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All those people who had a certain amount of labour experience prior to or into the early 1990s and then carried on, they weren’t necessarily the ones who have seen that sort of precarity and job loss. Their experience carried them through.

People entering the workforce since then have had to contend with the continual erosion of labour standards, labour law, and collective bargaining, as well as all these different kinds of carveouts, especially around self-employment.  

It creates what looks like an age divide, but it’s not really. It’s a deregulation divide.

John Peters, from “‘The rich and everybody else’: Financial inequality in Canada keeps growing
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Section 7 protects against the deprivation of an individual’s life, liberty and security of the person unless done in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice. These include the principles against arbitrariness, overbreadth and gross disproportionality. An arbitrary law is one that impacts section 7 rights in a way that is not rationally connected to the law’s purpose. An overbroad law is one that impacts section 7 rights in a way that, while generally rational, goes too far by capturing some conduct that bears no relation to the law’s purpose. A grossly disproportionate law is one whose effects on section 7 rights are so severe as to be “completely out of sync” with the law’s purpose.

Government of Canada, Bill C-27 Charter Statement

I like how tight and punchy the Government of Canada frames the principles of fundamental justice in its Charter statements. I’m familiar with each concept though, admittedly, through a different (academic) lens. I suspect that this framing will help me to have more fulsome and productive interactions with legislative drafters in the future.

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The information superhighway is being promoted as a powerful means to even out disparities and inequalities that afflict people inside the United States and throughout the world economy … a privately owned and managed information superhighway will be turned toward the interest and needs and income of the most advantaged sectors of the society. Significant modification of this systemic tendency requires the pressure of a strong political movement.

Herbert I. Schiller. (1995). “The Global Information Highways: Project for an ungovernable world.”

What Schiller wrote in 1995 could as easily be written, today, as it pertains to the new technologies which are regularly promoted as evening out disparities and inequities. It remains unclear to me that there has been any significant change in the systemic tendencies that are baked into the contemporary internet, nor that there is sufficient contemporary political pressure to reform existing inequalities let alone ensure that next-generation technologies will not reproduce them.

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Strategy is critical because it establishes a common goal that guides agencies in policymaking and provides the framework for collaboration and cohesion of vision. Strategy is difficult to devise, devilish to agree upon, and often painfully reductive when one considers competing demands. But without it, security boils down to ad hoc government responses based on urgent yet contradicting concepts.

Tatyana Bolton, Mary Brooks, and Kathryn Waldron, “Three Key Questions to Define ICT Supply Chain Security

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We have come a long way in routing the taboos that stand in the way of justice for victims of sexual assault. But there is still a distance to go. The problems are complex and rooted in centuries of culture and myth. The law, imperfect as it may be, is a powerful tool in achieving lasting change. But real justice will come only when we change attitudes—when respect for the autonomy of every person replaces old myths grounded in ownership, control, and power.

– Beverly McLachlin, Truth Be Told: My Journey Through Life and the Law

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How we measure changes not only what is being measured but also the moral scaffolding that compels us to live toward those standards. Innovations like assembly-line factories would further extend this demand that human beings work at the same relentlessly monotonous rate of a machine, as immortalized in Charlie Chaplin’s film Modern Times. Today, the control creep of self-tracking technologies into workplaces and institutions follows a similar path. In a “smart” or “AI-driven” workplace, the productive worker is someone who emits the desired kind of data — and does so in an inhumanly consistent way.


Sun-ha Hong, “Control Creep: When the Data Always Travels, So Do the Harms
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When science research interferes with politics, economics, or culture, science is most often the loser. Thus, governments and businesses control healthcare for their personal gains or concepts and disregard or avoid factual knowledge and events.

Michael B. A. Oldstone, Viruses, Plagues, & History: Past, Present, and Future
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If anything, what [Bytes, Bombs and Spies] points out is how little value you can get from traditional political-science terms and concepts. Escalatory ladder makes little sense with a domain where a half-decade of battlefield preparation and pre-placement are required for attacks, where attacks have a more nebulous connection to effect, deniability is a dominant characteristic, and where intelligence gathering and kinetic effect require the same access and where emergent behavior during offensive operations happens far beyond human reaction time.

Dave Aitel, There is no Escalatory Ladder in the Matrix
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The fact that it was [sic] responsibility not of the RCMP but of the employer, whether government department or private company, to actually remove a security risk from employment, that is, to exercise direct coercion, is precisely in line with the panoptic element. The RCMP merely watched, gathered information, and provided advice, silently and in the shadows. The effect was to induce political discipline through pervasive, diffuse fear of the consequences of risky ideas, friends, or associations. Totalitarian states enforced political discipline through cruder forms of police state coercion. In fighting the Nazi state, Canada was also groping towards a more effective, non-coercive, form of discipline. The RCMP provided to be able students of the new science of political surveillance.

Reg Whitaker et al, Secret Service: Political Policing in Canada from the Fenians to Fortress America