Sociological Sophistry

The best thing I did in 2010 was to drop a course because it had a seventy dollar course pack, it was difficult to decide because t he subject matter was interesting and could well be integral to any work I ever look to do in the social sciences. I don’t blame the prof. for the price of the package, he was working from the broader literature at his disposal. Continue reading


Uranium in The Sahtu – The Nuclear Renaissance

Global energy reserves in the form of uranium are estimated at massive to virtually limitless. Expensive, high-tech reactors have reasonable lifetimes and depleted uranium quantities are relatively limited considering the amount of electricity that can be produced. The horror stories of Chernobyl, the fallout, cancers and deformities still ravaging the peoples of that area have created a highly sensitized public. Yet through all this I for one had never paid much thought to the uranium production process. A well made 2007 Global TV documentary, that I came across while trying to fathom a political ecology of Yellowknife (see below) shed some light on it for me.

Continue reading

The Uncautionary Principle

What ever happened to the precautionary principle? Did it go out the door with Locke, the enclosure of the commons, the birth of capitalism? Is caution the antithesis of making money? I sure as hell hope not, because then the planet and the people are really in a bind: If we want to keep living on the freedom of paychecks and global exchange, then the time we have to do it might be quite limited indeed.

Take, for example global warming. Some sort of systematic changes seem to be afoot, whether or not my lifestyle is the cause may still be questionable, but with the stakes as they are, who the hell wants to find out?

Continue reading

Passing Judgement on Public Reason

We live in a world dominated by the discourses of relativism.  This has been on the march since at least since the extremely important developments of modern feminism and the post-colonial perspective. The framing of the social milieu in these ways has been instrumental in putting a stop to senseless exploitation. Where is there a problem? Is there a problem? Aren’t the dialogues of patriarchy and imperialism essential to an egalitarian and peaceful world? They are. Yet problems do arise.

Continue reading