Rants

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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The capricious forces directing undergraduate teaching in political science have set me up for an extremely difficult term. First, I was assigned to teach an hour’s $6 shuttle drive away, at the Missisauga campus. Second, my “tutorials” are starting with 30 students each. With only five tutorials in the entire course, this raises the question […]

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After the comparative aimlessness of the long summer, I am looking forward to September. I will be teaching tutorials for a first year Canadian politics course out at U of T Mississauga and persisting with my own PhD research. I’m looking forward to the resumption of life and lunches at Massey College, meeting new junior […]

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Somehow, this article seems indicative of the low quality of a lot of our thinking about environmental issues: Mesmerizing ‘blue whirl’ from fire tornado could be cleaner solution for oil spills: Scientists discover clean-burning blue flame while simulating a fire tornado in the lab. It seems a particularly questionable application of the idea that technology […]

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After many shorter spans which left us sweating in our third floor rooms, Toronto is now immersed in the longest and most intense heat wave of the summer so far. This leaves me feeling awkward about actually owning an air conditioner, which I have never moved from its storage location in our living room. During […]

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Quoted by Richard Rhodes, Daniel Ellsberg said of U.S. bureaucracy that it: “does not require true believers to run it. … The system consciously runs by men who — in order to stay in the game, to be close to the center of power, to have the hope that someday the moment may come when […]

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