Archive | November 2010

Toxic Sludge is Good For You

I can hardly believe it.

Recently, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP)  “voluntarily” pulled an infomercial, designed to elicit warm, healthy feelings towards dirty oil and the Alberta Tar Sands, after complaints by the Sierra Club and others. The ad compared toxic pond tailings to yogurt (“Oilsands ad comparing tailings to yogurt to be revamped” The Vancouver Sun).

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The Redefinition of Global History

(Canceled until further notice)

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Whither Civilisation of the Dialogue?

Today, I had the pleasant surprise of discovering that John Brown’s Public Diplomacy Press Review had linked into The Chrysalis (specifically, into the recent post entitled “Truth to Power”). I had not known that Mr. Brown maintained a blog, so I spent some time browsing through it’s contents, which address the often confused boundaries between propaganda and public diplomacy.

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Power, Magic, and Late Modern Nihilism.

I’ve been waiting patiently for Wikileaks to finally show its hand and prove to us the audacious claim that their newest release of leaked diplomatic documents will “redefine global history”.  If the present near panic in government circles around the world about these releases is any indication of their explosive content, Julian Assange and the folks around Wikileaks may well be right.

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Truth to Power

By now, most or all of you are probably familiar with the notorious and widely-cited Ron Suskind interview with a former “senior advisor”  to George W. Bush that Suskind reported in a 17. October, 2004 article in The New York Times. Suskind’s article was entitled “Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush”. Although the whole article is noteworthy (as well for apparently introducing the phrase “reality-based community”), I’ll quote the relevant passage alone,

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The Humbling of Power

Pride goeth before a fall.

The full (and dangerous) potential of the global internet seems about to be made manifest in the latest posting of Wikileak’s trove of classified documents from the Iraq War. So potentially damaging and destabilising are these new revelations that the US government has taken to pre-empting their possible impact through instructing its consular staff around the world (and in Canada) to forearm, forewarn, placate or appease allies and other governments in advance, along with a foreboding that the credibility and prestige of the US government may be permanently compromised.

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Peter Russell: Waking Up in Time

A while ago I purchased a book for the grand sum of .25 cents at a rummage sale. The book, by Peter Russell, is called Waking Up in Time.  (Russell, confusingly, is described as computer scientist, but also as a physicist who once studied under Stephen Hawking). For the last few months, the book has lain around unexplored and unread. Last evening I cracked it open and began to read my way through the Preface. Read More…