OPINIONS WORKSHOP

To whet your appetite, your Workshop Facilitators, Bill Davis and Jim Pike, have prepared an electronic file of articles that you should consider for your presentation date. And as Bill mentioned in his workshop welcoming note, you are most welcome to nominate your own article rather than depend totally on our collection. Additional articles will be gathered in the weeks ahead, but the first batch provide an interesting and discussable selection.

We will be contacting some of you in midsummer to arrange the first few sessions. New members are encouraged to settle in for the first few workshops to get the lay of the land – picking a topic can come later. In the meantime, we would ask that you do some reading and thinking about what you might present.

As to presentation time, 15 minutes is ideal with 20 minutes as a maximum. This will leave time for the important member discussion and expression of their own opinions. The presenter can always provide additional information and background during the discussion period.

The presenting article is a way of providing focus for the presentation and discussion, but you should not feel limited by it. Other material can be introduced to buttress your "opinion". However, the presenting article should form the foundation of your presentation and the topic/issue it highlights.

As Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." A gentle reminder, perhaps, that presenting some facts is a useful exercise.

And if any of you have questions or comments about this material, please feel free to contact either of us.

Bill Davis – 416-963-4373 velmagdavis@sympatico.ca
Jim Pike – 647-993-2973 jimpike@rogers.com

Articles

Red text articles have been taken/presented

1. The Case Against Full Time Employees - Is the move to "independent contractors" a good thing?

2. Has Life Improved - Before you’d rather “go back”, check out this writer’s list of improvements.

3. Free Will - Do we keep the best of the free will argument and ditch the worst?

4. The empty brain - Your brain does not process information, retrieve knowledge or store memories. In short, your brain is not a computer.

5. How we ruined the oceans - Boy, are they in trouble!

6. The Apple EU Tax Ruling - 13 Billion Euros is a lot of money. So Ireland, take the money or shut up?

7. Once We Were Builders - Is Canada’s economic development in jeopardy by failure to start or complete big new projects?

8. The Underground Economy - What’s the size of the underground economy and what are its implications?

9. Sleep twice a day - Are we engineered to sleep twice a day?

10. Trump in the Middle East - Instead of using diplomacy, economic aid, conflict resolution and alliance building, Trump is depending on the military.

11. Canadian Mail Delivery - Community mailboxes make a lot of sense.

12. Why Men Rape - If they see it as a low risk act and assume they won’t be punished, it’s time to change that.

13. The Oil Sands - Get this!  Efforts to keep the oil sands in the ground by stopping pipelines will actually increase global greenhouse gas emissions.

14. The Moral Economy - This book review highlights an economist describing why morality matters.

15. Travelling to the US? - Trump’s executive orders give an author some pause for travel.

16, Evolution - new tools suggest it’s slower than it looks.

17. Parent Shaming - The risk of a stranger abducting your child is driven by fear - not logic.

18. The Robot Apocalypse - Finally, an article with some real research and numbers describing impacts.

19. No Vacancy- For the disabled, finding a place to live often takes years.

20, Educated Aliteracy - Discussing books you haven’t read is more prevalent than you might think and it’s even a “sort of” profession.

21. Working Women - In Germany, they get lots of help. In Canada, not so much.

22. Trumps’ Wall - With technology, a virtual wall is possible. Without technology, a real wall is worthless.

23. The Kingston Pen - Now a blockbuster tourist attraction, is it trading on tragedy?

24. Single and satisfied - A significant number of mid-life adults are going it alone and many like that choice.

25.  Russian news meddling - How it works and how it’s continuing.

26.  Capitalism’s dysfunctionalism - It was never a perfect system but are current problems pointing to some significant headwinds?

27.  Nuclear Weapons and Trump - Will he or won’t he - and what’s to stop him?

28.  Revenue neutral climate policy in Saskatchewan - Will Brad Wall make it work?

29.  WE ARE CANADA - Ken Dryden show’s us what’s possible and what Canada could be

30.  The End of Solitude - Is the technological direction of society robbing us of the joy of being alone?

31.  For the Public Good - Are government monopolies now relics of an economic past?

32.  Bombardier - Is it a ward of the state and should Pierre Beaudoin take a hike?

33.  Shareholders are asking - What about lobbying efforts, political contributions and improved transparancy?

34.  Russian slot machine cheats - Russians develop a brilliant slot machine cheat - and casinos have no fix.

35.  Re-memorializing History - The Rhodes statue at Oxford remains in place “for a variety of reasons”.  Can new realities change history?

36. Nukes - Weaponizing uranium is hard to do - thank goodness!  So what’s an evil genius to do - it’s time to ask that question.

37.  Reversing Alzheimer’s - Should we view chronic disease through the lens of lifestyle rather than waiting for the magic pill?

38.  China’s Rise - Can it replace the West?

39.  The International Order - Is it over as we know it?  Two Munk debate heavyweights offer their opinions.

40.  Trolls and False Symbols - What in heaven’s name are they and how is the alt-right “weaponizing” your anger.

41.  Gerrymandering - Can the data age and math put the boots to this undemocratic practice?

42. Climate Change & Pension Funds - Climate risk exposure shows that business acumen can rise above the climate deniers.

43. The Abortion Battlefield - A long struggle continues in the US.  Will it come to a head as the Trump administration turns back the clock?

44. Socialism is Back. Is the NDP listening? - Instead of fighting for the scraps of the political centre, the NDP can score a victory by returning to its principles.

45. Sports events in transition - Are we so tired of the constancy of sport that we seek out spectacles?

46. Empty nest, Broken hearts - How today's ultra-engaged parents suffer when their children take flight.

47. A single school system in Toronto? If parents want their offspring to have a religious education, let them pay for it.

48. How will the democratic world reset? If the US under Trump retreats from the Western world, how will the hole be filled?

49. A French Malaise - What of those who can't find a place in the system?

50. Russia's election hacking - They're just getting started.

51(a). Omar Khadr - a polarizing figure- Former PM Stephen Harper reaches out to Khadr’s victim.

51(b). Omar Khadr - a polarizing figure - Conservatives must move on from demonizing Omar Khadr.x

52(a). Undocumented in Canada - Residents who aren’t citizens of any country are trapped in a Catch-22 world.

52(b). Undocumented in Canada - Up to half a million people are living in Canada without official status.

53. New High School Principal Address - Is this the speech every Canadian High School principal should give?

54. Canada’s Troubled Waters - Where the danger lies for watersheds across the country.

55. Startup Jobs - Trumps’s policies are sending these jobs to Canada

56.  Global Warming- We only have a 5% chance of avoiding “dangerous” global warming, study says.

57.  Bill 87 - This is the government’s attempt to strengthen the law around sexual abuse of patients.