Issue 18 (2020): Technology


Us and STEM

In this issue, we explore at how technology, with all its biases, affects our lives. How might something as simple as a salad spinner, as familiar as a karaoke machine, or as complex as computer-generated haiku forge conversations across generations and cultures?

On Two-Eyed Seeing:
An Interview with Chelsey Purdy

Two-Eyed Seeing (Etuaptmumk in Mi’kmaw) is viewing the world through one eye with the strengths of Indigenous ways of knowing and the other eye with the strengths of Western ways of knowing.

Salad Spinner

My mother is mystified by the salad spinner, / mesmerized by its whir and endless spin, / suspicious that it could do a better job / than her hands that know vegetables so well, / hands that know how to wash the silt from greens /

Milky Light of a Clinica’s Infinite Gaze

21 and I’m dispensing eight months of rent / to feel some weighted kind of fleshy titillation / trans girls from YouTube said it would be painful / having silicone bags shoved into the bust – / but then again, all the lips : hands : teeth : tongues ....

Pretty Corners Catch the Eye

there was no way to tell / before / just how / hard a floor could be / no reason to know / the hours one could zoom / through days / dazed, cross legged / seated posing / laptops on laps / tablets on tummies / work life balance

Karaoke Machines and Asian Pop Stars on the Prairies

On the screen, a woman appeared to float in a landscape of darkened clouds as she walked among Asian male angels or ballet dancers.

Manner of Speech

I wrote a computer program to write haiku. This was in 1994 or thereabouts. I wrote it in PASCAL. Here is its best work: The taller teacher / enlightens slowly, but this / ignorance consumes. / Or rather not its best work. It had no best work.

What Gets Measured Gets Managed

With a chronic pain condition, swimming is the most comfortable sport. For many months, my ten-year-old, $12 stopwatch in its water-resistant plastic bag accompanied me to the public pool. As I started my laps one day, a man in my lane offered advice.

Algorithms

Sometimes it can feel like algorithms have a deep understanding of my needs, even before I do. Sometimes I'm no longer sure of when my actions are influencing the algorithms and when the algorithms are influencing me.

Two Poems

Ah, how to explain to you, Warrior Queen, / your name has just been invoked by a bot / generating poetry by fictional expansionist aliens? / Welcome to our millennium, Mother of Forsaken Queens. / Here, you’ll need more than a dart and a lioness-like stare ....

Me and My Fancy Chair

Being comfortable would be fantastic, but I know not to expect too much. I should be able to hold my head straight and move my right hand unhampered by the chair. My right hand functions the best; it's the hand I rely on.

Boys and Girls Build Software

Boy and girls were given the task to build software from scratch, / Their very own. / The boys got to it immediately, building it up from bones. / Began to hatch, / A plan, a strategy to wind it up, put in the least amount of work. /

Beverly

“We’re gonna be taking out a lot of dirt then, eh?” Keith said. “Any idea how much?” Without waiting for an answer, both men turned and walked up the hill. In the distance, I heard the surveyor answer: “I’m guessing several truck loads.”

On Science and Storytelling:
An Interview with Maryam Heba

Maryam Heba describes herself as a Muslim woman from the Middle East, a first-generation immigrant to Canada, a Life Sciences graduate, an advocate for women in science, and someone who is passionate about combining science, art, and storytelling.

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