Category: uncategorized

What Went Wrong with Political Correctness?

My guess is that it started well enough, as sensitivity: people realized that terms such as ‘crippled’ and ‘retarded’ had gathered too many negative connotations, had become insults; so they replaced them with new words such as ‘physically challenged’ and ‘mentally challenged’ – words that, because new, would be free of such slant. This linguistic …

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Appropriation or Imagination?

Two poems of mine have been published in a journal dedicated to “the Black experience”. An audio piece of mine has been aired on Native radio programs. I am neither Black nor Native. Had this been known, I suspect some might have accused me of cultural appropriation. It’s an interesting idea, but

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Rising above Natural Selection

We need to rise above natural selection. Otherwise, as a species, we will continue to become dumb and dumber. Who has the family of five? Not the physicist or philosopher. She’s chosen not to have any kids. And not the biologist or sociologist. He stopped at two. And who’s having the family of ten? The …

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Philosophy – Misunderstood

I think philosophy is one of the most misunderstood subjects. That it took so long to become a high school course, I think, attests to this. Even within academia, however, there seems to be confusion. Two PhDs expressed surprise at the title of my masters’ thesis in Philosophy (“The Issue of Consent in Sex and …

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Libraries: what are they and so what?

So I was working in my local public library the other day – well, trying to work. I was distracted by the kid on the computer next to me who was playing a computer game. My first point. Is it appropriate for kids to be allowed to play computer games on the computers in public …

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The Illegality of Assisted Suicide

Let’s say assisted suicide is illegal because it’s often a tragic, premature, perhaps even ill-informed, death. But so is unassisted suicide. And there are alternatives to assisted suicide – better pain management, for example, or counselling. Same goes for unassisted suicide. Assisted suicide violates our social values, our respect for life. Yeah, well. And yet …

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An Open Letter to Summer People Everywhere

This is not “a recreational paradise” or “a summer playground”. This is our neighbourhood. Those labels are marketing ploys used by real estate agents and business owners eager to make money on sales. They do not speak for us. We live here; they do not. Many of us have lived here for five, ten, twenty …

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Politics in Government: The Problem with Representation

Long ago and far away, I was one of several high school students to participate in a Federal-Provincial Government Simulation. Each of us took on the role of a provincial or federal minister and met for three days of plenary sessions, committee meetings, and caucuses. I was the federal Minister of State for Science and …

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Baby Androids

It finally dawned on me after reading one too many ‘failed android’ stories. I can’t remember whether it was sci-fi or AI, but suddenly I saw the problem: they always try to create an adult without a childhood. If it weren’t for Mary Shelley, I’d be tempted to put the blame on our sexist society: …

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Fiscal Conscription

It’s income tax time. Do you know where 9.2% of your taxes will go? Well, let’s just say that you bought the bullets. (Out out damned spot, you say?) Then again, $2500 (if your taxable income is about $25,000) might buy more than a few bullets. Maybe you can pay for a whole box of …

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