Unsafe at any speed?

One of the miracles that technology has brought us is more up to date news. Whether that speed is a blessing or a curse hasn’t been settled yet, for me anyway.

Listening to the people who attract the cameras most these days, I wonder whether the media believe that they have no responsibility to educate the consumers of their product. Why is it OK for Trump to make promises that no president can legally deliver, promises that no rational (I’m tempted to say ‘sane’) president would want to deliver? Why does no one with access to the media stand up and call BS? Why is it that the only rational rebuttal to the Bundys’ crazy interpretation of the constitution is an editorial on a site that covers local news in Billings, Montana?

As they like to say over on Popehat, the proper response to words you don’t like is more words. Why aren’t we all trying to make this country stronger by using words to disseminate facts to educate people instead of letting ignorant people dumb us down with the blessing of the media? These are my words. If you agree, where are yours?

An approach that can be used in parallel to great effect would be to stop giving so much attention to people who have lost the thread.

Fair and Balanced
They’re not the only guilty ones.

Everything is entertainment, even (especially?) the shows that are not labeled as education. ‘Reality TV’ has no reality in it, buffoons get more airtime than serious people talking about serious issues, and people who present wacky interpretations of the constitution are not presented with an opposing viewpoint while people giving us facts are countered with baseless opinions in the name of balance and fairness.

Just turn off the TV. Maybe take one of your strongly held beliefs and try to find facts that support the other side. At least consider it. What’s the worst that could happen?

Thanks to Scott Sakamoto for telling me to stop ranting and blog. I feel much better now.

Cellular suckage

In the early days of the US mobile phone industry, the carriers wanted to ensure that they could recover their investment in building out the cellular network as quickly as possible. Faced with a chicken/egg problem, they chose to build the network, make the handsets cheap through subsidies to drive customers to try the service, and take their profits later. It worked, except that now we expect handsets to be cheap even as we expect more features than ever  in our handsets.

I was fortunate enough to play with a Nexus One just after Christmas, and as I tweeted then, “#wantwantwant”.  But reading through the Google Terms of Sale and talking to the contracts department at TMO, I realize that this adventure is far more screwed up than the usual handset subsidy. Continue reading “Cellular suckage”