Subscribers & Toronto Election Stuff

So, some of the people who give me money are running for City Council in the upcoming election. Someone asked me about this yesterday and I’ve thought about it a bit, and I think it would be inappropriate for candidates to keep donating to me during the election period. (And obviously afterwards as well, if they win.)

I’ll be going through Patreon and Paypal to check who is running and message them individually, but this is just a heads up.

I’m grateful for everyone’s support, and wish candidates luck in the campaign ahead!

The Cheat Sheet: July 2018 City Council

Livestream · Meeting Monitor

It’s the last Council meeting of the 2014-2018 term. Whew. Here’s a rundown of the sizeable agenda, including addressing recent gun violence, end-of-term concerns, plastic straws, affordable housing of all kinds, planning studies, and the newest addition to the PATH.

Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: July 2018 City Council

The Cheat Sheet: June 2018 City Council

Livestream · Meeting Monitor

Welcome to this term’s penultimate Council meeting! There’s quite a lot on the agenda, including a slew of Integrity Commissioner investigations, laneway housing, improving deadly intersections, and more.

Warning: there are even more swears and opinions than usual. Lately I just feel civility is overrated, you know?

Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: June 2018 City Council

The Cheat Sheet: May 2018 City Council

Livestream · Meeting Monitor

First of all, my apologies for getting this out late, especially because there is a lot of important stuff on the agenda. We’ve got a council appointment (and another departure), the Eglinton East LRT, #TOcore, new affordable housing opportunities, the Seniors Strategy, and more.

Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: May 2018 City Council

The Cheat Sheet: April 2018 City Council

Livestream · Meeting Monitor

This month’s City Council meeting looks like it’s going to be a bit of a clip show. On the agenda: SmartTrack, the Scarborough subway, gambling at Woodbine, a 350-year-old red oak tree, and more. Read on for my overview.

Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: April 2018 City Council

Not Another Fucking Budget Overview

I’ve lost my passion for covering the City budget. Partly the clinical depression, I think, but also—it just never changes. There’s only so many times you can write another fucking “after the City Manager warns Council they can no longer ‘kick the can down the road’ for another year, Council votes to kick the can down the road” piece. It’s all too predictable. Continue reading Not Another Fucking Budget Overview

Sidebar: Right Vs. Left

You often hear very tiresome people saying “I’m a social liberal and a fiscal conservative” as if it meant anything. In reality neither “social” nor “fiscal” issues are useful in telling left from right—especially not at City Hall, where “fiscal conservatives” have consistently championed pouring billions of dollars into an ever-shrinking subway plan. And saying that a “real progressive” wouldn’t be racist or sexist is as laughable as saying that “real Christians” aren’t homophobic, “real feminists” aren’t transphobic, etc., as well-intended as it is.

Nevertheless, I do think there is a way to meaningfully distinguish right- and left-wing politics. This is the framework I use when I talk about the political spectrum at City Hall. (That is, when I’m not talking in D&D terms.) Continue reading Sidebar: Right Vs. Left

The Cheat Sheet: January/February 2018 City Council (Extra Special Low Effort Edition)

On this meeting’s agenda: waterfront transit, a Rail Deck Park development proposal, various TCHC issues, self-driving cars, cryptocurrency, a new revenue tool, and, of course, tree removal applications.

Several items were deferred from the last meeting; check my previous write-up. Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: January/February 2018 City Council (Extra Special Low Effort Edition)

Social media resolutions for 2018

More creating, less commenting.

’Nuff said.

Ranting about racism in the media or whatever outrageous thing an outrageous person said is exhausting and it doesn’t change anything and I’d rather just take a nap or whatever. I need to make the stuff I want to see.

More Mastodon, less Twitter.

This is partly because Twitter has become a deluge of terrible news at a scale beyond the human mind’s ability to process healthily, and also on principle. Proprietary platforms funded by ads and venture capital don’t make for good communities. I’ve put my money where my mouth is and joined social.coop, a co-operatively run Mastodon instance. No ads. No algorithms. No Nazis.

This means my coverage will change—less livetweeting, more aimed at people beyond Toronto. What would a German hacker or an Appalachian activist or a Filipin@ K-pop fan want to know about what’s going on at Toronto City Hall? Why should they care?

More iNaturalist and BugGuide, less Instagram.

I’ve been using Instagram for my spider photos, but have been neglecting to upload my photos to iNaturalist and BugGuide. I love the stuff I see on Instagram, but all the ads and the lack of chronological order is extremely annoying. So I’d like to shift my focus and try contributing to different communities.

More PayPal, less Patreon.

In the wake of Patreon’s unpopular and quickly walked-back fee changes, I think a lot of us users recognized the precariousness of depending on a platform we can’t control and whose goals do not necessarily align with ours. I’d like to cut out one of the middlemen and encourage patrons to switch to going directly through PayPal, which also allows for automatic monthly donations.

A platform like Liberapay is more in line with my needs. Right now it’s at a stage where I’d be comfortable asking people to switch to it, but I will be keeping an eye on its development, and on similar open-source platforms.

Less Facebook.

I’m just going to stop trying to “engage” on Facebook. Aside from the ethical and privacy considerations, it’s just plain hard to use. None of my devices have more than 2 GB of RAM! I can’t handle all that! Also, I hate finding out about my neighbours’ terrible opinions.


Adapted from this toot.

The Cheat Sheet: December 2017 City Council

This month Council will pass the rate-based (water, waste, and parking) budgets. Also on the agenda: Rail Deck Park, SmartTrack, taking action against anti-Black racism, AirBnB regulations, and more.

Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: December 2017 City Council