Contemporary Philosophical Comments for the Day, Courtesy of an Everyday Man on the Street

“You’re not like that in real life, so don’t be like that on Facebook.”

– enlightened man on the street, an English teacher, living in South Korea

Cited from the innermost mind of the blog author:

“One of the most grating linguistic phenomenons of the last days was the deterioration of human speech and diction into a series of ever escalating, and more or less meaningless, abbreviations. People, especially the very young, began to speak and text each other  in their own abbreviated language, which reflected a plunge from actual speech and diction into sputtered bursts of jargon instead. When common street speech, gang vernacular and slurred pronunciation were added into the mix, what emerged instead of human language was a chopped up rehash of ‘webslang’ which did not sound altogether different from the chattering of chimpanzees or other primitive primates from a half million years earlier.”

Tags: Facebook idiocracy, the everyday man on the street, diction, language, linguistics, common vernacular, slang, internet slang, Kali Yuga society, end of days speech diction styles, the last days on earth, deteriorating language phenomenon

Obama Administration Should Have Hired Top Web Techies Out of California to Build Obamacare Enrollment Portal

I would have thought it would be common knowledge by now that if one wanted to hire someone, a company, a firm, an internet conglomerate, an association of internet experts, WHAT HAVE YOU, to build a state-of-the-art e-commerce portal, albeit it for the purchase of healthcare plans in this case, the place to go for that kind of technical and internet related expertise is CALIFORNIA.

California is only home to dozens of the very tippity-top internet companies in the world, including  Google, Ebay, and Facebook for starters.  The founder of WordPress also hails from California. There’s a reason that Mark Zuckerberg early on moved his infant company to Palo Alto California. That’s where all the best internet brains are percolating.

Canada….. Really?

AJ Strata ‏@AJStrata 4m

@EdMorrissey #tcot #Obamacare debut polling so badly we may be at start of #ObamacareDeathSpiral http://ow.ly/q480O

I love the Canadians just as much as the next American. I see and visit with traveling Canadians every summer out here on the Oregon coast.  But by no means do I believe they are better web developers than Americans are. Those contracting dollars should have been kept right here at home.

Apparently it hadn’t dawned on the effete intellectuals of the Obama administration that America fairly RULES the internet in terms of technical and creative expertise in web design, IT applications, E-commerce portal development and more.  And then there’s the issue of at least making an appearance that AMERICAN JOBS are important in all of this.  American internet technology experts are among the best on earth. How sad that the Canadian built site had to fail, and in an EPIC manner, before Obama turned to our own best and brightest to try to fix it. What the hell?

A website that can easily handle 20 million visits a day should not have been too tall an order for a proficient web development team. Almost every large commercial site built today handles those kinds of numbers routinely.

Let me get this straight: the federal government can build a spy data center in Bluffdale Utah big and powerful enough to literally consume and “mirror the entire internet” but they can’t build a website for enrollment in Obamacare that can handle 20 million visits per day? That just doesn’t add up.

And since the NSA hot shots are building a gargantuan DATA CENTER in Bluffdale Utah which is literally big enough to “mirror the entire internet” in it’s interior, why the hell didn’t the Obama people turn to their contractors to build the portal?  It only made sense. According to the NSA’s own documents and press releases, the Bluffdale data center is an internet technological wonder in and of itself – paid for with our tax dollars, mind you. Didn’t their contractors have the skills to build the Obamacare portal as well?

I’d like to reiterate my initial doubts about the whole Obamacare behemoth, the same doubts I have had all along. Why should we believe that the federal government can run the American healthcare system better than private enterprise can? The floundering site is just one more bad omen for this program.

NSA Maps Americans’ Social Network Connections [ And More ]

Report: NSA Maps out a Person’s Social Connections

WASHINGTON September 29, 2013 (AP)
For almost three years the National Security Agency has been tapping the data it collects to map out some Americans’ social connections, allowing the government to identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information, The New York times reported.

Citing documents provided by former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden, the Times reported that the NSA began allowing the analysis of phone call and e-mail logs in November 2010 to examine some Americans’ networks of associations for foreign intelligence purposes after NSA officials lifted restrictions on the practice. The newspaper posted the report on its website Saturday.

A January 2011 memorandum from the spy agency indicated that the policy shift was intended to help the agency “discover and track” connections between intelligence targets overseas and people in the United States, the Times reported.

The documents Snowden provided indicated that the NSA can augment the communications data with material from public, commercial and other sources, including bank codes, insurance information, Facebook profiles, passenger manifests, voter registration rolls and GPS location information, as well as property records and unspecified tax data, the paper reported.

NSA officials declined to say how many Americans have been caught up in the effort, including people involved in no wrongdoing, the Times reported. The documents do not describe what has resulted from the scrutiny, which links phone numbers and e-mails in a “contact chain” tied directly or indirectly to a person or organization overseas that is of foreign intelligence interest, the paper reported.

The documents provided by Snowden don’t specify which phone and e-mail databases are used to create the social network diagrams, the Times reported, and NSA officials wouldn’t identify them. However, NSA officials said the large database of Americans’ domestic phone call records revealed in June was not used, the paper reported.

Disclosures from documents leaked by Snowden earlier this year have sparked debate over the government’s surveillance activities and concerns that Americans’ civil liberties have been violated by the data collection. Russia has granted temporary asylum to Snowden, considered a fugitive from justice in the U.S., and his whereabouts remain secret.

=======

See also US NSA and UK GCHQ ‘can spy on smartphones’

5 Ways That Facebook Owns You

Sept 20, 2013 07:00 AM ET // by Talal Al-Khatib

If a stranger approached you asking for your name, age, phone number, names of family and friends, and interests, with the intent of sharing that information to more strangers, you’d probably be hesitant to readily give up that information. Yet that’s essentially what users do when they create their Facebook profiles.

All of that information about you isn’t owned by you. All of those personalized data points belong to Facebook, and there are ways all that sharing can come back to bite you.

Read more …

US Navy Men and Other Military Sound Off About Being Deployed to Syria: “Hell NO! I Did Not Sign Up to Fight For Al-Qaeda”

Re-blogged from The Blaze on 09.03.2013

‘Treason’ Or ‘Free Speech?’ – Are These Anti-Syria Strike Pictures From U.S. Military Members Okay? (Blaze Poll)

Sep. 2, 2013 11:46am

Since the U.S. has started serious discussions about taking military action against Syria, many have publicly spoken out against a possible military strike. And now it appears that some of our uniformed service personnel have come forward to express their disagreement with an attack, any attack on Syria.

More than 2,000 people have “liked” this image that was posted on Sunday.

Photo posted by member of the US Army

There were also photos posted from people wearing the uniforms of the Marines, Navy and Air Force. These have also received Facebook “likes” in the thousands.

US Marine on Syria

US Navy personnel on Syria

Military montage on Syria

Is this kind of behavior allowed? Well, there are rules concerning what uniformed military personnel can and cannot do, especially when it comes to making a political statement. In reviewing the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), Article 88 could come into play here. That section states:

Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

We see that commissioned officers could be called to question if they posted a photo like those seen above. What about enlisted or non-commissioned personnel? The UCMJ has rules for these folks as well. According to Article 92, failure to obey an order could result in being court-martialed.

Any person subject to this chapter who–

(1) violates or fails to obey any lawful general order or regulation;

(2) having knowledge of any other lawful order issued by any member of the armed forces, which it is his duty to obey, fails to obey the order; or

(3) is derelict in the performance of his duties;

shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

Where do you stand on this issue? Should members of the military be allowed to publicly post their disagreement with a possible strike on Syria while they are in uniform? Take part in our Blaze Poll and feel free to comment below.

Follow Mike Opelka on Twitter@stuntbrain

See http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/09/02/treason-or-free-speech-are-these-anti-syria-strike-pictures-from-u-s-military-members-okay-blaze-poll/

Facebook’s ‘Home’ An Ultimate CIA Coup De Gras For 24-7 Citizen Surveillance

What’s even worse than an ever-present gnawing 24-7 FACEBOOK addiction that you MUST check your FB presence every hour of every day lest something dire or wonderful happen that you might miss?

Facebook “Home” – An Absolute CIA Coup De Gras

Now Facebook will never ever go away, and will be “checking on you” pretty much continuously throughout the day, as long as you have your phone turned on and the battery in it – which most people do. Congratulations, with the addition of FB “Home” to your smart phone, you have given the CIA 24-7  non-stop access to your everyday activities and whereabouts, whether you are posting, updating, or not.

I knew it was coming of course, along with others like me, who have been warning about the dangers that Facebook entails for civil liberties for years.  Anyone who has ever listened to one of Mark Zuckerberg’s techno-zombie speeches declaring the “end of personal privacy” [ he has made plenty of them and they are VERY creepy ] had to know that the real purpose of Facebook has alot more to do with escalating CIA and FED surveillance of the American populace than it does “social networking.”

In fact the term “social networking” from the first time it was ever used in the early 2000s has been an ongoing in-your-face Psy Op which was crafted to convince an entire generation of American youngsters that there were real and definite positive social benefits to be gained from posting your every slightest movement or activity to a global online socializing platform where untold millions of other total strangers could weigh in on it and opine. Remind me again about the “real and definite positive social benefit” that I will gain. I keep forgetting.

So now we have FB HOME where every time you pick up your phone you will be staring at your FB presence and the stream of consciousness [ or the lack thereof ] which streams out of it. “Who was it I wanted to call? I forgot.”

Of course the ULTIMATE 24-7 nonstop intravenous drip of Total Facebook-dom into one’s brain has to be Google Glasses, where you can talk to your FB presence and send clips and updates to it from any and every moment in real life that you travel while wearing the techno-specs. Somewhere in a CIA snoop basement some FED spy guy who hasn’t seen the sun in 3 years just had a spontaneous orgasm. OMG. As Chandler Bing would say:

Could spying on the general public with Facebook

BE any easier?

But of course, in a sweeping moment of all out 21st century techno-irony, you are reading this post on your fully “Facebook” enabled Android smart phone and shooting it around your network for others to read and share too. So I am supposed to pipe down the criticism, right?  Not.

Cited:  “With Home, Facebook has crossed the line between something people check — that they have control over, and deploy according to their wishes and needs — to become something that’s always on, checking in with us, fighting for attention, waving people we know in our face. Rather than a tool we use to talk to others, the phone, thanks to Facebook, has become something that communicates to us. And it’s Facebook that gets to do the talking.”

See http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/com-truise-s-biggest-fan-made-a-chat-service-that-provides-both-cool-cats-and-information-privacy-q-a

See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/05/facebook-home_n_3020808.html

See http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2013/04/first-look-facebook-home/

See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/04/facebook-home-android-family-of-apps_n_3015505.html?ir=Technology

See https://21stcenturyscreenshots.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/death-of-online-privacy-gmail-skype/

See https://21stcenturyscreenshots.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/google-glasses-pros-cons/

Pro: Google Glasses Fuse the Human Being to the Internet. Con: Google Glasses Make Every Human Being a 24-7 Mobile Surveillance Unit

The Ban on Google Glass Begins (and they aren’t even available yet)

I’ve been putting this off for months now [ opining about Google Glasses aka “Google Glass” ]. Now that The Five Point Cafe in Seattle has decided to throw down the gauntlet [ and YAY! good for them ] and ban wearing Google Glasses inside the well known eating and drinking establishment, I’ll weigh in as well.

I’m actually familiar with the Five Point Cafe. Every over-worked web designer and Seattle musician knows the establishment as well. It’s just a great place to have breakfast or just relax, have a drink and unwind WITHOUT being bothered, stared at, hit on, or subjected to someone getting up in your face for [ fill-in-the-blank ] reason. I nursed many a late night out, Sunday am  hangover at the Cafe in the 1990s, when I lived in Seattle.

Just about the last thing anyone wants to deal with when they are staring into that first cup of coffee on Sunday morning is some geek with a smartphone taking video of the cafe you are sitting in, or some geek with a pair of Google Glasses on, surveying the cafe interior for their Facebook travel page.

As the promo video below demonstrates, once you wed your soul to a pair of Google Glasses, you are never off the internet. You become the seeing eyes and listening ears for any locale you travel through and you can discreetly bark off instant voice commands to post any photo or video to the web as you go about your life. That’s not unlike carrying a smart phone 24-7 where one can do the very same thing, as everyone loves to point out.

But there IS a difference. When someone is taking a photo or video with the smartphone, you can usually see that they are taking a photo or video, and discreetly step out the way if you choose NOT to be included in their “coolest street scene ever” shots. Ladies who don’t want creepy photos taken up their dresses on the low-down can usually figure it out when some strange guy keeps squatting to tie his shoe next to them, for like …  5 or 6 times, as soon as they see his smart phone in his hand.  Videos posted to YT have documented this newest and ugliest version of the 21st century ‘Smartphone Peeping Tom’ on store surveillance cameras numerous times.

With the coming release of Google Glasses it’s going to be a lot harder for people to know who’s shooting video and taking photos if they are passing through a crowded location and numerous people in the crowd are wearing Google Glasses. Assume if you see someone wearing a pair that they can choose to take photos or video at any time and that you could end up being in their images whether you want to or not. 

I doubt any stranger is going to coming running up to you for you to sign a release for being caught in their Google Glasses video pan by accident. Legally, we are in a whole new territory here.

Exception:  If you happen to be stone drunk, or just dead tired,  nursing a coveted cup of Seattle Jo before getting on the highway for a long road trip, and you happen to be getting yourself sobered up highway travel in Seattle’s Five Point Cafe, you can relax. No one is going to snap your hilariously disheveled “hangover face” and post it to the internet without your knowledge or consent. No Google Glasses allowed.  Jaw dropping ass whuppings by gangs of really mad, terminally unemployed grunge band drummers reserved for any violators and are fully enforced to make a point.

I’ve whipped up a short list of the PROs and CONs of wearing Google Glasses. These techno-specs conjure up a whole plethora of possible legal, ethical, philosophical and privacy concerns. Below are several examples.

Google Glasses PROs: All the Usual Goodies Provided by High Tech Photo and Video Toys

>> You are walking through NYC’s Central Park and you catch the last 6 minutes of the most amazing juggling act ever. A guy with his face painted like The Wizard of Oz is actually juggling three tiny chihuahuas dressed in tuxedos in and out of 10 gallon stetson hats while crooning Patsy Cline tunes. Weird. Awesome. Grab video of that and post it to your YT acc0unt.

>> Driving through Glacier National Park you take photos and video of some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Pacific Northwest, and post it to your travel blog before you get back to the hotel. Wonderful.

>> You go to a Lady Gaga concert in Paris and she splits her pants doing a pole dance. You are only three rows back and you catch the whole thing on video, replete with her snarling and blowing kisses as she runs off stage to change pants. Amazing. It’s on the internet going viral before she returns to the stage with a fresh pair of pants on. Your YouTube account makes a wad of money on the advert income. And you got it first! YES! [ Vigorous fist pump. ] Google Glasses are so awesome.

Google Glasses CONs: Three Problematic Scenarios

>> You are an ex-cop, now the lead guard at one of the most notorious and dangerous prisons in the United States. Every work day is a life threatening hazard and you’ve been injured 14 times in the past 4 years since you took this job. You don’t love this job –  or even like it, but it’s a job and you have a wife 3 kids and a mortgage. One morning your Warden gives you a pair of Google Glasses to wear while you make your rounds. He shows you how to use voice commands to record any violent acting out on your floor with the glasses. He says you can issue a soft voice command and document any inmate who wants to give you grief and then post it to an account used by the prison for legal and medical incidents. “These are for your own legal protection” he states. “When it’s your word against the inmate’s as to what happened, the video won’t lie.”  He tells you the inmates won’t know the glasses are recording photos or video when you interact with them.  “Shouldn’t the inmates be informed?” “Nope,” he says. “If we tell them, they will just cavort for the cameras and behave worse than usual, to see if they can get on the internet and get some attention.” You find the whole situation dubious, but for today you are required to wear these glasses. Three months later you, the Warden and the prison system are sued within an inch of your life by a clever inmate who reads law texts for fun – for taking photos and video of prisoners without their knowledge or consent, and using it as evidence in the legal system. A whole fresh can of worms is opened up legally in the American penal system as to the legality of taking video “on-the-foot” of prisoners by a prison guard, as he passes by prisoner’s cells, and whether such video violates the civil rights of the prisoners, especially if they did not know in advance they would be photographed or video taped by the passing guard.

>> You work in a huge insurance firm. The office building where you work is 30 stories tall and has more than 1300 agents employed there. You’ve been working for this firm for nine years. You recently learned that a small group of veteran insurance executives, their secretaries and several top salesmen have a little “private sex club” that they enjoy sharing on the 28th floor of the building on Fridays about 2 pm. The janitor told you about this one day when he sold you some pot. You didn’t believe him. He told you where it was and said “Walk by some Friday about 2:20 pm, put your ear to the door and listen.” So you did. Woah. You are really jealous, really furious, and wonder why you were never invited, but would be scared to participate if you WERE invited because you are happily married and you love your wife. But you are still mad and this is your chance to GET EVEN. You decide to lay-in-wait for the participants to exit one Friday and you find an excuse to be on the 28th floor. All you have to do is wear your Google Glasses and be standing far enough away that no one exiting the room can see they are different from regular glasses. You end up recording video of every person who walks out of the room, then go white when you see the last man out of the room is the President of the firm. TMI dude. Now what? You know too much to ever forget about what you know, but there is no to rat to but the big boys in Chicago. You will lose your job, for starters. You could bring down the whole firm. Or not. You could sit on the big secret, or even use the footage to blackmail some of the guys leaving that room who stole sales from you and you hate them for it. Then there’s Jack. Jack always hits on your wife at the annual office party and you really especially hate him for that. Now you have video of Jack leaving that room. You could nail him. Should you keep the video, or erase it and act like this all never happened? [ There is a great movie script in here somewhere, don’t you think? ]

>> You’re a really tough, really tired, really bitter L.A. cop whose been on the force for 21 years.  Those 21 years have felt like 42 years. You’re coming apart at the seams and you have been for 6 years now. You have stood in front of a judge twice for slapping your wife so hard it left a mark for a month on the side of her face. Your teenage daughter is living in West Hollywood and you haven’t seen her since she left home when she was fourteen. You are not even sure what color her hair is or if you would recognize her if you did see her. All you want is OUT of this GD job, but you don’t know how to exit your career without losing face. You have just been assigned to dreaded foot patrol in McArthur Park, concluding immediately that someone on the force has it in for you, and now you’d like to know who. At issue these days is gang members wearing Google Glasses then provoking the cops to any sort of confrontation while wearing the techno-specs, then catching video of the melee and posting it all to the internet before the officer even has time to call for back-up. Laws aren’t on the books for this stuff and no one knows how to proceed. But you have already decided how you are going to handle this one. Anyone wearing a pair of Google Glasses who even looks your way is going to get their face and glasses smashed together into one bloody goo, then hauled off the to the slammer for 30 days minimum. A medical person may – or may not – get to them to stitch their face up and pick the metal out of their forehead for a week or two. Once two or three of these unfortunates make it back out onto the streets, the word will be out: “Like the way your face looks? Better leave your Google Glasses at home then, where they will remain separate from the flesh on your face.” Personally, you don’t even care if you stand in front of a judge again over messing up some jerk’s face and twisting his Google Glasses into the side of his skull. You are on your way out anyway, why not do it with LA COP panache?

More:

  1. The Ban on Google Glass Begins (and they aren’t even available yet)

    Forbes-7 minutes ago
    A Seattle bar has declared that ‘Google Glass‘ (aka Google Glasses)–not yet available to the public–are banned “in advance” from the
    Google Glass app identifies you by your fashion sense

    Highly Cited

    -New Scientist-Mar 7, 2013

    The Guardian

    Business 2 Community

    The Epoch Times

    Northern Voices Online

    Hot Hardware

    Tapscape

    Washington Times
  2. Forget Google Glass, Google Debuts ‘Talking Shoe’ Concept At

    TechCrunch-Mar 9, 2013
    In case critics think this is another one of Google’s flights of profitless creative fancy, Arts Copy Code is deliberately about improving advertising.
    +

    Show more

  3. Designers Showed Us How To Make Google Glass Look

    Business Insider-by Dylan Love-20 hours ago
    Nickolay Lamm and Mark Pearson have come up with a concept design that hides most of Google Glass behind the user’s head. By concealing
  4. Beyond Google Glass: Creating next generation augmented reality

    Gizmag-2 hours ago
    Google Glass is not the immersive experience I’m looking for,” Humphreys told the audience in a conference room of Austin’s downtown Omni
  5. So This Guy Walks into a Bar Wearing Google Glass

    Forbes-21 hours ago
    Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google appear at the keynote with the Google Glass to introduce the Google Class Explorer edition during Google’s
  6. Google Glass: the scientists behind Google’s augmented reality

    Telegraph.co.uk-Mar 9, 2013
    If Thrun makes machines more intelligent, his co-creator on Google Glass, Babak Parviz, specialises in making humans more machine.
  7. Seattle dive bar becomes first to ban Google Glass

    CNET-by Casey Newton-Mar 8, 2013
    Google Glass won’t be available to consumers for months, but is the first Seattle business to ban in advance Google Glasses,” the post reads.
  8. Google Glass to recognize you by your FASHION SENSE

    Register-Mar 8, 2013
    The überhyped Google Glass augmented-reality specs will take a step beyond mere facial recognition technology, and recognize you not only
  9. Seattle drinking den bans Google Glass geeks

    Register-Mar 8, 2013
    A Seattle bar has issued a preemptive ban of Google Glass to preserve the privacy of its tipplers. The 5 Point Cafe in Seattle announced plans
  10. Google Glass learns how your friends dress, picks ’em out in a crowd

    Engadget-by Daniel Cooper-Mar 8, 2013
    InSight is an app being developed for Google Glass by Duke University that helps you identify your chums, even when they’ve got their back to

Stay up to date on these results:

Blog Author’s Diary Entry, January 26th 2013: Personal Privacy A Cherished Experience

Today I am writing a diary entry for my present readers and subscribers, which total a whopping 300-400 people combined.  Perfect! That’s a tiny amount of followers but it’s Aok with me.

Call me SANE but I have no longer have any interest in having tens of thousands of total strangers know every https://i0.wp.com/journalbuddies.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/diary_writing.pngmove I make on the internet and become privy to every thought I think out loud on a blog.

I did that already, several years back. At around  5,900 “followers” I had to pull my main news blog, as I discovered that dozens of “followers” were just ripping off my articles every day and re-posting every single of them somewhere on the web as if it was their own content [ which is NOT the same as a courteous re-blog or proper re-post. ]

These copycat sites were streaming every post I wrote 24-7, not missing a one. They were all plastered with adverts, yielding someone somewhere a steady second income. Nothing will make a retiree with a heart condition who lives on beans and rice [ mostly ] more irate than discovering that some young bourgeois internet punk who doesn’t even need the money is milking your news blog for cash, just because he CAN.

Realizing that my daily labor of alternative news reporting was filling someone else’s bank account with cash, I decided to back out, and begin again.  Now now I am several months into the “starting over” phase as a blogger and alternative news reporter. This experience is just one more symptom of the intrinsic dishonesty that pervades nearly everything and every place where human beings gather in the early 21st century. It’s more rare to find an honest American than a dishonest one in the sadly shabby carnival barker dishonest “new America”.

But in spite of such recent setbacks, life is good out here in personal privacy land, aka  the wilds of fill-in-the-blank anywhere America.

While everyone else is straining their blood pressure  to the breaking point trying to become even more “internet famous” I was delighted today when I discovered that I could completely erase my entire Google Plus profile, lock stock and barrel. I loved it. One click and an extended circle of porn stars, internet weirdos and people I had never heard of and never met disappeared forever, no longer being able to follow my every move online. And oh yeah… DARPA had included me in their Google circle. I put a stop to that in a hurry. Ahhhhh.

I’ve noticed and have written before that more than half of all “social networking” is veiled surveillance by the FED in affiliation with the biggest web “powers-that-be” i.e. Google and Facebook. So that should not be news to my readers. I agree with Julian Assange. I also believe that Facebook is the most appalling public spy machine and data mining operation ever launched, right next to what Google Plus is trying to do to emulate it.

Back Story:

I was in my 30s when  the internet came around. I had already lived half of my adult life without it. These days I try to emulate that “pre-internet” “pre-cell phone” life experience as much as possible, and I absolutely LOVE it.

It’s a stress free relaxed existence, truly private, [ yes this is still possible ] and uncomplicated by running to a phone or a computer screen every 30 seconds to see what someone just said about me, someone who may have “friended” me but whom I have never met or had any significant face to face encounter with whatsoever. There is at least a 50% chance that behind every good looking FB photo there is a NOT so good looking impersonator trolling the web for new victims to CATFISH.  [ Funny, I always knew there was a damn good reason that I didn’t want any photos of me online. My intuition from years ago has been fully vindicated. Check. ]

Thus are the times we live in, and they are STRANGE indeed.

The advent of the internet has launched an era of twisted extremes. For those who love to learn [ like me ] it has brought the super digital glorious library of the entire world into my living room, thus making research on any topic a heavenly experience. Unless my computer is on the blink, I rarely walk into a public library anymore. I have it all right at home.

But the dark side of the internet is getting darker, more bizarre and increasingly difficult for normal people to fathom. Recent breaking news about a world famous Notre Dame football player who had an “online love affair” with a faked non-existent human being invented by hostile pranksters for more than 3 years has set the nation back on it’s feet more than a little bit. That’s hard to swallow, and truly strains credulity. Even Anderson Cooper was dumbstruck. Jay Leno and other comedians have had a field day with this story. Well, no wonder.

I had already watched a few episodes of MTV’s “Catfish” and had seen the original movie. I marveled at the magnitude of the stupidity of some of today’s young people.  I really genuinely pity these kids. They are SO LOST that they are actually self duped into thinking that they are “having a relationship” with a mystery set of “pretty girl face” photos and Facebook responses which proceed over time.

Anyone trying to explain what “Catfishing” is to a teenager from the 1950s would be met with guffaws of mocking laughter so loud they would fill a sports stadium. Believe it or not, there was an era in the United States when teenagers and twenty somethings had some moxie, had real social cunning [ as opposed to a Facebook social life ]  genuine emotional insight, and they also had a brain or two. They were more psychologically and emotionally “adults” at age fourteen in the 1950s than most of today’s young people are at age twenty-nine.

Which brings me to my next query. Aren’t todays’ sociologists, psychologists and psychiatrists as alarmed at all this as I am? And if not, then WHY NOT? Our 21st century young people are Facebook brilliant but they are social idiots.  Be concerned. Be VERY concerned. These are the men and women who will inherit the nation, for God’s sake.

Over and over again it turns out some handsome young guy has been having an internet relationship with a bashful closeted gay man craving male attention by pretending to be a woman online, or vice versa [ a lesbian who pretends to be a man online ] and this sick charade goes on, not for just weeks, but for months, and then for years. If I could time travel back to … ohh let’s say the late 1980s, and tell this cautionary tale to my own “20 something” self, she would refuse to believe that the future would be a world where stupidity reigns, and is celebrated by every kind of TV display imaginable. Who would want to live in that future?

Yet that is exactly the American idiocracy rising that I inhabit in the early years of the 21st century. Sitting here in this future, which my past self could have NEVER imagined, I do long for a time in America when normalcy did not include weird internet pathologies like being “catfished” online.

Is it madness? Absolutely. Is it the newest socio-psychological internet era disease unique to the second decade of the internet years? Yep. And there will be more and more new kinds of bizarre clinical pathologies which come online as the internet decades continue to unfurl. We have unleashed a powerful global medium which will only unerringly reflect the lack of spiritual maturity and the dire extent of strange new mental illnesses which the modern era continues to spawn. We are far past “fasten your safety belts.” We are entering the yawning digital unknown. I suspect our aggregate social scientists have been caught utterly unprepared for all of it.

The only antidote for these emerging modern online pathologies is:

1) raw visceral native intelligence which doesn’t come from book learning,  

2) true spiritual discernment, or

3) Limit one’s time online 

So if you lack those first two qualities, and refuse to practice the third you may be out of luck. Wisdom can’t be purchased for any price anywhere. And one can only hope that by the experience of living one might be so fortunate over time to acquire a few morsels of same.

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As for me, I am more than a little bit fine these days. Life is tranquil and loaded with insights. As I observe all the twisting and gnashing of the early 21st century, I am less inclined to want to write about much of it, for I see it as detritus, not unlike hyper-stressed animal droppings. The world is straining under the weight of it’s own foolishness, just as Jesus said it would in the end. Nothing surprises me now. Whereas two or three years ago I would have ranted to no end on one of my blogs upon learning that young American couples were voluntarily agreeing to be RFID micro-chipped for the silliest of reasons [ maybe just so they could appear on the evening news, as that is often considered reason enough ] today in early 2013 I just make a note of such news items as one more up-tick in the flood tide of news which indicates the rise of the coming Beast Era, brief as it will be.

I steel my soul for what comes in each day’s newscasts, and the evening news is often so gory that I turn away from dinner and can’t eat while watching it. Television offerings are filled with macabre serial killer crime shows and shows about witches vampires witchcraft and explicitly portrayed murder of every type and variety. Yet media executives bristle with defiance when it’s pointed out that young people take lives with the reckless abandon of popping a can of Red Bull. Our so called leaders in Congress and the Senate lack the moral spine to stand up to the horror masters in Hollywood who fill American TV airwaves and movie theaters with the most hideous and heinously explicit portrayals of deviance. Every soul who is participating in the creation of media portrayals of explicit horror that mar the soul of an innocent American young person will have to answer to their maker one day for what they are doing, which is the graphic advertising of ever more horrific ways to kill another human being.

All a visiting guest from another world would need to do to ascertain the level of abject depravity to which American society has now sunk, is to peruse the evening TV shows for about 4 minutes. That snapshot records a sharp and lurid “slice of American life” which truly turns the stomach.  A day of reckoning will come in the future where the souls who agreed to participate in the degradation of the American TV airwaves will have to answer for their misuse of the God given gift of creativity. They will have to answer to their Creator for how they used this gift. I hope a Hollywood movie executive or TV producer reads this diary entry. You are not off the hook.

As for me, I screen my TV viewing carefully and I am fine. But a little four year old child lacks the ability to do this. And an impressionable and depressed teen aged male also lacks the discernment to comprehend that it’s probably not the smartest choice to get addicted to “The Following” which is TV’s newest slide into graphic depravity served up as entertainment for the nation.

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I’ll resume periodic blogging gradually as the year opens up, but frankly it’s often just as pleasant NOT to write about what my spiritual eyes behold, as there’s not a whole lot of it that is encouraging. Recent events have horrified and saddened us all. Yet I do race to embrace any good news where I find it.

I still believe very much in the heart and soul of the American people, but her leaders are failing her and her media and video game moguls are trying to literally corrupt her actual soul by advertising horror, murder, death and carnage nonstop. Only the blind refuse to see this. Only the deaf refuse to hear it. And those who choose to remain mute by not speaking out about it will suffer the eventual consequences of allowing it to go on unabated and escalate unchecked. It has already come to the point where children and teens are not safe to attend public schools or visit malls and movie theaters. How much worse will the massacres become before Congress acts to legislate the graphic movie, video game, and TV violence out of existence? How far will the madness go before the men and women who profess to lead America finally act?

We now never know as a nation when the next young person is going to snap and gun down his own family, or a room full of strangers, or a room full of children. But we MUST try to legally and methodically clean up the sordid American media landscape so that the entertainment industry will be forced to STOP providing the macabre how-to scenarios for personal killing sprees, and then stoop so low as to routinely broadcast those twisted formulas to the masses as “family entertainment.”

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