Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Consilience versus Cosilence

Denial101X: Concensus of Scientists

The expression consilience of evidence is described as a rather quizzical terminology officially used to define scientific concensus. It's interesting that my automatic spelling feature chooses to spell the word as co silence. It could be useful to compare these two words. Consilience versus cosilence.

The Latin origin prefix con is a variant of com preceding all consonants (another con) excluding b,h, l, p, r all found added to the fronts of nouns at dictionary.com Examples are such as convene, condone and connection with con originating from com as in .com

Consilience of converging and widely sourced conclusions which agree with each other depend upon reliable evidence within and across disciplines. The credit goes to a polymath British scientist named William Whewell to gather and collate streams of data from collocations but somewhat dissimilar categories of science to form a nomenclature based not upon necessary truths but upon evidence. For example, he constructed a form of measurable scale across many early evolving categories of science.

Instead of saying the scale was fixed and never changing, his approach to evidence gathering would measure the notes of apparent points of evidence  and mark them rather than a result to a precomposed conclusion. Similarly as his interests jumped together across many disciplines his wordsmithery skills included creating new words to explain the convergences or consiliencies between experiments, their results and across disciplines. His credits include the word scientist.

However the origins and meaning of science and how it requires consiliencies has been lost to many disciplines such as economic geologists and meteorologists which appears surprising. If large portions of these disciplines discredit a concensus of global warming might they not be demonstrating examples of cosilence? Have magnified minorities of these disciplines lost an understanding of consilience? Or were their disagreements based upon power versus rational based decisions? Is there a consilient cosilence between many of these researchers as their primary employers are fossil fuel and other mineral extraction companies along with the mainstream media?

Measurements in consiliencies might be collected across various methods with low error probability and the greater the number of unrelated measurements reduces the probable number of errors. As E.O.Wilson resurrected the word consilience to explain a fragmentation of the historic polymath's general approach to a unity of knowledge, he rescued it from the depths of a power based cosilence found deep in the earth and high in the sky of a collective human science.

There is a similar fragmentation taking place in the world's biological ecosystems and the interconnectedness essential to support life and required of increased awareness not only of consilience. This might be defined as an increasing incidence of cosilence? Disciplines originally formed to construct an orderly category of knowledge research have increasingly lost an awareness of convergence or the benefits of consilience. It seems economic geologists and meteorologists might be the most likely not to observe or report on the impacts of weather and resource extraction on rapid destruction of human and wildlife habitats which are convergent with increasing fossil fuel emissions.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

edX Denial 101x Course: Making Sense of Climate Science Denial

edX Denial 101x Course: Making Sense of Climate Science Denial

This appears to be my first blog post in more than two years? What explains the delay? Well, I and my thoughts have been elsewhere such as posting to Linkedin and building new contacts there. The intervening years saw a massive reduction in my reading library. The cull amounted to about 80% of my accumulated texts. While Bluefirereader offers some portability, I still seek time for reading texts. Generation Y may not agree, and often appear to have little time for reading books. Does that explain the rise in popularity of inarticulate Minions?

Well, some one has to read books, otherwise a majority of news might be fed through sites like Facebook. Then where would reliable source online media sharing be - awash in a sea of bullshit with fewer and fewer operating shit detectors? Oops, maybe that is the case. This explains my affinity for provocative news on the topics of climate change, alternative energy technologies, new materials research and habitat enrichment. This last topic has been the focus of many physical efforts in the last few months since July. 

My current project between writing, teaching or any other form of contracts has been forest hugelkultur. What are hugelbeets? Mound and pit constructions using windblown and rotting wood piles, tree trunks, soil and horse manure. The strongest influencers on this task itself have been readings on the topic courtesy of Robert Hart, Sepp Holtzer, the FAO or Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN - all inspire as 2015 is their Year of Soils. Alan Savory says a farmer's first chore is to build soil. 

So a summer soil building exercise has been enriched. Yet the heat has been an odd, climate change addled set of weather systems on The Bay of Fundy since July. The ocean is obviously delivering elevated heat to the region and earth nullschool confirms far above average coastal temperatures. The result has been that a pattern of typically cooler, less humid bayside temperatures compared to the Annapolis Valley were often reversed. Would this explain the seeming increase in fallen large hemlock on my woodlot? 

As October is cooling, I am finally starting on The University of Queensland's Global Change Institute's  edX Denial 101x: Making Sense of Climate Science Denial led by John Cook. If you are as I am, seeking opportunities to impact your own consciousness to make peace with what appears to be near term human extinction, then this is probably the course you should be taking too. I think it may be more positively adaptive to try to do that than to deny the distinct possibility. 

My next series of blog posts will be my reflections on these topics. I'm not sure many Canadians are really doing that yet?

Friday, May 17, 2013



This issue of seeking savings rather than seekingearnings in incremental offshore franchise programs is perhaps the clearest indicator that the academic community in Canada has contributed to its own crisis in higher education than any other external factor. The levels of academic freedom in Canada are shockingly low and the account-abilities of administrative management teams are much to blame for their own fiscal crises. Four points to make on this compass.

1. The quality of higher education in Canada's traditional offshore student markets is improving and rising faster than Canada's domestic educational infrastructure. This is particularly evident in research spending and commercialization otherwise known as accountable and transparent measures to increase the return on taxpayer funded research. The combined production of new patents and intellectual property for new new inventions which earn a profit and contribute to the health and well being of a society and its quality of life are no longer the focus.

As a result, international students may soon be less likely to make up for local domestic shortfalls in higher education enrolment. Doubling international students is a national goal without sufficient international marketing. The strategy was rubber-stamped by a handful of institutions, designed by an American and often marketed by IDP, an Australian corporation. Journalists are not reporting on this enough.

2. Canadian national, provincial and institutional researchers are not examining their own supply-side dynamics reflexively enough in terms of graduate performance to adapt quickly enough to new employment market shifts. For example, British Columbia can no longer rely on ready supply of domestic skilled graduates to transfer to the province as in the past century. Shortfalls are seen as early as 2016 in that province which among others in the West have readily absorbed over production on new graduates in the East. New immigrants are projected to not only spend more on a Canadian education than Canadians do to win those positions but can be expected to earn less than domestic Canadian workers who would earn more with less education. Journalists are not reporting on this enough. Administrations are culpable for this.

3. Canadian institutions are quickly facing two fiscal cliffs in Nova Scotia and The Maritimes. The first is a potential drop in international enrollments  Canada's international competitors in higher education have been building their offshore income and profit earning programs for forty years to offset funding shortfalls at home. Canada is perhaps also pursuing a lowhanging fruit strategy in attracting immigrant researchers. This incremental increase is reminiscent of the influx of foreign academics to teach the baby boom generation which was the last time the Canadian higher education industry saw any incremental increases in employment opportunities in higher education. Attracting the bottom of the barrel is a Canadian trend. It will never give Canada a leg up on its competitors, namely The UK, The USA and Australia The second cliff is domestic enrolment declines.

4.The economic depression of the 1930's is often attributed to the undervaluation of supply chain and inventory influenced production statistics. In Canada, the oversupply of education graduates is a classic example of this failure of Canadian schools to keep track of the successes of their own students. Insufficient provincial and national tracking of disciplinary oversupply and under supply of trained professionals over decades of complacency have put Canadian institutions in the position that they are in today. Stats Canada predicted several local domestic enrollment shortfalls correctly in reports dating from 2007. No one in The Maritime Region and Newfoundland seems to even be talking about those scenarios publicly. The news is dire: as early as 2022 may see upwards of a 25% decline in enrollments across the region. Will doubling of international students by that time even be enough to plug the massive hole in this educational dyke?

Socialist politics may play a large part. But the globalization of Canada's economy has as swiftly degraded its ability to fund higher education through government supported programs as many other OECD nations in the past. Financial responsibilities in other regions such as Australia provoked successful incremental increases in profit earning offshore student programs much to the benefit of Australian society. Canada's third rate academia have bucked this trend for far too long and now that the cupboard is bare may they soon recognize they are lately to blame for the crisis and cost cutting to come. Better to seek new earning opportunities than cost cutting. In Nova Scotia, they have been saying no for so long they have forgotten how to say yes?


Daniel J. Costello

P.S. The original link to this article at The Chronicle Herald is now closed after fifteen hours and thirty responses. It is the second time I have called the newspaper to suggest that an entire facet of this ongoing issue is going unreported. Namely, informed and educated international opinion and trend is absent from discussion. I would be happy to make an argumentative contribution to Canadian society on this topic. I look forward to the opportunity to do so. If critical analysis is impossible the organizational slack of Canadian academia is therefore evident and apparent. It is a battle of egos rather than common sense, so typical. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Doreen Kimura explains what it means to be a scientist

After fourteen months of Canada based job search, these are the best words of advice I've had so far. I am tired of receiving rejections for my hundreds upon hundreds of applications across the country and the disdain and dismissal of recruiters and hiring managers with perhaps discriminatory hiring practices here. I am, " independent enough to go ahead and work on something, even when someone else is saying don't bother, its not worth doing, forget it, do something else." I wish there were more Canadians like me? 

Multiculturalism Unveiled: Is Canada Really Multicultural?

Multiculturalism Unveiled(is Canada really multicultural?) from Differentivity on Vimeo.

Friday, March 29, 2013

My Beef with Grant Thornton

My Beef with Grant Thornton

To whom it may concern:

Considering the last time I applied with your organization, I didn't even receive a closing of competition response from you folks. Your performance exudes worst practices.

Then I receive an automated computer message highlighting the same job that I applied for months ago and again there's no human resource contact person to address my cover letter to? I flip my French calfskin glove in your general direction. 

What in your organizational hiring policy and practice defines innovation? In my mind, it's not computer programs, it's about attracting talent. Since I consider myself talent you've done an excellent job of presenting your company as a nameless, faceless, listless, witless, and lacking in accountability organization. 

I'm sure you'll agree, until someone picks up the phone, and dials a few precious numbers, your service is incomplete. And you can be sure it's not going to be me picking up the phone, as I have no human contact to assure a living being has even reviewed my cv, let alone deemed it insufficient of further interest. You'll also agree I would be a fool to apply to a company like that again that has treated my previous application with so little regard, respect or levity for trying to navigate the maze of your hiring process. Leave it up to the drones. 

Put that in your innovation pipe and smoke it. My impression of your company is, so far, not high on my list of potential employers, if only because there's a complete lack of accountability at recruitment level. But you have such great automated computer programs to make up for it? I don't think so, not even close.

Good luck in hiring or acquiring committed talent with such minimal effort endeavours in your HR department.


Daniel J. Costello

Wednesday, March 27, 2013



First of all, Roslyn Kunin has reported upon the impending labour crisis in British Columbia set to begin as early as 2016. The basis of this article is sourced from the recent research output of RUCBC or their BC Labour Market Outlook 2010-2020 and considering that there are only two reports on their website it must be evidence that RUCBC collaboration in this capacity is fairly quickly assembled in response to crisis management.  It is obvious that B.C. is further ahead in their awareness of the issue than most of the rest of Canada for example, where the entire Atlantic Provinces are seen to lose 30% of their enrolled students and population by as early as 2022. I am not hearing “boo” from any media or research source here, as if the baby boomers who are aware of it are silently taking the knowledge with them to their secured retirements, and leaving the rest of us in what could only be described as a regional economic and socio-cultural nightmare. Here where all responsible for policies are managed by elitists and sycophants thus irascible, intransigent, and nepotistic (and I am being generous) could throw their hands up in the air in hindsight and say, “we knew nothing, we were unaware, if only we had known sooner, we could have done something to stop such declines.”

You knew, you were told, I am not the only one telling you.


Page ten provides grim evidence of the educated outmigration shifts of many regions and provinces of Canada in the RUCBC Labour Market Report, including The Maritimes up until 2006. It would be useful if the RUCBC were extending their labour market projections beyond their own mandate to encompass the rest of the country up to 2020, as few if any other regional research associations seem to be up to snuff. Asit appears they have been doing so little other than massive Motherhouse-like construction projects on old, outdated, non-existent or even completely missing or perhaps falsified/misrepresented data perhaps aside from Statistics Canada. This reaffirms a conviction that most provinces of Canada have worked in statistical blindness and logic vacuums upon scant inter-provincial cooperation or even comparative note taking among their administrative cadres. Until these kinds of figures appear, which are ominous to suddenly weigh heavily on the provinces, they have rampantly oversupplied skilled workers in the East while others over-employ those workers in the West without having spent any money to educate them.


Considering that B.C. has historically and is currently seeing approximately 30% of its employment needs coming from those educated and employed outside of the province whether international or national employment candidates, their research of this trend should similarly extend a comparative percentage beyond their provincial scope. As is clear from page eleven in the RUCBC Labour Report, the international migration rates have somewhat declined up to 2012 while inter-provincial migrants have slipped into negative territory for the first time in recorded history. A great example of national mismanagement is the oversupply of education majors; what a nefarious pursuit of academics to ensure and enshrine their own resources at the cost of misinforming their own students as to the five to ten times oversupply of the educational market. These academic administrations have for the most part ignored the trends in international education for decades possibly mostly due to the fact that Canadians for generations in academia have refused to develop the international wing of their mandate for more than forty years. This is why Canada is losing ground in educational quality to countries like Australia with double the results in academic quality rankings and significantly smaller population. This is why its national earnings are so paltry abroad; Canada has severely neglected its commitment to quality education and quality jobs for more than a generation and the results are staggering. The egos of this nation so outweigh its potency in international education, its tragic.


While British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Alberta have consistently under-educated their own populations to undergraduate and PGR levels as several others have oversupplied suitable candidates nationally it is apparent this will no longer be possible for the foreseeable future. So can B.C. institutions quickly and easily ramp up their efforts to produce more provincially educated employment candidates across all disciplines and skills levels in the next five years to keep up with labour market demands? It would be useful for RUCBC to examine comparative international migration competitors to source strategies for that purpose.


The idea that the solution is asking more international students to pay more than domestic ones for their education here and then expect them to take employment outside of  the discipline for which they have trained and at salaries less than their less educated domestic Canadian competitors is at the root of Canada’s soggy bottom international education strategy. What else than institutional prejudice and two tiered highly discriminatory hiring policies can that be described as? Whatever it is, it is odious and requires significant cleanse in the terms of competitive marketing strategy as it will not hold water abroad and strikes the underbelly of Canada’s cultural ethnocentrism in its worst expression of it. 


An example of Canada’s lily-livered approach to its own international education strategy, which belies the insignificance it affords to its competitors as easily demonstrated by Mel Broitman, describing the absence of water at marketing functions held by DFAIT in Nigeria; recalls the absence and parched, late appearance of water at Canada Day Festivities at The Governor Generals’ Rideau Hall Residence in Ottawa in the early 1990s. The best they could come up with in terms of catering were (hours late) stale sandwiches and a shortage of cups for ten thousand revellers in record heat.

Korea is another great example of DFAIT inability to fathom the marketing approaches of even its primary competitor for undergraduates there, Austrade. Korea is one of Canada’s largest international education markets and has been so for nearly twenty years mostly on the sweaty wetbacks of Canadian itinerant teachers. With over 22,000 Canadians in the country the only efforts at cross-institutional networking is through the Canadian Chamber of Commerce where gala events are three times the cost of Korea Australia Alumni Association activities which are more numerous. Canada should already have have a fully implemented cross-institutional alumni association there in Korea serving its own expats let alone the thousands of Korean Canadian Alumni but doesn’t. Such an enterprise is long overdue and needs to be financed and managed by DFAIT but it does not mirroring the regional and at odds provincial approach to educational networking back home. Personally, such an approach appears quite witless.


Recommendations in the Opportunity Agenda appear to be in line with Conference Board of Canada recommendations made nearly a decade ago for the entire nation. However how many other university associations are publishing similar agendas, how many other provincial and federal education initiative are being taken to ensure these roles and requirements are reached? If as it appears, Canada’s international migration competitors are able to offer better incentives to employment and immigration than this article suggests, “immigrants are more likely to have higher education than other Canadians, but are less likely to find jobs in their fields and to make an equivalent income” such in built (in bred?) policy based prejudice approach to immigrant employment across provincial, federal, institutional  and corporate employment practices will probably not meet minimum demand requirements.

It is one poor argument, a false one, that immigrants will be willing to sacrifice their careers for a Canadian citizenship and position. It is false, because the ability to work in one’s own specialized field and be paid better than nationals with fewer skills and credentials (and as merit demands it should be), will be the competitive advantage and primary success factor in international migration policies across the entire OECD. B.C.’s problem is a global one and B.C.’s competitors are just as aware as I am that Canada’s Achilles heel is its lack of respect for international experience and superior qualifications. It is policy and it’s a cheap and usurious one. When Canada’s policy makers begin to provide evidence of merit based hiring practices rather than prejudicial ones, namely giving international work experience and superior education it’s just due, as Canada should as well, this crisis will diminish correlative to hiring and training the best people for the jobs regardless of where they come from if they can provide evidence of superior skills. 

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Bleum: An American Owned Company?

Bleum: An American Owned Company?

Dear Ms. Liu:

I have already applied for this position through linkedin and connected with Leo Lin.
Your job description said nothing about a preference for British accents. 

I would not have applied had I known that. What a horrid policy for an aspiring global company.

I find that morally and ethically insulting and from a business perspective, a great example of 
extremely poor hiring practices. Would it be possible for you to give a worse first impression 
of your company? I would not recommend your position to ANY business English teaching 
professional in the world based on this response. 

As I am accustomed to working and studying with professionals, these routinely include native 
English speakers from any western nation among the teaching staff; based upon merit if their 
skills and experience meet the task. I would encourage your business to review such a rude 
disrespect to its highly qualified candidates.

Is it a generational difference or do you routinely employ British people who share this attitude 
as well? How unfortunate. 

Best regards,

Daniel J. Costello

Sent from my iPad

On 2013-03-06, at 6:08 AM, Serina Liu <serina.liu@bleum.com> wrote:
Dear Daniel Joseph Costello,
This is Serina from Bleum Recruiting team. Now we need a full time British English Trainer for my company. We prefer British Accent. The job description is as below. Pls feel free to let me know if your British friendsare interested in. Look forward to your reply. Let’s keep in touch by email or celll phone. Have a nice day!
Corporate English Language Trainer (In-house) Full Time
Bleum Downtown Shanghai (Shanghai City, China)
Job Description
 Will be responsible to improve employees’ English capability by delivering English and communication related training, conducting English assessment, providing customized L&D solutions

 Design, develop and deliver in-house English language, cultural awareness, and business communication courses.
Work with ODC (offshore development center) to understand their specific needs, and come up with and implement customized L&D solutions for their English improvement
Deliver 15-20 hours a week.
Evaluate training and maintain high quality of training
Provide coaching to staff to guide their English improvement.
Conduct English language assessments.
Provide guidance to support other team organizing English Salon
Identify useful words and phrases to be posted on the Intranet on a regular basis
Act as role model to promote Bleum culture—English only, security, professional dress code.

Desired Skills & Experience
 Sound training design and deliver capability
Mature interpersonal skill
Excellent communication capability
Team player

Bachelor degree or above
Experience of teaching business English to adults
3 years or above English training experience to intermediate/advanced learners
Company Description:
Founded in 2001, Bleum is now one of China's leading IT services providers to American and European companies in a variety of sectors including high-tech, financial services, telecommunications, and retail. We specialize in creating global development centers, providing services such as application development, product development, support and maintenance, testing, and legacy system modernization. Our relentless focus on quality has earned us prestigious ISO27001 and CMMI Level 5 certifications and a leadership position as one of China's premier outsourcing partners. Bleum, American owned and managed, understands the language, business culture, and expectations of western-based IT organizations. We focus solely on clients in the U.S. and Europe, so our entire organization is completely aligned with executing a global delivery model. We maintain an "English Only" policy throughout our organization along with highly trained English teachers who are constantly enhancing our ongoing English curriculum. Most importantly, we adhere to Western business ethics and standards. As a result of these factors, project communications with our European and American clients are straight-forward, concise, and far superior to most outsourcing partners. Moreover, Bleum employs some of the smartest and most capable people in the industry.

Best Regards
Serina Liu

 Bleum Incorporated

Serina Liu
Sr. Recruiter                                               
Email: Serina.liu@bleum.com    
Tel: 86-21-62821122 X 413             
Cloud-9 Mansion 8F
1118 West Yan'an Road.
Shanghai, P.R.C. 200052

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Review of Seriousteachers.com

Review of Seriousteachers.com

I did put my details on that website and I have to say they are some of the lowest, that dog won't bark jobs I've ever seen. My minimum to work in China? Full expatriate package, 30,000 RMB a month, minimum. 

Please tell somebody I don't teach kinder or cram school, or live in dorm studios, siphon water out of a communal well, listen to the wind whistle through cracks in the walls or warm myself over a charcoal briquette in the middle of the floor. And my mattress is not a deboned and brined wild boar.

When I see a job that meets my minimum standards please tell the Chinese I'll happily take it. But  if you think I'll be recruited by some part-time 18 year old lamb you're fooling yourselves. 

That's my general impression of your site.