The more users a company attracts, and the longer they spend on the site, the more excited the investors become.
Virality is not depth, however. Humans have always shared things, for many different reasons, well before social networks came along. Now, these digital sharing sites have encouraged people to share more things, with many more people, and much more quickly than before. They have created a platform for continuous feedback that keeps us coming back for more, checking to see if anyone else Liked, or retweeted, our post. It is an ego-pleasing activity.

 In extreme cases this can lead to “social media addiction”, with two different types of people most at risk: egocentric types who derive pleasure from positive self-presentation and positive feedback, and people with low self-esteem who find online social networking easier to navigate than “the demands of real-life proximity and intimacy”, according to a paper in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Whether we do it for healthy or unhealthy reasons, we are doing it. Facebook’s blue thumbs-up logo is all over the internet, reminding us to share and share again. Engineers who were terrified of asking a girl to a dance, who got bullied by the popular kids in high school, now have nearly 1bn people logging in to their creation every month, abiding by a new set of social customs they created.
It is the ultimate revenge of the geeks.

Michael Fishman and Lori Borizoski©Steve
On Facebook, people get to edit, delete, retouch ... We’re performing all the time - Sherry Turkle, clinical psychologist
With Facebook, a range of things that were once private are now public. Mark Zuckerberg has frequently said he wants Facebook to push contemporary boundaries of what people share, so people will share more. He believes this will make the world a more transparent place in general – holding governments and corporations to a new, higher level of accountability.

In many respects, it has worked. Airlines and consumer companies with bad customer service have been publicly shamed on Facebook, and forced to modify their policies and business practices. Governments in the Middle East have faced social uprisings and revolutions facilitated by people organising on Facebook and other social networks.

However, it is unclear how much all the online sharing we do within our social circles actually strengthens our closest relationships. To be fair, fostering deep, meaningful relationships is not part of Facebook’s mission statement. But we seem to be trading quality for quantity. The bigger Facebook networks have grown, the more concerned people have become with the image they present of themselves on Facebook. It has strayed from the destination for “authentic” communication that Zuckerberg envisioned, into a platform for the “performance” of the self.
“On Facebook, people get to edit, delete, retouch,” says Sherry Turkle, a clinical psychologist based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and author of Alone Together. “Facebook has raised the issue of performance of self to the main event, [for people] from nine years old onwards. We’re performing ourselves all the time online.”

And we are also performing our relationships – proving to our friends, to our ex-lovers and to ourselves that the love we have now is real, maybe better than what we had before.
“You’re a real person in real life, but you can manipulate that Facebook world,” says Michael Fishman. “It’s its own living social environment, so you live vicariously through these computer relationships.”

Michael regards Facebook as a creative outlet, a place to recreate his real-life relationship in photos and love notes and elusive quotes. Sometimes Lori will spend hours on Facebook to look at all the photos and comments, and reminisce. “It made our bond stronger,” he says.
Sometimes, they fight about Facebook. On Facebook. Lori might get upset about something he posted, or didn’t post, Michael says, or if other women flirt with him on the site. In response, he might post an indirect comment on his page about trust and loyalty, and attract scores of comments from friends. Sometimes, if they’re really mad at each other, Lori threatens to tell everyone on Facebook that they’re breaking up. “Facebook is always involved in some aspect,” he says.
. . .
Therapists have seen this kind of public airing of dirty laundry in numerous cases. While some couples talk things through and resolve their conflicts offline, some are using online communications to lash out at each other and, in effect, avoid their problems, according to Cameron Yarbrough, the couples therapist in San Francisco. They bring others into the fight by posting about it, and allow comments from other people to play out, rather than discuss it directly with each other.
“That’s called triangulating,” says Yarbrough. “It disperses stress and anxiety to a group, rather than containing it between the two people. Facebook is like triangulation on steroids.”
The fallout involves more hurt feelings and a loss of trust. Something private and intimate in a relationship has been exploited, and that confuses the couple’s ability to understand and empathise with one another.

“To protect those feelings, people have to become more removed emotionally, less vulnerable,” says Michael Klein. Which means that people actually share less with each other, or that what they share is less meaningful. The connection can be diluted further if the couple retreat into technological escapism. People avoid the difficult issues by spending more time online.

“It’s a case of, ‘I don’t want to clean the house, I can always check Facebook,’” Yarbrough says. “Or, ‘I don’t want to work out this problem I’m having with my girlfriend, I can look at Facebook. We’re not having sex enough and I don’t want to deal with that, I can always look at my Facebook.’”
It becomes a repeating cycle. The more we retreat to our computers, the more we train ourselves out of confronting difficulty, and we actually start to lose our ability to deal with it. “We lose this quality of self-reflection,” says Klein. “Because once you’re distracted, self-reflection becomes harder. And as self-reflection becomes harder, there’s a pull to become more distracted.”
The social network revolution is still new to adults. Facebook launched just over eight years ago on college campuses. So while the married couples whom therapists are seeing today might have met on Facebook, they formed their first relationships and intimate bonds before the ubiquity of status updates and Likes.

The more we retreat to our computers, the more we lose our ability to deal with difficulty - Michael Klein, clinical psychologist
Today, young people are on Facebook from age 13, and often younger. They are on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram too. Some 77 per cent of teens have a mobile phone, and 23 per cent of them have smartphones, according to Pew. They are constantly connected with their friends from school through the internet. They can talk about homework and gossip online well into the evening, text their friends from bed before they go to sleep, and reach for their phones the moment they wake up.
Online relationship dramas are common among the younger generations – as common as offline relationship dramas tend to be in adolescence, says Danah Boyd, a senior researcher at Microsoft Research. She argues that young people are conducting their relationships primarily through texts and social networks, mainly because the opportunity to see each other alone without adult supervision is so limited. For this younger generation, digital communication is the path to intimacy rather than a distraction from it.

The performative aspects of these networks are amplified for teens, with the panoply of romances and breakups on full public display. Boyd saw one 17-year-old boy’s online sentiments go from “I love my girlfriend AMY” to “I hate my stupid bitch ex-girlfriend” in a matter of a week.
“Today’s teens are part of a significant shift in how intimate communication and relationships are structured, expressed and publicised,” writes sociologist CJ Pascoe in the book Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out.

It remains to be seen what kind of cases this shift will deliver to therapists in 10 or 20 years’ time. They could grow out of certain social networking habits in the same way teens grow out of a range of behaviours, and arrive in their adult relationships no worse, or better, than their parents did. Right now, all generations are navigating the lines of public and private, deciding what to share or not to share, according to their own starting points.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Victoria Grant introduces Banking

Sarie Kompetitisie: Het jy fotos of 'n fotograaf nodig? Kontak my dadelik. Inskrywings sluit Mei 23!

Jy moet minstens 18 jaar oud wees en ’n SA of Namibiese burger. Inskrywings (pos en aanlyn) sluit 23 Mei 2012.
Die beoordelaars sal 35 semi-finaliste aankondig wat in die Julie-uitgawe sal verskyn. Hieruit sal 10 finaliste gekies word, wat deur SARIE vir die September-uitgawe afgeneem sal word.
Daarna sal lesers aanlyn op vir hul gunsteling kan stem. Dié stemme sal saam met die beoordelaars s’n tel om die wenner aan te wys. Sy sal op die November 2012-voorblad van SARIE verskyn.

* Jou gesig moet die praatwerk doen. Dit moet kopers lok om SARIE van die rak op te tel.
* Oë, oë, oë. Jou oë moet léwe – hulle moet sprankel.
* ’n Aanloklike glimlag en mooi tande.
* Jy moet oop, vriendelik, warm en gemaklik met jouself wees. ’n Foto verklap als.
* Vroue wil jou beste vriendin wees, mans wil jou uitvra!
* ’n Lewenslus en energie wat INSPIREER.
* Nee, nie beeldskoon nie, en nee, nie noodwendig ’n model nie: net ’n natuurlike skoonheid. Vir een keer hoef jy nie so slank en lank soos ’n model te wees nie.
* Positief en trots Suid-Afrikaans.

1ste plek
• Jy verskyn op SARIE se November 2012-voorblad
• Jy wen R50 000 kontant van Clicks
2de plek
• Jy wen R5 000 kontant van Clicks
Elk van die 10 finaliste kry ’n geskenkpak van Clicks en R1 000 kontant.


1. ’n Kop-en-skouers-foto – jy moet direk na die kamera kyk

2. ’n Kop-en-skouersfoto teen ’n 45°-hoek terwyl jou oë steeds direk na die kamera kyk.

3. ’n Vollengte-foto. Onthou, al 3 jou foto’s moet in kleur wees.
* Foto’s wat aanlyn opgelaai word, kan 72 DPI wees met ’n maksimum van 4 MB elk.

Vir fotos bel Nick van der Leek by 08 44 11 44 91, of per epos: