Wednesday Night #2100

Written by  //  June 15, 2022  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

Congratulations to Alireza Najafi-Yazdi aka Ali, who has shared the news that Anyon Systems will deliver Canada’s and Quebec’s first public quantum computer to one of Canada’s largest super computing centres, Calcul Québec. The machine will be integrated with Calcul Québec HPC infrastructure, especially Canada’s largest public supercomputer, narval. Narval is ranked 83rd in the world Top 500 and 21st in the Green 500 as of November 2021. (See Narval: A new supercomputer dedicated to scientific research)

The Jan 6 Committee hearings have proven to be riveting, thanks in part to the professional packaging of segments by the James Goldston team.
Who Is the Former TV News Chief Helping the Jan. 6 Committee?
James Goldston, former president of ABC News, and his team are producing TV-ready segments for all the public hearings.
Jeremy Kinsman and Larry Haas devoted this week’s Diplomatic Community segment to the hearings, (US democracy and January 6 on the couch – What does the world think?) reflecting on the effect on the reputation of the U.S. and speculating on what the final outcome may be.
In other U.S. political news, Trump Had a Good, But Not Perfect, Primary Night

As Putin’s War grinds on mercilessly, Tom Nichols of The Atlantic reminds us that “Democracy is under attack everywhere, and today I want us all to remember that while we’re calmly peeling back the layers of the January 6 conspiracy, people are dying for their right to be free in Ukraine”. (Two Battles for Democracy – The one in Ukraine still needs our help.)

As Battle Grows Desperate, U.S. Says It Won’t Push Ukraine Into Talks
Western officials prepare to meet in Brussels this week amid growing European concerns about the costs and risks of the war in Ukraine.

Andrew Caddell‘s column this week asks Does the Constitution matter anymore? – the subhead With the paucity of leadership in Ottawa, we are whimpering our way to oblivion and a bifurcated Canada is an all-too-accurate picture of the lack of political backbone in Ottawa. “Out of nowhere, Quebec’s Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette changed the Constitution. Overnight. He had indicated last year the change would be part of Bill 96, the radical restructuring of the Charter of the French Language. … It is obvious Francois Legault is treating the Trudeau government as a bunch of chumps. And getting away with it, because Trudeau is a minority PM who needs Quebec support”.

The political scene in Quebec has become more and more complicated -and fractured- with the announcement that the newly-authorized Bloc Montréal—Équipe Balarama Holness party now has a slate of three candidates. In addition to party leader Balarama Holness, who is to run in the west-end riding of Nôtre-Dame-de-Grâce, Joel DeBellefeuille will run in D’Arcy McGee and Heidi Small in Westmount-St.Louis.
Holness has said his party, authorized last week by Élections Québec, was created to protect the interests of Montrealers at the provincial level and plans to run 30 to 35 candidates in Montreal and off-island in the fall election.
Meanwhile, Dominique Anglade has pledged to alter, but not repeal Bill 96, and that the controversial new rules imposing more French courses in English CEGEPs will continue in force, thus attracting the ire of the Canadian Party of Quebec Language rights party slams Anglade over stance on Bill 96
We fail to see anything positive in the PLQ’s stance which contributes to the splitting of the Anglo/Allophone and other QLP voting bloc. It is hard to understand why a suitably large tent has not been crafted in order to bring together all the opponents of Bill 96 and other measures of the CAQ.

It took them a long time to wake up to the problems, but finally, Quebec tech companies warn new language law could hurt recruitment, damage economy Read the letter
And then, there is this: New language law flies in face of research detailing challenges facing asylum seekers Learn French in 6 months? Quebec-commissioned report shows why that’s nearly impossible

Canadians’ trust in the news media hits a new low according to the Reuters Institute’s 2022 Digital News Report
Like previous years, the study found that francophones are more trusting of the news and news sources than anglophones, although both groups are less trusting of the news than ever before.
The study also showed that age is a major factor in how much respondents trust the news, with higher trust among respondents aged 35 or older than for younger adults. This finding is consistent with past research. Young people tend to consume news less in general, and are more reliant on social media and other digital platforms for information.

The Modern World is a Dopamine Minefield. Here’s how to navigate it.
Ion Valaskakis writes about the addictive nature of dopamine, ‘the new nicotine’. “Most of the technology we use every day are dopamine manipulators. There is a trillion-dollar economy in using these triggers to make us scroll more, watch more, click more, and spend more.”

We look forward to our economists’ views on Wednesday’s news that the Fed Takes Aggressive Action in Inflation Fight The Federal Reserve took its most aggressive step yet to try to tame rapid and persistent inflation, raising interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point and signaling that it is prepared to inflict economic pain to get prices under control.
The rate increase was the central bank’s biggest since 1994 and could be followed by a similarly sized move next month, suggested Jerome H. Powell, the Fed chair.

Crypto Is Crashing. It Deserves to.
CNN adds: Bitcoin, the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency, dropped to near $21,000 Wednesday. It’s lost a quarter of its value since Friday and is sitting nearly 70% below its high of $68,000 per coin in November. Ether, the second most valuable digital currency, has lost about a third of its value since Friday and has dropped 75% below its highs.
More concerning are the structural problems rendering it impossible for investors to withdraw their money from crypto exchanges.
and Bill Gates says crypto and NFTs are a sham

Long reads
Be prepared to dive down a rabbit hole with this link – so many related articles.
The Reuters Institute’s 2022 Digital News Report
The report documents ways in which the connection between journalism and the public may be fraying, including a fall in trust following last year’s positive bump, a declining interest in news and a rise in news avoidance. It also looks at audience polarisation and explores how young people access news.

Lawrence Freedman, Emeritus Professor of War Studies at King’s College London: The Role of History in the Russo-Ukraine War
My views on the limits to military power, which have developed over time, reflecting consideration of many instances rather than one or two specific cases, can be summed up in eight simple rules …

Leave Joe Biden Alone
I think he’s done a pretty good job, especially given the fact that he’s dealing with a pandemic, revelations about an attempted American coup d’état, and an economic slowdown over which he had no control. Oh, and by the way: He’s also managed (so far) to head off World War III and a possible nuclear conflict.

Long COVID Could Be a ‘Mass Deterioration Event’
A tidal wave of chronic illness could leave millions of people incrementally worse off.

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