Category Archives: Culture

Yard Sale Culture

Sometimes he felt as though he’d wandered into a world where everyone’s life had been spilled out like a gut-shot man, as if their sentiment and possessions were stacked in boxes at a planet-wide yard sale. He thought of what … Continue reading

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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 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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Avicii’s “Wake Me Up”: Or, Save Me from the Dirty Poor

Although I usually have little to say about the fripperies and pomp of pop music, once I watched Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” I was infuriated by its rather simplistic and classist portrayal. “Wake Me Up” is likely meant to tell … Continue reading

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Magazines and the Internet

I was watching a video on YouTube about a man who was setting up his wilderness cabin. Although he spent most of his time complaining about a snow storm that was sweeping through his area I was most struck by … Continue reading

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A Use of Old Cannonballs

Galileo was alone on the top of the tower. He’d asked his friends to stay away from his experiment. He’d experienced enough failure in the past to worry that his latest venture might prove to be embarrassing and he was … Continue reading

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CBC’s “This is That” and the Reality of Our News Broadcasts

I thought my reaction to the popular CBC parody show, This is That was unlike that of others, so I never mentioned it until this summer when I was talking to my friend in Montreal. It turned out, others have … Continue reading

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