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Showing posts from May, 2017

Review: Ottawa and Empire

Although I was given the opportunity to read an early draft of Tyler Shipley's Ottawa and Empire, that reading was overdetermined by my job as a "slash and burn" editor. That is, Shipley recruited me to help transform his doctoral dissertation into an accessible book since, due to his proximity to the project, he knew he lacked the objectivity to make hard decisions about what parts of the book to sacrifice. Since (as I have joked with him) the manuscript was not mine, and thus I felt no personal attachment to its contents, I spent many hours cutting out the necessary academic redundancies and pages upon pages of research that would cause the lay reader's eyes to glaze over. While I learned a lot about the book's subject matter in that reading (the 2009 coup in Honduras, Canada's complicity in this coup, and its historical context), my ability to fully process the manuscript's contents was partially compromised by my editorial duty.

Hence, it has been a p…

Avoid the Left Internet "Expert"

With the proliferation of social networking technology online political discussion/debate has become prevalent. The so-called "Social Justice Warrior" [SJW], which is now a pretty stale cliche, has found its home on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, etc. In such a context, particular "left experts" have emerged whose expertise is premised primarily on their online following. Certain individuals on Twitter/Reddit/Facebook, based on their ability to promote themselves and gain recognition, sometimes emerge (and sometimes just as quickly vanish) as authorities due to nothing more than self-promotion. Some individual who only discovered Marxism two years ago, for example, is suddenly the de facto expert on Marxist theory even if they do not appear to be organizing outside of their tweets/reddits or have any other credentials beyond their own belief in the efficacy of their analysis backed by some followers. No point in naming names; I'm sure you can imagine quite a number…