Posts in category 'blogmas'

  • Blogmas 2022

    A statement of intent about Blogmas 2022.

    So looking back, once again I see a sad dearth of long-form posts here in this little backwater part of the Internet. In fact, sadly, the last “real” post I wrote was my review for Circe back in late November!

    Now, that’s not to say I haven’t written a fair bit. Most recently my blog has turned into a collection microfiction posts thanks to my discovering the MastoPrompt hashtag on Mastodon.

    But, just like last year, I’m once again taking an extended break over Christmas–this time two weeks plus a week of skiing!–and I wanted to use some of that time to do a little writing. And given this is the second year in a row, I’m now formally declaring the yearly tradition of Blogmas around here!

    Last year I wrote a whole series of posts around the various systems and institutions that we previously took for granted, and that COVID so seriously disrupted that we could no longer ignore them. This year I’m not going to claim to have quite the same thematic through-line, but I expect I’ll revisit some of those past topics a year later. In particular, going back to revisit topics like misinformation and inflation seem worth doing given the events of the past year.

    In addition, recent news in the worlds of crypto and Twitter have me thinking more and more about Chesterton’s Fence and the dark sides of disrupting the status quo, and I’d like to explore that topic a bit.

    Beyond that, I might finally dip my toe into writing a bit about my profession, an area I’ve traditionally stayed away from. This past year we’ve had to really lean into remote work, and that has significantly changed the way I do my job, particularly where people management is concerned, and that feels like fertile ground for exploration.

    So that’s it. That’s the plan. And I have thirteen days to do it! We’ll see how far I get between naps, Christmas movies, and playing games on the Steam Deck…

  • Grappling with Supply Chains

    The fifth entry in my Blogging for the Holidays series, some thoughts on how the pandemic has exposed the cogwheels of the economy.

    I’m going to preface this post by noting the obvious: I am not a trained economist or anything like that. While I do cover some of the nuts and bolts of the supply chain crisis as I understand it, I have no doubt there’s much I’m misrepresenting and even more I’m missing outright.

    Now, with all that said, I’m gonna dive right in and hope I don’t get anything egregiously wrong. So, without further adieu…

    Growing up in a place like Alberta, you’re never really that far from the agricultural sector. But, as a born and bred city boy from the bustling metropolis that is Edmonton, it’s not unusual to hear someone lament that folks really should have a better understanding of where their food comes from.

    And I can’t help but agree!

    Food is one of those many things many of us take for granted. If you’ve grown up in some of the more privileged places in the world (and there are plenty that are far less fortunate), it’s pretty normal to walk into a grocery story and just expect to find a huge range of products at affordable prices, many sourced from all over the world.

    But it isn’t until times of crisis–usually a natural disaster of some kind–that we actually spend any time thinking about how that food travels from farm to grocery story to plate.

    Oddly, I’ve rarely had that conversation about any other products that feature in our day to day lives. Until recently, who among us had spent any time wondering how our television or engine block or framing lumber ended up in our possession?

    But, as with so many things, the pandemic has opened our eyes, forcing us to face these complex, interconnected systems that govern so much of our lives.

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