Yet again I have managed to not post for a long time. The end of my Masters program draws near, and with it a massive move to Troy, NY. I have been clawing my hair out finishing my thesis and preparing to move, which includes moving stuff from both Aurora and Toronto. Did I mention it's stressful? Anyway, that doesn't mean I haven't had stuff I wanted to post. I have been playing a bunch of new games and mods for old games, all of which I would like to offer my impressions on. I also have my thesis to discuss. I will soon also have my new PhD program to discuss as well as (I hope) my first published paper. But this will all have to wait until I am sure I have survived August. Wish me luck. I will need it.
This post is intended to provide some background on which to support subsequent posts.

Living In Canada
So far I have been living in Toronto, Canada for about four months now. I have to say, despite the modern counter culture obsession with Canada (ie if X gets elected again I'm moving to Canada) its not all that great. It is wet and it is cold and, despite our view of Canada as being just a colder moose filled US, there are subtle cultural difference that are substantial and numerous enough to cause significant culture shock. For example, Canadian niceness is different from American niceness. I have found that American niceness is primarily action based. You do nice things for people. Canadian niceness not so much. Its more along the lines of trying to be nice is nice enough. As a result, many more Canadians try to be nice than Americans, however, it has been difficult adjusting my expectations of people who are trying to be nice to me. An example. In Canada, people are more likely to offer to help you than in the US, however they are less likely to succeed in actually helping you.

Masters Degree in Science and Technology Studies (STS)
This is why I am in Canada. I am studying to get my MA in STS at York University. STS is a fairly complicated and ill-defined discipline. Areas of study encompassed within STS might be social studies of science and technology, history of science and technology, science and technology policy, and anthropology of science and technology. This is not a comprehensive list, and each of the disciplines listed here exist both inside and outside of STS. My area of specialty is science and technology policy. Specifically, my research focuses on space policy. I'm trying to publish an article analyzing the debate over the safety of commercialization, but more on that later.

Research
As stated, my current research is on the the debate over the safety of commercialization of human spaceflight to low Earth orbit (LEO). Essentially, my research discusses how the current debate over safety is disingenuous and a proxy debate for the differences in values of actors on opposing sides. I am pushing through my first draft for publication this month, and hope to have a final submission sometime in January or February of next year. When this happens I will make sure to post. In the mean time, I have presented my research at the Atlanta Conference for Science and Technology Innovation Policy in Atlanta, Georgia, hosted by Georgia Tech as well as the 2011 Society for the Social Studies of Science annual conference held in Cleveland, Ohio. An abstract is available from both conferences for those who are interested. I am also starting new research on public interactions with space exploration. I will be submitting my research proposal to my department here at York next month, so more on that when the time comes.

That's all for now. I don't want to inundate the reader with a wall of text, so more background will be provided in a subsequent post.

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November 2016

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