Rants

It’s selfish, but one thing I hate about living in central Toronto is that there are sirens of one type or another audible almost all day and all night long. Even when no sirens can actually be heard, I hear them screaming in my imagination. The message: “It’s an emergency! But you can’t do anything […]

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What a relief! The last thing the world needs now is the EU falling apart, or another victory for an anti-immigration propagandist. The largest problems we face now call for us to think beyond national units, about the interests and choices of humanity as a whole. Splitting into small combative tribes is a deeply maladaptive […]

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A recent Slate article proposes a neurological mechanism for why human behaviour so frequently consists of choices where we harm our own long-term future prospects and those of others in order to satisfy near-term preferences. Not only do our brains seem to regard our future selves as strangers, but most people rarely think about the […]

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The January 21st issue of The Economist provides another strong example of how poorly our emotions serve us where it comes to evaluating and responding to abstract threats. They say: NOx emissions cause the premature deaths of an estimated 72,000 Europeans a year. This is in the context of carmakers like Volkswagen using software to […]

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Having ads on this site is pretty awful for several reasons. The site is plugged into Google via both analytics and advertising. For people not running an ad blocking plugin, this often leads to ads which are unappealing and often offensive. If you don’t want Google to know everything you (or everyone with access to […]

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My second (worse) wave of grading for this term has begun: first year essays which we are vexatiously required to grade exclusively online. At the same time, my PhD proposal continues to drift into strenge new realms of lateness; opening my email inbox produces blasts of panic; and it’s hard not to obsess over the […]

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I finally learned the reason why I haven’t been paid since my previous teaching assistant job ended in the spring. In an email from July where the body text said nothing about action on my part, one of the attachments contained instructions that have to be followed to get me into the UTM pay system. […]

Carrying around and being close to transmitting radios makes me nervous. They may be programmed to harm their owner from the outset, or reprogrammed by private hackers or government forces. They are the means through which ubiquitous surveillance is maintained, alongside agreements and clandestine action against fixed-line phone and internet providers. Perhaps the most important […]

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These seem equally dated to me: fossil fuel power and Canadian nationalism.

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My current home in Toronto’s annex neighbourhood is a weird place and time in which to live. Many of the people up and down my street are simultaneously funding cosmetic renovations to their houses, like installing smooth new bricks and stairs. At the same time, there are people who I see daily and who seem […]

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