All that is necessary for the survival of the fittest

is an interest in life, good, bad or peculiar--Grace Paley

Juliet Waters

Juliet Waters
Montreal, Canada
August 01
Montreal based writer, book critic, single mom. Currently working on a book about a year learning computer programming. Visit me, or


SEPTEMBER 12, 2012 11:34AM

The Intention Economy

"Doc Searls On Becoming Part of The Intention Economy," Fast Company, May 3, 2012.

When my mom was starting our busy protoyuppy family, back in the 60s, one thing was easier. She had relationships with saleswomen at a few downtown department stores.  She could call one up and say, I… Read full post »

AUGUST 30, 2012 11:04AM

At the Montreal Maker Faire

The best  thing I did at the inaugural Montreal Mini Maker Faire last weekend was solder my very own LED  pin.  My son, Ben, didn't want to go anywhere near that soldering iron, and I'm glad I didn't cajole him into it. He has wonky fine motor skills and I burned myse… Read full post »
AUGUST 8, 2012 11:21AM

Code Year--week 32, Hackasaurus


For  a while, Ben and I parted ways on our coding adventure.  I understood.  Nothing destroys the cool of coding quite like your mother learning it.  As I got better in  JavaScript  I started developing the annoying habit of delivering helpful tutorials. It wasn't… Read full post »


Yesterday Codecademy announced  $10 million in their second round of venture funding (a big chunk of that from Richard Branson). But notice who's mentioned in the small list of accomplished students. Yes that's us,"Juliet Waters and her son Ben."  That's a list of four students ou… Read full post »

JUNE 6, 2012 2:31PM

My Code Year: The Women

Rear Admiral Grace Hopper overseeing her team of programmers (Photo taken for Philadelphia Inquirer "Your Neighbors" article, August 13, 1957)


One winter Augusta Ada Byron King, Countess of Lovelace, became obsessed with a puzzle that had become popular in the circles of Victorian Ar… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 30, 2012 9:42AM

My Code Year, Things Being More Equal Than Others

It will soon be six months since I started my Code Year pledge with

I’m still going strong. Haven't missed a week.  I’ve even started beta testing a few courses ahead of time. But this doesn’t mean that learning to program has been easy.… Read full post »

Arcade protest

Anyone watching Saturday Night Live last weekend was probably puzzled by the red squares worn by every member of the Montreal band Arcade Fire. Mick Jagger wasn't wearing one, but he had obviously color co-ordinated for the message.

The red square was in support of the Quebec student protests.… Read full post »

MAY 2, 2012 9:31AM

Bottable Stories



Here’s a bone-chilling feature in Wired last week about the increasing number of articles being written by software.  Narrative Science is a company that specializes in turning data into story.  This works particularly well in sports stories, where it will be… Read full post »

APRIL 25, 2012 2:07PM

Family 3.0: A Manifesto

Family 3


Allright, I’m ready to call it. If the 90s was the decade of the brain, and the 2000s, the decade of impossible to categorize millennial upheaval, this decade is going to be the decade of digital literacy. Or at least that’s what it should be.

When I say… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 18, 2012 9:49AM

Knowing the Password

Last week my eleven-year-old son’s yahoo mail account was hacked.  Ben’s on Facebook and doesn’t e-mail very much, so fortunately his list of contacts was small.  Because he doesn’t have any bank accounts or credit cards, I guess I’ve procrastinated explaining
Read full post »

APRIL 11, 2012 9:27AM

Is code a foreign language?

Monsieur Bot

Bonjour, Monsieur Bot.

Learning code is hot. It’s the new French. Parlez Vous Python? The New York Times asked recently as it announced the new trend among millenials. Young adults who used to take night courses in foreign languages, are now taking courses in Ruby, Python and JRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 8, 2011 7:12AM

The End Of Quitting

dad smoking

My dad, smoking on TV. April 29, 1970. Les Archives de Radio-Canada, Sociétè Radio-Canada. 

I recently discovered a 1970 television clip of my dad on a Montreal political panel discussing the birth of the separatist Parti Québècois. Of course he’s smokin… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 8, 2010 6:42AM

"In Treatment" recap, Jesse and Adele finale

A therapist once said to me that people come to therapy mostly just looking for a new reason to blame their parents. Once they've found it they usually quit. The real work of therapy only starts then when you discover that holding your parents responsible for your problems really doesn’t solve… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 7, 2010 7:16AM

In Treatment recap, Sunil and Frances week 7

As much as I’ve been anticipating the Sunil finale all week, I’ve also been dreading it. All season I’ve been resenting how our prejudices towards Sunil, the dark skinned stranger from a complex vaguely understood country, have been exploited and manipulated. I’ve grown fond o… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 1, 2010 6:40AM

"In Treatment" recap, Jesse and Adele week 6

It’s hard to tell what’s true with Jesse.  He meets one of Paul’s patients in the waiting room and lies to her, telling her that he’s from Milwaukee, and that he’s here to celebrate his birthday with his uncle Paul.  In Paul's office  he sings happy birthd… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 30, 2010 6:58AM

"In Treatment" recap, Sunil and Frances week 6

Paul is surprised to see Julia in the waiting room. “You obviously weren’t expecting to see the wicked, insensitive daughter-in-law,” she says bitterly.  Paul notices she has a bandage on her arm.  This, says Julia, is from an argument in which Sunil pushed her, she lost h… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 24, 2010 7:18AM

"In Treatment" recap, Jesse and Adele week 5

As I suspected, Paul’s casual discussion of Max in his therapy session with Jesse a couple of weeks ago has had unfortunate consequences.  It’s encouraged Jesse to feel like part of the family, which may be why he feels entitled to impulsively show up at Paul’s apartment at 10:… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 23, 2010 7:15AM

In Treatment recap, Sunil and Frances week 5

Tonight there are no glimpses into Paul's life. I’m not sure why this is. Maybe so that we can start the Adele session on the same sexually charged note it ended last week? Or maybe because Paul’s problems will seem pretty inconsequential next to Sunil who is going increasingly mad with… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 17, 2010 7:13AM

"In Treatment" recap, Jesse and Adele week 4

It's raining hard outside Paul's office. Real hard. 

Poor Jesse. He's been working so steadily on getting everyone to abandon him and now he’s practically drowning in love. Roberto's been helping him with his math homework (like Paul helped Max earlier in the week). Marissa's gone into a… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 16, 2010 7:04AM

In Treatment recap, Sunil and Frances week 4

Week four opens with Paul helping Max with his homework. Patiently he explains the simple genius of Pythagorean theory (that the square of the hypotenuse is the sum of the square of each of the remaining two sides.)  Max gets it. Father and son connect. It would seem that the Weston… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 10, 2010 6:27AM

In Treatment recap, Jesse and Adele week 3

This week we've seen Paul off his game. He pushes Sunil too far too fast. He’s asleep when Frances arrives for her appointment and confuses her with her sister. With Jesse he makes his worst mistake of the week, not just as a therapist, but also as a father. He tries… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 9, 2010 7:09AM

In Treatment recap, Sunil and Frances week 3

Sunil has been watching “Survivors” (sic). As he explains to Paul over tea, this is a show about “two groups of American citizens” who willingly endure hardship and humiliation while women walk and jump “around naked. Almost naked, practically naked, without being naked.… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 3, 2010 7:20AM

In Treatment recap, Jesse and Adele week 2

In Paul's final session with Gina he'd just met Wendy, and was optimistic about having met a woman with whom me might talk about something other than therapy, "like a book!" As we learn tonight Wendy is pretty much over. Not really because Paul is worried about how it will affect… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 2, 2010 7:27AM

In Treatment recap: Sunil and Frances, week 2

One of the major challenges of dramatizing therapy is that people typically start it with a dull, rigid little story they've been telling themselves for years (my mother was an over controlling hag, my father was perfect, except for his alcoholism, etc.) As a result the average patient, at least in… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 27, 2010 6:49AM

"In Treatment" recap: Adele and Jesse, week 1

Remember yesterday, when I said I suspected "In Treatment" without the original Israeli scripts would probably be much less confrontational? Ya, so, I’m officially taking that back now.

For the first time in the history of the show Paul has actually said to a patient "don't speak to me like that

Read full post »