Market failure and Yo Mama
27/06/2012, 13:03
Filed under: Economics, Policy, Sociology

Yesterday I wrote a post summarizing Anne-Marie Slaughter‘s latest article in The Atlantic, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.” Today I’d like to return to an issue raised by the article and which I think is worth highlighting: while there are lots of good ethical/moral reasons to support a healthy work-life/family balance, it isn’t at all clear that this needs to be done at the expense of instrumental reasons like innovation, profit and growth.

In fact, when it comes to a healthy work-life balance and economic growth, we might be able to have our cake and eat it too.

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Why Women Still Can’t Have It All
26/06/2012, 11:27
Filed under: Economics, Policy, Sociology

Read Anne-Marie Slaughter‘s latest article in The Atlantic, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.”

According to Slaughter, the work-life/family balance we expect of highly successful women is impossible. What’s more, if the balance is impossible for society’s most accomplished women, how can we expect it to be possible for society’s less skilled and or privileged women?

In a similar vein as Barbara Einreich‘s “breast cancer doesn’t kill you because you didn’t stay positive enough, it kills you because it’s cancer!” Slaughter argues that regardless of whether people are “committed enough,” or “try hard enough,” we expect too much of working women with families: the reality of work in America is such that women, but also men, with children have to make difficult decisions between work and family if they wish to pursue workplace success.  Continue reading

Quebec Cinema FTW
25/06/2012, 15:07
Filed under: Culture, Policy, Politics

Whether it’s Xavier Dolan’s latest flick, or the recent Pour l’amour de Dieu Grand Jury Prize win in Shanghai, I’ve noticed lately that as far as Canadian cinema is concerned, it seems like you only ever hear about Quebec films making it big on the international film circuit.* But I don’t remember this being the case when I was a kid.

A few things have changed since then. Notably, the federal government, and pretty much every major provincial government, has significantly cut back on funding for the arts—except Quebec.  Continue reading

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Speaking of machines and nature
20/06/2012, 17:40
Filed under: Ephemera, Thought

This is what a turing machine looks like:

Pay attention. This is important. As the video explains, “The turing machine is the father of all computers.” Nothing short of nature is shaping our world as we know it more than the modern computer.  Continue reading

Those who can provide for themselves
14/06/2012, 09:38
Filed under: Ephemera, Myself, Thought

The other day this comment came up in my facebook feed,

Look to the west my friends…… we value freedom and as little government intervention as possible in our lives. Those who can provide for themselves dont require government handouts. Nor do they feel entitled to them.

I can’t remember who said this, or why—it was nobody I knew—but it took some self-restraint not to lash out at them. I typed the following, but didn’t end up posting it,

Those who can provide for themselves can provide for themselves, except when they can’t provide for themselves. Then they are not those that can provide for themselves. Although I’m a Westerner, this doesn’t prevent me from avoiding tautological reasoning.

I copied and pasted the relevant bits into my Evernote folder under unfinished writing.

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Making sense of nonsense
13/06/2012, 22:15
Filed under: Ephemera, Myself, Sociology, Statistics, Thought

I’m as excited as all hell about Maxis‘ decision to develop the next SimCity, SimCity 5. The only thing that I’m a little worried about is that I’ll probably never have time to play it. I’m an adult now—work first, right.

But, I might have found a loophole. I’m pretty sure I can define work broadly enough (I’m a social scientist—this is a very slippery slope, but bear with me) to rationalize me getting my jollies following the game development.

Recently, the development team started talking openly about the simulation engine, and my soci senses are on the brink of orgasm. They are calling it “GlassBox.”

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