World Psychedelics Day 2023

Today is World Psychedelics Day (June 20th). This is a good time to talk more about the importance of the research, which has reinvigorated in recent years—in my opinion especially with psilocybin mushrooms. I’ll take this opportunity to recommend two books, which I’ve been enjoying. The first is Chris Letheby’s “Philosophy of Psychedelics,” which is a collection of enjoyable and th ... continue reading

April Sigma: a Cover Poem Chapbook

What would it mean to write poem covers of other poems–the way a band might cover another band’s song? Is it possible to re-create written works in a way that transforms them into a new expression while honouring their original authors? April Sigma resulted from my attempts to answer those questions. After experimenting with a few variations, I came up with a process for writing cover poems. April ... continue reading

Ban Publicizes Gravel’s Pink, Blue, and You!

Élise Gravel creates wonderful children’s books. A recent one, discussing gender stereotypes (Pink, Blue and You! / Le rose, le bleu et toi!) has been facing some outcry in the US, with parents complaining to libraries, etc. However, attempts to ban this book may perhaps bring it more recognition. Yesterday, Manon Massé (Québec Solidaire) got a motion adopted by all parties in Québec’s National ... continue reading

Unread Books, Unused Resources, and Unknown Possibilities: a Need for Libraries

In a short article expressing the need for libraries, Nigel Warburton traces the value of Umberto Eco’s unread books to Richard Ovenden‘s description of libraries as a dynamic process. I appreciate how the article understands that what exists within the library should not be appraised on a transactional basis. It explicitely calls out libraries as symbols of a commitment to the common good. I would add ... continue reading

Access to Info Day

Today is the International Day for Universal Access to Information (September 28). The right to have access to information is important for free expression, the free press, being well-informed citizens, improving our institutions as well as keeping them accountable, improving our societies, and much more. Learn more from this UNESCO calendar of events. ... continue reading

Engaging with the Force of Stupidity

This essay from Garret Keizer delivers so many insights into the phenomenon of people embracing stupidity. I appreciate points such as considering “…the need to ‘rise above’ whatever one finds too daunting to bear.” when reflecting on the feeling of being immersed deep in what you don’t know. Continue reading “Engaging with the Force of Stupidity” ... continue reading

Manguel’s Library as Wishful Thinking

Read this excellent article, Library as Wishful Thinking, by Alberto Manguel. Aside from including entertaining historical moments, the article culminates in several, very worthwhile points. One of those is that “Any cultural institution entails both the possibility of learning and of imaginative change, and also the duty to understand the use we make of these tools of survival.” Learning and imaginati ... continue reading

Beyond Information Literacy Instruction

This article in The Atlantic has much much more to say than its title (on Librarians vs. QAnon) suggests. There are many thoughts here related to information literacy and its ilk. Take sentence in particular gives much to think about: “We are experiencing a moment that is exposing a schism between two groups: those who have faith that there is a way to arrive at truth using epistemological practices that or ... continue reading

Algorithmic Test Proctoring

Read Shea Swauger’s article, Our Bodies Encoded: Algorithmic Test Proctoring in Higher Education. It identifies deep concerns about algorithmic test proctoring. Right now, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing everyone to quickly adapt to different ways of doing things, students are facing their final exams. Within universities, I know many people at all levels that are working incredibly hard to find ways to s ... continue reading