Category Archives: Blog

Leadership

I was listening to Neal Katyal talk about the law and ethics as it relates to governmental leadership and something he said helped me clarify my own thoughts on leadership. I’m generally somewhat averse to the culture of management in North America for a range of reasons, but I’ve never been able to articulate it, except in rants about bad managers and the like.

His point (paraphrased and layered with my own opinion) was this: leadership is a position of trust and not a position of personal gain; when your actions as a leader become about what is in your own personal best interest and not about what is in the best interest of the group you lead or the organization you are part of, then you need to step down.

You should see your reward for being a good leader as the success of your organization and your burnished reputation as a leader. This might (and perhaps should) lead to things like promotions or pay increases, but those should not be your primary goals.

Migration to Debian 10 complete

The servers that host this website have been successfully migrated from Debian 9 to a fresh installation of Debian 10. As part of this migration quay.net now resolves to 99.79.1.85 and is no longer available on the old server, hal9000.

This upgrade means that the website now supports TLSv1.3 and a number of other improvements. If you come across any missing content or bugs, please let me know.

Asking all Canadians to vote on October 21, 2019

At the best of times politics can be complicated and there are a lot of reasons to avoid its discussion online these days!

The 43rd Canadian general election will be held on Monday, October 21, 2019. Elections Canada has a very good website dedicated to information on a variety of topics including how to ensure you are registered to vote, what sort of ID is required, and how you can go about casting your ballot.

Frustration with Ottawa’s seeming inability to govern in a unifying manner and the divisive nature of modern politics leads to at lot of less than ideal outcomes. This situation has had the effect of pushing people away from the process instead of engaging the public with the issues that face us in the 21st century. I’ve always felt that one of Canada’s strengths is that collectively we are pretty reasonable people even when the political class and populist politicians engage in pointless and self-serving grand standing. Broad public participation is one form of insurance that our representatives in Ottawa remain engaged in the hard work and compromise required to maintain peace, order, and good government in the immense country, of not insignificant complexity, that is our inheritance and charge.

With this view I ask that you consider voting on October 21st.

Sincerely,
Gabriel

NPR Throughline – The Forgotten War

I just listened to the recent NPR Throughline podcast called The Forgotten War (S1:E03).

It’s an excellent summary of North Korea’s geopolitical history and how it relates to today’s news. I don’t think there’s anything that I would call new (if you’re interested in the topic), but it’s an excellent introduction that presents a reasonably serious overview of the topic without being heavy handed or simply propaganda.

I’m going to listen to the other podcasts this week, but so far I’m impressed at their choices of topics and this first episode (for me, third episode overall).

I Love Brian May

Of course he doesn’t know it, but there’s nothing I’m aware of that this man has done that I don’t admire. Not only does he do things like this, or this but he’s also a published research astronomer.

If I had known this was a possible career path as a child, I have a feeling I might be doing something else these days!