‘Dog-whistle’ politics vs. ‘Dog-whistle’ economics: A plea to the identity politics police

The #1 issue of the economic debate seems to be Stephen Harper’s mention of “old-stock Canadians.” As somebody who came to this country as a refugee, this issue is particularly important to me. Slip-up or strategy, it is still the politics of division–and that’s always a dangerous play. However, is this really what we should be most […]

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Where to Hook up at UBC, Part #2

There’s a puerile Vancity Buzz article by Lauren Sundstrom about public places to hookup at UBC. The list includes the English graduate student lounge. The Buchanan Tower is a rather imposing building that was designed by Christopher Erickson in the “Brutalism” style, but don’t let the stark concrete structure fool you; it’s a great place for sexy times. As […]

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The first Draft of a Cited Charter: What do you think?

As I wrote earlier, this continues my practice of radical transparency as we try to expand and improve Cited. I’ve got a first draft of something for you. For various reasons, it’s important that a news organization codify its principles. For one, it signals to our listeners and to our partners what they should expect out of […]

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Our half-globalized world

Globalization, noun: The freedom of money to flow across borders, and the freedom of refugees to suffocate in trucks or drown in the Mediterranean. From today’s NYT: Europe reeled from fresh shocks in its escalating migration crisis Friday, with reports of 150 drownings in the Mediterranean and news that far more migrant corpses had been found crammed […]

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Rogers Blue Jays Baseball: A 24/7 Propaganda Machine

I once wrote a research paper for journalism ethics class looking at how the Blue Jays coverage is affected by the fact that Rogers owns both the team and the entire media apparatus that covers the team, exclusively. There is a term in sports called ‘homers’ to describe reporters that are impartial to the home […]

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PR Lessons from the Gupta fiasco

Wise words from my cohost and producer Sam Fenn’s Facebook page: (1) In the absence of a plausible narrative people will invent their own. Sometimes the narratives other people invent will be extremely uncharitable, even unfair. But silence will only make those narratives seem more plausible. (2) If you try to manipulate the story behind the […]

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Influential philosopher slams UBC, again

Brian Leiter, on the Montalbano/Berdahl controversy at UBC: It’s clear the culture of the place strongly disfavors free speech, especially speech critical of any vested interest (indeed, to the point, that some of the resident lunatics think they can appeal to their administration for remedies for blog posts in the U.S. they do not like!).  This can not be […]

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A UBC within a UBC: Neoliberalism and the parallel college.

It’s a tired topic with many a-think piece. But honestly, this one in Harper’s is stellar. I particularly appreciate Deresiwicz’s formulation of the “parallel college” next to the existing one. He looks at how students are studying less, and creating parallel extracurriculars that train them for the skills they really need to succeed in the workforce: As college is […]

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Is this diagram unethical? Questions about journalism and research ethics.

As I said in my first blog post, I’m going to use this blog to think about some of the things I’m working on with Cited. And I want your feedback — especially if you an academic, journalist, community-engaged scholar, or person who does knowledge mobilization. Ok, basically what we are trying to do is tell […]

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Ignorance 101

Ignorance is my major, as critics of me might say. But perhaps soon, it could actually be my major? The study of ignorance — or agnotology, a term popularized by Robert N. Proctor, a historian of science at Stanford — is in its infancy. This emerging field of inquiry is fragmented because of its relative novelty and […]

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