Relative Dating

“Today” and “Yesterday” are intuitive ways to indicate when something happened. Except when one cannot determine when today is.

See, I appear to have a weird DNS issue where some software is not able to communicate with servers. Microsoft Teams appears to be one of those products affected. So, in a thread that says “Today”, I end up scrolling back up in the feed to verify that today is today and not say yesterday because the time did not refresh.

This is better than Facebook or Twitter where the feed is non-temporal, so scrolling up does not mean that a yesterday or 3 days ago reflects a date relative to today. Especially when the phone is connected to a shoddy WiFi and has not refreshed in hours unknown to me.

The Special Character That Wasn’t

In trying to uninstall a piece of software, the computer reported that process failed because of a special character in the directory where it was installed. What? That doesn’t make any sense. First, it was a generic folder name. Second, how did the same installer software create this directory it now cannot remove?

Eventually, the issue turned out to be that the file system where the installer put a directory was not mounted. It is one I have to provide a password after startup, so my laziness turns out to be my Achilles heel.

This means the error message was completely misleading. It sent me in the completely wrong direction. I hate, hate, HATE this vendor, so I am not sure I want to report the bad error message because it will mean having to deal with them. Morally and ethically, I should. But, I have better things to do.

“School spirit”

It seems like a common thing where employees wear shirts with a high school or college logo in the town of the team on the days prior to and on the day of a game. The more I talk to people, the more I run across people who are posing.

  • Employees dependent on good tips from fans tailgating or watching the game.
  • Employees needing an inside route to the good graces of a fan boss.
  • Employees following the herd.

I tend to troll. Instead of wearing an opposing team, I wear something from another sport.

Friend Request Hoax

A legitimate message expressing concern about your impersonation account would:

  1. Ask if you created another account.
  2. Provide the address to the new account so you can go to the profile, click the three dots on the cover photo, select Report, and follow the instructions for impersonation.

Instead, the hot hoax right now says:

Hi….I actually got another friend request from you which I ignored so you may want to check your account. Hold your finger on the message until the forward button appears…then hit forward and all the people you want to forward too….PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT A NEW friendship FROM ME AT THIS TIME.

Let’s break this down.

First, we have the preying on a fear we all have about our Facebook accounts getting hacked. Worse, this “hacker” is now going after friends.

But, the recommendation makes no sense at all. “Hold your finger on the message until the forward button appears…then hit forward and all the people you want to forward too…

Forwarding the message to others is how chainletters operate. You are being played by forwarding it. You are spreading fear. You are not helping.

The Great Filter Rorschach 

Fermi wondered why we have not met aliens. He recreates an equation which we are still just figuring out some of the constants. Part of it wonders how many civilizations wipe out themselves. This Great Filter makes people concerned any time life on our planet is threatened.

During the Cold War, the concern was a nuclear war would wipe out human civilization or even all life. Olivia Butler’s Xenogenesis series is a little dated as it concerns this period. I heard about the Fermi Paradox back then. A distant second was an asteroid impact. Lately a popular concern is global warming being the Great Filter. Artificial Intelligence seems a close second.

Whatever is our current social concern for how we are going to kill off ourselves seems to be what we think killed off other intelligent species. We wonder how they could have survived it or why they died off in failing to.

At least these Great Filter concerns get us discussing how humanity can survive. Though, I wish we are further along in space travel as we need to spread out in the universe to survive.

App ratings

I get it, if you have made a mobile app, then you need good ratings. However, most of the time that I get a notification to provide a review, I already have.

I probably left a good one as I was new to it. But, I have found more issues for subsequent times. So you are going to lose a star or two.

Zero-Sum Politics

Liberals see “rights” as something of a public good (like national defense or a scenic view), whose consumption by one individual doesn’t diminish consumption by others. In fact, they believe that all Americans are thereby made better off.

In the conservative version of identity politics, however, everything’s a zero-sum game: Freedom from discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion or other characteristics doesn’t unleash greater human potential to the benefit of all. Instead, it’s a step backward for everyone else, part of the never-ending war of all against all. Your gain is necessarily my loss.

In a world where one sees others gaining with a zero-sum game view, one should have fear for oneself, family, and friends. When the government encourages certain behaviors, they are picking winners and losers. Fear of being the loser becomes a real thing.

Whereas, with the non-zero-sum point of view, when the government encourages certain behaviors, it lifts up the lowest to improve the environment for everyone.

Carrier Phish

Got a phone call from my own cell phone to itself. That was pretty interesting the first time, but I declined the call because I was certainly not calling myself. A day later, I got another call.

This one I answered. It was an interesting call informing me my account with the cellphone carrier was locked. I would need to go through the automated process to unlock it. Press 1 to continue; enter my zip code…

At that point, I hung up, went to my carrier’s website and checked I could in fact login. I didn’t get far enough into the process to identify my account, so I think I am safe. But, yeah, it seems like a good number of people could fall for this scam.

Book Review Backlash

It started with a tweet about how a new Congresswoman is dressed. There was a backlash on Twitter. I’ve seen several stories about that.

Less noticed, it seems to me, is the tweeter promotes his book on Twitter.

People clicked over to Amazon to give the book 1-star reviews. You can see that when he posted it, the grab from Amazon showed 21 reviews with an average of around 4-stars. Now, it has an average of 2.7-stars with 36 reviews. He basically tanked his own book by his behavior on his own marketing tool.

How can he help me?

Got an email subject of “How can I help you?” from my U.S. Senator. This is a first in the over 3 years of emails I have from his office. Most communicate his party’s stance on an issue. Some are advisory like “Preparing For Hurricane Irma”. The closest to this seemingly change in approach is the one email just days after the 2016 election disclosing mobile office locations about 2 hour drives from me.

So, I checked Ballotpedia and noticed he was elected in 2014. Add 6 and he will be up for re-election in 2020. Guess that means there is no reprieve from the 2018 election. The campaign for the next one has already started.