William Buschert
University of Saskatchewan: Some Links




Associations and Societies



Canadian Philosophical Association

(Yours Truly is now "Special Advisor to the Executive on Communications" having served previously as Associate Web Editor for two years, previous to that, as Web Editor for five years)
 

Society for Philosophy and Technology

(Yours Truly is a member)
 

Canadian Political Science Association
 

Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science
 


International Association for Legal and Social Philosophy

(Canadian Section)

 

 

 

Art and Aesthetics



Æ Journal of the Canadian Society for Aesthetics
 

American Society for Aesthetics: Aesthetics On-line
 

Canadian Society for Aesthetics

(Yours Truly is a member)
 

 

 

 

Privacy and Information Technology



Canadian Internet Law Resource Page
 

Electronic Frontier Foundation
 

Electronic Frontier Canada
 

Electronic Privacy Information Center
 

 

 

 

Technology, Politics, Society



Society for the History of Technology
(SHOT)

SHOT publishes the on-line academic journal Technology and Culture.

 

The Center for Democracy and Technology
 

RISKS Digest
 

For more links related to technology, ethics and public policy, see my Online Resources collection for PHIL 236, Ethics and Technology.

 

 

 

Propaganda and Technology Hype



A Palace of Progress

The Smithsonian Press, in association with the National Museum of American History
 

Chinese Propaganda Poster Page

Stefan R. Landsberger, International Institute of Social History, Leiden University
 

CONELRAD: All Things Atomic

CONELRAD.com

Described by the New York Times as an "eerie, creepy look at cold war culture." A collection of pop culture sources, civil defense and public service announcements from the 1950s and 1960s.
 

German Propaganda Archive

Randall Bytwerk, Calvin College
 


The Museum of Anti-Alcohol Posters
Yuri Matrosovich, tululuka.net [via Boing Boing]

A collection of Soviet-era propaganda posters warning against the dangers of the demon alchohol, many of them weirdly beautiful (in the manner of Soviet graphic design) but oddly half-hearted in their message (considering how explicit they could have been).

 

Jayne Loader's Public Shelter

Featuring materials from The Atomic Café (1982)
 


PR Watch
Center for Media and Democracy

PR Watch describes itself as offering "Public Interest Reporting on the PR/Public Affairs Industry." What it in fact provides is often a bit more partisan than that phrase would suggest and it is often delivered with a kind of sophomoric smugness/cuteness à la Michael Moore (make of that what you will). Still, I like it. Somebody has to keep tabs on the PR industry and if that was left up to the US Public Affairs Council or the Canadian Public Relations Society, the whole lot of them would invariably come off looking like a bunch of angels.

 


The Technology Timeline

The History Channel

Not very detailed, no especially scholarly, and, astonishingly, includes virtually no links to more detailed information elsewhere, but good for killing ten minutes or looking up the precise date for a development you already know about.

 

 

 


Other Stuff



The Actor Network Resource

Science Studies Centre, Lancaster University

That's the social theory, BTW. Nothing to do with drama.
 


The Political Compass


I'm deeply dissatisfied with the traditional "left vs. right" distinction in politics. For the most part, I think, it simply serves as a crutch for would-be pundits and others who want an excuse not to have to think. Indeed, if you stop to think about it, it seems downright absurd that we continue to conceptualize politics based on where people sat in the French National Assembly of 1789. Still, the political compass test is kind of fun. And it at least has the virtue of taking account of an additional liberty/authority dimension in addition to the traditional left/right division in economic policy. In case you're curious, here's where I stand. (Just a bit to the right of Gandhi, leaning toward libertarian. Sounds about right).

For contrast, here's an example of a much less nuanced, and thus much less interesting, political categorization test:

World's Smallest Political Quiz
Advocates for Self-Government

By presenting only the extremes, and allowing only three degrees of choice, this survey has the effect of making hardline libertarianism seem much more reasonable than it actually is.

In fact, one might be tempted to draw a more general lesson here: Libertarianism looks best in black and white. See, for example, King Vidor's art direction in The Fountainhead (1949). Mightily impressive visuals, even if the script is a tissue of pomposity and cliche. Where libertarians run into trouble is in dealing with the full spectrum of living colour in the full light of day.



 


RateMyProfessors.com

(Link points to U of S page)
RateMyProfessors.com, Menlo Park, California

No one has yet proposed a scheme for students to evaluate teachers that hasn't resulted in complaints from someone. At most Canadian universities, students at least occasionally have an opportunity to evaluate their professors by means of anonymous term-end questionnaires. Sometimes, for some purposes (e.g. tenure and promotion), these official surveys do actually carry some small amount of weight. And, for just that reason, faculty associations typically insist on rules governing how the results of such questionnaires can be used. So, owing to such rules, evaluation results are almost never made public as a matter of course, even as aggregate data (U. Ottawa, I'm told, is an exception). And, even when aggregate data is made public, student comments are virtually never included (since they are anonymous and therefore cannot be effectively challenged or rebutted.) That's fair to faculty, perhaps, but arguably
unfair to students.

Possibly the best alternative is a carefully designed, well-audited Anti-Calendar of the sort published by the Arts and Science Students' Union at U of T. But for universities that don't have those resources, I am prepared to accept that services like RateMyProfessor.com may be the next best thing. The three measures that the site allows for (clarity, helpfulness, easiness - plus sexiness, of course), IMO, present a pretty lopsided view of pedagogy. I would not be doing my job -- in fact I would be humiliated -- if I rated a five out of five for easiness. And the respondents are entirely self-selected. And the sample sizes are tiny. But at least the results -- and the comments -- are there for all the world to see.

 

Alter-Net.org

Independent Media Institute

Think of it as what to reach for when you can't find your copy of the Utne Reader. Seriously though, for all its occasional Birkenstocks-and-wheat-germ ambiance, there is research and reporting here that needs to be done and which you will find nowhere else.
 

How Stuff Works

Marshall Brain, HowStuffWorks Inc.

Every wondered how, say, an automatic transmission works? How about dry cleaning? Or jet engines? How Stuff Works provides concise, reasonably (but not excessively) detailed information, intelligently presented and carefully edited with lots of links to additional information. Totally cool. One of my all-time favourite sites.
 


Wikipedia.org

http://en.wikipedia.org/

 


Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Edward Zalta, ed., Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University

Certainly the best online encyclopedia in philosophy. Though not, IMO, quite as good as some people seem to think, especially for topics in continental philosophy, value theory or political philosophy. Since the SEP is a dynamic reference work , however, there is good reason to hope that over time these deficiencies will be rectified.

 


Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
James Fieser and Bradley Dowden , eds., University of Tennessee, Martin

 


The Condiment Packet Gallery

http://condimentpacket.com/

A cheesy tribute to the culture of disposable artifacts. What mainly surprises me, paradoxically, is precisely how banal most of the examples are -- 20 plus years of pre-packaged, portion-controlled everything and this is the most variation you can find.

 


Moist Towelette Online Museum
John French, http://www.moisttowelettemuseum.com

A logical extension of the foregoing. More interesting to investigate, perhaps, but to my taste it lacks the Condiment Packet Museum's purity of concept (all sorts of things end up counting as moist towelettes, e.g.)

 


Homestar Runner
homestarrunner.com

Highly recommended if, like me, you occasionally crave something just plain silly (in a pleasant, Saturday morning cartoons sort of way). There is stuff worth checking out throughout the site but by far the best part, IMO, is Strong Bad Email.