Writing

I have come across a lot of exciting material for my PhD project in the last few weeks. Documents like the papal encyclical Laudato Si raise interesting questions about the connections between the faith community’s involvement in the effort against climate change, anti-capitalism, and the moral contemplation of the environment. For instance, there are interesting […]

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The pope had been an actor before he became a priest, and his triumphant return to Poland in 1979 revealed that he had lost none of his theatrical skills. Few leaders of his era could match him in his ability to use words, gestures, exhortations, rebukes — even jokes — to move the hearts and […]

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I had my first meeting with U of T’s research ethics people, regarding my proposed PhD project. One thing they drew my attention to is some of the policy language in the Tri-Council Policy Statement on Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, which is like the north star for research ethics in Canada. One policy […]

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1) Your Thesis Length 2) Average dissertation and thesis length, take two

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By now, I should intuitively understand that the open-looking weeks three or four weeks away in my calendar won’t be an oasis of productivity for major projects. Inevitably, Toronto350.org-related obligations, alongside photography and PhD work, will end up eating much of the open space before it is actually reached. Thankfully, a totally open schedule isn’t […]

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Grading is an intellectually and morally challenging process. A task that will affect how people are judged in the future and what their life prospects will be isn’t simply a commercial transaction, even if grading is your job. No single essay or exam grade determines how a student’s transcript ends up, or what consequences that […]

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As promised, Toronto350.org got the electronic version of our final fossil fuel divestment brief to the committee members a week before our presentation: The Fossil Fuel Industry and the Case for Divestment: Update. My friend Anne designed a great cover, using a photo from our November 2014 divestment march. I also have a version of […]

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Tonight, we are proofreading the brief update for the final time. On Friday, I am getting copies printed.

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I fear that my list of project ideas, which I assemble out of an optimistic hope that the future will bring a long span of free time for such undertakings, includes an idea for a screenplay. It would be a film in the style of Apollo 13 (technically and historically accurate, and developed with lots […]

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Given this dialogue of the deaf [between experts with opposing views about inequality], in which each camp justifies its own intellectual laziness by pointing to the laziness of the other, there is a role for research that is at least systematic and methodical if not fully scientific. Expert analysis will never put an end to […]

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