Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

Pre-op, and connections to nowhere

In the small window of time before leaving for Europe, I had the pre-op for my cataract surgery scheduled. Since this was the day before an international conference that I’ve been working on for months, it was a busy day.

I find the hospitals, like most public institutions in Canada, to be interesting reminders of citizenship. Generally, the health care professionals are more than capable. Public services are an equalizer. Priorities (e.g. emergencies) are mostly driven by need, rather than social status (i.e. money doesn’t usually help jump the queue). In the best demonstration of Max Weber’s machine bureaucracy , pretty well everyone gets the same level of care and treatment. It’s likely that in the perverse Canadian way, the more a person raises his or her voice, the more he or she will be flagged as someone annoying. (In either the American or French culture, it’s probably a way of “getting noticed”).

The pre-admission facility at St. Michael’s Hospital, from a business perspective, seems pretty well thought out. On the one hand, it provides efficient pre-op services. The patient stays in a little room. Then, a nurse comes to take a medical history, various technicians come through (e.g. the blood technician takes a sample), and a doctor does a physical exam. From a function of bedside manner, however, the facility also seems to be on the path towards reducing anxiety in the patient. There’s a standard video that is played. (I was entertained by the shots of not doing anything requiring motor control on the day of anaesthesia, which not only included driving cars, but also cutting vegetables in the kitchen!) The doctor answers any final questions that the patient may have. I suppose that this is a last opportunity to back out, if the patient has any second thoughts about elective surgery!

One personal downside of the medical system is, though, that western medicine doesn’t seem to recognize Chinese medicine. When I commented about my resting pulse changing from 84 to 60 in the past month, the doctor seemed to think that was normal. He said that a person’s pulse can change walking across the room. This feels a bit too much like denial of symptoms, and a potential blindness in a western philosophy of medicine.

The pre-op took 90 minutes, meaning that I was finished just in time to dial into a teleconference call. I’ve been taking the subway and bus to get to work, and getting on the subway would mean that I would miss much of the conference call. As a tactical decision, I confirmed with the subway fare collector that the College/Carlton/Gerrard streetcar runs to Main Street station on the Danforth line. From the Main Street station, it would be a few subway stops over to Warden, where I connect to the northbound bus. Thus, I could take the streetcar as a wending alternative to the subway, and continue to receive a mobile phone signal.

Thus, I got onto the Yonge Street subway at Queen, and went two stops north to College Street. I dialed into the conference call, and in 10 minutes, the streetcar pulled up. The right route … but a sign in the front said that the streetcar wasn’t following the prescribed route, and would turn south at Parliament and go across to Kingston Road and Victoria Park. Without more information, I decided that moving east was better than not moving at all, so I got on the streetcar.

It was a good idea to be on the conference call — there’s all sorts of minutiae that turns up the day before a conference starts. About 30 minutes later, I was at Kingston Road and Victoria Park. I got off. The streetcar went around a loop and returned westbound. I was still on the teleconference, but there’s no TTC service that connects at that point!

After walking around in circles for 10 minutes, I decided to take a taxi to a subway station. (The conference call went on for another 15 minutes after I got there!)

As a downtowner, we make jokes about being in Scarberia (i.e. the depths of Scarborough), but I usually don’t take the TTC there. This is probably more than I wanted to know about the transit system in Toronto.

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • RSS on Coevolving

    • What Systems Thinkers Can Learn From Historical Synthesis | Dr. Michael Bonner | Systems Thinking Ontario 2023-11-13
      For the November 2023 Systems Thinking Ontario session, historian and policy advisor Dr. Michael Bonner was invited for an interview by Zaid Khan.  In organizing the sessions, we’re trying to avoid the trap of systems thinking becoming a discipline, through learning with a sweeping-in process. The session opened on a map of The Sassanid Empire […]
    • The Sweep-In Process of Systems Science (Churchman)
      It the systems sciences are an open system, then learning more and more about systems of interest are foundational.  This was called a sweep-in process by C. West Churchman, in the heritage of Edgar A. Singer. Jr.  A concise definition is found in the entry on “Experimentalism” in the International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics: […]
    • Explaining Systems Changes Learning | RSD12 | 2023-10-14
      For the Relating Systems and Design RSD12 symposium on October 14, 2023, members of the Explainers subgroup of the Systems Changes Learning Circle conducted an in-person workshop on “Explaining Systems Changes Learning: Metaphors and translations” at OCADU in Toronto. RSD12 included both in-person sessions and online sessions. In the planning phase for the symposium, our […]
    • Anticipatory Systems, Evolution, and Extinction Cascades | Judith Rosen | ST-ON 2023-10-16
      Judith Rosen agreed to give an online presentation for the Systems Thinking Ontario meeting in October 2023, after we converted her in-person meeting at OCADU in August into a discussion circle.  Channelling the anticipatory systems approach of her father, mathematical biologist Robert Rosen, Judith has been extended those ideas in her own continuing observation of […]
    • Appreciating systems changes via multiparadigm inquiry (SRBS)
      An article related to the ISSS plenary talk of July 2022 has now passed the peer review process, and is published in early view for Systems Research and Behavioral Science.  It should shortly be printed in the November issue of SRBS that serves as the General Systems Yearbook. Update on Nov. 22, 2023: A full-text, […]
    • Sustainable Technology and the Entropy Argument | Mohammed Badrah, Kelly Okamura, David Hawk | Systems Thinking Ontario 2023-09-11
      In a return to original Systems Thinking Ontario format, we reviewed an (old) systems thinking paper from 1998. Mohammed Badrah served as reviewer. Kelly Okamura was the discussant. The author, David Hawk, was available during the discussion period for extended knowledge. As compared to prior Systems Thinking Ontario sessions with the word “entropy” in the […]
  • RSS on Media Queue

    • 2021/06/17 Keekok Lee | Philosophy of Chinese Medicine 2
      Following the first day lecture on Philosophy of Chinese Medicine 1 for the Global University for Sustainability, Keekok Lee continued on a second day on some topics: * Anatomy as structure; physiology as function (and process); * Process ontology, and thing ontology; * Qi ju as qi-in-concentrating mode, and qi san as qi-in-dissipsating mode; and […]
    • 2021/06/16 Keekok Lee | Philosophy of Chinese Medicine 1
      The philosophy of science underlying Classical Chinese Medicine, in this lecture by Keekok Lee, provides insights into ways in which systems change may be approached, in a process ontology in contrast to the thing ontology underlying Western BioMedicine. Read more ›
    • 2021/02/02 To Understand This Era, You Need to Think in Systems | Zeynep Tufekci with Ezra Klein | New York Times
      In conversation, @zeynep with @ezraklein reveal authentic #SystemsThinking in (i) appreciating that “science” is constructed by human collectives, (ii) the west orients towards individual outcomes rather than population levels; and (iii) there’s an over-emphasis on problems of the moment, and…Read more ›
    • 2019/04/09 Art as a discipline of inquiry | Tim Ingold (web video)
      In the question-answer period after the lecture, #TimIngold proposes art as a discipline of inquiry, rather than ethnography. This refers to his thinking On Human Correspondence. — begin paste — [75m26s question] I am curious to know what art, or…Read more ›
    • 2019/10/16 | “Bubbles, Golden Ages, and Tech Revolutions” | Carlota Perez
      How might our society show value for the long term, over the short term? Could we think about taxation over time, asks @carlotaprzperez in an interview: 92% for 1 day; 80% within 1 month; 50%-60% tax for 1 year; zero tax for 10 years.Read more ›
    • 2020/07/13 “Making Growing Thinking” |Tim Ingold (web video)
      For the @ArchFoundation, #TimIngold distinguishes outcome-oriented making from process-oriented growing, revisiting #MartinHeidegger “Building Dwelling Thinking”. Organisms are made; artefacts grow. The distinction seems obvious, until you stop to ask what assumptions it contains, about the inside and outside of things…Read more ›
  • RSS on Ing Brief

    • Introduction, “Systems Thinking: Selected Readings, volume 2”, edited by F. E. Emery (1981)
      The selection of readings in the “Introduction” to Systems Thinking: Selected Readings, volume 2, Penguin (1981), edited by Fred E. Emery, reflects a turn from 1969 when a general systems theory was more fully entertained, towards an urgency towards changes in the world that were present in 1981. Systems thinking was again emphasized in contrast […]
    • Introduction, “Systems Thinking: Selected Readings”, edited by F. E. Emery (1969)
      In reviewing the original introduction for Systems Thinking: Selected Readings in the 1969 Penguin paperback, there’s a few threads that I only recognize, many years later. The tables of contents (disambiguating various editions) were previously listed as 1969, 1981 Emery, System Thinking: Selected Readings. — begin paste — Introduction In the selection of papers for this […]
    • Concerns with the way systems thinking is used in evaluation | Michael C. Jackson, OBE | 2023-02-27
      In a recording of the debate between Michael Quinn Patton and Michael C. Jackson on “Systems Concepts in Evaluation”, Patton referenced four concepts published in the “Principles for effective use of systems thinking in evaluation” (2018) by the Systems in Evaluation Topical Interest Group (SETIG) of the American Evaluation Society. The four concepts are: (i) […]
    • Quality Criteria for Action Research | Herr, Anderson (2015)
      How might the quality of an action research initiative be evaluated? — begin paste — We have linked our five validity criteria (outcome, process, democratic, catalytic, and dialogic) to the goals of action research. Most traditions of action research agree on the following goals: (a) the generation of new knowledge, (b) the achievement of action-oriented […]
    • Western Union and the canton of Ticino, Switzerland
      After 90 minutes on phone and online chat with WesternUnion, the existence of the canton of Ticino in Switzerland is denied, so I can’t send money from Canada. TicinoTurismo should be unhappy. The IT developers at Western Union should be dissatisfied that customer support agents aren’t sending them legitimate bug reports I initially tried the […]
    • Aesthetics | Encyclopaedia Britannica | 15 edition
      Stephen C. Pepper was a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, on the entry for Aesthetics.
  • Meta

  • Translate

  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
    Theme modified from DevDmBootstrap4 by Danny Machal