Weekly Musings

Thoughts about what's caught my interest in the last seven days

Welcome to this edition of Weekly Musings, where each week I share some thoughts about what's caught my interest in the last seven days.

Last week, I was out walking with my daughter and she did something she hasn't done in a while: dragged me into a CD store, this one in a local shopping arcade. The half hour or so that we spent browsing sparked the idea for this week's musing, which I hope you enjoy.

On Discovering New Music

When I was a teenager in Toronto back in the early 1980s (yes, I am that old!), a friend and had a particular monthly ritual. The second Saturday of every month, we'd gather up what cash we'd been able to scrape together, meet at the nearest streetcar stop, and hop on the 505 car.

A 20 minute or so ride later and we were at the corner of Yonge and Dundas Streets. A short walk north found us outside 347 Yonge Street: the home of Sam the Record Man.

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Welcome to this edition of Weekly Musings, where I share some thoughts about what's caught my interest recently.

Like many of you, I've entered into something of a new year's rush when it comes to work. So much so that I'm getting a bit worried that I'm going to fall back into some detrimental work habits. Which is the basis for this musing.

On Living Life at 1,000 mph

I mention British writer Warren Ellis quite often. Partly because I enjoy much of what he pens. Partly because many of his ideas about certain subjects mesh with my my own ideas on those subjects.

In a recent post on his blog MORNING, COMPUTER, Ellis discussed how his planned start to 2019 got derailed. By what? By work.

In that post, Ellis noted something that his manager told him:

it’s 1000mph or nothing at all

When I read that, I felt a chill. Not of excitement, but of dread.

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Welcome to this edition of Weekly Musings, where I share some thoughts about what's caught my interest recently.

This musing was sparked by a friend's recent experience on a trip to Japan. In regaling me his tales, he brought back memories of my own sojourn to that country in the early 1990s. It just goes to show you that ideas are everywhere.

Let's get going, shall we?

On the Paper and Japan

A few weeks ago, a friend returned from his long-dreamed-of trip to Japan. For days, he was constantly raving about what many first-time visitors to the Land of the Rising Sun rave about: the crowds, the neon lights, the food, the proliferation of vending machines, the frequency and punctuality of the trains. All of that sort of thing, which I'm sure you've read and heard any number of times.

Yeah, I'm tired of hearing it too ...

He also noticed something else: the proliferation of stationery stores and the number of people using pen and paper. It was that observation that got me thinking about the seeming anachronism of paper and Japan.

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Welcome to this edition of Weekly Musings, where I share some thoughts about what's caught my interest recently.

This musing is related to what you're doing now. You'll understand in a moment ...

Let's get going, shall we?

On Slow Reading

So much to read. So little time in which to read it.

That’s how it feels, doesn’t it? There’s so much writing out there pulling at our limited attention from so many directions. Books, articles, long-form essays, blog posts. Consciously or not, we often skim through all that material. Consciously or not, we don’t engage as deeply as we should or need to with what we’re reading.

Maybe it’s time to consider the connection we have, or should have, with what we’re reading.

Maybe it’s time to slow down.

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Welcome to the first edition of Weekly Musings, where I share some thoughts about what's caught my interest recently. The idea behind this space is to create something that's like a blog, but more influenced by the late Harlan Ellison's An Edge in My Voice essays.

If you haven't figured it out already, this is the mirror of my email newsletter, but without the some of the extras that subscribers occasionally receive. And if you want to read these essays before they hit the web, please consider subscribing.

I hope you enjoy what you read here.

Let's get going, shall we?

On New (Old) Ways of Communicating

Social media is dead to me.

It's not just that social media is a cesspool. It's not just because many of the major platforms are privacy and misinformation nightmares. Those are problems, and two that I don't want have to deal with.

Equally as important was that I wasn't as engaged as I once was (if I ever really was engaged) with social media. I wasn't getting much, if anything, out of it.

So, in December 2018 it was bye-bye Twitter. Now, I only have an account with Mastodon, but I don't interact with it much. I'm not sure if I'll keep it.

When I told a few people that I was planning to dump social media, a few asked me (in all seriousness) How are you going to stay informed? and How will you keep in touch with people?

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