“I’ve given a lot of thought to this, and have reached the conclusion that building walls isn’t such a bad idea. I’m not talking about walls that keep people out, I mean walls that bring people in, walls that create a home.” – Vicente Fox, NOV 20, 2018
… Juba’s boruboru (dodgeball) league has more than 50 teams and about 825 players, ranging in age from 10 to about 18. (Smaller girls tend to be ace dodgers, while the older girls have the stronger arms for throwing.)
When you see the “real deal”, the person who can withstand damn near anything, and still do the “right thing” under fire.
It is humbling. Thank you Sir.
Under the wide and starry sky, Dig the grave and let me lie. Glad did I live and gladly die, And I laid me down with a will. This be the verse you grave for me: Here he lies where he longed to be; Home is the sailor, home from sea, And the hunter home from the hill.
– Requiem by Robert Louis Stevenson.
I have not served. I am from a family of Veterans, grew up on Army bases all over as an Army Brat. My Dad was a Marine, then joined the Army and served as a Sgt and Medic in action Vietnam.
This view of the importance of non-violent protest is mine and I’m speaking for myself only. But as for me? Ya, I’d much rather see a player respectfully take a knee to draw attention to a great injustice, than become radicalized and violent against our brave men and women in uniform.
I’m an economic conservative in many ways, but maybe more progressive on social issues. That whole “equality” thing. I don’t know Beto’s stance on economic policy but it can’t be worse than the massive increase in the deficit we just observed.
This video by Beto, who is running against Cruz in Texas, where every major city voted democrat in the last Presidential election, is persuasive.
It’s worth a read.
I’ve volunteered with the Republican Party, voted in primaries in both parties, done web sites and supported candidates in both parties as well as independents.
You, dear candidates and public servants, are elected to serve and represent. You didn’t join a cult. You can’t just ignore us!
As for my long time friend and former client, Rep-R John Culberson. You did great getting I-10 moving.
However John, as for your Hurricane Harvey response – it was a fail. No action, no push for more Federal Response, no fast and immediate solutions. Campaign flyers won’t change this.
Remember, I still live in 77079. We have been forgotten and the brain drain is REAL. Where is our third Reservoir? Why hasn’t the south side of Buffalo Bayou been expanded. The water has to retain SOMEWHERE with every overpass functioning as a bottleneck.
Why haven’t Kikkerilo’s McMansions been removed through eminent domain and action taken aligned with the numerous (even the original) flood plans.
Senator Cruz did nothing either that we can SEE. He’s busy with the NYC businessman’s drama as far as I can tell.
Paul Ryan, PAUL RYAN!, is stepping down. That’s how bad it is.
If part of your life and work require travel, co-living is a great trend.
Ask anyone who travels for work. Most will say being alone and away from family and their support network is the hardest part. (Besides really uncomfortable airplane seats.)
From the article on co-living:
What Cannon had stumbled upon was actually a burgeoning trend in rental housing that had begun to shake up cities most popular with millennials. It’s called “co-living,” and it’s attempting to rewrite the exasperating and paycheck-crushing hassle of finding a decent place to live near the place where you work.
Screen addiction is real. A thought provoking video https://youtu.be/nKd2QVrQVIM #news #informed #ill-informed #media
Short version: Lightning Network for Bitcoin is a good thing that makes it more economically viable as a real currency for merchants. But it does not come without consequences.
Long version: In programming, simple is good. To understand the Bitcoin Lightning network you first need to get a grasp of cryptocurrencies. I like simple so here goes:
- You are working at a retail store selling engagement rings.
- As a jeweler you “check” out a diamond from the store safe to show to a customer.
- Your customer will either buy it, or give it back.
- If they give it back, you return it to the safe. You write “returned to safe” on a clipboard next to the vault.
- If they buy it you write “sold” on that clipboard.
BOOM, now you understand cryptocurrency!
You’ve got a diamond and a clipboard. That’s it.
So how does something so simple become so complex? Well, because us geeks can’t use normal words. So let’s focus on human-speak.
Accountability – In crypto, there is something called a blockchain. The blockchain is just a ledger. That’s it. It’s a clipboard saying who has the diamond.
Value – Scarcity. Diamonds are rare. Or, with crypto, it’s a big math puzzle that limits how fast those objects can be created.
Cypto Analogy: Diamonds and Clip-Boards
Mining for diamonds. They are scarce. People like them.
is the same as
Calculating the next value of PI, a really big math problem that takes time. Scarcity. **
As Crypto Currency is to Diamonds, BlockChain is to Clip-Boards.
That’s really it. That’s the whole thing. Any value in that object is purely in the mind of humans. So why so much ado about nothing?
Well, Bitcoin comes along and provides both scarcity (big difficult math problem) and tracking (blockchain ledger) and allows them to be done anonymously.
Yup, to be blunt – transactions are slow as heck. And the user interface is full of jargon from people like me who speak in some other language. And to be fair it does get technical. Ignore that for now.
Possible Solutions to Cryptocurrency Transaction Bottlenecks
The Bitcoin Lightning Network release. It’s kind of a big deal. It might just make BTC “do-able” for micro-payments again.
Example: You can’t buy your “$7-super-misto-double-shot-of-espresso” from Starbucks with bitcoin if you have to pay coinbase a usurious $30 transaction fee.
Thus, the BTC Lightning Network matters. Innovation is incremental. First the Internet, then the web.
From the article on Putin winning /over/ Trump: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/08/01/russia-recruit-americans-mariia-butina-spy-intelligence-219079?cid=apn
“And here was the bonus for Russia: So what if Butina did get caught? The ultimate aim of the entire operation was to sow chaos and divide Americans in order to weaken the West, thus allowing Russia to pursue its agenda on the world stage. Now, half the country yells that the Republican Party was infiltrated by Russia, while the other half yells that it’s fake news and hyperbole. The payoff for Russia is still great, and they can now use Butina’s incarceration to continue to push their agenda of dividing the nation. There was no downside for Russia.”
We are being played. And we, so far, haven’t shown the ability to respond to a queens pawn opening. Never mind the abandonment of teamwork with our allies.
This is frustrating. I trust our political system will self correct. That’s what it designed to do.
Stay peaceful. Stay vocal. Celebrate the positive outcomes regardless of your party.***
*** I’m an independent. A POLS BS from TAMU. I have voted in primaries for both parties at different times. I have volunteered for candidates in both parties. Because that’s Houston y’all. We ain’t got no time for stupid or bigots – we have work to do. Help, be fair, or get the hell out the way while we actually build stuff.
Remember that time when two of the world’s greatest athletes were more statesman-like, more generous, and spoke with their words, actions, and presence far more than the “leaders” we elected?
Just read Mark Zuckerburg’s comments on Holocaust Deniers. A direct quote:
I also don’t want to live in a world where tech companies get to decide who has the right to speech and get to police content in a way that is different from what our legal system dictates.
You ALREADY DO
CENSOR*** RESTRICT WHAT WE CAN POST. YOU ALREADY RESTRICT OUR SPEECH based on your terms of service. And that is within your purview. The point of this post is that given only a government can “censor”, the capricious nature of what is allowed does not, in this author’s opinion, measure up the values of our country. ***
Yet moronic thoughts of holocaust denial, a denial that ignores history, ignores evidence, and promotes hate, a denial that is factually untrue and is based on blatant falsehood – that is somehow OK? No. No those pages are not OK. And YES you can do something about it.
Mark – as a leader, if you chose your path or not, it is your DUTY to approach it with respect for the power you have. Every hate speech site, especially including “deniers” and “supremacists” can and should be shut down. That is YOUR decision.
I run a tiny software company. TINY. And I make ethical decisions every day that aren’t profit motivated. I bring this up because it is beyond ridiculous that women’s rights are blocked by facebook but hate speech and idiot speech is not blocked. The dissonance is stunning. THINK ABOUT IT.
And yes, I do want to live in a world where companies act with dignity and that includes standing up against hate speech. Oh wait, I already do. You are just making poor decisions currently.
Think of it this way – company leaders get to dictate our health care. And they are ZERO knowledge of your needs. I know this. Because, as a CEO, I promise you, and you know this, there is no class we get sent to on how to pick a healthcare plan for people. In other words – we are absolutely UNQUALIFIED to make that decision.
Consider: I have personally made the decision that our company will not represent big tobacco. I’ve lost relatives and friends to lung cancer and I choose not to host sites that promote it. Meanwhile I *absolutely* support an individual’s right to smoke. And I have smoked myself many times. I’m a hypocrite in that regard. I just know smoking tobacco is addicting and I choose to not host those sites. I choose. Because choice is part of being a leader.
Tendenci is open source so if someone else hosts a tobacco site using our software, well, that’s fine. I’m in NO WAY denying them access to our technology in any way. I’m in favor of OPEN.
Hell, I might have even made that decision while smoking a Lucky Strike debating Edward Bernays’. But ya, I made the call.
Zuck – do the right thing. Don’t hide behind the second amendment and allow people to spread hate, and in this case, completely ignorant speech. Then after that, tell Jack and Ev to do the same thing. It doesn’t matter if it’s the President of any country, we must not allow or tolerate utter bullshit.
PS – Zuck – I’ve never spoken to you directly, although also a speaker at SXSW back in the day I seem to recall my room was a bit smaller than the main stage. I have spoken to Randi years ago on a joint proposal, and I understand you are playing at a different level (by far). Just if you see this post, consider my words or call me to discuss if you wish.
PPS – yes, I made the #freethenipple photo the featured image on this post, because I am choosing to censor OUT people who don’t know facts and history like deniers. That is my choice. I get to do that. I get to focus on the positive. You do to. So damnit man, exercise your own freedom of speech Zuck. Do it.
*** This text was edited on Friday August 10, 2018 based on reasonable and logical discourse in a thread on facebook. You can view that thread here. But the bottom line is only a government can technically “censor” and I agree with that point. Therefore there is an even lower bar for companies to make the decision to kick scumbags off of their sites.
SAN FRANCISCO — Last year, representatives of 25 countries met in Tokyo to work on setting international standards for the blockchain, the technology that was introduced by the virtual currency Bitcoin and has ignited intense interest in corporate and government circles.
Some of the technologists at the meeting of the International Standards Organization were surprised when they learned that the head of the Russian delegation, Grigory Marshalko, worked for the F.S.B., the intelligence agency that is the successor to the K.G.B.
They were even more surprised when they asked the F.S.B. agent why the Russians were devoting such resources to the blockchain standards.
“Look, the internet belongs to the Americans — but blockchain will belong to us,” he said, according to one delegate who was there. The Russian added that two other members of his country’s four-person delegation to the conference also worked for the F.S.B.
This is a great pull quote. It’s just from the wrong year. Let’s say … um … by 2013 it was obvious.
“The warning lights are blinking red again,” Mr. Coats said as he cautioned of cyberthreats. “Today, the digital infrastructure that serves this country is literally under attack.”
– Dan Coates, Director of National Security
This is what a hero looks like. Running at an active shooter with a trash can as a shield to save others.
Wendi Winters stood as soon as she heard the bangs.A man with a gun had broken the glass doors leading to the newsroom of the Capital Gazette and was shooting at her colleagues, many of whom dropped to the floor or dove under their desks. Not Winters.
Grabbing the trash can and recycling bin she kept by her desk, she ran toward the man and yelled at him to stop — distracting him long enough to allow some of her colleagues to escape. Of the 11 people in the room that day, six survived.
From the article: “Perhaps the best single example of the power of sowing doubt was the decades-long campaign by US tobacco companies to fog the scientific consensus over the link between cigarettes and cancer. As one famous internal memo noted: “Doubt is our product.” Robert Proctor, the Stanford historian who studied the tobacco campaigns, created a new word to capture the tobacco companies’ beguiling success – agnotology, or the process by which ignorance is deliberately produced.”
Ever wonder what it looks like to be in the eye of a slow moving hurricane? This is what it looked like during Hurricane Harvey in 2017 in Houston.
You know you’re ‘effed when, given I am registered as a Drone Pilot, we were grounded for four days. Because the sky is full of rescue helicopters.
Other images I took during Hurricane Harvey, most actually, I’ve never published.
I bring this up because we’ve done very little to improve Houston’s flooding problem. Except study it.
I’d just moved my primary location (I still travel of course) back from SF to Houston several weeks prior.
Awesome timing, I know, right?!
And yet I’m not sure our governor even remembers hurricane Harvey. Please drive down Bramblewood and let’s talk about “brain drain” and the economy of the country.
I’ve seen little if any action from our Congressmen or Mayor.
Eyes on the ground in 77079, the one’s who were specifically flooded and were saved by citizens from so many places who drove in with bass boats and air boats, but not much help from city, state, or dc.
This is what it looks like to be forgotten. To smile at your friends house, still half completed, while both of you have the same anxiety – they’ve done nothing to fix it. And now it’s hurricane season again.
I see no humor in it.
There is a social stigma with learning disabilities. People tend to believe, perhaps because they were taught, that dyslexia means someone “reads” the sequence “az” and sees “za”. Like it’s a problem with your eyes. I don’t believe this to be the case.
Perhaps the fallacy stems from the fact that while “walk” means the same observable behavior for everyone, “read” isn’t conducted the same way in our brains for all of us. (I dunno as I’m not qualified to answer that question. I’m just a curious person.)
Yet quite a few things in this article on dyslexia are spot on for me. https://www.wired.com/story/end-of-dyslexia/
“I look back, like, I hope, a lot of men in that industry and say — not so much ‘what did I do or not do?’ — but ‘what did I see and what did I let slide? What did I not notice?'”
– Anthony Bourdain
From the article on Dark Reading regarding the Russian interference in the election of 2016.:
… the House Intelligence Committee have shared more details of Russia’s interference in the 2016 US Presidential Election with the release of 3,000 Facebook ads. The ads, purchased by Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA), ran from 2015 to 2017.
Committee members this week released a total of 3,519 ads and stated more than 11.4 million Americans were exposed to them. The IRA also created 470 Facebook pages, which generated 80,000 pieces of organic content and were seen by more than 126 million Americans, the Committee reports. It plans to release this organic content at a later date.
Fairly audacious. One question to ponder. Have you ever heard of a company or government pushing a message out using one (and only 1) channel? Of course not. It will be good when their MSM advertising buys are exposed.
From the article: ”In an enlightening study, Backlinko did some extensive tests on Google Home’s search results.
What they found won’t surprise any SEO enthusiast, but they prove the necessity of SEO basics quite emphatically.
For example, one of their findings was that load time affected performance significantly:”