If those responsible for security believe that the law does not give them enough power to protect security effectively, they must try to persuade the law-makers, Parliament and the provincial legislatures, to change the law. They must not take the law into their own hands. This is a requirement of a liberal society.

  • Canada, Commission of Inquiry Concerning Certain Activities of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Second Report: Freedom and Security Under the Law, vol 1, Part II (Ottawa: Privy Council Office, 1981) at 45.


The Roundup for July 9-15, 2018 Edition

Eyes to the Home by Christopher Parsons

This has been a week where I’ve been trying to get used to living in a new location. So there’ve been trips to Ikea and other places to get the necessities needed for the new location, getting used to wandering a new building, and learning the new routes to walk to work. And it’s been a quiet time of reflection, thoughts, and considerations of the future, as well as the recent past. It’s been a very busy week and, as things step into a new tempo, I suspect things will feel less comfortable and those reflections properly take hold.

Inspiring Quotation of the Week

To be clear, privacy is no ‘contemporary’ hang-up. This is a diversionary argument floated frequently in the tech / security fields; that privacy concerns have somehow erupted in the past decade, simply on account of social media, smart phones or Edward Snowden. Not only is that premise self-serving if one works in the bureaucracy of intelligence, it’s also demonstrably false.

The Latin root of privacy is ‘privatum’, an enunciated principle of civil law as early as the Roman Republic under Cicero. Privacy was a constraint on government action inscribed into England’s Magna Carta of 1215. And, perhaps most famously, the individual’s right to privacy is there in the Fourth Amendment of the American Constitution.

Great Photography Shots

Brendan Siebel has a nice essay to accompany photographs taken by Eugène Atget, who took photos of Paris around the turn of the 20th century. Atget’s work documents the changes to the city and captures that nature of the city-that-was as it was forcibly transformed by city planner.

Music I’m Digging

  • Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems // I’m slowly going through Cohen’s corpus, and I’m definitely finding that I prefer his more gravelly and poetic work as opposed to that when he was younger and more melodic.

Neat Podcast Episodes

  • Planet Money – Peak Sand // This story about the nature of sand forensics, and how sand is being stolen to provide resort beaches with Instagram-perfect sand, was eye-opening and yet another indication of the issues with tourism.
  • The Daily – One Family’s Reunification Story // There is so much that is wrong in the United States of America right now, and this piece by the daily that recounts the reunification between a migrant family is heart wrenching.

Good Reads for the Week

  • How to Be Alone and Why // A nice meditation on the value of being alone and, also, why being alone is increasingly common given the rise of single-occupancy homes. We are moving to a society where are are separated from other persons more regularly than in the past, but must also recognize that to participate fully in society we must sometimes enjoy periods of solitude so-as-to learn how and why to engage with those around us in a meaningful manner.
  • Unidentified Plane-Bae Woman’s Statement Confirms the Worst // The problems largely associated with the spread of social media, and capability of other persons to deliberately intrude into one another’s personal lives, is a continuation of social problems that pre-date the digital era. However, whereas once gossip and innuendo would have been relatively restricted to a physical space it can now break free of geographical boundaries and, in the process, lead other persons to actively intrude upon persons’ private lives and engage in harassment and abuse. While such social problems cannot ever be truly ‘solved’ they can be ameliorated by teaching the right and wrong ways to behave online which will, fundamentally, explain the problems linked with historical social ills and how they can be aggravated by digital communications mediums.

Cool Things

  • I’m a huge fan of Yamazaki’s design language: simple, clean, and minimalist. I recently picked up their Tower Laundry Basket and love how it just quietly sits in my bed room without drawing any attention to itself.
  • I love these ‘monumental nobodies’ pieces by Mathew Quick.


An annual renewal fee from Evernote unexpectedly showed up on my credit card; I’d cancelled my premium account over a year ago, and the company’s official policy asserted that they would not reverse any premium subscriptions. In contrast to the asserted policy, the CSR I worked with immediately reversed the fee and apologized for the error. While I’m not a huge fan of Evernote’s current business practices I definitely appreciate that its CSRs are empowered to work counter to stated policies!



After setting up my media centre over the weekend, I learned that my 10+ year old Harman Karman Soundsticks speakers just…stopped working when they were connected to my TV. They worked when plugged into my iPhone but not when I used the TV’s composite ports. In a fit of desperation I did a factory reset on the TV, figuring that if that didn’t resolve it then I’d just conclude that something happened to the TV during my move. However, post-reset, the composite ports are working. It’s entirely unclear what the problem really was or how the reset fixed the problem. But, at least I once more have decent sound for music and videos.

The Roundup for July 2-8, 2018 Edition

Majesty by Christopher Parsons

The past few weeks have been hard. Really hard. I finally said goodbye to my dad, who died unexpectedly a little over a year ago. I said goodbye to the woman that I love. And I moved to a new home, too.

I have lots of reflections on my dad and how important it is to support those we love, even if that support means that a relationship needs to end so that they can achieve their dreams and aspirations. But for now I just need to process those thoughts, emotions, and reflections. If there’s any saving grace, it’s that my adopted family — even those who live abroad — are all living close to me.

Inspiring Quotation of the Week

Real love teaches us. It teaches us what we do and do not want in a partner. We learn how to be better at love from the ones we loved first. If we just got over all of that and truly erased the entire experience from the space in our hearts and minds where that love once occupied, then wouldn’t we just continue making the same mistakes over and over? If loving someone were as fleeting as we often try to make it be and we could “just get over it,” we wouldn’t bother with it anymore. What would be the point?

I think it is because we never fully get over the love we once had for someone that entices us to love again. It is because we remember that love that we want it again. We love a little deeper, a little more completely with each love we find. We want love to last. With every love we lose, we learn just how precious and valuable it is. It is how we ultimately (hopefully) find the one we never have to get over.

Music I’m Digging

Neat Podcast Episodes

Good Reads for the Week

  • When you don’t disclose salary range on a job posting, a unicorn loses its wings//There’s a severe problem in both non-profit and for-profit hiring: a failure to disclose what people will earn in any given position. Without that information it’s challenging for applicants to know whether it’s worth their time to bother applying, and can lead to applicants (and hiring committees!) wasting a lot of time before realizing that the salary range isn’t appropriate for the applicant’s expectations. Appropriate ranges should be included in all positions, and with ranges that are meaningfully bounded as opposed to massive ranges that prevent applicants from really knowing the likely salary.
  • Advertising Play Well//A delightful take on how advertising to children has changed, and why Lego used to be a leader in gender neutral play-based advertising and products.
  • The Electric Flight of Spiders//Fascinating new research shows that spiders use electrostatic repulsion to ‘fly’ using strands of silk emitted from their abdomen’s. While wind current plays a role, it’s the electrostatic repulsion that actually let’s arachnids take flight. Amazing!
  • Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s ‘Apes**t’ Was a Subtle History Lesson in Race and Power//I’m finding the various analyses of this video really interesting, as different authors explore the cultural and political significance of the chosen imagery. This goes a step further by not just interpreting the video but drawing it into a broader landscape of artistic critique, and which blends a range of lyrics from Jay-Z and Beyoncé to come to more sweeping conclusions.

Cool Things and Places

  • A Weekend Guide to Detroit//I’ve wanted to head over to Detroit for a while — I’d love to photograph the art! — and this provides a more fulsome ‘what to do over a weekend’ so I could head over and never get bored!
  • The Lost Caves of Nottingham//A very hidden gin bar, that involves descending a hidden staircase and, then, a second staircase cut into the earth itself. Very cool.