How many Internets are there?

We recently took on the task of completely remodeling our bathroom:

  • repainting the ceiling and walls,
  • replacing the tiles, the sink/vanity, the toilet, the flooring,
  • redoing some of the plumbing and electrical work,
  • we’re leaving the bath tub alone, for now.

It’s not that ambitious except for the tiling, I’ve never done it. As always my first step is YouTube. It’s fantastic! There are thousands of videos on how to tile a bathroom. As a complete rookie I don’t know which are good, bad or ugly. But it doesn’t matter. Watch enough of them and the good stuff begins to emerge.

Digression: The tiling is going well and it’s 99% thanks to YouTube, and Home Depot.

Which led me indirectly to the question: how many sub-internets are there, actually? Just off the top of my head: Continue reading How many Internets are there?

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A Radioactive Apartment Building in Taiwan . . .

. . . could dramatically change how the costs and benefits of pollution regulations¬† are calculated (albeit via a long and winding path). Continue reading A Radioactive Apartment Building in Taiwan . . .

The Gender Pay Gap . . .

. . . is another example of the Woman as Victim narrative that so incensed me about the #MeToo movement (link).

My recent post on Jordan Peterson (link) linked to a video (link) where he agreed that there was a pay gap between men and women, but it was the result of individual choices and not because of systemic discrimination. There was also a recent study about the pay differences between male and female Uber drivers (link: Thanks Gerry!) that found a 7% difference but concluded that it was based on differences in men’s and women’s behaviour. On the other hand, the recent issue of Macleans (link) decried the fact that women earn 26% less than men and urged that Something Be Done! Continue reading The Gender Pay Gap . . .

Economics . . .

. . . has always intrigued me even though I took a devastatingly dull senior-level Economics course in university which almost killed all my intellectual curiosity about the subject. But time has passed and the scars have mostly healed, and so when someone recommended the book Popular Economics by John Tamny , I thought it might be worthwhile to give it another shot. I really enjoyed it! Here is a link to a good review. It resonated with me because its key message aligned with my view of the world, that governments produces little of value and any money that they collect would have had a more beneficial effect on society if it had been left in the hands of the people that actually earned it. Continue reading Economics . . .

Jordan Peterson . . .

. . . is world-famous! And he’s Canadian! What’s up with that!?

Jordan Peterson is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto whose research interests include the psychology of religious and ideological belief (link). Not that different from thousands of other academics, and not the most straightforward path to world-wide fame, yet he has been called “the stupid man’s smart person” by one journalist (link) and “the most influential public intellectual in the Western world right now” (link) by another.¬†His unexpected rise to fame started with his opposition to Bill C-16, which has the potential to compel Canadians to use certain language (like the gender-neutral neologisms zie, zim, zir, zis, zieself when referring to transgenders). Again, not the fast track to fame and fortune! Continue reading Jordan Peterson . . .

Fundamental Canadian Values?

The subject of Canadian values fascinates me. At first glance it seems like a simple topic, but even the basics confuse me:

  • How do we collectively agree on a set of Canadian values? Is it a value shared by 100% of Canadians? (Good luck with that!). Perhaps only 50% plus one is sufficient? After all, that’s all that is needed for Quebec to separate.
  • Should Canadian values be those that uniquely identify us? Probably not. There are 192 other countries out there, and the pickings would be pretty slim if we only considered their leavings. On the other hand, why do we insist on calling them Canadian values?

Leaving those aside, maybe there are easier questions: Continue reading Fundamental Canadian Values?

Why do most #Movements fail?

I don’t follow the news a lot although I subscribe to the Ottawa Citizen (I’m not sure why; maybe I enjoy being outraged at its shoddy reporting and poorly thought out editorials). But even I have heard about some of the social justice movements that have come (and mostly gone) in the last decade. #Occupy, #IdleNoMore, #BlackLivesMatter, and #MeToo come to mind. Continue reading Why do most #Movements fail?