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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

2017/11 Moments November 2017

Toronto, Ontario; Markham, Ontario; Scarborough, Ontario; Orillia, Ontario; Shanghai, PR China; Helsinki, Finland.
Toronto, Ontario; Markham, Ontario; Scarborough, Ontario; Orillia, Ontario; Shanghai, PR China; Helsinki, Finland.

Chinese Visa Center
Chinese Visa Center: Mural of historical figures and stories of China’s five thousand years of civilization includes: 1. Houyi, Shooting Suns; 2. Shennong, the Ancient Herbalist; … 5. Hua Tuo, the Ancient Divine Chinese Medical Practitioner; 6. Sun Wu, the Great Military Theorist; 7. Qu Yuan, the Famous Poet; … 11. Confucius, the Great Chinese Philosopher; … 17. Mulan, the Chinese Girl-warrior; 18. Genghis Khan, the Great Conqueror; 24 Marco Polo, and The Travels of Marco Polo; … 27. Koxinga, the National Hero. Waiting in queue to drop off visa application folder, wondering about the process of choosing the 27. (Chinese Visa Application Service Center, University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20171102

Cascon 2017
Cascon 2017: Clustering sticky notes in Strategic Foresight Workshop after discussions over lunch and ideation. After years of lecture layouts, ballroom is arranged with round tables to encourage sharing and capturing amongst participants. Many drawn away from collective activity towards posters at kiosks around the room, so maybe next time reducing options for distraction will lead to stronger inputs. (Cascon 2017, Hilton Suites, Warden Avenue, Markham, Ontario) 20171106

Cascon 2017
Cascon 2017: Presentation #cascon on Cognitive Blockchain @DonnaExplorer, IBM Fellow. Clear demonstrations of pilots on cross-border supply chain traceability, Kimberley Process Certification Scheme for diamonds, IBM Verifier scanner to validate sources, Walmart Food Safety provenance. Digest at https://ingbrief.wordpress.com/2017/11/07/2017-11-07-1015-donna-dillenberger-cognitive-blockchain-cascon/

Highland Farms
Highland Farms: Ontario grown Flemish Beauty pears on destination shopping, later in the season that I had expected. This heritage variety grows locally, not as popular as Barlett, Anjou or Bosc. Childhood memories of the tree by my grandparents’ house on the southeast corner of Beverley Street and Cecil Street in the 1960s, gone by the 1980s. I’m appreciative of a smaller grocery store that supports local growers. (Highland Farms, Ellesmere Road, Scarborough, Ontario) 20171107

Delicious Paradise Kitchen
Delicious Paradise Kitchen: Father’s choice for Chinese fast food lunch. When I saw the serving of rice pulled on the plate, I said “too much”, and the server put half back into the pot. Dad says one serving is enough to serve two seniors. (Delicious Paradise Kitchen, Silver Star Blvd., Scarborough, Ontario) 20171109

Port of Orillia
Port of Orillia: Off season for boat cruise on Lake Couchiching, on the Orillia waterfront. Quick business trip driving north on overcast early afternoon, followed by southbound trip starting before dusk and then ending in rainy dark. Radio reports subsequently declared winter snow, relatively early for the season. (Port of Orillia, Centennial Drive, Orillia, Ontario) 20171109

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