What Technology Would I Better Off Without? And why?

WordPress has been kind enough to provide me with a prompt for today’s post.  What technology would you be better off without and why?

That’s a deceptively simple question.  For all the time that we spend decrying all of the recent technological changes and advancements, many of them have been for the good.  Even most of the ones that seem terrible still have their good points.  iPhones may be turning people into walled-off zombies with no social skills but they also mean that help is almost always right at your fingertips.  On Monday, I went down to the local convenience store to grab a carton of Cokes and I was shocked to discover that there was still a payphone sitting outside of it.  I’m old enough when I can remember the days when, if you found yourself in a sudden emergency while you were outside, you would have to not only track down a payphone but also hope that you had enough coins with you to operate it.  Now, everyone has a phone in their pocket or their bag.  It’s not always a good thing but it’s not always a bad thing either.

Weapons of mass destruction seem like an easy pick when it comes to something we could do without but, in many cases, those weapons are the only thing that are keeping the world from descending into complete chaos.  It’s a cliché but the idea that we need the weapons so that we’ll never have to use them is a true one.

Actually, now that I think about it, the answer isn’t that complicated.  I would do away with robocalls.  I think everyone can agree with that.  Keep the phones.  Keep the nuclear weapons.  Do away with the robocalls.


Elon Musk Takes Over Twitter

Less than 24 hours after Elon Musk took over twitter, the media was trolled by two men pretending to be engineers who had just been laid off.  

No, Rahul Ligma does not work at twitter.  The fact that he was holding a cardboard box with a copy of Michelle Obama’s book in it should have been the media’s first clue that this was a joke.  The other big clue should have been this comment, from “Daniel Johnson”: “I even own a Tesla, man. I’m a big fan of clean energy, climate change, even free speech too.”

The press, of course, ran with it.

It Must Be A Day Ending In Y

If Joe Biden is acting like an authoritarian and Jen Psaki is offering up Orwelling doubetalk…

You get the idea.

Social media is the new enemy, it would appear. Everything that seems bad is actually good, you’re just being fooled by someone posting memes on Facebook. On the one hand, it’s hard to have much sympathy for Silicon Valley because these companies went out of their way to help that idiot get elected. At the same time, I don’t like the idea of trading one incompetent authoritarian for another. Those of us who condemned Trump’s excesses have a responsibility to do the same with Biden. In fact, it’s perhaps even more important to speak out against Biden because he has an entire media complex dedicated to protecting him.

None of this bullshit was okay with Trump. None of it is okay with Biden.

Kanye West For President?

Yesterday, Kayne West announced that he was running for President in 2020.

A normal person would look at that news and remember that Kanye has a history of erratic and eccentric behavior.  They would realize that it’s next to impossible to join a presidential election at the last minute.  They would consider that it’s already legally impossible for Kanye to get on the ballot in several states.  All of the parties that have 50-state ballot access have already selected their candidates.  Even if some bankrupt, used-to-be-big party like the Reform Party nominated Kanye, that would still only get him on two states.  If Kanye can’t get a party to nominate him, he’ll have to get people on the ground to sign petition to get him on the ballot in the remaining states.  That’s not a small undertaking.  It’s not something that anyone can do just off the top of their head.

Beyond the fact that it’s next to impossible for Kanye to become a serious candidate at this late date, there’s also the fact that Kayne already announced that he was going to run for President in 2015.  Then, he forgot about it.  Now, he’s doing it again.  He’ll forget about it again.  That’s what Kayne does.

Normal people would just shrug Kanye off but this is 2020 and there aren’t many normal people around.  The amount of panic that I’ve seen online over Kanye running and potentially taking votes away from Biden is really something to behold.  (This, despite the fact that Kanye is currently more popular with Trump’s voters than Biden’s.)  People have so bought into the myth that Hillary would have won if just not for those pesky third parties that some of them are in full meltdown mood just because of Kanye acting like Kanye.

Kanye’s not going to run so it really doesn’t matter.  Still, if your candidate is so weak that people would rather vote for Kanye West than for him, the problem isn’t with Kayne.  It’s with your candidate.

Lockdown Journal: 4-9-20

The latest news out of the UK is that Boris Johnson is out of the ICU and that he’s recovering.  That’s good news, regardless of whether you voted Tory or Labour in the last general election.

Here in the States, there was briefly a flurry of excitement when it was reported that Colin Kaepernick, who has been a free agent since 2017, had been signed by the New York Jets.  It turned out that the story was based on a tweet that was put out by a parody twitter account.  What was interesting was witnessing the number of media figures — the same people who were told we should listen to in times of crisis — who fell for the tweet.  Those of us who have never particularly cared about whether or not Kaepernick was signed to an NFL team have often wondered who Kaepernick’s fans actually were.  Now, we have our answer.  They’re people who work for the cable news channels.

Myself, I never really cared whether or not Colin Kaepernick wanted to take a knee during the national anthem.  It was his right, as an American, to kneel.  At the same time, I also think the NFL had the right not to sign him.  Many people seemed to feel that an NFL team should have been forced to sign him but, even if that was constitutional, it just would have meant Kaepernick would have been spent the past three seasons sitting on the bench instead of appearing in Nike commercials.

Today has been a good day.  It’s been as close to a normal day as anyone could hope for during a pandemic lock-down.  Everything that has happened has really given me a new appreciation for normal days.

Where’s Bob Malak?

Twitter has (again) banned Bob Malak.

Actually, everyone who followed @bob_malak knew this would happen.  @bob_malak was just the latest account of one of the most incisive commentators to ever lend his talents to the hellsite that’s known as twitter.

Because he’s on the right and he genuinely doesn’t care who he offends, the commentator who was known as Bob Malak gets suspended regularly.

Because twitter is ultimately an impotent god, he always returns with a new name.

Bob Malak’s twitter bio read, in part: “God punishes I ask for more.”

So do we, Bob.  Come back soon.