Publishing an OPML Blogroll With Hugo

Hugo is the static site generating content management system that I use to publish this website. It works really well, and has some deep functionality that I’m not even touching. For instance, it can parse data files while generating the site - including JSON and XML - and can use the content of those files to display information on web pages. I was going to follow some recipes that I found online, but they involved converting the OPML file into JSON to be read by Hugo. Read More

Big Auto Is Watching

Kashmir Hill published an article in the New York Times this week: Automakers Are Sharing Consumers’ Driving Behavior With Insurance Companies(free share link). This prompted some follow-ups by Bruce Schneier, Nick Heer, et al. In recent years, insurance companies have offered incentives to people who install dongles in their cars or download smartphone apps that monitor their driving, including how much they drive, how fast they take corners, how hard they hit the brakes and whether they speed. Read More


Irwin1 passed away recently. We knew it was coming, but it still came as a shock - he seemed to be doing so well. He’d beaten it once before, but it came back years later. Fuck. Fuck everything about cancer. Every. Thing. I made a donation to his memorial scholarship fund at TRU2. I wish I’d had the chance / made the effort to get to know him better. I only had the chance to hang out with him (in person) a handful of times, but he was obviously an amazing, generous, funny, creative, open, playful, and gracious human and I can only aspire to be a fraction of what he was. Read More

Playing Around With DALL-E to Create Images of Future Learning Spaces

Inspired by Benj Edwards’ post on Ars Technica this morning, I wanted to try out the latest version of DALL-E that’s integrated into ChatGPT 4 Turbo™, to see what it could create to visualize potential future learning spaces. I started off with a basic “Create an image of a video game depicting students exploring classrooms and informal learning spaces. Cinematic, 8K, studio lighting.” 🤖 - AI-Generated Content via DALL-E Interesting. Chalkboards, but sure. Read More

Rethinking About Generative AI

This post was originally going to be part of a series exploring the topic, but if I take that approach I’ll probably never actually make time to write each post in the series, so here’s an omnibus “I need to think about this stuff and writing a blog post is the best way to formalize my thinking.” We’ve all been trying to figure out generative AI since ChatGPT was launched almost 1 year ago. Read More

A Graduate Architecture Critical Practice Studio on Learning Spaces

Back in March, an article was published in our UCalgary News describing a collaboration between one of our librarians and an instructor in SAPL (UCalgary’s School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape). The project involved students designing possible future library spaces, and they came up with some really interesting ideas. I immediately thought “hey - that’d be cool to try with a focus on learning spaces!” I reached out to folks in SAPL to see if they were interested, and got connected with Matthew Parker. Read More

On Online Teaching as a Text-based Adventure Game

My dissertation explored the connections between the design and analysis of video games and our design and understanding of teaching & learning. Much of that work was shaped by a conversation I had with one of my supervisors: Figure 1.2: One of the conversations that shaped the direction of this dissertation. AI-generated character portrayal provided by Stable Diffusion. I’d written a bit to explore the comparison between video games and online teaching, to see what it might look like if it was experienced as a Zork-like text-based adventure game. Read More

Building a Mastodon Chatbot With ChatGPT

I had a random thought, triggered perhaps by the tinnitus that is constantly eeeeeeee-ing in the background of everything. What if there was a Mastodon bot that just replied to every toot that mentioned it, with a string of eeeeeee’s of the same length as the message? The second semi-random thought was that I had no idea how to even start to build such a thing. The third obvious-in-2023 thought was that I’d bet ChatGPT could help with this somehow. Read More

Presenting to the Association of University Architects

I’d intended to quickly write this post to reflect on the session, but it’s stayed in my drafts pile for a couple of weeks now so I’m going to share what I can remember. I’ll likely be misremembering some of the details of the session, but this should hit the highlights at least. Recently, I had the absolute pleasure to be invited to co-present at the 67th Annual Association of University Architects Conference, conveniently hosted this year in Calgary, and even more conveniently having one day’s sessions housed within the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning. Read More

Easing Back Into This Thing We Used to Call the World Wide Web

I’ve been seeing a lot of energy online about bringing the old web back, or bringing the humanity back to the web, or just trying to make some art, dammit. So, here’s my part. This blog is my corner of the World Wide Web. Of the non-corporate, non-monetized, non-advertised, non-user-tracked, human-scale online experience. I haven’t been blogging, partially because I’ve been holding back due to Not Having Anything Profound to Share™. Read More