The 2021 Unicode Delay and coloured shape sequences for Emoji 13.1

Emojipedia reports

The Unicode Consortium is delaying Unicode 14.0 by six months due to COVID-19.  This means that emojis that would have arrived on phones in 2021 will instead roll out in 2022.

and

Alternatively, Unicode has suggested a Emoji 13.1 release which could fill the gap in 2021. This wouldn’t be able to include new Unicode characters (which need a full Unicode release), but could include sequences.

What is a sequence?  A sequence is a way of creating new emojis by combining existing ones (combining existing code points), rather than creating a new code point.

For example, Polar Bear, planned for 2020, is not a new code point, it is

a ZWJ sequence combining 🐻 Bear, Zero Width Joiner and Snowflake

That’s

An obvious use for sequences would be to fix the weird codepoint allocation that has gone to making coloured hearts, circles and squares, and some coloured “diamonds”, but no other coloured shapes.

  • heart: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, white, brown
  • circle: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, white, brown
  • square: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, white, brown
  • diamond: small orange, small blue, large orange, large blue (the diamond is really more of a rotated square)

That’s 27 codepoints just to make colours for three different shapes, and another four codepoints to make colours and sizes for another shape.  (I don’t know why there are orange and blue diamonds; I assume they have some cultural meaning.)

It actually is even more complicated than that, because there are multiple codepoints for black and white squares, and it’s not clear whether black and white mean, well, black and white, or more likely mean filled and unfilled, which was the earlier meaning for black and white in pre-emoji Unicode.

  • black small square, black medium-small square, black medium square, black large square
  • white small square, white medium-small square, white medium square, white large square

There are also separate playing card shapes:

So a very simple proposal would be to make more colours by using sequences.  Just pick one of the coloured shapes to use as an additional indicator of colour.  Probably the circles, because the squares are complicated.

e.g. make a small yellow diamond with small orange diamond + zero width joiner + yellow circle

What I would really like them to do is make an actual diamond-shaped black diamond, with diamond suit + zero-width joiner + black circle

This would create the black diamond I recommend as the liquorice emoji.

 

Live in Ontario, Work in Quebec – The taxing tale of the Quebec Releve 1 form

If you’re working on preparing your taxes, and you live in Ontario and work in Quebec (or live in any other province and work in Quebec), there’s a tax form you need to know about.

I mention this because I worked in Quebec for two years before even finding out this form existed.

Revenu Québec has a form called the Relevé 1 – Revenus d’emploi et revenus divers, the RL-1 form.

If you work in Quebec the RL-1 will contain important information, most notably income tax that has been deducted from your Quebec pay.  While you may also have a T4, the Quebec information is not on your T4.

If you don’t include the RL-1 information in your tax filing, and you had income tax deducted from your Quebec pay, you could end up unnecessarily and incorrectly paying thousands of dollars in additional taxes.

You may have questions.

The TL;DR is you need to get the RL-1 from your employer directly, and make sure you manually add the RL-1 information (after entering T4 info) into any tax preparation software or paper forms for tax filing.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: I download my tax forms including the T4 from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).  Won’t the RL-1 be included with that?
    A: No.
  • Q: I download TurboTax for Windows to do my taxes every year.  Won’t TurboTax automatically download the RL-1?
    A: No.
  • Q: When I say that I work in Quebec but I’m filing in Ontario, won’t TurboTax remind me to check if I have an RL-1?
    A: No.
  • Q: When I file my taxes saying that I work in Quebec but live in another province, won’t CRA detect the missing RL-1 form and notify me?
    A: No.
  • Q: If I work for the Government of Canada, won’t I get a reminder that I need to download an RL-1 form in addition to a T4?
    A: No.
  • Q: Won’t the Government of Canada’s pay system remind me to also download the RL-1 when I download my T4?
    A: No.
  • Q: Can’t I just create a Revenu Québec account and download the RL-1 form directly?
    A: No.  Only Québec residents can create a Revenu Québec account.  If you try going through your bank to authorize an account it will just fail when you enter your SIN and birthdate.
  • Q: How do taxes work if you live in one province and work in another? Which province’s taxes do you pay?
    A: You always pay the taxes for your province of residence.  e.g. if you live in Ontario but work in Quebec, you pay Ontario taxes.  The provinces have arrangements to sort out the money behind the scenes.

Summary

Get the RL-1 form from your employer.  (In addition to any T4s.)

If you work for the Government of Canada, to get the Relevé 1 in Phoenix select Self Service -> Payroll and Compensation -> View RL-1
(There is a separate menu item to download your T4s in Phoenix.)

In the download version of TurboTax, in guided tax preparation mode, when it asks the forms that you have to enter, you must manually check the Relevé 1 form option.  Then enter the T4 data first.  Then when it gets to the Relevé 1 entry you must Edit the Relevé 1 form to manually enter the missing fields (it will pre-fill some information from your T4 but the software literally has no idea what the remaining Relevé 1 values are). Most importantly, edit the RL-1 form in TurboTax to enter the amount of income tax deducted from your Québec pay.

If you need to ReFILE

If you are using TurboTax download version and have to refile taxes from previous years because your RL-1 form was missing, do not click “Change a filed return”. Click “Continue your return” and then click “Change return” under “Your Federal return” in the FILE section at the end of the guided return process.

Go back to the beginning of guided tax preparation mode, select that you have a Relevé 1 form, and then on the Relevé 1 screen, click edit to make the changes.  Then at the end of the process click ReFILE.

Disclaimer

I am not a tax preparation professional and this is not professional advice.

All the train-related emojis

Since these emoji are tiny on most devices, and since most people just type “train” and select something, and since many people are not too bothered about which one to use, they tend to get jumbled up.  But anyway, here is what they’re supposed to be used for:

Trains

🚈 Light Rail

  • Light Rail is the correct emoji for the Ottawa Line 1 LRT
  • U+1F688

🚂 Locomotive (steam train)

  • With the Wakefield steam train gone, the Canada Science & Technology Museum is the best place to see these, e.g. the Steam exhibition
  • U+1F682

🚆 generic train

  • This is the closest emoji for Ottawa’s Line 2 diesel trains
  • U+1F686

🚄 High-Speed Train

  • Does not apply to any train in Canada
  • U+1F684

🚅 Bullet Train

  • Does not apply to any train in Canada
  • Typically used for Shinkansen trains, but applies to any train with a “streamlined bullet nose”
  • U+1F685

🚝 Monorail

  • U+1F69D

🚇 Metro (subway)

  • U+1F687

🚞 Mountain Railway

  • U+1F69E

🚊 Tram

  • The difference between light rail and a tram is that a tram runs at street level in a city, often with stops beside the sidewalk.  May run in mixed traffic.  The original form of rail mass transit in cities.  In North America often called a streetcar or a trolley.
  • U+1F68A

🚟 Suspension Railway

  • It’s kind of odd that there is an emoji for this as suspension railways are very rare.  The handful of suspension railways includes Wuppertal in Germany & Shonan and Chiba in Japan.
  • U+1F69F

Rail Cars

🚃 Railway Car

  • It’s not really clear what kind of railway car this is.
  • The train emojis are not really designed to be assembled together.  Some face left, some face forward, and you can’t flip the direction.  So you can make a train going left like this 🚂🚃🚃🚃
    but you can’t really make a generic train with cars 🚆🚃🚃
    or a light rail train with engines on both ends 🚈🚃🚃🚈
    plus there’s no consistency between different designs for this emoji on whether the railway car has a pantograph (overhead connection to electrical wires) or not.
  • U+1F683

🚋 Tram Car

  • The tram emojis are not designed to be assembled together.  A tram ends up looking like 🚊🚋🚋.
  • It’s definitely an electric tram, with a pantograph (overhead connection to electrical wires).
  • U+1F68B

Train Stations

🚉 (Train) Station

  • It’s really more train platform than train station
  • U+1F689

Ⓜ️ Circled M

  • Commonly indicates a 🚇 Metro stop
  • U+24C2

Rails

🛤️ Railway Track

  • These are all pretty much terrible at a small size.  Microsoft’s looks more like a mountain than railway tracks (and appears to show the railway heading directly for the mountain).
  • They aren’t designed to be lined up, so they look weird side-by-side: 🛤️🛤️🛤️
  • U+1F6E4

Ottawa O-Train Specific

While it might seem like the red O emoji ⭕ is ideal for the O-Train, there are two issues:

  1. It’s actually called Heavy Large Circle, so for people using screen readers, it would probably sound like “Heavy Large Circle Train”, not “O-Train”.
  2. It has a specific meaning in a Japanese context: “an alternative to a [checkmark] in Japan for a something that is correct”.

Previously:
September 10, 2019 Ottawa LRT Stage 1 Line 1 in Emojis
April 12, 2015 iOS Travel emoji – railway vs tram

the liquorice emoji

There is no liqourice (or licorice) emoji.  There is a chocolate bar emoji.

Creating a liquorice emoji may seem simple, but it immediately runs into cross-cultural challenges, specifically what is liquorice and what does it look like.

In Scandinavia and northern Europe, liquorice is salty.  This is called salmiak liquorice, you also often see the the term zout (salt) as in double (DZ) or triple salt liquorice.

See Wikipedia – Salty liquorice and the New York TimesThe Saltier the Licorice, the Happier the Country.  Just Look at Finland.

One typical form for this liquorice is a small black diamond. Finland actually did a set of joke Finland emoji (as a tourism promotion) with a “black gold” liquorice emoji
black_gold white background

Finnish sweet ‘salmiakki’ is liquorice spiced up with Ammonium chloride. It is something Finns can’t live without.

Unfortunately it doesn’t have great characteristics, which is to say if you didn’t already know what it is supposed to represent (a woman eating diamond liquorice) then you would have a hard time figuring it out.

The ideal representation would be a simple black diamond, which could be reused for other purposes as well.  Except the emoji set has no black diamond.  There’s a set of card suit emojis, so of course the emoji is a red diamond.  There are also, inexplicably, blue and orange diamonds in two sizes (I guess these must have some culture-specific meaning).  The only place you can get a black diamond emoji is from Mozilla, who have misread the ridiculously confusing specification.  The specification says that “black” means filled, not, you know, black.

When describing pre-emoji Unicode symbols, black in a character name refers to the symbol being solid/filled in.

So the emoji “black diamond suit” is actually a filled red diamond.  Except from Mozilla.  In the Mozilla emoji set on Emojipedia the diamond is black, and in the Mozilla emoji set on Github the large diamond is red but the smaller diamond on hover is black.
Mozilla black diamond suit
So for salty liquorice all that is needed is an actual black diamond emoji.

But that doesn’t represent liquorice globally.  In the US and Canada, probably the closest would be a black Twizzler, which isn’t even really liquorice.  Plus which particularly in the US, it tends actually to be a red Twizzler, which they call red vines (I only know this from Gilmore Girls).  This red candy is popular enough (or maybe recognizable on screen enough) to have appeared being enjoyed by characters in US TV shows, including The Flash and Agents of SHIELD.  Since “red” liquorice doesn’t actually exist, it’s not actually liquorice at all.

In the UK I don’t know, maybe a Pontefract cake? (Which is not actually a cake, it’s more like a coin-shaped candy.  I only know about these because of a BBC Radio 4 Extra cake series – episode Pontefract cake.)  And in France probably a Zan tablet (now Haribo Zan), which is yet another different liquorice experience.

Basically there’s a good case for the salty liquorice black diamond emoji, but I don’t think there’s an emoji that would recognizably represent liquorice globally.

As a sidebar, a much better emoji approach to shapes would mirror the one used for skin tones, which is to say, just have the hollow and filled shapes and then add markup for colour.  And maybe markup for size.  With four emoji codes already for blue and orange diamonds, it doesn’t make sense to keep adding two more codes for every new colour.

podcasts I like – 2019 edition

Since 2015 the main changes in my podcast listening have been:

  • Since BBC Radio added ads to its podcasts outside the UK, I listen to all BBC Radio content directly on the website (which does not currently have advertisements)
  • I use Castro for podcasts on my iOS devices because 1) Apple Podcasts app now tracks every podcast you listen to and 2) Castro is a much better application for selecting specific episodes to listen to when you subscribe to a large number of podcasts

I should probably mention as a sidebar that I just stream podcasts, I don’t actually download them, as I am always on wifi or LTE.

Main Podcasts

I consistently listen to:

I also tried the Caesar’s Gallic War podcast but I found the level of detail overwhelming.

BBC Radio

I listen to a lot of BBC Radio, but on the website now rather than as podcasts.

I most consistently listen to In Our Time.

I also like the walking show Ramblings, as well as Open Country.

For science interviews I like The Life Scientific.

There is also a yearly series of lectures, The Reith Lectures.

I very much like BBC Radio London’s Robert Elms, in particular on Tuesdays when he has Maxwell Hutchinson about architecture and on Thursdays when he has Jason Solomons about movies.

I like BBC Radio 3 Essential Classics, but only when Suzy Klein is the host.  I also like Sunday Morning, with former Essential Classics host Sarah Walker.

More Podcasts

There are also lots of other podcasts that I pick specific episodes from:

And there are some podcasts I haven’t tried yet:

  • Les balades à Paris (Balades d’été à Paris) – France Bleu Paris
  • Paris insolite et secret – France Bleu Paris – « Chaque jour, Murielle Giordan vous invite à parcourir le Paris insolite et secret, côté coulisses pour faire le plein de curiosités et d’anecdotes. »

Previously:
September 6, 2015  science podcasts
April 12, 2015  podcasts I like

Satchel

Wikipedia is constantly changing, including editors who are very keen to delete content and tell you “wikipedia is not …”

In the version of the Satchel article on Wikipedia at the time of this writing, many of the cultural context references have been removed, although a restored section with the Indiana Jones, Hangover and Guardians of the Galaxy references is surviving.

UPDATE 2018-05-17: There is a single anonymous user who, apparently not content with having already removed thousands of characters worth of the article, has again returned to remove the “In Popular Culture” section, again.  The user’s edit history shows a consistent focus on removing popular culture references from articles.  END UPDATE

Below is an earlier version of the article with more extensive references. (I will admit that not every single cultural reference in the version below is needed.)

As a side note, I think, but was unable to confirm, that references to satchels in the 19th century may be actually be something more like a Gladstone bag.

Satchel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, using Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (for this blog posting only).

Men carrying satchels. Men carrying satchels.

A satchel is a bag, often with a strap.[1] The strap is often worn so that it diagonally crosses the body, with the bag hanging on the opposite hip, rather than hanging directly down from the shoulder. They are traditionally used for carrying books.[2] The back of a satchel extends to form a flap that folds over to cover the top and fastens in the front. Unlike a briefcase, a satchel is soft-sided.

Contents

History

Roman legionaries carried a satchel (a loculus).

A carriel is “a small leather satchel from Colombia with a long history dating back 400 years”.[3]

A photo from the Bain News Service shows Camille Saint-Saëns carrying a satchel in the United States in 1915.[4]

Letter carriers in many countries carry a mail satchel.[5]

School bag

Children carrying leather and cowhide satchels. Children carrying leather and cowhide satchels.

The traditional Oxford and Cambridge style satchel is a simple design that features a simple pouch with a front flap. Variations include designs with a single or double pocket on the front and sometimes a handle on the top of the bag. The classic school bag satchel often had two straps, so that it could be worn like a backpack, with the design having the straps coming in a V from the centre of the back of the bag, rather than separate straps on each side.[citation needed] This style is sometimes called a satchel backpack.[citation needed]

A cover illustration from The Queenslander Illustrated Weekly on January 31, 1929 shows a school bag taunting a schoolboy.[6]

There is an example of a schoolboy’s satchel in the collection of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.[7]

The school satchel is described as “the bag of choice for 1950s children”.[8]

A 1959 photo shows schoolgirls with satchels (schooltassen) in the Netherlands.[9]

The use of school bag satchels is common in the United Kingdom, Australia, Western Europe and Japan.[10] In Japan the term for a school bag satchel is randoseru. The Unicode for the school satchel Emoji is U+1F392.[11]

In cases where the school bag is a hard-sided box, it is a briefcase rather than a satchel.

In fashion

Much of the popularity of the satchel as a fashion accessory in the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Canada since 2008 is driven by the Cambridge Satchel Company, whose product was on a Guardian gift guide in 2009, and was described as a cross-body bag in a 2010 article.[12][13][14][15]

In popular culture

In literature, the satchel is often associated with the classic image of the English schoolboy: “And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel” is a phrase from Shakespeare’s monologue All the world’s a stage.

In Mark Twain’s 1869 travel book The Innocents Abroad he reports that upon arriving in France in 1867, “With winning French politeness the officers merely opened and closed our satchels”.

In the Little House on the Prairie novel By the Shores of Silver Lake, the Ingalls family carries two satchels on their train ride west.

Indiana Jones always carries a satchel as part of his outfit, alongside his whip and hat (the prop used in the movies was a 1943 Mark VII gas mask bag).[16]

The satchel is referenced in the movie The Hangover, where the character Alan Garner says “it’s not a man purse, it’s called a satchel. Indiana Jones wears one.”[17] The bag he was actually carrying was a Roots Village Bag.[18] Following the attention due to the movie, Roots released a larger bag, called simply The Satchel, however the design of both the Village Bag and The Satchel are not the same as the traditional satchel.

The satchel is indirectly referenced in the nod to both Indiana Jones and The Hangover in the movie Guardians of the Galaxy, where the character Peter Quill says “It’s not a purse, it’s a knapsack.”

In Shaun the Sheep Movie the eponymous sheep has a satchel with a Blue Peter badge on it.[19]

In Kiki’s Delivery Service, Kiki carries a satchel when she leaves home.

In My Neighbor Totoro, Satsuki Kusakabe, her friend Michiko and other school children can be seen wearing satchel backpacks as they go to school.

In season 3 of Glee, Blaine Anderson carried a buckle-detail satchel.[20]

In The Big Bang Theory, Dr. Sheldon Cooper is seen carrying a brown satchel (reported to be a distressed-canvas Goorin Brothers bag).[21]

In Stargate SG-1 season 8, Dr. Elizabeth Weir is seen with a satchel behind her desk and later on her desk, in the two-part episode “New Order“.

Television presenter Monty Don often carries a satchel when touring gardens.

In the BBC Two television series Mary Beard’s Ultimate Rome: Empire Without Limit, presenter Mary Beard is seen carrying a satchel while visiting various ancient locations.

In The Captive Prince by Scott Chantler, Topper says “I think I’m going to need a bigger satchel.”

Ford Prefect carries his gear in a satchel in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

UPDATE 2020-02-27:
In The Mandalorian season 1 epsiode 8 “Redemption“, one of the speeder bike riders carries a satchel.  END UPDATE

UPDATE 2020-05-02:
In Captain Blood (1935), Peter Blood carries a satchel.  END UPDATE

UPDATE 2020-07-10:
In Rear Window (1954), a satchel can be seen on the table of L. B. “Jeff” Jefferies. You can see it when he is writing the note. END UPDATE

See also

References

  1. Satchel, merriam-webster.com, Accessed 28 October 2009
  2. Satchel, thefreedictionary.com, Accessed 28 October 2009
  3. Amay, Joane (16 January 2013). “Current Obsession: The Carriel Bag”. Lucky magazine. Retrieved 28 Feb 2015.
  4. Wikimedia Commons – File:Camille Saint Saëns – George Grantham Bain Collection.png also on Flickr and at the Library of Congress – ggbain 19050 / LC-DIG-ggbain-19050
  5. Heidelbaugh, Lynn (April 29, 2006). “Satchel for letter carriers”. National Postal Museum, Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved May 24, 2014.
  6. Flickr – State Library of Queensland – Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, January 31, 1929
  7. satchel – MISC.541-1992 – V&A
  8. Williams, Sally (6 July 2009). “How magic of Harry Potter is creating a fashion for stylish satchels”. WalesOnline. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  9. Flickr – Nationaal Archief / Spaarnestad Photo / W.P.W. van de Hoef, SFA003001968
  10. “7 Ways to Make Your Child’s School Bag Lighter”. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  11. “School Satchel Emoji”. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  12. “Christmas gift guide 2009: Men’s accessories”. The Guardian. 27 November 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  13. Cartner-Morley, Jess (24 April 2010). “How to dress: Cross-body bags”. The Guardian. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  14. Lukas, Erin (23 December 2011). “The story behind the explosion of the Cambridge Satchels”. Fashion Magazine. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  15. Williams-Grut, Oscar (23 January 2014). “Moneybags: humble British satchel conquers the world”. The Independent. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  16. “TheRaider.net – Research – Indy’s Gear – The Shoulder Bag”. Archived from the original on 5 Feb 2015. Retrieved 28 Feb 2015.
  17. Memorable Quotes from The Hangover, IMDB.com, Accessed October 29, 2009
  18. “Village Bag on the Silver Screen”. 14 Aug 2009. Archived from the original on 27 Jun 2010. Retrieved 28 Feb 2015.
  19. Doran, Sarah (14 Feb 2015). “Fascinating behind the scenes facts from Shaun The Sheep The Movie”. Retrieved 23 Aug 2015.
  20. Williams, Nakisha (13 September 2012). “Style Hunter: Must-Have Messenger Bags”. Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 28 Feb 2015.
  21. Williams, Nakisha (13 September 2012). “Style Hunter: Must-Have Messenger Bags”. Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 28 Feb 2015.

Wikipedia Categories:

procrastination, anxiety, and dialogue with your past self

Often procrastination is viewed as a problem of organisation, and a typical approach is to try to provide a system for prioritizing and tracking tasks, in the model of Getting Things Done.  There are all kinds of methodologies related to this kind of organisation and priotization model, and certainly they may help those who really are procrastinating because of a lack of structure in their work planning.

But what is often not addressed is that there are people who are procrastinating because of anxiety, not because of lack of organisation.

Tim Urban did a TED talk in 2016 called Inside the mind of a master procrastinator that really resonated with me.  But what I found even more interesting (since I am more of a text than a video person) is his blog posts exploring procrastination in more detail:

I really admire Tim Urban for being able to be open about this issue, in a society that values productivity perhaps more than anything.

I particularly like The Eisenhower Matrix, which gives a better way to think about task priority

It’s basically four quadrants.

Eisenhower grid

Although this looks like a classic productivity tool, Tim Urban has actually figured out that it has some subtle factors when you take into account how people think and behave when procrastinating.  In general, procrastinators mess up these priorities.  They will do Quadrant 1 (Important, Urgent) when a deadline forces them.  Otherwise they will do either Quadrant 3 (Not Important, Urgent) or particularly occupy Quadrant 4 (Not Important, Not Urgent).

If I apply an anxiety perspective, Quadrant 1 (Important, Urgent) gets done when the anxiety about the deadline overcomes the anxiety about the task.  Otherwise, aversive strategies move the anxious procrastinator either into Not Important, Urgent or Not Important, Not Urgent.

Disastinators

Procrastinators who are no longer able to use deadlines as motivation Tim Urban describes as “Disastinators”, stuck forever in a corner of useless tasks (e.g. unpleasurable obsessive web surfing or other maladaptive coping strategies) in Quadrant 4.

This is basically being paralysed by anxiety, doing meaningless things.

Eisenhower grid avoid stuck

One of the keys to getting out of Quadrant 4, if stuck there because of anxiety, is to deal with the anxiety itself, rather than the tasks.  In other words, an anxiety-based procrastinator may need emotions management and mental strategies a lot more than time and priority management (and may in fact be acutely and painfully aware of both the exact priorities and the time constraints they are facing).  This is a really important insight.  If it’s anxiety that has you stuck, no amount of productivity techniques will help change the outcomes.  The procrastination is anxiety-driven, the solution is addressing the anxiety itself.

And the highest priority things (Quadrant 1 & 2) may be the most anxiety-generating, which is why anxious procrastinators if they do anything at all, may churn out Not Important but Urgent items, or be stuck in endless Not Important, Not Urgent activities.

You May Be Missing Your Hopes and Dreams in Quadrant 2

Tim Urban makes a second really important observation, which is that even people who are high-functioning may do just the Urgent things (Quadrant 1 and 3) and never make it to the things in Quadrant 2 (Important but Not Urgent).  But Quadrant 2 covers a lot of things that are at the core of improving your life.  Depending on your personality, many things may be in Quadrant 2: relationships, health, new skills – basically all of your aspirations.  And as you busily do Quadrant 1 priority items, you may never find time to do the things that bring meaning to your life.

Tim Urban describes this as “delegating to future you”.  Learning that language, meeting that girl or boy, making that new career… all always safely in the future.

Dialogue Between Past Self and Future Self

Here’s where I would like to add some value to the already-excellent analysis that Tim Urban did.  One thing that happens with procrastination is a really dysfunctional dialogue across time.  It may be across minutes and it may be across decades.  It’s the dialogue between past you and future you.

Procrastinators load a lot of tasks onto their future self.  And whether it’s “I’ll just surf the web for five minutes” or “I’ll do that next month”, eventually the future self becomes the present self, and is basically thinking “I can’t believe Past Me stuck me with this task, there’s so little time left, why didn’t Past Me just do it then?  You suck Past Me.”

And since there is no past you and future you really, just present self, this means procrastinators basically feel angry at themselves a lot.  For some intense procrastinators, all the time.

I think it might be possible to surface this dialogue in a healthier way.  There are two aspects: first, gratitude to your past self, and second, empathy with your future self.  This can start out small, but the key is to verbalise it, either internally or (depending on the people around you) out loud.  Did you put out your clothes the night before so you could get ready quicker?  “Thanks Past Me.”  Did you take some time to sort medication into daily slots so you don’t forget what to take each day?  “Thanks Past Me.”  Did you do the laundry yesterday so you have clean clothes today?  “Thanks Past Me.”

Similarly, when facing a task, you can try (this is hard) to empathize with your future self (who is, after all, you).  Writing that report today is a gift to your future self tomorrow, who will be less anxious and angry, who won’t have to struggle to complete too many piled-up tasks.  Doing even a small important task today means that future you won’t face the same anxiety and won’t have to fight whatever aversive behaviours and compulsions the anxiety may trigger.

This is a way to try to make your internal dialogue kinder across time, rather than (inevitably anxious) future you having to deal with the tasks that (inevitably anxious) past you avoided.

You can also, when necessary, forgive your past self.

Just as importantly, a healthier self-dialogue and addressing anxiety directly may open up the space so that you’re not always either dealing with crisis tasks in Quadrant 1, or obsessively avoiding anxiety-making tasks by huddling in the corner of Quadrant 4 (the “Stuck Here” quadrant).  It may open up the possibility that you actually make time for present you to do things in Quadrant 2, whether it’s learning photography, or going to a party, or whatever it is that will advance your life in important ways.

I hope this is helpful.

Many Government of Canada consultations

The Government of Canada is conducting many consultations.

It’s a bit of a challenge to find the major ones on ConsultingCanadians.gc.ca so I’ve made a list below.

Provincial Electoral Reform

There are also two provincial electoral reform (including online voting) consultations running:

Provincial General Consultations

And there are additional provincial-level consultations, too many to list them all, but here are a few:

CLOSED consultations

The following consultations are now closed:

Star Wars VII: A New New Hope?

Star Wars IV

Written by: George Lucas

very good

Star Wars V

Story by: George Lucas
Screenplay by: Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan (and George Lucas, uncredited)

good

Star Wars VI

Story by: George Lucas
Screenplay by: Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas

ok

Star Wars I

Written by: George Lucas

terrible

Star Wars II

Story by: George Lucas
Screenplay by: George Lucas and Jonathan Hales

terrible

Star Wars III

Written by: George Lucas

terrible

Basically, with the exception of the first movie, the more George Lucas writes it, the worse the movie is.  (This also aligns with my “one great idea” theory, where many writers have one really good first book or movie in them, and after that, not so much.)

Star Wars VII

Written by: Lawrence Kasdan, J. J. Abrams and Michael Arndt

With Abrams and Kasdan writing, I have a new new hope.

According to Vanity Fair:

Abrams and Kasdan took over the screenwriting process, starting more or less from scratch. “We said, Blank page. Page one. What do we desperately want to see?” Abrams told me. Though Abrams said both men had pet ideas from the development process they wanted to incorporate, and did, Kasdan made the process sound like more of a teardown: “We didn’t have anything,” Kasdan said. “There were a thousand people waiting for answers on things, and you couldn’t tell them anything except ‘Yeah, that guy’s in it.’ That was about it. That was really all we knew.”

By mid-January, Abrams and Kasdan had a draft, most of it hashed out in plein air conversations recorded on an iPhone as they walked and talked for hours at a time through cityscapes that changed according to the vagaries of Abrams’s schedule: first along the beach in Santa Monica, then through a freezing Central Park, in New York, and finally on the streets of London and Paris. One day, the two men spent eight hours at Les Deux Magots, the boisterous café on Boulevard Saint-Germain where patrons are jammed elbow-to-elbow and which is famous for having once been a hangout for the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir. “We’re like yelling back and forth in this noise, saying, This should happen, that should happen, he can’t do that…”