While it’s a month later than intended, a book chapter entitled “Law Enforcement and Security Agency Surveillance in Canada: The Growth of Digitally-Enabled Surveillance and Atrophy of Accountability” is now finished in draft and in the editors’ inboxes! It feels really good to have another writing project temporarily off my plate; this makes five finished in three months!
It’s unseasonably warm out at the moment, which is causing an amazing amount of mist to form as snow and ice melt off. So rather than go home and have a meal — and I was starving! — I decided to haul my butt down to a series of light sculptures that have been installed by the waterfront. I had the place practically all to myself and after a few hours, and one dead battery, I’m finally on my way home. And I’m super jazzed that I took the time working my camera instead of eating and lounging around the house!
As I return from an event I was invited to I have to reflect on, and admit, how profoundly…weird…it is that stuff I write about and the activities in which I’m engaged increasingly influence the course of justice in my county. How weird it is that the leader of my country is briefed on the work that I and my colleagues write about. How it feels epically strange that things which seem to have no impact on public debate whatsoever reverberate behind closed doors. It’s just really, really weird to know that people who are intrinsically involved with law, security, and justice — to say nothing of policy and politics — closely watch what I do, with the intent of using it when making decisions that may affect the lives of people across Canada, and around the world.
When I was doing my PhD I laughed out loud at my colleagues who spoke of how the work of political scientists can lead to exceptional impacts in the worlds. As a philosopher I thought such conversations were borne of a group of people who took themselves too seriously in their (ongoing) moments of hubris. But I get it now: that which we say, when we’re deliberately involved with public debate with an eye to inform (if not influence) policy can have unexpected and exciting and unintended impacts on the lives of millions of people. And in living this reality I have remarkably more sympathy for those who’s work isn’t just read and taken up, but misread and subsequently misappropriated to justify governmental activities that the political scientists in question might not have anticipated or endorsed.
It’s airline travel day! Which means purging data from my devices, ensuring I’m unable to get into accounts at the border, etc. Plus setting up communications times to let my employer know I’ve arrived, any issues that cropped up in transit, and whether a new phone or other device needs to be purchased in case my devices are removed from my sight/taken for analysis. Airline travel days are so much fun.
A bunch of frames are now inbound and will be delivered mid-week. I’m looking forward to putting the art I’ve collected in the past few months up on the walls!
I keep reading all kinds of amazing and exciting things about Bear, and after a conversation with Jeff Perry on Micro.blog, which started following his post ‘Using Bear as an Apple Notes Replacement’, I was convinced that it might be interesting to try switching to Bear…and then read the documentation for importing documents.
I have a lot of notes stored in Apple Notes. Thousands of them. Many of them have attachments. And Bear can’t automatically import them; instead, I’d have to manually export, import, and re-attach documents. While I’d like to try the application — support for real Markdown sounds exciting! — I just can’t afford to burn a week or more just moving files from one repo to another. I already spend that time moving from Evernote to Apple Notes!