Steve Roy

If you tried connecting with me on LinkedIn and never heard back, my general policy is not to accept invites unless I can vouch for your qualities.

That rules out people I’ve never worked with. That also rules out people who work at the same place as me but who I have not worked directly or closely with. I even ignored the CEO until I had met him in person and had experienced his leadership.

Plastic companies knew recycling wouldn’t work since the 1970’s.

The industry’s awareness that recycling wouldn’t keep plastic out of landfills and the environment dates to the program’s earliest days, we found.

This is on the same level as oil companies knowing about climate change the whole time. This has to be punished.

The deliberate avoidance of work roadmaps that they do at Basecamp resonates with me. First because I’ve always actively avoided what I call “putting things in boxes”. Make a goal but only use it as a way to propel you. Go with the flow and be flexible. Second because I’ve seen many projects try to pin things down too far ahead and ending up being a ball and chain instead of encouraging insight and creativity.

I’m happy to see voices asking for climate action rising again after many quieter months due to COVID-19. Extinction Rebellion had a good week in the UK and another one is coming.

I’m only sad I won’t be able to attend the next Global Climate Strike on September 25th because I’ll be away helping my mom move. Make some noise!

The designer in me is convinced that Firefox’s ugly tab UI is one reason for its poor/dwindling market share.

On the plus side I just found MaterialFox. It’s a little much on the Chromy side, but better that than the Firefoxy side.

I released a major update for an old app of mine, Abee, a tool to import contacts into the macOS address book. Useful if you’re coming to macOS from another platform or need to regularly sync from another platform.

What convinced me to dust it off and update it is actually an old customer who contacted me and reminded me of its usefulness. I’m actually pretty proud that this app has been around since 2003!

We had a Corolla loaner today while my car was in for repairs and I can’t get over how bad the design of the interior is. Too many textures, too many shapes, red indicators for normal situations, unaligned graphics and letters. The whole dashboard is a driving distraction. Design this bad should be illegal.

I like that this definition of privacy reminds us that it’s simply about being human:

Privacy is having the choice – it is the right to decide who we tell what, to establish boundaries, to limit who has access to our bodies, places and things, as well as our communications and our information. It allows us to negotiate who we are and how we want to interact with the world around us, and to define those relationships on our own terms.

The concept of shifting baselines as it relates to climate change has been coming up in my timelines lately. It reminds me of the huge snow banks we used to get when I was little, so high that we couldn’t see across the street. Kids’ baseline is much different today than what my baseline was, and same for my baseline versus that of my parents. And nobody panics because it’s so gradual.

I hate Facebook. I’m not even on it. But I despair at the harm they do to society and I despise that they take advantage of my family and friends who are on it.

If I was forced at gun point to choose a job between Facebook and Amazon, I would chose Amazon hands down. I stay away from Amazon like the plague, but that’s just consumerism.

Over the last 25 years I’ve heard first-hand from Americans how bad they think the Canadian healthcare system is. Always to my surprise. Especially with the Affordable Healthcare Act that is a step in the right direction but such a drop in the ocean. Good to see one of the peddlers of these lies coming forward with how they purposely wanted Americans to believe this.

Glad to see Unilever pulling away from Facebook, but it’s appalling that the batshit craziness dial had to get to 11 times 10 for something to happen. Unilever pulling back is not even a good thing, it’s just a bare minimum, if even.

So apparently the climate crisis is not important enough to host COP26 online. Let’s wait until we can fly again instead!

If you’re new to remote work in these difficult times, Scott Berkun has made his book The Year Without Pants a free download. It’s both an interesting and entertaining look at his time working at Automattic, the fully remote company that makes WordPress.

As a longtime remote worker, I read it years ago and found myself nodding half the time.

Climate grief is something I have been going in and out of. At times I get really sad about the struggles we’re facing and I cry reading the latest news. But then sometimes I’m amazed and encouraged that it’s gone mainstream. Let’s hope for more. Choose life and love over business and money.

A recruiter from Facebook reached out to me once and I made it clear I could not work for a company that I did not respect and that stood against many of my values. In response, she said that’s exactly why they need people like me. I ignored. A lack of corporate morals is not an engineering problem.

Mike Monteiro to Facebook employees on ethical work:

And yet you sell your labor to a company that caters to a psychopath who’s doing everything possible to destroy that planet.

I make career decisions largely based on whether it makes the world a better place. I say it to everybody I talk to. I also ask other developers if they would turn away an opportunity based on values and morals. Too often, I get a quizzical look. But then there’s this:

We’re dying by fire, and the Google Cloud oil and gas sales vertical is pouring on the gasoline.

So I was doing the math this morning. The Government of Canada wants to plant 2b trees in the next 10 years. Assuming continuous planting 365 days/year, that’s a staggering ~547,000 trees to be planted each and every day.

I mean, I want them to plan those trees, I really DO. But how do you procure and plant half a million trees per day?

I’m a big fan of Mike Monteiro’s Dear Designer blog. I enjoy how he calls it the way he sees it. This one is about the shame Facebook employees should feel:

And if they don’t have the sense to feel that shame internally, I am happy to provide it for them. Being Catholic alumni, I am more than qualified to do this.

He’s certainly polarizing but he fully owns it:

I’m not here for a seat at the table; I’m here to use the table for kindling.

I mean, I want shit to hit the climate fan in 2020.

We need politicians to take over who are willing to act.

We need fossil fuel companies to see their demise coming.

We need investors to be forced to divest.

We need capitalism to be challenged.

We need people to take to the streets and declare unequivocally that we will not stand for inaction anymore.

With the unprecedented fires in Australia and statements like this one from US Youth Climate Strike, I’m getting the feeling that 2020 is the year that shit will hit the proverbial fan:

[Politics] serve to protect profits over people, donors over voters. They need to be defeated, not convinced.