Justin Beach
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Justin Beach is a Toronto-based freelance writer, political activist, web producer, agitator and sometimes final rinser at large. He has dabbled for more than two decades in theatre, television, politics and web tinkering. In 2009 he founded and remains the lead cat herder at the crowd sourced Canadian music site NxEW.ca.

Justin has written for a variety of on and offline publications, in Canada, the U.S. and England, primarily on politics, music, the arts, technology and media. In his spare time he enjoys parenting, live music, existential crises and contemplating novels he should write someday when there is more time.

Entries by Justin Beach

Though Bright Minds Warn Against AI, It Can't Be Stopped

(8) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 6:13 PM

Recently two very intelligent and well known individuals, Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, have made headlines by warning us about the 'dangers' of artificial intelligence (AI). While I hate to disagree with such brilliant people, I'm not as worried about the future of AI. However, even if I was, I...

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Is American Politics About to Repeat a West Wing Plot?

(0) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 1:27 PM

In the West Wing, if you've never seen it or need a refresher, Marin Sheen played President Jed Bartlett. Bartlett, a former two-term governor was best described as an idealistic pragmatist. He believed in the basic goodness of Americans and did his best to solve problems but was...

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Still Wondering if Technology Will Change Education Proves We're Already Too Far Behind

(12) Comments | Posted December 5, 2014 | 9:15 AM

There is a great deal of debate about whether or not technology will revolutionize education. To me the debate itself points out a problem. With the number of free and low-cost educational resources that technology has made available it should have, at least to an extent. The fact that it...

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Liking 'Q' Isn't a Good Enough Reason to Side With Jian

(343) Comments | Posted October 27, 2014 | 1:49 AM

As most people know by now, the CBC announced today that it is immediately cutting ties with Jian Ghomeshi, the host of the program Q. Those who are following along will also know that just after 6 p.m., Ghomeshi posted his version of events on Facebook....

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Why Your Daughters Need More Star Trek

(1) Comments | Posted July 24, 2014 | 6:12 PM

There has been a great deal of discussion, for many years, about the lack of women in science and technology and how to fix it. Although I haven't been able to find any actual studies or surveys on the topic, I'd like to propose a hypothesis: The lack of women...

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The Similarities Between Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program and Slavery

(24) Comments | Posted April 17, 2014 | 7:22 PM

Most people know what slavery is. Aside from its historical context it has been in the news quite a bit lately as efforts are made to eradicate the modern slave trade. However, people who do not remember their history classes well may have forgotten about indentured servitude.

...

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The "Unfair" Elections Act Is Classic Stephen Harper

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 12:16 PM

I've been getting piles of emails, Facebook messages and invites about the Conservatives 'Fair Elections Act'.  I haven't really responded to them because, although it's a terrible bill, I'm not sure there is a point.

I haven't said much about the bill because I feel like I'm repeating myself....

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The Presidential Election Will Be Hillary's Coronation

(3) Comments | Posted February 2, 2014 | 3:55 PM

I always thought that when the United States elected its first female president that it would be a nail biter -- a down-to-the-wire race that would keep us up late on election night before it was official, but Hillary Clinton's presidency is shaping up to be a coronation.

The Clinton...

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What Politicians Should Focus on During Electionmania

(1) Comments | Posted January 3, 2014 | 9:07 AM

It is a good time to be a political junkie. I'm a dual (U.S./Canadian) citizen and the next three years will feature almost constant elections. The year 2014 will bring local elections here in Oshawa, Ontario as well as Congressional elections in the US.

The year 2015 will bring...

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Can a Robot Do Your "Creative" Job?

(15) Comments | Posted September 30, 2013 | 1:58 PM

According to a recent study from the Oxford Martin Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology nearly half of all U.S. jobs could be replaced by computers over the next two decades. Although the report specifically mentions U.S. jobs, it is fairly safe to assume that...

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The Conservatives' Social Darwinism is Fine - Only it Goes Against Western Democracy

(41) Comments | Posted September 25, 2013 | 3:12 PM

Conservatives have cobbled together a strange world view. They do not, largely, believe in biological evolution but they do believe in 'social Darwinism' (which Darwin himself did not). At a very basic level, the problem with 'survival of the fittest', as an ideology, is that it directly contradicts the basic...

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Why You Need to Stop What You're Doing and Watch Sons of Anarchy

(3) Comments | Posted September 5, 2013 | 5:14 PM

The fall TV season is almost here. One of the shows I'm looking forward to the most is Sons of Anarchy. I never would have suspected, even last spring, that this would be the case. After reading summaries of the show I didn't think that it was the kind of...

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Trudeau Smoked Pot and We Don't Care

(56) Comments | Posted August 23, 2013 | 10:44 AM

On Thursday Justin Trudeau admitted to smoking marijuana while serving as a member of the Parliament of Canada and, for the most part, Canada gave a collective shrug. It has, after all, been more than 20 years since Bill Clinton "didn't inhale" and Woodstock was almost...

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How Science, Science Fiction and Progressive Politics are Connected

(0) Comments | Posted July 22, 2013 | 6:12 PM

I talk a lot on Twitter, Facebook and my blog about science, science fiction and progressive politics are regular topics. Some people who seem interested in one and not the others get annoyed by this. To me though these are not unrelated topics. Science fact and science fiction are inextricably linked and...

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No Juror Should Ever Get a Book Deal

(1) Comments | Posted July 19, 2013 | 8:51 AM

Recently, juror B37 in the George Zimmerman murder trial got and quickly lost a book deal. What is confusing to me, is that such deals are legal in the first place.

During the jury selection process, lawyers for both sides carefully screen jurors to ensure...

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Criminal or Not, Edward Snowden Did the Right Thing

(8) Comments | Posted June 26, 2013 | 1:20 PM

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has gone into hiding. Hopefully he will be smart enough to stay in hiding, forever. As Cuba can attest, the U.S. doesn't forgive real or perceived transgressions ever, no matter how many times the White House changes hands. As Bradley Manning or numerous others before him can...

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Fixing the CBC Means More Than Stopping Harper

(2) Comments | Posted May 6, 2013 | 12:03 PM

This week the Canadian Internets were abuzz with talk of Stephen Harper's plan to control the CBC. The thing is that the CBC is horribly broken already and Stephen Harper's latest authoritarian power grab is the least of their worries.

As I understand it, Harper's plan...

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New Media to Old Media: Adapt or Perish

(1) Comments | Posted April 3, 2013 | 6:05 PM

I've generally liked the NPR program On the Media, so I was extremely disappointed by Bob Garfield's pointless rant in the Guardian. The piece, sadly titled, "Comment is free," was published on March 27 so it couldn't possibly be an April fools stunt. Garfield displayed a knowledge of...

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How to Replace Record Labels

(0) Comments | Posted March 25, 2013 | 12:32 PM

Salon reported this week that doctors have urged Morrissey to stop touring. The singer also apparently feels that record labels aren't interested in him because of his age: "[Major record labels] are only interested in very young people who will fly by and ask for nothing in return."

...
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3D Printing: The Most Disruptive Technology Yet?

(5) Comments | Posted March 8, 2013 | 5:40 PM

About a week ago, MIT Technology Review posed the question "Are We Really on the Verge of a Napster-fication of Physical Objects?" The author of the piece, Mike Orcutt, was skeptical:

"Well, maybe some objects. As we've pointed out here before, most consumer 3-D printers can only work with...

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