The Perfect Parking Spot

Another of my pastimes, in addition to assessing supermarket checkout lines,  is searching for the perfect parking spot (PPS). It has three characteristics: it is a ‘drive-through’, the possibility of a door-ding is small, and it is convenient.

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Cultural Appropriation – A Bad Idea . . . .

. . . .  not the concept, which has some redeeming qualities, but the term itself.

There was a kerfuffle in the Canadian media last summer (link, link, and link) about Cultural Appropriation.  I knew almost nothing about the subject, other than everyone thought that it was a bad thing that white people did, and they should stop, and somehow pay for their transgressions.

I remember being confused about the whole thing. Most examples seemed very minor to me, like celebrities having their hair in corn rows. The outrage died down but my confusion lingered. I finally got around to taking a closer look. Hence this blog post.

Spoiler 1: The term Cultural Appropriation (CA) is incoherent, incomprehensible, and useless.  

Spoiler 2: The term Cultural Appropriation discourages discussion about how Individuals or groups of one culture can negatively affect another culture.
Continue reading Cultural Appropriation – A Bad Idea . . . .

Canadian Federal Electoral Reform – Direct Representation

In a previous post I argued that I was not represented in Canada’s Parliament, and neither was anyone else.  There is a solution — Direct Representation, modified for Canadian Circumstances (DCR)! DCR addresses all the criticisms that have been directed towards our current system, First Past the Post; it is proportional, no vote is wasted, there is no vote splitting, it allows marginal voices to be heard, it increases accountability between voters and their representatives, and it results in a Parliament that accurately reflects the diversity that Canadians think is important.
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I am not represented in Canada’s Parliament . . .

. . . and neither is anyone else!

According to Canada’s Public Policy Forum, “an ideal election would be one where the portrait of the House directly reflects a portrait of all Canadians” (link). Thus, 50% of our Members of Parliament (MPs) would be female (instead of 25%), their average age would be 40 years old (instead of 50), 23% would be members of visible minorities (instead of 12%) and so on. On the other hand, 1% of our MPs would be lawyers, (instead of 13%), 1% would be activists (instead of 12%), and 6% would have a graduate degree (instead of 14%).

Continue reading I am not represented in Canada’s Parliament . . .

Internet Author Credibility – the missing piece of the puzzle.

The internet is an ocean of articles/predictions/opinions/factoids all written by complete strangers. How does one determine if a particular item is credible, and worth basing future decisions on? Did Trump really mock a disabled reporter? Or was it taken out of context? Is there really a link between vaccines and autism? Or was the initial study retracted? How can one decide which side of the argument is more credible?

Continue reading Internet Author Credibility – the missing piece of the puzzle.