Monthly Archives: December 2017

The Flat Earth Experience

In his The Time Machine Weena tries to throw herself in the fire because she has never seen flames before. She doesn’t know that it will burn her and that she should exercise care. She is a figure of profound … Continue reading

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Serendipity and Other People’s Hard Work: Contributing to Intellectual Society

Many years ago, when I used to build computers from found parts, installing hard drives was much more of an ordeal. You needed to look up the serial number of the hard drive in a database—if you were lucky enough … Continue reading

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Toys for Big Boys: Manboys and Manplay

When a local motorcycle and skidoo shop adopted the name “Toys for Big Boys” I would have thought it would mean death for their business. I would have guessed that the overgrown baby that is the man who loves to … Continue reading

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The Winter Solstice and Trying to Explain the Movement of the Sun

Many years ago I found myself trying to explain the movement of the sun during the winter to a class in Victoria, British Columbia, and ever since I have been struck by how cultural knowledge can be allowed or disallowed … Continue reading

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The Best line from a Student Paper

Although I have read many great student sentences over the years, probably the most memorable one is from my student’s essay when I was teaching in the United States. One of my students was writing about Frederick Douglass, the famous … Continue reading

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The Contamination of Ideas: Truth and Lies in the Internet Age

A recent encounter reminds me that notions of knowledge and how it is gained can be subjective. I was told by a young person that a documentary watched by their mother—they didn’t even see the documentary themselves—argued that there was … Continue reading

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