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Saturday, October 21, 2017

95 results for 'Shane Joseph'

Misinformation Rules Cyberspace

By Shane Joseph, published on Jun 27, 2016

While I was struggling to find out who had won the California Primary, it dawned on me that the sources of information I was consulting were often contradicting each other. In one report, Hillary had won, in the other, Bernie had won by a landslide, in another, the ballots were still being counted, in another, several ballots had been intentionally spoiled or withheld. The official news agencies were supposed to be suppressing and playing up Hillary, so we were advised not to trust Big Media. Finally, I gave up in frustration and posted a question on Facebook to my friends, requesting a credible... (more)

Tags: journalism, facebook, source, google, election, information, journalist, brexit, bernie, hillary

Inhabiting Alternative Universes

By Shane Joseph, published on May 19, 2016

There is much being written about Quantum Theory, and the Alternative Universe that exists “just out there,” that only some of us who see ghosts are privileged to peep into. I have wondered however, whether we have always inhabited these other-worlds in many ways, consciously or unconsciously, sometimes for short spells, and sometimes making the journey with never the possibility of returning to our known worlds.

The most obvious example of travelling to the alternative universe is via dreams. The people and events that we encounter in dreams alternately please, frighten and confuse;... (more)

Tags: facebook, travel, theory, alternative, universe, quantum

In the Land of Fire and Ice

By Shane Joseph, published on Apr 27, 2016

A writers’ retreat in Iceland was an irresistible opportunity and I went to the Land of Fire and Ice with an open mind. I’ll cover the writer’s retreat another time, but let me focus on the land in this article.

Made up of 130 volcanoes, stunning waterfalls, geysers spouting boiling water into the air at periodic intervals, receding glaciers, hot springs for a refreshing dip while en-route to or from the airport, and tectonic plates parting ways in the the middle of the country, this land is a civilized moonscape. Iceland is also writer’s Mecca: more books per-capita published than... (more)

Tags: ice, iceland, fire, volcano, waterfall, glacier

Being Flogged on my Blog

By Shane Joseph, published on Apr 1, 2016

This hasn’t happened to me before, but recently I stumbled across a blog on the secret lives of well known British and Hollywood actors posted on my blog site - except it wasn’t from me! It was an article about the private and somewhat seedy lives of Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh and others in their cohort. On closer inspection, the article seemed to be a machine-generated “cut and paste job,” taking strings of data from or about this rather poorly rated (on Goodreads) book titled Damn you, Scarlett O’Hara: The Private Lives of Vivien Leigh and Lawrence Olivier by Darwin Porter and Roy Moseley... (more)

Tags: essay, blog, floggers, olivier, leigh, scarlett

The Old School Bell: a formative symbol

By Shane Joseph, published on Mar 5, 2016

Every time I hear a school bell, it grounds me to who I once was, who I became, and therefore, who I now am. Like a mother’s heartbeat, it fills me with a sense of security. It once gave me the boundaries of my school day: asserting itself vigorously when we began at 8.45 a.m., lowering its tone to a “silent bell” when we filed into the chapel, it shifted my mind from subject to subject during the day by demarcating the “periods”, releasing me temporarily to the tuck shop for maalu paan (fish roll), pol toffee (coconut candy) or bulto (a solidified treacly candy) during the “intervals”, and... (more)

Tags: punishment, school, old, reward, symbol, bell, formative

Replaced by the Robot

By Shane Joseph, published on Feb 7, 2016

I was reading about the rapid disappearance of journalism jobs across the land (“another community newspaper closes” etc.) and began wondering whether it was us armchair philosophers, DIY writers, and opinionated bloggers who were driving journeymen journalists out of their jobs. Then I read about computer programmes that write political speeches, and others that write novels based on certain inputs, and I didn’t forget Google that serves up every fact we need, and I realized that the machine, or the robot, would soon replace all writers.

I recently observed a 30-something talking to... (more)

Tags: computer, employment, replace, siri, robot, automate

A South African Journey

By Shane Joseph, published on Jan 17, 2016

I recently travelled to South Africa to research a novel. This was a journey taken 225 years earlier by a European ancestor of mine who sailed via the Cape of Good Hope for the East Indies. This ancestor never returned from the East—in those days journeys of that nature, lasting several months, were undertaken once in a lifetime, and usually performed one-way only. Today, one-way was a 16 hour non-stop flight from New York.

The first thing that struck me was that this was a developed country, if development could be measured in materially progressive signs like transportation, commerce... (more)

Tags: south africa, cape town, johannesburg, table mountain

A letter to a Syrian Refugee

By Shane Joseph, published on Dec 29, 2015

Dear Syrian New Canadian,

Welcome to Canada! I’m sorry I was not at the airport, along with our photogenic Prime Minister, to welcome you to our cold country where the hearts are warm and the feelings are mushy. Actually I was feeling a bit jealous, for when I came to this country nearly 30 years ago from a similarly war-torn one like yours, with a wife and two small children (one sick and the other post-operative), there was no one to welcome us; we just checked into an apartment and started life, funded only by our savings. Oh yes, the diffident immigration officer did say “Welcome... (more)

Tags: christmas, canada, immigrant, canadian, syrian, refugee, welcome

The Writer's Ego

By Shane Joseph, published on Dec 3, 2015

I once met a writer of some eminence who proclaimed quite openly that he didn’t have an ego. In a fit of shock I challenged him and almost laughed in his face. On reflection, perhaps my ego had gotten the better of me. But, a writer without an ego? Why, it sounded like a car without an engine!

This engine, ego, call it what you may, is what drives us to sit in quiet places, away from the rest of the world, trying to make sense of humanity, trying to form messages for humanity that will live on long after we are gone. This ego gives us the belief (misguided or otherwise) that we have... (more)

Tags: writer, kerouac, ego, salinger, dickens, byron, keats, le carre, rushdie

On Turning Sixty

By Shane Joseph, published on Nov 13, 2015

Books are being written on this subject these days. It’s big news - Boomers! And why 60? Because it’s smack in the middle of the baby boom that began in 1946 and ran out of steam in 1965. Well, I hit the big Six Oh this year and began to wonder what the fuss was all about.

I must admit that I too have written my little book on the boomers, a novel titled In the Shadow of the Conquistador that I wrote 8 years ago and was worried about releasing into the world as I felt that I was going to enrage my peers. I had portrayed my boomer characters as takers rather than givers, people who built... (more)

Tags: baby, technology, generation, boomer, conquistador, sixty

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