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Monthly Archive: April 2012

Apr 23 2012

Learned helplessness

I got hit by a ‘double whammy’ this weekend. First, I watched The Trotsky on the plane to Kelowna (well, part of it – it’s a 30-minute flight). The premise of the movie seems a bit silly – a teenager who believes that he is the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky stages a coup in his high …

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Apr 20 2012

Movie Friday: Neil deGrasse Tyson and the Talented Tenth

One of things I remember learning from my father at a young age is that I was going to have to work harder to achieve what others had because of my race. That my performance would be judged alongside a whole bunch of racist baggage over which I had no control. Now that I am …

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Apr 19 2012

“I don’t even CALL it rap music…”

I’ve been a hip-hop head since I was a little kid. I’m not sure what possessed my father to buy me my first album – Public Enemy’s Apocalypse ’91… the Enemy Strikes Black simply because I asked for it. I was 8 years old, and it took years of education for me to understand even half …

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Apr 19 2012

Cognition, conservatism, and “common sense”

A figure from the study

If there is one phrase I would like for people to stop using, at least in approving tones, it’s “common sense”. What I’m sure is meant by the term, when used to praise someone’s rationality, is that someone exercising good “common sense” is making a decision based on good, clear thinking as opposed to convoluted and …

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Apr 18 2012

The benefit of the doubt is racist

Part of my daily routine involves coming home from the office, getting changed into a t-shirt and gym shorts, jumping on my exercise bike, and (in order to distract myself from how much I fucking hate exercise) turning on The Daily Show. I usually cringe when Jon talks about race matters – for example, he accused …

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Apr 18 2012

Canada’s answer to Fox News actually gets something right!

So Cromrades from way back might remember when I kicked up a bit of a fuss over the impending launch of a right-wing corporate news network specifically designed to mimic the journalistic excellence that is the USA’s Fox News Channel. It wasn’t so much that it existed, which was bad enough, it’s that they were lobbying …

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Apr 17 2012

Hate the crimes, not the criminal?

I have a weird relationship with the concept of ‘hate crimes’. On the one hand, we ought to punish people for their behaviours, rather than their beliefs. The very idea of punishing behaviour a little extra because it was motivated by an idea we dislike seems to stand in stark contrast to the idea of freedom of …

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Apr 16 2012

Rapidly approaching adventures in meatspace

This is a reminder that I will be traveling to Kelowna, BC this weekend to participate in a vaccine education event hosting by CFI Okanagan: I’m looking forward to returning to my childhood stomping grounds and finally getting to meet some of the friendly skeptics out Kelownie way. I’ll be back in the interior next month …

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Apr 16 2012

But black people had slaves too!

Those of you who read this blog regularly will be familiar with its central thesis: slavery is the only thing that matters when discussing racism, because it allows me to demonize white people. After all, even though slavery ended a thousand years ago, exploiting that part of European/American history (which, when you think about it, …

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Apr 14 2012

Throwing the book at it

A picture of a Twitter exchange between myself and Slignot

So I was feeling punchy this morning and decided to mock two people I follow on Twitter: FTB’s own Natalie Reed, and April Gardner aka Slignot on the topic of electronic books vs. physical books: My point was simply to point out that there has been pushback against every new technology by those who cry that …

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