Writing

This week involves one of my last pre-comp spurts of academic work for this term. For tomorrow, I need to write a draft comp answer on policy failure, inequality, and political economy v. institutionalist v. agent-centred theories. On Wednesday, my interview assignment for my qualitative methods course is due. I need to finish the astonishingly […]

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This website is highly entertaining. Here are a few Quite Interesting nuggets: “A famous 18th century courtesan named Kitty Fisher used to distribute pictures of herself small enough to be concealed in the lid of a snuffbox… Fisher led a sensationally dissolute life; Casanova relates that she once ate a thousand-guinea bank note on bread-and-butter.” […]

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When voice fails to convince the client to support the analyst’s policy choice, the issue advocate may be forced to turn to exit as his only means of influence. He may seek other, more receptive, clients in the bureaucracy or he may leave the bureaucracy in order to be able to promote his policies from […]

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An international effort is being made today to fight back against internet surveillance. If you wish to take part, I suggest doing so by downloading a version of the GNU Privacy Guard for your operating system, in order to encrypt your emails. Gpg4Win is for Windows, while GPGTools is for Mac OS. Downloading the TOR […]

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“The third edition of Canada in Question is somewhat shorter on self-indulgent polemic than was its immediate predecessor. This does not mean that I have become a convert to the cause of “value-free political science” for, despite prolonged and diligent efforts to do so, I have never been able to understand how the analysis of […]

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During daily exercise, I have been listening to Tolkien books. Since childhood, I have remembered how he described the thoughts and speech of orcs, but I had forgotten that he did the same for a fox: A fox passing through the wood on business of his own stopped several minutes and sniffed. “Hobbits!” he thought. […]

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Given when it was written, many people have interpreted J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series as an allegory about the first or second world war. In one introduction to the books, he addresses this matter directly, denying that they are in any way allegorical. He goes on to say: The real war does not […]

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Commenting on federal-provincial conflict, Richard Simeon provides a quote from Anthony Downs that I suspect applies at least as much to academics as to politicians: A second effect of territorial sensitivity is that bureaus consume a great deal of time and energy in territorial struggles that create no socially useful products. Simeon, Richard. Federal-Provincial Diplomacy. […]

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There are now 17 days left before my Canadian politics re-comp. Studying involves many distinct tasks, but one big one is working on outlines for responses to likely questions, as well as listing sources to use in answers. Going back through more than 10 years of exams, I have found that there are a few […]

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By December 12th or so, I need to write a 15-page critical essay for my environmental politics course, probably on the history and future prospects of Ontario’s nuclear industry. It’s worth 30% of my course grade. More dauntingly, I have a 6,000 to 8,000 word paper to write for my public policy core seminar. It’s […]

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