A Few Thoughts on Week 21

The dog days of summer are here…

  • 59% of people polled in India say they should go to war with China over a border dispute….. Two nuclear powers fighting over the Himalayas will end well for humanity.
  • I just finished reading Desmond Cole’s The Skin We’re In. I would highly recommend this book! I may do a longer review at some point soon.
  • All those closed office spaces due to COVID, some of them have grown Legionaries disease while buildings were closed and water was stagnant in pipes. So ya…. that’s happening.
  • Scientist created a new species of fish that shouldn’t be possible to exist and they aren’t sure how it happened because 2020!
  • The this piece on Christian Nationalism in the US with accompanying twitter thread.
    • The question has to be asked, if religious zeal and faith are a driving force of policy making/positions can you actually have a good faith conversation about what is best for a community/country?
    • If you think this is an American problem, these challenges have appeared locally in all levels of politics and service delivery.
  • The above chart is super interesting with the data coming from Tax flier data sets found here. I have been sitting on this chart and the one below for a while as I was waiting for the 2018 data to update this table but that hasn’t happened yet.
  • You will note that this measure of “Families” has a specific definition by Statistics Canada.
  • You can see the median for single men cratering even before 2008/09. This decline in earnings of male led household could pose a challenge for our community.
    • For those wondering, does population classification change significantly over time: in 2000 there were 14,490 male single earning families, in 2017 there were 17,500. On the female side in 2000 there were 3,910 and in 2017 there were 5,570. Dual earning families rose from approximately 40,000 to 43,000 with the outstanding “families” being not classified as family units. The total families with employment income rose from approximately 71,000 to 81,000 people during that period.
  • This is a conversation that no one is having. The interesting piece is what you see when you compare this to some other longitudinal data for our region. Why are men earning so much less? What are the impacts of this collapse in earning not only materially but psychologically and emotionally? How are we shifting our economy to help those individuals?
  • Then there was the Rolling Stone essay on the Unraveling of America.
  • Quietly there has been a massive spike in US Home Ownership Rates in the first half of 2020. I would suspect that remote work, low mortgage rates and some people fleeing cities for suburbs/rural communities are driving this spike.
  • The last week has been pretty good for Windsor-Essex with 10 or less cases over the last week and counting.
    • This will probably get us to Stage 3 which raises the question, then what?
      • I guess Caesars might start opening which would be good.
      • I haven’t heard but does the government have “Stage 4” plans?
    • Really I think we are just running the clock until back to school to see what happens with that process.
  • Tuesday night is a big night at the Public School Board as Trustees will be debating the budget and back to school plans. The Catholic Board plan was released last week.
    • Questions that bubbles to my mind are the equity implications of the back to school plan.
      • In the public board, cafeterias will be closed in schools likely meaning that breakfast/snack/lunch programs will not operate. What is the solution for kids who rely on these programs?
        • The Catholic Board plan states that programs will continue but will be staff delivered and volunteers not utilized.
      • For transport, no mention of Windsor students who take public transit to school. There is a short section on active transit but as city bus service is currently limited how will that impact students getting to and from school?
      • Given that little movement will occur between classrooms, do all classrooms have Air Conditioning? Having a cohort stuck in a hot room all day for the month of September is probably not a productive learning environment.
    • I think back to a report on Educational Technology in 2013 that I co-authored that espouses the value of technology transforming education. Fundamentally I still believe in using technology in the classroom and beyond; but given the crunch of COVID planning has a true thoughtful planning process occurred on the potential outcomes of the online learning streams that are being implemented for this fall.
      • Of course there will be a cost/access barrier for education for families to engage in online pathways.
      • I am also curious what is going to happen to all of the data that will be collected through the various online learning platforms and how it will be utilized? Who owns that data?
      • Even little things, parents for example have to sign a waiver to have their kids picture taken at school. If a child is participating in online learning and the session is being recorded is the consent of the student (or guardian) being collected before their likeness is captured for other student or faculty use?
    • Politically what you could see is a potential fragmentation of the education system. If the online pathways are successful (as they are currently necessary) more affluent and capable families may choose to continue those pathways for their children. As more affluent households tend to hold more political sway you could see that pathway becoming a permanent fixture of the education system despite contract negotiations this year not
      • Long term you could see the foundations of two tier education systems being formed.
  • I wonder if anyone will get feisty and do what these Toronto District School Board trustees did?
Boy is it hot!

2 thoughts on “A Few Thoughts on Week 21

  1. Pingback: Weeknotes, August 3rd – August 10th – The city is here for you to use

  2. Pingback: Canadian Income Statistics – Mean, Median, and Moose

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