Terms of Use:
Reading these words is deemed consent by you to endure exposure to the ideas and implications contained therein.  In a very small number of cases, this web site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.  In such cases, the material is being made available under the provisions of "fair use" and "fair dealing" for the purpose of personal, private study and learning, and to advance a better understanding of issues related to geography, urban inequality, and contemporary social and political issues.  The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes.  If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.  It is a violation of these terms of use for anyone to access password-protected areas of this site for any purpose other than fair dealing for the purpose of research, private study, education, parody, or satire, pursuant to the education and public service missions of the University of British Columbia, and in accordance with Section 29 of the amended Canada Copyright Act.  No user is permitted to access password-protected sections of this website unless engaged in an educational activity associated with the University of British Columbia that allows access to educational materials under such fair use and fair dealing provisions of the Canada Copyright Act.

The author of these terms of use reserves the right to update the terms of use at any time without notifying you or obtaining your permission.  The author also reserves the right of textual, methodological, epistemological, and ontological evolution.

Any views or opinions expressed on this website are the sole responsibility of the author, or of the original authors of material presented in excerpts and quotations.  Views and opinions are provided for informational purposes only, and do not constitute professional or legal advice.  Information is provided "as-is," with no assurances or warranties with regard to conditions of merchantability, whether express, implied, or statutory.  This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client, doctor-patient, employer-employee, subject-object, capital-labor, or parent-teacher relationship.  Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.  Views do not necessarily reflect those of public-sector entities (the Department of Geography, the University of British Columbia, the Province of British Columbia, the Government of Canada) or private-sector entities (Microsoft, Dell, Google, Web Page Maker, Corel, Adobe, ESRI, SAS, StataCorp) whose services or disservices may have been used in ways that enabled the display and communication of the words you're reading now.  Nothing on this site is intended as, and does not constitute, solicitation of an individual client, customer, or investor.  In no event shall the author of these terms of use be held liable for any special, indirect, or consequential damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data, or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence, or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of information provided herein.  As a condition of your use of the information provided, you will not use the information for any purpose that is unlawful or prohibited by these terms, conditions, and notices, except in those cases where the law in question is itself unlawful, unconstitutional, a contravention of recognized international human rights precedents and treaties, immoral, unethical, or inappropriate.  For more information, consult your copyright attorney, attorney general, financial advisor, personal bodyguard, or family physician.

Privacy Statement: 
Registration not required.  You can visit all portions of this website without revealing any personal information.  You are not asked to provide any information, personal or professional.  No information is collected, and cookies and other technologies are not used to keep track of your interactions with this site and/or services.  I do not sell, rent, or lease customer lists to third parties, primarily because I do not have customer lists.  I prohibit the use of any services or information on this site in any manner associated with the transmission, distribution, or delivery of any unsolicited bulk or unsolicited commercial e-mail ("Spam").  Portions of this website contain links to multiple third-party websites; I am not responsible for the content or privacy policies of those websites.

Photographs of the alleged author of this webpage are hereby minimized.  In a previous century, when institutional and peer pressures necessitated the creation of a web-page, the author complied, and learned sufficient algorithms of Ye Olde HTML Editor to create a home page with an image of the author in the foreground, with the skyline of Lower Manhattan in the background.  A subsequent remark from a student:  "Your web page looks like a personal ad on a dating site."  Oof.  Where's that "delete all" function?

Restrictions apply. 
Terms and conditions apply.  Contains scenes with violence, profanity, and adult situations; viewer discretion is advised.  Do not attempt; professional driver on closed course.  Actual mileage may vary.  Void where prohibited.  Past performance is no guarantee of future returns.  This investment involves risk; the value of your investment is not guaranteed, and may decline.  Subject to commissions, fees, and trailing commissions.  Batteries not included.  No purchase required.  Use as directed. Talk to your doctor.  May cause dizziness, drowsiness, shortness of breath, or rolling of the eyes.  Please do not reply to this email message.  This e-mail address is used by an automated system and responses are not monitored.  For assistance, please contact your administrator.  Operators are standing by.  All operators are serving other customers now; please hold.  Your call is important to us.  Your call may be monitored for quality control and for training purposes.  To speak to an operator, say "Agent."

Image copyright 1960 Robert S. Wyly
"He who first shortened the labour of copyists by device of movable types was disbanding hired armies, and cashiering most Kings and Senates, and creating a whole new democratic world :  he had invented the art of printing." Thomas Carlyle, Scottish historian and essayist (1795-1881), in Sartor Resartus, reproduced in Una McGovern, ed. (2005).  Webster's New World Dictionary of Quotations.  Hoboken, NJ:  Wiley, p. 192.
Atlantic City, New Jersey, January 2008 (Elvin Wyly)
"The controversy over freedom of speech and of the press is at the bottom a controversy over the desirability, or otherwise, of telling lies.  What is really at issue is the right to report events truthfully, or as truthfully as is consistent with the ignorance, bias, and self-deception from which every observer necessarily suffers." Eric Arthur Blair (George Orwell) (1903-1950),The Prevention of Literature (1946), reproduced in Una McGovern, ed. (2005).  Webster's New World Dictionary of Quotations.  Hoboken, NJ:  Wiley, p. 629.
"God bless America, land of the free, but sadly not the land of the depraved."  Sebastian Horsley, on being detained and denied admission to the United States for a book tour for Dandy in the Underworld, his memoir detailing a life infused by cocaine, heroin, opium, and liaisons with more than 1,000 prostitutes.  Horsley was questioned for eight hours by U.S. customs authorities for more than eight hours before being sent back to Britain, presumably on the grounds of "moral turpitude" or admissions of drug addiction that render travellers inadmissible under visa-waiver programs.  Horsley, who had previously traveled to the U.S. half a dozen times, contrasted his experience with that of New York Governor Spitzer, who resigned the week before after disclosures that he was "Client 9" for an upscale prostitution outfit.  "I'm not a politician, I'm an artist.  Depravity is part of the job description." Quotations all from Motoko Rich (2008).  "British Memoirist is Denied U.S. Entry."  New York Times, 20 March.

The Flusty Fundamental

All electronic communications from the author of this web page are governed by the provisions of the Flusty Fundamental®©™, which specifies that "The sender admits no knowledge of the explicit, intertextual or subliminal content of this email, and accepts no liability for the consequences of any actions, inactions, or reactions taken on the basis of the information, misinformation, disinformation or infotainment provided. If you are not the intended recipient you are notified that reading, intuiting, disclosing, copying, or distributing, by means oneiric or otherwise, the contents of this e-mail is strictly prohibited, and are instructed to immediately inhume, cremate or excarnate any and all memory thereof." (©2008 Steven Flusty, (ab)used with permission).

Another Fuckin' Yikes

Not long ago, I received yet another of those innumerable forwarded multiple-chain-of-correspondents email.  Somehow it wound up here.  It is not known by whom the passive voice was invented. 

"Important Notice to Recipients:
Please do not use e-mail to request, authorize or effect the purchase or sale of any security or commodity. Unfortunately, we cannot execute such instructions provided in e-mail. Thank you.
The sender of this e-mail is an employee of [Stupid Corporate Sociopath, LLC.]  [If Mitt Romney is correct when he declares that 'corporations are people' then this person is a nasty and violent criminal.]  If you have received this communication in error, please destroy all electronic and paper copies and notify the sender immediately.  Erroneous transmission is not intended to waive confidentiality or privilege.  [Stupid Corporate Sociopath, LLC] reserves the right, to the extent permitted under applicable law, to monitor electronic communications. This message is subject to terms available at the following link [Stupid Corporate Sociopath's website].  If you cannot access this link, please notify us by reply message and we will send the contents to you.  By messaging with [Stupid Corporate Sociopath] you consent to the foregoing."

Stupid Corporate Sociopath (2012).  "Email Disclaimer Attached by Automated Signature Line on Outgoing Emails."  Some anonymous Global City:  Stupid Corporate Sociopath.  Citation provided to avoid any potential charges of plagiarism, but details anonymized to avoid charges of slander or other possible retribution by Stupid Corporate Sociopath, LLC.  I reserve the right, to the extent permitted under applicable law, to say Fuck y'all.


Not long ago, a relative sent me a short "how are you?" email from work, and I replied.  Then I took a second look at that legal threat that commonly appears at the bottom of all emails sent out from many corporations.  "This message and its contents (to include attachments) are the property of [name of stupid company], and may contain confidential and proprietary information. You are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, or distribution of this message, or the taking of any action based on information contained herein is strictly prohibited. Unauthorized use of information contained herein may subject you to civil and criminal prosecution and penalties.  If you are not the intended recipient, you should delete this message immediately and notify the sender immediately by telephone or by replying to this transmission.  Please consider the environment before printing this email."

Note that "the taking of any action" implies that any and all replies to email messages coming from this company are a clear violation of the rules.  So, no doubt, are the actions taken to create the web page you're reading now.  So is the act of "reading" anything and everything after you have read the message.  So is the act of deleting the message, or notifiyng the sender immediately by telephone or by replying to the transmission.  So is the act of "considering" the environment before "printing" the message, or any message, or any document, after you have read the message.  So is the act of "thinking."

I better call my attorney...

...and you should call yours, too.
CopyLeft 2019 Elvin K. Wyly
Except where otherwise noted, this site is
licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada License.

The bots have figured out how to send us spam from ourselves...!
Dumb and Dumber Disclaimers
Here's the latest most stupidest darn disclaimer I ever done seen...

"This email may be confidential and subject to legal privilege, it may not reflect the views of the [idiotic institution], and it is not
guaranteed to be virus free. If you are not an intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately and erase all copies of the message
and any attachments."

"Please refer to http://[idiotic institution's website]/emaildisclaimer for more information."

Is that legally binding?  Is that a new way of attempting to provide fair notice so that you trick someone into an implicit legal contract?  Just send a link at the bottom of an auto-generated email signature line, and presto, you can sucker them into binding arbitration or some other form of legal coercion?

Hmm, maybe I should come up with my own:

For further information on the terms of use that govern information accessed from this website, please refer to

Mandatory Trigger Warning:
All communications, symbolisms, interpretations, interpellations, interrogations, and implications triggered through this website or via the actions of its alleged human/non-human actor/actant assemblage (i.e., "teaching") will expose students to questions, thoughts, and ideas that may be, for some, or perhaps most, unsettling, discomforting, or traumatic.  "Colleges across the country this spring have been wrestling with student requests for what are known as 'trigger warnings', explicit alerts that the material they are about to read or see in a classroom might upset them or, as some students assert, cause symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in victims of rape or in war veterans."  Let us be clear:  we live in a world of racism, colonialism, sexism, cissexism, ableism, militarism, and many other forms of material, embodied, symbolic, and ideational violence and inequality.  Hence any teaching, or any communication that seeks to describe or engage with the world must, if it is to remain honest, present and/or re-present materials which some (and perhaps most) should find troubling or offensive.  Oberlin College's proposed guide for the preparation of course syllabi is correct to advise, “Be aware of racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, and other issues of privilege and oppression. ... Realize that all forms of violence are traumatic, and that your students have livves before and outside your classroom, experiences you may not expect or understand."  And yet Marc Blecher, who teaches politics and East Asian Studies at Oberlin, is also correct to warn of the catastrophic consequences of adding yet another regulatory and legal dimension to the enterprise Formerly Known As Teaching.  Responding to the proposed policy of adding trigger-warning disclosures to all course syllabi, Blecher said, "If I were a junior [untenured] faculty member looking at this while putting my syllabus together, I'd be terrified. ... Any student who felt triggered by something that happened in class could file a complaint with the various procedures and judicial boards, andd create a very tortuous process for anyone." 

Not long ago, a Canadian journalist "stopped for a quick bite at a little 1950s-style burger shack by the side of the road in Winnipeg.  I asked for mustard and relish on my hotdog and they asked for my email address.  They also asked me to follow them on Twitter." Welcome to all "the new ways our privacy is being invaded. ... what's going on is enough to make you long for the good old days of Nigerian scams, low-interest loans from Mozambique banks, and penis enlargement creams."

Naomi Lakritz (2012).  "Privacy Invaders Leave Me Alone."  Vancouver Sun, November 5, A9.

A Quintillion Lombards

"Pfizer's Canadian patent was challenged by Teva, which had argued the Viagra patent was invalid because Pfizer did not disclose the exact compound that is effective in treating erectile dysfunction, sildenafil, among a list of 260 quintillion chemical compounds named in the patent."

Postmedia News (2012).  "Court Deflates Viagra Patent."  Vancouver Sun, November 9, p. E3.
This website includes no cookie-driven cognitive-capitalist tracking analytics, and thus provides absolutely no functionality in algorithmic advertising or micro-targeted, neuro-marketing tested commercial communications.  Translation:  this website was not designed For Effective Advertising.
Image:  Southwest of New Delhi, India, February 2014 (Elvin Wyly).
"The Contributor warrants that he/she has disclosed in writing to the Publisher all actual and potential competing interests, both financial and non-financial, if any in relation to the Contribution.  (Examples of financial conflicts include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, grants, patents or patent applications, and travel grants.  Competing interests may also arise as a result of personal relationships, academic competition, and intellectual beliefs such as political or religious beliefs.)"
--From an actual Contributor Agreement the alleged author was required to sign as a penalty for responding to an invitation to contribute a chapter on an academic concept.  Said author has a firm intellectual belief that they need a fucking lawyer to figure out what they are permitted to think and write.