Pondering the South African Memesphere – Looking for the Good in Everything header image 3


This page needs some attention. Suggestions welcome, questions welcome. Questions give an idea of what kind of info should be available here.

In short, this blog has something of a religion focus. Religion, world-views, science, mythology, memetics, morality and ethics… but mostly religion. The existence of this blog is largely a result of the context in which I grew up and studied. Stellenbosch has two young earth creationism peddling pentecostal churches. By investigating beliefs and the value they bring to people’s lives, it seeks to find peaceful resolutions to memetic conflicts and sketch out a potential path forward.

For an example of science-related posts, an index on this blog’s coverage of a creationism seminar can be found in the post Creation Ministries International Strikes Stellenbosch Again — Noah’s Flood?

The post The Problem with Diversity should serve as a demonstration of the importance of context, with a primary intention of discouraging people from jumping to conclusions about my worldview. I’m usually intentionally ambiguous. I aim to build bridges, which is best accomplished by refusing labels and encouraging people to think. You’d do well to not make any assumptions about my worldview. When it comes to posts, try to understand the main message, and let us talk about that. When it comes to peripheral issues, please consider asking some questions before making assumptions about what I mean.

Please try to keep comments on this page “on-topic”, i.e. comments that help newcomers get a feel for what this blog has to offer. As this page’s comments are longer lived than typical posts, I reserve the right to periodically remove comments that aren’t in line with the purpose of this page.


13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 In Reponse to Tinus de Bruyn // Feb 2, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    […] you new? […]

  • 2 Lightseeker // Jul 17, 2008 at 11:33 am

    This Saturday (19-07-2008) Angus Buchan will be preaching at Loftus stadium Pretoria South Africa with a estimated attendance of 67000 people. Check it out, this event will be broadcasted live on GOD TV around the world. And also on some local radio stations.

  • 3 Ehud - a lefthanded gentleman // Jul 25, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Then laid they hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

    And when Angus Buchan saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he hired Loftus Versveld and charged them money,

    Saying, God gave me also this power, that whomsoever also buys the DVD of me praying and laying on hands, and possibly my book and movie, he may receive the Holy Ghost for the reasonable sum of R100 each: Cash or major credit card.

    But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be sold as a book, a DVD and purchased by the faithless and lazy with money.

    Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.

    Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

    Act 8:18

  • 4 Amo // Mar 26, 2009 at 9:19 am

    thinker is jy nog in Stellenbosch, wil met jou gesels oor die “wetenskap” van blogging, soek eintlik net hulp vir blog opstel.

    hoop dit gaan goed! Race jy nog so af en toe? Google chat wil nie nou werk nie en kry ook nie ‘n email adres vir jou nie.

  • 5 Tan // Feb 25, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Dear thinker,
    I have read many pages from this website. There are some very interesting views here which attract my attention. I never knew you could see religion as a tribe.

    I would like to ask you to tell me a bit about yourself? Are you a philosopher having studied at a university?

    This would help me very much and i would be greatful as it would help me to complete an assignment on “tribalism”.

    Thanyou, and await your response!


  • 6 thinker // Feb 28, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    Hi Tan!

    I studied engineering at university, we only had a one semester course in philosophy dealing with ethics, culture and philosophy of science. I don’t think I should call myself a philosopher, though I enjoy pondering philosophy. 😉 (Then again, what’s an “amateur philosopher”?)

    On viewing adherents of a particular religion as a tribe, I don’t think it is “formally” the case, it is just one way of viewing things. Choosing the word might have been inspired by my having come across the title of a book by Seth Godin: Tribes / We Need You To Lead Us. (Having since listened to the audiobook, I found the book a bit underwhelming. But whatever.)

    The point of this view: all the groups we form, in which we operate, could be seen as a tribe of sorts. The company we work for, the sports club we join, even the internet communities we take part in. Thinking about tribes in this manner is an exercise in looking for what we have in our contemporary lives that could serve us in a manner that our tribes used to serve some millennia ago.

    Whether any of this is relevant to your assignment on “tribalism” depends on the nature of the assignment, depends on its definition/intention of the “tribalism” word.

    Peeking at Tribalism on wikipedia, consider “The other concept to which the word tribalism frequently refers is the possession of a strong cultural or ethnic identity that separates one member of a group from the members of another group.” This does align well with religions, I think (in particular, fundamentalist versions of religions with explicit “we have the only answer” claims, but also generally due to religious groups typically having a strong cultural identity effectively separating adherents from members other religions).

    In any case, the “less derogatory” sense of the word might be closer to what I tend to think about, considering a “tribe” in the cooperative community sense, a closely knit by shared culture and worldview-language, only optionally defined by the boundaries between groups. (In such a sense one can be a member of numerous tribes defined around varying interests.)

  • 7 thinker // Feb 28, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    Neotribalism maybe?

  • 8 Tan // Mar 1, 2011 at 12:05 am

    could i ask which university you studied at and what kind of engineering degree you studies so that i can quote you as a source!
    thanks 🙂

  • 9 Tan // Mar 1, 2011 at 12:06 am


  • 10 thinker // Mar 1, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Eek! I can’t think of myself as a good source! (I’m just some random dude on the interwebz!) 😉

    What are you wanting to quote, and what is this assignment for? (High school?)

  • 11 Tan // Mar 1, 2011 at 12:59 am

    yep, college!
    just as long as i have referenced my work it doesn’t matter! would appreciate it!

  • 12 Hrvoje Butkovic // Mar 30, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    Hi thinker

    I have recently come across your blog. I find your topic selection fascinating and your approach very encouraging. It’s refreshing to see a local blog tackle the topics that I’m used to reading about in overseas ones.

    I’m also in the field of building bridges. I’ve decided to contact you because I have written a book to aid me in this endeavour. I think you may find it interesting and hopefully useful.

    The book is about living according to an internal standard. Its purpose is to show how to construct a comprehensive guideline for deciding what to believe and value and how to conduct oneself that does not derive from the beliefs, values or structures of our society. It follows a unique approach (as far as the self-help literature is concerned) in that it doesn’t instruct the reader on what he should believe or value or what decisions he should make, but presents a method that he can use to arrive at these conclusions for himself. I’m hoping to use the book to bring people with different worldviews closer together, to savour their shared humanity, so to speak.

    You can find more information about the book at my website: If you would like to read it, just send me your postal address and I will post it to you.

    Have a beautiful day!

    Hrvoje Butkovic

  • 13 Kathleen Hubert // May 21, 2012 at 11:49 pm


    I was wondering if you accept guest post for your blog. If you do, I would like to submit a few. I’m a recent college graduate, with an English major, looking to build out my portfolio. I can write on a wide variety of topics and am sure you would be happy with the quality. Please email me back if you are interested. Thank you for your time.

    – Kathleen Hubert

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