LCS Discussion Group Issues Bill Schrader Pavilion 17 February, 2016 12 noon to 13:30

LCS Discussion Group Issues

Bill Schrader Pavilion

17 February, 2016

12 noon to 13:30

A – What is it with fundamental science?  Some of our best minds devoted their lives and more than a billion dollars to observe gravity waves – something that most of us will never understand except by analogies.  Moreover there is no obvious use to the whole endeavour.  Some compare it to Beethoven’s 9th, but it could be compared to a priestly class which lived very well in primitive societies, or is it hope?

B – Was the Supreme Court’s decision to delay Obama’s climate policy moves based on the law or politics?   What can be done?

C – Wael Ghonim, the Egyptian Google employee whose anonymous Facebook page launched the Tahrir Square revolution in early 2011 that toppled President Hosni Mubarak now says that social media failed to launch a popular government because it does not cultivate a unified discussion, but reenforces public islands of disagreement bounded by confirmation bias.  Agree?

D – In pioneering days, both Canada and America gave title to unowned land to poor settlers for free.  This policy drove much of our economic growth.  Today, both governments, allow government funded intellectual property to be bought from universities and professors by corporations.  This drives big Pharma.  Should the government retain the intellectual property it funds and distribute it so as to encourage growth and competition?  How?

E – This long article argues that companies are becoming less social and environmentally harmful because of the dual impacts of greater exposure and public concern.   This is good news, but must we still buy less stuff?

F – The Atlantic makes an attractive argument that CEO’s have a direct impact on Corporate public irresponsibility.  Think Volkswagen and Johnson and Johnson.  Is the story generally right?  Does it mean that the CEO should be held absolutely responsible for not cultivating a publicly safe corporate culture?

G –  Should Obama have allowed the republicans to veto his efforts to replace Scalia?

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