Links for the Week – Jan. 21/06

Because of my back injury, I’ve been negligent in my reading this week. Thankfully others have not, and I owe almost all of this week’s links to the diligence of Dale Asberry (‘DA’ in the following paragraphs) and John & Suzanne’s Innovation Weekly (‘IW’ in the following paragraphs). The power of social networks! Thanks!

Monday’s Election in Canada:

  • The CBC has written an excellent piece on the (lack of) election coverage on environmental issues and the dire implications of a predicted Conservative victory on Canada’s environment and on the Kyoto Protocol. Thanks to the CBC’s Ira Basen for the link. 
  • Also, Henry Morgentaler, who almost single-handedly has brought about abortion rights for Canadian women in smaller and more conservative communities across the country, has urged Canadians not to vote Conservative  Despite Harper’s assurances that rights will not be significantly curtailed, many of his candidates are rabidly anti-abortion and have made no secret of their desire to roll back the clock on this and other social issues. 
  • Last chance to think twice, Canada. From the look of the polls, however, it looks as if many Canadians won’t do so.

US Politics & Economics:

Science & Technology:

  • ButterflyNet software transcribes handwritten journals and other scientific documents and notations into digital form, and allows links and photos to be embedded later, saving the tedious process of manual transcription (IW). 
  • Translator Jesse Browner reviews the state of the art (still pretty rudimentary) of language translation software (IW). 
  • John Markoff at the NYT reviews the state of the art (coming along quickly) of long-promised PC/TV convergence (IW). 
  • And Pravda reports that not only does it make you feel better, sex prevents you getting sick in the first place (DA).

Business Innovation:

  • Entrepreneur Magazine lists the hottest business trends in food service, security, home tech and home improvement, business-to-business services, products for children, and cross-industry trends — lots of food for thought in this exhaustive article (IW).  
  • David Gammel has written a great Wikipedia entry on ‘unconferences‘, self-managed and self-organized meetings.

Photos of red foxes taken recently by a neighbour, Sandra Traversy, published in our local newspaper. The foxes are residents of our community, about 2.5 feet long excluding their tails and 1.5 feet tall, weighing only about 10-20 lbs and traveling, mostly nocturnally, at speeds of up to 30 mph. In some ways they behave more like wildcats than wolves, trapping rather than running down their prey (largely field mice in our area), and working alone or in pairs rather than in packs.

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2 Responses to Links for the Week – Jan. 21/06

  1. Bruce Winter says:

    Dave why are you asking us to re elect criminals, and statists who have stolen our money and abolished our rights?.Three reasons to think again1) Money Laundering and robbing the Federal Treasury by the Liberal Party of Canada. ADSCAM2) Denying and failing to protect Canadian Citizenship and citizens Mahar Arrar3) Abolition of habeas corpus in Canada by the creation of Certificates of Detention .”Once signed, the certificate is referred to the Federal Court of Canada. The judge examines the information and evidence in private, in the absence of the person named in the certificate and their counsel. Upon examining the information and evidence, the judge determines what information cannot be disclosed for reasons that its disclosure would be injurious to national security or to the safety of any person.The determination of the judge is final and may not be appealed or judicially reviewed. If a certificate is determined not to be reasonable, it is quashed and if detained, the individual is released from detention.Whatever happened to the wisdom of the crowds Dave?

  2. Dave Pollard says:

    Bruce, the wisdom of crowds, as Surowiecki’s book explains, requires the crowd to be reasonably informed and independent of the propensity for groupthink. The Canadian electorate is neither, which I blame largely on the media. If I really believed the Bush-adoring Harper would have done anything better w/r/t Mahar Arar, I would have voted for him. And if any of the left-of-centre parties had a chance of winning, or if we had proportional representation, I would certainly not have suggested strategically voting for the Liberals. It will be interesting to see how Harper ‘stands up for Canada’ when the US ambassador is already testing him by claiming not to recognize Canadian sovereignty over our arctic waters. I was pleased with what Harper said, but actions will speak louder than words. If he can get the $5B back that the Bush administration is illegally withholding from us (and he’s claimed he will), I will be impressed. I don’t condone Adscam but it was government negligence that allowed a small group to steal from the government, the perpetrators (not the government) need to be punished accordingly and I think they will be, and Martin himself ordered the probe and has acknowledged the negligence and put in place measures to prevent its recurrence. I agree that the issuance of Security Certificates is a disgrace, but they were introduced in 1978 and have been issued by Conservative as well as Liberal governments since then. I can’t find any record of any Canadian political party saying they wanted an end to this policy. And I hardly think Security Certificates were an issue in this election — I would doubt that more than 1% of Canadians even knew what they were.

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