About

Hi & thanks for stopping by. I’ve been writing this occasional blog for several years now and if the result isn’t exactly an oeuvre it’s at least grown into a collection.

What you’ll find here are mostly book reviews, mostly non-fiction.  I started writing them because I found I’d get through a book and then later not be able to tell anyone – or even recall for myself sometimes – what the main ideas were, what I liked and didn’t like, how it compared with other books I’d read, etc. So I got into the habit of jotting down a few notes as I read, writing them up and posting them here.  Yeah, maybe a little nerdy, maybe a little anal.  I don’t know if any of them meet the standards of, say, the Sunday New York Times Book Review, and I don’t care.  I write them because they give me a chance to reflect on what I’ve read, because they let me practice writing something other than email.  I put them out on this blog in hopes that others might find them interesting or useful.

And really, isn’t that the central conceit of all writing, that someone else might care what we have to say?  And isn’t it ultimately why we battle the inner voice that’s constantly telling us our writing is crap or trivial or presumptuous? Because someone else might care.  Yes, I think that’s one reason we write.

Well this is an About page, so I suppose I ought to say a few things about me.  I grew up in Canada but I’ve been living in the US for many years.  In school I was good at math, at university I studied computer science and today I work at Microsoft.  All very linear, really. (Just to be clear, the views & opinions you read here are my own and have no official connection with the company.)

I’m interested in politics and technology and especially the intersection between the two.  I am way more enthusiastic about the prospects for technology than politics.  In Canada, I was considered pretty right-wing.  Here in the US, most people would probably place me on the left.  I think those labels are meaningless.  Mainly I see myself as a pragmatist.  And an optimist.

I like Pink Floyd and Coldplay, Monty Python and Jon Stewart, Star Trek and The Big Bang Theory.  I own a smart phone and a chainsaw. I try not to use them simultaneously.

I love inline skating, doing it and teaching it.  I don’t follow any professional sports. Well, maybe a little bit during Stanley Cup playoffs.

Any of which might randomly show up on this blog between book reviews.

And of course, I love learning and reading and writing about what I’ve learned and read.

I hope you enjoy what you find here.

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