Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

10/30/2020

Healthy Skepticism

Filed under: Better Living Through Technology,Fun,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:30 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

People who call me pessimistic are just not being realistic.

If the past several election cycles and the attendant advertising and attempts to sway voters have shown anything, I think, it’s that having an extra healthy level of skepticism is just a good defense mechanism. For years, I’ve questioned all the quotes that are attributed to famous people, especially famous politicians. I really don’t think Abe Lincoln told people to “vote early and often”, though it’s possible that one or more Chicago mayors may have. A more direct example is this quote “Most of the Evil in This World Is Done by People with Good Intentions” which is often attributed to T. S. Elliot, but, is really a partial quote attributed to an anonymous contributor to a trade journal called “The Creamery and Milk Plant Monthly”, though Elliot said things that were quite similar. And, now, thanks to Quote Investigator you can do your own fact-checking when someone insists that George Washington said Firearms Stand Next in Importance to the Constitution Itself. They Are the American People’s Liberty Teeth and Keystone under Independence. (Spoiler alert! He most likely didn’t say that at all.)
And, while you’re being more actively skeptical, you may want to grab this Chrome extension that Lifehacker mentions, titled NoDiguisedAdsAnymore which does just what the title suggests; it reveals advertising disguised as news by marking it with an “Ad” icon. It may not catch all the sneaky political ads, but it’s not a bad place to start!

And, if you haven’t yet voted, make sure to do that this year. It’s never been more important in living memory to make your wishes known and vote your conscience.

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words!

10/26/2008

Early Voting

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 8:43 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

I voted yesterday.

Yeah, I know, something like two weeks before the normal election day, I was able to vote.  Turns out, there has been a massive response this year and huge numbers of people are voting.  Personally, I think that’s great.  I mean, a friend of mine said he’d heard they were expecting something like a 60% turn out rate, which is monster.  As I recall, normally, the percentage of people who vote is less than 20%, so to get so many people out voting is wonderful.

I always have felt that if you want to complain about the way our current leaders are running things, then you better have voted.  Me, I like to complain, so I vote.  From what I understand, this year, you can even vote early on Sunday!  Thanks to Google, you can find your local early voting polling place with just a few clicks of a mouse, so why not do it?  If you haven’t voted lately, why not start this year?

Also, I’m not normally a very political animal.  No, really, stop laughing, I’m not.  Oh, sure, I’ve ranted and raved about certain tiny aspects of politics, but, mostly, I want everyone to participate in the process.  This year, though, I’m going to make a suggestion.  I think everyone tends to get in the mindset that you have to choose between the Democrats and the Republicans, but, you know, we’re not a two party system.  There are a wide range of parties in the United States, but the popular news media almost never talks about them.  Did you know that Ralph Nader was running again?  Have you heard of Bob Barr?
Just think about this for a couple minutes.  Over the past fifteen years, both the Republicans and the Democrats have been in power.  Did you like the way either of them ran this country?  If you’re not happy with either the Republicans or the Democrats, why not give a third party a try?  The Libertarians are well represented this year, at least in Harris County, Texas.
Maybe it’s time we gave another party a chance to make a difference.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Whatever the majority of people is doing, under any given circumstances, if you do the exact opposite, you will probably never make another mistake as long as you live."
   --Earl Nightingale


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