Remember when facebook was sometimes interesting?

Something to consider. If you feel that more people are starting to agree with your point-of-view, and thus you are feeling justified in posting and liking anything that supports your own moral/religious/political views, then you might also want to at least consider the possibility that the bubble you are in is shrinking.

If you think that doesn’t apply to you outside of facebook perhaps, then I would ask, do you like to blanket label people as liberal or conservative? If so, then I think it very likely does apply to you. Applies to me too, but I like to think I’m trying.

It’s definitely my choice to login to facebook, and I can (and do) ignore many things I see there. And no one ever asks my opinion, so I never give it. But I remember when facebook was primarily a place to share photos with family and friends, keep up-to-date with distant acquaintances, and maybe show off your life a little. Now, simply logging in puts so many things in my face that I don’t care about and or vehemently disagree with, that it has become counter productive to bother doing so. The ratio of my “that’s cool” to my “wtf?” thoughts has heavily skewed in the wrong direction. I suppose it’s highly dependent on one’s ‘friends’ list. But I’ve continually whittled my list down just to the people I care about, and it’s still toxic. That’s sad.

To my type A personality friends that are generally overly confident and loud in whatever they do (you fill up my facebook feed more than anyone else) … I’d ask you to remember that just because a person is usually quiet doesn’t mean they don’t have a very strong viewpoint on things. And quite possibly, a viewpoint different than your own. And they might be the type person that will defend their viewpoint if ever truly necessary. For as long as it takes.

In the meantime, as for me I’ll just try to ignore you unless you insist on making it impossible. I suspect there are more people out there like me.

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Random: #173

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By attacking the very notion of shared reality, the president-elect is making normal democratic politics impossible. When the truth is little more than an arbitrary personal decision, there is no common ground to be reached and no incentive to look for it.

– Ned Resnikoff

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Random: #172

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Random: #171

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Poem

Differences of Opinion
by Wendy Cope
_____________________________

HE TELLS HER

He tells her that the earth is flat —
He knows the facts, and that is that.
In altercations fierce and long
She tries her best to prove him wrong,
But he has learned to argue well.
He calls her arguments unsound
And often asks her not to yell.
She cannot win. He stands his ground.

The planet goes on being round.

(complete poem)

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Bubbles

It seems last night Trump was elected to become the next president of the USA.  I was wrong. About a lot of things it seems, but mostly about other people, some of which are good friends. I am sad about this.

I think the anxiety and fear being felt by many is probably overblown. It is the first time I’ve ever personally cared about a political election though, mostly because of what electing someone like Trump represents regarding the importance of integrity in a person. But alas, a vast segment of the American population has spoken and my personal thoughts on it are inconsequential. I wish they were less inconsequential to my friends though. Especially the ones that voted for Trump.

I would like to express many thoughts, points, and counter points. I have wanted to repeatedly over the past few months, especially on social media.  But I have refrained. I haven’t refrained out of fear or shyness. I feel quite strongly about some of the topics of late, and I believe taking a stand on some things in life is important. I refrained because most people aren’t interested in what other people think, especially if not in agreement. People generally talk with an intent to be heard, not with an intent to listen. And I think few really want to work through complex issues or be independent in their thinking anyways. Cognitive bias is powerful force, and it leaves little room for objective discussion.

I also believe there is little point in arguing a topic with someone when there is not a shared reality to work from.  For example, if one person believes 2+2 is 4, but another person believes 2+2 is 5, then there’s little reason for them to argue about 2+3. Fundamental logic should transcend language, feelings, and personal interpretations.   But I have noticed this type of missing basis in many arguments I’ve witnessed lately, especially those with any underpinnings of science, statistics, or economics.

Discussion would also be easier if people could acknowledge that many strongly felt beliefs should be represented as probabilities, not absolutes.  That’s not an alpha mentality though.

The reasons so many people insist on viewing the world as black-and-white are not clear to me, but my guess is that it’s because human nature tends to be self-centered. It could also be due to illogical fallacies, and ignorance of how fallacies work by the people using them. Or maybe they are not ignorant and just don’t care if it pushes forward an agenda they already believe in. I don’t know.

At least a few of my friends, if they would’ve bother reading up to this point, would likely have slapped with me an elitist label of some sort by now.  I would find that ironic, but whatever.

If there is one thought that arises above all others for me from this election though, especially with regards to media, is that people, myself included, should be careful about living too much in their own bubbles.

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Random: #170

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Random: #169

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Random: #168

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“And if i asked you to name all the things that you love, how long would it take for you to name yourself?” – unknown

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Random: #167

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Data Scientist (n.): Person who is better at statistics than any software engineer and better at software engineering than any statistician.  – @josh_wills

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Random: #166

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“I told her we were going to get married, and all she could talk about was frogs.

She said there’s these hills where it’s hot and rains all the time, and in the rainforests there are these very tall trees and right in the top branches of the trees there are these like great big flowers called . . . bromeliads, I think, and water gets into the flowers and makes little pools and there’s a type of frog that lays eggs in the pools and tadpoles hatch and grow into new frogs and these little frogs live their whole lives in the flowers right at the top of the trees and don’t even know about the ground, and once you know the world is full of things like that, your life is never the same.”

— Masklin, Terry Prattchet’s The Bromeliad Trilogy …related:  XKCD: Terry Pratchet

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Random: #165

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  • Augmented Reality (AR) = addition of virtual elements to real world
  • Mixed Reality (MR) = addition of real elements to virtual world

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A customer walks into a bar. He asks for a beer made out of wine. The project manager agrees. Both question the bartender’s competence. – @mendezfe

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Random: #164

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Random: #162

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  • QA Engineer walks into a bar. Orders a beer.
    Orders 0 beers. Orders 999999999 beers.
    Orders a lizard. Orders -1 beers.
    Orders a sfdeljknesv.
    – @sempf  (follow-up responses)
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