Yes, we’re free – free to make decisions for the good of all society

It’s terrifying to see the chaos that has ensued due to social influencers spreading misinformation

Yes, we’re free – free to make decisions for the good of all societyThere has been a great deal of controversy in recent weeks in fortunate countries where citizens have access to COVID-19 vaccines. Many feel it’s a violation of their freedom if they’re required to be immunized. Such thinking contradicts an important life principle made clear by Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl. He said, “Freedom is…

Manipulated video a sure sign Liberals feeling the heat

If Liberals have a couple more weeks that resemble their first, re-election could be in serious jeopardy

Manipulated video a sure sign Liberals feeling the heatDuring an election campaign, political parties are often faced with situations that could involve a few hiccups, some pitfalls, and even a major controversy or two. The Liberals, Conservatives, New Democrats and others aren’t immune to this. What differentiates them is how they handle these situations. From the initial response to the tactical use of…

Why respectful debate makes society better

Many of us have become very defensive about expressing our views

Why respectful debate makes society betterA 2018 episode of Channel 4 News from the United Kingdom has become rather infamous. Canadian psychologist and professor Jordan Peterson is interviewed by Cathy Newman about his book 12 Rules of Life, feminism and gender identity. Peterson has become very popular among those on the extreme right of the political spectrum. He has also…

Streaming giant Netflix flexes its podcasting muscles

Podcast titles have doubled since April 2020, when Apple announced the one-millionth entry in its podcast directory

Streaming giant Netflix flexes its podcasting musclesThe phrase “video killed the radio star” is often used as a metaphor for the domination of video over audio. It’s also a song by British new-wave band and one-hit wonder, The Buggles, and was the first selection played by MTV 40 years ago, on Aug. 1, 1981, sparking the music video revolution. It was…

Lazy journalism becoming a mouthpiece for the State’s narrative

There is a growing comfort in institutional journalism to follow rather than question

Lazy journalism becoming a mouthpiece for the State’s narrativeWarning lights should always flash before our eyes whenever journalists mix raw numbers and percolating percentages in the same paragraph. Numbers clearly state actuality. Percentages are the ups and downs of context. Regardless of the axiom attributed to Stalin that one death is a tragedy and a million is a statistic, if two people die,…

A civil libertarian who is neither civil nor libertarian

British Columbia Civil Liberties Association director Harsha Walia reacted to the burning of churches by tweeting ‘Burn it all down’

A civil libertarian who is neither civil nor libertarianBritish Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) executive director Harsha Walia retweeted a Vice News article on June 30 about two Catholic churches being burned down in Canada. These terrible incidents were reportedly related to the discovery of unmarked graves of Indigenous children at three former residential schools. A retweet wouldn’t have been noticed by most…

Grad turns her passion for fashion into her dream career

A grad of U of A’s fashion business management program, Frances Heaton gained a deep understanding of the industry and a strong network

Grad turns her passion for fashion into her dream careerFrances Heaton has always loved dabbling in fashion design, even creating her own figure skating outfits as a kid. “It’s like art, but with human bodies, which has always intrigued me.” Fast-forward to spring of 2021, as she becomes one of the first graduates of the University of Alberta’s bachelor of science in fashion business…

Smart photo frames make for great Father’s Day, grad gift choices

They’re socially aware, fit within our digital ecosystem like cloud platforms, and take advantage of the latest technologies

Smart photo frames make for great Father’s Day, grad gift choicesThink of all the pictures you’ve snapped on your smartphone – chances are you haven’t printed one in eons but likely shared them to the dark depths of Instagram and Facebook. Try having those photos at your fingertips without hovering over your phone or signing up for social media. It’s not easy without a smart…

Dealing with critics can give you powerful motivation

The more the critics bark, the more you’ll accomplish

Dealing with critics can give you powerful motivationFaith Wood knows how to resolve conflict. Her years in front-line law enforcement taught her how to effectively de-escalate any situation to a successful conclusion. Faith will use her knowledge of conflict management to guide you through the often stressful experiences you may encounter in your personal or professional life. Her Conflict Coach column appears…

Social media flexes its censorship muscles

Increasing tendency towards censorship is losing them some users

Social media flexes its censorship musclesFacebook, Google and Twitter have enjoyed market dominance for more than a decade. And their increasing tendency towards censorship has lost them some users. Although censorship isn’t welcome, it has given social media a chance to reinvent itself out of near-monopolistic dominance. Ironically, the first loser in the info wars was Alex Jones. Accounts for…

We need to control big tech. But how?

Big tech knows there will be a gradual convergence of major technology companies until no small brand can compete in any meaningful way

We need to control big tech. But how?Walking through a Manhattan subway station recently, I saw sign after sign advertising Google’s latest features on its Pay app. Huge walls of advertisements displayed photographs of happy users seeing how their monthly spending broke down, seemingly reaping the benefits of Google’s total control of their financial affairs. It feels like some dystopian future, with…

Social media campaign takes on COVID vaccine hesitancy

Aims to help people find credible information online

Social media campaign takes on COVID vaccine hesitancyThe problem with combatting the misinformation swirling around COVID-19 is, according to University of Alberta health law professor Timothy Caulfield, that all fronts the fight takes place on are of equal importance. “For a long time there has been this tolerance of pseudoscience and misinformation,” said Caulfield. “But there are recent studies that show once people believe…

Liberals must stop their attack on social media free speech

Want the power to direct, regulate and shut down social media platforms

Liberals must stop their attack on social media free speechFreedom of speech has long been a cherished principle in most Western democracies. While Canadians don’t have the same passion for free speech that our American friends do, we’ve always recognized the importance of preserving and protecting this value in times of war and peace. Until recently, that is. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his…

Stuck in a dangerous information echo chamber

When we limit our media consumption to one side of the political spectrum, we get a distorted picture of reality

Stuck in a dangerous information echo chamberEveryone likes positive affirmation. It’s nice knowing that while the rest of the world has gone crazy, your friends have your back. It feels even better when you have thousands of friends agreeing with everything you say. Frankly, that’s the power of social media, where positive affirmation is only a few clicks away. Social media…

Beware of Twitter – it will bite you in the ass

Examples of tweets destroying careers are numerous. Commit your thoughts to Twitter and you're forever setting your opinions in amber

Beware of Twitter – it will bite you in the assLast week, I got a notice from Twitter that I was ‘celebrating’ 12 years on the social media platform. What an accomplishment. Here are my Twitter stats after 12 years: I have sent out 3,475 tweets. I’m following 50 accounts, one of whom claims to be a graduate of ‘Bovine University.’ Bafflingly, I have 431…
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