Steve Roy

I was contacted by an MBA today. Looked up the company and found this obscure statement:

At [redacted] Financial we provide intentional advice to inspire clients to choose to do what they will wish they had done, especially when they are not inclined to do it.

Please raise your hand if you regularly (or wish you could) speak aloud to your devices? Just wondering if voice recognition is a white male geek wet dream or if it’s actually useful.

To be fair, I sometimes dictate messages to my phone and use Siri to search movies on my Apple TV.

The price of MacBook Pros here in Canada has really gone overboard.

In 2012 I bought what was then a top of the line MacBook Pro 15-inch (2.6 GHz quad-core i7, 8 GB, 750 GB) for $2119.

Today just a base model with similar storage (2.2 GHz 6-core i7, 16 GB, 1 TB) sets you back $3919.

They are good computers but goodness, even as a business expense I think $4500 after tax is too much. I do want Apple to make quality computers but I don’t know how to justify these prices.

Maybe it’s because I grew up in Quebec where I still feel too many people think small, but I think that Trudeau, Trump, May et al have the same affliction. They are inherently unable to think about the big picture. Even at that level, the enormity of the fact that the house is on fire barely registers. I used to think an ant had no comprehension of the highway and cars going by. Now I’m convinced politics is closer to the ants than to the people who built the highway.

I posted a link to a video of the school walkouts in the UK today where the kids are chanting “fuck you May”. And the thing is, I feel this is exactly right. Fuck May, fuck Trudeau, fuck Trump. Because they have made it abundantly clear that they are not part of the solution. Brexit, border walls, whatever. It’s all a sideshow, a distraction from what’s really important. The fucking house is on fire and they are debating who gets the large bedroom. The kids are right.

I generally don’t think much of most news organizations but I started subscribing to The Guardian a year ago because they have a dedicated Environment section that has smart and extensive coverage of everything related to climate change. And after a year of it I’m about to renew it because it’s well deserved and there isn’t enough of it in the news media. Very recommended.

I read something today on TreeHugger that I never considered before:

Keeping people working all day is no cosmic good, it’s just a tradition that began a few hundred years ago and may be coming to an end

If capitalism is the enemy of good planet stewardship, that may be true. And somehow thinking about that makes me feel lighter.

I just finished re-reading Richard Feynman’s account of investigating the Challenger accident and the inner workings of NASA in “What Do You Care What Other People Think”. It’s remarkable how he valued the work of engineers and workers in getting a true understanding of how things went down, and enjoyable that he highlighted management’s ”fantastic faith in the machinery”. Good to read it again.

I’ve been noticing lately that more and more pop songs talk about the sad state of the world.

  • World Gone Mad by Bastille
  • Miracle by Chvrches
  • Youth Without Youth by Metric

And many more. That makes me hopeful. Our outrage must be expressed through music, so more people can be outraged.

”If love is enough, could you let it show?”

I’m on the Fediverse! Or rather, my microblog is. I installed the ActivityPub plugin and now my WordPress blog can be found from Mastodon by following steve@micro.steveroy.ca. Not much point for now since I’m already on Mastodon, but I find this kind of interoperability amazing. I hope the open web is coming back and will take over the Facebook/Twitters of this world.

David Heinemeier Hansson:

Traditional blogs might have swung out of favor, as we all discovered the benefits of social media and aggregating platforms, but we think they’re about to swing back in style, as we all discover the real costs and problems brought by such centralization.

One thing that’s happened since I got off Twitter and other centralized social media is that I went back to RSS. And I find that 1) I’m more in control of what I read, and 2) I read more long-form pieces (as opposed to wasting away reading my timeline).

I just heard that some airlines, if you buy more than one seat, don’t put them together by default and then charge you for sitting together… We don’t live in a civil world. Money and profit is taking over every single little bit of decency humans have.

I think a lot of app makers (hello LinkedIn) are either getting lazy or just plain don’t want us to know, but these cheeky “we fixed some bugs so you can enjoy the app” have gotten old fast. I miss actual communication.

One of the things that blows my mind are social logins. Log in with Twitter! Log in with Facebook! That’s preying on ignorance and people too lazy to create a millionth password. And the sites that partner with Twitter/Facebook to offer it? That’s just plain being accomplice to corporate malfeasance.

Fuck you Internet. It used to be a beautiful place. I met my wife here. Now it’s like walking down the street and being followed by creepy corporate dudes, offered sex and viagra every 10 steps, while watching out for pickpockets at every corner. All just because you wanted a fucking milkshake.

I’ve been closing more accounts. Flickr is gone, Instagram is gone, Tumblr is gone. And I’ve been off of Twitter and Facebook for a while. Never had a YouTube account. Wish I could close Google. I can’t but I make sure to never surf logged into anything.

I’m getting so tired of fending off all the tracking and data collecting. I’m really fed up with all this so-called smartness. Meanwhile, so many things that stop working, the wifi, the laptop, iWatch unlocking, etc, etc. It’s unacceptable in 2018. Tech should be better.

Wait a minute. My Pixel 3 was just sitting there on my desk, shut down. Yesterday the battery was at 100%. Today it’s 84%. Apparently “shut down” doesn’t mean what it used to mean.

I’m so glad I got out of Twitter and, years before that, Facebook. It’s unfuriating that they are institutionally unable or unwilling to see the harm that they do.

I don’t hate Gutenberg but it doesn’t help me write more productively and I do dislike that tools appear or disappear depending on where you click. Too much friction. Just give me a blank square to write in. Hello Classic Editor plugin.

Greta Thunberg talked at #COP24 and said to the politicians in attendance so many things I’ve thought. Good for her. Whoever smiled at her because, oh look, she’s 15, is demeaning her message. Nobody smiled at Jewish children during WWII. Her words are no less important.