Archive for the ‘Society’ Category
Earlier in November, the CBC broadcast an investigative news piece titled The Disappearing Male on Doc Zone. I’ve now read or seen a number of pieces on the issue covered in the report, that of relatively a sharp drop in the number of males of most animal species.
The documentary goes into the details of this phenomenon and discusses how human sexual function and sexual development are experiencing impairment due to the potpourri of man-made chemicals and materials that are present in our natural environment. This impairment is somehow resulting in a reduction in the male to female birth ratio.
In a nutshell, we are experiencing the feminization of the human race.
The long term impact of this such an imbalance in males to females would result in large-scale social imbalances. With a greater number of females, this means fewer females getting married. This would likely negatively impact the already shrinking birth-rate in developed nations resulting in an even larger elderly care problem. This is not even to speak of the social unrest associated with a large population of unmarried individuals, or of the genetic impact this may have on future generations.
I personally feel this issue is huge and warrants greater attention and more research.
Health Canada has recently taken some strong steps towards restricting the presence of the chemical Bisphenol A on the Canadian market. Bisphenol A is considered to be a potential hazard to young children, and as such it’s use in baby bottles is now prohibited. Unfortunately we may only find out the long-term health consequences of these chemicals once it’s too late to reverse the trend, but certainly reducing the exposure of young children to such chemicals is a positive development.
If you haven’t seen The Disappearing Male yet, you can now watch it on Google Video:
It looks like the net neutrality debate is finally picking up in Canada. As far as I’m concerned, we’ve been way overdue for such a debate. Rogers Canada’s traffic shaping practice, and now Bell’s, has gone on long enough. South of the border, Comcast has buckled to consumer outrage and Congressional pressure. Canadians need to let Rogers and Bell know how disappointed we are as well.
In the fight against big media, I believe we need the government to support the Canadian people against the unfair advantage these telecoms have. They own all the infrastructure and obviously have an interest in ensuring the Internet cannot threaten their significant investments into competing distribution channels (digital cable or satellite service).
To this end, I’ve written to Jim Prentice, the Minister of Industry.
Dear Mr. Prentice:
As a very concerned Canadian citizen, I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with your ministry’s policy of remaining uninvolved in the case of The Canadian People vs. Bell & Rogers in the issue of net neutrality.
In response to Charlie Angus’ question about your ministry’s involvement in this fight, the Globe and Mail quotes you as saying:
“At this point in time we will continue to leave the matter between consumers on the one hand and Internet service providers on the other”
I was extremely disappointed to read that you are leaving the Canadian people to fight an unfair battle, one in which the opponent holds the upper hand and all the bargaining power.
What power do I as a consumer have? If today Rogers and Bell are suppressing technologies like BitTorrent, which help to enable media distribution over the Internet, what alternatives do I have? BitTorrent and other Internet distribution technologies are the future of content distribution. These technologies are also a direct threat to Rogers’ digital cable and Bell’s satellite service offerings. Is it any surprise that we now find Bell is also traffic shaping and reducing the quality of the service offered by the wholesale service providers (an act that is also plainly anti-competitive)?
I would love for you to tell me what options I have, and what I can do to encourage Rogers or Bell to change their policy and keep the Internet open and fair. Tell me which provider I can switch to, or how I can vote with my dollar. Either that or tell me why I should trust such a critical public resource as the Internet to the likes of Bell or Rogers.
While you’re at it, also tell me how you’re securing the future of net neutrality and net innovation in Canada, and ensuring that we don’t end up becoming the laughing stock of the developed world.
Bell & Rogers have no will to concede to the Canadian people, and we have nowhere else to take our dollars without going back to stone-age Internet access.
Do you call this a fair fight, sir?
I urge you and our other representatives to take some action to ensure fair, responsible access to the Internet, such that innovation and choice — the lifeblood of the Internet — will be preserved.
Thank you for your time.
If you’d like to contribute to the discussion, then be sure to share your opinion with Jim Prentice at prentice.j AT parl.gc.ca (please be civil), or get in touch with your local MP. Oh, and do get involved with the Campaign for Democratic Media. It’s about time a consumer-rights organization got involved in the fight.
Throttling and other anti-P2P practises appear to gaining prevelance amongst the Canadian ISPs for some reason. Meanwhile, south of the border, the American public is in an uproar over the anti-P2P practices of Rogers‘ counterpart, Comcast. All the while, Rogers has been engaging in anti-P2P practices — in fact, anti-net neutrality practices — far worse than what Comcast has been charged with; while Comcast may be resetting P2P connections at certain times of the day or in certain areas, Rogers throttles ALL encrypted traffic wholesale.
My question is, why aren’t Canadians as concerned about Net censorship and the impaired quality of broadband offerings here? American ISPs can hardly get away with anything without Congressional hearings being arranged, and up here Rogers is making a complete mockery of the concept of net neutrality.
Canadians, it’s time to wake up and hold the telecom giants’ feet to the fire.
Someone please tell me where I can sign up to express my anger, and hopefully in a manner that might drive legislative change barring what Rogers, and now Bell, are up to. I’m angry, dangnabbit!
Yep, the age of robotic companionship is upon us. Given advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, and not to mention expanded definitions of marriage, it seems inevitable.
Robot spouses are hardly going to become the norm — indeed they remain an anomaly at the moment (unless you know something I don’t!) — but I can certainly see the allure for a certain category of people. Perhaps those who may find it difficult to relate to other people, or find the prospect of real human relationships too risky.
Frankly, I’m somewhat disturbed by Zoltan’s story. It speaks to me of someone who finds real emotional contact with a human being too difficult. As well, this is damning indictment of society at large in that we’ve been unable to help those who are emotionally repressed or fragile.
I’m sure there are those that would readily disagree with my opinion here. After all, why shouldn’t everyone be able to do what they want and what they’re comfortable with?
I have to think that human beings gain the most satisfaction from accomplishment, and especially emotional accomplishment. There is nothing more emotionally satisfying than a fantastic relationship, and especially with one’s spouse.
I’m sure this is going to become a more contentious and fascinating issue as technology advances, so feel free to sound off in the comments with your own opinion.
Since guns are illegal in Japan, how do people defend themselves against knife-wielding hooligans? They use a sasumata, a way of telling the bad guy that you’d only touch them with a 10-foot pole… literally!
Now, Japan is the cheesiest place on Earth, but you have to respect a society with such high rates of social obedience, and such disapproval of public malfeasance. Contrast this to the United States where gun ownership is rampant, and crime rates orders of magnitude more frequent, despite (or because of?) the argument that guns protect people from other people with guns.
It may be unfair to compare the social environment of Japan to that of the United States, but there’s a lot to be said about a society that has matured the point where it can say, we don’t need guns to protect ourselves from each other.
Mad respec’, Japan, mad respec’.
Credit: from digg.