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.)

Sunday of interests

After going for a 14km run this morning, I figured I would make an effort to get through some open tabs in my main web browser.


I have long been a type afficianado though my skills are ultimately limited. I take care to at least address the basics in terms of serif vs. sans-serif fonts, limited use of font faces in a document, consistent usage, etc. I use things like en-dashes (i.e., –) and em-dashes (i.e., —), ellipses (e.g., … and not 3 periods in a row) and the occasional ligature (e.g., æ or fi or fl) when I can. This is a good summary of basic rules of typography. One day I will get around to reading and paying for this guide on tyopgraphy.

The recent announcement of Open Type Variable Fonts technology by Apple, Adobe, Google and Microsoft was a case of déjà vu for me. I read a good critique of the underlying industry dynamics that may likely sink this effort like they sunk the one I poured my energy in to 20 years ago (and which launched my career in technology and marketing.)

Online hate

This article on the alt-right (aka white supremacists) movement in the USA was a fascinating and depressing read. I also read the linked article at The Daily Stormer; not for the faint of heart but instructive.

Fascinating people

An interesting article about the late Canadian pianist, Glenn Gould. As a child, I would often listen to classical music. I have heard some of Glenn Gould’s music, but more of Vladimir Horowitz, including his famous April 1986 concert when he returned to Moscow after exile.

It’s a Saturday

Lots of stuff in the last few days. Learning more about me and my family and that is always a good thing. Applied for a job with a traffic simulation software company and came up with a bunch of cool things regarding my understanding of market opportunities going forward.

Edward Snowden

Watched CITIZENFOUR, the documentary about Edward Snowden as well. History will show that Snowden did the right thing for the right reasons. He has made the ultimate sacrifice for universal ideals, something that most of us only pay lip service too, while many others are prepared to actually sacrifice them for expediency, profit, or hypocrisy. (The same people who criticise him are the ones who yell Blue Lives Matter or All Lives Matter.)



Life as a flow chart

I came across a free “visual language” tool called Adioma and made some infographics. It’s me as in life and in my career.


In my career as in life.

In my career as in life. At least until now. But I am working on that.


Cycling strategy

This is my strategy when on the bike.


Android software development

I downloaded a copy of Android Studio, the devleopment environment for creating Android apps. Not sure when I’ll get to play with it though. It helps me to see different approaches to the same desired outcome—in this case coding an application—but with different tools.

PowerPoint Designer

Learned about some new PowerPoint functionality that provides design suggestions as you build a deck. Another application of artificial intelligence.


I learned about the importance of being optimally distinct.


I also read about wargaming and the need for a new generation of players / designers. One of the people mentioned in the article is a professor in political science at McGill. I would love to do a doctorate in political science or international studies—I applied to do one at the University of Montreal in 2008 following completion of my master’s degree in international studies but was not accepted—so might have to keep an eye on this guy. I have enjoyed previous articles about wargaming in The Atlantic magazine.