Some Assistance with Perspective
It has come to my attention as I watch TV and listen to the radio that many people have lost the ability to understand numbers. Specifically keeping things in perspective.
Recently on the Drudge Report there was a giant bold 120 dead concerning this Pig Flu nonsense.
120 isn't hardly news. In fact more people died around the world in the time it took me to write this sentence from AIDS.
The media likes to scare people. They like to throw around numbers. I am going to help you. Buy a bag of Jelly beans. Seriously.
Ok Now count how many J-Beans you have (you chocoholics can use M&Ms if you perfer). Regardless of how many you have this is you POOL. The pool is all mighty in separating nonsense from reality.
Ready? Lets say 5000 people died in the USA from this new virus. Is that a lot? Lets use the pool to figure that out.
First off there are 300,000,000 people roughly in the United States. I want you to take the number in your pool and divide 300,000,000 by it. This is the number of people per J-Bean. Simple Right?
Here is the sanity test when ever they start throwing around numbers. Does the "GIANT EVIL NUMBER OF DEAD, DYING ETC" cause you to remove a single jelly bean? One. If I have 100 jelly beans That means that before I have to remove 1 jelly bean 300,000 need to die for JUST ONE jelly bean to go away.
This is sainty. This is reality. 5000 people isn't a disaster, a pandemic or an outbreak. Thousands will die from the every day flu this year, thousands will die from car accidents, hell last I checked more then 500 people alone this year will die from trying to get high on paint fumes.
180 dead from a new Pig Flu? More people will die from falling down stairs in the USA this year. Over 200 will die from suicide, and several thousand will die from homicide.
You can live in fear people. You can watch big flashing headlines and talking heads on TV telling you the universe is about to explode. Reality is where the rest of us can rest easy.
And remember... as a wise man once wrote on the cover a book.... Don't Panic...
An observation on America this election
The primary cancer eating at America is the population, as a whole, no longer possess the skills and mental tools to discern perception from reality.
They cannot read an article, pick apart the fact, fiction, opinions, and speculation and draw a conclusion of their own. They either agree or disagree rather then view an draw a conculsion of their own.
It's sad. We get "McCain sucks" or "Obama sucks" but when asked why, their response is "They voted against X,Y, and Z." Then when asked if they knew why they voted against those, they break down and say, "I don't know". Then when pressed again with the question, "Then how do you know voting against it was a bad idea?", they will summarize the bill's name and say, "how can anyone vote against X,Y, or Z"
Again, ask "How do you know that anything in the bill X, actually addressed X? Did you read the purposed bill?" You'll get a "no". There is no reasoning, or perhaps massive ignorance on how politics function. Did Senator A vote for X in order to get Senator B to vote for Y? Have we lost our understanding of politics? Or have we lost out very ability to reason though a problem?
This is a complete break down of normal human reasoning. We cannot collectively separate sound bytes from the actual context of a sentence. We demand change, we are promised change, we cry out for reform for what ever cause suits you, yet we go to the very people that got us in the trouble in the first place and expect them to change what they active worked to create... Total breakdown of human reason. You wouldn't ask the arson who just burnt down your house to help put the fire out right?
Without the ability to reason we are rapidly regressing back to animals, reacting out of a mental reflex, rather then reasoning through an obstacle,problem, or issue.
The very understanding of a difference is slipping. I do not like Ocra. Because I do not like Ocra, why would I have any dislike of people who like Ocra? Would I personally develop a hatered of people with a taste for Ocra? Would I ride around with a sign that say "John Doe Sucks!" simply because John Doe like Ocra? Why then would I develop a dislike of an political canidate mearly because I disagree with them? Why would that factor in personally? At most I might have a sign that reads, "Don't let John Doe cook unless you like Ocra." I can't say Obama sucks or McCain sucks because, quite frankly, I've never met either of them. Reason tells me that I can't develop a personal dislike for someone mearly because I may disagree with them. Reason tells me that I cannot judge a person on the color of their skin, but rather the content of their character. So would I not judge a canidate personally not by their approach to solve health care but by the content of their character? There is no rational way someone can tell me that I am supposed to dislike someone, or say someon is stupid or evil, because one may want to raise taxes to provide health care while another may want to let market pressure and incentives improve health care. Both want to fix it, each may have a different approach. Regardless of approach, what rational person develops hate over a difference of views?
Reason tells me that most special interest groups are made up of people that got organized and petition the government. Moveon.org is a special interest group, the NRA is a special interest group, so is the Red Cross, Catholic Charities, Shriners, Rotatry Club, VFW, and the Scouts. I certainly don't want them silenced as I am a member of several special interest groups. Those that tend to cry out loudest against special interest groups are simple those that aren't part of one. You local church is a special interest group, your local chamber of commerce is too. Our ability to reason has slipped that we cannot see the problem is the CONDUCT of special interest groups, not the existence of those groups themselves. We generalize because we no longer have the capacity to dissect a problem, find the root cause, and address it. We find even our idiology and problem solving skills are disposable. The VCR has a frayed power cord? We throw the whole thing out rather then just fix the cord. A canidate has a flaw? We discard the entire individual. They disagree with a single viewpoint and we discard the whole. This has to stop or we are in serious trouble... Politics is the process of compromise and debate, not mandate and partisan dictatorship.
If the behavior of the American public doesn't frighten you as we move through this election, go rent Idiocracy and tell me, how far away are we? In many ways, we are already there...
Man Slashdot should be renamed SlashLeft. 15 responses all from left wing, blame america first, socialists. Sad to see so many Anti-America people on /.. My Journalism post was moderated no less than 15 times, constantly back and forth from a -1 to a 5 to a 3, I don't even know what it left off at. Oh well. The fight for American Freedom drags on, I am just saddened by the number of Blame America First types out there that hate America so much. They don't understand the Constitution and try to use it verbatim to defend their positions. They are no better than KKK people that try to use Bible Verses to defend their position. If some of these people read other writings and notes from the founding fathers and actually studied the Constitution they might understand a bit better. Oh well, they grow lazy and eventually we will arrive at either the Fordian Society (if the Left Wins) or the Orwellian Society (if the right Wins). People just don't understand anymore. They will bid their freedom farewell in exchange for cold comfort.
I have been forced to write off people with fewer than 100 posts. Why? The need to hang on the trenches for at least 100 posts before I'll tag em Friend or Foe. Too many people come to slashdot for a week or two and then get bored. I need to get to know people and there are just too many. So now I seek to filter out posts from people with fewer than 100 posts. Hmm they should make that a filter option along with Moderation level... Muhahaha
Guess what every one of my posts got the standard -2 moderations again.. Hmmm I wonder which frustrated, small minded moderators I pissed off are..
Crap for the last like 10 comments I've posted I get say 10 INTERESTINGs then I get 2 overrated. It's funny because I keep getting EXACTLY 2 negative moderations on every post I've made in the last few days. Looks like there are two moderators out there with a stick up their... well anyways. Such is life.
6am - Arrived Downtown to start work day
6-8am - Kept bumping into contracting buddies, chewed the rag for a couple of hours
8-9am - Browsed Office Depot for toys
9am arrived at desk finally.. Feeling good today. Hope the posts today are more interesting than yesterdays..... ZZZZZZzzzzzzzz.........
10:44am Holy McDamn! I've pulled like 40+ positive karma points this last week. Man I have been whoring like a fiend this week. Later
11:24am WHOA! 100 POSTS, DO A LITTLE DANCE. MAKE A LITTLE LOVE. GET DOWN TONIGHT! GET DOWN TONIGHT!
Another bad day. That TCO crap pissed me off something fierce. Such poor work and shoddy data. That hurts Linux more than helps. Executives for the most part are pretty damn smart and will be asking many of the same questions I bitched about today. Oh well such is life. Time to get another cup of coffee and hammer out another 40 page report. Joy, peace, and love... AND AN IRON RAGING FIST OF NUCLEAR DOOM TO STRIKE DOWN THE FOOLISH AND errr.. uumm... go to the happy place Ken....