Is It Time to Ban Male Infant Genital Mutilation in New Zealand?

On the face of it, it seems obvious that it should be illegal to mutilate a person without their consent in New Zealand. If the mutilation was done to a newborn baby without their consent, it seems even more obvious. But if the mutilation was part of a religious tradition intended to bind the child to a primitive male supremacist Middle Eastern cult, it’s fully legal.

Why?

We all know that the various cults of Abrahamism have the plebs of New Zealand wrapped around their little fingers, so much so that it’s only in recent decades that we have been able to stop them putting homosexuals in cages and from bashing their own kids, and we still haven’t been able to prevent them from doing the same to medicinal cannabis users.

Despite that, it’s obvious that the reasons people give for supporting male infant genital mutilation (or “circumcision” to use the religious terminology) are superstitious in nature, and that the decision to inflict the procedure upon an infant is not done with their best interests in mind.

The concept of cleanliness that a nomadic desert savage may have had 2,800 years ago is hardly the same as those of a modern nation with access to clean, fresh water and a ready supply of soap.

Getting mutilated for the sake of avoiding penile cancer, likewise, makes little sense when one considers the actual likelihood of that happening. It doesn’t make any more sense than chopping off your ears or lips for the sake of avoiding cancer, or gouging out an eyeball.

And the oft-touted idea that male infant genital mutilation could be a good thing because when the baby grows into a man he will “last longer” in bed is a bizarre and brutal enough sentiment that many women will shudder upon hearing it, especially those who feel that there’s more to lovemaking than just lying back and getting jackhammered.

The reality is that there are no benefits to the victim of male genital infant mutilation, as fits the otherwise widely-accepted general rule for cases of non-consensual physical mutilation of infants.

The major reason why this ritual continues, despite the denials, is religious. Jewish and Muslim groups were outraged when, in 2012, a court in Cologne deemed male infant genital mutilation to be equivalent to grievous bodily harm.

It has to be considered that the cult of Abrahamism still has a powerful grip on the minds of the weaker sort of New Zealander, which is why the last Labour Government ran out of political capital after it banned physical abuse as a behavioural correction mechanism on children.

Abrahamic puritanism still dominates our drug laws, which are now over twenty years behind where they are in places like California or the Netherlands that do not have societies riddled with religious fundamentalists.

Given that, it is impossible for Kiwis to expect that our politicians, whose cowardice is world-class, will do much about it.

If male infant genital mutilation is to be made illegal in New Zealand, it is best that it be done soon because of the degree of Stockholm Syndrome that the victims of this practice have with their mutilators.

It is well known that victims of male infant genital mutilation will passionately defend the practice as adults because the alternative is to face the shame of admitting that one has been mutilated with the consent of one’s parents. Few are capable of dealing with this magnitude of headfuck.

In fact, it’s arguable that the entire purpose of the procedure is to massively traumatise the boy in order to make him submissive and more obedient to the demands of his religious elders (after all, this is what it most effectively achieves, whether this is admitted or not).

If we are to go as far as making it illegal to genitally mutilate infant boys without their consent, we may also need to allocate some funding for the psychological rehabilitation of adults who were mutilated by their parents, because we can anticipate that this particular redpill might not be easy to swallow.

South Africa in New Zealand 2017 Test Series Preview

Kagiso Rabada, at only 21 years of age, is considered one of the most likely to play an influential role in this series

The limited overs leg of the 2017 South Africa tour of New Zealand was a close-fought contest that ended in South Africa’s favour. As the limited overs game is New Zealand’s strong suit, that means that the South Africans will take the ascendancy into the three-match Test series beginning tomorrow in Dunedin.

South Africa are ranked No. 3 in the world and the Black Caps No. 5. This might not be a large gap but the market is much more confident of a South Africa win. The Proteas are paying only $2.24 on BetFair to win the First Test, compared to the Black Caps paying $3.70 and the Draw $3.60.

The Black Caps will not fondly recall the disappointment from when these two sides last met in Tests – the two match series in South Africa last August. The First Test was ruined by rain and the Second saw the Black Caps at one stage 4 down for 7 runs before a respectable, if futile, rearguard from Henry Nicholls.

Since then, the Black Caps have demolished both Pakistan and Bangladesh at home. Although South Africa will be tougher than either of those two Asian sides in New Zealand conditions, the Black Caps’ home advantage should make this series more interesting than the previous encounter in South Africa last August.

If one makes the assumption that Tom Latham’s poor recent ODI form will not carry over into the Test arena, then the Black Caps top order looks as solid as it ever has been.

They will have the highest ranked Test batsman on display for either side, in Kane Williamson at 4th. His returns in the past year have been good but mediocre by his high standards and he would like to play a defining innings against the South Africans.

Ross Taylor at 15th and Tom Latham at 26th, with Jeet Raval looking solid in his limited opportunities so far, make it a respectable, if far from intimidating, Black Caps top order.

They will not be favoured to dominate the South African bowling attack, though, even in the absence of Dale Steyn. The 21-year old Kagiso Rabada had barely had time to find his feet but has already risen to 5th in the Test bowling rankings, with two five-wicket hauls in only 14 Tests.

He will likely open the bowling with Vernon Philander, who averages 21.40 with the ball over 40 Tests. In terms of bowling average, at least, it will be easily the most formidable opening bowling pair the Black Caps have faced since their last series against South Africa.

They also have Morne Morkel, whose height and bounce pose a threat that New Zealand batsmen rarely face, and an almost total unknown in left-arm orthodox Keshav Maharaj.

The Black Caps have no real bowling spearheads but are capable of sustained pressure. Neil Wagner, Trent Boult and Tim Southee occupy positions 11 to 13 on the Test bowling rankings table.

These three bowlers have proven themselves capable of hunting as a pack, and the variety of Wagner’s left-arm bouncer barrage, Boult’s left-arm swing and Southee’s right-arm seam should make it difficult for the South African batsmen to settle. It will also be interesting to see if Mitchell Santner can usefully transfer his tight ODI bowling into the Test arena.

The South African Test batting unit might not be as terrifying as it is in ODIs but it still poses a threat. They do not have AB de Villiers for this series but both of Hashim Amla and Quentin de Kock are ranked in the top 10 and either could play a matchwinning knock.

The Black Caps bowlers will back their bowling plans against the other batsmen like Faf du Plessis, Stephen Cook, Dean Elgar, JP Duminy and Temba Bavuma. None of the batsmen in South Africa’s second tier pose a particular threat but all are very good players. Even if the Black Caps pick up a string of wickets somewhere they will always have to work hard to get the rest.

A heavyweight South Africa side without their best two players and playing in foreign conditions over three Tests against a middle-of-the-pack Black Caps side hungry to make the top tier promises to be highly competitive cricket. This column is guessing the most likely outcome to be a two-one win to South Africa or a one-all draw.

Should There be an ODI Tri-Nations?

ODI tournament cricket involving Australia, South Africa and New Zealand has been at the highest standard for all of this century – time to make it a permanent fixture?

There seems to be a paradigm shift going on in the world of international cricket at the moment. The rise of T20 cricket and international T20 leagues has revolutionised viewing patterns and brought tens of millions of new fans to the game.

This essay suggests a change that, although it should be welcome, is a bit more humble: making a ODI tri-nations involving Australia, South Africa and New Zealand into a regular fixture.

It hasn’t been feasible to suggest such a thing previously because the Black Caps have not previously been up to the extremely high standards set by South Africa and Australia (apart from South Africa’s generally poor showing in Cricket World Cups).

But now it seems like the Black Caps can hold their own against both of those other sides in ODIs, and will be able to for the forseeable future, making a tri-nations a legitimate contest.

There are many strong parallels between this idea and the already proven successful concept of doing exactly the same thing in rugby.

For one, there are very close cultural links between the three countries. All three are children of the British Empire, all play cricket, rugby, hockey, all speak English etc. For decades there has been considerable immigration between the three countries.

That was the logic that led to the advent of the Tri Nations rugby tournament. This proved to be a roaring success, as there was a consistent demand to see a regular, high-quality, competitive tournament.

The Chappell-Hadlee ODI series cup played between Australia and New Zealand has also been a success, with the name of the tournament becoming a byword for close and exciting games. This would naturally fall under the ambit of this tri-nations in the same way the Bledisloe Cup fell under the ambit of the rugby Tri Nations.

The current South Africa-Black Caps ODI series has become a seesaw grudge match because of the excellence of both sides and because of feelings of unfinished business around South Africa’s loss in the CWC semifinal at Eden Park in 2015.

And cricket fans around the world know that Australia versus South Africa is the matchup most likely to pose the greatest test of skill now and in the near future at least.

So all three ingredients in this mix are high-grade.

There is already a precedent for this kind of thing – the Australians regularly play ODI tri-series with two visiting teams (or even Australia A), and there has even been one iteration when the visiting teams were South Africa and New Zealand – and it was by all accounts an excellent series (but not for Steve Waugh, who was replaced by Ricky Ponting as ODI captain in the wake of Australia’s defeat).

If Australia were to host it permanently or semi-permanently on the grounds that they would get by far the best crowds, they could arrange to play either New Zealand or South Africa in a Test series either before or after the tri-nations, smoothing the logistic arrangements.

With international cricket undergoing many changes at the moment, it’s possible that a regular fixture like this might gain in popularity as it develops a history and established rivalry.

South Africa in New Zealand 2017 Limited Overs Series Preview

The theme of revenge for South Africa’s 2015 Cricket World Cup semifinal loss to the Black Caps has been well established. The Proteas came to Auckland with every reason to think they had what it took to seize a place in the World Cup final, but were denied at the last moment.

The Limited Overs leg of this year’s tour begins tomorrow and involves six matches. For South Africa there might be something of the 2015 World Cup about it, as the final match is, once again, at Eden Park.

The leg begins with a T20, also at Eden Park. Much of the interest in the T20 revolves about the late call-up of prodigious Auckland talent Glenn Phillips, who is replacing the injured Martin Guptill.

The 20-year old Phillips is already being talked about as a talent on the order of Kane Williamson and Tom Latham. In last year’s Super Smash he scored 369 runs at an average of 46 and a strike rate of 143, including one century scored at a strike rate of 200.

That is the sort of hitting the Black Caps will need at the top if they are to find an adequate replacement for Guptill. In limited overs matches the Black Caps know that if Guptill goes big, they win, because his striking ability is unmatched.

New Zealand sit comfortably on top of the current world T20I rankings, with South Africa at fourth. It’s almost exactly the other way around in the ODIs, with South Africa ranked at the top and the Black Caps third.

Despite that, the Black Caps are currently paying $2.34 on BetFair to win the T20, so there appears to be some value there.

The South African batting features four of the top ranked seven batsmen in the world at the moment, in AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla and Quentin de Kock. With any four of those players capable of a matchwinning innings, that makes the Proteas top order arguably the strongest ODI top order that has ever come to these shores.

The Black Caps, for their part, have a diverse and highly skilled array of artillery to break through this. But barring Trent Boult, who is currently ranked the No. 2 ODI bowler, none of them can rightly be said to be at the same skill level as the South African batting lineup.

Although there is much to choose from out of Matt Henry, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Mitchell McClenaghan and Adam Milne (the latter two returning from injury), none of those names pose the known and established threat that Boult does.

Probably the Black Caps will pick Trent Boult, one of the two speedsters (likely to be Ferguson who is in the squad ahead of Milne) and the other spot will be decided by who is best for the conditions out of Henry and Southee.

Ish Sodhi will also be back in case the Black Caps decide to try and strangle the South Africans with the spin of Sodhi, Mitchell Santner and perhaps even Williamson. If the seamers end up getting dominated by the superb Proteas batsmen, expect a wholesale shift to Plan B: strangle by spin.

The South African bowling unit would generally back itself to defend the large totals their batsmen would expect to put up. They have the No. 1 ranked ODI bowler in Imran Tahir, and the ever-more impressive Kagiso Rabada, who is ranked equal with Matt Henry at 7.

Rabada ought to find New Zealand pitches to his liking, with his Courtney Walsh-style action a test of any batsman’s technique. Chris Morris might be hard to get away but Wayne Parnell, JP Duminy and Andile Phehlukwayo will not be names the Black Caps batsmen are afraid of.

Dean Brownlie scored an excellent 63 in the Black Caps’ Hadlee-Chappell winning effort in their last ODI against Australia, and he has been selected to open in place of Guptill for the first two ODIs (Guptill is expected to be fit for the third).

The rest of the Black Caps top order looks very strong, with Latham, Williamson and Ross Taylor making up the remainder. With Luke Ronchi back in the ODI squad there is plenty of middle order hitting power as well.

Expect a high-scoring series in stark contrast to the recent Hadlee-Chappell, as both South Africa and the Black Caps have considerably stronger batting lineups than they do bowling attacks. It is, however, likely to be close, with a 3-2 win to the Proteas probably the slight favourite over a 3-2 to the Black Caps.

Is this the Age of the Pleb?

There are many systems of thought that describe various times, epochs or ages that humanity appears to pass through on its collective historical journey through the Great Fractal. Plato’s Republic described it alchemically, the Hindu cosmology describes it in a similar fashion and many other traditions have a time of increasing disorder leading to a climactic revolution.

In Republic, Plato laid out how culture disintegrates over time. Society begins in a Golden Age, according to Socrates in Book VIII, and gradually deteriorates.

It begins with rulers who put virtue above all, and who accordingly cannot own property. Because of the errors that these good people inevitably make as a consequence of being fallible, they are replaced by an inferior and greedier set of rulers.

Eventually the greed of the society leads to money being lent out at high rates of interest, which inevitably concentrates wealth in the hands of a very few. Society degenerates further into the rule of the mob, when doing whatever one wishes to do is the only value.

Here there is little of the higher order that an alchemist would associate with gold, silver or iron. Indeed, the men of gold have vanished by the time it comes to democracy. The man of clay takes charge by convincing the man of iron that the man of silver wishes to enslave him, and by convincing the man of silver that the man of iron wishes to kill him, and so ensures that those two mutually destroy each other.

The Hindu timeline tells a fantastic – and weirdly similar – story. Each Great Year, or Age of Man, or Maha Yuga, itself consists of four smaller Yugas.

The first of these, the Satya Yuga, is also known as the Age of Truth, and it corresponds very closely to what an alchemist would call a Golden Age and what Plato would have called rule by aristocracy. Here it is the gods that are, rightly, in charge of their creation, and everyone knows their correct place.

In the next age, the Treta Yuga, righteousness gradually diminishes. An alchemist would call this an Age of Silver – spirituality begins to give way to materialism, and kings and rulers must use cunning to get their will through, no longer able to rely on the confidence that the ruled have in them.

The final stage is the Kali Yuga, which is known in Hinduism as a Dark Age.

Both of these systems of thought, like the Norse Ragnarok and the Abrahamist Armageddon, suggest that the human experience starts good and gradually gets worse until it has to be restarted in violent revolution. Before we get to this point, however, things have to become genuinely terrible.

An alchemist might point to the immense population surge of the last 150 years and declare that this must be the time of the man of clay, because it appears that no longer does anything other than sex matter. People breed mindlessly, with no thought to the long-term benefit of their actions or whether more offspring are desirable, and so the human population has exploded.

A consequence of this is a resurgence of lowest common denominator culture. American popular culture seems to have sunk to an almost childish level, with the people happy to accept any display of gross incompetence or unfitness for leadership from their ruling class.

In New Zealand it can be seen with the increasing media attention given to soccer, which is the McDonalds of world sports, at the expense of excellent sports such as rugby and cricket, and with the degeneration of the nation’s most popular media portals into click-baiting drivel.

Perhaps all of these systems of thought are all correct and we are currently living in the Age of the Pleb, ruled by the worst among us, and by the worst instincts within ourselves.

The good news is that, in all systems of thought that warn us of such a thing, the Age of the Pleb is always replaced by a new Golden Age.

To some extent, how this develops is inevitable. The man of gold, born into the age of the man of clay, finds himself impelled to take action. The degree of degeneration strikes him as obscene, and out of righteous anger he takes action.

This action usually has the effect of bringing fire into the world to burn away the rot and filth of the Age of the Pleb. Sometimes this means war – and with a massive and still-growing human population creating ever more pressure on ever depleting natural resources, this seems very possible.

The other way we might exit the Age of the Pleb is by a fiery revolution of thought, in which the mental cobwebs of long-decayed religions are burned away by righteous fire and the brutal monkey instincts at the bottom of our brains are tamed and sublimated into something valuable.

Generation X, We’re Now On Our Own

The last of the Silent Generation are leaving us. The oldest Baby Boomers, born in 1945 and so 71-72 years old, are now the bulk of the elderly. Pretty soon, those of us of Generation X will be the voice of reason wedged between the insanely selfish Baby Boomers and the insanely pathetic Millennials.

There are many repeating patterns in Nature that skip one or two generations. The mindlessly narcissistic hubris of the generation that led the world into the hemoclysm of World Wars I and II is re-expressing itself in the consumer-rapist greed of the Boomers.

The grim cynicism of the generations that stopped Hitler is another pattern that has skipped some generations. The Boomers don’t get it: their world is very serious. The God-given mission to squeeze every last cent of material productivity out of the Earth is one that brooks no levity.

Neither do the Millennials get it: their world is also very serious. In the hyper-connected cyberworld of the Millennial, to take your finger off the pulse for one moment is to risk becoming fatally unfashionable.

Their great taboo is to never ask who is pulling the strings of all these fashions and fads and to what ends. The Millennial merely follows, a perfectly feminine creation for an excessively feminine age.

We in Generation X – often raised by our grandparents in the Silent and Greatest Generations while our parents were building careers – do get it. Make no mistake: for us, in between two opposing and mutually annihilating generations that are both deeply detached from reality, survival for our generation will involve getting out of the way while the nutbars fight each other.

As the 21st century takes a more definite form, four distinct groups of enemies have arisen to challenge those who wish for a peaceful world. These are Boomer globalists, Boomer nationalists, Millennial globalists and Millennial nationalists.

The Boomer globalists and nationalists are already familiar to us as the representatives of the various political interests. The globalists are the alliance of the capitalists and communists who want to bring the whole world under the yoke of one system.

The nationalists are those resisting this process, who usually bring with them masses of conservative baggage in the form of disrespecting anyone not like them, in particular women, other races and other sexual orientations.

The Millennial globalists and nationalists are their useful idiots on the streets and in cyberspace. Millennial globalists like Antifa and other social justice warriors will attack nationalist interests under the delusion that they are doing “good”, because there’s nothing a brainless dog enjoys more than biting someone and then getting a pat on the head from the master.

Their opposition, the Millennial nationalists, are naturally the foot soldiers of the wealthy, often religious and ethnonationalist interests who oppose the globalist interests. In practice, many of these people (usually men) are involved in the burgeoning alt-right movement.

This is the arrangement of major sociodemographic forces in the West as we drift towards the second quarter of this century.

However, the timeline before us is chaos, about which little can be known. We can say this for certain: the Baby Boomers will cling to power like shit clings to a blanket, and the Millennials will demand power as if they were all royalty and born to it.

Keeping the world on a even keel will involve making sure that the balance of these forces does not come out of alignment and cause the whole shithouse to go up in flames.

Probably the best historical example of the current plight of Generation X is the way in which Britain was, 80 years ago, caught between insane right-wing Nazis and insane left-wing Communists. At that time, the best strategy was to work on consolidating the strength of one’s position, and to wait for a future opportunity to expand while enemy forces exhaust themselves.

The New Masculine Age Will Be One of Either Reason or Brutality

The feminine has done its dash as ruling force in the human world, for now at least. The feminine epoch that has just ended may have saved us from warring ourselves back into the Stone Age during the Cold War, but its logic and its attitudes are now glaringly ineffective for dealing with the challenges we face in 2017.

Let’s be fair. The feminine can probably be credited with saving us from nuclear hellfire in the aftermath of World War II. Curtis LeMay wanted to pre-emptively nuke Russia and China, and he once had the ear of the US President. Cooler heads prevailed there, as they did in the Cuban Missile Crisis, so we’re all still here.

The potential geopolitical catastrophes of our generation will be different in nature to the ones of our parents. Our danger is not an outside enemy killing us in fire but that we rot from within.

If one looks back at the earliest history of humankind, the most fundamental masculine action a man could possibly make was to build shelter in the form of a house or a wall.

Building a wall is incredibly masculine for many reasons. On the physical level, a person has to be able to lift large stones and chisel them into flat shapes. On an emotional level, a person has to look out into the world and see dangers that they want to protect their people from. On an intellectual level, a person has to do maths to calculate how the wall ought to be constructed, and on a spiritual level a person has to discriminate between that which belongs close to their people and that which does not – and to have the will to declare that which does not belong is to be kept on the other side of the wall.

This latter point reveals the genesis of the current European migrant crisis. It isn’t a matter of not having the knowledge, strength or skill to build a wall; the crisis of the West is a matter of will. In particular, we seem unable to make intelligent decisions about who to let through the wall and who not to.

Why did the European Union adopt an immigration policy that made it hard for people from similar cultures – such as the Americas or the ANZAC countries, to enter – and hard for people from high-energy, low-crime cultures – like the Far East Asians – to enter, but easy for people with very little to offer?

It could be many reasons – historical guilt, cultural decadence, internal corruption, out-of-touch political elites or that history is a masculine subject and therefore taboo in a feminine age like the one we have just come out of.

If this rhetoric about will and cultural decline sounds like something Hitler might have dreamed up, heed this warning: a new masculine age will inevitably be either one of reason or brutality, and it will be up to us to decide which.

Most women will be pleased at this new state of affairs, for the reason that if men become men again then women will no longer be forced to become men to compensate. As many women can tell you, it’s not dominating a man that is the difficult thing, it’s knowing what to do with him once you’ve brought him to heel, as a feminine woman has no natural use for such an arrangement.

Some men will be pleased with this new state of affairs, most obviously the masculine ones who find it natural to move forwards. Some will find it more difficult, in particular those not fully weaned who prefer to just drift along, but the zeitgeist of this new age may transform such half-men into correct ones.

If the masculine does its job correctly, the heroes of this new age will be men like Professor Jordan B. Peterson, whose commitment to reason is so complete that he is baffled by the irrationality of the criticisms levelled against him.

If the masculine does not do its job correctly, then we only have to look back to the last time people were in this situation to guess that the heroes of this new age will be much like Hitler.

The biggest danger is that the mainstream media has cried wolf so hard over Trump that if Trump does not turn out to be the next Hitler, the next Hitler could simply stand up and go full Nazi knowing that no-one was going to believe the warnings about him.

Whether humanity survives the challenges of the next half-century will be a matter of whether it can correctly identify reasonable men to follow and correctly identify brutal men to keep out of power.

It is becoming ever more obvious to ever more people that we can no longer rely on the mainstream media or the Government to be the gatekeepers of such knowledge. But with the Internet before us and alternative media growing every year, there is no excuse to rely on the authorities of a bygone age.

Can This Black Caps Side Take The World No. 1 ODI Ranking?

In winning the Hadlee-Chappell series 2-0, the Black Caps have defeated the Australian side twice in an ODI series in 12 months and moved to No. 3 in the official ODI rankings. This essay poses the question: can Kane Williamson’s side achieve something unprecedented in New Zealand ODI cricket history, and take the No. 1 spot?

The Black Caps have never achieved the distinction of being able to claim that they were the best ODI side in the world. At times we have come close. The current Black Caps ODI unit might have it in them to go the rest of the way.

Let’s look at the team with reference to the official ICC player rankings.

On these rankings the figure of 750 stands out as a benchmark for world-class performance. To achieve a score of 750 a player must consistently excel in comparison to their peers. It is a rare enough distinction that only six current batsmen have rating scores above 750.

Williamson had a score of 752 in January 2015, and in the two years since then has almost always stayed above that figure. If we compare his returns with that of Martin Crowe, we can see that Crowe was similar but generally below the 750 mark. Crowe, however, maintained his standard of between 700 and 750 for nine years.

In the extremely unlikely event that Williamson’s career peters out from this point, he would end up with a career ratings trajectory similar to that of Andrew Jones, who hit his peak at roughly the same time as Crowe.

Jones, who was like Williamson in that he was rock-solid at No. 3 but unlike him in that he was picked late for the Black Caps, maintained a rating above 750 for about four years.

Ross Taylor, widely regarded as the second-best bat in this current side, has maintained a Martin Crowe level of performance for the past three years, in which time he has also been between 700 and 750. He has averaged 55.89 with the bat in those last three years.

What the Black Caps of Jones and Crowe’s day didn’t have was a classy hitter at the top like Martin Guptill. Although Guptill was not world-class for the first part of his career, he got on top of his game about two years ago and since then has risen above 750. He averages over 50 in the 50 matches he has played since the start of 2015.

The Black Caps have long had a tradition of excellent ODI bowling, going all the way back to Sir Richard Hadlee, who was one of the best of all. At one point the Black Caps had the rare distinction of having three of the top five ODI bowlers, in Shane Bond, Daniel Vettori and Kyle Mills.

Vettori was the only one of those three to be truly world-class for a decent length of time – Bond suffered many problems with injury and Mills was not enough of a wicket threat to really be considered in that top bracket.

The most skilled Black Cap with the ball currently is Trent Boult, who is ranked No. 1 in ODIs. Boult is a curious case, because he hasn’t even been in the ODI side very long. He has, however, maintained a bowling rating of 750 or thereabouts for most of the past 18 months, during which time he has also struggled for fitness.

But given that he is rapidly improving and is only 27, this column contends that over the next few years, Trent Boult will establish himself as the best ODI bowler in the world. He might not have quite as many wicket deliveries as Mitchell Starc, but he is far more relentlessly accurate and incisive.

Perhaps the major weakness of today’s Black Caps side in comparison to those of past years is the absence of a world-class allrounder. When Cairns, Oram, Styris and Vettori were operating the team had both depth and flexibility.

Certainly there is potential among the current wider squad for a quality No. 6 to emerge. Corey Anderson has even more potential than Cairns, but can’t stay on the field long enough to make an impact. Jimmy Neesham appears to have the goods, but has been unable to translate it into class in ODIs. The best bet going forward might be Mitchell Santner, as the errors he makes tend to be errors of inexperience.

With four world-class players in Williamson, Taylor, Guptill and Boult, and a handful of potential ones in Matt Henry (currently ranked 7 in ODI bowling but can’t make the side), Santner, Anderson, Tom Latham, Lockie Ferguson and Adam Milne, the Black Caps side of 2017 looks to have both a stronger core and much greater depth than ever before.

All it would take would be to maintain those standards or gradually improve them over time as players naturally get more experience, and the Black Caps will surely claim the No. 1 ranking sooner or later.

This side could actually take the No. 1 ranking fairly soon if enough results went in their favour. A 3-0 win in the ODI series against South Africa later this month is far from unthinkable, considering they just beat the world champion Australians 2-0 at home.

That would leave them second, two points behind Aussie, and therefore within striking range of the previously unachievable.

Where is Humanity on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?

Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a famous psychological theory based on the observation that people as a rule take care of their most pressing needs first, and only when those are satisfied do they develop an ambition to move to the next level.

The most common way to represent this is as a coloured pyramid – one can see an example as the title image of this essay. The ‘lower’ desires represent the more fundamental ones. The need represented by each level must be satisfied before a person is motivated to move on to the next one.

The lowest level is physiological needs. This basically means air, water and food. When the need for these are met a person moves on to safety needs, such as physical and economic security. Meeting those needs will mean a person advances to the level of love and belonging, where they try and satisfy a need for friendship, intimacy and belonging.

Above these three levels are two that are arguably not so much ‘needs’ as ‘decencies’. The first is the need for self-esteem. This relates to the human desire to be accepted and appreciated by others and by oneself. Generally the lower one’s self-regard the greater one’s need for fame or respect.

The last level is self-actualisation. This involves fulfilling one’s greatest potential; becoming the best version of oneself that it is possible to be.

It’s common for individuals to look at where they are themselves on Maslow’s hierarchy. It certainly is an interesting theory for anyone curious about how they fit into the grand scheme of things.

Some people are further than others. What we generally consider wealthy, fortunate, or “doing good” correlates pretty strongly with where a person is on the hierarchy of needs. If we take a look at humanity, though, we can see that as a whole we have not come very far.

According to the World Food Programme, 842 million people go to bed hungry on any given night. This represents about one in every eight people, all of whom have fallen at the first hurdle when it comes to the hierarchy of needs.

If one thinks about what that means in practice, it is one in every eight people who have no realistic chance of ever making progress in any of the other needs. After all, someone who goes to bed hungry will hardly be concerned with their bank account, because if they had any money they would have bought food with it.

It’s worth thinking that one in every eight people are that desperate – possibly that means one in every eight people are desperate enough to have a strong incentive to do serious harm to another human being, should an opportunity for a robbery arise.

After all, the major incentive a person has for not robbing someone is their desire for physical security, in the form of not going to jail, and their desire for social esteem, in the form of not being thought to be a robber.

As both of those needs are less fundamental than the need for food, a hungry person is unlikely to care about them very much. The desire for food is even more fundamental than the desire for peace, and so one in every eight of us is too hungry to care at all about all the war in the world.

A global universal basic income would raise us up the hierarchy, as it would take care of most basic physiological needs. It is the inability to fulfill the need for these that causes the vast majority of human suffering in the world.

It does, however, raise the spectre of overpopulation, at least in the minds of those who believe that some of the tropical peoples are incapable of keeping their breeding in check. If a person believes this, then it is natural to also believe that a global basic income will lead to ecological collapse.

Maybe humankind is doomed to remain at a reasonably low level because of the belief that if we co-operate too closely, factions within humanity will take advantage of this peace to wage war against other factions, perhaps even without those factions knowing about it.

Australia in New Zealand 2017 ODI Series Preview

Missing an explosively terrifying opening batsman and a first drop with the hand-eye co-ordination of a god, the Australian cricket team came to New Zealand and got beaten 3-0. Prediction for this week? No, that was what happened the last time we were in that situation, in February 2007.

Building up for a later triumphant Cricket World Cup campaign, Australia rested both Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting for the 2007 Hadlee-Chappell series in New Zealand, and got beaten 3-0.

Absent the usual steel up top, Australia disintegrated in the first ODI to Shane Bond, who took 5-23 from 9.3 overs, and they lost by ten wickets. Chasing 337 in the second ODI, New Zealand won after a brilliant Ross Taylor century and some dogged lower-order batting. Again chasing in the third, only that time 347, the Black Caps won in the last over with the last wicket after a 165-run 6th wicket stand between Craig McMillan and Brendon McCullum.

The 2017 edition of the Hadlee-Chappell will be absent David Warner – who recently took AB de Villiers’s crown as No. 1 ranked ODI batsman, and Steve Smith, who averages 51.90 since the start of 2015.

In the 2016 edition in New Zealand, the Black Caps took the series 2-1: Australia won a close game and was thumped twice. Something similar might be on the cards for this week.

Like 2007, the Australia of 2017 will possess some fearsome bowling. Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins make up what must be close to the most dangerous trio ever seen in ODI history. Both Starc and Hazlewood are ranked in the top 5, and although Cummins is only ranked 27th that is a reflection of bad luck with injuries and not an absence of talent.

The Black Caps, for their part, have their own heavy artillery. Trent Boult is today the No. 1 ranked ODI bowler in the world, and Matt Henry is at No. 7. These two bowlers demolished the Australia top order in the first ODI of the 2016 series, leaving them at one stage 6/41.

Tim Southee might only be ranked 26th but he is dangerous with a bit of assistance, and Mitchell Santner is fast becoming like another Daniel Vettori in terms of miserly economy. This series will surely also feature more of Lockie Ferguson, who rocked the speed radar in Australia with a string of 150kph+ deliveries, but whose pace was often to the batsman’s advantage on the hard pitches.

The major difference between the two sides is in the batting. Australia’s best batsman in this series is arguably Glenn Maxwell, ranked 18th.

Because Australia is absent Warner at the top and Steve Smith ranked 8th, New Zealand have the top-ranked three batsmen in this match, with Kane Williamson at 5, Martin Guptill at 9 and Ross Taylor at 16. These three batsmen would all be in a Black Caps all-time ODI top 5.

Tom Latham may only average 33 in ODIs but appears to have now adjusted very well to the white ball game, and he is now averaging 40 in his last 25 ODI matches. As he is still only 24 and improving so rapidly in all forms of the game he is on a trajectory to become as good as the others.

Australia has brought in the reputable Aaron Finch to bolster the batting, but none of the names in the Australian top 5 – weak by historical standards even with Warner and Smith – will stand out to the Black Caps tacticians as a particular threat.

The obvious plan for the Black Caps to win the series, then, is to repeat how they won it in 2016, namely by bowling Australia out for substandard totals.

The market seems to think that this is very likely – the Black Caps are paying only $2.12 on BetFair to take the first ODI at Eden Park tomorrow. At the TAB a 3-0 Black Caps series win is paying only $6.50, which seems minuscule considering that Australia has won five Cricket World Cups.

Considering that the Hadlee-Chappell is fast becoming the ODI cricket equivalent of a marquee series like the Ashes or the Bledisloe Cup, probably the best strategy would be to save your betting money for chips and weed and just kick back to enjoy the degree of skill on display.