Professional Day

Dear Waterloo Public Library,

It has come to my attention that your downtown branch is closed today for a professional day. Professional days are great. May I suggest adding some basic communication skills your next professional day. 1) update your webpage hours and location to include the closure. 2) update the google of your closure. 3) put your “we are closed today” sign on the entrance door, not buried amongst 7 other identically shaped public announcements.

It was a lovely day so I decided to sit on a bench and try and get some work done on the intertubes. As I came to realize that your wireless access point was not operational today (even wifi router’s need professional days) about a dozen peeps came, tried the doors and left. Some of these folks were not that mobile. For them the simple act of switching from inside to outside drop off was a challenge. So don’t worry about grumpy old men like me. Consider improving your communications skills for the mobility challenged.






Let Grace Hopper Grace the Ten Spot

Dear America (United State of),

As a humble neighbour from the North I wish for you to consider placing Grace Hopper on your upcoming ten dollar bill. Your Commander in Chief, Barack Obama, has suggested that the new ten spot sport the face of a woman. Who has had more of an impact on the world than the “inventor of programming” Grace Hopper? For those of us who are not in the knowledge sphere of geekdom Grace Hopper invented the compiler. The compiler is the thing that made natural programming languages possible. She is one of the giants that all of your wonderful tech industries stand on the shoulder of. That includes Google, Apple and Facebook. It does not include Ashley Madison, which is a Canadian Company.

In a recent discussion group, comprised mostly of rich white men, many suggestions were made who should  be on the ten dollar bill. One of those rich white men suggested Margaret Thatcher. Speaking from a Canadian perspective, we have tried having a famous English woman on our currency and it has not helped us very much.

Photo Credit: Dorthea Lange
Photo Credit: Dorthea Lange

There have been lots of wonderful other suggestions for women to be put on the ten dollar bill. However there is one reason for Grace Hopper to be on the 10 dollar bill and all those other amazing women should be put on other bills. Ten is also a binary number. So Grace Hopper could be on the 10 which is 2 in binary. Nothing more apt that than putting the most influential woman programmer in history on your binary 10 dollar bill.

Yours Truly,






This Is Only a Test

Recent events have helped me crystallize what kind of journos I respect and when I respect them. News today is very binary. Yes versus no. Hate versus love. Support versus destroy. Discussion is crushed by fanaticism, righteousness and positionizing. The newest and most successful media in our world have turned out to be the most destructive. However to avoid being binary about this topic myself I will rephrase this to say “most challenging.”  Reporters deliver facts without editiorial. Journalists record facts and craft a position. Both reporting and journalism need to speak truth to power. Much of what repulses us with tabloid media is that they are rarely speaking truth to power. We all will slip up, we all will make wrong choices, we all will be lazy once in a while (but not me ever). So with this we should not prejudge our friends in the fifth estate. However some are savage pundits speaking power to crush truth. Here in Canada we are fairly lucky, our press is mostly subverted by cutting of funding, corporate pressure, or bribery. These elements will always be a pressure on journalists in a somewhat civil and corporate society. There are other states where reporters and journalists are obstructed, attacked, raped and murdered. How can we help these folks speak truth to power? Amnesty International and PEN are good starts. There is a new player on the field. Check out Google Ideas 

Google Ideas

And I am also assessing WP’s new autopublicize feature.