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Too many fail videos Mon, Mar 11, 2019
Things I'll never try because I've seen too many fail videos:  flaming shots of alcohol, hoverboards, exercise ball wars. #sociology

Criminalizing goodwill Tue, Mar 05, 2019
Some people got convicted and fined for leaving jugs of water out in the Arizona desert to help migrants likely entering the country illegally.  I get that we are a nation of laws and borders and by not respecting them our society will collapse.  But at some point it'd be nice to just admit that we're talking about human beings here.  Walking, breathing, thinking human beings with families, hobbies, ideas.  Oh, and they're not just on a walking tour of the southwest desert.  They're fleeing for their lives, from gun and gang violence and political instability.  Maybe we don't owe them anything, but could we at least not make it a crime to give them water? #politics

Everyday phrases Wed, Feb 13, 2019
Here's a brief list of phrases I say every single day of my life: 
  • It's [current year].
  • How are you literally this bad at [your task]?
  • We've launched rockets to the moon, but we can't accomplish [some simple task].
  • Can you just be better?
  • Are you fucking kidding?
El fin. #psychology

Don't talk about politics Thu, Jan 31, 2019
I've been thinking about this topic for a long time now, and I finally found someone to say exactly what I was thinking.  Bill Maher put it so eloquently on Real Time a few weeks/months ago: 
"Everyone these days says that the way to bridge our frightful partisan divide is to talk to the other side so we can hear each other's point of view.  No!  That's exactly what you shouldn't do.  It never works.  No one ever flips to your side.  Talk to them, yes.  But not about politics."
Holy christ I couldn't agree more.  I don't know what it is about me personally, but I find myself constantly surrounded by people who want to talk politics, and by politics I mean Republican party talking points like how all immigrants are ISIS and how NASA invented climate change so it could sell more telescopes.  One way to make America great again would be to retreat back to a time when politics wasn't talked about openly.  I'd like that. #politics

Trump umbrella Thu, Jan 17, 2019
So there's this video of Donald Trump getting on a plane and leaving his umbrella behind. 



This is troubling for two reasons.  One is that I honestly don't think he knows how to close an umbrella.  But hey, not everyone knows everything.  Knowledge can be taught; not a big deal. 

But the bigger issue is that this small act is emblematic of an immensely larger issue:  Trump is used to having people do things for him, like carrying his umbrella, or paying off his opponents.  But more importantly, he's used to having other people take care of problems he creates.  Instead of simply bringing the umbrella inside the plane, or finding some minion to hand it to, he simply leaves it there for someone else to take care of.  The epitome of "Not my problem." 

I know this is a small issue, and everybody freaks out about small issues, and everybody is tired of people freaking out about small issues.  But as the president of the country, a democratically-elected representative of the people should at least be capable of showing a small semblance of connection to the people he represents.  This small event shows that Trump is ridiculously out of touch with reality. #politics

Political duopoly Wed, Jan 16, 2019
I can't stop thinking about this podcast episode I listened to by Freakonomics called America's Hidden Duopoly, which is all about how America's political system is specifically rigged to have two competing parties which work together to stamp out competition and impede overall progress in order to maintain their duopoly.  It keeps coming to mind every time there's a politicized issue in the news (which is literally constantly), and it's plain to see that it's just another example of a dividing line to keep both sides strong and opposed to each other.  The idea is sort of a conspiracy theory, but the fact that politics is literally an industry that generates money sort of lends some credibility. #politics

Baby hands Wed, Jan 16, 2019
One piece of advice I would give to every person on the planet is this:  Don't touch a baby's hands.  There's this weird thing that happens when people meet a baby for the first time, and I don't know if it's an American thing or if it's universal.  But people have this innate desire to shake the baby's hand like they would greet a fellow adult.  Or sometimes they just want to grab the hand and give it a little squeeze because baby hands are cute. 

Please for the love of Bob don't do this.  Babies put their hands in their mouths.  Like a lot.  And by touching their hands, you're introducing germs, which will inevitably get into their mouths and into their bodies.  Instead, touch their feet, or their elbows, or the top of their heads.  I don't know much about babies, but when I was introduced to one of my friends' newborns several years ago, I didn't know what to do so I palmed its head like a basketball.  This felt stupid at the time, but in hindsight it was one of the smartest things I could've done. #health

Drug legality counterpoint Fri, Jan 11, 2019
I've felt for a while now that all drugs should be legal, not because I want to use them all, but for other reasons.  Most rebuttals to this involve the standard "they're addictive" or "they're dangerous", which I really don't find compelling in a country with cigarettes and more guns than people. 

However, a friend presented a compelling counter-argument, largely summarized as "people are stupid":  If people were able to get all kinds of drugs legally, they would accidentally leave them out on their kitchen counter because they're stupid.  And kids would find them and ingest them, whether intentionally or not.  This already happens when kids eat their parents' pot brownies.  But imagine how much worse of a situation it would be if it was an actually harmful drug, like heroin or meth.  Alcohol doesn't quite suffer from this problem because the human body sort of has an alcohol overdose prevention technique built-in, i.e. vomiting.  But from my limited understanding, something like meth immediately and irreparably changes your life in a very negative way.  Legally available drugs might put children's lives at risk because of how stupid people are. #health

Default abilities Wed, Jan 09, 2019
A lot of video game characters come with default abilities, like sprinting, jumping, etc.  Some sci-fi and fantasy game characters also have semi-magical abilities like invisibility and teleportation. 

I was pleased to learn about the default abilities that my human child came pre-installed with.  Of course she had the standard abilities like a rooting reflex and the ability to grip.  But she also had the ability to hiccup, and also a light-induced sneeze reflex.  I would say my favorite of her abilities is her stretch which involves arching her back while lifting her arms and making a kissy face, and her standard vocalization which sounds like a hiccup but isn't.  What's most amazing about these abilities is that they were all present in her first few hours of life, no unlocking or leveling-up required. #lifestyle

Social security empathy Tue, Jan 08, 2019
A Facebook friend posted a thing about how bad of a rate of return we get for social security taxes.  Something like, "If I put in X amount of money during my lifetime, why do I only get 0.1X back?"  I responded with, "Because social security isn't just for you."  He wrote a rebuttal and I was gonna reply, but it reminded me of that thing from a while back called, "I Don't Know How To Explain To You That You Should Care About Other People".  Social security exists as a safety net largely for poor people, not as a retirement plan for the middle class.  Is it perfect?  No.  But the fact that you're asking the question implies that (a) social security isn't meant for you, and (b) you probably have a hard time empathizing with people who haven't achieved the ideal level of Ayn-Randian objectivism.  Getting into an argument about it, or about a lot of things for that matter, rarely serves any purpose. #politics

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