The Singularity

I’m fighting with a couple of books, for very different reasons. Downstairs on the side table by the front window rests Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. It was my third Christmas read, and the one that provided the bridge for that awkward and often painful period between an easy work-free New Years afternoon and the return to work. The problem is, at page 800 I just want it to end. I’m invested, but I’ve learned all I want to about cathedral building, thank you. With every page turned I skim along hoping for a raging pestilence, a spectacular tumbling buttress or a sudden surge of wild uninhibited witches from the woods. You know, to pep things up a bit. C’mon!

Upstairs on the nightstand, mixed in with Richard Scary, is John Ralston Saul’s A Fair Country: Telling Truths About Canada. Without getting all philosophical, it’s fair to say that I’m in love with the idea of loving these books. And I have to admit that I bought this because of the playful cover. A turtle! What’s hilarious is that the jacket notes suggest that John Ralston Saul “challenges Canada’s established elites.” He no doubt felt like a real outsider in the horse-drawn landau on his way to the opening of the new Parliament. But seriously, I’m hoping to be surprised by this book. It’s definitely time for some serious objective thinking about how Canada can find its way again. (Yes, we’re lost. Look around.)

Which reminds me. In 2008 I discovered that my favourite place is actually Vermont. When I mention this to someone friendly in Vermont (heck, they all are), the response is pretty universal and predictable: They say that I like Vermont because Vermont is a lot like Canada. In fact, Vermont is more Canadian than Canada. Burlington, VT is also run by a mayor from the “Progressive” party. So that’s where the P went when the Conservatives dumped it. Someone should tell Peter MacKay.

This weekend I plan to start reading this. I just wish Ray Kurzweil would stick to solar panels. We could all use his help. Ah, sunshine. Only 9 weeks to spring!

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