it has given me youtube, graphjam, fml, failbook, and now this.
i have been very worked up today. i am a fairly opinionated girl, but i try not to voice my opinions unless i know that they are based on fact, and not just gut reactions. today i feel very strongly about something, and i feel that my opinion is based very solidly in reality. so i want to raise my voice.
i am outraged at prime minister harper’s decision to make the census form voluntary, instead of mandatory. i think that his decision will lead to a dearth of information that statistics canada will be able to collect. and i think that that will put us even more behind than we already are in the global race for research and development.
one argument i have heard is that the questions asked in the survey were unnecessary. “what does it matter how many bedrooms i have in my home?” well, i question those people’s abilities to distinguish between meaningful information, and meaningless noise.
imagine a woman went in to an opthalmologist, and said that she has had chronic problems with her vision. the doctor examines her and then asks her if she gets a lot of cavities, or has any joint pain? the woman says “what does my mouth have to do with my eyeballs? or my knees, and hips? you’re an eye doctor, just worry about my eyes.” the opthalmologist is thus unable to diagnose her with sicca syndrome, a disease that attacks glands in the human body that produce moisture such as tears, saliva and joint fluid. and thus, he is unable to treat her.
the reason i bring up this hypothetical situation is because we are not always aware of the relevance of information. just because we think a question is pointless, does not mean that, in the hands of a professional, its answer doesn’t contain valuable information. the data gathered by statistics canada inform thousands of studies from all different fields; from ecology to engineering to economics, and everything in between. without them we are potentially (i say potentially to try to remain unbiased, i feel that a more appropriate word might be undeniably, or perhaps irrevocably, but i am not clairvoyant, so i will refrain) crippling the abilities of our psychologists, our sociologists, our economists, our doctors (the list goes on and on) to carry out efficient research, and develope solutions to our society’s many problems.
“but these questions are an invasion of privacy,” i have heard some of you say. to this i would like to respond with a question: what is the difference between a police officer, and a guy with a gun who can just wander into your house because he feels like it? police carry guns, and if they feel that there is something dangerous or suspicious going on in your house, they can enter it without permission. the difference is that we have put our trust in them. we have given them a set of requirements that they must fulfill, and a governing body that keeps them from abusing their power. and because of this, we have given them the permission to intrude on our privacy if and when it is necessary, and in return we get protection.
prime minister harper, and minister clement have made a mistake that is going to hurt canada. but canadians like me deserve to pay the enormous price of this mistake if we don’t speak out against it, now.
if i can manage to go swim at least once a week for the next four weeks, i am going to treat myself to one of those waterproof mp3 players.
because swimming is a great, low impact way for me to get back in shape. but its monotony offers no diversion from your thoughts, which would mean at least twenty minutes to a half hour where i am left totally alone with myself. no, thank you.
tonight i walked up the stairs to my apartment in bare feet and the steps were smooth and warm.
i gardened with my mum today, planted honeysuckle that may or may not survive, vines that probably will not, and tore up little cedars that mum had been wanting to remove for ages. i made a sign for them that said “free! please take us home with you!! we will not get much bigger than this, because we are dwarves. you have room for us, right?” and i put them at the curb.
by the time alex drove me home a half an hour ago, two of the four were already gone.