Tag: Politics

Notions Of Cool V.020

A random list of things and shower thoughts that an old Gen X dude finds cool or worth pondering.

  • The Mueller report dropped. As of this moment we know nothing other than the AG has it. The alphabet channels on all sides of the spectrum are in overdrive spinning and speculating. My thought? I don’t care which side of the aisle you’re on – you should be relieved if there’s nothing in the report. Why? Because it’s bad for country if there is. It would impact the markets, economy, etc… If you’ve been hoping and wishing for some bombshell finding, then you’re part of the problem. Do you really want a president Pence if you’re on the left?
  • The real problem this country faces, and always has been, is China. China will take over as the dominate superpower at some point.
  • I suck at any sort of construction. It doesn’t stop me from trying, but I clearly missed this part of woodshop class. Remember when we actually had wood, metal, and auto shop in high school? Anyway, I manage to strip most screws I attempt to put in or remove. Sigh…
  • A new route up Everest? A cool episode 1 video. Yes, I’ll be watching this one.
  • We managed to find a guy. A handyman. A laborer. Everyone needs a guy who you trust. This guy is from Peru. Came here knowing zero English and started out as a dishwasher. He’d eat scraps from peoples plates while working because he didn’t know how to order something from the kitchen. This guy works his ass off. We are very soft in this country.
  • I’m struggling with the bullet journal. I suppose it’s like any habit. I started out strong, then days go by and when you go back to it… it seems silly to write down things that you already know. Right now it feels forced to write stuff in it. I’ll keep at it. Maybe my thoughts will change.
  • Speaking of writing, I wonder if people like the list form of thoughts vs. a single blog topic? Ultimately I’m doing this for me and I enjoy this more, but I am curious though?
  • No new Instagram stories. Maybe this week. I might drift back to the Facebook. We’ll see.

Song of the day: Propellerheads, “History Repeating”

Notions Of Cool V.019

A random list of things and shower thoughts that an old Gen X dude finds cool or worth pondering.

  • Your diet doesn’t matter. Seriously. The data shows that at the one year mark the success rate for all diets is virtually identical. Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Mediterranean, South Beach, Zone, Keto, the cabbage soup diet… it doesn’t matter. In grossly simplistic terms losing weight is still all about calorie reduction. Expend more than you consume and you lose weight. Period. If your goal is weight loss, what’s most important is picking a diet you can stick to. The cabbage soup diet is probably not sustainable long term. If you’re picking a diet for other health reasons, blood sugar control, etc…, that’s a different discussion. Keep the two concepts separate and a pick a diet for the right reasons.
  • The history of Greenland’s melt cycles is interesting in light of recent “the sky is falling” news about sea level rise. As is NOAA’s potentially sketchy claims about February temps. Agree or disagree, the point is that maybe there’s more going on than we fully understand. That’s the point of science – to ask questions and search for answers. Don’t be a lemming.
  • I gained exactly 1 follower on Twitter. I find it interesting that on both Twitter and Instagram I get the most activity with posts or pictures of animals. People seem to like the hound. There must be some meaning around the human need to connect to animals and seeing happy things.
  • A video of all of the 8,000 meter peaks in the world. Worth it for the pictures.
  • I’m still not entirely sure why I’m writing. Performing for a nearly empty room day after day does get discouraging.
  • It’s interesting to watch the democratic 2020 candidates jockey for a campaign theme. I personally think that was one of the major factors last time. Like it or hate it, you knew exactly what Trump’s message was. I can honestly say I never knew exactly what Hillary’s message was. What is the central democratic message going to be for 2020?
  • Trying to heat a house in the mountains is challenging. Gas, wood, pellet, electric, hybrid… it’s making my head hurt. So many trade-offs between BTU’s vs energy cost and efficiency. It’s not like a plain ‘ole HVAC central heating system that makes all rooms the same temp. I will be very happy when I don’t have to think about this any more.

Song of the day: Fat Freddy’s drop “Bohannon”

Notions Of Cool V.018

A random list of things and shower thoughts that an old Gen X dude finds cool or worth pondering.

  • This is a perfect example of what’s wrong with news today. I like to think I’m reasonably plugged in… and I had absolutely no idea this happened last week. 1000+ people dead and 1.5 million at risk of water-borne disease or starvation. Meanwhile, Bob in Ohio was outraged at something someone said. We have a fantastic panel to discuss…
  • A neat video about cycling. I couldn’t do it, but a great reminder that we’re only here once. If you get hit by a bus tomorrow, are you happy with what you’ve seen and done?
  • Speaking of bikes, my town is installing this in one of the downtown parking garages. Yay for bicycle friendly!
  • Jim Acosta is the very definition of douchebag. I get it, he generates equal love and hate traffic. And yes, there are Acostas on all sides of the political spectrum. Sad that this has become the new norm for “news”.
  • I did not hit my weight target this week. It’s mostly meaningless… just a goal. Next week for sure.
  • Bullet Journal update: it went strong for a month, then faded. I still like the idea. I resolve to resurrect the habit.
  • A patient was unhappy with his diabetic menu choices, so his wife brought him Burger King and a supersize chocolate shake. When his blood sugar was 320 he was shocked. He was actually angry and accused us of giving him some “pill” that was making his blood sugar go up. It was a battle to convince him I had to give him insulin.
  • “This will be your favorite patient. Super nice and rarely calls for anything”. Sadly as a nurse, I hear that in report maybe once every three or four weeks. The vast majority of the hospital population are grumpy, sour, demanding people. They’re also in the worst possible health – much of which is due to lifestyle choices. I see a clear correlation between your upbringing, mental attitude, emotional stability, and overall health outcomes. It’s not rocket science, but it’s striking when you see it in front of you every day.
  • My internet went down for approximately 7 minutes today. It was a terrifying vision of the pending zombie apocalypse.

Song of the day: Charlie Feathers, “That certain female”

Notions Of Cool V.017

A random list of things and shower thoughts that an old Gen X dude finds cool or worth pondering.

  • Spring appears to be here (in the West anyway). Blue skies and no signs of further snow in the forecast. As much as I like winter, I’m done. Been thinking more of the bike than the skis.
  • Speaking of skis, my new ones are scary fast. Super stable at speed with no chatter. Several times yesterday I caught myself at ludicrous speed and thought… crashing would be bad right now. They are forcing me to be more aggressive, which is a good thing I suppose.
  • We had to hire a crew to remove our snow disaster at the house. These folks worked their asses off for days. The vast majority of the population in this country has lost that all-day farmer strength we used to have. We’re doomed when the zombie apocalypse hits.
  • Speaking of zombies, a great book to read is “World War Z” by Max Brooks son of Mel Brooks. It’s what the movie was loosely based on. And by loosely I mean they share the same name, that’s about it. One of the neat concepts in the book is that post-apocalypse, society flips. The blue collar folks become the sought after leaders because they know how to actually fix and build things. The white collar workers are useless without electricity and become the new ditch diggers.
  • I’m fascinated by the Instagram algorithm. How is it that an account with 1 post has several hundred followers, but others with many hundreds of posts have only a few?
  • My shoulder is still messed up several years later. I can’t do pull ups or back squats due to pain. I need to fix this somehow.
  • Hard to gage who will be the democratic front runner. Kamala would be their better choice, but Bernie has the dollars. Beto, Booker, and Warren will be busts. Yang and Schultz could be interesting. Biden is corrupt as hell and I’m not convinced he’ll run.
  • An interesting interview by CNBC with GOPRO founder Nick Woodman. I still think the main problem is the learning barrier to editing and creating a watchable video. People buy the camera, use it a few times then it sits. I may or may not be referring to myself.

Song of the day: Rebelution “Feeling Alright”

Notions Of Cool V.016

A random list of things and shower thoughts that an old Gen X dude finds cool or worth pondering.

  • I listened to a pretty good podcast with Renee DiResta about the Russian trolling and social media tactics. The Russian government is clearly in it for the long game. The bulk of their influence happened because they understand we’re all members of one tribe or another – republicans, democrats, car lovers, gardeners, etc… We’re very susceptible to wanting to think like our tribe.
  • I also started watching Amazon’s “The Widow”. I’ve seen the first two. Not bad, a lot of moving parts. Keeping my interest so far.
  • Stumbled upon an intriguing service – Steady MD. Basically an on-line doctor. Communicate to your doc anytime via txt. Interesting idea. The monthly fee adds up to more than I spend in a year on health care, so probably not worth it for me.
  • The 2020 election cycle is going to be a train wreck. A horrible, nasty, divisive train wreck we won’t be able to look away from. A good time to stay away from the standard opinion news sources and do your own research. Whatever side you’re on, challenge your personal mindset. Don’t be a tribal lemming.
  • The icefall doctors have arrived at Everest. The climbing season begins. Not on my bucket list.
  • George Hincapie launched a hotel, “Hotel Domestique”. An interesting post career investment for a former cyclist.

Song of the day: Anna Lunoe “303”

A Case For Universal Basic Income

I should start out by saying that I do not agree with implementing a Universal Basic Income (UBI). However I recently listened to a podcast with Andrew Yang, a 2020 presidential candidate, and he made the most compelling case yet for it. I think the alarm bell he’s ringing is true… I’m just am not convinced UBI is the right solution.

Mr. Yang’s premise is that due to AI and automation one-third of all working Americans are going to lose their job in the next 12 years. Most of these workers are going to have a very hard time finding new employment. He makes the case that it’s not realistic to think that you’re going to re-train a truck driver from rural Iowa to write code. By giving every working age American $1000 a month you provide a safety net that will be put back into the economy in the form of gas, groceries, fuel, etc… A UBI paid for by a VAT tax. You have a choice of taking the UBI or social services (e.g. food stamps) but not both.

I agree that the coming AI boom is going to displace mass numbers of people. The Mckinsey research group estimates between 400 and 800 million people will be replaced by automation by 2030 worldwide. In the US, the top ten professions are mostly all lower wage jobs. The top five are:

  • #1 for males – truck driver
  • Retail sales
  • cashier
  • office clerk
  • food prep
  • customer service

The mean annual income in the US is $46,000. Every single one of those most common jobs listed is replaceable by automation. A third of the country out of work is a recipe for a real economic crisis that I’m not sure we can survive. The taxpayers are going to pay one way or another – in the form of food stamps, medical, etc…

There are folks who claim we’ve always had revolutions in technology that displace workers – let them #learntocode (don’t put that on Twitter!) The difference between the first and second industrial revolutions and today’s displaced workers is twofold; first the scale of displaced workers was much smaller and second, those revolutions actually spawned a middle class. An uneducated displaced farm worker could move to the city, work in a factory and support a family. Today it’s actually those lower-middle class jobs we’re removing.

So what’s my solution? I don’t know. As a libertarian-ish person I have a very hard time seizing taxpayer money and giving it to others because they made poor decisions and aren’t busting their ass to improve themselves. I also recognize that a mob of hungry, desperate people rioting with pitchforks isn’t in societies interest either.

Most politicians will push for ungodly expensive government boondoggle spending programs to “re-train” workers. Those are usually bottomless money pits with little positive outcome. I applaud Mr. Yang for at least being brave enough to raise the issue and give a plausible solution.

Is UBI the right solution? The more I think about it, the more I’m on the fence. It’s not often I stumble upon an issue where I don’t have a clear opinion. What do we do with 100 million people in this country out of work and no skills to bridge the gap? I’m curious what you think? What’s the right answer? Is this even a problem? Maybe the revolution will happen slower than we think. It’s certainly worth having a discussion… but I suspect we’ll ignore it until too late.

Notions Of Cool V.013

A random list of things and shower thoughts that an old guy (who still thinks he’s 20) finds cool or worth pondering.

  • While on vacation I listened to a podcast with Andrew Yang, a 2020 presidential candidate. His main platform is advocating for a Universal Basic Income. I do not agree with him, but was intrigued enough by his argument that it bears further investigation. He thinks that the coming economic collapse due to job loss is a crisis we can’t ignore. More to come on this.
  • I was diligent with sunscreen my entire trip… except one morning. It was very cloudy and overcast and I sat in the sun for an hour and a half before I realized I had no sunscreen on. Can you say – flaming red lobster? And I have dark skin and don’t burn easy. Probably not what the dermatologist will be wanting to see on the first appointment.
  • I read quite a few books on technology and innovation. It made me realize just how pitifully behind the times health care is. Hospitals are truely a bastion of “we do it this way because we’ve always done it this way”.
  • I’ve started exploring Minds.com. I’m not sure I’m smart enough or hip enough.
  • Rewatched the movie Safehouse with Denzel Washington on the plane. Pretty damn good movie.
  • I am most definately not in ketosis. That was a solid week of carbs. I kept the calories (mostly) in check and worked out… but there were plenty of carbs and sugar. And now – I feel like crap. My stomach has been upset much of the week. First time I’ve ever wanted to go back to a more restrictive way of eating. I truly feel better in ketosis.
  • The hound has been ballistic since we picked him up this afternoon. Order has been restored to the universe and the family is together again. This is a good thing.

Song of the day: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts “Bad Reputation”