Zizek and the paradoxical position of activism today

Activism today seems caught in a stalemate with itself. While the Battle of Seattle founded a generation of direct-action, anti-organizational chaotic intervention against neo-liberal world government meetings, they’ve failed to gain mass public support. For reasons which have been understood for decades, the media is excellent at not getting messages through which are damaging to¬†corporate¬†power […]

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Colbert – Satire, Sincerity and Congressional Hearings

Recently, my friend and colleague Benjamin Nelson (contributor at talking philosophy) posted Colbert’s recent testimony at a congressional hearing to his facebook with this comment: “In American politics, satire is indistinguishable from the truth.” A long debate ensued, mostly about Colbert’s remarks being distinguishable from truth, but without being ungenuine, and the power of satire […]

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Toronto’s man-made flatness

A common complaint about Toronto concerns its flatness – there are large swathes of it with no obvious geographical traits at all. A city fo Euclidean ideality may be great for cycling (if it were not for the traffic, the lack of safe bike lanes, and the awful paving), but it also gives the impression […]

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de Sousa on Emotional Truth

Ronald de Sousa‘s “Emotional Truth” seeks to expand the realm of truth from its restriction to belief and belief-like states to include emotions and emotional states. On DeSousa’s view, an emotion can be “true”, or “false”, but not in the sense of being “flat-out” true or false, rather in some matter of degree. To use […]

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What if Freedom and Freewill had nothing to do with each other?

Imagine if in some deep sense life were determined. Now, somehow avoid the immediate rejoinder that, “this means I am not typing this, because presupposed in every activity and every description of activity, including me describing the activity of believing to be determined, spontaneous will is presumed”. Instead, assume that what we mean by “spontaneous […]

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Politics of 70s Prog Rock

Last night Josh, Dave and I watched two rock music documentaries: “Classic Albums: Dark Side of the Moon”, and Rush’s “Beyond the Lighted Stage”. I was astonished at the different ways the two bands reacted to their own success, and how this manifested a different politics. In short – Pink Floyd was damaged by its […]

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Wifi in Schools and the Dangers of non-ionizing radiation: crazed anti-science parents, or a Cold War failure of Normal Science?

The CBC has run stories on parents groups who are concerned about the possible health effects of WIFI in elementary schools. Individual reports of increased heart rate and headaches, from parents and from the children themselves, are are concerning – but intuitively one wishes to trust Health Canada who dismiss the complaints as subjective. The […]

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