Voting for pizza: electoral reform illustrated

So electoral reform is on my mind again – no, not for that reason, but because the next federal election is coming up. Last year I wrote a post for Canadian Atheist about electoral reform, and I was shocked and horrified to discover how little most Canadians know about the issue. My goal this year is to shine a little more light on it. Read the rest of this entry

How right-wing bigots are ruining science fiction

I’m a huge science fiction fan – science fiction, please, hold the fantasy – and have been for as long as I can remember. One of the biggest events of the year for me is the Hugo Awards; for me, they’re bigger than the Oscars. I’m subscribed to get announcements of major Hugo Award news, and – as a kind of yearly tradition I have – I was thrilled to hear that the 2015 nominees were announced. But… there was something fishy about the nominations. Read the rest of this entry

On Canadian Atheist: Angus Reid survey on religious identity, beliefs, and attitudes in Canada

The Angus Reid Institute conducted a fairly comprehensive survey, commissioned by Reginald Bibby, of religious identification, beliefs, and attitudes in Canada. Much of the results won’t be surprising to anyone who reads atheist blogs, but the survey did suggest that while nonbelievers are not considered to be representative of mainstream Canada, mainstream Canada’s attitudes and opinions are more inline with nonbelievers than with believers. For more details, checo out the post on Canadian Atheist.

I make public domain ebooks

It occurs to me that I’ve never mentioned this here, but I make public domain ebooks. I take public domain texts, mark them up using modern, semantic technologies, package them as EPUB ebooks, then release them back into the public domain. Read the rest of this entry

Feminist is not what I am, it is what I aspire to

There’s a post up at Brute Reason that I think every male feminist should read. The title is “The Importance of Self-Awareness for Men in Feminism”; a fine title, though it grossly understates the conceptual scope of the post. Read the rest of this entry

Entering the public domain in Canada in 2015

There’s been a lot in the news recently that’s depressing, to say the least. I’ve kept up with covering it, but I really need a break to blog about something a little more positive. So, here’s 2015’s version of last year’s post on what’s entering the public domain in Canada this year. Read the rest of this entry

On Canadian Atheist: The Canadian English-language news media has betrayed Charlie Hebdo, again

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shooting, news media has been predictably flooded with details of what happened, and why. What’s been noticeably missing from virtually all English-speaking media, however, are any images of Charile Hebdo cartoons that feature Muhammad. CBC News, for example, showed highly blasphemous cartoons skewering Jesus and the Pope, but blurred out even the most benign image of Muhammad. This shouldn’t come as a surprise however; English-speaking media has always been shockingly cowardly when it comes to this issue, and part of the reason Charlie Hebdo was targeted can be traced back to their cowardice. For more details, checo out the post on Canadian Atheist.

Analyzing the 2014 Freedom of Thought report

Last year, when I was writing about the 2013 Freedom of Thought report, my plan was to do a thorough analysis of the data in the report. That didn’t happen, mostly because Canadian Atheist was shut down by hackers at the time. It got better, but for various reasons I never did get around to finishing the in-depth analysis, and ended up posting a half-assed job. This year I wanted to make up for that. Read the rest of this entry

On Canadian Atheist: Study on diversity in the atheist movement shows we have a ways to, but are making progress

Increasing Diversity in Emerging Non-religious Communities, by Christopher Hassall of the University of Leeds and Ian Bushfield, formerly of British Columbia, who now blogs at Terahertz Atheist, may be the first peer-reviewed study to attempt to quantify diversity within the atheist movement. Its findings reveal what many have suspected – the leadership of the atheist movement is not particularly diverse or representative of the broader society. However, they also reveal that real progress is being made. For more details, check out the post on Canadian Atheist.

Christopher Hassall and Ian Bushfield answer questions about their study on atheist diversity

In preparing for an article on Canadian Atheist about a recently released study on diversity in the atheist movement, I contacted the authors and asked some questions relating to the study. Both Ian Bushfield and Dr. Christopher Hassall kindly replied to my request. Below I reproduce the entirety of the questions and answers, to make the context of all quotes clear, but I recommend reading the post about the study on Canadian Atheist. Read the rest of this entry