This remarkable interview with Robert Hill, Former Chief Naval Engineer Officer of the Royal Navy, discusses the peculiarities of Hyman Rickover, including some very revealing stories, as well as Rickover’s role in developing the civilian reactor at Shippingport. The description of Rickover’s interaction with the chairman of Rolls Royce is quite amusing, though it also […]


The question of climate change and flying has arisen for me again, based on some questions asked by other people. While it has been extensively discussed on this site, the relevant posts are scattered and not easy for someone new to find. To remedy that – and to create a central thread for any future […]


Occupy Wall Street comprised the people who responded to the call. Ultimately, however, uncritical openness was Occupy’s downfall: the general assemblies were paralyzed by the inability to distinguish between true and false. Participants who had been with Occupy for a day were given a say equal to that of committed activists who had founded the […]


I call Occupy Wall Street a constructive failure because the movement revealed undelying flaws in dominant, and still prevalent, theories of how to achieve social change through collective action. Occupy set out to “get money out of politics,” and we succeeded in catalyzing a global social movement that tested all of our hypotheses. The failure […]

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This evening, the following motion was passed at the University of Ottawa: The board should ask the finance and treasury committee to do the following: Develop a strategy to shift Ottawa fossil fuel related investments towards investments and enterprises, especially those in Canada, involved in creating and selling technologies of the future, including renewable energy […]


My friend Stu sent me a long article about the functioning of social justice movements of the Occupy / Arab Spring variety, discussing how their efforts at being internally democratic work. Much of it is of interest, but this passage made me think of the climate movement especially: When the anarchist participation prevented the Trotskyists, […]


TVO’s Big Ideas convened an interesting panel discussion on leadership with a variety of public intellectuals. This is from 2009, and it’s interesting to note that Klein isn’t the one emphasizing climate change in this conversation.


I have written before about banned books. In this video, a contemporary author discusses the experience of having his novel banned for containing apparently mature content: His closer — about deferring to librarians to make such judgments – differs from the more common narrative that rejects such curation entirely.

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The often disturbing spectacle of the rise of Donald Trump as a leading Republican contendor in the presidential race prompts many emotional and analytical responses: about the long decline of America as a superpower since 1945, about the dysfunctional features of party politics and American politics in particular, and about the chasm between quality information […]


U of T: the President and the Governing Council U of T President Meric Gertler’s decision to reject fossil fuel divestment in favour of ESG screening was formally presented to the Governing Council today. UofT350.org held a rally outside, and Gertler’s remarks were followed both by questions from governors and a five minute presentation from […]