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Tag: politics

Promising the Stars: How Trump Could Win

Promising the Stars: How Trump Could Win

One of our favourite activities in this house — at least, one I can comfortably describe in greatest detail — is talking about how Trump could win the Presidency. This isn’t because I want Trump to win. I just see how he can. Papa Bear O’Reilly is right: Trump and Sanders are two sides of the same coin. Both are tapping into feelings of rage and despair in a populace experiencing the ever-widening wealth gap as precarity, hopelessness, and a…

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It is time to repeal Godwin’s Law.

It is time to repeal Godwin’s Law.

If you didn’t grow up on the Internet, or you have some sort of Real Job (TM) that keeps you away from the Internet for vast stretches of time during which you actually interact with your fellow human beings, you may be unfamiliar with Godwin’s Law, which states “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches.” It’s closely related to Reductio ad Hitlerum, also known as “playing the Hitler card.” (It’s so…

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Sex work, the law, and Company Town

Sex work, the law, and Company Town

My next book, Company Town (which is currently available for pre-order), takes place on an oil rig on the Atlantic, 500km NE of St. John’s, Newfoundland. It’s my first book set in Canada, despite the fact that I moved to Toronto in 2006. Today being Canada Day, I thought I would talk about why I chose a Canadian setting. TL;DR: I thought I was being clever about the legality of prostitution in Canada, until the Tories fucked up my whole…

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Addicts lie: Rob Ford and the future of Toronto

Addicts lie: Rob Ford and the future of Toronto

“I’m just so sad,” my mom told me, when she learned Toronto Police Services Chief Bill Blair told reporters he had seen video of the mayor smoking crack cocaine. “It’s just…sad.” It is sad. It’s sad that my partner has to wonder about his mayor screaming in his face and shoving him the way he does other journalists, when the mayor bothers to show up for work — though he apparently has no issue showing up drunk at two a.m….

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Identity politics: or why demographic sticker shock is no excuse.

Identity politics: or why demographic sticker shock is no excuse.

I really wasn’t going to write about the election. It’s been covered quite well elsewhere already. I think Dan Hodges’ piece on the subject in The Telegraph nails it: For years the GOP has been sitting on a ticking demographic time bomb. And this was the election it finally detonated. The Democrats already went into the 2012 campaign with a lock on big electoral vote states like California, Pennsylvania and New York. On current trends they will soon be able…

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“Are you concerned with where science fiction is going?”

“Are you concerned with where science fiction is going?”

I was in the car with a friend on the way to a foresight gig with the advisory council for a major philanthropy broker, and as we waited at a red light he said: “I’ve been meaning to ask you a challenge question for a while.” “Shoot,” I said. “Are you concerned with where science fiction is going?”

Bordertown, Surveillance, and the Evil Eye

Bordertown, Surveillance, and the Evil Eye

Last summer, I participated in the Bordertown design studio, a ten-week seminar on the subject of cities divided by borders. Everyone involved developed a deliverable, which we exhibited at the Detroit Design Festival. At the time, I was too blown away by the city of Detroit and its inhabitants to talk about my own work. (Also, I was editing my debut novel and finishing work on my thesis, writing some pieces for BoingBoing and trying to find another job.) I…

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The New Aesthetics of the male gaze

The New Aesthetics of the male gaze

Since Bruce Sterling’s excellent post at Beyond the Beyond covering “The New Aesthetic” panel at SxSW ’12, a lot of other entries have sprung up talking about it. I thought I’d round some up: An Essay on the New Aesthetic, by Bruce Sterling The New Aesthetic and I, by Damien G. Walter New Aesthetics — New Politics, POSZU The New Aesthetic and Future Fatigue, by Klint Finley The New Aesthetic Tumblr, with a report from SxSW on the panel Personally,…

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Another reason I’m happy to live in Canada:

Another reason I’m happy to live in Canada:

Today, Ontario’s top court legalized brothels, with the intent to protect sex workers. Snip: All five judges said the law prohibiting the operation of bawdy houses “is grossly disproportionate” to its stated aim of avoiding disorder and maintaining public health standards. “The record is clear that the safest way to sell sex is for a prostitute to work indoors, in a location under her control,” they said. The court emphasized that prostitutes are forced to break the law if they…

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