Before COVID hit, I took a trip to Lucan, ON to pick up a bookcase built by a Mennonite furniture store. We left early. We had time to stop for a coffee, and the Tim Horton’s was just down the street. On the way in I noticed a note on the door:

“Attention Customers.

Due to staffing challenges, we will no longer be able to remain open 24 hours a day.

Our new hours are as follows…”

When I worked fast food jobs during my time in university, the overnight shift wasn’t too tricky to staff. It guaranteed full-time hours and came with a wage premium. While not everyone was cut out for this sort of work, there was always a steady supply of people looking for work. Transportation was accessible — either on foot, by bus, or by car. Housing in the area was reasonably affordable (especially in a student neighbourhood). …

Social media is a battleground.

All day, every day, brave keyboard warriors fight for truth and justice in the world.

The Cons own the Libs.

The Libs own the Cons.

The U.S. Capitol gets stormed.

The Woke and Antifa verbally murder literal Nazis and MAGA’s.

QAnon save trafficked children from the Elite pedophile ring.

Anti-vaxxers save the world from autism, mind control, and Bill Gates.

And of course, snowflakes get triggered (and the Libs get owned again).

If none of that made sense to you, that’s ok. I believe that before we can start to understand how to approach the tactics of reasoning with people on the internet, we first need to explore the environment that we all play in. …

Back in October, I switched roles at my company. My previous team had been reorganized, and I was graciously offered an open position on a different team in business development. The initial transition was a little awkward as I was the only one starting at that time. We typically hire small groups of employees for sales roles. The first few weeks were ok, but then at the beginning of November I just hit a wall. I was miserable. And I couldn’t quite figure out why.

As someone who’s usually pretty pleased with their life, this struck me as odd. Why was I so upset with the transition? It wasn’t money (I had gotten a raise with the new position). It wasn’t the job itself (I actually liked the day-to-day). It wasn’t the people (my manager and team were great). …

Toronto and York region are heading into a lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on Monday, November 23rd. As restrictions have already been tightening for quite some time due to a second wave of cases, this was a necessary step to prevent area hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.

Public opinion is, understandably, divided. Public health officials of course agree that a lockdown and restrictive protocols are the solution. On the other hand, business owners are stuck between wanting to ensure their business can continue operating while maintaining a responsible position from a public health and safety perspective.

Voices from the business owner perspective are concerned that a lockdown will spell the end of their business. As a board member of one of the largest BIAs in Canada, these are the concerns I hear all the time. …

Following the 1348 Black Death epidemic in Florence, the Italian Writer Giovanni Boccaccio wrote a collection of 100 novellas describing the situation called “The Decameron”.

A product of Florence’s middle classic, Boccaccio wrote tales of merchants and servants, a departure from the usual focus of nobility in medieval literature. Stories describe the situation when the plague first hit. The speed at which people would die (4–7 days).

The panic.

And most interestingly, the behaviours of various classes in reaction to the plague.

London’s downtown has undergone a few major changes in the past few years. The conversion of longtime anchor Kingsmill's Department Store into a new campus for Fanshawe College. The transformation of Dundas Street into Dundas Place. The addition of protected bike lanes on King Street. Several high-rise projects are in the works, and with them the prospect of greater population density.

As these changes have been rolled out over the past few years, they have been met with varied opposition.

Funding from London City Council for Fanshawe’s project to revitalize the vacant department store barely passed (vote was 8 for, 7 opposed). Members of the London Downtown Business Association are credited with saving the project through a $1 million donation. …

I recently sat down and re-did my resume.

I was thinking about applying for a few volunteer positions, and I realized that I hadn’t updated it since I got hired at my current company in 2015. During my revisions, I decided to reflect on the process and offer some advice I’ve learned along the way.

Following the revisions, the only thing that stayed the same with my resume was the length: it’s 1 page long — always has been. …

I’ve been intrigued by how Londoners are moving around lately.

This includes:

  1. The growing number of people moving to London (thanks to the great analysis that Mike Moffatt has provided lately)
  2. Numerous discussions on Twitter about how misaligned our City’s stated priorities are from their budgetary initiatives (E.g. declaring a Climate Emergency but continuing to invest in road-widening)
  3. My educational background and work experience in sustainable transportation

On a useful tip from Jamie Skimming, the City of London’s Manager of Air Quality initiatives, I decided to look into the data that Google has gathered on London through its Environmental Insights Explorer Tool. …

When Billy Beane’s Moneyball story kickstarted the baseball analytics movement via the application of sabermetrics, the rest of the sporting world wasn’t far behind. I grew up watching sports highlights on TSN. Before the Moneyball days, the only stats that were reported were home runs, goals, and touchdowns.

Nowadays, there are blog posts reporting new metrics that you never read about on the back of a sports card (like Corsi, a puck possession metric named after former Buffalo Sabres goaltending coach Jim Corsi). Professional sports was only the beginning. …

Digital marketplaces rely heavily on ratings systems. Peer-to-peer systems like Uber or AirBnb rely on consumers to rate providers on their service. This helps the marketplace track quality while providing visibility for consumers. Since these workers/providers are largely disposable, ratings are critical for business, and both the companies and providing the marketplace and workers providing the service depend on high ratings to maintain their business.

Recently, a phenomenon known as reputation inflation has been described by economists to illustrate how ratings systems may not be as accurate as previously thought. Essentially, since the widespread digital adoption of ratings systems was introduced several years ago, researchers have noticed a steady increase in overall ratings scores despite service quality remaining the same. …


Jordan Detmers

Writing about science, culture, and business by night at; Product Manager for ITRG by day.

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