Monthly Archives: October 2003


I've sent these to designs off to Ryan… The one on the left is my design of course, and the one on the right is based on an idea from Luc's — those of you who made it to the Brazillian convention recently may have seen them around.

Shannon Larratt, Mayor of Toronto

So the recent mayoral race in Toronto has got me dusting off one of my old projects — which as many of you know I wanted to run for mayor on — that I like to call

Toronto the Province

The concept is just what it sounds like; legally separating Toronto from Ontario and making it a Canadian province, or perhaps a pseudo-independent city state (since Constitutionally it is very difficult to create a new province). The core reason that I believe this is a good idea is that Toronto and the rest of Ontario have fundamentally different needs. The infrastructures that are good for one are not right for the other — so we're already in effect running a dual government. Toronto is an enormous metropolis, and its government is larger than several of the smaller provinces.

This isn't just good for Ontario and Toronto — it's also good for Canada. Because present Ontario contains an unfair amount of economic, financial, and geographical power in comparison to other provinces. The split would balance that without taking anything away from Ontario's citizens.

Even without Toronto, Ontario still has a huge range of needs and a wide demographic. Because of that, I would mandate that the province run a “distributed government” — rather than putting all the power in Toronto like there is now. Right now my pet idea is to put one capital in Kingston, and the second in Thunder Bay or one of the other northern cities. Each assembly floor would contain a massive video wall — a virtual window into the “other half” of the government. It would act as one, but not be constrained geographically.

Maybe I'm asking for civil war with this idea, but I'd like all people in Ontario to feel like they have direct and local representation. To further this idea, I would not place all of the ministry offices in a single area unless they need to be — I'd dot them all over the province. I believe that this would bring far more power to the people by integrating them geographically into the political process. Video conferencing would be encouraged for meetings, and these would be publicly archived whenever possible in order to keep government open (ie. a side-effect of this process is to make a very “open-source government”).

I assume it's obvious what the benefits are to Toronto itself — it would be able to invest purely in urban infrastructures. When you think about the needs in terms of power, transport, education, and other things that are provincially controlled, any fool can see that Toronto needs something different than the rest of Ontario — by being able to make decisions that are good for it alone, it empowers both itself and Ontario.

Anyway, I think it's a good idea universally that any major city could do — maybe the State of NYC?

I also wanted to mention an interesting piece of political trivia regarding the Ambassador Wilson revenge-leak (where someone in the White House “outed” his wife as an undercover CIA operative, thereby endangering her, twenty years of work, and national security).

The act of leaking an operative like that appears to violate (more) section 802 (more) of the USA PATRIOT ACT. Now, where it gets interesting is that Bush is calling for the death penalty on that part of the act (more)… so we have to ask ourselves — does this mean that someone in the White House potentially faces execution?

Oh, and why is the Bush administration continuing to block all investigation into 9/11? (more).


In order to avoid confusion, I've changed the working title of the BME movie from “CURED” to “SAVED” and moved the promo site over to… the site was just redone, although it's very brief and doesn't really say much right now (since I'm contacting labels for music rights, I have to have something up!). The footage is being captured and cleaned over the next three months or so, and over that period a stills gallery will be added.

We're now entering the final shooting runs, with a couple dozen groups and individuals around the world still putting together their creations, and I'm continuing to talk to more every day. Some of the art that people are producing is really quite amazing, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing what the end product will be.


Today I have to work on copyright clearances for the BME movie soundtrack… Because it's a low-budget project (although still probably about triple Clerks) I have to convince labels and artists to allow me to use their work for as close to free as possible. I'll mostly be working with indie labels so I hope they appreciate the project and want to be involved…

Other than that I'm going to start encoding the experience engine software. If you've ever wondered how an idiot savant programs (or just want to know what's in the new software), here are my notes for it:


They say that Tesla designed his experiments in his head, and then ran a “simulation” of them. After a week, he'd examine the virtual devices for wear and tear and refine the design. Eventually he'd build them “for real”… I'm not suggesting I'm actually running code in my head, but I do try do that as much as possible. I think that's pretty normal for programmers that were self-evolved or apprenticed rather than, say, going to school (where one is taught more formal testing and proofing techniques).

What's interesting is that (if I'm to believe what I read online) there's a schism between the two schools of thought on software design — one is characterized by the idea that programming is an artform (ie. Bill Joy's concept that code is a form of poetry), and the other characterized by the idea that programming is engineering… What I found additionally interesting is that people who program full time (ie. where it's life-defining rather than “just a job”) tend to be plagued with the same memory disorders that I have — which leads me to wonder if a long period of thinking about code actually alters the structure of the human brain. Logically it should, when you think about how the brain works.


Better late than never (the congratulations, not the baby)!