peace and quiet


#WednesdayWisdom #thinking #dreaming #knowledgemaking #slowscholarship #otium


Consent culture, compliance culture, and hypocrisy


Academic working conditions, peace, harmony, and goodwill to all

This is the story of an actual real live damsel in distress in a tower. It contains little amusement and is lugubriously and long-windedly serious.


On standing for election to the UBC Faculty Association (2)

I realised today that I could have written a very much shorter and punchier statement. This is it.

I will advocate for quiet.

Slightly longer version:

Faculty, like any other workers, ought to have decent working conditions. Our workplace should be a place of calm, comfort, and collegiality. That is in the interests of health, safety, a respectful environment, and wellbeing. Our particular kind of work and its particular primary purpose is teaching, research, and (their conjunction as interactive) learning. Work of the mind depends on a precious resource which is currently rare at UBC, without which our work is made more difficult, and in such a way as to drain and damage us. This essential resource is quiet, and I will advocate for urgent investment in it to be a University priority.


On clarity & transparency


(not UBC: Clare Hall, University of Cambridge: exemplary intellectual environment)

Things have been happening at UBC. I am optimistic. That may of course change: I may become less hopeful, or more hopeful. I am of course hoping for the latter, because it’s better to be happy than sad. Especially when you add to your own happiness that of other people.  (more…)

It’s that time of year again

Last year I warmed up to thinking about leaf-blowers more slowly, not writing about them (and rakes) until May. Perhaps my thinking would have been faster if I’d had less leaf-blowing around. Perhaps the leaf-blowers themselves weren’t really to blame: rather, it was a lack of leaves. (more…)

More news on noise pollution

New hydrophones monitor ship noise in Salish Sea ( today):


On potential for the rake’s progress

and maybe some reiki too.

[Draft prequel, from March, to the previous post from earlier today.]


On research days, featuring BONUS INNOVATION: how to improve beeping reversing trucks

Skip straight to the problem of noise pollution from beeping trucks and suggestions for remedying it

Here in the Land of Literary Humanities and Other Liberal Arts (so, including maths and physics), “research” can look very different from more usual images and preconceptions:

Yes, medievalists and other humanities scholarly types spend a lot of time on Facebook, just like anyone else. Some of our sort of Facebook activity is even perfectly serious and scholarly and stuff, and much as one might expect from our research interests and their intersection with teaching & learning: (more…)