Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

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    • Doing, not-doing; errors of commission, errors of omission
      Should we do, or not-do?  Russell Ackoff, over many years, wrote about (negative) potential consequences: There are two possible types of decision-making mistakes, which are not equally easy to identify. (1) Errors of commission: doing something that should not have been done. (2) Errors of omission: not doing something that should have been done. For […]
    • Systemic design agendas in education and design research
      The final publication of the October 2016 Relating Systems Thinking and Design Symposium workshop "Some Future Paths for Design Professionals: DesignX and Systemic Design" was published as “Systemic Design Agendas in Education and Design Research” in FormAkademisk, following 2 years of rewrites, reviews and revisions.
    • A federated wiki site on cPanel
      Federated wiki is deployed on a node.js server, an environment which has become available on some cPanel shared hosting providers. Here are some instructions written while restoring a wiki site originally installed in 2014-2015 on a cloud provider.
    • Artificial intelligence, natural stupidity
      Reading The Undoing Project, by Michael Lewis, reminded me of a PhD course at UBC with Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, before they were recognized as Nobel prize candidates.
    • The impacts of platforms
      Platforms have had only a short history, so much of the research is still definitional, with proposed frameworks.
    • Platforms, an emerging appreciation
      When the term "platform" is used, today, what does that mean?
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    • Contextual dyadic thinking (Lee, 2017)
      Contextual dyadic thinking is proposed by Keekok Lee in her 2017 The Philosophical Foundations of Classical Chinese Medicine. This is as a way of appreciating Chinese implicit logic, as an alternative to dualistic thinking that has developed over centuries in Western philosophy.
    • Dao, de, wei, wuwei (Lai 2003)
      Appreciating wei and wuwei has led to the context of dao and de, in the writings of Karyn L. Lai. The scholarly review acknowledges prior interpretations of de and dao.
    • Engineering Resilience vs. Ecological Resilience (Holling, 1996)
      For @theNASciences in 1996, #CSHolling clarified definitions of resilience, with engineering seeking one equilibrium state, while ecology recognizes many. Those who emphasize the near-equilibrium definition of engineering resilience, for example, draw predominantly from traditions of deductive mathematical theory (Pimm,. 1984) where simplified, untouched ecological systems are imagined, or from traditions of engineering, where the motive […]
    • Service coproductions as reciprocal activities
      In addition to extrinsic economic exchange, #JohnMCarroll #JiaweiChen #ChienWenTinaYuan #BenjaminHanrahan @ISTatPENNSTATE say service coproductions relying on all participants to collaborate in both economic exchange and social exchange. Service coproduction is a special case of service provision in which the roles of service provider and service recipient both require active participation. Examples include healthcare, education, and […]
    • Science and Society in East and West | Joseph Needham | 2004
      In researching #SystemsChange, fundamental differences in science and philosophy in the west and the Chinese were surfaced by #JosephNeedham. A useful translation of wéi and wú wéi (i.e. 為 and 無為 , or 为 and 无为) is the ways of "human will" and "nature" as juxtaposed.
    • Wiki as computational platform
      Thinking forward on #federatedwiki, rather than backwards by @wardcunningham. > [Federated wiki] is a computational platform for the collaborative construction of things that work and will continue to work as platform technology evolves underneath it. > Too much thinking about wiki as a note-taking system will just hold it back.
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    2018/11 Moments November 2011

    Mentally busy month with a conference coming to town, and maintaining the regular pattern of local meetings, travel around town only by bicycle.
    Toronto, Ontario

    OCADU Great Hall
    OCADU Great Hall: Figure @OCAD assembled from many materials by Sarah Juliet Nadler, part of the Frutti exhibition, Florence off-campus program. Sheet to the left either fell down due to poor adhesive, or the figure rose in the night to pull it down. (OCAD University, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20181103
    Congee Queen
    Congee Queen: Sisters-in-law on both sides of our family on short visits through town, we voted for Sunday lunch with greater variety than dim sum. Discussions included where and who to visit on the upcoming holiday season. I over-ordered by a few dishes, so we had leftovers to take home. (Congee Queen, Sheppard Avenue East, Scarborough, Ontario) 20181104
    Spoke Club
    Spoke Club: Design ladder @hallahelga @honnunarmidstod with DesignTOFest promoting @IcelandNatural. Step 1 No design; Step 2 Design as a style; Step 3 Design as a process; Step 4 Design as innovation; as illustrated by @designcentret . Design March @honnunarmars cited as the biggest design festival in the work per capita. With population of 330,000, everyone in Iceland knows @bjork or her mother. (The Spoke Club, King Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20181105
     Regis College
    Regis College: Lawren Harris (1968) Abstraction A, shows a sun-like form emitting light. This painting hangs in theological school of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) at the University of Toronto. The room is within line-of-sight of the receptionist, and most passing through the college probably have never taken a second look. (Regis College, Wellesley Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20181107
     Power Plant Gallery
    Power Plant Gallery: Vivian Suter “La Canicula” exhibition @ThePowerPlantTO of canvases created with nature. Works were moved both indoors and outdoors her home in Panajachel, Guatemala, marked by insects and weather. Visitors appreciating the installation, walking around the hangings. (Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Harbourfront, Queen Quay’s West, Toronto, Ontario) 20181108
    Climate Ventures
    Climate Ventures: Systems thinking peer circle @csiTO, on @longnow history, @stewartbrand How Buildings Learn pacing layers. Fast gets all the attention; Slow has all the power. Also covered James March ambidextrous organization, and Pierre Bourdieu Algeria 1960. Second session, trying to meet every 3 weeks. (Climate Ventures, Centre for Social Innovation, 192 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20181112
    Renaissance Basecamp
    Renaissance Basecamp: Welcome by @chriskutarna to Renaissance Basecamp @Basecamp3 #rebase #basecampTO . Full day of teams working Rethinking in tables, having prepared with online discussions in weeks preceding. Most people meeting each other for the first time face-to-face. (Artscape Sandbox, Adelaide Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 2018114
    Books on Pattern Language
    Books on Pattern Language: Selecting from bookshelf for #WickedProblems #SystemsApproach #PatternLanguage show-and-tell at #SystemsThinking Ontario session at #ClimateVentures @csiTO tonight. Publications cross architecture, software development, social change. https://wiki.st-on.org/2018-11-21 (Centre for Social Innovation, 192 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20181121
     Bissell Building
    Bissell Building: Understanding #Tablets in Early Childhood Education @rhondamcewen @KDMI Semaphore speaker series @UofTInfoFaculty. Research based on communication theory by #NiklasLuhmann. Attentional deficits in children are already there, but tablets make it worse. Not much better than flash cards, as developers don’t encourage instructing or exploring concepts, mostly tap and drag, dumbing down rather than featuring other modes (e.g. blowing into a device). Gestures can change the way that knowledge is conceptually understood, not just on working memory, but long term memory. (Knowledge Media Design Institute and Semaphore Labs, Bissell Building, University of Toronto School of Information) 20181121
    Systems Thinking Ontario
    Systems Thinking Ontario: Books to browse at #SystemsThinking Ontario #ClimateVentures @csiTO. Discussion on #WickedProblems, #SystemsApproach, #Pattern Language tracked through history with #HorstRittel, #CWestChurchman, #ChristopherAlexander. Focus from 1964 Notes on the Synthesis of Form through to October 2018 @PLoPCon and #PUARL #Purplsoc meetings. (Climate Ventures, Centre for Social Innovation, Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20181121
    Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine
    Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Medal and trophy for Professor David Lam, recognition of “Outstanding Doctor” by the Chinese Government, including founding the oldest acupuncture school in Canada. He declined to travel to China for the ceremony, so the honours were shipped to him. I haven’t visited in 5 years, and wanted a more systemic diagnosis combined with experiences in both Chinese and western medicine. Prescribed not a single herb, but a complex combination. (Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Dupont Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20181123
     Systems Thinking TO
    Systems Thinking TO: Champagne toast for #SystemsThinkingTO second anniversary, led by @DerailleurAgile. Played Triangles game from the #SystemsThinkingPlaybook, emphasizing system behaviors and conceptual errors in (i) autonomous behavior and (ii) magnification. (Systems Thinking TO, LoyaltyOne, King Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20181127
     Unify Toronto
    Unify Toronto: Panel on #UnifyToronto Land Use Summit @DrawdownProject meeting #6 of 7 sectors. @lmiresk, @AndrewJamesKnox for @transitionTO, #KevinBest, #RyanNess for @TRCA_News, #SeanThomas for @UofTForestry. Sketching by @playthink , emphasis on relevance from global study to action in Greater Toronto (Unify Toronto, Drawdown Toronto, Friends House, Lowther Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20181128

    Olga Korper Gallery
    Olga Korper Gallery: Steel letterforms of #RustGarden by @DonovanSiegel are 707,349 characters from the 1945 #TwoSolitudes novel by #HughMacLellan on the perceived lack of communication between Anglophone and Francophone communities. Sign @OlgaKorper Gallery encourages walking on the artwork that fills the main space. Ephemeral art has some people spelling out words on the bench backs. (Olga Korper Gallery, Morrow Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20181130

    2017/02 Moments February 2017

    Toronto, Ontario; Mississauga, Ontario; London, Ontario
    Toronto, Ontario; Mississauga, Ontario; London, Ontario

    The Rex
    The Rex: Not yet CD for @mikedownesmusic @TedQuinlan @Larnell_Lewis @robibotos, still working towards release with original compositions. Audience rather full for a Thursday night, as jazz lovers anticipate some of the top players in town. (The Rex, Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20170202
    Avonwick
    Avonwick: Superbowl big screen, switched to U.S. tv station to watch commercials from original broadcast instead of Canadian simulcast. Annual event has most of us spending more time on visiting with friends, we’re not really football spectators. (Avonwick, Mississauga, Ontario) 20170205
    Luen Hop
    Luen Hop: Passport photo studio at back of dry goods store in Chinatown East, getting recent shot for visa for Shanghai visit in April. Studio no longer does photo processing, and only takes portraits three times per week. Weather was clear today for a quick bike ride over. (Luen Hop, Broadview Avenue, Riverdale district, Toronto, Ontario) 20170206
    China Visa
    China Visa: Drop-off visa application only 20 minutes with appointment. Fewer customers than last year, almost all Asian faces. Turnaround in 3 days as non-express, maybe a post-Chinese New Year trough. Freezing rain outside, slid on sidewalk to bang left knee. (China Visa Application Service, University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20170207
    The Grad Club
    The Grad Club: Leisurely roast beef with Yorkshire pudding lunch in university pub. Snowy walk across campus, weather is more wintery in this region than back home. (The Grad Pub, Middlesex Center, Western University, London, Ontario) 20170210
    Anestis Taverna
    Anestis Taverna: Attracted to resto by friendly wave from the grill at the front window. Impromptu dinner scheduled in a newer resto in Greektown, good moussaka and souvlaki Winter storm redirected driving route away from crossing 401, through to downtown and then uptown again. (Anestis Taverna, Danforth Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20170210
    Willcocks Street
    Willcocks Street: Temperature swing up over 10 degrees C in mid February a new record for Toronto. Wore sunglasses on bike ride to U. Toronto and Chinatown. Campus may be quieter than usual, at start of reading week. (Willcocks Street, University of Toronto) 20160218
    Seor Ak San
    Seor Ak San: Family Day leisure for Korean cuisine. Decided on Chinatown district, first restaurant choice was queued up, went to strong alternative for a change of pace. Sons assessed quality as better than equivalents in Beijing, where they ate a lot of food in this style. (Seor Ak San, Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20160120
    Ted Rogers School
    Ted Rogers School: Intro to R Programming @BigDataU with @polonglin lecturing. welcome by @regionomics. Free meetup for beginners to data science, most attendees in room are novices. Attending to see how class is taught, will discuss variants for different target audiences afterwards. (Ted Rogers School of Management, Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20170222
    Betty's
    Betty’s: After @DrupalTO meetup, social @BettysOnKing. Large group accommodated on a Monday night, casual time discussing common technical experiences. Some familiar faces from previous events. (Betty’s, King Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20170227

    Dundas Street W at St. Patrick Street
    Dundas Street W at St. Patrick Street: Eastbound slight jog south formerly called Anderson Street in the 1910s was rerouted with alignments for the Toronto Railway Company before 1921, west of University Avenue. Further west from McCaul Street, the previously named St. Patrick Street became Dundas Street, leaving the label for north-south Dummer Street to became the new St. Patrick Street. Older cities pieced together throughways in modernity. (Dundas Street West at St. Patrick Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20160228

    2014/02 Moments, February 2014

    Moments, February 2014
    DY Pearson T1 Departures
    DY Pearson T1 Departures. Diana starting on AC flight 11 hours eastbound where weather should improve by 20 degrees Celsius. Sister KSY intercepting on route, to fly together. Sister SKY should meet at arrival. Reversal of roles, as DY usually drops us at airport. (Pearson international Airport Terminal 1 Departures, Toronto) 20140202 1436

    Toronto Pearson Bamboo City
    Toronto Pearson Bamboo City. Small scale skyscrapers as #BambooCity at Pearson Terminal 1 near Priority Checkin, sponsored by HSBC. Is the big barricade around the installation to deter children? (Toronto) 20140217 1001

    Toronto, Ontario.

    2010/10 Moments, October 2010

    Moments, October 2010
    Excursion to Hvitträsk, the home/studio of architect Eliel Saarinen, and childhood home of Eero, who grew up around his father’s work.  Kirsti and Jari pointed out the traditional Finnish touches in the home, interesting of the light of the father creating in a more traditional style while the son developed the modernism.  The exhibits showed a number of unrealized plans, which makes we wonder about the relationship between architects and clients in years before I was born.  After touring the house, we walked down to the lake, where Kirsti was searching for Finnish chanterelles.  (Kirkkonummi, Finland) 20101003 1230
    Excursion to Hvitträsk, the home/studio of architect Eliel Saarinen, and childhood home of Eero, who grew up around his father’s work. Kirsti and Jari pointed out the traditional Finnish touches in the home, interesting of the light of the father creating in a more traditional style while the son developed the modernism. The exhibits showed a number of unrealized plans, which makes we wonder about the relationship between architects and clients in years before I was born. After touring the house, we walked down to the lake, where Kirsti was searching for Finnish chanterelles. (Kirkkonummi, Finland) 20101003 1230

    Montreal waterfront along the St. Lawrence River, viewed from the Ile Sainte Helene. Sightseeing detour, telling our sons about their grandfather bringing us to Expo 67 when we were children (Saturday) 2010100c 1830
    Montreal waterfront along the St. Lawrence River, viewed from the Ile Sainte Helene. Sightseeing detour, telling our sons about their grandfather bringing us to Expo 67 when we were children (Montreal, Saturday) 2010100 1830
    Chinese herb ingredients for decoctions for three days to battle excess heat due to travel fatigue. Recognized ginger root, everything else looks like twigs and leaves. Boil in 3 cups of water for 40 minutes. Apothecary suggested not eating chicken for three days (Toronto, Sunday) 20101017 1530
    Chinese herb ingredients for decoctions for three days to battle excess heat due to travel fatigue. Recognized ginger root, everything else looks like twigs and leaves. Boil in 3 cups of water for 40 minutes. Apothecary suggested not eating chicken for three days (Toronto, Sunday) 20101017 1530
    Sunday brunch buffet at Taverna Cretekou, relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere, bouzoukis on the speakers, family of three generations speaking French at the next table. I am just passing through on the way to meet Kent, enjoying a low stress roast lamb sandwich (Alexandria, Virginia, Sunday) 20101024 1300
    Sunday brunch buffet at Taverna Cretekou, relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere, bouzoukis on the speakers, family of three generations speaking French at the next table. I am just passing through on the way to meet Kent, enjoying a low stress roast lamb sandwich (Alexandria, Virginia, Sunday) 20101024 1300
    Abingdon Plantation, on the National Register of Historic Places, is an enclosed grassy mound that includes a ruin, found in between the rental car garage and Terminal B of Reagan National Airport in Washington DC.  Millions of people pass nearby, but how many would care to stop for even a moment, to look at the plaque? Is this the American appreciation of history? 20101026 1330
    Abingdon Plantation, on the National Register of Historic Places, is an enclosed grassy mound that includes a ruin, found in between the rental car garage and Terminal B of Reagan National Airport in Washington DC. Millions of people pass nearby, but how many would care to stop for even a moment, to look at the plaque? Is this the American appreciation of history? (Washington, DC) 20101026 1330

    Kirkkonummi, Finland; Montreal, Quebec; Alexandria, Virginia; Washington, DC.

    Mon. Oct. 24, 2005: Flemish Beauty Pears

    Flemish Beauty pears trigger memories of childhood.
    David fills the house with Flemish Beauty pears, fulfilling a memories of days past.

    (by David): It’s one of those childhood memory things …. I haven’t read Proust, but I’ve seen enough citations of that idea.

    Way back in the early 1970s, Grandfather (and Harry and Pearl for that matter) lived in the house at the southeast corner of Beverly Street and Cecil Street. The property was due for expropriation for a a hydro switching station, and Grandfather moved over to a house one block west on Ross Street. (That’s where I lived with Grandmother during university days in the late 1970s).

    It’s hard to be accurate from my childhood memories, but I seem to recall people saying that the Beverly Street house was much larger than the Ross Street House. In addition, the Ross Street house was semi-detached, whereas the Beverly Street house was free-standing. (The Ross Street house had parking off a laneway, though, whereas the Beverley Street house just had a drive coming off Cecil Street). I also seemed to remember that the Beverly Street house had a reputation of a leaky basement.

    As it happens, there was a neighbourhood uprising against the Hydro switching station, and the property eventually became part of the CityHome complex. This means the city is the landlord in mixed income housing. In the late 1970s, my friends Debbie and Ena used to live in a 2-story apartment on Henry Street, which is one street east of Beverly Street.

    One of the strong memories I had of the Beverly Street house was that it had a pear tree. In the fall, we used to have a day when the whole family would be out picking pears. These were green pears, which weren’t too sweet, but had a great flavour. We used to have a contraption — like a basketball hoop with the netting bottom closed, at the end of a long bamboo pole — that we used to pull the fruit off the tree. It would simply fall into the netting, and after two or three pears, the end would be lowered to the ground for someone to remove the contents. Retreivals using the pole would be done first from standing on the ground, then on top of a stepladder, from the second floor window (which wasn’t that close to the tree) and then from a small roof outside the third floor window (where everyone would be concerned about the danger of falling.

    Adam’s posting on Taekwon do and free fruit reminded me of this scene.

    Probably around 1978 or 1979, I remember going with Paul to knock on the door of the people living on the Beverly Street house — tenants — and asking for permission to pick the pears. They said that they were waiting for them to turn yellow — they would have had to wait for a long time for that! — and gave us permission to pick. We got so much fruit that we ended up baking pear pies in Debbie’s kitchen.

    Sometime later, I discovered that the pears were called Flemish Beauty pears. They’re a hardy variety of pear — presumably Belgian in origin — and I had considered planting a pear tree on Booth Avenue when the boys were young. The caution against this is that South Riverdale used to have heavy industry, so it might not have been such a good idea to grow fruit when there’s a possibility of lead in the soil. The pear tree on Beverly Street has since been removed, and there’s more parking space on that property.

    Every fall, though, I’m on the lookout for Flemish Beauty pears in the markets. It’s not exactly the most popular variety. Clapp pears are close, and slightly easier to find. Last year, I posted on a question on Foodland Ontario site on pears and discovered that Flemish Beauty pears actually peak in October. When I was up in Markham this week, I made a slight detour and bought some pears

    And that is why the fruit bowls in our home are all full!

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