Interesting stuff 2016-09-12

Here’s some stuff I found interesting last week.

I’ll start with a little fun. Finally somebody has devised the perfect solution to the Introvert challenge of having to endure all the incessant small talk at churches. I’ve put myself on the waiting list.

And a bit more fun. It would be funnier if it wasn’t, like, actually happening.

And not nearly so funny. The NDP are launching an initiative to protect caribou. The initiative might have some negative economic consequences which, on the face of it, is not necessarily a bad thing. After all, sometimes we need to bite the bullet for the betterment of others, including animals and the eco-system within which they live.

But here’s the kicker. The communities who know a thing or two about caribou are suggesting that this initiative might not actually benefit the caribou at all! Not only that, they weren’t really consulted on the matter. Sound familiar?

“We really feel this is a strong political statement, to say ‘Look what good environmental stewards we are,’ even though there may be no purpose to protect it, even though it’s not bio-diverse and it’s not great for caribou, either.”

So we have a government policy that is not good for the economy, and not good for the animals it is allegedly designed to protect. And “there wasn’t any consultation with our communities that are affected.”

A mother and her daughter (both consenting adults, I might point out) have been charged with incest after they married each other.

The next steps are incest, pedophilia and bestiality, at least. Necrophilia is also hovering out there on the periphery. But, hey, who are we to say that any of these things is wrong? So long as two consenting adults are involved then nobody dare ask questions.

Speaking of “who am I to argue …,” a self-avowed Atheist is up in arms because her employer is considering terminating her employment precisely because of her anti-religious beliefs.

What’s her job? She’s a pastor in a United Church.

What could possibly be wrong with a non-Christian serving as pastor in a Christian church? After all, Conservatives in Canada don’t actually need to really be conservative, as we have learned recently. We live in the time of pick-your-own-definition on pretty much everything under the sun (according to whatever definition of “sun” you choose to employ) so you might as well add this to the list.

The Canadian economy is absolutely in the tank (especially in Alberta), and yet the Toronto Stock Exchange doesn’t seem to reflect that reality. So what gives?

The article outlines a number of reasons for his, which are interesting to consider, but there is a much more fundamental reality that ought to be the focus. The article touches on it briefly.

There is the economy, and then there is the “economy.”

How, exactly, do we measure the economic health of a nation? If we measure it by stock prices then we’d say Canada is doing well. If we measure it by employment rate, then Canada is doing horribly. What, exactly, do we mean by “economy?”

And if pundits and politicians are basing their analysis of things (and, hence, their plans and projections) on the stock market – with the goal of increasing returns on the stock market – then they might inadvertently implement policies that look good for day traders, but look pretty lousy for the ever-expanding line at the unemployment office.

How, exactly, do we define and measure the economy and its health? This is a question we need to answer carefully because our answer will impact our views on the subject and that might impact the ability of citizens to put food on the table.