From the Editor
With mid-sem break just around the corner, Debate is here for you with an early treat! No, it’s not the new Sky Ferreira album. There’s a new theme in town that’s big enough for the both of us, and it goes by binaries.
Binaries, opposites, dichotomies, whatever you like to call them, are a regular staple of our everyday life. You’ll find them in our stories through heroes and villains; in our supermarkets when it’s time to decide fresh or frozen; and just about everywhere else. The sun and moon, right and wrong, head and heart. As a means of organising the world around us they’re clearly useful and gotten us pretty far too. (We’ve still got some way to go of course, shoutout dialectical materialism, shoutout Engels and Marx.)
This issue is dedicated to examining binaries - some ofthem outdated, some of them useful. In search of a freshtheme, I started with a pitch of my own.
Let’s rewind to Year 12, the last time I studied the natural sciences with a bit of NCEA Level 2 Chemistry. Every assessment and new topic reaffirmed the same thing: you need to get out of here! And I did, but leaving that exam room on a particularly liberating November afternoon was not the end of my relationship with the subjects we classify as science. Despite taking every arts paper I could get my hands on for the next five or so years, I have only fallen deeper in love with science.
It’s a shame then, that the ‘arts’ and ‘science’ often share such an antagonistic relationship in the public sphere. One is supposedly the realm of objectivity which extracts the capital T Truth. The other is the world of subjectivity - an ambiguous territory home to feelings, social justice, and you get the idea. It’s a fascinating development for the western world given that hundreds of years ago when the scientific method was being hashed out, philosophy gave science its credibility, leading to its privileged status today.
The history of science is a fascinating one that draws out just one of many binaries worth looking into. A big one that Petra tackles in this issue’s feature is of course, the gender binary - a problem for us all! Binaries can also be as simple as the decision to share, or not to share, a suspicious social media trend, as Stella illustrates. Putting together these pieces and illustrations is our new Graphic Designer, Charlie, who is taking over from Ramina. Huge shoutout to Ramina for being such an instrumental part of Debate. Stay tuned to see how the magazine grows next in the visual department.
We hope you get a chance to take it easy over these next couple weeks. We’ll see you after the break in our next issue where you’ll getto know your new Vice-Chancellor Professor Damon Salesa a little better, while getting into that NZ Music Month spirit.