Cutting-edge Technology Resting on a Shaky Foundation

From the dawn of time, humans have used various methods to communicate: smoke signals, drums, messengers on foot and horseback, carrier pigeons, telegraphs, wired telephone, and today’s mobile phones and the Internet. We have always had the need to communicate with each other.  Technology has improved the methods we use to communicate with each. Communication has become more convenient and effortless, generally. Unfortunately, today’s modern communication systems rely on a system that is flawed and have not had much improvement in the United States.

Yes, we have gone from the use of fires sites, to candles to kerosene lamps to electricity to provide us light, but the grids that transport electricity have fallen behind the improvements that our communication systems have experienced.  We see how vulnerable our electrical grids are as seen in the power outages due to outdated equipment and network design. The damages that Hurricane turned Tropical Storm Sandy caused to the supply of power to the Northeast underscores this vulnerability of this antiquated system.

As a nation, we have become more reliant on access to electricity for most of our activities in our daily lives. We use electricity to cook our food, to wash our clothes, to secure and heat our homes, to power our electric cars, and to power our phones and computers. Electricity permeates our lives and we have become very dependent on this power source.  It is amazing to me that the public is not demanding that the power companies improve the backbone of our power supply in this nation. Think of all the money that has been lost because of the delayed repairs of the services in Northeast. Imaging the billions of dollars that may have been lost with the inability of the stock market being down.

We are so concerned about securing our borders, and we should; however, we have lost sight of the great need to secure our electrical power grids by modernizing these systems and ensuring that they cannot be affected by certain natural and man-made events. This can lead to economical and security disasters. It is said one should build one’s house on solid ground and not on sinking sand. If we don’t improve our power grids, we run the risk of building our fancy communications systems not only on a shaky foundation but also on quicksand.

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Corporate Conundrum – Legalized Marijuana

marijuana-poll-map

With the passage of legalized marijuana in both the states of Colorado and Washington, people are wondering what the response will be from the Federal Government that still states marijuana use is illegal. I am wondering how the corporate world in these states will react. As we know many corporation test new applicants for drug use. Now that these states allow their citizens to smoke marijuana legally, do they now stop drug testing for this for the job seekers?

If there are nationwide corporation, do they not test for marijuana in these two states, but test in the other forty-eight states? What if an employee transfers from Colorado to New York, does this employee lose his/her job because they were smoking pot in Colorado legally under this state law? How do you prove that a worker was impaired by the use of marijuana on the job or at home? It is much harder to prove than alcohol.

If a corporation doesn’t hire an applicant or fires a worker that tests positive for marijuana, do they risk being sued in these states if the drug is consumed on personal time? Does the corporation that removes marijuana from the list of tested drugs, does this exposes them to higher insurance costs or liability for damages a marijuana smoking, worker may cause? As you can see, I have many questions swirling in my head.

This is new territory for corporation, one that I don’t see turning back. In my opinion the horse is already out the barn. It is only a matter of time before more states adopt the views of Colorado and Washington states. More and more of the citizens of the USA have views that are more favorable to the personal use of marijuana. Corporate America will have to quickly devise plans that would address this situation before it gets ahead of their existing policies on drug use.

What’s your opinion? Please leave a comment.

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