Category Archives: life

Looking Skyward

Faint Signal

It’s been a little over a decade since I first saw Clay Shirky lay out his argument about what he called the “cognitive surplus”, but it’s been on my mind recently as I start to see more and more people curtail or sever their investments in always-on social media, and turn their attentions to… something. […]

Tunnels

Toronto’s oldest subway line, and the newest. This the view east from the Bloor Station platform: … and this is the view north from York University:

The Minimum Viable Context

This is not a subtweet; if I thought this should be about you, I’d have said so to your face months ago. If you get all the way through it and still kind of suspect it’s about you, though, you should spend some time looking inward and gear yourself up to deal with whatever you […]

Nerd-Cred Level-Up

In 2007 I was an extra in an indie zombie movie called “Sunday Morning” that featured Ron Tarrant. Tarrant starred with Mark Slacke in a 2010 short called “The Painting In The House”, who in turn played a role in Cuba Gooding Jr.’s “Sacrifice”. Gooding, of course, played a role in A Few Good Men, […]

The Scope Of The Possible

This is a rough draft; I haven’t given it much in the way of polish, and it kind of just trails off. But a friend of mine asked me what I think web browsers look like in 2025 and I promised I’d let that percolate for a bit and then tell him, so here we […]

Home Coffee Infrastructure

We can take as a given that good coffee is to pod coffee as good people are to pod people. Since seasonal sales are making the rounds, I thought I’d tell you about how I make coffee at home. It’s not super-complicated, but I’m very happy with it. Previously, my home coffee-making setup was: Hario […]

Memories And Palaces

This is an old memory, dredged out of the cellar by this Metafilter thread about a Sierra game: The Colonel’s Bequest. Bequest was a charmingly understated member of the “[Subject] Quest” games lineage, largely forgotten I suspect for the sin of being a character-driven mystery with a female protagonist rather than a puzzles-and-princesses nature excursion. […]

Free As In Health Care

This is to some extent a thought experiment. The video below shows what’s called a “frontal offset crash test” – your garden variety driver-side head-on collision – between a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu and a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air. I’m about to use this video to make a protracted argument about software licenses, standards organizations, and […]

Culture Shock

I’ve been meaning to get around to posting this for… maybe fifteen years now? Twenty? At least I can get it off my desk now. As usual, it’s safe to assume that I’m not talking about only one thing here. I got this document about navigating culture shock from an old family friend, an RCMP […]