Andrew Malcolm: 2020 to 2022, challenges and the making of The Pressure of Light

Victoria, 2004

I’m a writer, editor and thinker who has uncovered the most significant knowledge about the nature of thought and time in 100 years. I don’t have a degree, but I had a 15-year career as an editor and administrator for universities and academics, and before that as a freelance writer. Most of my knowledge-base comes from books written by academics for the general public. My research affiliation is with the Markham, Vancouver Island, Toronto and Kitchener public library systems in Canada. The majority of my knowledge base comes from non-fiction, but during my six years working at the University of Toronto, I spent every night and weekend studying novels and writing fiction and creative non-fiction, which I’ve ultimately edited into the novel Die Coast by Cecilia.

Comox Valley, 2007

My career serving academics ended the same year I achieved my greatest success (2020): I helped a research group publish articles on online-learning during the pandemic and subsequently landed them a large and renewable funding package on the same subject. When my contract ended that same year, I was offered a contract that was shorter and less lucrative, and because this followed an economic roller coaster of promise and disappointment, praise and manipulation, that moment became the moment I lost faith in my ability to secure financial stability. I gave up my apartment and moved my possessions to a storage unit, and I decided to file for a consumer proposal (a lesser form of bankruptcy that absolved me of most of my credit card debt, but not all). It was during this dark period, which exacerbated problems with my mental health and increased my dependency on my life-long addiction-quadriad – alcohol, cannabis, tobacco and coffee – that had me desperately searching my internal world for an explanation of internally experienced chaos, eventually leading to my insight into the nature of uncertainty surrounding remembered-thinking.

Hornby Island, 2008

After a couple months of brainstorming and reading, of searching for a way to develop and write about the ideas I built off my observation, I decided to dive into reading everything available from Einstein’s early life, along with authors that influenced his epistemological thinking. It has to be said that while I believe this was the right decision for The Pressure of Light, I was initially motivated by a morbid mind set: I realized Einstein, whose intellectual success and philosophies of science I have always admired, was born exactly 100 years before me, and I thought I would read all the letters from his life to see how a life so much more successful than mine played out year by year. While I was in the middle of this phase, my aunt died, the second difficult and surprising death in the family during that time, and left her half of the family farm to a donkey sanctuary. I subsequently worked with my family for the whole year of 2021 preparing the farm for sale, along with running estate sales, antique sales, art auctions, and still ongoing online-store sales, to lessen the load of a hundred years of Scottish-Canadian heritage in our storage spaces. At the same time I continued to developed my ideas about thought and time off my initial observation, to read Einstein and related material going back to Hume, and to develop ways of presenting my ideas. One day in the middle of the summer, while contemplating why my brainstorms and initial essays never seemed satisfying, I realized that fundamentally what I had to say about consciousness and time was the outcome of a comparison of the nature of internal-events-remembered with external-events-remembered (perhaps because Einstein exhibited so wonderfully how everything in this universe, even things, are most clearly understood as events). Shortly after, I drafted The Pressure of Light

Toronto, 2015

Once I finished the essay, and I and my family finished the sale of the farm and enough selling to make the remaining items manageable, I poked my head out of the sand and into society, only to find the pandemic response by my and other governments had turned knowledge-corrupt and authoritarian. In my dismay with the response to Omicron, I started supporting, financially and through public support, Andrew Wefwafwa’s pandemic-moderate medical outreach and education program in Uganda and the Canadian Trucker’s Freedom Convoy in its early days, and was subsequently defined as a racist, a bigot, a transphobe, a far-right terrorist, and put under threat of having my bank account frozen. It’s an understatement to say that I have now turned my back on the academic world, on my country’s government and medical community, and, more generally, on the world’s economy, and officialized notions of science and philosophy. 

St. George, 2021

I’m doing well though. I’m a life long skateboarder and I think my 40s are when my skills are really going to take off. I’m now debt free and sober for life from my addiction quadriad. More than that, I see how my work can potentially offer a change to the philosophies that underlie so much of what is wrong with the world. I feel less like an author and thinker now, and more like a soldier, more like a clan member, in other words, more like a Malcolm in line with my family’s heritage and military history.

Listed below are profiles and portfolios from my past

In 2009 I coded a website for my 2007 published articles and photographs, partly as an exercise in getting to know web design languages http://individual.utoronto.ca/armalcolm/

This portfolio mostly exhibits projects from my 6 years working as the communications, events and alumni coordinator for University of Toronto’s Geography and Planning Department: https://andrewmalcolm.myportfolio.com/

This portfolio was used to advertise academic communications services up until 2020, and features articles I wrote through the previous few years: Andrew Malcolm Freelance Profile up to 2020