Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

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2019/04 Moments April 2019

End of a 23-day visit in Shanghai, readjusting to Eastern Time with the many lecture, meetup, friends and family distractions of Toronto.

Shanghai, P.R. China; Toronto

Tongji U. College of Design and Innovation 16/1974
Tongji U. College of Design and Innovation: Photo day for Creative Systemic Research Platform, first as the whole team, and then with smaller groups for images that might be used in digital enhancement. Scheduled in a small overlap of travel schedules with people coming in and out of town. In a design school, there’s a professional photography studio, and multiple professional photographers, resources to which I’m unaccustomed. (Tongji University College of Design and Innovation, Fuxin Road, Yangpu, Shanghai, PR China) 20190402
Tongji U. College of Design and Innovation
Tongji U. College of Design and Innovation: Ph.D. students for Quantitative Methods in Design course requested a reprise visit after formal classes ended last week, to discuss with Professor Yi Heng CHENG, who has been travelling. Having experienced the intensive 3-week course, with two full days of group work preparing for presentation, students said they learned a lot, and actually asked Professor Susu Nousala if the session be longer. The formal course is only one step on the journey for graduate studies, ongoing conversations with the faculty can continue for a lifetime. (Tongji University College of Design and Innovation, Fuxin Road, Yangpu district, Shanghai, PR China) 20190402
Rockbund Art Museum
Rockbund Art Museum: Tobias Rehberger (2018) “Free Coffee Free Parking Freedom” installation from fifth floor @Rockbund, as part of “If You Don’t Use Your Eyes To See, You Will Use Them To Cry”. Signage embodies an information paradox, where availability without charge may encourage an unrestrained liberty to consume or get more. Our visit coincided with the museum opening for the day, so a rapid visit of 30 minutes with no crowds. (Rockbund Art Museum, Huqiu Rd, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai, PR China) 20190403
PVG Terminal 2
PVG Terminal 2: Lineup with baggage x-ray is standard not only to enter airport terminal, but also railway station, and even municipal metro. Travel time from French Concession to PVG was 55 minutes with a reserved taxi driver. Another hour added for the building queue, checking in luggage, clearing exit border security, and hand luggage x-ray scan. After 23 days away, looking forward to a return to normalcy at home, after a 12-hour time zone change. (Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Terminal 2, PR China) 20190404
Ngoc Yen
Ngoc Yen: Dinner amongst systems sciences research colleagues, organized on 5 hours notice with JR passing through for onward flight tomorrow. Discussed current projects and plans for upcoming conferences, we’ll end up spending more time together outside of Toronto than at home. Unexpected quality Vietnamese food in a suburban industrial district. (Pho Ngoc Yen Restaurant, Kamato Road, Mississauga, Ontario) 20190409
Westin Harbour Castle
Westin Harbour Castle: Open source culture @RedHat says @realmikecardy includes (i) collaboration; (ii) transparency (both access and the ability to act); (iii) shared problems are solved faster; and (iv) working together creates standardization. Red Hat Day on Microservices, Containers, APIs and Integration extends long tradition towards open organizations, consistent with my research on http://openinnovationlearning.com/ (Westin Harbour Castle, Queen’s Quay, Toronto, Ontario) 20190411
Woodbine Beach
Woodbine Beach: Big red chair is double-sized, not so functional for relaxing when facing away from the bay. Bright, sunny day attracts pedestrians onto the boardwalk, but it’s still cold enough to wear full-finger gloves on the bicycle. (Woodbine Beach, Toronto, Ontario) 20190413
Bill Boyle Artport Gallery
Bill Boyle Artport Gallery: Chair, side table and lamp @HarbourfrontTO brought together as Oscar Kwong (2018-2019) Companions, in mundane functionality and rationality. Drawings on the wall suggest alternative interactions by human beings with the inanimate objects. Part of The View from Here exhibition. (Bill Boyle Artport Gallery, Harbourfront Centre, Queen’s Quay West, Toronto, Ontario) 20190419
Bill Boyle Artport Gallery
Bill Boyle Artport Gallery: Inside a glass case @HarbourfrontCentre, Auli Rautiainen (2018) Mutation Series is kiln-formed glass that doesn’t show the gloss or fluidity normally associated with the material. Part of the Nordic Glass exhibition, curators must be rotating the collection over time. (Bill Boyle Artport Gallery, Harbourfront Centre, Queens Quay West, Toronto, Ontario) 20190419
Innis Town Hall
Innis Town Hall: Marquis event with #LucySuchman on Apparatuses of Recognition @JHIevents @UofTInfoFaculty Situational awareness criticizing the core doctrine of command and control with (i) the training situation; (ii) remote control to separate the soldier from the combat; and (iii) autonomous weapon systems. Video replay at https://www.facebook.com/iSchoolToronto/videos/342667976597711/ . (Innis Town Hall, University of Toronto, St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20190422
 Toronto Red Hat Users Group
Toronto Red Hat Users Group: Understanding evolution of technology via #WojciechSerafin #RHUG #RedHat, with initial pledge to use the term Containers rather than the popular label of Docker. Appreciating implementations of the Open Container Initiative on Linux, with Buildah, Skopeo and Podman. A hint of the future with Quarkus as Kubernetes Native Java. Taking personal responsibility for continuing learning, the world changes. (Toronto Red Hat Users Group, Arctiq, Britain Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20190423
Toronto Reference Library
Toronto Reference Library: Second day @changepaths @Challengfactory @fernlebo #TheTalentRevolution book launched @torontolibrary, where the authors often met. Five drivers shaping a revolution the world of work: (i) demographics of longevity, with baby boomers; (ii) career ownership, shift in power between employees and employers; (iii) freelance economy, gig mobility; (iv) platform environments, B2B and B2C; (v) AI and robotics, in potential freed up in human impact. Employers have been slow to respond to the changes. (Toronto Reference Library, Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20190424
SystemsThinkingTO
SystemsThinkingTO: Productivity challenge says #BrianWatson @ConestogaC with low GDP per capita growth and part time employment percentage increasing. High rate of youth unemployment in the midst of a national labour shortage. Compared a race of four individuals on a relay, compared with a systems approach of a rugby team responding to obstructions by passing the ball to win. (Systems Thinking TO, Loyalty One, King Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20190425
Royal Ontario Museum
Royal Ontario Museum: Dinosaur @ROMtoronto called Zuul (face like the monster from 1984 Ghostbusters film), species Destroyer of Shins (crurivastator) with a sledgehammer-like tail. Bony armour, four horns on the skull, preserved skin. Discovered in northern Montana, in badlands near the Alberta border. Galleries are good venue for walking and talking with a friend, closing out a busy week. (Royal Ontario Museum, Queen’s Park, Toronto, Ontario) 20190426
George Brown College Waterfront Campus
George Brown College Waterfront Campus: From 7th floor @GBCollege, statue facing away from Toronto Harbour Eastern Channel. Full Saturday Google GDG Cloud Toronto meetup, with hands-on lab to earn GCP Essential badge. (George Brown College Waterfront Campus, Dockside Drive, Toronto, Ontario) 20190427
Lowkong Society
Lowkong Society: Spring festival dinner for the family clan featuring dancers and singers with the food. Waited until courses 6 and 7 for dishes within vegan constraints, others at the table were nearly full by then. (Dim Sum King, Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20190428

2019/03 Moments March 2019

Month of intensive lectures and research meetings, in Toronto and then in Shanghai, with social breaks on local excursions to clear minds.

Toronto, Ontario; Shanghai, PR China

Hugh's Room Live
Hugh’s Room Live: Tribute to #JoniMitchell @MiaSheard @HughsRoomLive #TaniaGill #ErnieToller @WordsByRGM @ChrisGartner @joelschwartz Songs Are Like Tattoos.  Guests rotating on and off stage, first night of two.  Brought by millennial son who recognized one song, introduced to interpretations of both popular and obscure repertoire.  (Hugh’s Room Live, Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20190301
China Visa Centre
China Visa Centre: Procedures changed with online submissions done in advance including digital photo. One line to validate passport and take another picture; second line to review documents and take fingerprints; third line now requires payment in advance rather than at pickup in 3 days. Appointments are scheduled by hour, there’s less of a lineup showing up on the half hour. (China Visa Centre, University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20180304
OCADU SFI
OCADU SFI: Energetic students in lecture for Understanding Systems and Systemic Design Class @OCADU_SFI Master in Design program. Presented new content for Systems Changes research program, focused on errors and breakdowns. Brought more slides than the time slot allowed, offering to follow up with diligent student to greater depth. (OCADU, Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20190307
OCADU SFI
OCADU SFI:  Abbreviated outline of @SystemicToolkit by @redesign @OCADU_SFI master’s program, covering enough templates to get students started, with deepening later. I presented in the first half of the afternoon, following a timeboxed version of #SystemsChanges, same slides as yesterday, slightly different emphases today. Great opportunities to see what’s new with others. Hung out to guide students on team projects. (OCADU Strategic Foresight and Innovation program, Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20190308
Scotiabank Theatre
Scotiabank Theatre: Scheduled family time to enjoy Imax screening of Captain Marvel. RDI prebooked seats well back in the room, the screen is large that fast action would be even harder to follow when sitting up front. Nostalgia for the 1990s seems to be rising, which feels familiar for us who remember the period first-hand. (Scotiabank Theatre, Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20190309
Blaze Pizza
Blaze Pizza: Vegan cheese for everyone, but separate orders for meat, vegan and gluten-free preferences. Quick and easy snack across the street from movie theatre, most of us hadn’t tried this made-to-order single serving sized chain restaurant. A small luxury that we can easily repeat. (Blaze Pizza, John Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20190309
Pearson Airport T1: Happy to retain lifetime million-mile privileges for priority services for shorter queues. My travels have reduced over the past year, and even less often without DY. This trip to Shanghai is not only to places with which I’m familiar, but also reduction of stress through a few more Western conveniences available in China. (Terminal 1, Pearson International Airport, Toronto, Ontario) 20190311
Xiang Shan Lu
Xiang Shan Lu: Beginning of 23-day stay starts with alleyway leading to rear entrance, up 5 floors to an apartment that should server better than a hotel room. The Former French Concession has a history as an expat enclave. Short street has Former Sun Yat Sen Residence at its east end, and then Fuxing Park beyond. (Xiang Shan Lu, Huangpu, Shanghai, PR China) 20190312
Tongji U. College of Design and Innovation
Tongji U. College of Design and Innovation: Professor Yi Heng Cheng inscribes copies of the Chinese translation of @ClubOfRome book Come On, for Ph.D. students in the Quantitative Methods course. Class exercise will have participants working in teams to define research questions on carbon credit approaches, considering data that may be available, and how it might be used. Intensive course led by Susu Nousala has multiple instructors to give a broader range of perspectives, and more voices to hear. (Tongji University College of Design and Innovation, Siping Road, Yangpu district, Shanghai, PR China) 20180313
More Than Eat
More Than Eat: Food hall has multiple culinary outlets in a casual dining style attracting both expats and trendy locals. We had pizza from a certified Neapolitan oven, atmosphere more like new world than old city in Shanghai. After work occasion to relax with colleagues. (More Than Eat, Julu Road, Shanghai, PR China) 20190314
Tongji Huangpu School of Design and Innovation
Tongji Huangpu School of Design and Innovation: Lecturing on “Systems Changes: Culture and family over time” in innovation class for high school students. Reviewed my family history from my grandfather through to our sons, to illustrate marriage systems, family systems, and education systems. Teams then asked to think about activities that grandparents would have done that aren’t done today; the systems in which those prior behaviours would have been natural; and changes in today’s systems to enable those behaviours again. Underscored behavioural and ecological approaches to students, by suggesting a few members might want to visit other tables to gain intelligence. (Tongji Huangpu School of Design and Innovation, Sichuan Middle Road, Huangpu, Shanghai, PR China) 20190315
Julu Road
Julu Road: Private uses spilling over into public space, bed covers drying on clotheslines tied between trees on the boulevard of a city street. Even in an urban environment, the Chinese tend to take action first, and worry about consequences later. Sight is remarkable only to foreigners not yet fully immersed into local societal conventions. (Julu Road east of Shaanxi South Road, Former French Concession, Shanghai, PR China) 20190316
Xintiandi Style
Xintiandi Style: Children attracted to #PenzoCAO (2019) “Time Traveller” at #XintiandiDesignFestival, sitting in bamboo chairs inside red crystal-like walls. The circular part is hinged, and rotates. Installation is one of many in the courtyard of a high-end fashion mall, shoppers are complemented by foreign tour groups crowding in the restaurants to the north. (Xintiandi Style, Madang Road, Xintiandi, Shanghai, PR China) 20190317
Laoximen Tea Plaza
Laoximen Tea Plaza: One of largest tea distribution centres in the city, where we asked about luobuma tea, and were told it’s not considered to be a Chinese tea. Merchants used smartphone to translate Chinese messages into English. Followed suggestion to visit a herb store, and we were offered the bluish dogbane on the first try. (Laoximen Tea Plaza, Shanghai, PR China) 20190317
Fuxing Park
Fuxing Park: Card players attract observers, on the plaza facing south over the pond to the waterside pavilion. The park is a welcome green space in a city where stone and concrete roads don’t have grass, and spring hasn’t seen the trees sprout leaves, as yet. Bright and clear day. (Fuxing Park, Shanghai, PR China) 20190319
Design Square
Design Square: Last year’s overabundance of dockless bicycles has been curtailed, so sidewalks are more easily passable. The university is replacing the plants outside the entry with new ones, rather than cultivating survivors from winter. Morning rain left the air clean, spring temperatures are definitely welcomed. (Design Square, Tongji University, Siping Road, Yangpu district, Shanghai, PR China) 20190320
Xiangming Junior High School
Xiangming Junior High School: Blaring rock music and bright large screen video at 7:55 a.m., with students running around in circles behind the entry gate with a guard attending. Julu Road is otherwise a quiet two-lane residential street, so the commotion is a daily event somewhat more mundane than changing of the guard. Morning walk was for an early taxi pickup, anticipating a full date with students at the university. (Xiangming Junior High School, Julu Road, Shanghai, PR China) 20190321
Ruijin Hospital
Ruijin Hospital: A bust of Fu Peibin (1912-1989), a Belgian-trained surgeon who became the president of Ruijin Hospital, after returning for the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The green field, and maybe the fountain, originate as part of the original 1907 Sainte Marie Hospital from 1907. Today, the facility is affiliated with the School of Medicine of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Discovered on a short lunchtime walk around the neighbourhood. (Ruijin Hospital, Ruijin Er Lu, Shanghai, PR China) 20190322
Park Hyatt
Park Hyatt: Sunset view north from the 91st floor in Pudong, with the Oriental Pearl Tower, Huangpu River and the Bund beyond. We opted to be seated for tea, wine and whisky, rather than waiting in a long queue and paying the admission fee for the observation level a few floors higher. The small table for 3 grew to 4 and then 5, as friends of our new acquaintance from Shenzhen came to visit. (Park Hyatt, World Financial Centre, Shanghai, PR China) 20190323
Residence (1946) of Zhou Enlai
Residence (1946) of Zhou Enlai: Modest office with desk and bed for Zhou Enlai, on his stay in Shanghai from Nanjing, during post-war China in the uneasy ceasefire between the Chinese Communist Party and Kuomintang. Other rooms in the building are similarly furnished sparsely. In a separate building to the east is the former CPC Delegation Office for Shanghai, with history circa 1946 in both Chinese and English language. Admission is free for visitors with identification, foreigners provide fingerprints. (Former residence (1946) of Zhou Enlai, Sinan Road, Shanghai, PR China) 20190324
Xiangyang Park
Xiangyang Park: Still too early for cherry blossoms, this fountain is the north end of the park with a French-style boulevard. Opened by the Conseil Municipal of the French Concession in 1942, it was named Lan Weina Park or Dumet Park in 1939, then Taishan Park in 1943 and Linsen Park in 1945, before taking the current name in 1950. Some badminton players put up a net a little further south. (Xiangyang Park, Huaihai Middle Road, Shanghai, PR China) 20190325
Tai Feng Yuan Ruijin Road
Tai Feng Yuan Ruijin Road: Second purchase of luobuma 罗布麻, from a neighbourhood store, yields larger green leaves priced slightly cheaper, as compared to prior smaller brown shrivels at a higher price from the main street. While luobuma is not available in North America, this traditional herb that reduces hypertension seems easy to find in Shanghai. Will the lightly dried green leaves have more antioxidants, leading to greater efficacy than the macerated brown leaves? (Tai Feng Yuan, Ruijin 2nd Road, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai, PR China) 20190326
Luobuma 罗布麻 leaves
Luobuma 罗布麻 leaves: Not available in North American, luobuma 罗布麻 is a traditional Chinese treatment for hypertension that appears easy to acquire in Shanghai. The package on the left was purchased on the major shopping street (Huaihai Middle Road), and the package on the right from a small neighbourhood store (Ruijin Road). The left resembles black tea; the right appears less processed as a green tea. Does the conventional wisdom of green tea preserving more antioxidants than black tea transfer over to other types of herbs? (Former French Concession, Shanghai, PR China) 20190326
IAPM
IAPM: Super-luxury shopping mall on the main street in the Former French Concession is grand beyond practically all of its peers in the New World. Merchandise selection is way beyond my means. My visits are primarily to shop at the City Supermarket one level down to buy soymilk, strangely not readily available in neighbourhood stores. (IAPM, Huaihai Middle Road, Shanghai, PR China) 20190327
Nene
Nene: Seven hungry diners consumed eight thin crust Lazio-style pizzas, arriving late through rainy traffic. Appreciated why the group knows the place as Davide’s, as the energetic host welcomed us individually, and ensured that we were well-served. We ordered the black crust with activated charcoal that serves as a natural alkaline that might neutralize heartburn from tomatoes (or cured meat that I’m not eating anymore), but I can’t say that I noticed a difference. (Nene, Yongfu Road, Former French Concession, Shanghai, PR China) 20180238
Tianzifang
Tianzifang: Shikumen (stone warehouse gate) transformed into a warren of alleys with shops, food stalls and restaurants. Complex still has residents, at least one with the sense of humour for a pink panther in the window. Not in a shopping mood, the lanes were walkable on the afternoon before the weekend begins. (Tianzifan, Taikang Lu, Shanghai, PR China) 20190329
Wukang Road at Anfu Road
Wukang Road at Anfu Road: City crews throwing plants onto flower bed, as spring temperatures appear more frequently. Leisurely vegan Saturday lunch, then walked up street to cafe. Having been given bad seating and then told that cheesecake and souffle were out, we decamped for a better venue up the street. Meeting new team member first time in China, lots of orientation. (Wukang Road at Anfu Road, Former French Concession, Shanghai, PR China) 20180330
Tank Shanghai
Tank Shanghai: Team bonding experience at new private gallery opened just last week, on site of five former oil storage tanks for Longhua Airport (1922-1966). One tank closed for private showing, vicinity populated with fashion models and the well-dressed overflowing from terminals of the West Bund Art Center. Queue to enter the Teamlab installation a good opportunity to discuss our background contexts. (Tank Shanghai, Longteng Avenue, West Bund, Shanghai, PR China) 20190331
Tank Shanghai: Teamlab (2019) combines immersive digital works of (i) “Flowers and People, Cannot be Controlled but Live Together, Transcending Boundaries – A Whole Year per Hour” from the floor upwards, and (ii) “Transcending Boundaries” of waterfall light descending inside the tank. Show is titled “Universe of Water Particles in the Tank”. Visitors moving slowly, or resting on the floor or against walls, are sensed interactively to change the display. ((Tank Shanghai, Longteng Avenue, West Bund, Shanghai, PR China) 20190331
Yuyuan Teahouse
Yuyuan Teahouse: Afternoon break in 200-year-old mid-lake pavilion included zhong, quail eggs, kumquats, sesame peanut blocks, preserved plums. Following afternoon visiting two art museums, the snack re-energized us into discussing philosophy, following the tradition of those frequenting Chinese teahouses. (Yuyuan Tea House, Yu Garden, Shanghai, PR China) 20190331

2019/02 Moments February 2019

Reduced exercise outside with a cold and snowy February, with excursions out of the house to warm places with family, friends and colleagues.
Toronto, Ontario

Heartland
Heartland: Annual Superbowl party, a tradition running back decades to years when our children were toddlers. Some familiar faces, and we’re drawing in new friends every year. Arrived in time to watch the backyard barbeque operating in above-freezing temperatures. (Heartland, Mississauga, Ontario) 20190203

Mozilla
Mozilla: Kickoff meeting for #P2P #DWeb Toronto, hosted by @dcwalk_, group comfortable in the couches @mocotoOH. Presentations on #FederatedWiki #FriefunkLeverkusen #Fediverse drew conversations on building smaller communities of interest, with privileges and responsibilities of conscious governance. (Peer-to-peer and Decentralized Web Toronto, Mozilla, Adelaide Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20190207

Royal Myanmar
Royal Myanmar: Dinner with @StallmanRM @FSF inviting the activists @CivicTechTO to gain some insight into discussions on privacy concerns @QuaysideToronto, We outlined but didn’t delve into the complexity of three levels of government involved in @WaterfrontTO. #RichardStallman enjoys diverse cuisines in the variety of cities he visits, with commutes to obscure locations a minor inconvenience. (Royal Myanmar, Horner Avenue, Etobicoke, Ontario) 20190208 CC-BY David Ing 2019

Lalibela
Lalibela: Ethiopian lunch means eating without cutlery, and using fingers. Relaxed Saturday family gathering, relaxing and catching up on everyone’s work week. The grilled tibs are always memorable. Breaking up whole grilled fish with bare hands gives a caveman feel. (Lalibela, Danforth Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20190209

Riverside neighbourhood
Riverside neighbourhood: A single candle on a cake is sufficient. The family consumed third and then fourth servings of a wonderful homemade vegan banana cake, with frosting less sweet than commercial offerings. A little later, the house was quiet with everyone taking naps to recover from hectic work lives. (Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20190209

OCADU sLab
OCADU sLab: Formal welcome #SystemsThinking Ontario @redesign. #PatternLanguage legacy via former 1970s-era Berkeley students of #ChristopherAlexander, deeper reading of 1967 Systems Generating Systems http://coevolving.com/commons/20190211-systems-changes-learning-alexander-legacy sparked thinking of attendees. (Systems Thinking Ontario, Strategic Innovation Lab, Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20190211

The Rex
The Rex: Displaced #DesignWithDialogue on What Matters led by @redesign turned into #DineWithDialogue with live jazz channelling attendees to listen more intently in small groups. University building was unexpectedly locked down completely for statutory holiday. We can handle the unexpected, moving one block north. (The Rex, Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20180218

CSI Annex
CSI Annex: Pitch night #AgentsOfChange @ClimateCSI @csiTO winners @BIOPolynet $10000, @spentgoods $6000, @app_feedback $4000, selected by judges based on 5-minutes presentations over finalists @FreeGeekToronto and @freshrents. Thirteen 90-second standup speeches were voted on by the audience of 300 attendees. Event attracted many non-CSI members, as a great way to generate interest. (Centre for Social Innovation Annex, Bathurst Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20190222

SystemsThinkingTO
SystemsThinkingTO: Frustrations in law firms @KarenSkinner @DavidFSkinner @GimbalCanada leading to lean improvement. Exercise in drawing a pig, first try is free form, second try following a long page of text specifications, third try following a sketch. Instead of words, easier to follow a map or modify a standard template. Not everything needs to be a specialized art. (Systems Thinking TO, Loyalty One, King Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20190225

2019/01 Moments January 2019

January in Toronto has lots of intellectual offerings and artistic exhibitions to attract the curious out of warm homes, through cold and snow.
Toronto, Ontario

Centennial Park Conservatory:
Centennial Park Conservatory: Carp in pool inside greenhouse enjoy a peaceful existence, while the winter temperature outside is colder than seasonal average. The flora and fauna are available 365 days per year to the citizens of the city. This venue is physically smaller than the location downtown, but the scent of flowers is noticed here. (Centennial Park Conservatory, Elmcrest Road, Etobicoke, Ontario) 20190101

Atlantic Avenue
Atlantic Avenue: Bent guard rail is ugly, cars won’t pass. There’s a set of stairs for pedestrians eastbound down into the ravine, behind the backyards on houses on Hertle Avenue. This height differential is probably associated with the lost Ashbridges Creek, that became buried as the Midway Sewer circa 1913-1915. This residential street runs just 1-½ short blocks east of Greenwood Avenue before the big drop. (Atlantic Avenue, Greenwood-Coxwell neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20190105

Dumpling House
Dumpling House: Long overdue lunch to catch up on news of family and friends, both positive and negative. Discussed wellbeing, responsibilities, and current priorities on personal projects. Good variety of choices on the menu, a challenge sharing across vegan, keto and low-carb diets. (Dumpling House, Gerrard Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20190107

Systems Thinking Ontario
Systems Thinking Ontario: Wrapped up meeting @OCADsLab on chartering a #SystemsChanges program with multi-year horizons, as a change from previous #SystemsThinking Ontario meetings that were episodic. General agreement towards moving forward, lots of details to be worked out. (OCADU Strategic Innovation Lab, 205 Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20190114

Rotman School
Rotman School: It’s always about the apps, more than better architecture or technology, says @JohnChen with @KelleherJc @PubPolicy_Munk @RotmanEvents on the success of turnaround at Sybase. Four part interview, on moving from Hong Kong to American universities, rise in Silicon Valley, coming into Blackberry, and the technology industry today. (Rotman School of Management, St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20190115

Bahen Centre
Bahen Centre: Graduate seminar by Adrian K. Yee on The Rise of Nazi Mathematics 1893-1945. A guest at the Department of Mathematics, visiting cross-campus from the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology. Disclaimer on critical perspective of Germans espousing theories as superior to Jewish and French thought, well-documented by credible researchers. First indications with Felix Klein 1893 lecture at Northwestern University in USA, through to influence over journal Deutsche Mathematik that now may be in university libraries only in censored form. (Department of Mathematics, Bahen Centre, St. George Street, University of Toronto) 20190117

Onsite Gallery
Onsite Gallery: Panel @LisaDeanneSmith #DaveandJenn @hermeticferns @maryannecasasanta @rouzbeh92 #FelixKalmenson on Collaboration as Process @ONSITEatOCADU for winter How to Breathe Forever exhibition. Reflections on listening to each other and world in today’s Internet noise, working with material. Learning to slow down, getting away from production driven by commerce or grants. Symbiogenesis in shifting landsacpes of socio-political contexts. Allowing conscious attention, laughing at the irony of disruptions. (Onsite Gallery, OCADU, Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20190119

Onsite Gallery
Onsite Gallery: Polymer clay pieces @ONSITEatOCADU #DaveandJenn @hermeticferns (2017) The Wellspring, (2017) No Horizons, (2017) For Actaeon The Flower, (2017) The House Guest. Dimmed interior feels warm, in contrast to the severe cold temperature warning outside. (Onsite Gallery, OCADU, Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20190119

World Sew Centre
World Sew Centre: Had zipper heads replaced while I watched, as my winter coat was opening up on walks during the severe cold temperature warning. Previously had brought in wife’s coat to buy an exact match for a broken zipper, and was advised by the clerk that the teeth were fine, so just the zipper heads would be a cheaper and immediate fix. Trust the judgement of the shopkeeper. (World Sew Centre, Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20190119

Xpace Cultural Centre
Xpace Cultural Centre: In solo show @arezustudio (2019) Fortune Flavors the Bold @xpacecc, artist fills room with good luck symbols inspired by growing up with a mother who immigrated from Hong Kong. Second generation children typically lose their heritage language, so the appreciation of the distant culture comes only indirectly. Sign at the door welcomes visitors in, provided shoes are removed, which mirrors a custom in Chinese homes. (Xpace Cultural Centre, Lansdowne Avenue, Brockton Village, Toronto, Ontario) 20190126

CSI 192
CSI 192: In era of big data, semantic web gives meaning @andrewiliadis @DecimalUOIT @UOITCDMS speaker series. From seminal work of #JohnSowa and #DougLenat, semantics solves many varieties of data described in heterogeneous ways, with controlled vocabularies of preferred tags. Schemas, graphs, ontologies now in the age of social media and search engines. (Centre for Social Innovation, Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20190128

CSI 192
CSI 192: Despite campaigns to disconnect from Facebook, @karppi @DecimalUOIT @UOITCDMS speaker series says that most people are still online. Facebook is still the most popular social platform, and continues to grow in less developed countries. Community now framed in terms of engagement, continuing to encourage bonds that dissuade users from leaving. (Centre for Social Innovation, Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20190128

Bissell Building
Bissell Building: Vision by @smgrimes for prior @SemaphoreTO research cluster launched in 2012, amalgamating into @kmdi established 1996 @UofTInfoFaculty. Renewed energy for design-oriented research and research-oriented design with more public discussion on people’s issues with technology, including the marginalized. This generation of researchers share philosophical roots in critical theory. (Bissell Building, Faculty of Information, St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20190129

SystemsThinkingTO
SystemsThinkingTO: New Year, New Direction, after two years with looser agenda, @DerailleurAgile seeking more defined path. Reviewing quantitative statistics for SystemssThinkingTO meetup over past year, didn’t give much insight. Facilitated attendees, building up responses first by individuals, then in pairs, and then fours. Responses mapped out with a dialogue map generated discussion towards converging a program for the rest of the year. (SystemsThinkingTO, LoyaltyOne, King Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20190130

2018/12 Moments December 2018

Tried to have a normal month, with a busy social calendar of birthdays, a funeral plus Christmas season, while daily temperatures hovered just above freezing.
Toronto, Ontario; Hamilton, Ontario; Pickering, Ontario

Hudson’s Bay Queen Street
Hudson’s Bay Queen Street: Shopping, not for Christmas, but seasonally-decorated windows displays still draw crowds. Paused to see the rabbit’s head in a good position; it’s animated. I remember similar displays back into the 1970s, when this location was the Simpson’s Department Store. Americanization is more present with FAO Schwartz signs drawing attention to the second-floor pop-up. (Hudson’s Bay, Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20181201

Sake Sushi
Sake Sushi: Family lunch in celebration of DY’s birthday, a series of servings of all-you-can-eat sushi ordered over the iPad menu. Salmon nigiri was exceptionally fresh. First fish for me in 9 months, since I negotiated with the dietitian to occasionally relax the strictly vegan options. (Sake Sushi, Highway 7, Vaughan, Ontario) 20181202

 McMichael Canadian Art Collection
McMichael Canadian Art Collection: #AJCasson (1965) Little Island, by the youngest of the #GroupOfSeven painters. Featured by @mcacgallery exhibition in The Art of Canada: Directors Cut, tour guide mentioned that only #LawrenHarris and Casson were commercial designers in the Group of Seven, with the others full-time painter artists. Family enjoyed the works, and the walk around the grounds. Somehow, our sons had not known this venue, donated to the Province of Ontario in 1966. (McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Islington Avenue, Kleinberg, Ontario) 20181202

CSI Spadina
CSI Spadina: Systems Thinking peer circle #ClimateVentures @csiTO trying examples on @Andy_Boynton ‏#BartVictor @JoePine. Product-Process Change Matrix with (i) Invention and Mass Production where demand > supply; (ii) Continuous Improvement and Mass Customization where supply > demand. These entrepreneurs found these explained a lot of the challenges they’re experiencing. (Climate Ventures, Centre for Social Innovation, Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20181203

KDMI-Semaphore
KDMI-Semaphore: Critical making @mattratto @kmdi @UofTInfoFaculty emphasizes reflection in producing material objects. Has the difference between critique and its object reduced, asks Horkheimer? Can human beings be brought back into design? (KMDI-Semaphore, Bissell Building, University of Toronto) 20181206

 Mike Hansen Studio
Mike Hansen Studio: Exhibition of The Remix Series by @mhansen823 Mike Hansen, visualizing sound in a synaesthetic approach, translating specific pieces of music into abstract painting. Converted building is notorious as bunkered house from the 1990s for Satan’s Choice Motorcycle Club, through to 2010 for Hell’s Angels. Bright lights for the show makes visitors forget the windows are bricked over in history. (Mike Hansen Studio, Lottridge Street, Industrial Sector C, Hamilton, Ontario) 20181209

 Munk School
Munk School: Trends and outlooks for Asian countries @Bartapest @ADB_America @munkschool. Asian countries have to deal with the most climatic tragedies in the world, e.g. typhoons. Rapid urbanization, as well as poverty in rural areas. Population is getting old before they’re getting rich. To fill labour gaps countries could open more doors to migrants. (Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, Devonshire Place, University of Toronto) 20181210

Distillery District
Distillery District: Crowds @TOXmasMkt Wednesday night 8:30pm @DistilleryTO. Lineups at poutine shack, couples taking selfies. Many young adults, a few children at attractions. Not shopping, just cycling through. (Distillery District, Mill Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20181212

 CSI Annex
CSI Annex: Holiday smackdown @csiTO with panel judging the best in a wide variety of cookie styles. Lively crowd, with volume of chatter rising to crescendo with the cocktail competition. Met other members coming from across the three CSI offices across the city. (CSI Annex, Bathurst Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20181213

Asian Legend Dundas
Asian Legend Dundas: Casual seasonal dinner for #DesignWithDialogue #SystemsThinkingOntario #UnifyToronto core organizing group, with regrets from those escaping the shortening winter days. More formal meeting will be held in January, yet some cross-group direction has been navigated. (Asian Legend, Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20181214

Grand Lake Cuisine
Grand Lake Cuisine: Dinner with family flying in all over North America, as a celebration for one who is no longer with us. Younger generation continuing ties, despite the distance. (Grand Lake Chinese Cuisine, Kennedy Road, Markham, Ontario) 20181219

 Grand Lake Cuisine
Grand Lake Cuisine: Dinner of elders, on evening before final celebration of one not with us. Having family together in times of change, even briefly, interrupts our lives to remember what is important. (Grand Lake Chinese Cuisine, Kennedy Road, Markham, Ontario) 20181219

Mythology Diner
Mythology Diner: Family lunch early for both my birthday and for Christmas, because sons will be on a plane tomorrow to spend holidays with my sister’s family. Vegan cross-sampling across Filet O’Fish; Philly; Reubenator; Bacon Double Cheeseburger; Caesar Salad; Cream of Spinach Soup; Poutine; Shakes in Peppermint ChocoChip, Lemoney Meringue, Strawberry; Sweet Tart Pie. Dietary indulgence led to food coma for all. (Mythology Diner, Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20181222

 Olga Korper Gallery
Olga Korper Gallery: Family playing with steel letterforms of #RustGarden by @DonovanSiegel @OlgaKorper. Search for specific letters amongst the 700,000+ to form words on the bench isn’t as quick as one might initially think. (Olga Korper Gallery, Morrow Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20181222

Chinese Heritage Society of Canada
Chinese Heritage Society of Canada: Welcomed into study group by I Ching master Benfeng Zhu. Lessons are practically held in Mandarin Chinese, so aided by bilingual learners to appreciate throwing of coins, sketching hexagrams, and interpreting changes. My reading of multiple books translated into English, plus smartphone apps, have gotten me beyond beginner’s level. Deeper insight into the underlying five elements theory, and its relation to lunar calendar, will require more scholarly inquiry. The group clubhouse, active for one year, overlooks a pedestrian bridge over a small stream feeding into Petticoat Creek. (Chinese Heritage Society of Canada, Kingston Road, Pickering, Ontario) 20181224

Allen Gardens
Allen Gardens: Turtle climbing on the back of another for a better view, by the waterwheel. Municipal greenhouse is true to posted schedule of opening 365 days each year. Couples day, preceded by lunch out, followed by movie. (Allen Gardens, Gerrard Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20181225

 Toronto Eaton Centre
Toronto Eaton Centre: Busy crowds on Boxing Day in Canada’s most popular tourist destination. Looking at warm gloves, even half-price seemed too rich for my current lifestyle. While I often pass by intersection to this shopping mall, I now recall that I haven’t been inside or bought anything in many years. (CF Toronto Eaton Centre, Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20181226

 Toronto Reference Library
Toronto Reference Library: Sometimes the Dewey Decimal System works better than web search on the Internet. Exploring wu xing (five elements or five agents) theory, on second floor in Chinese philosophy, then third floor in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Successfully found The Philosophical Foundations of Classical Chinese Medicine, 2017 by Keekok Lee from Manchester University. (Toronto Reference Library, Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20181228

 Nathan Phillips Square
Nathan Phillips Square: Rink is cleared of skaters for 13 minutes, open for midday resurfacing with the Zamboni. Obedient crowds left the ice within a minute of guards blowing whistles and an announcement over the loudspeaker. Expect an even larger mob approaching midnight, as entertainers on the stage counts down to the new year. (Nathan Phillips Square, Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20181231

2018/10 Moments October 2018

October had more bicycling cross-town as fall temperatures declined, plus a 6-day trip to Portland Oregon for pattern language conferences.
Toronto, Ontario; Portland, Oregon; Markham, Ontario

CSI 192
CSI 192: At Climate Ventures space @csiTO for afternoon meeting. Discussed programs, research, potential peer circle topics. Open to new ideas for the new cohort. I’m thinking that starting small may work better for emerging methods. (Centre for Social Innovation, 192 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20181004

Harbourfront Centre
Harbourfront Centre: Finnish style in Mervi Haapakoski (2018) Untitled hot-sculpted glass and driftwood stands out in Nordic Glass displays. Reminds me that this is the first calendar year in more than a decade when I haven’t been in Helsinki. Exhibit reminisces on Orrefors, Iitala and Kosta Boda mid-20th century. Poignant that the glass artist originally at Taik moved to Canada, and recently to Cape Breton. (Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, Ontario) 20181005

Thanksgiving dinner
Thanksgiving dinner: Opening home to extended family and friends, for a non-turkey menu. Main course of Chinese beef stew, plus vegan mushrooms with beancurd sticks (foo jook), gai lan (broccoli), fuzzy melon (dit gwa) soup, beet-carrot salad. Vegan pumpkin pie and coconut milk ice cream to accommodate dietary restrictions. Of all attendees, I was the one who liked turkey most, before I gave up meat. (Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20181007

Old Vic
Old Vic: Thanksgiving Day @VicCollege_UofT with some graduate students of History and Philosophy for Science and Technology in the office, late afternoon. Front door to building was locked. Scooped nephew up to bike downtown for jazz and turkey dinner. (Victoria College, University of Toronto, Charles Street, Toronto, Ontario 20181008

Design with Dialogue
Design with Dialogue: Journeys to Systems Change session led by @redesign, sketched by @playthink @dwdTO. Prereading based on report on @si_exchange meeting at Wasan Island in June. (Lambert Lounge, OCADU, McCaul Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20181010

Matty Eckler Rec Centre
Matty Eckler Rec Centre: Cast ballot in advance poll for municipal election. Second of four days, before official voting day in 11 days. Convinced I’m not going to change my mind, no line-up and three marks on a long sheet of paper took 2 minutes. (Matty Eckler Recreation Centre, Gerrard Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20181011

University College
University College: Not usual West Hall for @UCBookSale, as major renovation blocks the way to many rooms. Selected a few systems books that are hard to find. Slightly disconcerted to find an edition inscribed from one researcher to another, both whom I’ve known and are no longer with us. (Laidlaw Library, University College, University of Toronto, Ontario) 20181012

HackLabTO
HackLabTO: Remote @HackLabTO celebration of @longnow 50th anniversary of Whole Earth Catalog, @MrEricBoyd served homemade chocolate cake. Comparing August 1972 edition of The Last Whole Earth Catalog with the 1986 Ten Years of Coevolution Quarterly, with 2013 Cool Tools, and with 2006 World Changing. (HackLabTO, Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20181013

Sony Centre
Sony Centre: Internet of Drones camera hovering over model field #IBMInnovate, displayed on large screen. Catching up on evolving technologies, found a few familiar faces I haven’t seen in a while. (Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Front Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20181018

Seeley Hall
Seeley Hall: Second day alumni book sale @Trinity_College busy at midday, line up to check out. Recognized some of the books from the five boxes donated earlier in the year. Picked up some volumes not readily available from the library, trying to not fill up our basement. (Seeley Hall, Trinity College, Hoskin Avenue, University of Toronto, Ontario) 20181019

CSI 192
CSI 192: First Climate Ventures peer circle on Systems Thinking @csiTO. Sketching on flipchart sheet as a reference artifact to keep track of conversation on the complex versus the complicated. Informal meeting was scheduled on short notice, we’ll try to meet Monday afternoons every three weeks. (Centre for Social Innovation, 192 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20181022

Portland International Airport
Portland International Airport: MAX light rail train to Portland city center from airport is a low-stress 30-minute ride through industrial parks and along freeway. Fare is economical, and staff is friendly. Major turning loop at Gateway NE 99th Transit Center has a theme park feel. (Portland International Airport, Portland, Oregon) 20181024

PUARL - University of Oregon
PUARL – University of Oregon: Gamemaster @chrisimweb @PLoPcon leads participants in a chair-switching exercise. Most of the first full day has been focused in four parallel writing groups, thinking together in smaller circles. Conference is intimate and relaxed. (Portland Urban Architecture Research Lab, University or Oregon, NW Couch Street, Portland, Oregon) 20181024

PLoP 2018
PLoP 2018: Morning team-building exercise @PLoPCon of balancing a tennis ball with each only lending a fingertip, to move together without dropping, towards the door. in-person experiences with colleagues enable learning more than the purely rational review of pattern languages in writer’s circles later. (Pattern Languages of Programs, University of Oregon, Couch Street NW, Portland, Oregon). 20181025

PLoP 2018
PLoP 2018: Afternoon energizing dance led by @MaryLynnManns @PLoPCon to wake up attendees expending mental energy. Catering of snacks has been excellent, so opportunities to physically burn calories are welcomes. (Pattern Languages of Programs, University of Oregon, Couch Street NW, Portland, Oregon) 20181025

PLoP 2018
PLoP 2018: Focus group @PLoPCon on A Pattern Language Canvas for Real Time Innovation led by Wolfgang Stark from U. Duisburg-Essen. Seeking feedback on pattern language in cards in beta, translated into English from German. (Pattern Languages of Programs, University of Oregon, NW Couch Street, Portland, Oregon) 20181025

PLoP 2018
PLoP 2018: Traditional closing ceremony @PLoPCon, tossing ball of yarn to connect to other attendees remembered in the meeting. After the threads have fully unravelled, the web is tossed in the parachute. (Pattern Languages of Programs conference, University of Oregon, NW Couch Street, Portland, Oregon) 20181026

PUARL 2018
PUARL 2018: Plenary @wardcunningham, Yodan Rofe and @michaelwmehaffy on “A Pattern Language for Rapid Urbanization: Launching a Digital Pattern Language Repository”. After taking turns at podium, received questions from the audience. (Portland Urban Architecture Research Lab International Conference, NW Couch Street, Portland, Oregon) 20181026

PUARL 2018
PUARL 2018: Fishbowl panel on The Future of Pattern Language moderated by Wolfgang Stark, initially with Hajo Neis, Yohan Rode, Susan Ingham and Richard Sickinger. (Portland Urban Architecture Research Lab International Conference, NW Couch Street, Portland, Oregon) 20181027

Suwannaphum Thai
Suwannaphum Thai: Dinner meeting with @takashiiba, Wolfgang Stark and Richard Sickinger to discuss Purplsoc 2019, one year away. We’re all attending PUARL, that alternates pattern language meetings in years and continents. None of us getting to see much of the town, with the day packed with plenaries and workshops. (Suwannaphum Thai, SW Pine Street, Portland, Oregon) 20181027

PUARL 2018
PUARL 2018: Closing fishbowl review of conference, starting with the youngest at the meeting. Generally positive response, some disappointment at small crossover to PUARL from PLoP attendees. Finishing up near 5pm on a Sunday afternoon, those departing for earlier flights were forgiven. (Portland Urban Architecture Research Lab International Conference, NW Couch Street, Portland, Oregon) 20181028

Pioneer Courthouse Square
Pioneer Courthouse Square: Signpost citing distances includes some destinations en route home via air flights. Rainy Sunday dusk walk from U. Oregon on the north, into the city center at south revealed wide streets with light traffic and few pedestrians. (Pioneer Courtyard Square, SW 6th Avenue, Portland, Oregon) 20181028

YVR
YVR: Direct shuttle buses from U.S. arrivals immigration to domestic Canadian gates removes prior anxieties of racing across the YVR terminal, and having to go through x-ray security a second time. A human guide giving directions is welcomed, but an exterior route outside the terminal could be chilly in winter. This expediting suggests the terminal layout might not have been as well done as originally thought. (Vancouver International Airport, British Columbia) 20181029

CASCON
CASCON: Qubits #casconquantum by @jessicapointing explained with two-sided donuts that flip. Applications of exponential complexity that are computationally hard in binary von Neumann architecture may be tractably linear with quantum computing. Today’s quantum hardware is still at the state where vacuum tubes were in the 1950s, we might expect coevolving knowledge development in coming decades. (CASCON, 28th Annual International Conference on Computer Science and Software Engineering, Hilton Suites, Markham) 20181030

CASCON
CASCON: iCity workshop #cascon with Jesse Coleman @TO_Transport + Judy Farvolden @UofTTRI, with @CodeZebra moderating. Analytics and visualization in progress with the King Street Transit Pilot, towards end of collecting data to enable evidence-based decision-making at City Hall. (CASCON, 28th Annual International Conference on Computer Science and Software Engineering, Hilton Suites, Markham) 20181031

Highland Farms
Highland Farms: Ontario-grown Flemish Beauty pears in abundance, later in October than I expected. Local grocery chain is an autumn destination for a Proustian memory of the tree at my grandfather’s house in the 1960s, at the southeast corner of Beverley Street and Cecil Street. I picked pears of this variety in the late 1970s when I was an undergraduate student at UToronto, but the City removed the tree in the early 1980s. (Highland Farms, Ellesmere Road, Scarborough, Ontario) 20181031
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