Wednesday, 20 March 2019

What is Wokeness?

Prior to 2010, I don't think I'd ever heard of the word.  Somewhere around 2014, it started to show in columns or commentary of people....usually charged up on political objectives or 'revolution'.

So the basic meaning of this....you were going down some path in your life, with various perceptions, wisdom, and beliefs guiding you, then one day....you 'woke up'.  The path is no longer valid, or walkable.  You challenge yourself continually about what you see on TV, hear from politicians or journalists, and are in a continual state of either denial or disbelief.

Some folks will use the expression that you were deprogrammed, and now have a clear understanding of things.  Other folks will say that you've been RE-programmed, and now have a misunderstood thinking process of things.  Complicated?  Yes.

So, could you have a woken-wokeness?  That's where you suddenly realize that this whole perception you gained over the past year or two....is basically bogus, and you were fed a big long piece of BS?  Well....yeah. 

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Russia: Social Media and Fake News

Yesterday, Russia's Putin signed a law into effect concerning fake news.  You might want to browse through the wording and effect:

1.  The Attorney General of Russia (and his deputies) can on their own (without a judge) decide what is fake news and what is not fake news. 

2.  After this group makes their decision, the Russia media control agency (Roskomnadzor) would be given the responsibility of blocking the news, or the site.

3.  If you did publish a fake news item?  The fine is 100,000 Rubles, roughly $1,525, if you were just a regular citizen.  If you were a public figure....double that fine.  And if you were a company (HuffPost or Twitter for example), then it's 500,000 Rubles.

4.  A news site that comes to exist without being registered with Roskomnadzor?  They'd just be immediately blocked, without any warning.

5.  Then we get to the juicy part of the law.....insulting anyone, government offices themselves, the flag, or even the Constitution itself.  Fines and two weeks in jail would be the extent of your trouble.

The odds of Twitter or Facebook being a major factor in Russian elections?  I would suggest that both will likely be shutdown for various periods of time in Russia. 

How To Fix Twitter, Facebook and the Rest

People are convinced that social media is harming the general public.....so my suggestion is this, for each tweet or Facebook comment....charge the guy $3.99, and responses to that guy's original tweet/comment....$1.99.

After a month or two, everyone would start to calm down....lessen their tweets, and calm would be restored. 

Yes, Facebook and Twitter would likely go out of business in a year or two....but that's simply the path of this whole mess. 

Monday, 18 March 2019

The Fakeness of College

Someone made a public statement today.....over the topic of 'faking your way through college'.  It was a curious topic to ponder upon.

Prior to the 1980s, I think faking had some potential but most classes had enough demands and adult leadership....so that the system worked the way that it was designed.

Part of this faking-talk goes to the 1980s/1990s 'agenda' where high schools more or less....dumbed down the structure.  The system began to escalate the potential for a 'C' average student to start getting B's instead.  Kids began to show up at colleges and they simply didn't have the skill to handle courses, so along the end of the first semester, or second semester.....they quit.  This statistic started to become part of a university's record....the dropout rate.

The University of Charleston for example.....only 18-percent of freshmen will be there at the end of the 4th year....graduating.

Southeastern University in Florida for example.....has only 39-percent of the freshmen finishing a degree in four years.

I worked with a guy in Arlington, VA who had a son who'd been accepted at a prominent Virginia college.  There was one issue.....they (the school) demanded that the kid take a math and English placement test.  The kid did a dismal score.  So they said....go ahead and enter college, but two of the five classes for the first semester would have to be high school remedial math and English courses.  Yes, the father was basically paying around $1,500 for two courses.....which should not have been necessary.  The school even demanded that the kid retake the placement test at the end of that, and if he hadn't advanced to the level expected.....he'd retake them yet again.  This guy went down and had a conversation with the college 'chiefs', and they made it simple.....they were sick and tired of kids arriving who were not prepared for college.

No one is counting up on the kids who drop out, nor is it some type of national emergency.  Colleges playing along and dragging the 'slackers' onto the 2nd, 3rd and 4th year?  Well....if you had 20-percent drop out at the end of the first year....you need to have a mechanism carry the remaining folks on.  So you build up a slacker-approach, and at the conclusion of four years....out a hundred kids graduating....there's probably a quarter of them who really aren't capable of performing at the level required. 

If you went to a university on some sports scholarship?  It's probably a 50-percent chance that you can't handle the level required. 

The sad thing here.....not only were you a slacker in college and collected a fake degree, but you spent $100,000 to get there, and there's a debt situation for the next twenty years for your slacker-degree. 

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Russian Collusion in 2020?

If you haven't figured it out...just about every news group, social media team, and fake-news agenda will be pushing Russian collusion in 2020.

So why let the gimmick ruin the election?

My suggestion to go and hire up a Russian ZIL 1986 115-model limousine.   Then find a couple of comedians for three weeks to tour America. 

'Comrad Zippy' will be KGB-like secret agent, who mostly talks about the secret agenda, but it's never clear what the agenda might be. 

'Secret Agent Anne' will be a slutty KGB-type gal who mostly just looks at the camera, and does poses.

'Comrad General Vilsely' will be some general with 88 different medals on his chest, and autographed photos of himself being handed out.  He will usually be talking about the fake news of CNN. 

'Comrad Anton' will be some Russian farmer, who is continually amazed how wonderful America is, and always seen wearing Make America Great Again hats.

Our dynamic four would be touring America and continually getting into trouble....mostly with honest intentions.  At the end, a public call from Putin would occur, with the team recalled, and all collusion ended. 

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Voting Story

The Pew research folks went out and surveyed the public, and then came to a study conclusion....ninety-percent of folks are hard-wired into their political persuasion, and only ten-percent are 'flippers'....meaning they could vote differently in every single election.

After an extensive amount of travel, and time spent in Europe....I tend to have a differing opinion.

I think up until the 1960s/1970s, you had people who were mostly hard-wired to their vote.  The Grandparents were Democrats....so were Mom and Dad, so the kid voted the same way.

In the 1980s, I think both the Democrats and Republicans went to some theme of identity-politics.  That meant that agendas were varied, and it made hard-wiring more difficult.

A great example would be looking at Alabama politics in the 1950s/1960s....to see mostly Democratic voters.  At some point in the 1970s to the 1980s, around 30-to-40 percent of the voters began to flip, and identified themselves more as Republicans.  Part of this was the Reagan appeal, and part of it went to religious agendas that identified more to the GOP message than the Democratic message.  Right now today, you can say that more than two-thirds of the state identify to the GOP theme.  Moore may have lost his Senate election more on incompetence than his GOP-anchored stance.

So I'll offer five observations:

1.  I suspect that five to eight percent of the population have never voted, and will never vote.  There are varying reasons for this, but trying to appeal to them is a wasted effort.  This group might also include people who've spent $120,000 for a college education, and find themselves still deep into debt at age 45.

2.  There's probably 50-percent of the population who are hard-wired to absolutely vote along a line.  It wouldn't matter if Trump slept with sixty different Stormy-bimbos....this hard-wired guy would still stick with him.  And the same is true for folks obsessed with Obama....even if he'd admitted that he smoked over 3,000 joints in his life.

3.  I think around five-percent of Americans are unable to pick any candidate, and will mostly wait till twelve hours prior to election day, to flip a coin.  They frankly don't care, and it's way more complicated for them to decide upon something (like picking the color of their new car, or if they should spend $12 extra for a luxury hotel room versus the regular-super-duper room).

4.  Trump revamped the agenda process, and some of these folks now are drawn to a reality political figure.  If you could find a ex-Mennonite-turned-magician-turned-cajun fry cook, you'd likely latch onto that guy as the next Trump.

5.  Pew's research goes to a certain point.  You could have some candidate lined up with a 95-percent chance of winning on election day, then find out that the statistics really weren't looking at the whole landscape, and it was a 95-percent chance of that candidate losing.

Friday, 15 March 2019

App Story

While it's not front-page news, you might have noticed this week that Facebook had two top executives leave (the chief products officer, and the WhatsApp chief).  A big deal?  Well, it's an indicator of direction.

A fair number of folks believe that Facebook has finally hit some peak, and it's now suffering from declining numbers.

If you go around Germany for example....WhatsApp is probably more acceptable by the general public, than Facebook itself. 

The original promise by the WhatsApp folks....that they'd never label advertisements across their App?  Well....Facebook fully intends to bring advertisements to the App (probably occurring before the end of 2019)

What I suspect will happen over 2019?  Someone (outside of Facebook) will go and make a new App very similar in range to WhatsApp.....with no advertising, for a download cost of 1-dollar, and maybe fifty cents per year to have the service.  At that point, the new guy will take up the frustrated folks with WhatsApp, and Facebook will be standing there, with a boat-anchor-App that has no public appeal.  These two executives quitting, probably told Zuckerberg that and he just couldn't accept the demise of WhatsApp.