Rants

Along with people trying to light enormous spaces with tiny on-camera flashes, a photographic peeve of mine is when I’m working as a paid or official photographer, have put together a large group shot, and then one or more people sneak up behind to try to take it themselves with their cell phone. The inevitable […]

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780 km of exercise walks since August have brought me much into contact with people on the sidewalks and pathways of Toronto. Particularly in the last couple of months, I have had the sense that people in general are stressed, frayed, and emotionally on-edge. I see this in their egocentrism: their determination to do as […]

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I am hearing rumours and media speculation about a Canadian federal election this year, and my response to the state of Canadian politics remains weary disappointment blending into anger. Trudeau and the Liberals are objectively a poor government. If they succeed in their policy preferences, they will be among the villains rightly condemned for the […]

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The concept of “net zero” has become a major mechanism for industries and politicians who are unwilling to move past the fossil fuel economy to pretend that somehow that will not be necessary, since some future technology or tree planting will cancel out the emissions. I’ve written before about how you would need a carbon […]

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If finance minister Bill Morneau believes that Canada’s budget deficit “the challenge of our lifetime” he’s either tragically ill-informed, delusional, or disabled by finance-industry-insider blinders. Russia and Argentina, among others, show how states can default on their external debts and suffer relatively little consequence, as investors race back in within years. Even the worst economic […]

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China’s strategy with the Hong Kong ‘security’ law seems intended to send a global message: critics of China will be increasingly punished as the state’s global influence grows. This is disturbing in many ways, for the welfare of people in China, the region, and around the world. The degree of authoritarian control that technology has […]

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One computer security concern is that various insiders — including hardware and software manufacturers, and governments which may compel them to comply — will build back doors into their products to allow the security to be compromised. Doing this is a terrible idea. A back door put in for government surveillance or police use is […]

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After attending half of a classmate’s job talk for a law and political science position at Guelph I photographed today’s Climate Strike in Toronto. It was a big organic crowd, with some contingents from labour or specific causes who were clearly together but where most people carried home-made signs which didn’t come out of a […]

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I have long been skeptical about the prospects for off-world human colonies. Given that the International Space Station is the most expensive thing we have ever built and it is entirely reliant on supplies from Earth, it would be a gigantic leap just to make a self-sustaining closed life support system. Beyond that are many […]

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The CBC is reporting on polling results pertinent to this fall’s federal election: CBC News poll takes snapshot of Canadians ahead of fall election. They say the cost of living was the top concern identified, followed by climate change. This suggests a familiar Canadian dynamic: being notionally concerned about climate change, but rejecting action on […]

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