Internet matters

I have seen a lot of discussion about Jonathan Haidt’s recent article in The Atlantic about how social media has broken US politics. It contains some important criticisms of the progressive left, as well as the authoritarian right — particularly about their demand that all speech and thought should conform to their ideological agenda. On […]

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As I have been writing drafts of my PhD dissertation, I am working in Microsoft Word for the sake of interoperability with committee members, with the intention of submitting the dissertation in LaTeX format after the defence. My footnotes are just unique identifiers to sources listed in my developing public bibliography. In it’s way it […]

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Because the spoken word content on Spotify is so-so most of the time (aside from podcasts like Ologies and the Spycast), I have been trying Audible to provide better quality listening material during walks. So far I have finished James Donovan’s book “Strangers on a Bridge: The Case of Colonel Abel” about the espionage trials […]

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There’s a voguish argument that in an era of easy information availability there is less cause to have any substantial body of knowledge memorized. I have seen articles arguing that the crucial cognitive skills for young people today are the ability to find what they are looking for, given access to the internet. I think […]

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Promoted by a recent Economist article on biodiversity and Alie Ward’s podcast on foresting ecology, I am trying out the iNaturalist app. My outdoor pursuits mostly consist of walking at a steady pace for exercise, so plant and wildlife observations aren’t my priority. Nonetheless, it’s neat to be able to take a break anywhere in […]

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Researching social movements — where relevant information is often on social media, or the websites of NGOs, universities, or corporations that reorganize them frequently — link rot is an acute problem. Increasingly, the default way to let a reader see the source you’re referencing is to provide an internet hyperlink, and yet there is no […]

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SpaceX’s Starlink satellite constellation promises to provide low-latency high-bandwidth internet to anyone on the planet. In November or so, the company announced a beta release in Canada. Some northern communities are already being connected, notably Pikangikum in northwestern Ontario with the charitable assistance of FSET Information Technology and Service. With my brother Mica starting to […]

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I cannot recall hearing about a warning like this before: Some UBC courses might cover topics that are censored or considered illegal by non-Canadian government… This may include, but is not limited to, human rights, representative government, defamation, obscenity, gender or sexuality, and historical or current geopolitical controversies… Students should be mindful that when they […]

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In addition to aforementioned rules about internet and computer security (1, 2, 3, 4) it’s worth mentioning that security measures can create their own vulnerabilities. That’s true in terms of human systems. For instance, granting high-level powers to system administrators creates risks that they will exploit them deliberately or have their credentials stolen, or simply […]

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The geeks get it:

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