July 2018

The Deliberately Creative Life

By |2018-07-20T16:47:19+00:00July 20th, 2018|Blog Posts, Uncategorized|

Speaking notes from keynote for the Writer’s Guild of Alberta 2018 AGM. I will begin by introducing the work I do, but before that I need to mention the word avuncular. My work focuses on performance. I love learning how people do, what they do, when they do, what they do. For me, Aristotle's “you are what you repeatedly do” is everything. I spend my life studying elite performance. It always seemed to me that the best way to learn was to watch how people actually do their work. My talks and workshops share what I learn. One day after a talk a friend called me and asked me to go for a walk. On that walk he told me I should remind people [...]

Reading List

By |2018-07-20T16:47:50+00:00July 20th, 2018|Blog Posts, Uncategorized|

During several recent workshops and conferences, I was asked for a reading list for those who want more information about digital technology and its impact. Here it is. The list provides an intro to code, the big four critics, the relevant philosophers, two lawyers you should monitor non-stop, and finishes with some (computer) scientists. The Big Four Donna Haraway https://campusdirectory.ucsc.edu/cd_detail?uid=haraway Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto was one of the first theoretical engagements with new technology and its integration with human life. Her work since that time has expanded and deepened her arguments about the integration of people and technology. Haraway is a highly creative scholar whose work is complex, but more as a result of a playful attitude to language and ideas than from abstract thought [...]

October 2017

What is Japanese for joie de vivre?

By |2017-11-02T15:19:28+00:00October 27th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Joie de vivre, or the joy of living, is a phrase you probably know. Paris is the world’s most popular tourist destination, and that surely has much to do with the way life operates in that great city, and in the country surrounding it. In Canada, the phrase is used when speaking about Quebec, and for the cities of Montreal and Quebec City, which are among our most popular tourist destinations. Once again, popular writing about these places speaks of a way of living that is the central reason people want to spend time visiting. My work takes me to a lot of different places. That sounds more exciting than it is because travel for me involves more hours working than touring new locations. [...]

Let’s Get Friendship Right: The Tragically Hip

By |2017-11-02T15:19:29+00:00October 27th, 2017|Uncategorized|

http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/747392579715 When the colour of the night And all the smoke in one life Gives way to shaky movements, Improvisational skills In the forest of whispering speakers Let’s swear that we will Get with the times, In a current health to stay Let’s get friendship right Get life day-to-day “It’s a Good Life if you Don’t Weaken,” In Violet Light. Universal Music Canada, 2002. Gordon Downie, Rob Baker, Johnny Fay, Paul Langlois & Gord Sinclair. As someone who gave a lot of my early life to playing music, The Tragically Hip were an inspiration. They were rock musicians, out there having fun, but they seemed somehow more grown up than the rest of us. The first time we ran into them was in [...]

The Honourable Senator Murray Sinclair

By |2017-11-02T15:19:29+00:00October 27th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Have you ever had a moment so perfect you could not believe it? I had one when I served as University Orator honouring the Honourable Senator Murray Sinclair. I study performance. I explore how top performers do what they do best. Being assigned to speak about Murray Sinclair provided me with two years in which I was privileged to studyMizanay Gheezhik (Sinclair’s Ojibway name), and attempt to capture something of who he is, and what he has done. Yes, he is a top performer, but so much more. I was in Ottawa when then Justice Sinclair delivered the results of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report. I joined the group walking with him through the city the day before the official presentation. The next [...]