Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Here are the law courses I favour for the fall term I need 1 credit and the first course might be all year so it would be LAWS 4908 with one of the other ones for the fall:

LAWS 4908 [1.0 credit]

Honours Paper

Students in the BA (Honours) Law or BA Combined (Honours) Law Program may write an Honours paper during their final year under the supervision of a faculty member of the Department of Law. The Honours Paper is evaluated by both the supervisor and a second reader. Students intending to proceed to graduate studies are strongly encouraged to complete an Honours paper.

LAWS 4102 [0.5 credit] (formerly 51.412*)

Controversies in Rights Theory

Selected controversies in rights theories and practices. Illustrative questions may include: Are human rights culturally relative? Can rights be justified after the demise of natural rights philosophy? Do rights undermine "difference"? Do communities benefit from a rights-based culture? Are "rights" forms of governance?

LAWS 4306 [0.5 credit] (formerly 51.436*)

Criminal Law Issues

Selected issues and problems in the area of criminal law. The topics may vary from year to year depending on demand and interest and are announced in advance of registration. Topic is Drugs, the User and the State.

LAWS 4308 [0.5 credit] (formerly 51.438*)


Theories of sentencing, current sentencing laws and practices, perceptions of sentencing. Data on sentencing practice across Canada. Reforms in other jurisdictions. Critical review of the Canadian Sentencing Commission. Multidisciplinary approach using research and theory in law, criminology, social psychology and sociology.

LAWS 4903 [0.5 credit] (formerly 51.493*)

Advanced Legal Topics

The topics of this course may vary from year to year, and are announced in advance of registration. Topic is International Criminal Law.

Here are some technical books in various fields I am reading at the moment:

Taylor, Dave. Macworld Creating Cool Web Pages with HTML (Foster City, CA: IDG, 1995).
This book is great for simple reference to basic HTML. I have been using it for about 8 years. I use it about once a month like now when I need to look up the code for a definitons list like this one you're reading showing titles of books and a brief comment about each book. For more serious HTML references with more depth, I use Ian Graham's, The HTML Source Book: A Complete Guide to HTML 3.0 (New York, NY: Wiley, 1996).
Schwartz Randal L. & Christiansen, Tom. Learing Perl, 2d (Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly, 1993 & 1997).
I have tried to read this book before. I am volunteering as a recording secretary and administration secretary for two of my unions and a community group, so would like some help with report writing and quick editing of word processed documents. PERL promises this help. The problem is... I have not been able to learn much about PERL by reading about it alone. Oh well, I try again and borrowed this book today.
Schwartz, Alan. Managing Mailing Lists (Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly, 1998).
This book I bought to read for advice on managing... actually moderating mailing lists. I have present responsiblity as a volunteer for moderating two community group's email lists. These are real life organizations that use mailings lists. I have one of my own yahoo mailing lists too for geography studies discussions but it is only used once or twice a year, so it is sort of a dead list. It also has no real life affiliation. Some people confuse email mailing lists with mass marketing postal mailing lists but if you don't know yet what an Internet email mailing list is then it is easy to see why you might not know there's a difference. In fact, one can use an email mailing list for marketing but I don't think one could use a fund raising postal mailing list or mass market postal mailing list for discussions. I haven't read much of this book but I bought it just last week.
Gulbransen, David. The Complete Idiot's Guide to XML (Indianapolis, IN: QUE, 2000).
Instead of Y2K the year 2000 brought us this book. I started reading this book in the winter of 2003. I have been slowly writing a dtd or two. I have opened about three or four editors for writing XML on all three platforms Linux, Mac and Windos. All these XML editors seem to need a dtd to already exist. I read the whole book last year and am reading it again this year to reference for writing my dtd's. I have been using xemacs on my WinXP laptop most recently to work on one of my dtd's but plan to go back to Gedit next for this work.
Spector, David H.M. Building Linux Clusters (Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly, 2000).
Again Y2K didn't happen, I recorded my first movie off TV which was Y2K the movie and this book came out that year. Actually I had a friend record it as at that point, December 31, 1999, I could not work a VCR. I can now program and work a variety of VCR's. I can even install Red Hat 6.2 as a super computer on IBM hardware and this book and its accompanying CDROM made this happen. Reading this a couple of years ago I learned basic networking and SCSI with the help of other networking books since, and the web to learn SCSI facts. I find this a great book but apparently the publisher has appologised for publishing it. I could not get the web interface working on the supercomputer software maybe it was flawed or something. Contact me if you read or used this book just to share notes. I was reading this book recently to understand networking with more than one router.
Cross, David. Data Munging with PERL (Greenwich, CT: Manning, 2001).
Computer books seem to still to be written only by people named Dave or David and this book comes out a year after Y2K. I just got it today at the library and might stay up all night so I have time to read it before having to go work somewhere.
Bhasin, Shweta & Bhatia, Vikram. Web Security Basics (Cincinnati, OH: Premier, 2003).
Finally it is 2003 and this book is for Intermediate and Advanced users and it is not written by a Dave or a David. Other than that I haven't read it yet.

Well those are the technical books directly in computer science that I am reading. I will post some books on more social computer topics later as well as some technical books I am reading in statistics, GIS, GI science, hydrology, technology and disabilities, and finally some politics and techno-culture books. I mean cyberculture but don't want to use that word really.

Another busy day working as a tutor/student/teaching assistant ends and I feel great.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

I am studying and training for volunteer work in victims services. I have attended 6 hours out of 40 now. So 34 more hours of training to go until I am able to volunteer.
I told my dad about school and he said finish your law degree after I said the statistics courses looked intimidating. I guess my recent interest in statistics could just be an affect of the summer weather which has been very cool this year and quite nice all round. I hear it has been good for farmers out West too in some ways at least keeping the grasshoppers in check. "Ah grasshopper you need to study law." =;+)

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Here are the statistics courses I can study in the fall term:

STAT 3506 [0.5 credit] (formerly 70.356*)
Stochastic Processes and Queueing Theory
Stochastic modeling, Markov chains, birth and death processes, renewal theory. Queueing theory: analytical and simulation methods. Applications to computer systems, operations research and social sciences.

STAT 3558 [0.5 credit] (formerly 70.358*)
Elements of Probability Theory
Random variables and moment-generating functions, concepts of conditioning and correlation; laws of large numbers, central limit theorem; multivariate normal distribution; distributions of functions of random variables, sampling distributions, order statistics.

STAT 3559 [0.5 credit] (formerly 70.359*)
Mathematical Statistics
Empirical distribution functions, Monte Carlo methods, elements of decision theory, point estimation, interval estimation, tests of hypotheses, robustness, nonparametric methods.

STAT 4503 [0.5 credit] (formerly 70.453*)
Applied Multivariate Analysis
Selected topics in regression and correlation non-linear models. Multivariate statistical methods, principal components, factor analysis, multivariate analysis of variance, discriminant analysis, canonical correlation, analysis of categorical data.

STAT 4506 [0.5 credit] (formerly 70.456*)
Non-Parametric Methods
Order statistics; rank statistics; permutations; asymptotics; hypothesis of randomness; stochastic ordering; Wilcoxon test; median test; Kolmogorov-Smirnov test; hypothesis of symmetry and random blocks; independence hypothesis; treatment of ties; power and efficiency.

STAT 4601 [0.5 credit]
Data Mining I
Data visualization; knowledge discovery in datasets; unsupervised learning: clustering algorithms; dimension reduction; supervised learning: pattern recognition, smoothing techniques, classification. Computer software will be used.

STAT 4603 [0.5 credit]
Time Series and Forecasting
Multiple regression and forecasting. Exponential smoothing. ARIMA (Box-Jenkins) models. Smoothing of seasonal data. A statistical software package will be used.

STAT 4604 [0.5 credit]
Statistical Computing
Statistical computing techniques, pseudo-random number generation, tests for randomness, numerical algorithms in statistics; optimization techniques; environments for data analysis, efficient programming techniques; statistics with mainstream software.

The one math course I am interested in and have read some this area is

MATH 3806 [0.5 credit] (formerly 69.386*)
Numerical Analysis
Elementary discussion of error, polynomial interpolation, quadrature, linear systems of equations and matrix inversion, non-linear equations, difference equations and ordinary differential equations.

I believe the best pattern is STAT 4503 in the fall with MATH 3806. Then in winter a choice of STAT 4603 with either one of STAT 4601 or STAT 4604 but not both.
Here are the course descriptions for the fourth year law courses in Winter term 2005 I can consider. BTW I used to write course descriptions on little index cards as I thought this would help me organise and study better. Now today I simply open another browser window and go to the schools web site and copy and past the course descriptions into this editing window. Here are the courses:

LAWS 4101 [0.5 credit] (formerly 51.411*)
Contemporary Justice Theories
Selected major contemporary theories of justice such as those associated with Rawls, Walzer, and Habermas, with emphasis on both their procedural and substantive elements and their concrete ramifications for law, policy and political practice.

LAWS 4306 [0.5 credit] (formerly 51.436*)
Criminal Law Issues
Selected issues and problems in the area of criminal law. The topics may vary from year to year depending on demand and interest and are announced in advance of registration.

LAWS 4308 [0.5 credit] (formerly 51.438*)
Theories of sentencing, current sentencing laws and practices, perceptions of sentencing. Data on sentencing practice across Canada. Reforms in other jurisdictions. Critical review of the Canadian Sentencing Commission. Multidisciplinary approach using research and theory in law, criminology, social psychology and sociology.

LAWS 4504 [0.5 credit] (formerly 51.454*)
Aboriginal Criminal Justice
Aboriginal peoples and the administration of Canadian criminal justice including policing, courts, corrections and aftercare. Content and effects of past and present policies, processes and laws. Alternatives such as self-government and self-determination; potential approaches to an appropriate justice system for Aboriginal peoples.

If I study just legal studies this winter term I will choose two of these above courses.
I have read the first four chapters of Goggin, Gerald & Newell, Christopher, Digital Disability: The Social Construction of Disability in the New Media (Lanham, ML.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003). It is interesting for its critique of the medical model. It looks at telecommunications law and also policy as this relates to disability. It also looks at the deaf community.
I have read this mornings paper, reading the career ads briefly to see that nothing was close to what I do or want to do or have education in. I spent ten minutes just now searching the web job search site the school is now using. I also spent two hours last night researching jobs. I maybe able to do computer help desk work. XML a technology I have been teaching myself requires Linux and C/C+ prgramming skills as well as coding in XML.

I am maybe working today tutoring A again this time in calculus. He needs help with indefinite calculus and Reiman sums. I will review these topics later this morning. I told him to call this morning.

I helped deliver the newspapers this morning. I have been awake since about 5 PM yesterday afternoon. I hope to have a 25 hour day today but if A doesn't call by 1 or 2 I may just sleep at 3 PM.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

I could study statistics next year and there are some very interesting courses in statistics. I could also study social and political philosophy and philosophy of mind or a law course in rights.
There are more fourth year statistics courses offered this year. I am thinking of going back to statistics studies this coming school year. This would be interesting that's for sure. I might also study social and political philosophy as that interests me. The only law course I am considering is a course in contraversies in rights theory.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

We have to be clear about who makes definitions of variables and measures. I suggested in STAT3507 in 2001 that to write a clear question on a survey about crime, where ambiguity could be an issue in the respondant's understanding the question, that we use the criminal code to develop the wording of our question concerning crime. But this would be to let the legislative branch of government define our questions and thus the responses and understanding by the respondents and then it would effect our variables. Much like the wordings for questions in a survey at school is effected by the school's equity office or a human rights code effects question wording in a government survey when wording questions of sexual orientation or disability.

I understood this perspective of definitions after reading chapter two in Goggin, Gerald & Newell, Christopher, Digital Disability: The Social Construction of Disability in the New Media (Lanham, ML.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003). This chapter attempted to show that the deaf commmunity find cochlear implants unethical but the medical community find them ethical and thus culture determines values and ethics related to technology. The deaf do not feel they are less human than the hearing people are. Thus the deaf community has a culture that defines a cochlear implant differently than a medical community. Is disability really a loss or is it becoming a member of another community?

I know that when I accepted myself as insane that meant to me that I was by that fact allowed to become a great artist. I had joined the community of insane people and had not lost anything. Thus Virginia Lafond's book Greiving Mental Illness which suggests we greive properly the loss of our minds suggests that mental illness is a loss and that we must be made whole again. I believed her ten or so years ago. Now I understand how she played into the medical model and, in fact, I should reject her point of view and see again that loosing my mind was gaining an identity in a community and culture.

The authors Goggin, Gerald & Newell, Christopher ask a key question I need to think about at the end of their chapter two. I value a laptop screen highly but what value is it if the communication is not visual? What value does a laptop have to someone who has sight loss?

Monday, July 12, 2004

I completed my tutoring today. I explained some formuals for z scores and for x values form z scores to someone who is resistant to learning. I had to take it slow. He did gain confidence by the end of the session and we are working together again tomorrow.

I send the web address or url of this blog to the moderator of an email list for geography of disabilities. The moderator of the list Mike Dorn has just discovered blogs. He is going to share the address with the email list so if you're readings this and are from GEOABLE welcome to my blog. Thanks for taking a look. It is only the recent entries from July and June that have my disability studies covered. I have been studying legal studies last winter and last fall when this blog started. I do though read very widely so meantion quite a bit of literature and my opinions on these books.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

I am working tomorrow tutoring a student. I will be tutoring second year psychological statistics. In other words statistics that are used by research and clinical statistics.
I studied a fair amount this weekend and got caught up on local daily newspapers. I read a good article about disabilities and assistive technology in the high tech section of Thursday's paper. I helped deliver the newspapers on Saturday. I did a 24 day Thursday night and again on Friday/Saturday. Today I am only doing an 18-20 hour day. I slept 8 hours the past two nights.
I have read the first two chapters and started on the third today of Bachman, Ronet & Schutt, Russel K. The Practice of Research in Criminology and Criminal Justice, 2d (Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press, 2003). This material is helping me review research methodology beyond just how to research using legal sources and citation rules. It is allowing me to see the details on how to design a survey or systematic observations. The details are quite interesting. There are sections about validity, ethics, measurement, and deductive and inductive reasoning. It also covers feasibility, social importance and scientific relevance for studies.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

The other night I had a quick read of Valentine, Gill. What it means to be a man: the body, masculinities, disability in Butler, Ruth & Parr Hester, Eds. Mind and Body Spaces: Geographies of illness, impairment and disability (London: Routledge, 1999) p. 167-180. I was left thinking about masculinities for the past few days and what this author had to say about this. But the point of the article was that disability changed a disabled miners view of his own identity but he remained masculine after coming to terms with his disability and this suggests that rather than viewing disability as disabling societies and the need to become politically aware, that, the practical strenght of working class masculinity can over come diversity and leave a disabled person healthy and fit and emotionally productive.
Psychiatric Survivors of Ottawa are having our AGM today at 1 PM. We will review our annual budget, appoint auditors, and elect some new board members. I am going to run for election to the board again. I am up against some good candidates. There are five open spots and about 6 or more candidates so there should be an actual election. From 1999-2001 I was on this board. E is presently on this board. I am just printing off my bio and making a speech for the election now.

I sent my wife off on the light rail train to meet her sister this morning.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

I got my term paper back today. It got an A. I am pleased. I am not studying any formal courses again until September. I can't decide whether to study more law or philosophy or geography or math and statistics. I am though reading books on my own. I am reading a variety of different books on statistics. I am studying criminology and and a book on meta-responsibility for crimes and holding criminals responsibile for getting sicker. It is Mitchell, Edward W. Self-Made Madness: Rethinking Illness and Criminal Responsibility (Aldershot, Hants, England: Ashgate, 2003). That is mentally disordered offenders. This is related to the insanity defense.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

I am two thirds of the way through marking the STAT3502 mid-terms. I have about 20 books out from the library. I have two books out on computer crime and one book on electronic evidence. I have two long books out on criminology generally. I have one book out on cyborgs.

I have one required book out that is required for a course I still have to study. This is the LAWS2005 course in public law that I must complete for my Law BA. I plan to study that course as my very last law course in the BA. I plan to study it next summer. But it may be if I study geography or philosophy courses this coming school year that I will still need to study more law courses next year after LAWS2005 next summer.

I also have three or four books out on statistics. I have one book out on urban design and exercise and this book is proving helpful at keeping my wife active. I have a book out on UNIX basics. I might buy one of the O'Reilly books on Linux next week. I also have a book out with maps about civil war and demographic indicators for civil conflict. And lastley I think is a book on the recent history of Chinese science and technology policy and this book relates to some of my working world experiences.

I read the paper by Warhol, Robyn R. The Rhetoric of Addiction: From Victorian Novels to AA in Brodie, Janet Farrel & Redfiled, Marc. High Anxieties: Cultural Studies in Addiction (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2002). This is interesting for its comparisom of novels with the literature of AA. Her point is that culture is how everyone understands the alcoholic and that this understanding has been around before AA in the form of Victorian novels.

Yesterday I tried to read Weinstone, Ann. Welcome to the Pharmacy: Addiction, Transcendence, and Virtual Reality in Brodie, Janet Farrel & Redfiled, Marc. High Anxieties: Cultural Studies in Addiction (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2002). This was confusing and rather too abstract, and the closeness to and addiction to Code was hypothetical at best. Although this paper introduced a collection of science fiction novels that I have access to and these novels all have apparently the idea of addiction to cyberspace within them. I have my own doubts that cyberspace addiction is a real addiction. It seems to me that excessive use of computers is not harmful and is in fact productive. True not all computer use is beneficial or legal but to say that this means computers are addictive for an individual is I think in the end a mistake.

I also read a few nigths ago as the first paper in this book Keane, Helen Smoking, Addiction, and the Making of Time in Brodie, Janet Farrel & Redfiled, Marc. High Anxieties: Cultural Studies in Addiction (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2002). This is almost the same paper as in her book that I read this past winter and fall 2003. She does question the labelling of addictions as bad. She also says that there is very little admission of smoking as pleasurable in modern discourse. It would seem that admission should be equal and truth seeking. That is both sides of a moral argument should be given to admission of the facts. So that while some may be allowed to say in this instance that smoking is harmful to the health, others must be allowed to say that smoking is fun, cool and pleasurable. But the post-modern world as it is directed by the moral right seems to be not seeking the truth but instead weighted to quick implusive judgements of wrongful behaviour.

Friday, July 02, 2004

I did a library search today for disability studies. I did not actually look at the books on the shelfs or borrow any, but took their library call numbers to get later. I was familiarizing myself with the literature in disability studies. I also researched some critiques for disability statistics and printed off one article about statistics and disability from the journal Disability & Society.

I changed my major to a single major in law and a double minor in geography and philosophy. This change will be in time for the fall term and registering for courses in early August. My marks are not ready yet for my spring term law course.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

I am reading two new books this Canada Day. One book is Goggin, Gerald & Newell, Christopher, Digital Disability: The Social Construction of Disability in the New Media (Lanham, ML.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), the other book is Butler, Ruth & Parr Hester, Eds. Mind and Body Spaces: Geographies of illness, impairment and disability (London: Routledge, 1999). I am also reading about criminology theory and addiction's culture including again Helen Keane on smoking and time.