Archive | August, 2012

Radio Silence

6 Aug

I’ll be analyzing the recent article in the Ottawa Citizen that tried to identify why the student movement outside of Canada is so different than inside Canada, but I have a final paper due for my summer courses for my MEd on Tuesday and it really can’t be put off any longer. So, stay tuned.

Until then, chew on this: My essay is on the devaluation of common knowledge. Instead, elite knowledge has replaced common knowledge that, be definition not everyone can have. The result of this is that the world of ideas is dominated by a really small group of men and the rest of us occupy ourselves with distractions. This affects social cohesion and democracy, and identifying why we’re all frustrated over “the way things are” becomes such a hard task that people instead disengage.

This makes it easier to control the population, obviously. And, as the commodification of knowledge continues to accelerate, we’ll keep seeing access to the creation and analysis of “knowledge” restricted.

The question we’re supposed to be answering is what have we learned in our most recent round of studies. I think I’m doing that…

If you have thoughts on knowledge, on what I’ve written above or something that I should add, I’d love to hear from you. Really. Even if you don’t think what you have to say is very interesting. I’m most interested in those comments. Comment below or shoot me an email.

“But what about the CFS?”

2 Aug

After the success of my last post (success measured in the loosest terms possible), I received a lot of positive feedback. Indeed, criticism of OUSA and the CSA are long overdue and should be written, shared and debated widely. One criticism I did receive was how come I didn’t write about the Canadian Federation of Students.

It’s an obvious question.

It’s the kind of question that people ask when they’re in a meeting, or first year journalism class, and aren’t clever enough to ask a good/critical/relevant question about the subject matter at hand. Like when you’re listening to an interview about education and all the interviewer can do is ask questions about taxes, or healthcare.

So, why did I omit the CFS from my last post?

The simple answer is because criticism of OUSA, CASA and CSA is possible in and of itself. True, these organizations’ SOLE PURPOSE is to be the anti-CFS through a variety of strategies. If the CFS dissolved tomorrow, their organizations would have a hard time choosing between their own dissolution and operating in name only just to ensure that the CFS doesn’t resurface. But it doesn’t mean I have to add 500 words to what I write when it’s not relevant.

There is more than enough written about the CFS out there: some of it is true and some of it is wicked fiction. But I obviously didn’t set out to write about the organization.

As a former staff person of the CFS, my criticisms are going to be tied to the tactics chosen now or my role or work around a campaign or strategy that was employed while I was involved, rather than some goofy set of grievances that read as if a white dude in the basement of his parents’ Victoria BC home wrote it.

And so, when I set out to explain that the threat to a unified Ontario student movement/Ontario student strike/province-wide mass mobilizations is the result of the fracturing caused by OUSA and the CSA, the CFS has no place in that discussion.

This should be clear, if you’re reading this in good faith. If it remains unclear, I look forward to an annoying facebook flame war that may ensue with you. Or comment below. Whichever.

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Unrelatedly. If you’re reading this because you’re interested in the things I produce, you should see what I’m doing at soundcloud. Either check out the music tab or click here. If you’re only interested in my take on student politics, well, click anyway. You’ll like it.