When Reagan rode to power on the tails of the alignment with the hardcore Christian conservative vote, he ushered in today’s problems.
The Tea Party? Government obstructionism? A political party bent on telling women how to live their lives, and what they’re allowed to have in their bodies? The seeds were sown at Reagan’s first convention.
One of them engaged in (at least) online flirting, which was a moral flaw that hurt…his wife. Its effect on me…is nothing.
Another participated in illegal commerce, and cheated on his wife. It’s effect on me — nothing.
The third? Apparently, illegally harassing city employees. Its effect on me? It’s probably going to cost taxpayer money in lawsuits, harm our ability to recruit better employees in needed city services, and generally erode trust in a major American city.
I know we as humans look to patterns, which create stories, which allow us to create beliefs with which to navigate the world.
But– let’s not forget to focus on what really is happening. If you’re not the wife, maybe…just maybe…this isn’t really about us.
You know how sometimes, people try to make you feel better by saying…”hey, things could be worse?”
For example, I saw a post on Gothamist this morning saying I should pipe down about the crowds on my L train platform, because the trains in Beijing are much worse.
Sorry, but I don’t buy into this logic anymore.
Here’s to striving for what can be in your own life. Not judging things by simply being “better” than they could be. Not judging your life by comparison to others. Not determining your success by looking at your peers.
Forgive me dear readers – but I’m at TED in Edinburgh, so this is going to be more a “quick note” than I’d like it to be…
But — I fear we’re looking at the wrong question on this whole NSA whistle-blowing thing. I’d like to propose a few I think we should be asking.
Why are we so concerned with the government mining the data that we are already giving Google Facebook, etc.? Are we not as concerned with Google and Facebook mining our data? Why not? Is commerce and behavioral “nudging” not as concerning as security?
And why aren’t we addressing the fact that the whistleblower worked for a contractor to the government? In other words, why aren’t we discussing how NON-GOVERNMENTAL employees are performing this mining. I could also ask why we’re comfortable letting non-governmental people fight our wars, man our security, and run our prisons — but I’ll leave that for a future rant.
In fact, in general, why aren’t we asking whether the free market should be performing the tasks that (in my opinion) we SHOULD be asking the government to provide?
And finally…why is it we don’t seem to realize we’re asking for the impossible. Blaming the government when something slips through the security cracks, but complaining when they actually try to do something about it?
Let me clear. This is not an easy topic. I’m uncomfortable that my records are being accessed, and that the world we live in has so many gray areas.
I’m just more uncomfortable that we’re not having the richer, deeper debate about the larger context this plays into.
People jumping to conclusions based simply on what region criminals are from, criminals being apprehended from crowdsourced reddit threads and iphone photos, and people reporting news in an ongoing twitter-lanche that makes me question what journalism has become.
More on this later – I suspect, much later.
But for now, suffice it to say, that
“What did your twitter feed look like when the 2nd brother was captured.”
“Where were you when man walked on the moon, or when the Berlin wall fell.”
I’m thinking about the mediated experience today…and wondering if we’ve really progressed with all this technology.
But again, I suspect I’ll be writing about this all later.
“The previous major innovation in the category, concentrated detergents, actually boosted sales as American consumers persisted in over-dosing their loads despite the fact that they could effectively use less of the more expensive stuff.”
When people are bemoaning you actually helping your customers, and NOT contributing to overconsumption (not to mention the overuse of chemicals) — we have a problem.