I have been thinking about friends, death and goals this past week, albeit not necessarily in that order. Our friend Jeremy passed away two weeks ago, a sudden death. An aortic aneurysm. One of those potentially “here one minute, gone the next” type medical events that can occur with no warning whatsoever. Inexplicable. It happened during the night while he was asleep. And today, June 24th, would have been his 50th birthday. This is not a pseudo eulogy or tribute to Jeremy, his story is not my story to tell, nor even attempt. I can only ever tell my story, and here are some of my thoughts and experiences from the last two weeks.
I don’t feel like I knew Jeremy as well as I should have or would have liked. I have been close friends with his wife for over 20 years, we met through work, I took a course from her father. » Read the rest
I am an analytical introvert by nature, and over the last few years, I have let myself become somewhat socially isolated, partly by choice, partly by laziness, partly by circumstance. The pandemic, of course, exacerbates that condition. Even without it, though, I tend not to reach out to people to go out and do things. I do my own thing, often online, or with my family. It’s “easy” to do nothing to arrange social events when you’re an analytical introvert. It’s my default mode.
With the impact of Covid, I’ve been reading a few posts online about social connectivity, and how for many people, their network has changed over the years as they aged. At one point, it was likely their class list at school. Or a sports team they were on. Maybe later it was an address book, or perhaps an email list or contact list. But in the same vein that Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook and saw it expand, many people use their social media contacts as their “network” for friends. » Read the rest
I frequently write about my goals, but it doesn’t take long before a simple “goals” category starts to attract related posts as a dumping ground or “catch-all”. When I started posting about goals in earnest, back in about 2011, my initial thought was that I was really wanting to convey my “goals for the year”. That year, I created a layout that started with the four quadrants from the Insights Discovery personality profile model, and built upon it as my model. I developed it as my “go-forward” model, and thought it would become enduring, so I didn’t add the year.
In 2012, I updated the design, simplified the layers within the quadrants, and then added detailed tables to track my progress in multiple sub-categories, plus a bucket list.
In 2013, I combined the two previous designs a bit, thought it would be a regular way to display my to-do list (spoiler alert: it wasn’t!), » Read the rest
The Guardian published a review of an interesting-sounding book, and I thought I would share. The review itself isn’t anything special, I confess, but the book sounds good. It’s not available on Amazon Canada yet, but it appears to be an overview of the history of atheism and all its different forms.
The argument against the first five forms of atheism discussed in this book will be familiar to readers of Gray’s excoriating reviews and the greatest interest for some will lie in his discussion of the two final forms. One is entitled “Atheism without progress”, that is, without any assumption that human beings can be changed for the better…The final chapter, “The atheism of silence”, contains a surprise. It includes a discussion of a nearly forgotten author of a four-volume history of atheism, Fritz Mauthner, who argued for what he called “a godless mysticism”. Gray argues that there is in the end an affinity between the mystical element in Christianity, which stresses that God is beyond words and incomprehensible, and this form of atheism.
Firefox has this little feature when you pull up its built-in home page with a search engine box — just below the box is your recently viewed webpages, nothing unusual there, but between the search and history are three articles that Firefox thinks might be of interest to you. I have no idea if they are actually using an algorithm of the web history and past searches, or just curating interesting stories, but I often find one or more of the stories worthy of clicking. I figured initially that it was just clickbait, but most of the time, when I’ve actually clicked, the article has been worth the click.
Take for instance one from today. The article is written by a philosophy professor and revolves around anxiety. It starts with some powerful events — the death of his parents — that are not powerful in terms of trauma but in their normalcy. » Read the rest