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.

Good guy with a gun

I’ve seen security kick plenty of people out of bars. They sometimes come back wanting to start something with security. In this case, one shot at security from outside who returned fire and apprehended one of them and held him at gunpoint for authorities. A police officer who showed up killed the security guard.

When I was an “emergency coordinator”, we once had a session about what to do during an active shooter situation. Guns were not allowed then. (Unclear now.) It was the Hide, Run, Fight philosophy which was hole up in a secure room if you can, get out if you can, fight back as only a last resort. The trainer’s point was when a police officer shows up, if you are armed, then you might get shot because they will not know who is a good vs bad. They see a weapon and might shoot before they know.

Freelove != Free Love

Got an email from Academia.edu saying,

Dear Ezra,

Alessandra Carneiro uploaded a PDF that mentions the name “Ezra Freelove”.

They have a premium service where you can buy access to mentions of your name. I know of only one mention in a VSU paper as a thank you for my work there in IT in helping them. So, I was curious about a second. I wasn’t going to spend $99 for it, so I looked up the name of the author. Only one person with that name has papers uploaded, so it was easy to just browse them.

Searching for “freelove” in all 8 led to no results. Then, I noticed “free love” one title. It was also the most recent. My actual last name is nowhere in the article. This website’s search must be ignoring the spaces in the four mentions.

Not the first nor the last time people conflate my surname with the term.

WiFi Management for Parenting

I’ve been futzing for what feels like a year with the WiFi trying out various things. Basically, instead of the wife turning off all the WiFi and none of us having it, I’ve been playing with a few things to bring some sanity.

  1. The first approach was the wife disconnected the wifi router. That meant all of our devices were dead in the water too. No streaming devices. No laptops. Phones were using up data.
  2. Technically, I have a couple routers. One from the ISP and another I bought. So, I moved the devices to use the ISP router. However, I only want the devices on it, so I have not provided anyone else access to it. That still left the problem of the wife yanking the router all the humans are using for their phones.
  3. So, next, I replaced the router with a newer one that included a guest network feature. I built this router so that we connect to a new name and the teen connects to the old name which is the guest network. The nice thing about it was I the ability to schedule when it was available. We tried various settings to deal with different issues. For example, it doesn’t come on until 8am after the bus comes because when it was coming on at 7am, the bus would be missed a couple times a week due to watching videos while getting ready to lose track of time. We have not really settled on a shutoff time in trying to figure out what is appropriate for getting homework done while not enabling playing video games.
  4. I could manage access to the video games through router, but it is one of those things where you block one thing and the activity just moves on to the next thing. (Youtube, Netflix, etc.) So, it is a game of whack-a-mole where I want a sledgehammer.
  5. He complained about the WiFi being unstable. He described sudden extraordinarily high ping rates, a pattern of issues in the hour before cutoff, and other stuff. Part of that problem is he is in the basement while the router is a floor up, 25 feet away, with a staircase, ductwork, pipes, and stairs in the way.
  6. So, I rebuilt the guest network on an extender. Now, in theory, the WiFi router talks to the extender down the hallway. The extender sits directly overhead. It still might have to deal with some ductwork and pipes, but it should be significantly better.
  7. Also, I have Smart outlet that will turn it off when we need to cut him off. I set it on a schedule which is nicer because I can say an earlier time Sun-Thu and later Fri & Sat. Also, it can also be managed through an app which is easier than an obscure webpage URL and desktop designed web page.

Same Day Registration

Same Day Registration (SDR) gives voters the opportunity to register to vote or update their registration when voting early and on Election Day. Voter turnout in states with SDR was seven points higher than non-SDR states.

Somehow I missed this for the Quasi-Mandatory Voting post. If you achieve automatic registration, then you don’t need SDR because it ought to already be handled. But, maybe a voter got the license on the day prior to the election and the automatic process takes up to a week, so SDR would help someone vote.

 

 

Check the date

TL;DR: If you see a story that compels you to share it in outrage, then check to see if this really is still an issue. It might be from years ago and no longer an issue.

Longer:

A few friends posted a news story about how the current Federal administration decided to pay $6 million of the almost $1 billion requested by North Carolina related to damage caused by Hurricane Matthew. Hurricane Michael hit Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina last week. So, I am sure this story is more noticeable because the two storms both start with M and are boy names unlike Maria last year. The story was published in 2017. It also wasn’t clear about the NC request and best I can tell, FEMA has allocated $500 million that is being very slowly spent, HUD $168M, SNAP $70M. There probably is other money like small business loans from Federal agencies, but I did not really find a clear single number.

Another story I noticed over the weekend that became popular was the governor of Maine claiming almost all the drug problem was Blacks and Latinos from out of state going there to deal. (And impregnate White women.) This one was from 2016 when LePage was attempting to support the Republican presidential candidate. It was disheartening to see people calling for a recall of someone term-limited and ineligible to run in the election next month, so he is going out the door anyway.