“Travellers venture forth because they want to experience a place, not just see it.”
In Far & Away, Andrew Solomon collects his essays and reporting from seven continents and 24 countries, over the period of 25 years. He tends to travel to countries when they are going through dramatic change, upheaval, or modernization.
Solomon visits South Africa after apartheid, Russia before and after the breakup of the USSR, China over the period of a decade, Rio in the years leading up the Olympics, Mongolia as nomads try to keep their way of life, and Myanmar after limited democratic elections.
We all have those days – days when we dread going into work. But what would happen if work actually went away? That’s the topic of a recent article from the Atlantic: A World Without Work.
It’s a bit of a fear-mongering piece mixed with some thoughtful commentary on technological progress:
What does the “end of work” mean, exactly? It does not mean the imminence of total unemployment, nor is the United States remotely likely to face, say, 30 or 50 percent unemployment within the next decade. Rather, technology could exert a slow but continual downward pressure on the value and availability of work—that is, on wages and on the share of prime-age workers with full-time jobs. Eventually, by degrees, that could create a new normal, where the expectation that work will be a central feature of adult life dissipates for a significant portion of society.
I’ve had a strange, but specific bucket list item for a few years: read all the books for Canada Reads, and follow along during the debates.
This year, the five books are:
I’m a big fan of the Design Explosions series, and the latest one doesn’t disappoint.
The focus is on designing the mobile apps for the Microsoft Office core suite: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Part of me wants to curl up in the fetal position thinking about leading that job – these guys are brave souls!
I highly recommend taking the time to read this article if you work on a product team, no matter what role you play.
I struggle with schedules. It feels good to plan a daily schedule, but for me, it quickly falls apart in reality. I start to resent the structure after a while, and feel hostage to it. I don’t want to get up precisely at the same time everyday! What if I need a nap? What if I want to go for a long walk because it’s sunny today?
Note: This is a political post. I have tried to make this post as non-partisan as possible. Full disclosure: I volunteer with the Liberal Party of Canada.
Are you sick of this federal election yet?
It’s finally here: Election Day! The campaign was officially 78 days. To put it in perspective: I was wearing t-shirts and sandals in the sun when this started, and I wore a winter coat today.
This election felt more important than past ones to me. Maybe because I’m older, I pay more taxes, and I decided to make Canada my home for the long-term. But I think it’s more than that.
Aziz Ansari is a comedian and actor and he’s just written his first book, Modern Romance. I was about to dismiss it as another off-the-cuff, breezy autobiography that comedians tend to write – but it’s not that at all! It’s a real book. Based on research, and a little bit of science in the humanities. Crazy!
I don’t come from a political background or family, but I’m participating in the upcoming Canadian election like never before. I’m volunteering for a political party (full disclosure: Liberals), I’m obsessively researching MPs and their records, and I’m even reading books about the state of Canadian politics.
What do you consider your true work?
The answer for me is simple and elusive: Writing. Writing is my true work.
Side note: Why am I writing about this? I’m in a writing rut, so I’m doing a self-directed course where I respond to various writing prompts. The following is the personal draft of my response.
A couple years ago I saw Ayaan Hirsi Ali in The Unbelievers. She was well spoken in this documentary about science and reason, and I was intrigued by the circumstances that led her to reject her religion, Islam. I recently finished her first autobiography Infidel where she explores this topic in-depth.