Humanity may need to come to grips with the reality that our life expectancy may now be dramatically lower. Have we reduced our life expectancy by a few months, a few years, or a decade? Will it be worse that smoking? Better that heart disease? It may be too early to tell. What we have seen is large swaths of human beings acting unilaterally across an entire planet, in a way that is simply unprecedented. We wade waste deep in a world of data, tracking, and 24/7 hate that could be lifted directly from a George Orwell novel. Far into the future, we do not know how humanity will look back upon this era, but we do know that right now, this is not a time of honor.Read More
There’s been a lot of information coming out about the virus SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes, COVID-19. We were told people outside of China shouldn’t panic about the Coronavirus, except after March 16th when the same people told us what we do and don’t know about the deadly Coronavirus outbreak. CBS was found using their footage from emergency rooms in Italy to describe the situation in New York City (mirror). There’s a lot of information out there, so let’s take a very shallow look at what else the news media has told us.Read More
I recently got an e-mail saying I had violated Twitter’s rules for hateful conduct. I immediately thought my account password had been compromised, or that this was a phishing attempt. I rarely post to Twitter anymore, except to promote this website or other personal projects. The e-mail was real though, and Twitter locked my account for a Tweet I made nearly a decade ago!Read More
There are a lot of people with opinions about Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh, yet the majority of those people didn’t actually watch the congressional hearings where both of them testified. They watched highlights and excerpts from their favorite news networks, which filtered that information to match the narrative their audience wanted to believe. I watched several hours of the hearing directly from C-SPAN, and what bothered me most wasn’t the testimony given or the accusations themselves, but instead how both the Democrat and Republican senators used the entire hearing as a grandstanding event. They both used Ford for their political advantage, and then all the parties involved continued to lie to themselves and America in saying that nothing presented was politically motivated.Read More
During the 2008 financial crisis, Rod Blagojevich, the governor of Illinois, took on Bank of America by suspending all state accounts with the bank and publicly criticizing them for their role in the subprime mortgage crisis. In 2009, he was convicted for corruption charges, including his attempt to exchange Obama’s former senate seat for political favors, and is currently serving a 14 year sentence in Federal Prison. In 2007, governor Eliot Spitzer of New York pushed the controversial policy that granted undocumented immigrants the right to gain driver’s licenses and pay for car insurance. In 2008, Spitzer resigned from his position, admiting revelations that he solicited prostitutes. In 2017, speculation arose that Mark Zuckerberg could potentially be running for president in 2020. This year, Zuckerberg faces continued scrutiny over data collection and privacy within Facebook after revelations of Cambridge Analytica data collections.
These are incidents involving wealthy individuals, who have sought after monetary and political power. There is nothing directly linking any of the incidents I juxtapose against one another, yet it’s easy for our brains to make those jumps. This is how propaganda is made. The reality is that powerful leaders do not rise in a vacuum. Where once opposition was removed via murders and Stalinesque political purges, in our modern, civilized democracies, leaders are destroyed by defamation, propaganda and prisons.Read More
The Daily Stormer, a website with highly controversial hate speech, was recently scrubbed from the Internet. This wasn’t due to government censorship or illegal content, but due to the fact that no private hosting provider would allow their content. DigitalOcean and DreamHost refused to host their content in 2014. In August of 2017, CloudFlare terminated their CDN services for the website. GoDaddy terminated their domain registration with a 24 hour warning. The site owners migrated to Google Domains, which also refused to allow the domain transfer. NameCheap refused to allow them to register a domain as well.
What is interesting about this situation is the Daily Stomer carried only content. Although legally protected as free speech, at least in the US, hosting and infrastructure providers are free to refuse service to any company. Many of the companies mentioned above quoted specific clauses in their terms of service about hate speech or inciting violence. On its surface, it seems like these tech companies are helping to make it difficult to host hateful content on the Internet. However, with such a limited set of providers and domain registration services on the Internet, does the dominance of such few companies in the hosting space allow the means for industry to decide what content is allowable? Are Google, GoDaddy and others effectively censoring opinions they find disagreeable?Read More
Norte, a Mexican newspaper that has been publishing for nearly 30 years, announced that it was shutting down, after three journalists from various news agencies were killed last month. The effects of violence and gangs in parts of Mexico have led to this news organization’s concern over the safety of its reporters. Advocates for the removal of undocumented workers in the United States often cite the violence in Central America as justification for immigration control and fortification, while ignoring questions about the cause. The majority of the violence in the South and Central American countries, including the security problems that are ravishing several cities in Mexico, can all be traced back to the CIA, the funneling of drugs into America and the smuggling of firearms back across the border.Read More
I worked in the American health insurance industry during the original Affordable Health Care (ACA) debates back around 2009. I watched a lot of money spent on completely wasteful projects as the entire industry lobbied against a public single-payer option. In January of 2016, I returned to the States after being outside the country for four years. I hadn’t been required to obtain insurance via the ACA while living outside the US. When I looked at my options upon returning, I discovered that many of the fears concerning the Affordable Care Act had proven to be true. All my current options for health coverage, both via my employer and the ACA, either leave me paying more than I ever have in my life for terrible coverage, or paying very little for preventative only care.Read More
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Congress is considering a bill that will increase the minimum wage for H-1B visa holders to $100,000 per year. This is an attempt to discourage businesses from hiring immigrants who require sponsorship, instead of hiring American workers. At least that’s what congress says H.R. 170 will do. However, I think what we’ll actually see are large companies in tech hubs like the bay area, Seattle, Chicago, New York and others, start to absorb the largest swatches of the immigrant talent pool, while shorting smaller companies and public sector jobs from the same access to skilled workers.Read More