By: David Charbonneau

David will be posting his columns every week on Thursday. He has eclectic interests ranging from social and political issues to science. He is a retired Electronics Instructor from Thompson Rivers University, former president of the Faculty Association, and curriculum writer. He now paints acrylic on canvas for Thompson Studio.

China’s low-tech threat to our elections

April 18, 2019 - 10:45am

CHINA DOESN'T NEED THE SNEAKY INFLUENCE of social media to influence the outcome of our federal election when the brute force of trade sanctions work.

Not to say that social media aren’t a concern. Federal Minister of Democratic Institutions, Karina Gould, worries about the influence of digital platforms and their inability to protect the “digital public square.”

J. Michael Cole is more familiar with China’s trade sanctions:

Re-humanizing work

April 4, 2019 - 10:45am Updated: April 4, 2019 - 12:27pm


Advances in technology have always generated anxiety. Workers during the Industrial Revolution of the 18th Century thought they would go “the way of the horse”. Steam-powered tractors had replaced horses and they feared, with spinning frames and power looms, that they were next.

The fear of job-loss due to automation is unavoidable. However, humans are better at “empathy jobs” and that’s where the future of work is heading.

The computer age let me down

March 28, 2019 - 9:38am

AS SOMEONE WHO HAS WORKED IN ELECTRONICS all my life, I had high hopes for the digital age. But it turned out to be yet another disappointment.

The first was when flower power went sour.

The hippie movement promised to bring love, peace, and understanding. There was a yearning to get from under the thumb of the man and back to the land. Joni Mitchell summed up the longing of the era: “We are stardust, we are golden / We are billion year old carbon / And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.” Ah, back to the garden.

We've evolved to move

March 20, 2019 - 5:45pm Updated: March 21, 2019 - 9:23am

HERMAN PONTZER'S DISCOVERY defied common sense. He found that exercise doesn’t result in weight loss,

Defying logic, upsetting the plans of many to lose weight through exercise, and threatening exercise industries — there is no connection between excise and calories burned.

Mexico could ease Canada's cannabis problem

February 28, 2019 - 10:45am

THE PLAN TO DRIVE illegal cannabis growers out of business is going slowly.

The problem is supplying enough legal cannabis to lower retail prices. Eventually illegal sellers will be a quaint memory, something like the bootleggers of alcohol of the past. For that to happen, a plentiful supply of cannabis has to be available and it’s going to take years for that to happen with Canadian growers only.

Can blockchain save Robin Hood?

February 21, 2019 - 10:30am

THE ROBIN HOOD CO-OP was started by a group of artists at the University of Aalto outside Helsinki in Finland. It’s a hedge fund like no other, formed as a piece of “economic performance art”.

Problems started when the artists began to raise money and invest in the stock market. The university administration took issue with the concept and forced the co-op to shut down.

Instead of shutting down, the artists left the university to venture out on their own.

Since then they focused on building a global network of countercultural investors from Helsinki to California.