In his latest Common Sense episode, Dan Carlin spent some time discussing a New York Times article that linked together many of the protests and unrest that are currently infecting nations around the world.  A couple of passages in the article stood out as particularly interesting to me, especially since I spoiled my ballot in the last Canadian federal election out of disgust with the main stream parties and the system in general. Speaking about the global protests, the Times writes: [F]rom South Asia to the heartland of Europe and now even to Wall Street, these protesters share something else: [... read the rest ...]

When laws are reinterpreted by a government, and those interpretations are kept secret, democracy is undermined.  How can a democracy remain a democracy if laws are kept secret?  How is justice maintained when the public is unaware of the laws of the state? Consider the American Patriot Act.  It’s bad enough in its written form; so how bad could it be in its secret form? Here is Ron Wyden, a US senator and longtime member of the Intelligence Committee, proposing an amendment to the Patriot Act allowing the secret reinterpretations of the document to be declassified so that the American [... read the rest ...]

Originally posted: October 24, 2005.  6:45am The following article was written before our current Conservative government came to power.  Six years later, and my gloomy predictions came true worse than I could have ever imagined.  There’s a reason that I don’t trust any Canadian political party; they’re all the same in the end. I came across a quote written by George Jonas in 1990. The following excerpt is from an article in which Jonas was attempting to explain the mindset of the Eastern Europeans who were emerging from the ashes of the old USSR. The quote seems to describe the [... read the rest ...]

Lorne Lanning, creator of the Oddworld series of games had this to say to EGM (#245.0, March 2011) on the topic of making meaningful and topical video games: Art hanging on walls and in galleries around the world isn’t going to change the world, that day is long past.  Where is the new trends in public consciousness going to occur?  It’s a very simple equation – where is the most mindshare being spent?  Is it in a book, in a movie, in a game?  The first talk I gave at GDC touched on this, it was, how many hours of [... read the rest ...]

Of connectivity, mysteries, and a ruined Christmas

Ah, Christmas Eve…. I can still remember how utterly excited I was as a child, barely able to sleep with the knowledge that Santa’s arrival was imminent.  My parents had to booby trap the family room to try to prevent me and my siblings from getting into our presents early, but we still found a way to bypass the bell bedecked doors in the dead of night and catch a glimpse of the unwrapped goodies that Santa had left us, before scampering back upstairs to tear open our stockings. Speaking of unwrapped goodies, here’s a few links (and a terrible [... read the rest ...]

With the holiday season in full swing, gaming news and notable releases seem to have dried right up.  The most interesting (and depressing) thing that I’ve seen all week is a slew of bad reviews for the much-anticipated Epic Mickey.  I’d still like to play the game, but my enthusiasm for the title has been severely tempered by all of the criticism. In lieu of something on topic (if such a thing exists for this blog), I present you with a random smattering of recent headlines: Top ten questions in science The Guardian solicited a myriad of scientists across a [... read the rest ...]

The terrorists have won

Remember back to September 20th, 2001 – Americans were still reeling from the heartache, shock, and anger caused by the 9/11 attacks, and George W. Bush was addressing his fellow citizens to explain why al Qaeda had targeted the USA: Americans are asking, why do they hate us? They hate what we see right here in this chamber — a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms — our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other. If President Bush was correct in 2001 then the [... read the rest ...]

Of infringement, ripples, and liberty

I spent all of the afternoon renaming projects in a large source controlled Visual Studio solution, which amounts to torture.  As such my brain is a pile of mush and I’m in no shape to write anything coherent.  Thankfully I do have a backlog of interesting links to pass along. Blatant theft The Internet as a whole has jumped to the defence of Monica Gaudio, who had one of her articles ripped off by Cooks Source magazine.  While the plagiarism is bad enough on its own, the attitude of the magazine’s editor when confronted by Ms. Gaudio was appalling: But [... read the rest ...]

I’m having one of those totally random days where I can’t keep my attention focused on any single thing; I guess that makes the name of my blog all the more appropriate.  It’s articles like this one that make me wonder when one of you is going to complain that I gave you a bad case of mental whiplash. Onwards! I didn’t vote yesterday There was a municipal election in my city yesterday and I didn’t bother to make a trip to the polls.  Writing for The Volunteer, Terrence Watson lays out the case against performing “my civic duty” far [... read the rest ...]

I used to be a political idealist:  I thought that if a party with strong policy ideals, consistent morals, and the gumption to stand against corruption in government won an election then they would proceed to act on their campaign promises, and clean up Canada’s broken mess of a public service.  Of course I was wrong.  The Conservative Party of Canada, led by Stephen Harper, turned out to be just as bad as the Liberals that preceded him. My political innocence was shattered, and what remains is a cynical acceptance that the vast majority of politicians are so steeped in [... read the rest ...]

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