We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Friday, April 29. 2016
How Facebook Reached A Blowout Quarter And Why It Will Continue
I just don't get Facebook
Aging Runners Find Help for a Question: How Slow Will I Get?
Despite their small brains – ravens are just as clever as chimps
The war on elephants
This ‘Bikini Airline’ is Going to Create Vietnam’s First Female Billionaire
Yale: Beyond parody
Last year's Onion is today's news
Only 37% of American 12th-graders were academically prepared for college math and
Sounds too high to me. Murray says 10% at most but maybe it depends on what the meaning of "college" is.
Tennessee Votes to Cut Diversity Spending So Students Protest
What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money?
We already do give people other people's money
At least he is not making millions from Global Warming, like Gore
Trump’s ‘Foreign Policy’: Incoherent and Shallow
Donald Trump Rejects ‘False Song of Globalism’ in Nationalist ‘America First’ Foreign Policy Speech
Speech did not bother me
How Trump Can Win the Black Vote to Win the Election
Trump vs. Clinton: A Battle Between Two Opposite Americas
The Clinton Pivot Begins - You’re about to meet the second coming of Franklin Roosevelt and Bill Clinton.
Stockman: Anything Trumps Hillary
Flooded With Migrants, Germany Struggles to Integrate Them
Got that backwards. Immigrants are supposed to struggle to adjust.
As Demographic Problems Grow, Japan Weighs Immigration
IF YOU GIVE A DICTATOR THE RIGHT TO SILENCE CRITICS, HE’S GOING TO ASK FOR MORE
Israel’s economy: Reasons to be cheerful – and some for concern
Nobel Prize-worthy chutzpah
Tracked: May 01, 09:28
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I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.
I hate that so much 'stuff' goes on there. Celebrities posting nonsense, people building 'personalities' which make them 'celebrities', and tons of malware/malvertising.
On the other hand, it's an extremely effective tool for reconnecting with old friends and remaining in contact with far-flung family. It's also a great photo album. Old albums would get filled with pictures and sit in a drawer somewhere. Few people would ever really want to look at it. Now you can share, and that can be fun and useful.
I posted my entire Italy trip on Facebook, and many of my friends and family (who either have never been or can't go) got to see and learn interesting things.
A blog can accomplish the same thing - if you generate the interest. Facebook (as old Doc Mercury once said to me) is a poor man's blog, and doesn't really fill the role properly. But most of us don't need that.
Facebook also does one other thing pretty well - act as a newswire. Much like Twitter (which I REALLY don't get and won't join), if you sign up for desired feeds, you can get a steady stream of updated news and information.
People call Facebook and Twitter news sources. They aren't. They are just distribution points.
Mike Rowe has used Facebook VERY effectively to promote Mikeroweworks.com.
Facebook is too open, too reveling for me. It is also the perfect vehicle to track us; who we are, where we live, who we know, what we believe and things we've done. It's no coincidence that schools, businesses and law enforcement use Facebook in exactly that way. It is the somewhat less pornographic way of sending the world naked pictures of one's self. I would agree it doesn't have to be, it is a practical way for a business to keep customers informed of business related events, etc. It certainly can be useful in getting votes for politicians and selling an agenda to the masses. But to me it is more like living in a fishbowl, everyone can see you. Yes there are ways to limit some things some of the time but for those who know how everything is open to them. And it never really goes away. It is already used for nefarious purposes and I have no doubt that sometime in the future it will be massively used for a more massive nefarious purpose. We have willingly accepted that which we would have fought to the death if it were to be mandated upon us by government.
Other than that it's OK.
Facebook's data mining skills are way too sophisticated. I will never go there.
FM - if FB bugs you due to their mining skills it should horrify you to learn what large financial institutions deduce about you and your family. If you really want to know someone, watch how they spend.
I joined Facebook a few years ago because it was the only way to login and comment on a local TV station web site. I was immediately notified by email that I had [some large number] of friends. I still get emails every day about these friends. Still haven't gone to the Facebook site (or whatever it is) to see what it's all about. Maybe one of these days....
You're 100% correct about the tracking.
Depending on your level of acceptance of this, joining or not joining is up to you. Facebook, and others, can track you sufficiently without joining. There are many ways to do this, one of the most common today is known as "browser settings" - each person has specific browser settings that don't identify you personally, but do identify your use of the computer. That information can then be aggregated to find out more information like where you live, what your income is, and potentially your gender.
That's just one way. There are myriad other ways - and you have no idea they are even being tracked. Facebook just simplifies it.
Even so, that's the least of your worries. In fact, letting a company have that much information about me doesn't worry me much at all. There are ways to get around the distracting and annoying parts of it. My fear is government forcing firms to share that information with them - such as the case in San Bernadino and the hacking of the iPhone.
If you think your phone offers any kind of relative anonymity, you're incorrect. Aside from your phone number, there are at least 3 other commonly used "identifiers" which can not only let someone know who you are, but even target you specifically and potentially collect information about you. There are host of other less well known identifiers, particularly if you text, take/share/send pictures, email, or even browse the web or use apps on your phone.
The only revealing thing about Facebook is what you put up there. And if you're smart about it, you don't put up anything which can make you look bad. The problem, of course, is that everyone's sense of humor varies. I've posted things I think are hilarious that others have vehemently objected to. I keep pointing out to people "they don't have to look."
A frightening issue is how employers and schools use it today, though. That's truly scary. But there are privacy settings which give varying levels of protection. In the end, it's kind've like life....if you don't want it to come back and bite you, then don't say it or post it.
I use Facebook for personal friends. Never work and I will not connect to work acquaintances until 1 year after I've left a firm. This leaves a degree of separation, but it's mild. I have no illusions about the privacy it provides, though. In the end, if someone wants to find out something about you - Facebook or not - they are going to find it out.
Living entirely off the grid is the only solution. But I believe the benefits outweigh the potential losses of being on the grid.
"Global Warming Is Making The Weather Nice, But Doom Is Coming Soon Or Something"
Summer is coming....
re Tennessee Votes to Cut Diversity Spending So Students Protest
This law may not cut the hate studies programs one tiny bit.
All they did in effect was cut UT's budget. If they choose, university administrators can change the names of the affected courses and/or hide them in other departments. They can cut the spending somewhere else and then pronounce the programs 'eliminated'.
Milton Friedman advocated for Basic Income, and he's about as free-market as it gets. I remain suspicious for obvious reasons, but think it's great like someplace like Finland, a homogeneous nation with talent and a strong work ethic, tries it first. If it doesn't work in Finland, no one else should even consider it.
I'd argue Friedman was tepidly free market. He believed in a strong central bank, which is really one of the biggest price disinformation vehicles there are.
However, he did support a negative income tax, which isn't too different from universal basic income. But his support was mild and based on free markets - the concept he based it on was if you're going to do it, then stop giving away coupons and chits in exchange for goods and services and just give money back. The coupons and chits are, after all, usually traded for cash for the things people REALLY want, and are traded at a discount - thereby depriving those folks of their 'benefit level'. Give them money and let them decide how to spend.
However, as you point out, there are still big flaws with this concept. Don Boudreaux recently wrote about it at Cafe Hayek, and libertarians, in general, range pretty broadly on the topic. My feeling is if you're going to do something, the cash solution is best. But assuring people that you're going to collect $X each year in basic income and it will decline as you find work will only prompt them to find under the table work.
A subtle disagreement. Friedman did not advocate for government income supports, but argued that if they were to exist, a guaranteed basic income was the most efficient way of providing them, rather than the 200 or so patchwork federal, state-managed federal-dollar, and state-dollar programs that we currently have.
I think Trump will win over a lot of black voters. Especially black voters in states with high numbers of illegals...because in many cases, the working class blacks have been displaced by them.
There are daily stories in the news about illegals being let go, committing crimes, flooding the border...only the most bleeding heart liberal will feel sympathy.
When I see 31,000 people show up at a Trump rally in Costa Mesa, CA, and hardly any showing up for Hillary, you cannot tell me this is not a reflection of the voter turn out in the fall...
Yale: Beyond parody
It hurts to read this as the contortions they have gone through to justify their decision are beyond funny. Do I have to cross out the "Master" on my diploma?
re Stockman: Anything Trumps Hillary
This will surely be the most entertaining election in US history, and probably the most pointless, too. After all, Hillary wants to use government to make Government Great Again. And Trump promises to use government to make America Great Again.
And this is why I despair.
Looks like Trump is starting to position himself for the general election. A lot of what he's saying regarding foreign policy sounds pretty good to me, and I am a lefty-liberal. :-0
We live in strange times.
Isn't it odd? Strangely, Trump is getting me to rethink a lot of stuff. I am looking more at the last 25 years as a whole, rather than Dem. vs. Rep. I am in total agreement with foreign policy and trade policy that comes from an 'America First' perspective. In fact, shouldn't that be how we were operating all along?
Stockman is one of a limited number of people who can get me to change my mind about things.
I use Facebook to keep track of far-flung family and friends in a casual way. I don't post on it a great deal myself, but I'm not above sharing the occasional cat video. I think "poor man's blog" is about right. As far as tracking goes, I really couldn't be more indifferent. No one ever learns anything important about me that way, though they're welcome to try. I don't mind in the least when I start to get ads based on what I've been looking at or buying, any more than I'd object to an observant salesman who tries to take my stated preferences into account in order to maximize his commission.
I almost never accept "friends"on Facebook and limit it to family pretty much.