Tuesday is news day

Current affairs

I love current affairs. Always have, always will. My mother was a radio and television journalist with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) so I grew up listening to the local, national, and international news. I remember the CBC logo affectionately known as “the gem” with great fondness.

CBC logo 1974-1986

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation logo (1974-1986)

I supplemented that with extensive reading of the only national daily newspaper at the time, The Globe and Mail. In addition to 2 college degrees (political science and international studies), I continue to be an avid reader of publications and books that deal with current affairs. It is a point of pride for me to be exceptionally well-informed about the events that shape our world. It even made be a better student when I was in the MBA program. I could provide deep context to what we were being asked to discuss or present on.

This morning I read an article describing the very real threats to Western democracy as we know it. The worst threat of all comes not from forces outside of a country but from within. They are : 1) voter apathy and, 2) the willingness to set aside democratic institutions and ways of organising power that go back to the Magna Carta and that underpin the very declaration of American Independence from the British Crown.


Applied for a product management job with a major investment bank this afternoon. I have been interested in finance since I was a teenager. I used to read the business section of The Globe and Mail as well as the stock market pages as my Dad drove me to school. I was admitted to an undergraduate business program but ended up failing out due to my inability to ask questions in a way that allowed them to be answered as well as the unexpected separation and divorce of my parents, which blew up my world. In recent years, I had the opportunity to work for a company that developed regulatory reporting software for financial institutions as well as investment funds.


I learned some more about what it means to be a polymath as well as how they are becoming rarer in a world that pays lip service to generalists while valuing specialists.


Mental health

I also learned about bipolar disorder and the difference between Type 1 and Type 2, and how it relates to depression. I learned as well how depression affects attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It’s all one big bowl of spaghetti.

Bowl of spaghetti

More Stuff

I took the plunge and bought a copy of iA Writer, a very minimalist—read distraction free—writing application that can be used to publish to Medium and WordPress or export to Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat PDF formats. This is a great overview of the complexity that iA Writer does away with. One of the neatest features is something called transclusion, something that happens all the time on modern dynamic websites but is relatively new in the field of word processors. (I use BBEdit, a very powerful text editor for other activites, such as editing HTML, CSS or Unix configuration files.)

Working on me some more

Lots of reading so far today. Dealing with a cold and slept quite late.


Read some more of Cecile Bost‘s excellent book “Surdoués: s’intégrer et s’épanouir dans le monde du travail

Working with Xmind, a mind mapping app, to flush out my thoughts. Apparently mindfulness does not work on me (or people wired like me) so mindmapping it is.

And one more reading of the theory of positive disintegration.

High IQ and society

Joined a couple of groups on Facebook devoted to polymaths after reading an excellent article called, “The Inappropriately Excluded“, which deals with the challenges faced by individuals IQ as they get further and further away from the mean.

A fascinating article from a chap named Grady Towers also touches on difficulties associated with having a high IQ.

A lesson which many gifted persons never learn as long as they live is that human beings in general are inherently very different from themselves in thought, in action, in general intention, and in interests. Many a reformer has died at the hands of a mob which he was trying to improve in the belief that other human beings can and should enjoy what he enjoys. This is one of the most painful and difficult lessons that each gifted child must learn, if personal development is to proceed successfully. It is more necessary that this be learned than that any school subject be mastered. Failure to learn how to tolerate in a reasonable fashion the foolishness of others leads to bitterness, disillusionment, and misanthropy

False self, true (or authentic self)

Reading about the false self and the true self as I continue to wrap my head around giftedness and what it means to my personal, interpersonal and professional lives (identities ?).

This quote from another article on false self vs. true self sums it up well:

Donald Winnicott (1896–1971) was a pediatrician and psychoanalyst who introduced the concept of the True and False Self. The true self, also called the “real self,” is our spontaneous and natural self-expression, a sense of being alive in mind and body that allows us to be genuinely close to others. The false self, similar to Freud’s concept of the superego, develops in compliance with social rules and the moral majority.

To reconnect with their true selves, people need to become aware of their tendencies to satisfy other people’s wants and needs at the expense of their own wants and needs. It is when they become aware of their defense mechanisms and the roots of their development that they will begin to unleash their true selves. Due to the deep unconscious nature of their defense mechanisms, and the significant feelings of emptiness and sadness, psychotherapy would be indicated to help support this process.

This article excerpt is also helpful:

False-self dominance is normal, widespread, and promotes survival vs. growth. It’s like a distrustful, disgruntled violinist, tuba player, and lead tenor pushing their talented conductor off the podium and fighting over who will lead the orchestra. False-self dominance promotes up to five more psychological ‘wounds.’

People who are used to being controlled by a false self experience that as normal. The idea that there is another subself in them that – if allowed to – can consistently make wiser, healthier life decisions is unbelievable. Do you relate?

And this is another good reference on false self vs. true self, though the graphics could use an update. Whereas the other articles discuss the aspects, this one discusses the impacts.

The False Self is an artificial persona that people create very early in life to protect themselves from re-experiencing developmental trauma, shock and stress in close relationships. This False or “public” Self appears polite and well-mannered, and puts on a “show of being real.” Internally, they feel empty, dead or “phoney,” unable to be spontaneous and alive, and to show their True Self in any part of their lives.

Still learning about Docker

And how it is different from a virtual machine. This Stack Overflow article explains it well. And this graphic helped a bit.


Hate springs eternal, irrespective of intelligence

This is fascinating and resonates with my own experience.

According to their study, those with high and low intelligence levels show prejudice. The difference is against whom these people express prejudice.

In their study, those with lower cognitive abilities tended to be prejudiced against “low choice” groups — those who are defined by their ethnicity or sexual orientation, for example. In other words, they hate people who are different from them. Their prejudice stems from a lack of exposure.

In contrast, those with higher cognitive abilities tend to hate, as well, but they hate those people with conservative views, who have a “high choice” in determining with whom they’ll associate. In an ironic way, smartypants hate people who are not accepting of others—but it makes sense. Those with higher intelligence are more empathetic toward others, understanding that their lifestyles may differ from others’.

Artificial intelligence

After downloading it last month, I read through the recent report from the White House on the future of artificial intelligence.

The local start-up scene and some mentoring

Called it a night with the 2016 Montreal Startup Ecosystem Report and a quick visit to Academos where I offer mentoring to youth.