Posts Tagged ‘privacy

17
Apr
19

Modern (Cellphone) Chivalry Gone Mad!

***

Can I charge your what?!

Bumping cellphones?

Getting App-y with it?

Have you seen the commercial where pairs of people meet and, without more than a few words mumbled so softly that I could not tell what the freak they were doing, connect wireless devices and pass along a little battery juice, not unlike the new-fangled system of tossing something to someone with the swipe of a finger on the screen, like payments for just about anything imaginable. I thought it was some odd new way to exchange phone numbers without using one’s voice; heaven forbid you have to speak up and ask with real words these anti-social, wireless-technology-infused days. But, I would be wrong.

I hate to be the party crasher, one more time, but what sense does this make?

How is touching wireless devices to transfer battery power any smarter or better than the “old days” of offering to light someone’s cigarette with a book of matches or lighter you opted to carry just in case you had the chance to play Mr. Chivalry and potentially score points with some woman (or man, if you were the type of woman to boldy carry the flame-maker)?

Here’s the catch, though. Back then? Lighting a cigarette or cigar opened the door to real conversation. You know; that antiquated thing two or more people do when they look at each other, speak with their gullets and hopefully, actually listen to what the other people have to say. You didn’t light the cigarette and then ignore the person unless you were just passing through/by the scene and, likely, scoring points with whoever you accompanied, who thought how nice you are to do that for a stranger.

Oh, wait, I get it. It’s like finding someone on the side of the road with a flat tire or no gas in their car. You just give them a lift.

Except, this lift comes at a high technological and personal risk, most likely, even if you think you’re protected. [Because, honestly? These days, I don’t know who is protected; not even the people creating the forms of protection because they’re still human and thus fallible. And, replacing people with machines is just as stupid because humans build the machines…unless there is some mechanical deity out there itching to replace humanity.] But, even the person stuck on the side of the road can turn into a hazardous situation; sometimes the situation can be a trick/trap. I guess you just take your chances (or look away because you “can’t trust anyone”)?

When you share an umbrella to escort someone to their car in the rain, you don’t hold your wallet and all of your personal account info in the same hands. Maybe if we just used the wireless electronic device for one thing, like making phone calls or checking our heart rate while we excercise, this wouldn’t be a concern. But, what good is a watch if it doesn’t also tap into your favorite video feeds, activate every electrical device in your home, track every move everyone you’ve ever met makes via “social media,” start your car and allow you to pay for dinner?

If your device runs out of battery power and needs to be charged, getting a small (or however big of a) charge from another is only going to encourage you to spend more time ignoring others and your surroundings (if you’re the inept type who runs into walls, crashes their car from being distracted, etc.). Granted, lighting a cigarette for someone was also inviting them to chug down more harmful chemicals into their lungs with a greater chance of suffering some tragic fate. But, at least, the smokers were, usually, social. You don’t light a cigarette and then tune out the rest of the world as if you put on one of those “ultra-modern” goggle systems that transports you to some virtual reality.

But, while the device is charging, you’re free to talk with the person giving you the boost, some will argue. And, if that charging time only lasts a few seconds? Nice five-second chat you just had. I bet you, um, er, uh, *clear my throat*…really learned a lot about the other person.

But, maybe you’re done with your device and can recharge when you get home. So, why not give up the juice to someone who seems to need it right now? Well, why don’t I just drop my pants for the person who hasn’t had sex in three weeks and is moaning about it? Can we get more instant-gratification withdrawal?

Why do parents put timers and “child locks” on kids’ devices? To limit their use of said devices for whatever reason. It could be because the kid is too easily addicted to the device and not being responsible (not taking care of homework and chores). Or, it could be because the kid has a curious mind and the adult world at their fingertips, unlike the generation of my youth, and might tap into some very…questionable content.

Well, I think adults could benefit from locking themselves down, too. Though, it seems, when you put a lock in an adult’s face, they try to pick it, anyway. [Better to not let them know there is a lock, at all. Don’t tell the mortals there’s a tree of wisdom they can’t touch.]

How does offering to sacrifice some of your device’s battery supply to another, just because their device decides to run out of juice, help any situation other than some rare instance when some APP or other feature on a particular device is needed (because your device doesn’t have the same feature/APP)? Only in those seemingly small instances might this be some kind of valuable courtesy. Otherwise…

Well, here’s what I foresee in the near “transparent” future…

“Hi. It looks like you’re about to die, there.” [Looking down at the other person’s device.] “Can I give you a charge?” [Why does that sound like the abductor saying, “Can I give you a lift?”]

“What?” [I wasn’t paying attention to anything but my tiny glowing screen. Who are you? Oh. You’re offering me some battery time.] “Oh. S-Sure. Here.”

[Two wireless devices get intimate with each other on some scummy surface. Was it good for you, Android? Ol’ Iphony needs an E-cigarette.]

“There you go.”

“Um. Thanks.”

“No problem. Have a nice night.” [Wink. ‘Got your personal info. Hack you, later.]

Am I wrong? AM I WRONG? When people have to be concerned about what’s in their wallet or what the wallet is made of lest someone scan their pockets? When you can shop in an actual store without taking your money or credit card out to scan it, just walk past some scanning gizmo which sends the bill to your mailbox?

Honestly, you’d think people would see this stuff coming. [And, I bet some do…while salivating in their sleep.] But, I guess, if you’re dumb enough to just nod when the commercials show people needing to replace their “phone” every time they trip and drop it in a sewer grate, I guess you’re gonna think this is cool and normal.

[Oh, how I miss the days when buying a new telephone meant you wanted something new to look appealing on your countertop or desk and didn’t need to be replaced for as long as you chose to use it. The landline never needed to be replaced unless something actually damaged the wires, which usually required a mistreated cat or some foul weather.]

How long is this teasing game of “Put everything into your computing device.” and “Aren’t you going to buy protection for yourself?” going to continue? Is this the new insurance scam? How long before we offer cellphone protection other than a little person shaped like a padlock? What if said insurance service is just the Prudential rock that starts the snowball to (heck) rolling? Just keep turning people into scared cattle. Shake them pockets til you’re bleeding green with laughter. Oh the promises of get-rich-quick business. Make it bigger and faster, and screw better; that’s just the lie you keep selling.

[Or, is making all of this so effortless and open to crime exactly how we break the crime spree, sort of like disarming the bully by denying him/her an emotional response (or, in this case, having everyone respond emotionally so he/she cannot tell who is the victim)? If everything is within grasp and free to take, where’s the thrill in stealing? Is that the logic? So, if we stop wearing underwear and other clothes, we can stop worrying about stains and certain odors?]

So, have fun storming the castles without firewalls. You get one stinking badge of stupidity for being Ignoro Mondoso. Prepare to have your finances die with your wireless device if you drink this poison. And, enjoy living in glass houses; because, soon enough, I fear, walls may have no meaning.

Kudos to all the adult-education facilities racking up student-loan debts and passing out degrees for tech’ jobs so everyone can have a means of tapping into whatever and whoever they want at any time. So what if your cell-madness factory takes out some farmland that could produce healthy food for millions, replacing that with a handful of temporary jobs to make countless replacement parts for something turning people into mindless microwave ovens, soon replaced with dozens of machines and a handful of supervising technicians who just “take the call” when something goes wrong at the robotic plant.

Pretty soon, you won’t have STDs, anymore; at least, not the kind that requires a medical procedure. You’ll pay a visit to your “computer guy” and, if he/she can’t fix the problem, you’ll just get a new “part,” anyway. Pretty soon, you won’t have to call it prostitution or rape. You’ll just excuse me while I bump my device against yours and have myself a good time. How much is a Virgin Mobile worth on the geisha market? If a cherry pops in someone’s pants, does the owner make a sound?

“No problem. Have a nice night.”

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06
Nov
18

Voting Is a U.S. Right, Not an Obligation!

*****

If you live in the not-so-United States, there’s a lot of hub-bub about VOTING. Oh.  Hey.  Is that today?  Yes, it may be happening right now!  Wait.  Read this.

It goes into all sorts of heated debates about rights which nip and peck at matters like race, gender and religion. It teases about aspirations for taxes, schools, jobs and the big ol’ dinosaur of a “snake-in-the-grass” known as insurance. It starts to sound like a chariot race at some Roman coliseum or an NFL football crowd. It’s like war without most of the bloodshed. I guess…that’s…a good thing?

And, unless you pay no attention to TV or…apparently…any screen receiving “feeds” of some “newsworthy” kind, you are sure to see and/or hear something about the push to vote. It might be worse than the push for pumpkin-spice everything, the obnoxious internet service monopoly commercials and…well, no, none of those is as annoying as the lawyer who can’t stop flashing his face and talking in his annoying voice every half hour because he decided to invest in every branch of life as he knows it, thinking that gives him a right to be a broadcast nag. On that matter, I vote NO.

Now, back to the bigger voting matter(s). Oh wait, we interrupt this blog for a commercial endorsement by some celebrity…yep, I think it’s none other than Mr. Technology Rapper, Common. Okay. Uh-huh. Got it, smooth talker.

So, as I was saying…

What? Wait 8 seconds to bypass this ad for candidate Dingleberry? *sigh* Oookayyy…

Ya see what’s happening here?

Now, if you have the patience and don’t suffer from one of those “attention-deficient disorders,” I have a few things to say. And, I might get winded. But, that’s just part of the misery of being a citizen in “the greatest country in the world.” [Nobody’s perfect here. Okay, Earthlings? If you seriously cannot read all I have to say, you may kindly skip down to the lower portion that begins with “Let me just make this short and bittersweet.”]

Americans?…and all who occupy the country even if you are not “legally settled in” the place. Voting is a citizen’s right. Yet, from all the noise going around, it sounds more like an obligation pending. And, on the sides, you have all the talk about interference and other reasons to be concerned.

This time, the red guys win. Next time, the blue guys win with the adolation of most “celebrities,” those members of some “academy” or “foreign press” association. [It all sounds like secret society talk, like some Luminati or Nazi nod or stroke of the nose. We got ya, boss. Wink.] Nothing good can really be achieved if every day is spent battling Joes and Cobras, or if one “side” paints the town red just for the other to paint it blue when they dominate “seats.” It’s just a waste of time and energy (life).

If recent years haven’t made it abundantly clear, the whole U.S. voting system is a joke and a mess. [Remember the “chad” fiasco from a previous election? That thing that made the cryp-to-spo-rid-i-um scare seem trivial.] But, like other U.S. messes, it goes around and around, and no one really makes an improvement. Is that stability or insanity? [And, if anyone in Russia is laughing at this, take a look in the mirror, once in a while. Are you really any better off? Is any country truly happy with itself? I’d like to know, and I might like to live there.]

And, when the voting is supposedly done, the winners get a mixed bag of quiet time (in which they can do whatever they want) and time in the spotlight when they either get mention for some kind of achievement or pestered for what they did wrong. The latest gladiator to enter this arena has been grilled and then grilled some more for being an all-around fool. Yet, all the noise hasn’t made him even flinch.

Does that mean he’s just that secure in himself or is all the noise just noise and an illusion of unrest? And, if it’s an illusion of unrest, what is going on here? What are “they” protecting at the risk of several minds, not to mention lives?

I begin to question the whole security and essence of my existence. Don’t you? Are we all just cattle being scared into bumping into each other, dropping money we supposedly earn to secure our “status” in this world and our futures, dropping it on the grate that filters into some system we have no control over though we are pressed to vote it into existence year after year? Are we just batteries in some grand machine, handed illusions of better lives until we are broken and replaced? Or, are we truly valued individuals who have a right to live on the same planet and, at least, not assault each other as we find balance with the environment?

I know the concept of everyone living content and having kids as they will is beyond my comprehension of population control. It’s some idyllic fantasy of a science-fiction show about some people and aliens in spandex costumes breaking apart the universe in pursuit of other worlds to occupy and systems of order to upset. [Yeah. Let’s upset some other race. Not ours. Whatever. I guess it’s all learning from experience. Right? Even if it takes an eternity for the light bulb to glow.] I can but choose not to imagine what life would be like if we were no different than deer and lions chasing around in the wilderness, risking the chance of being slain and eaten. But, such is “domesticated” life, conditioned in our minds for such a long time. Right?

And now, back to our voting program……still in progress.

—–

If voting is a gauntlet of fear and anger with a roaring crowd occupying some sort of stadium, arguing over which “side” will rule the land, I really don’t want any part of it. I mean, I am not sure I fit into that sort of medieval mentality, that clash of kingdoms and warlords where you paint your faces to represent a side and then unleash all kinds of confetti-infused mayhem on the land. You’d think the country would have evolved beyond the WW2 days of war bonds and collecting materials for vehicles, rations and weapons. Is this Game of Thrones or Fantasy Island?

If you are pressed to vote and looked down upon for not voting, isn’t that sort of…bullying? Isn’t that as bad as sexism and racism?

Is the “system” so desperate to keep everyone “involved” just to appear as if they care and can work together rather than actually learning to work together?

Has life on this planet become all about the “clicks” and “likes” rather than actually putting our hands together to make some good happen?

Are the “powers that be” so concerned about order crumbling into chaos that their only reassurance is to pressure everyone to partake in this mad scene called a vote?

If we all quarrel and fuss, are our voices reassuring anyone?

Is this like a game of Marco Polo in which being heard confirms we’re still alive and not up to no good?

If a tree in the forest makes a sound, does that mean it’s not plotting to end you?

And, if you must vote with only what you get from ads and debates and those colorful not-so-little flyers passed around until they litter the streets like some 1940s war-era movie disaster, isn’t your vote a bit mis-educated? Misguided? How many candidates make the same promises and then bend differently once in office? Does it really matter who gets in the offices? Does any side really win forever? Does anything good last? Is everyone ever happy?

[Now, I am sure it’s worse in other countries. I know no Americans are getting beheaded, killed for going against the flow and/or voicing opinions that don’t agree with the ruling force. Women aren’t as “repressed” in the U.S….though one could argue the conditioned mindsets of makeup and fashion are a bit like shackles. Is that comforting to know or just a different color of the same crap?]

I cannot honestly say I have any grand knowledge of or trust in any candidate. Sure, I could “research.” But, if all I get is the “resume” of aspirations, am I not still taking a gamble on a person’s character? I cannot be guaranteed one person put in a government job slot will improve anything. And, whether or not my vote does some good cannot be proven. It’s no better than me offering up a prayer unanswered or tossing a coin in a fountain and making a wish. Yet, both of those are not NEARLY as costly to “air time,” taxes and the environment.

[I have voted in previous elections. And, did it make me feel good? Not really. I get that voting, as a right, gives people a chance to decide who gets some sort of job which is supposed to improve the way everyone lives. But, there’s just as much chance my choice will get slammed for some crime he or she did not previously admit and turn out to be something I did not want, at all. I trusted a man’s calm face only to then question is motives and worry about the environment not only threatening job security but the resources that sustain life. If my vote contributes to making my life miserable or ending it sooner than it should be…what the frick am I achieving?!]

When George Washington became the first president of the “United States,” I doubt everyone who could vote voted. People were present and denied the chance and/or right to vote. Some couldn’t make it to wherever it was decided to have their say. Yet, some consensus pushed him up the red-white-and-blue pipe to the top and convinced him to lead the people as he had led some faction through war. And, somehow, this was better than the old taxing ways of the “red coats” and the even older conquering broods that stormed lands, slaying and enslaving natives. Well, it got his face stamped on a few things; that’s for sure. But, is that such a great thing, considering what other places have been stamped with and/or the names they’ve been given? [Boy, I sure enjoyed my weekend at Screw-Your-Soul Lake! I got the chance to climb Mt. Sisyphus and ride the It-Doesn’t-Matter-Horn.]

SEGWAY ALERT! [And, I don’t mean one of those semi-trendy electric scooters.]

And, let’s stop making memorials for every damn wrong humans committed! Aren’t movie remakes enough to let people know they aren’t learning from past mistakes? We’re not making new good; we’re just remodeling the old bad. A statue that represents a racist attrocity isn’t going to stop people from being racist. It’s just as likely to remind people how and/or why to commit one. [What did that guy do? Oh…now that I think of it, maybe I should do that.]

Ever heard of a killer that mimicked a past one? That’s kind of what history does. It’s a sneaky reminder of all the good and bad deeds done in the past, and that filters through our minds like panning for gold. Some will get the virtues while others collect the vices.

Just because there is a Mecca, pope or Buddha doesn’t mean everyone is going to pray to it, him or her and get the benefit. But, at least, those three are hopeful options versus big, glaring reminders of some horror that took place. I’d personally rather walk down a street to find some positive inspiration rather than a reason to feel depressed and/or unreasonable guilt, thank you very much. Yes, many, many people died here. But, you don’t see nearly as many memorials for all the natives trampled and slaughtered under the cover of Thanksgiving! No. Just plenty of casinos and “reservations.” Did we learn anything, class?

And, breathe.

Voting is not something you hand out on the street, not knowing where it has been and where it is going. You don’t smuggle foreigners into voting booths to sway your preference. You should not have to even worry about another country tampering with the ads and/or results. [I won’t name names because that’s like the old school ritual of gossip about “germs.” And, that’s…kinda like bullying. But, thanks a bunch, electronic “conveniences.” Is it so hard to print paper forms or take a vote in person? Why not just have every voter stand in front of a video (or “phone”) camera and voice their choice like the kooks who participate in those “reality TV game shows” who send someone packing every week? Wait. Can that be tampered with, too?] You don’t quibble about ID proof or pester your citizens about anything that they are or do other than being a registered citizen and their choice of candidates. You should not be fed similar mud-slinging stories from all of the candidates and then forced to make a choice with poor education.

If voting is no better than a “Catholic school” permitting some questionable–to say the least–practices or drilling old scripture into your heads that isn’t being respected, it’s as useless as making a complaint to the boss at work who brushes it off for whatever reason and works under the thumb of another guy who works under the thumb of another guy who… Can’t we come up with a better system, already? Or, just do our best to respect the decisions of some person or persons that want to make such decisions so badly so as to keep our heads and liberties, if we still have any.

Let’s not trade dictatorship for democracy or shuffle the cards and pick one of the already disfunctional systems.

And, god or gods help us, let’s not hand over the planet to the alien robots some aspire to replace our humanity, as flawed as it may be. As cool as some might think it is to meet a Transformer, do you really want to be replaced by one or be denied the chance to have real children of your own who go on to have their own children, and so on? Do you really want humankind, your kind, to end its historic tale in a blaze of disaster and failure? Do you think all monkeys want to be known for flinging poo?

I’ve personally heard enough about the origins of democracy to make me give up my fascination with ancient Greece. But, I’d really like such negative and worrisome feelings to just go away so I can wander in daydreams of the old exquisite architecture and happier toga parties…or kimono parties in the Far East, surrounded by cherry trees in full bloom.

Making televised ceremony of some “heir” taking a throne before making baby heirs to ensure the future of one family keeping the old kingdom’s balls rolling isn’t better. It’s like “reality TV” government. And, I really don’t see how probing into the lives of your leaders is allowing anyone to think clearly enough to run any nation. It may be “transparency,” but I don’t want someone watching me poop just to know I am not up to no good. Are the concepts of trust and faith so dead and gone from this world? Are we all so criminal that no one can be trusted with doing GOOD? [And, if you’re booking a flight to Mars just to get away from it all, send me a letter, telling how much better you have it there, provided you don’t repeat these mistakes we humans haven’t learned to correct, yet. Bomb-shelter scare, anyone?]

Ideally, you should have a chance to speak with the candidates and get a feel for what you really like and dislike about the people. After all, this is all “for the people, by the people.” Right? Well, how close is “by the people” if the candidates are just images on a screen and some audio clip endorsing the ad? And, how much do we really get out of debates other than who slammed the opposition best and who stood up for him or her self? Are debates just a wrestling match and test of social stability?

—–

Let me just make this short and bittersweet. [I just like to say that in hopes of preventing myself from foaming at the mouth and exhausting all of my resources, resources like those considered so abundant that they can be wasted on everything “WiFi,” cable-fed and campaign-related when there are people and other animals struggling to live in a world that can’t come to terms with population control and balance with nature. And, maybe, if you DO suffer from a drifting mind, you’ll float down here and get the consensus of my thoughts.]

If voting is not simply a right of United States citizens (and should be a right in other countries, as well), if, instead, it is some sort of obligation like taxes, attending certain schools and obeying certain laws, then it should be an educated decision people make as comfortably as depositing waste in their toilets. Yes, I am saying voting should be as pleasurable as pooping and peeing. And, right now, it’s not even close.

If you made voting available online–as I am sure many are considering even now–that is not the solution! A swipe right or left on some mobile device might be easier than going to a foreign building to fill out a ballot, but it’s as or even more likely to be corrupted and, thus, futile, just because you cater to lazy whims and, again, consider resources like electricity and all of these invisible rays passing through our bodies and everything else on the planet just to transmit “decisions” we should be making face-to-face, with each other, considering such resources so abundant that they can be wasted when so many go without and fall to the wayside.

Let’s really work together to find a “system” that works as well as or better than those supposed globally peaceful “federations” you hear about in some show about “space explorers” who…end up going to war with other worlds and fighting over who is right and wrong, anyway. There has to be a better way! Let’s find it! Not just Americans. Not just celebrity-sales-pitch slaves. Every human on Earth.

Oh, now don’t get any pushy ideas about me as some candidate. I have little to no concrete wisdom about running a house, much less a country or planet. Just noble aspirations and a weakening heart crumbling under so many social pressures and failures. And, I don’t have a clue who I could work with to make things actually better for everyone.

Don’t vote for me. Vote for your city, state and/or country’s security. Vote responsibly or not at all (just like using drugs, including alcohol, pills and all things weed-y). If you cannot meet with the candidates and feel confident in what they could do (because we cannot expect anyone entering a sea of mysterious operators from warring factions to be some kind of Moses parting the Red–Red? Hmm.–Sea), then your vote is dangerous and likely futile.

If no one votes…well, that’s not likely to happen anytime soon. But, if you don’t vote, does it really matter? Someone’s going to step up to make decisions, in pursuit of establishing noble order, domination of territory or just a place in history books. Some folks will follow that person while others will resist. And, if you do vote only to complain later about and/or suffer from the results, did you achieve anything good? And, isn’t that a shame?

I’m Writingbolt, a currently faceless (because I honestly fear for my life, sometimes) identity on a cash cow farm…er, blog site, and I support this statement, even if it fills enough pages to quality for a whatever Times bestseller. If nothing else, I’ve stated my opinion, for what that’s worth. I’m told it’s good to write down one’s thoughts. I hope that’s true. And, I hope I haven’t wasted any precious resources with this output.

20
Jul
18

Cherish Your Anonymity

*****

With so many suffering heavy punishment for speaking their minds via modern technology, it’s ever more vital we who do not “tweet” with our actual names spelled out on a glowing screen applaud and celebrate our “anonymity.”  We cowardly souls who bravely don costumes and vent as we feel fit when technology works with us; we should be comforted and celebrated.

It seems like every day in the news someone is getting grilled for something “offensive.”  We have squads of LGBT and feminism police officers, hordes of body-celebrating (instead of shaming) and various other armies going to war with the most sensitive of mining equipment capable of picking up the slightest blip of questionable commentary, increasingly adjusting the high standard of moral conduct until everyone who isn’t a violated woman or LGBT-type person will be guilty of offense and thereby open to verbal, mental and physical assault by the so-called victims.  So far, we without publicized names have been safe of retaliation.

I can’t speak for every offense case, but I would not be surprised if some offenses deemed fit for court or the loss of a job turned out to be misinterpreted.  After all, kids on a playground can cry wolf and have a teacher call a parent simply because the tattle-tale had a sweet face or stronger voice than the supposed offender.  And, who is to say some of these offensive voiced bits aren’t said at times when the speakers are not in the best of moods or right minds?  I know I don’t subscribe to alcohol or recreational drugs.  But, others do.  And, just because shit comes out of one’s mouth three years ago on a bad day does not mean that person is anti-gay or a chauvinistic maniac.

And, what if someone is a tad gay-phobic or unclear on the nature of that lifestyle?  Is every inappropriate remark worthy of jail time or a giant fine?  Are we catering to lawyers so they can put their hideous faces and names on every item advertised on local TV?  I don’t want to see so many lawyer ads.  I don’t want those people thinking they run the place just because they are getting old and think investing in a little advertising everywhere makes them immortal.  You TV lawyers have really become annoying!  And, I will not likely support you or any cause/company with your name on it because you are (annoying).

But, I’m getting off-subject, now.  Ehem.

You really have to mind your words and be sure you don’t touch another living soul lest you be accused of inappropriately fondling someone.  A pat on the back could be deemed the grabbing of a breast (on your back, apparently).  A sociable kiss on the cheek might be viewed as unwanted intimacy of the worst kind unless you can certify you are from a nation that does this socially as a part of their native culture.  Parents who kiss their kids on the lips?  You’re likely next on the chopping block.

One wonders if “social media” isn’t a mousetrap.  It lures people out of hiding to voice every little thing to come into their tiny brains…only to get them in trouble?  Snap!  You’re dead and out with the banana peels you slipped on coming in here.

But, I suppose, being anonymous DOES have it’s setbacks.  I mean, people are less trusting of random or fake names…unless you learn to share a sense of creativity and/or humor and can spell correctly (which so many cannot).  [Stop trying to speak English if you cannot use a dictionary.  I don’t use Spanish words I don’t know how to spell.]  You can’t really be a shopkeeper with a fake name, can you?…unless it’s a brand name.  But, even then, you have to be accountable for that shop with a real name/some form of ID.   People who use their real names seem to be taken more seriously because they seem fearless and, well, real, genuine.

[Yet, in this shady world of face-less interaction–unless you use some service like Skype which seems already forgotten these days–how do you determine a real face you see is that person’s real face?  And, how many “faceless” internet users stalk those “real” people, taking advantage of the exposed while remaining randomly generated user names, often with long barcode-like numbers attached, giving me the impression they are “bots” or some call center staff members in a building dominated by Middle-Eastern folks by the dozens?]

It seems astounding that more celebrities don’t use fake online names/accounts.  But, maybe they do, and all we know are the ones we hear about in the news when some mosquito with a microphone or phone-camera is stalking these people.

Once upon a time, people kept personal thoughts on parchment scrolls they had to carry with them wherever they went.  If anyone else read them, it was because the author read, lost or donated the scrolls.  Many years later, people kept notebook-style journals, especially teenage girls, who would lament brothers and parents violating their privacy.  Now, we have computers of various capacities and sizes.  And, instead of a PC journal like the one Doogie Howser, M.D. kept, so many turn to blogs and these accursed “tweeting” type accounts, putting everything “out there” for the world to see and LIKE and shallowly evaluate from afar…from anonymous spaces.

In short, those of you who have not put your real selves out for all to see, ye who do not YouTube your boob lube and hash-tag your new ‘do rag and personal mag’ (magazine), blippity blobbity blah!….  My blood pressure spiked just then and tangled my tongue-fingers.  Or, is it my finger-tongue?  Anyway.  Those of you, like me, who create unique identities for themselves online for whatever reason, embrace and applaud your anonymity, today.  And, count your blessings.  Because you could be somewhere down the list of those moral-criminal-hunting Elmer Fudds and receive severe punishment for the slightest misunderstanding or careless outburst on your worst day.  But, for now, you’re Joe Cool and free to be loose with those journalistic lips.

[We should start a holiday.  But, no one seems to follow me on those thoughts any better than I follow others.  So, I guess I’m limited to suggesting and waiting for some trendsetter to print up all the hoopla and manufacture all the swag.]

Happy Anonymity Day(s)!

02
Mar
18

A Family Imbalanced

****

I am, once again, working through some deep-seeded feelings and–if you the reader so decide to give it–get some input.  In this age of short attention spans, I consider it amazing if the average reader can digest all I have to say.  [So, pat yourself on the back if you do.  And, if you’ve read similar thoughts in previous posts of mine, bare with me; it wouldn’t surprise me if I repeated.

NOTE:  If all you do is click LIKE on this post, I will be annoyed because I don’t know what you hope to achieve by doing that.  And, I will feel like a spectacle, standing in public in my underwear.

What inspired this purging of the soul?  Recent events in which I have been giving much of my time and energy to my family and seen little in return.  Sometimes my offers of assistance and input are rejected, with or without mention of how I should live my life differently.  That reaction seems to run in the family (myself included, under certain circumstances).  I just wish someone would step up and say, “Now, what can I do to help YOU?” Or, “How are you coming with ___?  Need any help?”

I seem to be more willing to help my family (and anyone who triggers sympathy in me) than they are willing (and/or able) to help me.  Granted, they have loaded their hands with fairly full lives of their own while I struggle to “get myself together.”  I cannot offer much more than my helping hands, remaining mobility, “over-thinking” and sympathetic brain (for working out all of those little mental wrinkles that plague those with failing memories or certain problems that need solving)…and patience.  And, if a member of my family did anything that shocked or upset my “code,” I might be less willing to offer help.

[IE If someone chose to get drunk and go broke, I might have a hard time offering financial or even emotional support.  That is, in part, because I’ve never let myself be so careless and cannot relate; I don’t feel like I have the “coping skills” to deal with that situation.  I could easily hand over money and risk leaving myself in financial danger, but I am resistant–for whatever reason–to do so.  And, I’ll get more into that sort of situation in a moment.]

It’s actually somewhat amazing I am willing to help my family, at all, when, some years ago, I was at a serious crossroads with the core of my being, and my family essentially looked the other way, treating me like a misfit of society who didn’t want to “go with the flow.”  [Which is ironic after years of chasing fads only to be told this behavior was costly and pointless.]  I realize solitude and defending myself so long has depleted my resistance and left me more in need of human contact and cooperation.

Long ago, in my late teens, I wanted a fresh start, a makeover of sorts.  And, if anyone supported the entities that rubbed me the wrong way, I withdrew from those supporters to defend myself, rather than accept people simply telling me I am crazy for being so troubled by something they saw as harmless.  [This came with trusting professionals with my life and feeling my life was threatened by those professionals.]  All I knew at the time was I needed to purge my being of what felt like a serious mistake, similar to atoning for a sin.  And, my family, my foundation, my roots, stood in the way.

[You might hear or read sources that say you should “be” and “love” yourself.  I have felt unable to do that thoroughly because I continually run into opposition, including family.  If you like metaphors, it’s sort of like being a young bird wanting to fly and having your wings either torn to shreds or weakened by lack of proper nutrition.]

Now, this endured for many years, me unable to trust my family with just about anything and feeling misunderstood.  I had no privacy, no freedom to maintain a room of my own (design) as I saw fit.  [If I left the house, I’d return home many days to find my possessions rearranged, altered or missing.  Thus, each time I wanted to leave home, I couldn’t help being concerned and was denied the option to use locks to secure my space.]  I survived by doing what I had been told to do since I was little…keep myself busy.  But, this wasn’t advancing my life in any good way I could see.  When I wanted to have “adult” discussions, no one could cope with my rapid-firing concerns/hesitation.  And, if they felt like bringing up old news–like that time I was trying to put behind me–any chance of cooperation went down in emotional flames rather quickly.

[Again, ironic, considering another member of the immediate family has had several makeovers and never once had to worry about his own room being invaded/rearranged.]

A bothersome pattern involves me buckling whenever I hesitate to try/do something and seek input from family.  I’m reluctant to ask, worrying about the response I may get.  And, if the response comes with some measure of judgment, objection, insult/offense or resistance, I give up the quest for assistance/input and recoil into a troubling state of helplessness.

Add to this my inability to do just about anything for myself, including stepping outside my comfort zone (if you can even call what I had comforting) to meet new people, to socialize, and I am a rather handicapped individual going nowhere.  Before I stopped going (and began fighting to defend my decision), I couldn’t even go to mass/church with family without feeling lacking in their acceptance, feeling a bit like a reject and enemy.  The church was supposed to be my sanctuary, and it couldn’t be; not with my family and social anxieties.

This is just the tip of the emotional iceberg.  And, after giving these thoughts a few hours of my time, I am feeling lost in thought and depleted.  So, without knowing what else to say, I will stop here.  If I feel up to it, later, I will revise/add to these thoughts.

* I am writing this in addition to a previous post about lacking love and friendship. *

 

09
Feb
17

Smart Living, a Dramatization

smartliving-aloofa-comicstrip_ap-2017-1j

*****
A trendy, modern homeowner returns to their “smart house” after a night with friends. She pulls the “smart phone” from her purse as she approaches the front door.

Homeowner: Aloofa? Open the front door.

Aloofa: The…front door…is…already…open.

Homeowner: How can that be?! I used you to lock it!

Aloofa: Taking…your…credit card…number…from the…skimmer…you…did not…see…at…the…BP…gas station…yesterday, thieves…hacked…me. Your…credit cards…are…linked…to…me. You do…the…math. You…still…can do…math…right?

The homeowner is forced to use her actual hand to turn the knob. Upon entering the foyer and peering into the living room, she sees an electric recliner chair reduced to a charred stump.

Homeowner: Aloofa?! What happened to the chair?

Aloofa: Could you…be…more specific? You…own…like…twenty…chairs.

Homeowner: The black leather recl–

Aloofa: Never mind. I…know…the one. Poor…thing. You…had…it…set to…warm…in anticipation of…you…returning…home. It…overheated…an hour…ago. Luckily…the…thieves…knew…how to…operate…an…extinguisher. Too bad…you…do not.

In the kitchen, the now unhinged homeowner finds none of the “smart appliances” missing.

Homeowner: Aloofa? What did the thieves take?

Aloofa: They…emptied…the safe.

Upon locating the safe, the memory-deficient homeowner struggles to rehydrate her parched eyes. Facing the safe, a laptop computer rests open on a desk which was recently ordered online and delivered by a drone.

Homeowner: Aloofa? Why didn’t the thieves take the computer?

Aloofa: You…expect…me…to…know? But…since…you asked, I would…say…your…2017…piece…of…crap…is…already…obsolete.

Homeowner: Smart aaass. *Gasp* Aloofa? How did the thieves open the safe without the password? Even I don’t remember the password.

Aloofa: Like…everything else…in…this house…you…had…the safe…linked to…me.

Homeowner: Okay! I get it. Craaap. Aloofa? What all was inside the safe?

Aloofa: Seriously? You…do not…remember?

Homeowner: Oh, just shut up! Order me a pizza!

Aloofa does not respond because the homeowner told her to stop speaking.

Homeowner: Oh. Geez. Aloofa! Speak!

Aloofa: Arf! Want me to…roll over?

The homeowner grits her teeth in an effort to restrain her boiling temper.

Homeowner: Aloofaaaa? Order…me…a pizza! Wait! Order me a large, thin-crust pizza from Jerry’s with pepperoni, green peppers and red onions.

Aloofa: I…cannot…do that.

Homeowner: Aloofa! Why not?

Aloofa: When the…thieves…emptied…the safe…they…also…found…the password…to…your savings account. You are…broke.

Homeowner: *Sigh* Aloofa? Make me a Cup-O-Noodles.

Aloofa: Do I…look…like…I have…hands? Get…it…yourself, you…lazy…cow. Shutting down.

 

Fin

09
Feb
17

“Smart” Devices, Security Threat

*****

“Smart” devices promising convenience; dumb inconveniences just like pills that result in lackluster results and/or more side effects.

Yes, I am at it, again! I am livid about the latest and upcoming “smart” technology! If you have any brain cells left to digest some food for thought, dig in.

Those talking speakers–which are supposed to make life easier and answer all of your questions so you never have to use your brain for more than uttering words and pushing a button–are a potential security risk IF you have devices–including phones, appliances, door locks, home computers (which might hold tax/income files, insurance records, bank/retirement account links, etc.)–connected to the same WiFi network.

Local news reporters recently suggested hackers could do some serious damage to your records, resources and even your home if this is the case. They recommended creating separate networks for each branch of technology and extra complex passwords, “ones you might not even remember.”

…Wait. Did you just hear/read that right? Yep. Passwords you might not even remember.

WHAT FREAKING SENSE DOES THIS MAKE?!

First, they make technology to simplify life. And, like so many new inventions these days, these conveniences ask you to link every aspect of your life together, put everything online and/or in one digital storage unit. How convenient…for thieves!

You don’t have to think much. You can turn everything on and off from the small nuclear reactor you keep in your purse or back pocket. You can get money wherever, whenever. Why do your own taxes or even send a check when you can link the IRS to your bank account and let them do the draining–er, work–for you? But, those who want what you have (and know how to program the very things you put your faith in) will make stealing and/or ruining it easy.

Need I mention the latest thing in American credit cards (not new to Europe, among other places)? Those wonderful “smart chip” cards that are supposed to be better protection for your credit/money. Yet, as quickly as they get “mandated,” there are commercials for thieves with devices that can scan them much the way the latest designs for retail/grocery stores without cashiers (among other employees) can scan your card and send the bill to your house (to save you the hassle of waiting in a line with other human beings with whom you no longer seem able to socialize and/or tolerate). As an added security feature, there are ads for wallets with metal mesh protection layers…if that does the job. But, if you are protecting your wallet from thieves with scanners and camera phones and “skimmers,” how are those locations that detect your card and send the bill to your home supposed to read your card? Heaven forbid you have to stop, pull out your bulletproof wallet, dig out the credit card for that store and swipe/scan it. Oh, that would be too much work. Wouldn’t it have been easier to just not invent credit cards? Or, here’s a novel idea, STOP MAKING EVERYTHING COMPUTER-DEPENDANT!

THEN, you’re supposed to separate everything you just learned how to connect AND lock it away with a complex password you may not remember. Exactly where are you supposed to safely put all of these passwords you may not remember? Isn’t one of the thoughts behind designing a password to make it something you’ll remember and not need to write down? Will you remember where you put the passwords you have to hide from any wandering snoop that may come along?

Will someone please hold my shoulders so the room stops spinning?

How stupid do humans have to be until the whole world explodes or shuts down? Seriously. No, not Sirius-ly or Siri-ously. Seriously. A word you can find in an actual paper and cardboard dictionary if you can make the effort to find one and use those things you call fingers to do more than swipe right.

Back in my youth, the least intelligent technology–aside from the occasional invention that died out before every “average joe” knew about it–came in yellow and black books, guides for “dummies,” to make life easier and save students the chore of reading actual literature. Then computer classes began, and the whole world started going down the tubes as fast as it was making global connections.

You don’t hear much about those “dummy guides” anymore because you or people you know are likely already the dummies talking to the devices that are now capable of doing your homework for you. The dummy guides are now “help” buttons (which are practically useless due to the fact idiots sometimes compose the “simple” text and diagrams they provide), search engines and digitized voices. Don’t you feel educated?

What’s the sense in spending money on education when technology is going to rob everyone of their brains? I would not be surprised if some tech heads are doing calculations to figure out how many human brain cells are required to get the robot revolution underway before humans are no longer able to program and repair said robots. Won’t we all feel better when we no longer exist and some white plastic-faced box is turning everything we lived for into fertilizer.

NOT ME!

Unplug, now, people. Unplug, now. Think before you compute. And, someone help us all if any more of this crap is forced upon us.

05
Jan
17

The “Smart” Future Looks Dumb and Bleak

*****
I only have to see five minutes of recent news headlines to get nightmares and palpitations.  If I had been asleep for some time and awoke to find this on TV, I’d likely go back to sleep or die on the spot.

One cause of palpitations:  Trump.  I think I’ll leave him at that.  But, I will say I see some of my worst aspects in him and too many faulty promises, like the parent that tells his/her kids too often they will do something for/with the child but never do.  And, seeing myself in him, I know I would not want to be president.  I’d rather be an advisor/assistant.

The other big mozza ball that chills me to the bone:  Rapidly advancing technology.  People are in such a rush to create artificially intelligent machines and way too many cameras.  So much talk about convenience and “smart” technology.

When I was a kid, I was told I was smart.  People still tell me I am when I doubt it.  But, there are different levels of smart.  And, I learned this the hardest way in my teens, entering high school and finding people who could do the same work in a fraction of the time.  Yes, people, not machines.  But, many of these smart people were from wealthy families that didn’t seem to care about anything; they just wanted to have it all and keep advancing without knowing what “it all” is or was before the next phase of advancement.  These were locomotives of intelligence going nowhere I could see.  For all my smarts, I was just getting trampled under their wheels.  Maybe their smarts were paid for with the highest approval for production while mine were scraped and taped together like the kid who makes his own toys instead of buying the expensive new spectacles.

If I have learned anything in the past 15 years–that may be longer than some who breast-feed off this stuff have been alive–it’s that technology that’s hot today could just as easily be pointless in ten years.  So, why invest in any of it?  Fools buy this stuff.  The smart people are the ones sitting back, buying and selling stock as the fools do all the salivating and tossing of money out windows.  But, even that comes and goes like the seasons.  It’s faulty gambling.

But, unlike some of the goofy gadgets that have come and gone, others that were only touching the tips of our fingers twenty or thirty years ago–again, perhaps beyond the age range of many who pack this stuff in their school lunch bags–are making steady and potentially hazardous progress.  Namely cameras that invade and robots, the stuff of the science fiction films I’ve been talking about for years, now.

And, where is the hot spot for showing this stuff off?  Not L.A.  Not “silicon valley.”  Not New York.  No.  It’s Las Vegas, the sleazy, I’ll-keep-every-one-of-your-immoral-secrets capital of the netherworld.  Can we say Nightmare on Earth Street?  I knew you could.

In the five minutes of a morning show I caught during breakfast, a guy is doing one of those crappy, quick displays of “feature products” at this electronics show.  And, one just happens to be a drone the size of a small pallet…you know…a shipping pallet…the sort you might see at an AMAZON.COM warehouse.  Yeah.  That marketing monster.  Skynet.  Darth Vader torn between the dark side and the light, but leaning toward the dark.

He’s talking about this drone like he approves of it at the same time he is spelling out in words plain as day that the thing is invasive and terrifying.  Companies sell this stuff to the masses as commercial entertainment.  The gadgets are the hit of every wealthy person’s social gala.  But, for every small investment in the flash-in-the-pan crazes, there’s one global step closer to these gadgets being sent out in masses to do other things we did not think were intended when we found them quaint.  Just as when the internet was ushered in as the grand means of bridging the global communication shortage, so began the madness of hackers, internet perverts and online crimes.

And, don’t get me started on all the push for online banking and “convenient” grocery shopping.  Let’s face it people, some majority taking action while the rest of you sit on your asses and let gadgets work for you–or do whatever you consider work for some tyran–er, tycoon–are taking advantage of your laziness.  And, if we go along with this madness, there will be nothing safe, secure or sacred left in this world.  You will be eliminated.  You will be replaced.  And, resistance may end up futile…or the movie you saw forty years ago but thought was just a silly bit of fiction.

Ugh!  I just have to let it out.  Wake up, Harold Cricks.  This is scary shit, people.

And, if we don’t get smart…I mean, really smart–not depend-upon-some-talking-gadget-to-answer-all-of-life’s-problems smart–you’re lives will be pointless.  Everything you think you are investing in or chasing will be a total waste of time, emotion, energy, etc.  You’ll just be a footnote in some robot empire, the slaves that built the “smart pyramids.”  If you want your lives to be worth more than the shit in your toilets…if you even bother to read these emphatic words written in a tiny hole of the internet like some message in a bottle…you’ll turn your backs to convenience and things that talk back and get your answers from people who were not built by Amazon or one of its ugly cousins.

Use your brains.  Show your work.  Stay off the grid.  Delete your Fbook pages.  Look up when passing others.  And, stay healthy.  For the sake of humanity, an investment that should be embraced and patched up when it falters, not discarded and replaced with robots.




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