Dream: Airbender gone wrong

This was one of those being chased dreams. Everyone has superpowers. Mine? If I move too fast in a single direction a glowing, writhing ball of explosives developed in front of me. My superpower was pulling the hydrocarbons out of the air to make an aerosol TNT. But only in front of me. If I timed it just right, then it would develop enough into an explosive and fall to the ground when I changed direction and explode in the face of whatever it was that was chasing me.

New Blog Project

In sharing stuff on Twitter and Facebook, I feel like I could be writing more instead of just sharing a quote. That is where the blog comes in, but I also feel like RRRv4 is all over the place. So, I started a new one: Polymath Parent.

Some self-imposed rules:

  1. Semi-anonymous: I’m not going to use names on it. No photos.
    • It’s not anonymous because I am still using the WP Jetpack sharing options to put them on my public Facebook page. I’m not anonymous, but anyone stumbling across it from WP might not know how to find them.
  2. Mainly going to talk about science, observations, and tie together what I am reading about parenting applies to the kids.

Maybe I will keep it up. If not, then I can always eventually roll them back up into this one.

Also, maybe it will encourage me to blog more here too.

Brainstorming Ebola under America First

Saw a story that got me wondering what the reaction would be under the current president if the test had come back positive.

An unidentified patient who was kept in isolation at a Philadelphia hospital while being tested for Ebola has been confirmed as not infected with the deadly virus.

  1. Thoughts and prayers? That seems to be the go-to for so many things like massacres at home and abroad.
  2. Deny travelers to Ebola prone countries the ability to fly to the US until they have self-quarantines elsewhere for the contagious period, thereby spreading it around the world?

The Obama administration’s Ebola response was to send 3,000 health officials to the region who:

  1. Constructed treatment units in the region.
  2. Provided protective equipment and medical supplies.
  3. Operated almost 200 burial teams.
  4. Conducted aggressive contact tracing to locate other potentially infected cases.
  5. Trained health care workers and conducted community outreach.
  6. Identified travelers who may have Ebola before they left the region.

I suspect health officials would lobby for the same response with the rationale, the faster we end the outbreak there, the fewer infected individuals overall and less like they end up in the US: America First! But, this is the region the current president referred to as “shithole countries.” My guess is this is just the excuse needed to bar travel to or from there.

“Look Like Them”

Read an article about pay disparities by gender in the system by which I am employed which mentioned research that students get along best with faculty members who look like them. It made me laugh out loud.

I cannot recall a teacher who looked like me: male, tall, and half-white / half-black. Or at least of brown skin.

The only male teacher that comes close to matching this might be my 8th-grade math & science teacher who lectured by popping his wrist with a rubber band. He is also African-American, tall, and broad shoulders. Cannot say we got along that well so much as we students cowered in fear of him.

Certainly, that year, I got along much better with my literature teacher, but she is short, Caucasian, and female. My recollection of my 2nd-grade teacher was she was African-American but of lighter skin color.

 

Sort by delivery date

If Amazon wants a better way to take my money, then they would add to the filter a sort by delivery date. Two day shipping doesn’t mean something I order today gets here in two days. It means what is the date it goes out the door, it should arrive in two days.

For most of my orders, I don’t really care. But in this case, I wanted it ASAP. So first, I looked for online order pickup so I could get it tomorrow. None of the usual places had it. (Saying the store has it, but in 4-7 days is not helpful Target.)

Amazon had lots of options, so I filtered to 4 or above average reviews. (I know that system suck.) I checked the prime eligible because non-prime shipping can be a week and cost extra.

In looking through options, I noticed most said it would get here on Tuesday. Same as Target. A couple said Saturday. That is a day after tomorrow, so I went with the one I liked better.

All they need to do is add to the sort filter “Delivery Date” with one 1 to 7 days out. Then have a higher price on the closer date. Obviously the 1 day out is a closer distributor and next day shipping. Two days is a closer distributor and 2 day shipping. They could even give me a higher price for the 2 day.

I was willing to pay 25% more to get it in 2 days. Not 250% the price to get it in one. Instead, I got it for the sale price I saw somewhere in hopefully 2 days.

The Social Media Evolution

The Make Me Smart Podcast episode 96: Do it for the ‘gram had an interesting quip that Instagram was what the Facebook News Feed was before it got corrupted by ads and political arguments: the trivialities of our daily lives.

Screenshot_20180704-075738_FacebookAll social networks became popular because of trivialities. “What’s on your mind?” THAT is what we want. Users flocked to them because of trivialities. We want gossip, random, and meaningless.

Corporations need to monetize somehow. Ads are how social networks try to do so. Facebook showed that targeting ads by getting numerous attributes about us is the way to make the most money on it. Tumblr, for example, has completely inane ads that only get clicked by accident because ever couple posts presented is an ad. Instagram has almost as many ads as Tumblr but the targeting of Facebook.

Tribe, Friendster, and Myspace died because users left. The triviality was lost, so there was no reason to stay. Something I find fascinating is Facebook survived several of the exodus movements. Not enough people left to kill it.

I wonder if Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc are capable of dying in the modern era. Will enough people leave to cause an exodus movement?

Yes, Google+ was killed, but it died because it never made it into the user consciousness. I suspect that is because Google tried to make it the cornerstone of their ecosystem. It would be like Microsoft creating a social network around Office. Productivity tools do not a social network make.

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.