Perhaps you will sense a different feeling to this post when compared to the earlier ones from the ride. Of course, one of the reasons this post is different is because of what I did to myself at the end of the day. The other reason is more sentimental. I want to acknowledge my travel companions. The focus is not just on the scenery but on the people who accompanied me. I am going to break my own unspoken rule and specifically mention names. I am hoping that nobody minds. We start in the morning as we get ready to depart Lake Louise.
Being his usual helpful self, Rick had packed our luggage into the back of Ben’s van for the last day’s ride. He was quite proud of his effort. Rick also did his bit to keep us entertained as we rode every day.Here is Ben giving us instructions for the last day. Ben was very thorough in his support. Go ahead and take a tour with him at Mountain Madness Tours. You will not be disappointed!We had been riding thus far on the Icefields Parkway. From now on we are on the Bow Valley Parkway. The funny thing is that my bear sighting was pretty soon after we saw this sign. The road ran beside the Bow River.Here is a picture of the riders on the move. You may notice that the road markings here are very different from those encountered on the Icefields Parkway.A freight train awaits beside the road.Koushik, the heart and soul of our riding team.One way to smell the flowers, perhaps on another planet (get it!?).Nancy and Stacy, old college mates.Ben in his vehicle, after overtaking one of the riders.I stopped with KP at a memorial point for the Castle Camp internment camp. Even though this episode happened during WW1, it is not difficult to imagine something like this happening even in our modern times.The last paragraph in the wayside marker for the internment camp below reads “In total, eight thousand five hundred and seventy-nine men became prisoners of war in twenty-four camps located across Canada during the internment operations of 1914-1920. Most were foreign nationals, a few were British subjects or Canadian citizens. The majority were non-combatant, unemployed civilians – victims of the 1913 depression, racial prejudice and wartime hysteria. Many of the internees came from western regions of Ukraine, then a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.”Stacy, Nancy and Sally.The Bow river.Ben’s van and trailer at the last stopping point.Resting before the last push.Sally and Bob, our riding leaders. They were the youngest and the oldest in the group. Bob, a former triathlete, took on the hills we encountered as if he was on a mission. Sally was not too far behind.A squirrel observing the goings-on at this last stop.This was the last picture I found on the camera after the trip. I did not take this picture. The time stamp on the picture leads me to believe that it was taken after I fell off the bike. I suspect that Bob, who had retrieved the camera and eventually delivered it to my home, took a picture to see if the camera was working. A great picture from that perspective. The camera ended up in better shape than I did! That was the end of the ride, but not the end of my adventures.
The article I have provided a link for below is quite good even though its title may be somewhat misleading. The deprivation of intelligence because of the ubiquitous use of search engines like Google is not what is addressed primarily in the guts of the article. It is more a listing of the practical issues that the author sees with the current construct and use of search engines.
But I was drawn in by the title, which was something I have been thinking of for a while. I realize that while I have access to a wealth of information because of the existence of the search engine, information that I am also able to freely share with others at the drop of a hat, I am really not getting any smarter because of this. It is questionable whether the amount of information that I can retain in my mind, and the kind of critical thinking that is crucial to my intelligence, have really been helped. In fact, because of the easy availability of information, I might be less inclined to try to figure things out, and even retain information. After all, why would I bother deriving the area of regular dodecagon when needed when all I need to do is look it up on the Internet.
via Google’s search algorithms act as our brains—but what are they trying to get us to think? — Quartz
The dramatic headline “The FCC is going to war over set-top boxes” brought back memories of the time I was dealing with regulatory issues in the world of entertainment. I think some things will never change as long as there is big money involved and there exists the institution of lobbying. The battle to change the existing paradigm regarding processing and delivery of entertainment content to consumer eyes from signals that are delivered to the home by the cable companies, and to a certain extent satellite TV companies, has been ongoing for years. It is the traditional television content delivery guys trying to protect their turf against the home entertainment guys who want to expand the reach of their systems and control how the consumers interface with the cable TV guy’s signals. If you think that the opposition to the current cable TV signal handling paradigm in the home comes from organizations that are trying to protect the consumer and have their goodwill at heart, think again. It is companies like Google and Sony who are on the other side, with their own business interests at heart.
It is all about business and money at the end of the day. And I have to throw up my hands and laugh at the absurdity of all of it, because all of this fuss, and the use of significant monetary resources, is about entertainment and the distraction of the population, something far removed from the more basic needs of the people at large. While reading the article above I came upon this video from John Oliver from a long while back on the topic of Net Neutrality. It is dated at this point but still hilarious!
There is another battle well underway in parallel in the entertainment world where the forces of business are trying to change the way entertainment actually gets into your home. Companies like Netflix and Amazon actually deliver entertainment content via the Internet, which is of course a very non-traditional approach to doing things. Considering that the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are almost always the cable companies themselves, this leads to the development of interesting business strategies by the cable companies to try to optimize return to their shareholders, all of which is supported by suitable lobbying of the government that is hoped to result in regulatory regimes that benefit one company or the other.
For heaven’s sake, it is only entertainment!