2024 Week 19


⚙️ Work

Students set up a protest on campus, expressing concerns about genocide and apartheid in Palestine. I walked around the protest area Thursday afternoon, and everyone seemed to be respectful, orderly, and engaged in activism.1

Protest encampment in the Taylor Quad. DISRUPT Something. NOT LIKE THAT. DISRUPT SOMETHING. NOT LIKE THAT! YOU’RE DISRUPTING IN AN UNAUTHORIZED MANNER!

A few hours after I took that photo, the protestors were forcibly removed by police. They came back the next day, without tents. I note that our Premier said: “I’m glad the University of Calgary made the decision that they did.” If she’s backing something you’ve done, you’re on the wrong side of history.

There was some other work-related stuff that happened this week, but it just doesn’t seem that important at the moment for some reason.

📚 Reading

  • ★★☆☆☆ Ben Bova - Farside (2013). Oof. Some interesting ideas, buried in 1950s-compatible sexism and a “mystery” that was clumsily written, stupid, and obvious.

Edtech

Reimagining Edtech

Software

  • Decker - a multimedia platform loosely based on the design of HyperCard. (via slembcke)
  • John Maxwell: More on Typst - a rethink on (academic) typesetting, a modernized application to maybe replace LaTeX with Markdown syntax. This looks promising and would have been super handy about 3 years ago, but I wound up using a LOT of deep LaTeX features in my dissertation.

AI

Not all AI stuff is LLM bullshit generation.

Although, sometimes, LLM bullshit generation is awesome?

  • Trees of Raleigh. ResearchBuzz wrote a thing using open data from Raleigh to connect wikipedia listed locations (first, of trees, then, of other stuff nearby) and then to ChatGPT.

    Find trees in Raleigh, find things near trees, have trees tell you about nearby things.

    For example:

    So, here we are on Bike Route, Ridge Road, Glen Eden, Raleigh, North Carolina. It’s a real hoot, let me tell you. The cyclists whizzing by, the sweet hum of traffic in the distance, the occasional bird using me as a bathroom. Ah, the joys of tree life."

Alberta

  • Wallis Snowdon @ CBC News: Plans for $2.4B carbon capture and storage project near Edmonton have been cancelled. Carbon capture is too expensive for companies to implement without maintaining record profits.

    Up to three million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year would have been captured at the facility near the village of Warburg in Leduc County. Company officials announced Wednesday that pursuing the project no longer makes financial sense.

    If only there was a way to do carbon capture more cost-effectively… Alberta has an opportunity to be a real leader here!

  • Philippa Duchastel de Montrouge @ Greenpeace: Shell’s flagship carbon capture project sold $200M of ‘phantom’ emissions credits: Greenpeace report.

    Freedom of Information documents obtained by Greenpeace show that Shell lobbied for and received a 2-for-1 deal during 2008 negotiations with the Government of Alberta as a way to further subsidize the project. Under this deal, Shell was able to sell credits for two tonnes of CO2 for every one tonne that it actually captured – and keep all the profits.

    Problem solved! Just say you’re doing carbon capture, and sell those made-up carbon credits to own the libs. Winning!

🍿 Watching

  • ★★★★☆ Gladiator (2000). Are you not entertained?

🧺 Other

I got out for an actual bike ride. Grateful to Paul and Dave, for slowing down so I could keep up.

coffee ride

🗓️ Focus for next week

  • finishing my annual performance review self reflection
  • preparing for the videoconferencing platform RFP
  • meetings
  • the last coaching session with Rob.

  1. I need to be careful what I say - I’m in the management group and can basically be fired at any time if I say something that the administration does not like. I’m hoping staff who have union protection are able to say more. ↩︎

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