July 19th, 2018

Mining of cryptocurrencies, data provides good news and laughs

By Letter to the Editor on April 4, 2018.

Re: “The Hat welcomes the Hut” and the editorial cartoon, March 21

A new enterprise is always good news. The Hut 8 cryptocurrency mining company — ground already being prepared on Box Springs Road — would qualify for that good news announcement, it being good for our economy, tax base, creation of good jobs. In other words, probably not only good news but great news. One might even refer to it as a “feather in the Hat,” a coup for the Hat’s previous and present administration/councils and right in there with all the great new and fast-moving technological advances. Those fast-moving tech advances are almost intoxicating, aren’t they? So anything of the latest and greatest technologically-advanced enterprise coming to the Hat would be cause for “right on, hip hip hoorah” sort of enthusiasm, one would think. Does the average Jane and Joe Citizen of our fair burg, especially those of a bit more advanced age, really understand what the heck that enterprise will really do and is all about. I for one have a bit of an idea, just a bit. It could very well be that maybe I say that only so nobody will know just how behind the eight ball in tech advances I have become. How many others, one wonders, feel the same and still join that chorus of “hoorahs”?

Apparently that new business will consume just about all the extra juice the new power plant will produce. If so, will there be any to spare for another “factory” perhaps one that will generate even more jobs and revenue — that might be looking at the Hat to locate in or around? Will we then decide that another plant or two will be required?

And then, folks, there on that same News edition’s editorial page we find a cartoon of some mining operation that one could assume to be of the same ‘data mining’ endeavour as the new operation coming to Box Spring Road. But it shows chipping/shovelling away at something that has on it, in large letters “Democracy,” followed by scribbles that, if one could make it out, would likely attempt to explain just exactly what is happening to democracy if this sort of “data mining” in all the manifestations that we read of every day continues. It seems that it takes a more caring and courageous person to “whistleblow” about the dangers to privacy/democracy. I know that cartoon is just that, a cartoon. But Greg Perry is one political cartoonist that seems to recognize, with great cartoonist skills and insight, just where society is heading. See, for example, his bit of fun regarding marijuana research specialists” in the News recently.

Am I totally stuck in “yesteryear” or what?!

Ted Kohlmetz

Medicine Hat

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