Upon learning piano and guitar I thought it would be neat to
share my progress on youtube. I went about learning how to record with some
basic tools and voila….I made this whole thing happen.
One day, I head over to my channel and I see this “copyright
claim” made by the rights holder to Bruce Springsteen’s “The River”. After a belly laugh…I thought – okay, I best
go over to my settings and see if I have my channel in monetization mode
despite not coming near qualifying for youtube revenue. Indeed, there was a
check box that had been set by default to “permit monetization”. Hence; I
unchecked the check box thinking that this might resolve the matter. Then I
actually listened to some of the commentary over at Youtube’s “Creator Insider”
channel and learned that no check box was going to effectively deal with
copyright law that is in fact restricting novice musicians such as myself from
putting up covers.
Fast forward a couple of months and I check my “dashboard”
and learn that I’ve been bad again. This time, it’s a copyright “strike” and
not a “claim”. You see…three strikes and you’re out. Your channel comes down.
This time it was my piano rendition of The Eagles’ “I Can’t Tell You Why”.
There was no warning. No claim. It was a simple strike and I was informed to
head over to “copyright school” as a condition of having the claim potentially
removed after a waiting period.
While I may be amused by all of this given my elementary
participation, there are people who have taken up careers by creating youtube
content and whose livelihoods depend on being treated fairly.
Two examples of youtubers operating in the space of music education
are Rick Beato and Paul Davids. These folks provide valuable educational
content and are subject to these claims even when using snippets of songs for
educational purposes. It’s become apparent that these record companies now have
the option to impose a “revenue sharing” formula with a creator if they deem that
there is a violation and hence a “claim” or they can impose a “strike” like
what happened to me perhaps because my “permit monetization” check box is unclicked.
As you can see there’s nuance to all this but youtube likes
to keep things fairly vague in their representations through their “creator insider”
channel. Their editions are short and informal with broad strokes and big
I’ve thought much of the passengers stranded on cruise
liners in the Orient over the past couple of weeks. I was definitely suspicious
of the quarantine protocol thinking that these cruise vessels would not afford
the degree of isolation required in order to prevent the transmission of a
virus. Not that I’m an epidemiologist but in every piece that I’ve read since
the threat of the coronavirus, it seemed that the health professionals didn’t
have strong confidence in how exactly the virus spreads and they didn’t provide
much assurance that healthy passengers on a quarantined cruise liner would be
protected. It seems now that the rights of health cruisers were superseded by
an overzealous quarantine effort and an obvious void in protocol perpetrated by
an international lapse in cooperation.
When we elect leaders who lack a moral compass or who are
irrationally swayed by ideology over practicality, we should expect the occasional
debacle to arise. We should expect intransigence, indifference, and
ambivalence. Great leaders have a knack for anticipating problems and
establishing control mechanisms. Great leaders do not patronize administrative bodies
designed for international cooperation (United Nations, World Health
Organization). They seek ways to strengthen the foundation. Great leaders do
not find themselves distracted by issues of personal accountability thereby
compromising their attention toward matters of international importance. Great
leaders do not find themselves isolated due to pettiness in their bargaining or
vindictive with opponents. Great leaders do not find themselves enthralled in
meetings over the mundane.
Health workers fighting disease and treating patients on the
front line need administrative competence as a pillar of their support. They
need courageous leaders cognizant that the proliferation of international
travel and trade has made nation to nation cooperation paramount in protecting
lives and potentially fostering higher living standards.
I attended a U of A sponsored alumni event last night entitled “The Future of Work”. It was hosted at the newly restored old Calgary Science Center.
Economist Todd Hirsch from the Alberta Treasury Branch gave
the talk with a power point presentation. This well spoken gentleman referenced
topics which many of us maybe have thought about but haven’t really worked
through logistically in terms of how exactly advancing technology will impact
our working lives.
Todd suggests that advancing technology is going to in fact
do away with certain job functions. His example illustrated the chronology of
events required to fill a prescription for the elderly. He demonstrated that in
Canada today it takes six working people contacts for an elder to have their
prescription filled from the time he walks into a doctor’s office until the
time medicine is dispensed. However; once an electronic medical bracelet with
the capacity to monitor biological data is affixed to the wrist, a reduction in
manpower inevitably can serve the individual as well and perhaps better.
Imagine one pill instead of a cocktail delivered by drone.
Another theme presented was the sociological effect of
having less people serve us. Todd suggests that people will become more isolated
with the deployment of technology. I wonder if robots in decades to come will
be programmed to elicit emotion.
In one provocative slide, Todd depicted the working timeline
of people’s lives since the dawn of formalized agricultural to the onset of
industrialization and into the digital age. Finally there was a forecast of
decades new transformed by automation. He forecasts that a “Universal Basic
Income” will be required to offset the improved efficiency brought on by
automation. He also predicts that structured volunteerism will emerge as
government programs collapse under their weight with government finances
stretched. Continuous learning will be evident in a fast changing work place
and the career profile of someone in 2030 and beyond will be starkly different
from the “good job” espoused by baby boomers.
We’ve been lucky in North America compared to most other
parts of the world. We’ve historically had less corruption and in some
comparative examples – a lot less.
Canada ranks 12th and the U.S. ranks 23rd of 180
nations as of 2019. We still cringe here upon witnessing acts of corruption
whereas unfortunately in other countries such as Russia, Venezuela, Somalia, or
Yeman, it’s all just yawn worthy.
Corruption correlates with morale of the citizenry. If meritorious
conduct is penalized through acts of corruption, the incentive to perform in
alignment with just values is compromised. Good natured benevolence can be
repressed while witnessing rewards bestowed upon cheats. A cycle is established
and new norms arise and transfer inter generationally.
Special interests are oftentimes not congruent with the
Let’s turn to the impeachment trial of Donald Trump. An uncouth pragmatic populist with a never ending zeal to insult and lie has been put forward as President and his party faithful senators have been whipped into saving this man’s presidency amidst a court assembled with jurors biased through party politics unable to distinguish their party loyalty from a cerebral interpretation of facts. These senators voting to acquit the president of “obstruction of justice” and “abuse of power” have done so in lieu of obvious facts deeming Trump to be unfit. One reading of the Gordon Sondland transcript from the impeachment investigation proceedings would ground one in Trump’s self serving motives in withholding approved Ukrainian military aid. Despite obfuscation from the White House, the eloquently presented chronology of events via the impeachment investigation soundly illustrated Trump’s deviousness in provoking a dependent nation to comply with his request for an investigation of “Biden’s son”. The evidence was so clear despite the refusal of the White House to comply with subpoenas and documents that the Republican senior ranking member Devin Nunes serving as joint chair of the intelligence committee during investigation proceedings looked simply ridiculous in his futile efforts in combating the glaring undisputable evidence summarized by Adam Schiff and supported with revealing testimony from experienced diplomats tasked with administering Ukraine policy. Then there were those that directly heard the request made by Trump of Zelensky on the July 27, 2019 call, “The other thing. There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great.” Zelensky didn’t get his White House visit and military aid was held up. Diplomats couldn’t get answers as to why aid was held up. A well respected and well intentioned Ambassador of Ukraine was fired and smeared right alongside the timeline of events.
One then asks, in the face of indisputable evidence of Trump’s abuse of power and thwarting of justice through the repression of evidence, how in good conscience could an elected representative of the government and steward of the constitution vote to acquit him of impeachment? It’s simple. I believe these people to be corrupt. That is my opinion of them. They are too intelligent having reached their high office not to be able to distinguish party loyalty from a civic duty in administering justice. Hence; they’ve been influenced in such a way that their conscience, in my opinion, has been compromised. Yes….that’s right, corruption in North America.
Pundits will be forecasting the fallout but they will
pontificate in the political instead of the streets. They’ll be dissecting the
electoral college instead of commercial contracts. They’ll be retweeting Trump
instead of monitoring labor relations. In other words, the needle could change
when it comes to the moral strength of civil discourse as a populous grasps the
condoning of corruption at the highest level of a government in North America.