Categories
Technology Thoughts

President Trump doesn’t understand the concept of the “Public Square”

A draft of President Trump’s Executive Order “Preventing Online Censorship”

President Trump today signed an Executive Order that threatens Internet based social networking platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. He says that these platforms are the 21st century equivalent of the public square and that the protections afforded by the First Amendment to the Constitution apply to these companies.

He has it totally wrong. The Internet is the public square and social networking sites are private companies that operate on the public square. If you don’t like what they do you can build your own site to compete with them. It’s important to remember that only the government is restricted from censoring you. Your school, your employer, or any private organization that you don’t control is allowed to control your behavior, to a certain extent, while on their property or using their service.

This is not to say that the big social networking companies aren’t partly to blame for his reaction. They are cow towing to a vocal minority that seeks to silence opposition to the main stream narrative of events of the day.

During this COVID-19 pandemic Twitter and YouTube have suspended accounts and taken down videos of scientists critical of the lockdown. I don’t believe that a person is sitting there at these companies manually taking down accounts and videos but this is done automatically when bunches of trolls flag accounts and videos reporting them as fake or harmful. That’s where the problem lies. It’s easy for humans to game the system of an algorithm that just responds to clicks.

The social media sites should relax their algorithms and just let the users decide for themselves. It’s bad enough that these automated systems create filter bubbles where all people see are views and news that support their own biases. Now we have these same systems shutting down debate.

I miss the early days of the Internet and the World Wide Web. It was such an open place to be where you could learn almost anything. You still can but you have to use a mental machete to chop away all the crap.

Categories
Books Thoughts

Back to reading books

It’s been quite some time since I finished a book. The last couple of years had me traveling and doing other work that kept me super busy. I kept reading during those times but it was really hit or miss and a tough slog.

Since I decided to leave the family business I surprisingly still didn’t have a lot of time for reading. Seems there are plenty of things to do even without going into an office 5 days a week.

But, the month of July I made a concerted effort to get back on the reading track. I get a lot of great information from books that I wouldn’t get otherwise. And if I’m not getting information I’m at the very least gaining someone else’s perspective.

So during this month I was able to finish the following books.

The Pioneers by David McCullough

I never knew the history of Ohio and how it was settled. I’m sure I won’t retain all the details in this book but it was interesting to discover the who, what, and why. It’s also so easy to forget that the Midwest was, not all that long ago, the western frontier of the United States.

How to Fake Your Way Into Getting Rich on Instagram by Trey Ratcliff

World famous photographer Trey Ratcliff rips the veil off several “big” influencers on Instagram and illustrates how he believes they were able to amass a large “following” (in quotes because their followers are most likely fake) and how they used that to make themselves money. I believe this book is an attempt to shame Instagram and other social networks like it to better police their users in order to prevent fraud and to stop cheapening the accounts with an actual following. Ratcliff lets you know what services they used and how they used them in order to pump up their numbers. It’s always good to know how the fakery is done.

The Ketogenic Bible

I have already read other books on the science behind low carbohydrate diets. I was keenly interested in this one because it focuses on the Ketogenic Diet in particular. Most people who know me know that I watch what I eat. Meaning that I watch the food as I shovel it into my mouth. But, I’ve never subscribed to a particular diet. I just eat when I’m hungry and I eat whatever I feel like in the moment. The reason this piqued my interest is because for over 2 decades I’ve been living the lifestyle of what people are calling Intermittent Fasting. I stumbled into this all on my own. That combined with my lack of a sweet tooth means that I also tend to eat foods that are low in carbohydrates. So I was curious to know the science behind how these processes work inside the body. It was my belief that I slip in and out of ketosis (not to be confused with ketoacidosis) very easily because of how long I’ve been unknowingly practicing intermittent fasting. And I believe I was correct!

All the links above are Amazon Affiliate links. So thanks if you choose to buy. I do need an income source now you know.