Risk err in solidarity

Risk err in solidarity with those who tend to have decisions made for them, especially when the decisions are made against their will. The historical odds indicate that people without power are generally a reliable barometer for discerning justice. Look to them, not to the career-chasing experts, bureaucrats, and courtiers. The margin of moral error …

Crosswalk buttons

Crosswalk buttons are horrid devices. As a pedestrian, I resent that I must push a button to request permission to cross the street — just because I am not in a motorized vehicle at this intersection. Let’s talk about evils of vehicle-centric urban design.

Facebook has nothing to do with friendship

‘If I leave Facebook I’ll lose my friends’ is only a rational concern if a) you subsequently fail to communicate with your ‘friends’ in another manner or b) you have ‘friends’ that prioritize using Facebook above sharing life with you in same other way. Losing friends because you’re not on Facebook is only a valid …

Grocery store strangeness

I can never get over the fact that grocery stores have ‘natural’ and ‘healthy’ food sections — as if natural and healthy food is a specialized, niche product in the overall groceries market. We have invented a strange world, people.

Let’s repurpose simpleton

I think we should repurpose the word ‘simpleton’ into something that isn’t so pejorative. There’s something to be said for circumventing the needlessly complicated. And to consider oneself a simpleton reflects a healthy sense of skepticism about the comprehensiveness of one’s knowledge. Besides, what’s the opposite of a simpleton? A ‘complicaton’? Who’d want to hang …

Using podcasts to augment the museum experience

I teamed up with Museum London to produce a special ‘curator walk-through’ podcast episode for the BGL: Spectacle + Problems exhibit. Grab the episode on your device, pick up your favourite headphones, and then come visit Museum London before August 26 to enjoy the full experience: art curator Cassandra Getty and members of the BGL …

Attention as Generosity

Consider this proposition — the words of Simone Weil: Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity. (Hat tip to Kathleen Fitzpatrick for the excellent sleuthing work to verify the source.) It’s a profound one-liner. These nine simple words prompt the question: Who, or what, receives my purest attention?

241 Simcoe Street

There is a lively debate in my city over the proposed locations for a supervised drug injection facility. One city-endorsed location is 241 Simcoe Street — a public housing complex just outside of the downtown core. I am a diehard supporter and advocate for harm reduction and I think a supervised injection site would greatly …

People are the way they are

People are the way they are because it is the way they have adapted to survive in their world. You can accept them or reject them for it, but it makes little sense to try to change it. People are they way they are because it is the way that works for them. The same …

The System Made Me Do It

I somehow found myself thinking about a passage from Hannah Arendt’s 1951 landmark Origins of Totalitarianism while I was at the Thames Valley Family Health Team conference a few weeks ago. (I posted more about the conference earlier.) The event was about delivering primary health care, and Arendt’s book is about totalitarian regimes, which makes …

Everybody’s advertising Facebook

Every time a company or business implores its customers or clients to ‘Like us on Facebook’ or ‘Follow us on Twitter’ they provide free advertising for Facebook and Twitter. Subsequently, in seeking likes and followers, businesses entrust communications with their customers and clients to a third party, a corporate intermediary — an intermediary that is …