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Ruminations about Artificial Intelligence. Part 1: Humans are Smarter because we’re more Primitive

I liked the book ‘What to Think about Machines that Think’ immediately. Along with the jaunty title, it has a snappy structure – approximately 185 mini essays, brain bytes, by sage people about AIs (artificial intelligences). Each contribution is 3 or 4 pages long which is apparently how long a thought is when written down. The essayists responded to ‘What… Read More »Ruminations about Artificial Intelligence. Part 1: Humans are Smarter because we’re more Primitive

The In-Person Shopping Experience

I walked into a store, with a small tote bag, like the environmentally conscious consumer I am, and was asked to leave my bag at the front desk. I walked back out of the store. There were things I really wanted to buy in that store, but wasn’t in the mood to embrace the our-customers-are-most-likely-criminals or we-trust-no-one vibe.  I walked out of the store… Read More »The In-Person Shopping Experience

Squirrelly in the Backyard

In southern Ontario, squirrels are a fast-moving fixture. They have adapted nicely from whatever their original habitat was to living amongst humans, although this arrangement seems to work better for the squirrels than some humans. ‘Squirrelly’ means erratic behaviour. It should be upgraded to include annoying, destructive, nasty, invasive actions, with occasional cute frolicking. And respectful acknowledgement of hanging out,… Read More »Squirrelly in the Backyard

Unbelievable, the Layoffs in the Tech Industry!

Turns out, this is a story about the dangers of drawing conclusions by reading headlines without the full story. Despite understanding the importance of getting the details and knowing that journalism favours sensational story titles, I fell prey to scanning the news to keep on top of things.  Trying to follow employment trends over the past two years was whiplash… Read More »Unbelievable, the Layoffs in the Tech Industry!

Unsexy Home Renovations.

There are some things a home owner has to do that are boring, dirty (not in a pleasant way) and don’t have much visual appeal. My first experience with this was roof reshingling the roof. Thousands of dollars and a lot of banging (not in a pleasant way) later, there was the new roof, same as the old roof, only… Read More »Unsexy Home Renovations.

Competitive Advantage or Competitive Advantage? Business or Biology

As a scientist who specializes in business strategy, competitive advantage means two things to me: how to succeed in business and how biological species evolve. I’m enjoying the irony that the goal of capitalist pursuits might be mistaken for a fundamental, back-to-nature, biological process. We value nature with an instinctive appreciation that it sustains us. But that isn’t quite right.… Read More »Competitive Advantage or Competitive Advantage? Business or Biology

Learning about Colonization in a Backyard Garden

Gardening seems to consist of pulling out one kind of plant and replacing it with a plant of another kind. Makes me wonder how natural modern backyards are and how kind to the environment, especially native plants. How do decorative plants, flowers, shrubs, and trees, fit in the native/invasive/cultivated plant story1? It makes me think of the settling of North… Read More »Learning about Colonization in a Backyard Garden

Do I Know What’s Good for my Cat?

Recent moves by various governments have declared dolphins, dogs, cats, chimpanzees, and even animals in general, sentient beings1. What does this mean – the definition of sentience is consciousness of sensory perceptions, but how does it specify the way animals should be treated? A declaration that animals are sentient, like humans, provokes visions of trying to get dolphins to vote… Read More »Do I Know What’s Good for my Cat?


Seems like a simple concept: my stuff. You point into your purse, house, or phone screen to indicate your belongings. A story about Justin Bieber not being able to paint his car the colour he chose got me riffing on the concept of ownership. It’s complicated, lots of laws and cultural influences modify what it means when you own objects. When we take… Read More »Ownership.

Regular Activities are Exercise 😉

As a fitness fanatic, I feel guilty not doing pilates, lifting weights or cardio workouts in the summer. Instead, I spend all day, every day, physically active: gardening, cycling, walking, and doing home renovations. To decide if I’m getting enough exercise or fooling myself into fun summer pursuits, I’ve sought some data-backed advice.  Three sources1 recommend adults do 150 minutes of… Read More »Regular Activities are Exercise 😉