A Suggested Bid for Amazon HQ2

“My offer is this….nothing.”

Ever since Amazon.com announced that it was searching for a location for its “second headquarters,“ cities across North America have been falling over each other trying to make a case for their own sites.  In Canada, representatives from Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Waterloo, Montreal and Halifax have all said publicly that they should be considered, and committed to submitting a “bid” for the privilege of hosting a company that promises tens of thousands of jobs, a new focus for technology-driven business, and bragging rights associated with hosting one of the world’s most valuable companies.

To those developing lucrative packages with possible tax holidays, direct incentives, subsidies, and other contributions, I suggest that they instead offer the Michael Corleone package…nothing. Continue reading “A Suggested Bid for Amazon HQ2”

The Art of Political Lying

“The superiority of his genius consists in nothing else but an inexhaustible fund of political lies, which he plentifully distributes every minute he speaks, and by an unparalleled generosity forgets, and consequently contradicts, the next half hour. He never yet considered whether any proposition were true or false, but whether it were convenient for the present minute or company to affirm or deny it…”

Hands up – who thinks this refers to one Donald J. Trump? Continue reading “The Art of Political Lying”

Donald Trump, Loser.

Donald Trump likes to characterize people and institutions using simple repeatable epithets that end up sticking like glue – Crooked Hillary, Little Marco, Lyin’ Ted, Failing New York Times, Weak Jeb, Fake CNN, and now Leaker Comey.  These simple insults resonate.

In search of a simple tag to put on Donald Trump, I Iooked at the ones already in play – bully, misogynist, blowhard, ignorant,  incompetent, etc.  None really captures The Donald fully and completely.  He can be any and/or all of the above at any given time.  I came to realize that there is, however, one term that does describe the 45th President simply and accurately – one that he himself has used when he wants to completely dismiss an adversary.  The word is “loser”.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that Donald Trump is a Loser.  With a capital “L”. Continue reading “Donald Trump, Loser.”

The IKEA Effect: Why Going Digital May Not Be All It’s Cracked Up To Be

A few years ago police in Sweden were called to what they were told was a domestic disturbance.  Neighbours had heard all sorts of banging, yelling, screaming, swearing and crying coming from a house where a couple lived with their young son, and feared the worst. 

The police did not walk into a domestic disturbance; rather, what they found was that the couple had merely been trying to assemble a piece of IKEA furniture, and had run into some difficulty.  Hence the banging, the yelling and the swearing.  The young child was frightened by all the commotion, and started crying and screaming. 

That is the Ikea Effect. 

Well, actually it isn’t.  Continue reading “The IKEA Effect: Why Going Digital May Not Be All It’s Cracked Up To Be”

Responding to Climate Science Skeptics: A Letter to Scott Adams

Dear Scott:

While you’ve made your reputation as an internationally-renowned cartoonist, whose Dilbert characters have entertained millions (including me) over more than 25 years, you’ve now thrown your voice into the discussion about anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) climate change.  It’s not going well.  Your positions seem to be ever-changing, eager to latch onto red herrings, politically-driven arguments, and “alternative facts.”  Scott Adams’ Blog now appears to reflect skepticism of the science and the scientists’ ability to form conclusions based on the science – so much so that the blogs are now being quoted by true climate science deniers to support their arguments.   I’m writing this to try and get you back on track, out of the clutches of a very powerful, very manipulative climate science denial industry. And, to have you focus more on Dilbert and Wally.

Let’s recap.  Continue reading “Responding to Climate Science Skeptics: A Letter to Scott Adams”

Social Wellness and e-commerce – Lament for a Local Hero

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“We can do all of this by phone and telex”

 In the 1983 film Local Hero, Mac (Macintyre) was sent to Scotland to buy a village, so that his employer, a global oil and gas company, could build an oil refinery on the ridiculously picturesque Scottish coastline.  Instead, Mac fell in love with the village, the scenery, the people, the northern night skies and the lifestyle of the place.  He couldn’t complete the deal as originally planned, and returned to Houston.  But, the final scene suggests that he hadn’t really left the town of Ferness.

The movie didn’t make much of an impact at the box office, but its warmth, charm, and subtle messages of empathy and understanding make it a continuing favourite of many.  Al Gore apparently named Local Hero as his favourite movie, perhaps because of its fit within a narrative of environmental stewardship (the oil refinery gave way to a marine institute).    The real charm of Local Hero, however, is in its gentle presentation of a narrative whereby Mac realizes that there is much more to life than his Porsche 930, his watch alerting him to conference calls, and an apartment full of high-end quadrophonic audio equipment (the 80s, remember?).  The movie presents a storyline whereby Mac starts mixing directly with the locals, and emerges far better for the experience.  In a time when we seem to be using technology to reduce and even eliminate human contact from our daily lives, it’s a theme worth revisiting.     Continue reading “Social Wellness and e-commerce – Lament for a Local Hero”

Intolerance and Free Speech — Trump, Breitbart, and Milo

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“We will not allow a beachhead of intolerance to spread in our nation.”

So said Donald Trump on February 2, 2017 to a public audience at the National Prayer Breakfast.

Mr. Trump, cut the crap. There is already a well-established, well-fortified beachhead of intolerance in your nation — it has been supported, encouraged, and rewarded by you and the people you have hired to develop and implement your agenda. Intolerance? It starts at the White House. Continue reading “Intolerance and Free Speech — Trump, Breitbart, and Milo”