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Monthly Archive: February 2012

Feb 29 2012

The “tone” thread

I used the word ‘idiots’ once in my previous post, and now I am being upbraided for defending bigoted language used to assault gay activists. This morning’s post was not in any way about the use of nasty language, but in the interest of giving tone trolls a place to vent, I am creating this …

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Feb 29 2012

The (un)Friendly Atheist

I like Hemant Mehta. I really do. He’s a passionate advocate and organizer who regularly makes significant and positive contributions to the secular/atheist community (far more than, say, someone like me does). His blog is a regular read for me, which is saying a lot because these days I barely have time to read this one. …

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Feb 29 2012

Oh God, Oh GOD, OH YES! Oh no!

There was some very interesting discussion that cropped up in the comment thread of last week’s Movie Friday where I asked you to discuss what the lyrics to Regina Spektor’s “Laughing With” actually mean. Many of you thought that she was articulating a kind of “faitheist” position, or one of arch-deism, where those who disbelieve are …

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Feb 28 2012

So high, so low

So I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: mandatory minimums are racist. When we finally strip away the facile understanding of ‘racism’ as an intentional discriminatory act by a bad person against someone else, we are able to recognize that people, institutions, and traditions can be racist. The lack of intentionality is immaterial …

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Feb 28 2012

Courting disaster

I don’t do a lot of computer coding at work, but I do occasionally find myself forced to make a computer do something that exists only in my head and on paper. I don’t really have much of a background in computer science, aside from a couple of courses in statistical analysis methods in undergrad. The …

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Feb 27 2012

Black History Month: looking back, looking forward

This is the fourth year in which I have formally marked black history month. Even though I went to a high school with a large black population, we were taught almost nothing about black history in school. The great shame of the whole exercise is that, unless there is someone who actually cares, the existence …

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Feb 27 2012

Black Canadians: outcomes, attitudes, and evidence

This morning I walked you through a crude statistical analysis of labour participation in black Canadians, showing that while the experiences of black Canadians runs parallel to that of African-Americans, it is not directly comparable. However, a more detailed look at the evidence suggests a slightly different picture – black men face a 22% wage gap …

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Feb 27 2012

The Watchmaker Analogy: not an argument

The ‘watchmaker analogy‘ has been around for quite some time (about 209ish years by my count), and it was refuted shortly after it’s explication (in fact, Paley was refuted by Hume before Paley was born). Several folk have gone after it, in a variety of ways but the damned thing just keeps showing up. To be …

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Feb 27 2012

Black Canadians: Making it work

Education attained by ethnic group

This is the fourth and final instalment in a series of posts I am writing in my annual commemoration of Black History Month. My inspiration, and source of historical material, is a book by Joseph Mensah called Black Canadians: history, experiences, social conditions. As I work my way through the book, I will be blogging my reactions and things that …

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Feb 24 2012

Movie Friday: Fuck Shit Stack

Don’t ask why, but the FTB backchannel was briefly full of My Little Pony conversation. I don’t understand the craze, but that’s okay because it seems like everyone else does. If the show were more like this, maybe I’d watch: WARNING: TOTALLY NSFW LANGUAGE! Also, you will laugh really loud, so make sure you’re in …

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