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Scripturient: The bucket list, kicked

Nowadays the “bucket list” concept has become a wildly popular cultural meme, thanks to the movie of the same name. Subsequent marketing of the idea to millennials has proven a successful means to derive them of their income, with which they seem eager to part. I don’t like the concept. The list, I mean, not . . . → Read More: Scripturient: The bucket list, kicked

Scripturient: Server upgrade coming

Sometime in the next two weeks, I will be amalgamating servers for the several sites I manage and conflating them onto one, new and (I hope) faster and more efficient server. There may be some downtime while the files and databases migrate, like virtual birds, to their new home. I hope that the digital gods . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Server upgrade coming

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Facebook, Likes and Big Data

I suppose you could call it ironic. There was a story from a ‘friend’ on my Facebook news feed today called “Quitting the Like” all about escaping Facebook’s data collection processes by simply not “liking” items or comments you see. Right below this ostensibly anti-Facebook story were three related links produced by one of the . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Facebook, Likes and Big Data

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: No Data Are Better Than Bad Data

The full name of an article I read today is, “The Fallacy of Online Surveys: No Data Are Better Than Bad Data.” It’s from 2010 and very good. You can find it on the Responsive Management website. It makes some key points about the invalidity of online surveys: For a study to be unbiased, every . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: No Data Are Better Than Bad Data

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Social media and social dialogue

A recent poll done by Pew Research reiterated what I’ve been saying for the past two years: social media (SM) doesn’t necessary facilitate social debate and in fact may be stifling it. Discussion on many SM platforms tends to reinforce existing beliefs because in general only those who feel their beliefs are shared by their . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Social media and social dialogue

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Crossing the line

There’s a story on ipolitics that in part echoes my own thoughts about media and responsibility. Yet the author draws different conclusions than I believe I would have, were I still in the media. It’s called “Paul Calandra and the tale of the naked senator” and it’s written by Paul Adams. Worth reading regardless of . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Crossing the line

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Six Rules for Politicians Using Social Media

This is an updated version of the talk I presented at the the eighth annual Municipal Communication Conference in Toronto, November 2013.   I use social media regularly and frequently. As a politician, that makes me either very brave or very stupid. But I’ve been doing this for the last 30 years, long before I . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Six Rules for Politicians Using Social Media

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: We have heading up for your net

I have to admit that I frequently read the spam comments WordPress traps for my moderation, and I often do so with a smile. The clumsy, crazy constructs, the awkward English, butchered punctuation and the twisted word use just make me laugh. Yes, like everyone else, I detest spam, and I quickly delete the comments . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: We have heading up for your net

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Anti-Intellectualism: The New Elitism

There’s a growing – and disturbing – trend in modern culture: anti-intellectual elitism. The dismissal of art, science, culture, philosophy, of rhetoric and debate, of literature and poetry, and their replacement by entertainment, spectacle, self-righteous self ignorance, and deliberate gullibility. These are usually followed by vituperative ridicule and angry caterwauling when anyone challenges the populist . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Anti-Intellectualism: The New Elitism

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Words, words, words

Writing before the arrival of the internet*, Bob Blackburn commented on the nature of exchange on then-prevalent BBS (Bulletin Board Systems), words that could as easily be written today about the internet: “…the BBS medium reveals not only a widespread inability to use English as a means of communication but also a widespread ignorance of . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Words, words, words

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Why do so few Canadians get a flu shot?

That’s the headline for a recent Toronto Star story. It suggests that as few as one third of Canadians get a flu vaccine, and in some place the number may be as low as 20 percent. This despite Ontario having the world’s first universal free flu shot program, introduced in 2000. The 2013-14 vaccine is . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Why do so few Canadians get a flu shot?

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The (sometimes violent) urge to write

As of this writing, I will have published 253 posts since I began this blog at the ending week of December, 2011. Two hundred and fifty three posts in 21 months. Just over one post every two-and-a-half days, on average. Plus 30 or so still in draft mode. Another half-dozen scribbled in word processing notes . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The (sometimes violent) urge to write

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Going, going, gone… from Hostpapa

I’ll be moving to a new server in the next week or so. That means there may be a downtime of several days until I get everything fixed and running properly on the new servers. I’ve tested everything and it seems okay, but… something always goes awry. For about the next two weeks, this blog . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Going, going, gone… from Hostpapa

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: WP theme experiments ongoing

With the latest update to WordPress (3.6) comes a new theme, Twenty Thirteen. I’ve activated it with the upgrade, and I like it so far, but I’m not 100% satisfied. I preferred the dimensions of the header image on the Twenty Eleven and Twenty Twelve themes. Proportionately they were more humanistic. The new header is . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: WP theme experiments ongoing

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Kill the Apostrophe? Rubbish! Keep it!

A site has popped up with one of the stupidest ideas about English I’ve read in the past decade or two. It’s called Kill the Apostrophe. Subtle. At first, I thought it was a joke, a spoof. After all, how can one realistically get rid of perhaps the most significant element of punctuation based on . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Kill the Apostrophe? Rubbish! Keep it!

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: The Decline in Media Credibility and Profitability

Last August the Pew research Center released the results of its latest study on how much the American public trusts the media. This has been part of an ongoing study since at least 2002, and ever since the first report, … Continue reading →

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: Not All Words Are Equal, or Used Equally

There’s an economic principle known as the rule of fungibility that states a commodity is equivalent to other units of the same commodity. For example, a litre of gasoline is the same commodity regardless of the brand or source. A … Continue reading →

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: What the Future Holds

In researching my latest book, I’ve been reading about predictions for the future: what will happen in technology, science, politics, government and medicine. It’s pretty fascinating what some see coming at us for the next 10 to 100 years. There … Continue reading →

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: Narrative and free agency in game design

As a former World of Warcraft player, I can attest to how compelling it is to play an immersive, massive, 3D role-playing game. Acting out scenarios in a fantasy world is more involving than merely reading a fantasy novel. You … Continue reading →

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: 10,000 words too many

Been working the last two-and-a-half months on my latest book for Municipal World. A bit of a challenge, actually – trying to combine marketing, branding, advertising, public relations and communications topics into one coherent yet succinct package has been difficult. … Continue reading →

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: The other conspiracy theories….

After writing about the nonsensical “chemtrail” conspiracy theory and its tin-foil-hat brigade believers, I amused myself by reading up on some of the other conspiracies-du-jour on the internet. And no, I don’t mean your garden-variety secret-mushroom-farm, PRA dome, lobbyists-and-rec-facilities, aliens-in-disguise-running-the-library, … Continue reading →

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: The chemtrail conspiracy nonsense

Scientists need not apply for membership in the Chemtrail Conspiracy. In fact, scientists will probably be booted out for even walking on the same street where the meeting is being held. That’s because scientists would shine a light into the utter … Continue reading →

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: More Machiavellian Misquotes

Machiavelli today is known to many by sayings that aren’t actually his; pseudo-quotations or mis-attributed sayings that appear on slovenly, un-moderated, un-verified websites that do an enormous disservice to everyone by their very existence. These sites seem to feed one … Continue reading →

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: Is Tar Baby the new N-Word?

As far back as I can recall, the term “tar baby” was a metaphor in common political parlance for a “sticky situation.” It has no racial meaning in that context, any more than saying “honey trap” or “sticky wicket.” Both … Continue reading →

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: The Useless Web

We all know Wikipedia is not always accurate, and sometimes biased. We all know that most internet quotations are wrong attributed or misquoted. We all know that the Web is full of useless, trivial pap like “psychic” hot lines, astrology, &… . . . → Read More: Chadwick’s Blog & Commentary: The Useless Web