Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Posted by Simon Lono at 5:20 PM
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Posted by Simon Lono at 4:45 PM
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Posted by Simon Lono at 6:04 PM
Monday, November 16, 2009
I have strong feelings about this mess and I know who I trust but I prefer to keep all of that sordid information to myself. Suffice it to say that I'm confident that the most sensible thought on the subject, albeit tangentially, was Russell Wangersky's.
What I will suggest to all parties is that some comments clearly showed the need for some coaching in some of the finer points of waging and winning an online war. As a public service, I point out this article from Wired, How to Win an Internet Flame War. Of course this article assumes anonymous players so I'm not sure how it applies to those wars where the players have at least a nodding acquaintance with each other.
Posted by Simon Lono at 3:39 PM
Friday, June 19, 2009
Related to the rant/spew confusion is the argument/fight confusion. What brought this matter to a head in my mind is the latest Williams meltdown, this time live on VOCM, which many confused for an argument or dispute. It was not. It was a drive-by pie-toss at an unsuspecting pedestrian.
But the point of this post is not to dwell on the premier's semi-hysterical rhetorical media muggings but to point out that arguments are good things. Arguments are how we make progress on issues and explore possible solutions. Arguments are not disputes; arguments are how we resolve disputes. Arguments are not fights and they are not personal. People have the misconception that arguments should be avoided because they lead to conflict but in the hands of the sensible, they are resolutions to conflict.
I just came across this column, by Jay Heinrichs, the author of Thank You For Arguing (a book I highly recommend) which talks about how teaching your kids to argue diffuses conflict and encourages critical thought about even the most mundane things. This article is sort of late for me because I've already stumbled through the rearing of my own children, making it up as I went along. But I'm relieved that some of the principles I tried to set for my relationship with them is mirrored in many of the things Heinrichs writes here.
Imagine if more parents had followed the principles outlined here; how different our public sphere would be!
Posted by Simon Lono at 11:21 AM
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Ever do it while being Premier?
To a live talk radio show?
Well, Danny Williams did.
Listen right to the end to get the full effect.
Updates and commentary:
Posted by Simon Lono at 6:31 PM
Monday, June 15, 2009
Iran has a unique political system with an elected secular component and a mullah-based component, led by Iran’s "supreme leader" Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, which dominates the elected side. It's a weird combination and balance of the democratic and the theocratic. Now the balance is out of whack and what's left is just weird.
The protests over the weekend calling for an investigation into potentially fixed results indicates that Iranians, the ones that live in Tehran anyways, are not satisfied to be ruled against their will be parochial religious conservatives. Latest news is that opposition leaders are banned from holding rallys and the leaders are under house arrest. It seems unlikely that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was "reelected"
with a 62% margin even in the hometown of the oppistion leader.
We can be cynical around here about elections but there are still parts of the world where people feel elections really mean something and that they have real impacts on their lives. The import attached to elections results can be huge because so much is at stake. Rather than contests between small variations of public policy or the cults of personality-based elections we see around here, in countries like Iran elections are battles of fundamental ideals and ideas. And people care. At least, they will care as long as they feel they have a chance to make a difference.
The situation in Iran is complex. Even the media-described "liberal" factions are, by our standards, more conservative than the average Canadian would feel comfortable with. I've read no calls for the dismantling of the religious-dominated system, only calls for the system to live up to what it has promised. It reminds a bit of the late 80s when Gorbachev called for a reform of the Communist state, not for up-ending it.
This is a story worth following.
Posted by Simon Lono at 11:33 AM