Monthly Archives: April 2013

Spectrum, Part One

The following story could turn out to be a total disaster or it could be decent. It remains to be seen. As a disclaimer, the story isn’t completely mine. It’s based off of the work of one of my favourite musicians of all time, Owen Pallett, who put out the wonderful Heartland three years ago. I implore you all to go and buy it from your local record store, it’s ridiculously good.

The story of Spectrum is based on my interpretation of Owen’s lyrics. I know I’ll probably misinterpret some of the lyrics, but that’s a risk I’m taking. Here goes.

***

He was standing at the edge of his field. “Come tornado!” he yelled.

And then he was standing at the edge of a bridge, numerous soldiers standing with him. It was the middle of the night. “The way will be lit by the bridges we burn,” Lewis said to them, raising a cheer from the men.

And then he snapped out of his dream.

Another day.

Lewis didn’t need to be woken up by that familiar sound every morning. No one needed roosters to wake them up in the morning; the hiss of Cockatrice, from somewhere high up in the mountain, was loud and frightening enough to stir anyone from their slumber.

His muscles ached. They always ached. It was at the point where Lewis felt like no pain meant he had done something wrong. Just as he got out of bed, he heard Cockatrice’s cry. He plugged his ears, and his wife quickly opened her eyes as well.

Lewis pulled on his clothes and then glanced out the window. There was the sun in the sky. He couldn’t tell any longer whether it was yellow or red. He had repeated the phrase “The sun is red” so many times that his mind could no longer tell what was what. His wife had not fallen back asleep, but instead decided to stay in the bed a little longer. She said nothing, but Lewis knew that every action was more or less spending energy, and all energy needed to be conserved, Lewis was a farmer, as was everybody else in Spectrum. Everybody except for those in the Heartland; but rarely did a farmer ever venture there, with its priests and holy officials.

Mount Alpentine loomed far away, a mountain that rivaled the legendary Mount Olympus in its height. At the top of that mountain, it was rumoured, lay Owen. No one knew what he looked like or whether he existed, but the existing folklore said that it was Owen’s will that moved all beings of Spectrum. All citizens prayed to Owen before doing anything of consequence.

Lewis certainly didn’t feel like a puppet on a string. But maybe the legend was right; maybe his continually darkening thoughts were all created by the Creator.

He walked over to his wife, who had just gotten out of bed. “Today’s a planting day,” Lewis said. “I’d better get started.”

She wrapped her arms around him, and his around hers, and she kissed him. “Whatever you need to do.”

Lewis walked into the mail hall. His daughter was already seated, awaiting the day’s breakfast. “Good morning, Daddy,” she said. He returned the greeting and lifted her up into the air, making her giggle. Then he put her back down and told her breakfast would be ready in a few minutes. He went outside, got a fire started and cooked a few eggs and sausages over the heat. He brought it back in for all to eat.

“I’ll eat later,” he said, deciding to finally start the work. He was a strong man, but even he couldn’t afford to slack off. He went to his shed and retrieved two big bags of seed, each weighing a few pounds.

He got to work on the first field. As he began doing the repetitive task of digging, planting and re-digging, his mind began to wonder. He wondered about where his son was now. Several years ago he had been called to the Heartland, for what purpose no one really knew. They hadn’t physically spoken in many years, naturally, since commoners weren’t allowed in. Every once in a while the family would receive a letter from him, but his letters became increasingly incoherent as the years went on. At this point, the word “sorry” was included in his letters several times per page along with a slew on non sequiturs.

He had planted three out of his four fields, several hours later, when he heard his wife’s voice.

“Lewis!” This was strange. What could his wife possibly need?

Lewis glanced back at his work so far. One field left. He walked back to the house.

“What is it–” he stopped dead in his tracks. Standing beside his wife were two men in long, white robes. What were priests doing out here?

“You are Lewis, are you not?” One of the men asked. He was a good head taller than his companion, which was the only real distinguishing feature. Both had shaved heads.

“Ay,” Lewis replied. “What business do you bring here?”

“You have been summoned to Heartland,” the shorter priest said. “You are to take up a clerical position in the capital. Your pay will be a great increase from your present work. However, the job must be done alone and immediately. We will allow you one hour to pack your things.” There wasn’t a choice in the matter. It was go with them or… Probably be killed.

“‘Scuse us,” Lewis said, bringing his wife into their bedroom. As soon as the door was closed and the priests were out of earshot, they began to talk in whispers. His wife was already crying.

“I know the way this sounds,” Lewis said. “But I must leave. You know how this goes.”

“I do,” his wife said between sobs.

“Worry not,” he said. He held her close to him, so close that she could no doubt feel his heart beating. He pressed his hand over her lips. He spoke his next few sentences louder, so that the priests waiting outside would hear him. “I will be his baron. With him I have an ending. With him I have completion.” And then he whispered a final phrase into her ear: “And the cover of night.” He took his hand off her mouth.

His wife stopped crying. “Do you mean to…”

“Yes,” he replied. “I may be gone for weeks, months or years, but I will return to you.” He kissed her once more and then began to gather what few clothes he had. At the bottom of his meager sack he put in his cutlass and a few small knives. His bag packed, he opened the door to where the priests stood at attention.

“Have you made your decision?” The tall priest asked. As if there were a choice.

“I have,” Lewis said. “I will go with you.”

“A smart choice indeed,” the short priest said with a smirk on his face.

“How are we to get to the Heartland?” Lewis asked.

“We shall go by horse. We must traverse part of the way through Mount Alpentine, but worry not. We shall not be going too high, or the horses would be useless,” the short priest answered.

Lewis nodded. “Let us go, then.” He paused. “Oh, one moment. Let me say goodbye to my daughter.”

“Of course,” the tall one said. He seemed to be at least a tad bit more sympathetic than his partner.

Lewis scooped up his daughter in his arms. She had been silent the whole time, being far too young to understand completely what was going on. “Daddy is going to be gone for a while,” he said. “But I need you to be a big girl and help out your mother, okay?”

“But when are you coming back?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” he said. “But I will come and see you again. I promise.” He kissed her on the forehead. “I’ll see you soon, okay?” His daughter wrapped him up in the tightest hug he’d ever gotten from her.

“Alright, let’s go,” Lewis said. The priests nodded, and the three of them left the house. Lewis hopped on the back of his best horse, and the priests hopped on theirs. “Lead on,” Lewis said. The priests began heading off toward Mount Alpentine, with Lewis following closely behind.

As the hours went on, Lewis remained silent, but the priests eventually began to talk amongst each other.

“Did you hear about those sons to the altar of the Eternal Sound?” The tall one asked.

“Oh, yes, gruesome indeed,” the short one said.

“How many were there?”

“Three. A darn shame. They were smart boys too.”

“This was all Owen’s will?”

“Naturally. Are you questioning his precedence?”

“No, not at all. It is all part of a plan, I am sure.”

“Yes.” The conversation ceased after that. After taking a brief stop to eat, the company arrived at the base of Mount Alpentine a few hours later.

“We will be taking the Low Path,” said the tall one. “It is fairly flat, but with a few inclines. The horses may need a bit of nudging, but they will take us across.”

Lewis got off his horse.

“What are you doing?” the short priest snapped.

“I have never set foot on Mount Alpentine before. I must pray here before we continue. Come, pray with me as well.” Lewis could hear Psalm 21 going through his head. The priests were suspicious for a minute, but then seemed to be impressed with his piousness. They too joined him in kneeling, and repeating the phrase: “Laudate dominum.” Lewis chanted as well, and as soon as he saw that the two priests had closed their eyes, he began to quietly rummage through his bag. He pulled out the cutlass.

I’m sorry, he thought to himself, before he drew the cutlass in several quick slashes across the necks of both priests. It was over so quickly neither man had a chance to even cry out.

Lewis’ plan was in action.

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I guess the rest of my life has started

I’m feeling far too restless to focus on a fixed topic for today’s topic. The last few days have really been a full-on roller coaster.

When I finished my exam on Friday, I was feeling relieved for it all to be done and over with. It felt even better when I headed over to the Eaton Centre to pick up the remaining two books missing from my complete collection of Haruki Murakami’s works.

And then the weekend began, which was a bit of a downer. It was a frustrating two days. I somehow, miraculously, had the entire weekend off from work, so I assumed that would make my weekend relaxing. It wasn’t. There’s a weird kind of tension in my house when my mom isn’t around (she was with my grandparents for the weekend; my family has been doing sort of rotating shifts to help out with my grandmother, who had a stroke about a month ago). I’m not sure precisely what the tension is, but to me it’s an air of not caring. It’s as though, despite my dad, brother and I all being present, my dad was basically in a different world most of the time.

Saturday I cooked my first meal in a while, which felt good (I cooked because I basically had to; my dad never volunteers to cook when it’s just the three of us). It wasn’t a terribly difficult thing to cook, but I liked it. It was penne with peppers, which is basically made up of exactly what it sounds like. plus some basil (I accidentally got sage but it didn’t make the flavour bad) and I melted some mozzarella on top.

That night I had three shows to choose to go to and I ended up choosing none based on their locations. I felt kind of bad about that, although apparently at least two of those three didn’t quite go as nicely as they should have.

When Sunday rolled around, I had finally finished my first podcast for the Toronto Star writer I’ve been working with. It hasn’t gone up yet so I don’t want to give too much away, but I’m pretty proud of it and it should be up on Wednesday or Thursday. Unfortunately after that my mood worsened a little more.

It got a ton better yesterday night, though, when I went to another Crosswires show. At this point I feel like an unofficial Crosswires insider, which is a good feeling. I’m beginning to know more and more people that I can say hi to and chat with for a while. All the performances last night were really cool as well. I especially loved the joyous energy of Fitness Club Fiasco, although I did like the industrial-ish noise of Pale Eyes and the weird experimentation of former NOW music editor Benjamin Boles.

Today, though, I’m feeling pretty good. I was happy to see Maylee Todd linking to my raving review of her record Escapology (seriously: go listen to/buy it now) and a musician who read my review in turn sent me her own stuff, which is also really cool.

Now is the point where I begin really looking for jobs out there, lest I endure any more “So what are you doing now that you’ve graduated?” questions. But I’m feeling much more optimistic about it now than I was on Friday, so that’s a plus.

Tomorrow I have a bit more free time, so I’m going to try and settle down enough for a new short story. I’ve got a few ideas kicking around in my head but I need to focus on one and then think about how I’m going to go about writing it.

Why I eat the way I eat

I’m surprised I haven’t written about this on the blog thus far, but in case I haven’t mentioned it at all, I’m a vegetarian. I have been a vegetarian for over two-and-a-half years, will be three years in September.

Naturally, when people find out that I am one, the very first thing they say following their finding out is “why?” I know not everyone intends it to sound the way it does, but every time someone asks, it’s as though I’m being interrogated. As though not eating meat is way beyond the boundaries of normal.

I used to give a few default answers. Here are two:

  • I had slowly been falling out of love with meat for years before. People always say “I’d totally be a vegetarian if I didn’t love bacon so much.” I probably haven’t eaten bacon in over ten years. I used to love the taste of bologna as a kid. Hate it now. Ditto liverwurst (my family has German heritage which is why it was around in my house so much) and ditto ham.
  • I’m not a very healthy person. By that I mean I hate most physical exercise. I’ve tried getting into a running routine but that’s never materialized, and I also have never had the commitment to working out (not that I’ve ever gone to a gym as it is).

Both of these are true, by the way. But neither are really the one true reason why I stopped eating meat. And the reason is simple: I became a vegetarian because I wanted to. I’ve started to tell people the whole truth more often now, and I’ve found that it works like a charm. There’s very little further questioning people go into after that.

For the past two years I’ve been going to the Vegetarian Food Festival in Toronto with a good friend of mine who is vegan. When I went last year, we attended a talk that interested me a little bit. It was clearly aimed at people who were already vegans themselves, but there was one point the speaker made that really stuck with me.

She got into the tricky part for vegans, which is explaining to others why they’re vegans. She joked (but it wasn’t really a joke) that vegans are expected to be have advanced knowledge of nutrition, environmental sciences and so many other things. Her solution to the problem: simply say that you’re doing your part to not participate in violence toward animals.

That seems really sensible to me, and the wording is important. The first part is the statement of choice, as I’ve been telling people; you’re choosing to be vegan. And in the second part, using the word “violence” instead of “slaughter” or “murder” will shed the notion that many people have of vegans as aggressive and militant.

I’m not a model vegetarian yet, I should say. I haven’t put as much effort into eating well as I should, but now that I have much more free time to cook, I think it’s just a matter of finding recipes and following through with cooking them.

So it’s that simple. Be a vegetarian or vegan if you want to, and don’t feel the need to go into nutritional or health benefits. It’s your choice, not anyone else’s.

Back into video games

I’m not a “gamer,” or at least as I define the word. I am not someone who will play a game for five or six hours on end or obsess over the latest first-person shooter and yell at people as I face them online. Mind you, that’s a very narrow definition, but that’s at least how I see the stereotypical gamer.

Truth is a gamer can really be into all kinds of things; maybe all they play is RPGs or side scrollers. Whatever. I would say the point where I got into video games was probably when I was thirteen years old, where I received a PS2 as a graduation gift. About three or four years later I bought a Wii, which was actually still relevant at the time. It was what got me into some really cool games like Super Mario Galaxy and No More Heroes. And then a few years ago I got a PS3, and that really sucked me into the world of video games.

I’m not the most hardcore video game player out there, but I do enjoy playing games to the point that my skill level allows me to “complete” them. I can beat virtually any game I play, but unlocking all of the Trophies takes some real work for me. I’m a particular fan of the God of War, Assassin’s Creed and Batman series, and I just recently got my first-ever Platinum Trophy (meaning I got all the trophies for one game) in inFAMOUS 2.

Here I’m going to talk about four PSN games (one of which is also part of XBOX live arcade) that I’ve played recently or just really loved. Most of these are a little old, but the last one I’ll talk about is quite recent.

1. Limbo

This is a super creepy black-and-white game in which you’re a boy who’s wandering his way through what appears to be a dream world. At first it might seem easy, but you’ll quickly find yourself dying as you try and figure out the answer to the little puzzles the world presents to you. Oh yeah, and early on in the game you get chased by a giant spider.

2. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game

The reason I initially downloaded this game was because I am a huge fan of the Scott Pilgrim series and everything to do with it. I raced through the graphic novels very quickly and have since read each volume several times over, and the movie version is a movie I could probably watch every day for the rest of my life.

While the video game came out to tie into the movie, it beats movie-tie-in video games by a long shot. It’s a cool side-scrolling beat ’em up type game, in which you can play as Scott, Ramona, Stephen Stills and Kim. The game excels so because it manages to be challenging at first as you figure out all the controls and purpose of objects, but it also incorporates the book a lot more heavily. The movie skips over characters like Joseph, Mobile and Knives’ dad, but they’re all included in this game to some degree, even if they’re just standing in the background. It’s a wonderful experience, made even better when you’re playing with a friend.

3. Journey

I admittedly haven’t played this one in some time, but I definitely wouldn’t mind getting back to it soon. It’s far from a typical video game experience, as there’s no real way you can die in this game and little to collect or power up. Playing solo, you’ll experience some really lush landscapes. But the game becomes truly spectacular when you play online. When you do so, you’ll be randomly paired up with someone whom you won’t even know the username of until you finish the game. The only way you can really communicate with the person is by the sounds your character makes.

The first time I played through, I was with one player for almost my entire journey. At the end of it, once I learned the identity of the person, I sent him or her a message saying “Thanks for the game, it was great.” I felt a little corny sending the message and thought the other player would make me look stupid, but imagine my surprise when I got a reply. It was something along the lines of “I hope that was you I spent most of that game with. Thanks for the great experience.”

4. Guacamelee!

I was looking forward to playing this game as soon as I saw footage of it. I just downloaded it and began playing last night, but I’m already hooked. The game revolves around you as a luchador who is trying to save a woman from the clutches of an evil undead guy. As you progress, you slowly gain powers that let you access new parts of the world.

What makes it so thrilling is all the small details. At one point in the game, there’s a clear Mario reference that made me laugh out loud when it happened, and when you wander through the world you’ll see references to all kinds of pop culture, such as one poster advertising “Casa Crashers” and another with Strong Bad from Homestar Runner. Not to mention the dialogue, from a priest who loves his telenovelas to a fighting move called the Dashing Derpderp (because the guy who taught it to you couldn’t come up with a better name).

So there you have it, four games which are well worth your time. I’m itching to get back to playing Guacamelee!, but I have some audio editing to do. Editing using Audacity is possible but hellish.

That’s It, That’s All

It is nearly 2 p.m., and so I have been home for nearly two hours. At approximately 15 minutes before 11 a.m., I finished my final exam of my undergraduate degree. As I might have mentioned, it consisted of two essay-style questions. As I expected, my hand hurt like hell after finishing, but it was well worth it for that glorious feeling of being done forever. Or at least I hope.

It was a really, really good thing I left as early as I did. It usually takes me an hour to get to school, and the exam started at 9 a.m. I was on a bus from my house by a few minutes past 7. Smooth bus ride.

Once I got to Kipling subway station, the fun began. And you can probably tell I’m not going to be describing anything remotely fun.

As I walked up the stairs to track level, I heard that good old familiar automated voice: “Attention customers on the Bloor-Danforth line. We are currently experiencing a delay eastbound at Keele station due to a passenger alarm activated on the train. Response personnel have been dispatched.”

On almost any other day I might have made a disgusted sigh, but I knew I was feeling calm because I actually smiled to myself. Being near rush hour, the two trains that had to hold at Kipling were packed with people. Well, one was, and when I got there the one I went on became slowly more packed as the train held longer and longer.

I ended up being stuck at Kipling for probably somewhere between 25 minutes and half an hour. All the while I was rereading some readings (try saying that five times) and eventually the train got going. When I should have gotten to school at a few minutes past eight, I instead got there a few minutes past eight-thirty. But hey, I was still early, and I wasn’t in a bad mood at all.

The exam wasn’t too bad, just a lot of writing, as I mentioned. It turns out my writings over the past few days about technology were really useful, particularly yesterday’s post, as it helped me better organize my thoughts for the two broad questions I answered.

As a semi-reward for myself, I went and bought the last two books missing from my complete collection of Haruki Murakami’s books. Today I bought The Elephant Vanishes and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, even though I’ve actually read it already.

Including The Elephant Vanishes, I still also need to read Underground (his only non-fiction book) and After Dark. And of course, once it makes its way to English I’ll have to read his new book, Colorless Tazaki Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage (if I got the title right). I want to ration my Murakami for a while, though, since I know it’ll be a little while before the new book comes out and I don’t want to go through too much of a dry spell.

Pretty soon I’m going to be getting to work on the “pilot” episode of the Fed podcast, based on a column by a cool Toronto Star writer. Now that I no longer have access to school technology, I need to make do with what I can at home, which involves using crappier editing software. But I’ll manage, I think, just need to adapt to the clunkiness.

That’s about all I have to babble about today. See you tomorrow.

Living with technology

Continuing my “study preparation” series of posts, today I’ll be talking a little bit about what it means to be living with technology. But first I need to define what that is in the context I’m using it. When most people think of technology, they’ll think of things like computers, video games, cars, refrigerators, etc. But the definition of technology can be expanded into something much broader. Basically, technology can encompass anything that humans have invented in order to make their lives easier or more organized. So when a caveman first harnessed fire, that’s a technology. Capitalism is a technology. Democracy is a technology. Language is a technology.

So when you think about it, there really is no such thing as a pre-technological era. We’ve basically always been living with technology, no matter how primitive. In this day and age, our immersion in technology is much, much more noticeable. Hardly a second goes by when we’re not surfing the net through our phone or laptop. It’s an expectation, not an option, to have assignments typed up on a computer and printed to hand in.

The extent of our immersion in technology is especially pertinent to examine in the context of Canadian culture. We live right next door to the biggest producer of culture in the world, and some theorists believe(d) that it’s only a matter of time until we just become Americans ourselves.

That’s a worry that George Grant, a Canadian philosopher had. His most famous work is Lament For a Nation, in which he came to the conclusion I just mentioned; that Canada will eventually just be absorbed into the United States. While that clearly isn’t the case nearly 50 years after his book was published, he does have some very interesting views on technology.

He has a belief in what is called techno-dependency. The combined forces of liberalism and the idea of technological progress have, according to Grant, completely thrust us into a period of almost certain tyranny. While we’re not bound into slavery, we are part of a system with little options, and worse, a system that we completely buy into. Everything becomes homogenized; where in the world, for example, can you not get a Coke? Chances are very few places come to mind.

He calls this the technological dynamo, a system based on the idea of mastery and control. We want to be able to master everything, of course ourselves, but also nature. Looking at it that way, nature is just another object to be manipulated.

This is, in short, a very grim view of our association with technology. Fortunately, not all Canadian thinkers were quite as pessimistic.

Marshall McLuhan, an often-cited Canadian thinker, was more or less the complete opposite of George Grant. McLuhan was well, well aware of how immersed we all are in technology. But he sees some benefit in that. His view, in contrast to Grant’s techno-dependency, is called techno-humanism, the belief that technology is merely an extension of ourselves. So this chair I’m sitting on as I type this actually an extension of my body. The pen I use to take notes builds on my ability to record.

McLuhan saw the liberating possibilities of technology and was the guy who coined the term “global village.” To some extent, he was right. The internet is a wondrous thing, something that allows people in disparate areas of the world to communicate instantaneously. Twitter allows us to know almost the instant something happens.

Of course, I don’t think most people are taking one of those sides over the other. There are certainly harmful effects of technology just as much as their are liberating effects. Harold Innis, another Canadian, came up with a sort of synthesis of the two sides.

He says, more or less, that Canadians have not yet become Americans and probably won’t. And this is because, even if we are existing in an increasingly homogenized society, we as Canadians look at things with skepticism. We may eventually “buy in” to certain technologies, but we aren’t being blindly led on.

So there’s a lot to consider when looking at our relationship with technology. It can be liberating, it can be oppressive, and it’s usually a combination of both. Now wish me luck for tomorrow morning as I labour through two essay-style questions for my exam. I’m probably going to be so blissed-out tomorrow. Maybe I’ll try to mix things up. We’ll see.

Science is awesome but not perfect

Yesterday, I talked about how awesome I think science is. And I want to say it for like a fifth time- it’s awesome. Learning about why things work the way they do can fill you with with a sense of wonder.

Except science should not be an unstoppable force.

Now, let me get one thing straight. I am not for a moment saying that we as a society should collectively stop science from being done. I am only saying that science is not a pure art, nor is anything really, for that matter. This argument is partially based on my notes from the aforementioned class I’m about to finish called Power, Change and Technology.

The idea of science as something inherently good is tied to the quite frankly unobtainable idea of “progress.” Even defining it is difficult. It’s this notion that a society has to move forward and keep developing new technologies and making new discoveries that will make everyone’s lives easier somehow.

What is the purpose of progress? The answer to that seems to have changed. During the Enlightenment, the idea was that progress serves as a means of liberation from political oppression. In other words, science and technology would perhaps give more powers to the governed and would prevent tyrannical rule by government. As time went on, however, and technology began to develop at an even more rapid pace, the idea of progress changed to something more along the lines of “Progress is good and must be accomplished.” So progress, now, seems to be done for the sake of progress.

And therein lies the problem. “That which can be done should be done” is not a good foundation for science or technological development. The mantra implies that if something can be done, it should be done regardless of the cost, whether that is a material cost (money) or something more (human lives, perhaps?).

An assumption that might not be challenged as often as it should be is that science is an art that is classless, raceless and free of bias. This simply is not true, however. The unfortunate motivator behind science is money, and therein lies the problem. The inescapable fact of the day and age is that everything costs money. Everything. So every time a scientist or several scientists want to do something, they need funding. Funding, for the most part, comes from either government or from big companies (the often-attacked Big Pharma).

The thing is, especially when it comes to government, money is scarce. This is exceedingly true these days, when every government in the world seems to be in varying degrees of debt. And politics arises out of the scarcity of money- someone has to get the money, but who?

Most technological research money is being used to develop new military technology.

So science is not free of bias or personality. But it’s also not classless or raceless. Anyone who has learned about the horrors of eugenics will know what I’m talking about. At one point, scientists actually studied an area called phrenology, which was a study of the human head. In the name of science, people measured the size of human heads of people of all races and concluded “objectively” that because people of African origin had heads shaped the way they were, they were less intelligent.

And thus was launched the idea of eugenics, that if “clean” individuals bred with other “clean” individuals, they could create the smartest and most physically healthy children ever. This pseudo-science was unfortunately enthusiastically received, and governments began to create programs based around eugenics. It was an awful thing that had awful effects on the average person.

So science is not a neutral force, and don’t for a minute pretend it is. Again, this isn’t to say that science doesn’t produce good. Not too long ago, the world learned of a child that was cured of AIDS. It’s a very big dose of good news for a disease that is thought to be incurable.

So science is still awesome, but don’t think of it as something that is beyond criticism.

Coming up tomorrow- living in a technological world.