The difference is – you have to use something before your criticism makes any sense. That was the mistake the music industry made with Napster. What the journalists made regarding bloggers (we’re they’re sources, tried to say over and over but they don’t listen they just like to talk and be admired and our job as usual is to give them money and stfu). – Dave Winer, Tech Is About People

I am seeing lots of people in my social feeds reacting as if these are normal times. As much as I would like to think people will not elect a felon, who cannot even vote for himself, as President, I think too many will rather see that as a badge of honor.

For those who wish to use their vote to protest the U.S. participation in the genocide occurring in Gaza with their vote for President, I suggest you consider two things. First, if Trump is President rather than Biden would our participation be any different? Second, if Trump is President, which means Republicans rule, how likely do you think you can succeed at forcing change? Finally, accept that for any person to be elected President in the United States they need to be a viable national candidate with a real chance to win the electoral college. The candidate must win states not just votes. I also think for change to really occur the Senate is what needs to change more than the President. No law passes in the United States without votes from 60 or more Senators. No person becomes Supreme Court Justice without votes from 60 or more Senators. Focus on the Senate. How do your state’s Senators view Gaza?

The Debate Never Resolved.

Currently reading: Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLean 📚

Yesterday I read an article about James Buchanan that is inspired by this book, which I remembered I had in my Amazon library but not yet started reading. Consequently, I started reading and once again reminded of how the United States was founded.

The narrative taught when I was in school is that most people who immigrated to the new world did so to escape persecution, which was true for many people who came to the continent AFTER it was discovered. The motives behind the discovery of the continent was driven by wealth, whether through a shorter trade route to the east or the appropriation of land or gold.

Common folks who left Europe for a better life where not too much involved with the government or the decision to declare independence from England. The people who formed the United States did so to preserve their wealth, much of which starting to be generated from the plantations of the south.

Once the revolutionary war was over the people who sought independence had to decide how the new world was to be governed. Eventually what we know as the U.S. Constitution was drafted, but there was strong debate over whether there should be a single entity and a strong federal government or a federation of sovereign states. Advocates of a federation, who became known as anti-federalists, were fearful of a central government impinging upon individual rights, which honestly had much to do with the right to become as wealthy was one wishes in whatever manner one wishes, including enslaving others.

History says a compromise was reached with the Bill of Rights and the Federalists won the day, but the Federalists/Anti-Federalist debate, which was about power, continues. It lead to the Civil War and it is the root of the Dobbs Decision, and as this book chronicles, the Anti-Federalist cause has been systemically been carried out over the last five decades. I am convinced their success is in large part due to the profound lack of knowledge about history.

Why do tech reviews matter? Are iPad sales affected in any way by the ‘iPadOS is too constrained" reviews? I don’t think they are, and I think most push back against the “formulaic” iPad reviews is due to the tone of the reviews more than the content.

Remembering Sacrifice

As I reflect upon what I wrote earlier today about Memorial Day, it occurs to me that my thoughts about the meaning and purpose of this day are consistent with how I was always taught. Memorial Day is a day of remembering those who died in service for our country, yes, and because of those sacrifices I enjoy freedom. What an individualistic point of view to think of how I benefited from the sacrifice others! What is lost in narrowing the view down to myself is seeing the good in the sacrifice.

We live in an extremely cynical world that teaches humanity only seeks personal advantage, that we are primarily driven by self-interest. The concept of sacrifice pushes against this cynicism. People who run into a burning building and sign up to serve in the military do not want to die but they understand the possibility and and do anyway because they are not driven by self-interest.

It is good to remember those who died in service to our country, and it is even better to remember why they died, which was less for our individual freedom and more for something beyond themselves, something good that they themselves would not enjoy. Cynicism and contempt of others is not the lesson of Memorial Day. Cynicism teaches us why there is evil, but in a such a worldview the far more interesting and important questions is, why is there any good?

On Memorial Day, when we remember the sacrifices of those who died serving our country during war, we ought to reflect on what it is that these people thought they died for. Did they die for my freedom or our freedom? Is it not the case that the concept of sacrifice is the antithesis of individualism?

Unofficial start of summer based on the blooming rhododendron.

The tariffs on imports from China first imposed by Trump and continued by Biden did not increase jobs in the U.S. but increased prices. While imports from China decreased they were simply replaced by imports from other countries. Assuming the purpose for the tariffs was to increase jobs in the U.S., it should be obvious this would happen because the tariffs don’t address the root cause problem which is that corporations are not really interested in hiring more workers in the United States. On the whole the United States is the last place a corporation wants to add labor because it has the highest cost. Imposing tariffs is simply pandering for votes.

Dave shared an easy way to transcribe voice mails to Google Docs, and I read it I thought, “that’s cool” but then asked myself, when is the last time you received a voice mail that you would want transcribed? For me voice mail is like fax machines, technologies of the past that are still around me but no longer really used. At my age I struggle to let these go, like our home phone land line.

Feeds All Around provides a way to discover RSS feeds related to a mastodon account. The app appears to be able to dig out the RSS feed from a site. Because it uses Mastodon it provides a way to drill down to followers of followers, and therefore is a bit of a rabbit hole. I plugged in my Mastodon handle and did some exploring. Found via Darren Hester.

Cicada Brood emergence time cycles with prime numbers like 13 and 17 years may be an evolutionary protection against predators.

Eleven elements of the Periodic Table are in the human body. The human body is an incredible, but there is a surprising amount about it, particularly the brain, that we don’t know.

It was a beautiful July day here in southeast Michigan.

The spread of major sports streaming outlets is getting ridiculous. Netflix will be streaming two NFL games on Christmas day. At least that is a service I already subscribe to rather than Apple TV.

New iPads: Deja vu All Over Again

I was mostly offline the last week as I on the road visiting family and friends. Catching up on my feeds, I see the reactions to the reviews of the new iPads that are predictable because they have been the same for the last five years or so now. All new iPad hardware is fantastic but hampered by the operating system software. The real problem with these observations is that they are redundant and pointless unless one is reviewing a new release of iPad OS.

Read More →

Finished reading: The Jesus Driven Life by 📚Michael Hardin. The author’s use of the work of Rene Girard to understand humanity, and from that understand Jesus and by extension God is compelling.

1984 Is In The Past

Dave Winer recently wrote that we in the United States are already living in an authoritarian state. He cites as evidence the probability that SCOTUS will say the President of the United States is in fact above the law and notes that the Supreme Court has always been above the law. If one takes a honest look back at the history of the United States you will see that it has always been an oligarchy rather than a democracy.

Read More →

It’s ironic that people who mock the idea of college students equating speech to violence whenever they react to somebody saying things they don’t like then have college students arrested for saying things they don’t like. It’s really all about control.

I am beginning to think that while much focus is on the upcoming Presidential election what may be more important is Democrat majorities in the Senate and House. Only a single party majority of both houses makes impeachment a real power over the President. Trump could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” and a Republican Senate would not find him guilty. It will also take a Democrat majority to make any reform of the Supreme Court possible.