James Leroy Wilson's blog

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Facebook's 420

I haven't posted at Independent Country very much recently, aside from linking to my writings at other places. And even then, I haven't done a stellar job of it.

Part of the reason is I'm busy. Another part is that the discipline of Facebook's rule of "make your point in 420 touches of the keyboard" has helped me get my point across. Twitter supposedly makes you even more efficient because you are limited to 140 touches. But with Twitter, the best you can do is make a statement. With Facebook's 420, you can make an argument, or at least provide a more definitive statement.

I've used Facebook to link to my employer, to post youtube clips of some of my favorite songs, and everything in between. But I've also used it to make arguments, while posting in the 420-character "Status" rule. Here are some things I've said, each post separated by paragraph breaks:

Several years ago, I thought that certain taboo behaviors should be legal (because they didn't violate anyone's rights and prohibition doesn't work), but I endorsed free-market forms of condemnation like shunning and boycott. Today, I'm more likely to ENDORSE taboo-breakers, or at least refuse to judge them. When tolerance weaves its way into your mind, sooner or later it weaves its way into your soul.

Everyone knew what was going on LONG before 9/11. Regarding the bomb on the bus in 1994's Speed, Sandra Bullock asks, "What did we do, bomb the guy's country or something?" 9/11 changed nothing.

Saw the new True Grit. Great movie, but anyone who thinks Hailie Steinfeld's role as Mattie is a "supporting" role instead of a "lead" role is a first-class moron. It's better for her and the Academy that she'd lose the Oscar as a lead than win it as a "supporting" actress. She wasn't a supporting actress, she WAS the movie!

Wonders why people who cheered for the Bandit against Smokey in the 1970's now think it's great that Smokey pulls over people for the crime of "driving while looking like a Mexican."

There's no left-right divide. There's no individualist-communitarian divide. There is rather, people who believe in the fundamental goodness of The System and wish only that the right people were in charge, and those who (quoting Brian Doherty), deny that The System "makes any sense, has any justice, or is sustainable."

Governments don't allow military personnel to unionize because that would undermine national defense, an essential government service. Yet governments allow civilians government employees to unionize. That serves as its own proof that their jobs are not essential.

Sure, grampa had a good-paying job for forty years followed by a generous pension. Never mind that any sixth-grader could have done the same work. Americans who complain about "outsourcing" are reactionaries who are living in the past, believing that the USA is #1 and always will be. All markets are global. Deal with it.

I read this somewhere recently, and it cracks me up. Apparently, when German businessmen go to Japan, their hosts sometimes actually say this: "Next time, with no Italians!"

I didn't see it, but I understand that IBM's Watson computer defeated the two greatest Jeopardy contestants of all time. This is NOT a computer solving a chess game like a logic puzzle, this is a computer hearing questions from a human voice with clues often filled with nuance and clever puns. This is a giant leap forward in how computers can interpret and solve problems for us. Bravo to IBM!

With 10 more IQ points I would have graduated at the top of my class. With 20 more IQ points I would have dropped out of college and become a successful entrepreneur. With 30 more IQ points I would have dropped out of high school. With 40 more IQ points I would have become Anonymous.

I can't name a Justin Bieber song. I don't know why he's so popular. BUT, if he does a cover of "Smoking in the Boys Room" I will buy his CD. The people of my generation, who grew up on Motley Crew, have become sanctimonious assholes. It's time to put a stop to our intolerance (which is bankrupting the nation, by the way) by encouraging rebellion in the children.

I'm not "for" or "against" Israel. I want the USA to stay neutral in Israel's disputes and cut off funding for Israel and Israel's neighbors. I don't know how many Americans are "pro-Israel," but I do know they are greedy for forcing ME to fund Israel's defense. You pro-Israel people, write a freaking check and send it to Israel's government, but don't force ME to pay for what YOU want.

Why is federal aid to education, the arts, science, etc. a big deal? It isn't the size of their budgets, which are relatively small. It is because with these subsidies, the federal government is asserting the right to influence and control your mind.

In 1996, the Packer pecking order was GM Ron Wolf, coach Mike Holmgren, Reggie White, then Brett Favre. From 2000-2007, when everyone else was gone, the pecking order was Brett Favre then everyone else. Today, the order is Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy, and Aaron Rodgers. Here's hoping Rodgers becomes the greatest qb of all time, but never becomes bigger than the franchise.

I won't tolerate whines about "outsourcing to India." I had to call tech support today. I talked to three people, all Indians. After they fixed the problem, I told the last one that they did an outstanding job, and he in return thanked me for my patience (I wonder how many rude American customers they get). I said, "And have a good night . . . I mean, have a good day." He laughed.

Never condemn anyone. There are things I believed 20 years ago that I no longer believe. I wouldn't want to go back in time and kill myself for my wrong beliefs. I wouldn't want that any more than I'd want my future self going back in time and killing me for my beliefs today.

The NFLPA has effectively spun the issue: 1.The NFL's more profitable than ever; 2. Owners want the players to play 2 more games; 3. Players are being asked to take a billion-dollar pay cut; 4. NFL players have more health problems and die younger than other pro athletes. 5. Owners cry poverty without revealing financial statements. Owners: the spin's on you. MAKE YOUR CASE!

I care about the Super Bowl more than I care about the political outcome in Egypt. Does that make me a bad person? Why? The 83 million people in Egypt are no more important to you or me than the people in a region of China or India, of probably a larger population, that none of us have even heard of.

I wonder who is LESS rational, a person who thinks that the government should stop the building of the "Ground Zero Mosque," or someone who genuinely thinks that the federal government should fund the NEA, NEH, and Public Broadcasting. In either case, they will resort to personal attacks on your patriotism or "civic-mindedness," because they have no other argument.

Democrats and Republicans don't care if (mostly non-white) people in foreign lands starve to death through tariffs, sanctions, or war. Then they claim that libertarians have no compassion.

Everyone knows that the FBI spied on and wiretapped Martin Luther King Jr. But if you claim that the FBI (and other federal agencies) is now using powers given to it by the Patriot Act and FISA Amendments Act to spy on and blackmail public figures TODAY, you're a "conspiracy theorist."

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