Social and political issues

Reflections on Max 8: Sophisticated Airplanes and Self-Driving Cars

Would you feel safer flying in a Boeing 737 Max 8—or in the 40-year-old formerly mothballed plane pulled out of retirement to replace it? Have 40-year-old planes actually been pulled out of retirement and put into service? Probably not. But, since hundreds of Max 8s have been grounded, replacements have had to come from somewhere. […]

The Hypocrisy of the Entertainment Industry

Item: Netflix has decided to “ban smoking from all original content rated TV-14 or PG-13 and below.” The media giant known for its risqué content will continue to present shows filled with violence, crime, sexual promiscuity, drug addiction, excessive consumption of alcohol, murder, theft, fraud, dishonesty, and occult practices. But it is good to see […]

Why Is It So Hard to Give a Clear Answer?

University professors are like gods. Not in the sense of being wise and all-knowing. Nor in the sense of being good and benevolent. They are godlike in the sense of being powerful beings. Especially when it comes to graduate students. The success of undergraduate students, those enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program, is determined by […]

Black Holes and Other Investments

Let me ask you a question. As an investor, would you invest in BlackBerry Limited? This is a company whose sales dropped from almost $20 billion a year in 2011 to less than 1 billion in 2018. This is a company that racked up losses of over $10 billion between 2013 and 2017. Its work […]

Stephen Harper’s Other Book: The Politics of Hockey

Stephen Harper’s Other Book: The Politics of Hockey

Stephen Harper’s new book, Right Here Right Now, is receiving widespread attention and stirring considerable debate. Even those who disagree with his political observations have to agree that it is a formidable book that cannot be ignored. That is far different from the response to his previous book. Reviewers never quite knew what to do […]

Manufactured Authoritativeness and Contrived Objectivity

I have noticed a disturbing trend in modern news media, particularly television news. It is a tendency to engage in something I would call “manufactured authoritativeness” or “contrived objectivity.” What I mean is the increasing use of statements such as the following in news stories. Many news reports start with a statement such as “There […]

The Arrogance of Apologies

Back when I was in high school, a teacher had arranged some small group sessions in which the students were to discuss certain assigned readings. When we assembled, it soon became apparent that most of the students had not done the assigned readings and thus were unable to discuss them. In frustration, the teacher cancelled […]