The Gross National Debt

Friday, December 16, 2016

You may be too stupid if...

... you need a social media website to control what you see.

... you can't tell the difference between real news and satire.

... you scream about fake news while daily ingesting metric tons of it because it fits your preconceived notions of the truth.

... you won't believe mainstream middle-of-the-road media that correctly quotes real people using their real names and real titles but swear that media which uses "sources close to the situation", "anonymous sources," "speaking on condition of anonymity" and "reliable sources" are absolutely true.

If you are one of these people and you are now offended, well, chew on this: Reality is under no obligation to conform itself to your expectations.

Yassee, Facebooger is going to start tagging websites and stories because some people are too stupid and will not think for themselves. I see this as a prelude to actually blocking such sites.

FB is positioning itself as your mental nanny. Apparently this is necessary because some of you are stupid. You need someone to reign in what little brain you have. You need someone to pen you tightly in a corral and manage what you're allowed to see because "The social media giant was sharply criticized after the Nov. 8 election, as false stories were blamed for adding confusion to a dynamic campaign season. Since then, fake news and conspiracy theories were also identified as a motivating factor in a man's assault on a pizza restaurant in Washington, D.C."

In short, the overlords have determined you need to be kept on a leash.

The greatest and worst thing about you being restrained? You'll never notice it.

The hidden messages

One of the be-damned blessings of social media sights (correct words thankyouverymuchforasking) is the ability to block someone and stuff.

A blessing because you get to block ad hominem, which I do not tolerate on my pages. Attack the argument all you want, we'll rock that. Go after the person, then Bye Felicia!

A blessing because you get to stop the flood of nonsense.

A blessing because you get to control what comes in.

A curse because too many people use to just eliminate anything and anyone who even mildly disagree with their Weltanschauung. That's sad. If you surround yourself only with people who are carbon copies of yourself, then you are essentially in Plato's Cave.

A curse because you will (not may, but WILL), miss important things.

A curse because you are limiting yourself, not those around you.


This ability to block, deny, reject, screen, hide or whatever is not 100 percent.

It can still show up in your feeds.

A friend copies & pastes. You may do this.

This is where I'm straddling that electrified bobwar fence. Just can't decide if I support C&P to share information that's blocked.

The best way to 'splain is to give you an example. Take Facebooger.


You block Phread on FB. This means you don't want to see his stuff and you don't want him to see your stuff. All in all you're just another brick in the wall. (and you sang that, didn't you?)

Ignatious is your friend. Ignatious is Phread's friend.

Ignatious takes one of your comments and copies & pastes it so Phread can see it.

Phread can then comment, but you'll never see it. Well, you can see it if Phread does another C&P.

You blocked Phread to keep this from happening.

Does Ignatious have the right to share your comments with Phread? Without looking into the minutiae of the law, I say yes, he does.

Should Ignatious share your comments with Phread? I say no. Again, if you wanted Phread to see it, you'd unblock him.

And yet, when Ignatious shares your comments, Phread may learn something useful. That I support.

As me bud PH observed just a bit ago, "These convo's start looking funny with pieces missing."

They sure do. Sometimes it amuses me immensely.  Sometimes it makes me very sad.

When someone blocks me, I think it is hilariously depressing. I laugh at the person who blocked me. Then I am sad because I got blocked. When I block someone I have the same reaction. I'm downtrodden because that the person couldn't stay rational and I'm giddy because I drove someone around the bend.


Like prit near everything else in life, I do have a solution.


You ain't gotta like it. But you can show respect and try to understand.

To those I've blocked, if you read this, you're welcome to ask me why you are blocked. I'll explain and give you a chance to rebut. If I made a mistake, I'll own up and unblock. If my reasons are justified, well, I believe in second chances too.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Handing your eyes back to you

Socrates, the guy behind the Socratic method of learning, was executed by the government at the time because he was pissing people off. He drank hemlock, according to the stories, but it was still a legal execution. Or, as so many people like to call it, murder.

Actual assassination attempt aside, a lot of people take tremendous offense at my questions.

I don't get that.

A lot of people won't answer my questions. Instead, they roll their eyes, engage in evasions and change the subject. My favorite evasion is "You can't understand."

That may be the truth. In some situations, it absolutely is a truth. If you are a parent, can you explain to someone else what being a parent is like? Nope. They must experience it. No one can tell you what being a new mom or dad is like. But once you experience it, no one has to tell you. So yeah, if you're not a parent, you can't understand.

It's still an evasion.

Why? What good does that do?

These people who love to DER (dramatic eye roll) also love to complain about people who don't understand.


Then come the questions which can be answered, but people won't. They roll their eyes. They evade. They dismiss. Persist and they start hurling insults.

EHB says, "That's because an eye roll doesn't require that the recipient take a year of college level political science and philosophy to understand. 'You're interrogating this from the wrong perspective' does."

To which I replied, perhaps I don't know enough to ask the proper questions.

Could be.


So let me grind your gears a minnet. Here are some simple (simple to me anyway questions). Yes or no answers is all that's needed.

Can a person change gender?

Can a person be attracted to members of the same gender?

Can a person be attracted to men and women?

Can an adult make decisions for himself? (Use of him is gender neutral herein because I don't feel like typing a long string of pronouns each time.)

Does a person have the right to try to be happy, as long as he doesn't harm anyone?

Does an adult have the right to change himself?

My friends on the <- and the -> will probably answer some of these questions differently. However, they should all say the answer to the last two questions is yes.


These are still yes & no anwer questions. However, few people will be satisfied with a yes or no.

If you agree to the try to be happy premise and change premise then –

Can a person change the gender he is attracted to?

here's one that'll spark argument.

If a person has the right to change himself (you all said yes), then does a person have the right to try to change which gender he is attracted to? (and dangling prepositions is something up with which I shall not put!)

The answer has to be yes. Otherwise you are not being honest in your earlier answers. (For the record, I don't care who you are attracted to. If you're happy, nuf said. If you are not happy, try to change things without harming someone.)

And this is why I don't understand the furor surrounding programs that try to change who a person is sexually attracted to. Make straight people gay. May gay people straight. Whatever. If the program is voluntary and the person is an adult and signs up to try to change, then why do you care? If the person does not want to change, why do you care?

If the person wants to be happy, then do they have the right to try to change?

How can you tell someone they can't change, if they are not harming anyone?