Eyeview

By: David Charbonneau

David will be posting his columns every week on Thursday. He has eclectic interests ranging from social and political issues to science. He is a retired Electronics Instructor from Thompson Rivers University, former president of the Faculty Association, and curriculum writer. He now paints acrylic on canvas for Thompson Studio.

The rise and fall of globalization

February 15, 2018 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — As the sun sets on globalization, what will a new day bring? The new era will face challenges of rampant parochialism, environmental destruction, inequality and greed.

The dawn of globalization was unremarkable. Yanis Varoufakis, professor economics and former finance minister of Greece gives the date:

“On Aug. 15, 1971, then-president Richard Nixon announced the ejection of Europe and Japan from the dollar zone. Unnoticed by almost everyone, globalization was born on that summer day (Globe and Mail).”

Self-administered death made easier

February 8, 2018 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — A new drug in Canada will make medically-assisted death easier. It can’t come soon enough.

If I had a terminal illness that made my life a living hell, I would want medical assistance in dying (MAID). Since it has been legal in Canada since 2016, it should be easy. All I have to do is find a doctor who is willing to administer the drugs. And then make sure I’m living in the right place. That’s where things get tricky, as Horst Saffarek found out.

The future of blockchain mining in B.C.

February 1, 2018 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — Blockchain mines look nothing like copper mines. They are banks of computer that toil away at solving complex calculations. Blockchain is the digital ledger used by many cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Because the computers generate heat, they could be used to warm the greenhouses to grow the tonnes of marijuana needed for Canada’s budding legal market.

Minimum wage hike a boon to economy

January 25, 2018 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — Higher minimum wages are good for the economy but you would never know it from Ontario’s experience. Their hike to $14 dollars per hour has taken an ugly turn. Seattle’s experience was quite different.

The upset in Ontario is centered on Tim Hortons franchises. Cuts to benefits have triggered public outcry in support of employees. Demonstrations took place across Canada at Tim Hortons shops last Friday, organized by Leadnow.org.

Germany pays customers to use electricity

January 4, 2018 - 6:40am

KAMLOOPS — German power companies paid customers to use electricity on one hundred occasions in 2017. Companies paid customers a lot relative to what they normally receive -1,720 times more per kilowatt hour.

The reason why power companies were so eager to pay customers had to do with the wind. Wind turbines were generating too much power on the grid and they had to dump it quickly. Surplus electricity is a dangerous problem that has to be corrected quickly.

Blockchain could improve food security

December 28, 2017 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — The future of cryptocurrencies such as the bitcoin might be unclear but the technology behind it is solid. Blockchain is the digital ledger where bitcoin transactions are kept. It’s transparent, secure and open for all to see.

The origin of blockchain is mysterious. Some person, or group, with the anonymous name Satoshi Nakamoto is credited with inventing blockchain. Who this person is remains obscure.

The multi-tent government of BC

December 21, 2017 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — Big-tent parties are standard in politics, but in government, they rule from a small room.

Getting as many voters into your tent ensures a win in the first-past-the-post system. Once elected, a relatively small group will determine the direction of government. A smart leader will pick cabinet members with diverse opinions. An arrogant leader will dictate the agenda.

Site C dam was one of those ideas that should have been halted early once it became obvious it wasn’t needed. Former Premier Christy Clark blindly proceeded with it.

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