A Puff of Absurdity: On Silence in the Face of Alt-Facts

I think part of the reason we’re swimming in crap is because we care more about being friendly than we do about spreading accurate claims. There are courses out there to learn how to detect bullshit, but maybe we also need to learn how to call something out without looking like a jerk. The news ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Silence in the Face of Alt-Facts

I think part of the reason we’re swimming in crap is because we care more about being friendly than we do about spreading accurate claims. There are courses out there to learn how to detect bullshit, but maybe we also need to learn how to call something out without looking like a jerk. The news ...

A Puff of Absurdity: More on Critical Thinking

Owen at Northern Reflections wrote about Crawford Kilian‘s recent article in the Tyee about the need for critical thinking in schools, which referenced Jeet Heer‘s twitter essay on Sartre where I found this nugget from Sartre’s Anti-Semite and Jew:  (And somehow I wonder why my house is such a mess.) This one passage isn’t reserved solely ...

A Puff of Absurdity: More on Critical Thinking

Owen at Northern Reflections wrote about Crawford Kilian‘s recent article in the Tyee about the need for critical thinking in schools, which referenced Jeet Heer‘s twitter essay on Sartre where I found this nugget from Sartre’s Anti-Semite and Jew:  (And somehow I wonder why my house is such a mess.) This one passage isn’t reserved solely ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Dying and Grieving and Judgment

My dad passed away this week. He was older than the hills: 93 and a half years old. I’m not sad about his passing; he lived a long and fulfilling life. But I am troubled by how he went, and our expectations around grief. At his 90th birthday party, he was jovially talking with old ...

A Puff of Absurdity: The Religious Extremism of New Atheists

I wrote a tiny blurb about this over a month ago.  This one is much longer and leans heavily on solid arguments from many critics – letting their words speak for themselves. The issue has become serious enough to warrant a lengthy rebuttal. THE DANGERS OF SIMPLISTIC, BIGOTED IDEOLOGY:  My concern with the New Atheists ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Our Continued Sexual Repression

Sherlock & John I watched the first episode of the new season of Sherlock last night.  There’s a sub-plot with no spoilers here:  John Watson gets engaged to Mary.  Mrs. Hudson, the landlady, is shocked that he’s engaged to a woman since he and Sherlock were obviously so close – and so soon after his ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Strength and Contempt: Skyler and Sinead

the infamous album I want to start with the admission that the first DVD I ever got was Sinead O’Connor’s I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got.  It’s attached to some fond personal memories.  I was wakened in bed by my partner with the DVD in hand as an “anytime present,” then went downstairs ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Seniority Does Not Always Equal Merit

The title is from a line in an essay published in Friday’s Globe and Mail:  “I’m a First-Year Teacher Who Will Automatically be Fired at the End of the School Year.”  The author of this unwieldly title laments the reality that, as a new teacher, s/he’ll be first out the door over teachers who have ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Teacher Accountability

One criticism that Cooper and friends say is part of the problem with education is a lack of teacher accountability.  I actually agree with this one.  But how do we assess teacher ability?  And, maybe a bigger problem, what do we do if we find some teachers below par?  This post was inspired by a twitter conversation ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Hate Crimes and Sexual Orientation

I was reviewing for a test on theories of discrimination and hate crimes in Canada with grade 12 students, and one review question was, “When was sexual orientation added to the list of identifiable groups in the hate propaganda legislation in Canada?” And the answers I got started in the 60s – 1968, 1969…  Then ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Being a Mean Mum (and Defining Bullying)

“He cut Charlie’s ear, and he’s driving him nuts!  Water won’t hurt him; it will just remind him to stay off our porch.” “You know what you just cut, mom?  The line that connects us.  You are not my mother anymore in three…two….one.  That’s it.  We’re over.” My eight-year-old is mortified that I sprayed a ...