Welcome and thanks for visiting! This page provides some preliminary remarks and introductory reflections about this site, in case you are looking for some “backstory” and context.

Short Bio

My name is James Shelley. My “day job” focuses on research and science communication at a Canadian university. I work primarily in knowledge mobilization, which involves ensuring that research is in constant, reciprocal exchange with people in the real world who might inform or be affected by the research itself. My portfolio mostly involves health science research.

I am especially interested in the way humans use narrative to make sense of the world and how narrative intersects our ideas about science, and vice versa. On a related note, I also facilitate a transdisciplinary network of academics interested in complex adaptive system (CAS) theory.

The above is just some personal background. This site is actually about, well, everything else...

About This Site

This site is like a long, asynchronous a chat at a pub or on a patio—roaming and nonlinear; thematically blown about by the winds of the conversation. Topically willy-nilly.

Just about everything here is in development, half-baked, raw or exploratory. This is not a publication on current affairs. I am not here to hawk valuable insider’s perspectives, hot takes, “thought leadership,” or expert analysis. Quite the opposite. This space is an ugly, hot mess of uncertainty, hypotheses, and brain dumps. Think: throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. The only niche here is a flagrant disregard for niches.

Who would want to read this chaos? Presumably other generalists and dilettantes. Others who, like myself, suspect that life is too short to pretend like we know what we are talking about. If there is a common theme in these pages, it probably has something to do with the pleasure of mulling over new perspectives simply for the pleasure of new perspectives. An ode to the carnal amusements of curiosity. There is no destination, no promised revelation, and almost certainly no answers. This collection of writing is a process, not a product.

New Articles

You can subscribe for notifications when articles are posted on this site via a MailChimp-powered email newsletter or using the RSS feed.

I am not a very active on social media, but links to new articles on this site are automatically cross-posted on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Micro.Blog, Mastodon, Bluesky (for those brave enough to deal with life on digital platforms these days).


To annotate or discuss articles on this site, please use, which allows you to manage your data and contributions on a public discussion layer of the internet.


These are “old school” hand-coded HTML pages, inspired and derived from this Typography Boilerplace CSS. The site is currently hosted and distributed with AWS, using S3, Route 53, CloudFront, and Lambda.