Facebook Feature Request

Dear Facebook:

I, like millions of people, am under the complete control of really enjoy using your site  app  hive-mind product  platform!

I’ve noticed an issue where perfectly sane people get caught up in angry arguments over seemingly trivial things like what colour some dress was,   or who should sit on the Iron Throne…oh wait…that last one is not trivial…sorry.

These are not reasoned debates, these are the virtual equivalent of beer tavern brawls!

Well the tv and movie versions of those things,  because in reality a brawl in a bar is usually two guys who are so drunk that they just take clumsy swings at each other until they both fall down.

There has been an alarming increase in people resorting to the use of angry looking but contextually confusing emojii!

The number of people claiming to have a vague recollection of what they were angry about a whole 30 seconds after they post is reaching pandemic levels!

The danger is real!  

I heard that my brother’s cat-sitter’s girlfriend’s hairdresser’s farrier got so mad that he actually had a stroke after someone posted that they thought Burger King was better than McDonalds!

I have a potential solution…

The impending implosion of society can be averted if you gave users the ability to just skip past things in their newsfeed without commenting….

I know…revolutionary right?!

I guess the best way to describe it would be to ask you to imagine that you’re reading a scroll.

If you see something that might upset you on the scroll you’re not going to grab a quill and write an angry comment are you?   That would be silly….you’d be writing by hand…who still does that?

Instead of getting into an argument over something that you didn’t even have an opinion on,  you’re going to keep winding the parchment until you get to something you like,  perhaps a humorous charcoal sketch of a kitten wearing a funny hat.

I hope to see this new Parchment Winding functionality implemented in the near future.
I’d go as far as suggesting it should be an emergency patch.

Your Thrall  Respectfully
David

 

 

HuffPo Just Lowered the Bar for Men Everywhere

The Huffington Post has been one of my go-to news sites since a friend first told me about the Canadian edition years ago.

This is despite the right hand column of things HuffPo thinks would interest me.

Suggestions that have amused, irritated and befuddled me…sometimes simultaneously.

I’m a 51 year old, single, male computer programmer.  Sometimes HuffPo seems to think that I’m extremely interested in what celebrity is feuding with some other celebrity,  or how to deal with menopause,  or fashion faux pas to avoid.

This column has links with outrageous click-bait headlines.  You know things like “Meet the 5 year old girl who is better at your job than you are!”

Occasionally I’ve found some of these teaser headlines mildly insulting.  Seriously…anything that involves Tim Hortons, or a moose, is automatically “THE MOST CANADIAN THING EVER!!!”.

Seriously,  everything Canadians have accomplished and a chain of coffee shops, or an animal most Canadians have never see in the wild is the most Canadian thing ever?

All that aside today I ran across a headline that I thought would lead to a touching story  (yeah, I like to read those sometimes, so STFU),  but didn’t.

huffpo1
Click to read the story

There are a lot of things that would’ve made this a great story.  But none of them apply here.

This guy’s wife wanted a weave removed.  When her husband found out what it costs ($50),  he decided to learn how to do it himself.

That’s it.

I’m not saying it’s a bad thing….what I’m saying that if doing that makes this guy “THE HUSBAND OF THE YEAR” then the Huffington Post has a pretty low opinion of men in general.

I have a friend who once spent an entire weekend shopping for the perfect computer desk for his wife, and then assembling it for her.  All because she wanted a keyboard tray, but not one of those keyboard trays you can attach to an existing desk….

He didn’t even get nominated for HUSBAND OF THE YEAR.

Seriously HuffPo,  most of your hyperbolic, feel good click bait headlines are annoying,  but this one just insulted men who support the women in their lives, not because they want to save a buck, but out of love and devotion.

So long 2016….

I usually do some year end post,  so this is my adieu to 2016.

It’s been a tumultuous year,  not just for me,  but the entire world.

At the end of 2015,  I had hope.   I was seeing that people were standing up against hate and bigotry.    To the point where those who victimized others with hateful prejudice were on the defensive….complaining that people were making them feel uncomfortable by being intolerant of their intolerance.

Now, a year later things are radically different.

Trump’s election victory has emboldened those who are so insecure that they transfer those insecurities on minorities,  homosexuals,  and, well anyone who isn’t like them.

Hate crimes have spiked, and even here in Canada there have been instances where Canadians have bragged that “Trump is gonna come up here and  [insert whatever here]”

It’s gotten so bad that the ‘alt-right’ dismiss any evidence that goes against their beliefs as “left wing media bias”,   even if the evidence is a video posted by one of their kin, showing Trump spewing vile hatred.

Here are some common responses from the alt-right crowd when challenged:

  • Left wing media bias!!
    • The rare time they respond when asked for a non-biased version they turn to Fox, or worse,  Brietbart
  • Libtard!!!
    • Because insulting someone is a great way to get them to see your point
  • Threats and bullying
    • Because that’s an even better way.

On the other hand,  they believe anything that plays into their twisted beliefs,  no matter how outlandish.

Take for instance the travesty that came to be referred to as #pizzagate. A story that started to circulate about a pizzeria in Washington was a front for a child-sex trafficking ring run by Hillary Clinton.

Unfortunately,  the pizzeria in question is an actual restaurant.  Staff have been threatened and harassed.

Doctored pictures have circulated around the internet as proof.

On Dec 4th, some mad man fired into the restaurant in an attempt to “self-investigate”

Read the wikipedia article and see for yourself the level of crazy that now passes for social and political discourse.

Add to that the baffling trend for some of those on the left who have started to preach that we should be more tolerant and accepting of the alt-right ideals.

More tolerant of bigotry, ignorance and hatred.  Can you even imagine?

In my humble opinion, it now even more important for those of us who are accepting of others regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, orientation,  or any other factor other than their level of ignorant asshole,  to stand up and speak out.

While it is doubtful that we can change the minds of those bigots posting on social media and other outlets,  if we fail to challenge the misinformation and fear mongering we allow it to grow.   Even if we cannot convince bigots that they are in fact bigots,  we may be able to reach the silent lurkers,  who have not yet swallowed the poison pill.

2016 was bad.  2017 and the four years after might be worse.

I will continue to speak up, and to fight against hatred, tyranny, ignorance and bigotry.

Will you?

 

 

 

Donald Trump will NEVER be the Leader of the Free World

In 2016 there are 22 countries that are deemed to have more freedom than the United States

Despite this,  the President of the United States is also referred to as “The Leader of the Free World”.

For some reason, millions of ordinary Americans ignored the psychotic, childish, bigoted ravings of a lunatic and elected him as their president.

So,  now, to have some Americans tell it,  Donald J. Trump is soon to be “Leader of the Free World”,  even though most of the free world didn’t get to cast a ballot.

Trump has made it clear that His World will be terrific.  He’ll make everything so much more better….so much more better unless you’re not white, not straight and not an adherent of a Trump approved religion.

You’re also allowed to practice Freedom of Speech,  unless he finds it offensive, or it hurts his feelings.

I’m tired of being told that the President of a foreign country is my defacto leader.

I’m disgusted at the thought of Donald Trump being called “Leader of the Free World”.

It’s time to tell journalist and bloggers everwhere to stop this!

Please sign my petition!

 

 

Amateur Theater: Notes from the Tech Ppl

Please Note:    This blog post was the result of conversations I’ve had with other amateur theater techies from all over….Ontario,  Idaho,  Alberta, and Nova Scotia.

So literally “TECH PEOPLE EVERYWHERE”

I reached out to find out if I was out of line with letting a particular incident bother me.
The consensus was that I wasn’t.
The other techies didn’t want to raise issues out of fear of not being invited back.
I decided to post this publically after one girl said, “I go into every production hoping they won’t forget about me…again.”
I don’t have any issues with my group as a whole.  The incident that irritated me is an isolated one.

Hi there amateur theater performers!

Let me start by saying that we think you’re fantastic!  We’re in awe of your acting and singing abilities.  We love watching you perfect your craft during rehearsals,  then dazzle audiences during the actual run!

But, at the same time, we have to be honest.

Do you people actually know we exist?  If you do,  are you aware of what we contribute to the production?

A lot of us suspect that you don’t….

We’re the “behind the scenes” tech crew that you rarely have to interact with.  You know sound and lighting…you do know who we’re talking about right?

Let me amplify:

We’re the people you see coming in as your show gets closer to open.  You may see us taking pictures, and/or furiously jotting down notes as we watch you rehearse.

It might surprise you to hear that these notes and pictures aren’t precious keepsakes,  but rather to help us in our design work between rehearsals.  (We sometimes show them to our friends to convince them to buy tickets)

When you’re belting out your amazing solo during cue to cue’s–we’re the ones stopping you mid-aria so we can fix a light or sound issue—then asking you to start over…several times.  It might sound like the stage manager…but no….its us!

We’re the ones you see hard at work fixing things while you socialize before and after dress rehearsals.  We do this so we don’t have to interrupt your rehearsals.

Once opening night comes, we’re also the ones you might notice slipping out quietly through the after show crowds gathered to tell you how fantastic your performance was.

We just want to take a moment to point out some things….

  • We are volunteers,  which means we don’t get paid for showing up and helping you look and sound fantastic
  • We suspect that no one really knows we exist unless something goes horribly wrong
  • If, after a rehearsal, we ask that you give us the theater so we can get stuff done,  please move along…we want to go home too!
  • If we ask you to (not) do something,  there’s a reason,  and believe it or not,  that reason has nothing to do with wanting to make you look bad
  • Remember that we care about the show just as much as you do, also
  • We are as much a part of the production as you are
  • You receive accolades at the end of each performance,  ours come on closing night–from you,  so take a moment and acknowledge our hard work (and existence)  and say thank you.

We do what we do because we love theater,  we love being part of it,  we love watching you shine.

We know you perform because you love these things too…but would you keep performing if the audiences didn’t show their appreciation?

Thanks,

Tech People Everywhere

We need to stop treating hydro and heat like luxuries..

 

Energy Poverty…. a phrase that brings to mind some third world slum with sketchy electrical service that only functions sporadically.

In the Province of Ontario,  its come to mean that people who have to choose between shelter,  food, and hydro.

This isn’t because electricity is scarce in Ontario.

A casual observer might conclude that this crisis arose because of the colossal mismanagement and incompetence demonstrated by the Ontario Liberal party over the past few years.

As I researched this issue, I came to believe that the current pricing structure was deliberately engineered to maximize Hydro One’s value ahead of issuing shares.

I also realized that,  whether deliberate or not, the Distribution Rate model that makes hydro exponentially more expensive in vote-poor ridings than vote-rich ones,  minimizes the political fallout from the efforts to make Ontario One attractive to investors.

There is simply too much data to go over in a single entry.   But I will post what I’ve discovered and allow you to draw your own conclusions.

While driving into work today I noticed that it was darker,  and colder.

I wondered how people who had been unable to keep their power turned on would fare in colder weather.

One of the things that has really irked me is that until recently,  there was simply no data available on how many customers had their power disconnected because they couldn’t pay.

Naturally,  there was no data on how long customers have gone without hydro.

Now,  Winter is Coming.

We don’t have to fear White Walkers,  or The Lannisters,  or GRRM killing us off.

The thousands of people across the province who have given up on trying to keep their hydro on have much to fear.

If you’ve ever read a disconnection notice,  you will likely have seen a warning about how old can freeze pipes and cause massive structural damage.   Along with that warning will come the notification that the utility is not responsible for any damage.

What these notices don’t say is that  cold can kill…it can also take fingers, toes,  noses and ears.

How many people in Ontario will die this winter because they couldn’t pay thousands of dollars to keep their lights on?

What percentage will succumb to the cold?

What percentage will succumb to toxic fumes, or fire caused by whatever heat source they try out of desperation?

What percentage will succumb to hopeless depression and commit suicide?

There are many individual causes that brought us to this point.   And I will talk about them in future posts.

In future posts I will:

  • explain why I think the Ontario Energy Board,  who claims to protect consumers is an absolute farce
  • talk about how MicroFit,  the Green Energy project where the Government of Ontario pays small producers of solar and other green energy considerably more than than market value for their excess power.
  • talk about how Hydro One uses distribution and regulation fees to offset the costs of bad policy

While there are many factors that brought us to this point,  behind them all,  there is one driving factor…

Apathy

Those who are responsible for the hydro rate crisis completely forgot that their actions have had a significantly detrimental effect on real, living human beings.

They’ve come to view their commodity (electricity),  as a luxury.  Something that people can do without if they can’t afford it.