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
Wednesday, February 15. 2023
Disinformation and Information
I was recently on a webinar about Disinformation and what the media and governments are 'doing' about it. I found it both interesting and, in and of itself, misleading (in other words, it could have been classified as 'disinformation').
Continue reading "Disinformation and Information"
Posted by Bulldog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 14:28 | Comments (46) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, December 27. 2022
Recently, I was sent by my company to a class to learn how to improve my negotiation skills. I'm actually pretty good at negotiation. In the class (of 8 people) I scored 3rd highest - which I thought was "very good" but was told "those who do best are the ones who do the worst and learn the most." So maybe I wasn't as successful as I thought. In fact, I learned afterwards I'm more 'sales' than 'negotiator'. Useful skills in leading up to a negotiation, but sales can derail a negotiation (as I learned to my surprise).
I will never again confuse sales with negotiation. Which I have always done. I did not see them as fully separate skill sets - until now.
I always felt negotiation is a part of the sale. I learned the hard way it's not. Basically, negotiation is about firmness, employing the proper behaviors as called for within the context of the discussion, and doing what is appropriate.
Continue reading "Negotiation Time"
Posted by Bulldog in Education at 14:29 | Comments (16) | Trackbacks (0)
The Importance of Being Harry
Generally I don't care about this stuff...but at a lunch recently some coworkers spent a good portion of the time talking about Harry and Meghan. I simply stated I don't generally pay attention to the details of this stuff, all humans are flawed and hero-worship isn't something I go for, generally speaking.
Being an Anglophile doesn't mean I'm a royal-watcher or a fan of the monarchy. I've often joked they are the wealthiest welfare family on the planet. This is a bit of a stretch, of course. The family does generate quite a bit of income on their own, with their holdings, and as a result of tourism and fandom. It would be a significant impact to the UK economy to see the end of the monarchy. That said, even today children grow up dreaming of being kings, queens, princes and princesses. As a child, I remember talking of being an astronaut, a fireman, a policeman, etc. So royalty, as a child's dream, is certainly not as awful as one may think.
Continue reading "The Importance of Being Harry"
Posted by Bulldog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:07 | Comments (14) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, December 22. 2022
About 5 years ago there was a Political QQQ posted. Today I'll post another by the same person.
"How can an act done under compulsion have any moral element in it, seeing that what is moral is the free act of an intelligent being?" ~Auberon Herbert
I recently was in a heated debate with someone who called volunteerism a "Republican guilt complex", stating that government directed welfare was better and anything done voluntarily would never live up to overall needs as effectively.
Posted by Bulldog in Quotidian Quotable Quote (QQQ) at 13:06 | Comments (16) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, November 27. 2022
Why Kids Can't Read
A fairly comprehensive report on popular themes in education which have led to depressing results in child reading capabilities.
Posted by Bulldog in Education at 17:14 | Comments (12) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, November 21. 2022
Sad, and Shocking, Eulogy
I saw a eulogy that went viral. I see or hear the thoughts shared regularly because of where I live - not in eulogies, just everyday commentary from time to time. The eulogy itself was quite unfortunate.
My personal view is, at worst, if I had a parent whose views I truly disliked as much as the speaker did, then I just wouldn't go to the funeral or (at least) show and keep my mouth shut. Speaking ill of the dead, of someone incapable of defending themselves, is rather disrespectful. There are moments and situations, rare enough, where it makes sense. I think we can all speak ill of Hitler and few reasonable people will feel bad about it. In general, doing this says more about the person speaking than those they speak about.
I really doubt her father was racist or misogynistic, based on several facts I've learned about this woman since - but I suppose it's enough that he supported Trump for her to apply the broad brush. I know this happens because I didn't support Trump, ever, and often been painted with the same brush. Here's the video so you can have your own POV.
Continue reading "Sad, and Shocking, Eulogy"
Posted by Bulldog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:23 | Comments (24) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, November 10. 2022
The Benefit of Youth
I have more or less stopped watching Saturday Night Live, but it is intriguing to read that Dave Chappelle, who I find to be very funny, is hosting. What is more intriguing is that a large part of the writing staff has said they will boycott the episode. This is a benefit of youth, and one I'm interested in because I have my own story in this regard.
One of my majors in college (I had 2) was Television Production. I wrote, produced, directed and filled various roles in the studios at the university for both class and the university television network. Top-tier stuff, mind you. The kind of stuff you watch at 1am in the dorm lobby when you're half in the bag or snogging with your latest love interest. Nevertheless, it's what you did to learn the ropes. Back then, I was hoping to make documentaries.
One day I had to prepare a news piece for the 1984 election. It was a talk show with some local luminaries talking about various topics like nuclear war (it was right around the time that ABC ran The Day After, which some of you may remember), feeding the poor/welfare, deficits, etc. Standard fodder for any political news program. One fellow who showed up hung flyers on the set showing elephants dropping nuclear bombs on poor people of the world. I took them down. He put them back up, I took them down. My job was set design and management. The producer that day, a fellow student, came by and asked what I was doing. I told him the set was my responsibility and I felt the flyers would imply a bias of the programming, and that they personally offended my own sensibilities. The producer told me to honor the guests' wishes and put them up. I told him "since this is my set, then I'm asking to be relieved of my responsibility, I'd rather sit this one out."
Continue reading "The Benefit of Youth"
Posted by Bulldog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 18:45 | Comments (16) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, November 7. 2022
Some Useful Advice
Recently, I've had a number of bad events occur. Supposedly, these things happen in threes, and I'm hoping that's how it goes. I won't share the first two event details. Needless to say they are both very upsetting and expensive events. The third event was VERY expensive. And very avoidable.
What made it particularly galling was how it happened to me, someone who is ridiculously careful online because among the roles of previous jobs I've held, one has been the management of online privacy and data. Compelling partner companies to take extra effort, steps or other precautions to protect user data and information.
If your company is like mine, you take tests each year to identify several different forms of potential identity capture. Phishing, Spearphishing, downloading Trojan horses, etc. There are many ways to do it, and I'm familiar with all of them. I've always passed these tests with flying colors, and I've even caught several transgressors over the years.
Before I tell my own, very humbling, story, let me say this kind of event is not just an issue of being online. My stepmother is not as adept online as I am, so does not engage the internet to nearly the degree I do. Yet several years ago she was scammed out of several thousand dollars in attempting to do something good for her grandchild - so she thought. Unfortunately, she (much like I am about to detail) missed one or two key details in her situation, and fell victim to a con over the phone. Anyone can be a victim.
Continue reading "Some Useful Advice"
Saturday, September 10. 2022
Remembering the Queen
I am an avowed Anglophile. I spent 2 semesters studying there, visited 6 times, and am now listening to the British History Podcast. Britain and its history is just something with which I'm fascinated. I've never been a fan of the monarchy. The Queen, over time, I've come to respect. I'm not trying to say the monarchy is 'good' or that any monarch is special and should be deified or otherwise held in high regard. As Americans, it's hard to square how we could hold the British (or any) monarchy with any good feeling - we cast them off for plenty of reasons.
On the other hand, there are people who dislike the monarchy, and the Queen in particular. Mostly their reasons that aren't very good, because they don't understand the monarchy. The dislike I've seen is related more toward envy or general distrust of the institution. These people usually don't understand the role, the history, the value, etc. Few people know the Royal Family brings in far more than it receives from taxpayers. It's estimated, that the Sovereign Grant costs roughly $1.30 per citizen annually. Of course, this doesn't account for the amount of tax revenue the Royal Family itself generates from the taxes it pays, the revenue generated from tourism to see 'their' holdings, or just money spent marketing them as a 'brand'. They are as much a draw and benefit as it is a glorified 'welfare family' (a joke I used to make when I was younger and spent time there) - they actually pay for themselves when all is said and done. The monarchy's history is messy, ugly and sometimes difficult to fathom based on modern ethical standards. That has more to do with the differences in eras than ethics, though.
I saw a commentary on the Queen's passing. "Despite the colonial injustices perpetrated by the British Monarchy against Indigenous people, I would still like to wish her majesty Queen Elizabeth II — a blessed journey." Since I saw this particular one, I've seen several that are far, far worse (one from a linguistics professor at Carnegie Mellon, which was horrendous and had Sunny Hostin of The View defending. I will skip that one. It was so bad I'm amazed anyone with half a brain defended it. Some people are just truly awful and hateful. So I'll stick to this one comment, because it is more a backhanded compliment than outright hate. Even so, it's still misplaced.
Continue reading "Remembering the Queen"
Posted by Bulldog in History, The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:48 | Comments (25) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, September 7. 2022
Ladies and Gentlemen, Please Welcome The Rolling Stones
As a kid, I was most definitely not a fan of The Rolling Stones. They were scary hippies making loud music. Eventually, I became a follower of Led Zeppelin, then a punk rock fan by the time I was midway through high school. Devo's version of Satisfaction appealed more to me than Mick's. Sometime around my senior year of high school, I started to gain an appreciation for them, and by beginning of sophomore year of college I attended a concert at Rich Stadium on September 27, 1981. At this point, they were already 19 years into their campaign for great rock and roll. Little did I know at the time I was as old as the band itself. Mick Jagger was 38, which meant he was likely to retire for good within 2 years. After all, he already made it clear he didn't want to be singing Satisfaction when he was 40. I felt lucky to have seen them when I did, on perhaps one of their last tours.
Of course, they played for many years afterward. Bill Wyman retired in 1993. Charlie Watts died in 2021. Brian Jones, the founder, died of a drug overdose shortly after leaving the band in 1969. Despite all this, The Rolling Stones have continued. This was their 60th year, playing concerts delayed by Covid.
Imagine my surprise, as I walked the dog one morning in April, to get a text from Mrs. Bulldog asking "Rolling Stones in Stockholm this summer?" She wanted to see them in Paris, but we didn't have time to do a mid-week trip. Also, Stockholm was supposed to be the last stop on the tour - why not go to possibly their last show ever? How could I say no? Of course you go see The Rolling Stones in Stockholm. Is that even worthy of consideration?
Perhaps it is. Upon hearing our plans, my father said "I'll take a pass." But he'll be 87 soon. My stepmother was impressed, as were most of my friends, that I was willing to travel so far to see a concert. Why not? What's so weird about that? I get to see Stockholm and The Rolling Stones.
Continue reading "Ladies and Gentlemen, Please Welcome The Rolling Stones"
Tuesday, September 6. 2022
Stockholm - An Urban Hiking City
Stockholm is one of the best hiking cities I've yet visited. Part of this easy walking was the centrality of my hotel (on Benny Fredrikssons Torg next to the Riksbank). That said, even the Grand Hotel, over by the ferries, is within walking distance of most things.
It's important to know Stockholm is an archipelago made up of 14 islands, so ferries and bridges are common. Size-wise, just shy of 10% of the Swedish population lives in Stockholm. California and Sweden are roughly the same size, but Sweden has 1/10th of the population.
Stockholm has a lake which provides its fresh water. Lake Malaren used to be part of the Baltic Sea, and it separated about 1000 years ago. Prior to that event, Vikings could use it to sail deeper into Sweden. Today, Malaren is a fine lake to walk along. There are boats lining the north (Norr Malarstrand) and south (Soder Malarstrand) sides and many have become nightclubs, bars or restaurants. Mrs. Bulldog and I walked along the lake the night we arrived, and stopped for a drink on one boat. Beautiful place to stop at sundown, and the view we had was of a hill on the south side where people flock to watch sundown over Stockholm. We wanted to do that, but time was short and we missed it. Apparently, it's the place to be at sundown. After our drink, we crossed over to the south side for some tapas, then continued along the southern shore and crossed back into Gamla Stan (the old city) and then back up to our hotel. As we arrived later than we'd planned (airlines are a mess), we thought a long walk would be a good way to get a feel for the city.
Continue reading "Stockholm - An Urban Hiking City"
Posted by Bulldog in Travelogues and Travel Ideas at 17:16 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, September 1. 2022
Coordination is Critical
And coordination is what took place between Democrats and social media companies during the election (election tampering), and then the Biden Administration.
In reality, I'm sure most of Maggie's readers aren't on social media. So technically it's brainwashing the younger folks.
It's why I spend a lot of time debunking the "debunkers" with my kids. They and their friends all get the 'approved memo' and fail to think about it much.
Posted by Bulldog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 16:37 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, August 31. 2022
A Living Wage
Recent reports show there are 2X jobs for every unemployed person. When I saw a comment on Linked In (which I use for business, so I won't comment or post there anything except that which is business), I couldn't stomach what I read. The comment said "I don't understand how so many jobs are available and I can't find one that matches my degree and pays a living wage."
Naturally, I had many problems with this. I did not respond there, however. I didn't feel it would 'help' me to have business cohorts seeing my views which are clearly unacceptable to so many these days. Not interested in being canceled (or possibly have my company restrict me in some way), I am sharing some thoughts here.
Continue reading "A Living Wage"
Posted by Bulldog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 11:18 | Comments (24) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, August 29. 2022
Stockholm and the Cashless Society
Mrs. Bulldog and I got back a month ago from Stockholm. As cities go, it is by far the crunchiest I've ever seen, and where we stayed (Downtown Camper, part of the Skandia chain) really focuses on this kind of crunchy experience. The rooms are excellent, the location perfect (right in the middle near everything) and they offer many amenities which make it a great hotel experience, and then some. Rooms are well-appointed, they have a rooftop bar and spa (which we utilized and I was shocked to see Stockholm has very few rooftop bars of any kind), they offer bikes, skateboards, yoga, tours and a movie night. There is an excellent breakfast, which was a tad on the expensive side, but worth every penny. Staff, much like the Swedes themselves, was happy, helpful and willing to go out of their way to assist with our several issues (such as printing tickets to events or museums which we'd forgotten to print).
Stockholm is also a cashless society (Sweden as a whole is supposed to be, but Stockholm sticks to it with a passion) which is a good and bad thing. Good because it's easy to get around, pay and do what you want. No need to carry cash. One of the justifications for cashless societies is to reduce crime - yet pickpockets are still a huge problem in Stockholm, as they are in any other major tourist city. Crime, in general, is not really in decline but crimes related to cash have fallen.
Continue reading "Stockholm and the Cashless Society"
Posted by Bulldog in Travelogues and Travel Ideas at 14:16 | Comments (32) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, July 24. 2022
Took Mrs. Bulldog to see Billy Joel as part of his Madison Square Garden residency. He announced how many shows he'd done there, I think it was 182. Not bad. He called himself "the house band." I have a feeling he is.
I had an opportunity to see him when I was 15. 1977, just after The Stranger was released. Some family dynamics prevented me attending and after that, I guess I just never cared enough to go see him, or didn't have the money. Billy Joel, today, is a NYC/NY State cultural icon. He may well be the MSG "house band" and that showed during the concert. The crowd was engaged, active and enjoyed every minute. I found myself singing along to songs I didn't even realize I remembered, and most weren't even singles, just album tracks.
It was a great show and I'm glad I finally saw him, even if his voice isn't what it once was (he admitted to missing the higher notes).
Continue reading "My Life"
Saturday, July 23. 2022
I had a conversation recently with a new member of my team. She was explaining to me why her dog (I'd name the breed, but don't want to put anyone on the spot - suffice to say it's a little yippy dog) was very "anxious". My immediate thought was of two items. The first was the breed is of a nature that has a naturally anxious demeanor. I had several friends who owned these, and they are definitely "anxious" dogs. The second was that she was anxious and transferred her anxiety to the dog. It's probable both points are applicable.
However, as I discussed this conversation with Mrs. Bulldog, she stated "anxious times make anxious people" and we discussed how for the last 2 1/2 years we were basically bombarded with frightening scenarios of Covid and, more or less, given 'permission' to be anxious. As a result, she stated, many people who were naturally anxious got it ramped up a degree or ten, while others on the borderline of being anxious were probably pushed over the edge. "No doubt," was my response.
Continue reading "Anxious Times?"
Monday, July 11. 2022
Options in Life
I would like to say I'm sorry for disappearing for so long. Not that I'm essential to the inner workings of Maggie's, but I've seen a few people (specifically Doc Mercury, who pulled me in) simply vanish. I'd prefer to not just disappear. But it's been a strange time for me the past 7 months. I'll share more on that at another time. I am writing specifically because I finished the podcast "Revolutions" which, frankly, is worth the time and effort if you have it. I listened on the train every morning and evening - and then at the gym when there was no train. As it turns out the most interesting revolutions were the French and Russian. Which were also the longest portions, by far.
So it's always fun to hear someone say "I'm a trained Marxist." Because Marx left no blueprints. Unlike most other economic systems, which follow some basic laws or guidelines, Marxism has none and never did. It was just an ideal propped up by bland sayings which pulled at heartstrings, morality, and a general feeling of what is "fair" and "just". I like to say that "fair" means different things to different people. There is no "fair". "Fair" is what a 5 year old says when it wants what it wants. "It's not fair."
The sad part is, even as Leftists push for "fair" they are the first to invoke "life isn't fair" as they destroy people along the way.
Ironic, and sad. But Eric Hoffer was wise to all that...
Posted by Bulldog in History, Quotidian Quotable Quote (QQQ) at 11:27 | Comments (25) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, April 28. 2022
What Is The American Dream?
I recently took a poll about whether the American Dream is a myth or fact, and whether it's more achievable or less so today.
I know my views aren't the same as most, but I think my take on the American Dream makes it more attainable than ever. The American Dream is whatever you want it to be, and ultimately it's whether or not you're happy with yourself and your life. It's not money, it's not home ownership, it's not success or fame. It may be, if those are things you believe will make you happy. However, if you're happy and you like yourself and your life, then you've achieved the American Dream. In many nations, just surviving is a problem, and in many advanced nations, living your life with limited intereference from elites, politicians, cranks and other non-essentials is impossible. In the US, it's not impossible to go through life while limiting external interference, and focus on your own happiness. (Allow me to clarify - there is always external interference, but how you deal with it and react to it is what enables you to limit its impact on your life.)
So why do a fairly large number of people believe the Dream is no longer achievable, or that it is/was a myth? Why are there so many people who currently feel the Dream is unachievable, or less achievable than when their parents were younger?
Continue reading "What Is The American Dream?"
Posted by Bulldog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:22 | Comments (15) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, March 11. 2022
On the Train
I've had to come into my NYC offices this week for executive presentations. Catching a train each morning at 7am, the usual pre-covid commuter grind. Hopefully going back to that in some format. Two days ago, however, it wasn't the usual grind. As I reached the platform and waited for the train, I noticed a young man with one eye in uniform, with his battle gear in bags next to him, and the Ukrainian flag on his shoulder.
I asked him the obvious question, "Are you headed over?" He smiled and said "I have a choice. But my friends and family do not. So, I have no choice. I have to go."
I wished him good luck and a safe return, and he replied "I am Ukrainian, but born in Russia. I had to fight my way out of Russia to get to Kyiv in 2002. I joined my extended family there, got my citizenship, and came to the US in 2008. I am very happy to be here, but I can't ignore what I left behind."
We chatted a bit, and he told me a few stories his friends and family were sharing from the war zone. He followed that up with a brief "I don't trust the news here any more than the news the Russians tell. It's not telling us everything, just one side." Then he showed me his coffee container, which had an "Occupy Mars" sticker on it. He smiled and said "this would be better."
I smiled wistfully, shook his hand and told him to come home safe. He replied "There is no other choice."
This morning, as I rode in, I thought about where he was at that moment. I have no doubt he is in Ukraine. I wonder how close to the front lines he is, and I wondered at how different circumstances lead us to different situations - that luck is a huge part of life. I'm doing executive presentations, and he's hoofing to the front lines. I couldn't fathom the vast differences in our priorities.
Unfortunately, this isn't a war that was inevitable. It was avoidable. I don't believe Putin is a madman, and I don't believe he was right to invade. Sadly, in today's world many people feel these two viewpoints are contradictory and saying it means you're pro-Putin, pro-Russia. I'm not. I'm just realistic. There were paths to avoiding conflict, and we chose to not follow them. This costs young men like my train platform friend dearly.
We may sit here and comment on how the war hurts us because of price and supply chain disruptions. People will remind you that your home isn't being bombed, your family isn't at risk, so consider yourself lucky. I disagree. While our problems are first-world problems, they are important. If we don't worry about them, and we don't deal with them effectively, our first-world problems will become very big problems just like the one he headed off to. His reality can become ours, sometimes when we least expect.
Posted by Bulldog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 13:53 | Comments (17) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, March 6. 2022
Most of you remember our Urban Hike as a springtime event. With Covid shutting down the 2020 expedition (tentatively The Bronx), we went with an autumnal perambulation in 2021 through Greenwich Village.
We had a great turnout in the fall, so I hope we can have another good one this spring!
Posted by Bulldog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 12:50 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, January 22. 2022
Just a Quirky Thing I Realized
Was talking to a client yesterday and our conversation revolved around their mobile phone number, which indicated a South Jersey area code. They are in California. Another client is moving to California and has an NYC area code. Yet another is in Florida and has a North Jersey area code. I'm in NJ and have an NYC area code.
In some ways, the "anonymization" of life was one of the original draws of the internet. The classic New Yorker cartoon "on the internet, nobody knows you're a dog" was accurate, if not precise, at the time. It's absolutely NOT true today. It is this fact that keeps me working. In a panel discussion, I once pointed out to a college student, who said my company had "sold her data" (we do not, ever, sell data), I pointed out to her that many corporations do sell the data of their site visitors, but good corporations recognize the problems inherent in that behavor, so there are roles in my industry which exist precisely to keep that data safe - or as safe as it can be.
Maintaining a level of anonymity is important for the best parts of the internet to work as they were intended. Anonymity is often important to make meaningful commentary and points (Silence Dogood would approve). The fact the blockchain exists today is, in part, to solve some of these issues (the internet was not meant to be driven by advertising, but the lack of a good payments and anonymity system led to its development as one).
The days of knowing a location based on an area code may be coming to an end. In a lot of ways, that may be a good thing. Hopefully, the days of online anonymity will soon be back, though with some major revisions. It's hard to go back from where we are today. (Personal note - the EU's GPRA and California's CCPA do NOT provide you the protection you think they do, or that politicians have promoted)
Thursday, January 20. 2022
As I wrote my piece on Wokism, I stumbled on a quote from Algernon Sidney. Few know that Jefferson mentioned Sidney as a source and/or inspiration for the Declaration of Independence. Here is the quote which resonated with me: "We live in an age that makes truth pass for treason, and as I dare not say anything against it, so the ears of those that are about me will probably be found too tender to hear it. This my trial and condemnation do sufficiently evidence." It can hardly be more true today, as "credible" news sources spread lies masquerading as truth based on nothing other than these sources own claim that they, themselves, are "credible." Credibility is in the information, not the source - and we have precious few truly credible sources of news today.
Sidney was a supporter of the Roundheads during the English Civil War, and a member of the Long Parliament. Despite his opposition to the king and support for the forces opposing him, Cromwell found it necessary to have Sidney removed, as Sidney had become critical of Cromwell's authoritarian nature. His refusal to leave his seat led to Cromwell ordering the parliamentarians removal and Sidney fled England.
Continue reading "Algernon Sidney"
Posted by Bulldog in History at 11:42 | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, January 19. 2022
Ruminating on Woke History
I've not been contributing since about September, and I apologize for the long gap. I apologize only because it's rude to disappear without letting people know where you're going and I do my best to avoid being rude. In a nutshell, I've been overwhelmed at work, which is a good thing. After not working for many months, I managed to land a (much lower level) position which is working out very well for me and my long-term prospects have improved dramatically in the last few weeks. Of course, improved opportunity means additional responsibilities. Which means more time at a desk, at least in my current role. At my age (pushing 60), that's something many others cannot say. They're either at or near the pinnacle of your career, or winding it down. As I have done 4 other times in my life, I'm winding up again and feeling great.
One thing I do is try to go for a walk each day for at least an hour. Fresh air and exercise enables me to be nimble of body and mind. I'll listen to history podcasts while I walk, or just think. Recently, after a particularly difficult conversation with a friend who has gone full-on Woke, I chewed the mental cud and began to wonder where all this Wokism is headed.
It suddenly struck me what the essential problem of Wokism and Cancel Culture represent. In the name of creating and expanding opportunity, these people are limiting it severely. I wondered what history would look like if Woke and Cancel mindsets had been in place for a longer time than just the last decade or so. Not that we need another discussion on Wokism, but I felt this was a good mental exercise.
Continue reading "Ruminating on Woke History"
Thursday, October 14. 2021
The Christmas "Risk"
Today I received a note from a friend about the Christmas "risk" and it gave me pause. After all, we humans tend to think so linearly at times, we tend to miss the bigger picture. I'd never actually fallen for the 'Christmas is at risk' story, though for reasons entirely different than what I'm about to share. Her note is as follows:
"The latest fear tactic is saying that "Christmas may be at risk" due to supply chain issues. Christmas is not at risk. The ability to buy a bunch of crap no one needs or knew they wanted may be at risk, but Christmas is not at risk. Let's not allow these fear-mongers to screw with our joy, please. The joy of Christmas isn't stuff, it's family and tradition and celebrating love. And, if you're religious, it is about Jesus' birth. Not STUFF. Christmas is not at risk. Christmas will go on. Maybe in a different way for now, but...
The real story of Christmas won't be the TV we couldn't get on time, or the doll your daughter didn't get. It's going to be the time we spend together with friends and family and enjoy each others company. That isn't at risk, though Fauci is trying very hard to push it, and we should continue to look forward positively and set aside most of the fear-mongering that the Democrats and Democrat-oriented media push our way.
Her note has altered how I was thinking about the upcoming holidays in a very positive way, and I am 100% in agreement with this point of view.
Monday, October 4. 2021
I've read, and watched, quite a bit on this Facebook Whistleblower. I can't say I disagree with much of what she is saying, although I think you can apply all of it to most of our major media outlets today, not just Facebook. I began to question her motivations, in particular after she told her story of a friend who went from being a like-minded Progressive liberal to something other than this (implying 'lies' on Facebook turned that person into a conservative, I'm assuming). God forbid information should make you change your mind or your views - particularly if there's one less of these Progressives in the world!
I may agree with much of what she says she's seen or even believes. I'd even like to stop what she's hoping to stop (hate speech, misinformation, lies, bullying). I can't say she knows how to stop those things. In fact, I know she can't. She THINKS she can. After all, she writes algorithms for a living, and she believes algorithms can fix anything. She's clearly a socialist of some nature, after all, she points out that Facebook puts 'profit' before stopping 'hate speech'. I found that claim interesting, since all major media outlets do this. After all, what are CRT, Cancel Culture or Wokism if not hate speech? And the major outlets are sharing those ideas quite freely and openly. So yes, profit is put ahead of stopping hate speech.
The critical part here is that she seems to think it can be reduced or stopped. I suppose it can, to a small degree. But if you want to (as she does) rely on algorithms, which she writes for a living, then what she's really saying is "I'd like to be able to control what information is fed to people at all times, and limit it to what I believe is acceptable."
I believe in choices. And we all make them. We choose to be on (or off) Facebook, social media, the internet or TV. Once we've chosen what to engage, we choose what to believe or not believe in our information resources. Sometimes (whoops) it's a lie or misinformation, though most times it's probably not (though I suppose if you listen to Biden and Fauci and assume they are authorities on anything, you're welcome to believe almost anything is 'truth' or 'science'). Part of adulting is learning to use common sense and pursue productive, effective, and meaningful parsing of data and information. I'm not sure what the whistleblower is hoping to achieve, but if it is to 'save' Facebook (as she claims) then I'm likely to believe that she's hoping to engage more situational design leading to social outcomes she believes are 'best for society'. I doubt I share her views on what's 'best' for society.
Posted by Bulldog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 11:07 | Comments (34) | Trackbacks (0)
(Page 1 of 22, totaling 534 entries) » next page