The ‘Sharing Economy’ is a Hoax

Stop calling it the sharing economy. It’s an oxymoron, like ‘creation science’ or ‘sustainable capitalism.’ It’s not collaborative: it’s the new indentured servant economy. If you believe these corporations are all about sharing and collaboration, then you’re mightily gullible. You’ve been had. These are big, multi-billion dollar corporations whose executives are millionaires. They are more akin to drug cartels than to cooperative economics. The economic similarities are evident: … (more–>)

Sloppy Reporting and Secret Agendas

One really doesn’t actually expect sterling journalism, good, investigative reporting or excellent editing from a community newspaper, but we do expect factual accuracy. And we expect reporters and editors to do at least the basics of their jobs. Some parallel stories in the local papers show just how inaccurate – and sloppy – local reporting and editing can be. And how this is letting council get … (more–>)

Where Have the Ratepayers’ Groups Gone?

Why don’t Collingwood’s ratepayer groups and associations last? In the 25-plus years I’ve lived here, I’ve seen several come and go. Every one has dissolved, evaporated or imploded within a year or two. Seldom do they last longer than a single term of council. Is this a normal part of the life cycle of such organizations, or is Collingwood at the unfortunate end of the Bell curve … (more–>)

The birth and death of privacy

I was in a local grocery store recently and it was my misfortune to enter, and walk most of the same aisles at the same time as a voluble woman shopper. She spent her entire time there on her cell phone. From before she entered, through the time she collected her groceries, went through the cash register, and exited, she did not once stop talking. Loudly. And it … (more–>)

Slow Down and Keep Quiet

I’m tired. I’m tired of a-holes treating my town streets like their personal raceways. I’m tired of immature jerks racing along streets well over the speed limit, squealing tires, ignoring stop signs. I’m tired of drivers who think they’re above the law; that the laws don’t apply to them. That what matters is that they can do what they want and screw the rest of us. … (more–>)

Fortuna: Why Plans Fail

Niccolo Machiavelli used two words in his book, The Prince, to describe the factors that influenced events. In English these are virtue or character (virtu), fortune or chance (fortuna). Only virtue is internal – our nature – and although it manifests as voluntary action, it can only be somewhat, but not entirely controlled.* The other – chance or fortune – can make the best-laid plans of mice … (more–>)

Nope, That’s Not by Marcus Aurelius

An image appeared on Facebook purporting to be a quotation taken from Marcus Aurelius. Having read his Meditations more than once, I was baffled because it didn’t look at all familiar. The quote is: Everything we hear is a opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. It’s a good line, but I can’t find it in any online version of … (more–>)

Hats, Manners and Society

I was at a local restaurant on the weekend, enjoying a nice meal with my wife. Of the six males – I hesitate to call them ‘men’ for reasons below – in the particular room in which we sat, I was the only one not wearing a baseball cap. I was also the only one not under 30. Wearing a hat indoors, as I was taught … (more–>)

Time of Use Billing

Until I sold my business, a few years ago, and started working from home again, I didn’t realize how much of an aggressive assault on many Ontarians – especially seniors and stay-at-home parents – our hydro time-of-use  (TOU) billing is. I had a naïve belief that it was fair. A user-pay balance. A tool to encourage us to conserve and use our appliances more wisely. And I’ve … (more–>)

The Continued Rise of Anti-Intellectualism

I dream of a world where the truth is what shapes people’s politics, rather than politics shaping what people think is true. Neil deGrasse Tyson on Twitter* Anti-intellectualism Is Killing America, says the headline in this recent Psychology Today story. The subtitle reads: Social dysfunction can be traced to the abandonment of reason. I wrote about anti-intellectualism as the new elitism back in late 2013. Since then, it seem the … (more–>)

Conrad Black: Wrong on Religion, Again

Atheists renounce and abstain from religions; they don’t reform them. So said Conrad Black in a recent National Post column. Black seems to be increasingly theological in his writing; perhaps he has had some sort of epiphany in prison. If so, it seems to be pushing him towards a Pauline-style intolerance and exclusivity, religiously speaking. That attitude is not conducive to dialogue, but it certainly suits … (more–>)

Fishy Thoughts

Canadians, the headline reads, now have shorter attention span than goldfish thanks to portable devices. The story in today’s National Post underscores a growing problem that is fuelled by technology: our dwindling attention spans. The Microsoft study of 2,000 Canadians found our collective attention span has dwindled to a mere eight seconds, down from an already embarrassing 12 seconds a similar study found back in the … (more–>)

Ontario’s Sex Education

As Frank Zappa sang in his 1968 song, What’s The Ugliest Part Of Your Body?: What’s the ugliest Part of your body? What’s the ugliest Part of your body? Some say your nose Some say your toes I think it’s your mind, your mind, I think it’s YOUR MIND, woo woo I’m not a fan of the Wynne government, but I respect their current willingness to wade … (more–>)

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month in Canada. I don’t know if this gets widespread acknowledgement much less appreciation among the public and in the schools, but it should. Poetry is an important part of our cultural lives, although it seems to me our collective passion for it has waned over the past few decades. I blame MTV, video games, rap music, Stephen Harper and cuts to … (more–>)

Back to Top