Saturday, July 30, 2016


With all this angst and rage over university orientation programmes leading to a full-on ban on orientation this year, I recall my own experience as a frosh during orientation week.

Every activity was voluntary. The ones I remember were a lunchtime concert by a homegrown band called 'Nacho Cheese' which never made it to big time; an evening double-bill movie screening of A Clockwork Orange and The Rocky Horror Picture Show (an experience of which I have never seen the like, and have not yet found found possible to duplicate); and a serious talk about responsible drinking on campus. There was a social tea event for scholarship students to meet each other and key faculty members as well.

I think it was Prof G who observed that orientation at York was much tamer more mature than most of the other Us in the province -- mainly due to our student population's average age being 25, including a large proportion of grad students. Sure, mature and dignified. That's us.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The baseball-equity cartoon

No, no, no. The above cartoon attempts to explain how equality does not necessarily mean fairness. Actually, what our three friends are demonstrating is criminal activity -- watching a game without paying for a ticket. How are these three moochers being fair to those people in the stands who paid for entry?

In the right panel, all barriers to accessing the game have collapsed. And because nobody needs to buy a ticket, the sport has no more money to maintain a nice, fancy stadium any longer; all the pros have lost their jobs. Goodness knows what our three friends are still watching. Happy now?

Unless... the transparent fence represents a TV screen? It doesn't cost as much to watch a televised game, and every viewer has clear line-of-sight to the action, regardless of how vertically-challenged they may be. The stadium still functions and the professional players are still employed.

All the tweaks we might make meddling with human political systems for the sake of 'fairness' will always leave some party or another dissatisfied. It is perhaps technology that is the greatest leveler in the end.

Footnote: Located the original artist of the graphic. Craig Froehle is now tracking in fascinating detail the meme he created. Click here for an interesting read into how it has spread in its many permutations since its conception in 2012.