“Strategic” Voting Weakens Democracy

“Strategic” voting is a bad idea. Organized “strategic” voting improves nothing. Worse, “strategic” voting creates an illusion of trust where there are no possible checks and balances. It’s a scheme just asking to be gamed. Participants in “strategic” voting schemes will get taken advantage of and lose their voices. The aberration of “strategic” voti ... continue reading

Timeline of Conservatives’ Deeds Against Science

In the Confessions of a Science Librarian blog, John Dupuy writes about the Harper Conservatives’ war against science. He’s logged and linked activities from 2006 to 2013 that show how the Conservatives have muzzled, cut budgets, and otherwise attacked Canada’s scientific research programs. The article is good, the situation is awful. But one area that is a little misleading is the article’s ... continue reading

Conservatives to Ignore the Canadian Copyright Consultation in Favour of DMCA?

The Conservatives still appear to be steering Canada toward a DMCA-like future: one that enslaves our culture to a few controlling (mostly foreign) companies, stifles science and freedom of expression, and anchors Canada’s economy to the digital dark age rather than propelling it toward what could be an incredibly innovative and lucrative future on the world stage. I’ll recount some of the issues, then ... continue reading

Secret Copyright Negotiations Disregard Canadian Consultation

Because of recent leaks, the public has learned that the minority Conservative government is engaged in at least two sets of secret negotiations to bring forward new copyright and “intellectual property” regulations without the consent of Canadians. The Conservatives got their first two attempts at copyright change wrong. Later, the government set up a consultation with the Canadian public. The consu ... continue reading

Response to Canadian Copyright Consultation

The government set up public consultations and a web site for discussion and formal submissions of responses to questions concerning copyright reform. The web site posed five questions, which I thought about for a bit and then hastily wrote some responses today. I’ve been away travelling for a while–there’s nothing like last minute writing before the submission deadline tomorrow. :-) In any case, ... continue reading

Vote Swapping Breaks Democracy

I’ve always thought the concept of vote-swapping was problematic. Not only is it flawed in its own right but treating it as an acceptable strategy is like snuggling up to the idea that one party can function as a spoiler and that somehow, certain parties are entitled to votes. This is endemic to thinking of politics in a left/right dichotomy. Continue reading “Vote Swapping Breaks Democracy” ... continue reading

What Would Happen if You De-occupy the Cognitive Surplus?

The “West” is known for its consumers. Much of the rest of the world is trying its best to head in that direction too. Reading Clay Shirky’s recent blog post, Gin, Television, and Social Surplus, got me thinking about the stance of the passive consumer. I’m wondering if the new consumer will be a producer… that is, one who consumes that which allows him or her to produce, which may imp ... continue reading

Motivating Anti-IP Activism in Canada

In the scheme of things, few people have the interest (or is it patience?) to delve deeply into the concept of “intellectual property” (IP). I think that is why IP regulation is among the most under-considered issues in public political discourse today. It’s difficult, in the snap of a soundbite, to make an easily understood and appropriately deep point regarding IP. Recently, I sent a couple Cana ... continue reading

Diatribe on Digital Culture, Freedom, and Mistaken Fields of Invisible Stuff

Incredulous–that is the only word for the situation unfolding itself. From practically any news source on any given day, a person can find a story about people being prosecuted for their dealings with artefacts of our own shared culture. They are prosecuted through laws which are perverted by or erected by business entities. In every instance the prosecuting groups make some headway toward bottleing-up our mu ... continue reading