Cocktails with the Existentialists

More than seven decades have passed since philosophy held court on the world-historic stage, in the cafes and jazz halls of wartime Paris. For those who lament the decline of the “public intellectual,” this period richly serves the needs of nostalgia, conjuring chic melancholy, debates conducted in a tobacco haze, and the evergreen romance of La Résistance. Continue Reading »

“No Core Identity”?

Canadians cherish the contributions made by their immigrants, whom they have generally welcomed. But immigrants have come here not because Canada has no core political identity, but precisely because of Canada's core political identity. Continue Reading »

My Orange Juice Came from Brazil

I was taught in school that free trade was inherently good, because it provided the most efficient method of producing material goods and services, taking advantage of each country’s comparative advantage. But, what if our modern global economy has erased any notion that a comparative advantage exists today? Continue Reading »

After Planning

Thirty years ago, Lucy Suchman’s Plans and Situated Actions reminded us of the limits of our ability to control outcomes by careful, thoughtful planning. She analyzed the utter failure of early “smart” photocopiers to help people make copies. The designers and programmers of these “smart” . . . . Continue Reading »