Regina Bitcoin Community meets at Tavern

About 40 people showed up to Vic’s Tavern on Tuesday to talk about cryptocurrencies. Among the hot topics:

“Is Bitcoin a bubble?”, and “What is Ethereum?”.

In my table before the group discussion, everyone said Bitcoin was a bubble, but with a big caveat, that it will burst into other newer cryptocurrencies, not mostly back into dollars. In the larger group, few were willing to say it was a bubble. I, and Mike S. were asked to speak for the group to the media that showed up with questions about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. One person, I think it was Kai, or was it Mike (safe bet, there were no fewer than 3 at my table), explained that there were many bubbles in cryptocurrencies, all percolating and popping frequently, faster than most notice.

I felt a little like a celebrity in the room, as several people recognized me from my Bitcoin Symposiums I helped put together 3 years ago when similar crowds came out for an evening of education and visiting.

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Friend Jim on Radio for Heroic Water System

Consider that Regina and area is prone to droughts that can last more than a decade. The last century has been mercifully wet.

Jim Elliott’s living off the Regina water grid in Broder’s Annex. He’s buying drinking water (brought by cargo bike), but his other water needs are met through efficient rainwater use.

Is Twitter Worth It?

Abuse on Twitter (and social media in general) is ending the usefulness of the network. I’m not blameless either, although I do attempt to be more helpful than confrontational and critical on social media. There’s an absolutely fascinating article you should read if you’re concerned about the decline of social media.

Can we create a better web? Sure. But I think we have to start with humility, gratitude, reality — not arrogance, privilege, blindness. Abuse isn’t a nuisance, a triviality, a minor annoyance that “those people” have to put up with for the great privilege of having our world-changing stuff in their grubby hands. It will chill, stop, and kill networks from growing, communities from blossoming, and lives from flourishing. If your purpose is social interaction, abuse is as central to it as bacterial infection is to selling meat. Get it wrong, and you might just end up like Twitter in 2015. Not a beautiful town square, but a raging mosh pit. Good luck selling tickets to that.

I’ve noticed a lot fewer new faces on Twitter since I first started my 2nd account when I ran for city council in 2012. That campaign was tinged by waves of new people to Twitter, including dedicated trolls attacking a mayoral candidate that got very little positive attention, and attracted the majority of negative attention during the whole campaign.

The waves of abuse that person saw compare to what many women face when using Twitter.

Eden, from Regina, offers examples of what sort of violent abuse she faces as a woman using and making technology and music.

So, how can we be critical, without being considered abusive by the targets of our critiques? A journalist at Global told me I wasn’t doing a good job of it.

So how are people to interact online given contentious political topics, especially where critique and peaceful public dissent is essential for maintaining an evolving democratic system? Leave your thoughts in the comments, without a trace of irony.

City Not Looking At Electric Future

I’m completely disappointed CBC didn’t contact the City or Sun Country for comment before publishing this rehash of the City’s report on free EV chargers. What about seeing if someone spoke to it at the Public Works meeting at 4pm yesterday first? This wasn’t balanced/responsible journalism.

The City’s perspective appears to be to preserve as much parking meter revenue as possible, at the expense of planning to accommodate/support presently available vehicle types their citizens own, and will own in greater numbers in the near future. The effort to save $26000 installing the chargers where the City wants isn’t commendable when they blow $1000000 on giving away parking to City employees every year, according to their own Parking Study they kept hidden for years until a journalist at another organization uncovered it.

The OCP says the City should be looking at improving sustainability, and the Transportation Master Plan makes a similar suggestion.

Out of Touch and Out of Water

I was frankly surprised that the Leader-Post actually brought up climate change in their editorial that is otherwise a little out of touch.

It would have been nice if they interviewed Dave Sauchyn. I learned from him a couple years ago at a provincial conference that the Palliser Triangle is prone to droughts (regardless of human generated climate changes) that can last decades.

Doubtless we’ll all have renewed respect for the water we too often take for granted once this episode is behind us. And the city and its water treatment experts will hopefully figure out a way to prevent a recurrence.

Nope. It’s happened before that Regina’s been on backup wells from a Buffalo Pound supply problem. Many times in the past years in fact, and nothing stopped this crisis because Regina wastes way too much water.

Some ideas, however, seem ridiculous, including bathing in a tub with “only a couple of centimetres of water” and — bizarrely — to “reduce toilet flushing”.

It’s “ridiculous” to reduce toilet flushing by switching to a model that uses less water, not flushing when not necessary, and even going to a water-free model of composting toilet? It’s bizarre to poop into drinking water, frankly.

If you can’t get clean in a bath with 2cm of water, how dirty or unimaginative are you?

poop into water

No, if the City wants to be serious about saving lots of water, they should consider my plan to require new housing construction to have a greywater system.

we believe there’s a limit to the goodwill and patience the city can expect from its citizens, who have a right to expect service after paying water and sewer utility rate increases

City politicians will tell the Rockies to melt their glaciers faster, the polluted water growing algae to stop it, and notify the sky it must rain more west of here. There’s a limit to the goodwill and patience we have with those factors you know. We’ve paid for it, after all?!
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Libel Lecture

It’s surreal to wake up and read a friend’s message that your name is on the second page of the province’s largest newspapers, because a radio host with a newspaper column decided to sling mud your way. Last Tuesday I attended my 3rd lecture in a week at the UofR by a public speaker, the last one being by John Gormley. To the surprise of everyone in the room, his talk was interrupted by a noisy, yelling, protester. I put the video on my blog, as I did with the other two recent lectures.

Mr. Gormley’s radio station and his radio show in his “showbizzy” way extensively promoted my video of his lecture with the altercation and some interviews I tacked onto the end. In his column’s recap of the lecture, and on TV, he singled me out with derogatory remarks, claiming falsely that I was “leering and giggling” at his misfortune of being aggressively interrupted. Others were recording, and my video too confirms I was not giggling during this interruption. I don’t know how Mr. Gormley could interpret my rapt attention during a public lecture and his unusual altercation as “leering”, but I confirm there was no malice intended. Perhaps radio personalities aren’t used to people looking at them as they talk.

It seems improbable that Mr. Gormley intended no malice with his untrue comments about my behaviour and my political position on the spectrum he measures people by. I suppose even moderates like myself appear left wing from Mr. Gormley’s political perch, as he imagines people with different political views as conspiring against him.


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John Klein, #Transit Advocate #YQRcc

Advocating for better transit in Regina isn’t altruistic, it’s self serving with collateral benefits for strangers.

While acknowledging Saskatchewan’s strong “car culture,” Regina Mayor Michael Fougere has doubts about a deep-seated aversion to transit among suburban residents.

He says many more people would take the bus if it were the most convenient option.

If social stigma isn’t keeping the upper crust off the bus, that means Regina City Council (#yqrcc) hasn’t made a desirable #transit system even they’d consider using while dragged under the public spotlight by Councillor Fraser’s 10 Days of Transit challenge to them.

Regina transit advocate John Klein argues that many people don’t ride buses because their routes are poorly designed and their operating hours are too short.

“The routes aren’t great because we don’t have many buses running,” said Klein, who relies on Regina Transit, cycling and a car-share program to get around.

Fougere, however, disagrees. He stresses that the city is continuing to invest in transit improvements such as a route redesign completed earlier this year.

“The evidence of this success,” the mayor said, “is the nine per cent (ridership) increase last year and the growing increase this year.”

I wonder how the 0% decrease-funding of #Transit by #yqrcc the last umpteen years, and the route changes this year, can be credited to the 9% increase in use last year? No additional buses added to a fleet with growing demand seems like a paltry, or non-existent “investment”.

It’s not my job to explain to the mayor how not to sound absurd, but I make it my hobby to point it out when it impinges upon my ability to get around our city.

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