I’m sad that the Green Party of Canada has been self-disintegrating since Elizabeth May stepped down. I care much more about issues than political parties and I’ve been using The Green Party for years as a way to vote symbolically for action on climate and social issues. If they fall apart, I worry who I will vote for.

What makes some workplaces fond of acronyms? I regularly see or hear phrases at work that are so full of jargon as to be incomprehensible if you’re not “in the know”. It makes me feel like it’s a private club, and new hires have to pay the price by constantly asking what they mean or risk not being in the loop. Why not optimize for clarity and call things what they are?

The redesigned remote that comes with the Apple TV 6th generation is such a large improvement over the previous version. Every aspect that was bad has been made pretty much perfect: the weight, the size, the interaction, the buttons. And they managed to keep and improve what was good about it: the touch pad. I love to see industrial design done well.

I’m not proud of how long it’s taken me to finally do this, but today I scheduled my first blood donation. I have no excuse but I’m looking forward to it. I created an account with Canadian Blood Services and installed their app in the hope that this will remind me to do it regularly.

What spurred me to finally do it is the frequent radio ads they run. There is currently a real urgency for blood across Canada. Combined with the alarming hospital staff shortages, and how helpless I feel, donating blood really seems like the very least I can do.

Here’s a take that is not going to be popular in my circles: I don’t understand computing anymore. A windowing system in 2022 that cannot run on anything less powerful than an M1 is over-engineered, pure and simple. Come on, it’s overlapping windows. We’re not sending rockets to Mars here.

I had to request an M1 at work because Xcode was threatening liftoff every time I built our app on Intel. That is not progress. We get all this power, and instead our software becomes ever more bloated, because look all the CPU we can use now! When Java IDEs launch and build faster than Xcode, you know we missed a turn somewhere.

What a waste.

Intriguing:

[T]he most intractable problems of the modern world, from climate change to political polarization, result in large part from an imbalance between the left and right brains.

Surveys are the new spam.

“How did we do?”

Every. Single. Time. You. Buy. Something. Online.

Guess what, everything was fine until you sent me that freakin’ survey.

The people developing and maintaining Mastodon have my gratitude for creating this sensible and people-centric alternative to the ongoing big-business Internet shit show, aka Twitter et al. So I joined Mastodon’s Patreon. It’s about time that I start putting my money where my mouth is.

I started using the beta of the DuckDuckGo browser for Mac a couple days ago. So far I love the speed. I’m actually impressed how snappy it feels compared to other browsers. I already have all manner of tracker and ad blockers with other browsers so it’s not that.

Aside that it’s low on features but it hasn’t been an issue so far. Back to basics, in a good way.

Airlines don’t worry about viruses, but boy don’t they worry about so many other things:

Two hundred strangers in a small tube in the sky, and any of them could be carrying a new variant of a deadly virus we still don’t fully understand? Who cares! A bottle of shampoo larger than 3.4 ounces? Put your hands in the air and don’t fucking move. That bottle could be carrying anthrax, or worse: expired shampoo.

I love McSweeney’s. 😄

It’s been over 3 years since I cut down my meat consumption in favour of mostly vegetarian and vegan foods. The most surprising thing to me is how normal it all is. We make the same food as before, just with different ingredients. It’s not complicated or weird and it tastes just fine.

War crimes is an odd concept. What the fuck are you talking about?

If two guys decide to settle an argument outside the pub, they get arrested for disturbing the peace, but if guys in suits decide to send young people bomb each other it’s fine?

Give me a fucking break. And don’t get me started on “crimes against humanity”. As if what we’re doing to the climate wasn’t one.

I don’t talk about it much, but the lack of critical sense in journalism is something that I think is really damaging to society:

[P]rominent national journalists relentlessly conflate things that annoy me […] with things that threaten democracy […]. While I understand the conflation on a human level, on a journalistic level your literal job is knowing the difference.

I’m five months in with the M1 Pro MacBook Pro. I haven’t heard the fan yet. I haven’t felt it warm yet. I can go for a few days without charging. That’s working with it daily in Xcode and Android Studio, often simultaneously, among other things.

This is the computer definition of not breaking a sweat.

Looking for a simple, no-frills, no-nonsense device I ordered a Murena phone with /e/OS pre-installed. Let’s see how that goes.

So here’s how I came to the realization that using oil for energy makes no sense.

We use oil because we can burn it. We make energy by burning it. That’s all it is. And you know when we started burning things for energy? Thousands of years ago. Thousands of years of evolution and technological advancement, and we still go around in our fancy cars by making repeated little explosions. Wanna go faster? More gas! More explosions! Queue in the Neanderthals.

Seems ridiculous when you think about it this way.

As a society, 0ur collective obsession with “the best” is getting out of hand. Sure something may not be the best. But idealism and looking for perfection is not the solution to most problems. A better question is, is it better than the current option? And we all know that there is always something better coming down the pipe anyway. Incremental progress is good. Let’s embrace it.

With all the problems that the world is already experiencing, Putin decided that invading Ukraine, killing innocent people, and adding to the suffering was what he had to do. What a shameful, reprehensible, disgusting, and sad excuse of a human being he is. I’m worried for my friends and the people of Ukraine, I’m sorry that the sensible people in Russia who don’t want this are going to pay a price, and I hope everyone is safe.

Here we go again. Climate shadow instead of climate footprint, yadda yadda yadda.

The people-are-responsible-for-climate-change trope has been more present in the media lately. It may be well-intentioned, but the larger and more important story is that business and industry cause climate change, not people.

I can change my habits but that won’t mean a dime if business and industry doesn’t change.

Since 2018, I’ve been posting both my social media quips and long form pieces to my own web site steveroy.ca.

I do cross-post the social media bits to other platforms, never forgetting to engage with people there. But ultimately, the source of truth for everything I post is my self-hosted site, where I own and control my content.

This last part is why it’s baffling to me that people and companies take residence on platforms like Facebook, ceding ownership and control of their voice.

I heard recently a saying that perfectly encapsulates this: Never build your house on someone else’s land.

Anyone doing creative work constantly has to fight the feeling that their work is no good. Even The Beatles.

I like this quote from The Banality of Genius. A great read.

A good song or album – or novel or painting – seems authoritative and inevitable, as if it just had to be that way, but it rarely feels like that to the people making it.

Speaking of white privilege, here’s a confession. A couple weeks ago I was standing in front of the first aid section at my local pharmacy. I don’t know why then, why now, but it struck me that all the band aids are white. And I wondered what do people of color do? So I looked and indeed found (a few) appropriately coloured bandages.

I wasn’t seeing them until I thought to look.

Something to think about.

This title caught my attention today: All Your Favorite Cartoon Characters Are Black.

My white brain did not comprehend what was happening until I was half way into the article. I have never considered that people of color will perceive color in places where white people are discouraged from seeing it, imagined or not.

Untraining is a slow process.

A few weeks ago, my wife and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. It also happens that I’ve been developing software professionally for 25 years. I thought I knew what I was doing then, which could be said for both love and work. I can see now that I didn’t, not really. And that’s OK.

I may not be one of the cool kids anymore. But here’s one thing I’ve learned.

You have to allow for change. For yourself, definitely. But most importantly, for others around you. Especially the people you love and care about. One of the greatest gifts you can give someone you love is the freedom to change. Allow for them to try out ideas, evolve who they are, and even change their mind. Let them challenge you.

And when that happens, step up to the plate. Keep learning something new every day. Stay curious, challenge your assumptions, avoid stagnation. And that’s true for love and work too.

Silly news title of the day:

UK shoppers shun plastic bags to save pennies not the planet, study finds

That’s capitalism 101: financial incentives always work. That’s exactly why it’s a good idea to charge for things we want to discourage people from doing, and why waiting for people to spontaneously want sustainable choices is the wrong approach.

Today Gruber posted a link to something he wrote 10 years ago, about his son and cherishing those moments when your kids are young.

And you know, sure it would be nice to go back to when my kids were kids. But they are adults today, and they still want to go to the movies with me, still want to play games and build Legos with me. In fact, we have been doing just that during these holidays.

I’m still cherishing those moments. Can’t complain.