Learn to Love the Bomb

Yesterday Donald Trump realized there is one thing he can at least appear competent at (because it's easy and the media loves it)...BOMBING THINGS! Now that that beast has been unleashed, expect a bombing bonanza as Trump uses American military power to pump up his waning confidence in accomplishing the job of POTUS, while distracting the American public from real issues. Bombing things has immediate results and brings instant gratification and praise, perfect for satisfying the ego-less mind of America's childish, narcissist President.

The corporate mainstream media has, as expected, been glorifying the US dropping of "the biggest non-nuclear bomb ever dropped" on an alleged ISIS base in Afghanistan. It's almost erotic the way they masterbatorily stroke themselves gushing over the "awesome" power of America's gigantic ordinance.

"It's soooo big!"

Since Trump's id has no boundaries, I think it will be only a matter of time before he drops a nuke on someone, at which point everyone is fucked, because that genie cannot be put back in the bottle (visualize the final scene in the film "Dr. Strangelove").

So... "Re-accomodate" is a New Word in the Popular Lexicon

Fuck United Airlines and their by-laws. Just because something is (questionably) "legal" doesn't mean it is right. When are Americans gonna stop accepting brutality at the hands of the Corporate Police State?

By any reasonable standard of human decency, the following should happen:

1. The good doctor who was bullied and brutalized by the cops or airline security or whatever the fuck they were should sue United Airlines and the assailants into oblivion and win. I hope the ACLU prosecutes the case pro bono.

2. The United staff involved, the "cops," and the company's fuck up of a CEO Oscar Munoz should all be immediately "re-accommodated" out of their jobs, as well as fined, jailed, and sued to the full extent of the law.

3. No one should book flights on United going forward. I know I won't. It's not worth the risk of having my civil rights abused. I hope United goes bankrupt.

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Effin' Effers

It's a good indicator of how complacent we have collectively become about the American police state when an innocent passenger (a doctor, no less) on a United airlines flight can be randomly selected to be brutally bloodied for not voluntarily giving up his seat.

Think about it for 30 seconds. By random lottery, a guy who had bought and paid for a seat on the flight was selected to be booted off so that the airline could transport some flight crew. When he made the case that he was a doctor with patients to see and refused, he was forcibly dragged screaming from the flight and received a bloody nose from causes as yet unknown, but certainly physical violence at the hands of the police is suspected (one of the officers involved has been suspended for improper behavior, but that doesn't excuse the airline for its policies that led to the incident).

The good doctor did nothing at all to deserve this, and the argument that such treatment is permitted according to United airline's terms of service is not a valid rational for bodily harm and violence. Yet this is now the norm in militarized America.

I certainly cannot patronize United airlines anymore, because by any standard of human decency their policies are inhumane and unjust. But all the major airlines have similar policies, so it is just a matter of time until it happens on another airline. Eff those effing effers.

Social Media Addiction Exposed

There are people whose job it is to keep you glued to your social networks via your computer and handheld devices. That's kind of scary when you think about it.

The reason for this is directly tied to advertising revenue, and that makes sense. Advertisers want to be exposed to as many pairs of eyes as they can. However, the mechanism for this is more subliminal and comes from behavioral psychology, specifically operant conditioning, and even more specifically variable rewards.

Dog trainers know that the best way to reinforce and solidify a behavior in a canine is not to reward the behavior with a positive stimulus (like a bacon treat) every time the animal successfully does it. The behavior is really honed if the animal only gets a treat after doing the behavior a few times in a row, especially if the interval between rewards is variable. The dog knows a reward will arrive eventually, so they keep repeating the behavior even when rewards don't come, always looking forward to eventual gratification.

This is exactly how social media is designed to work. When you log onto social media, you are looking for some sort of reward, perhaps some useful information, entertainment, or Morgan Freeman's most recent tidbit of wisdom. But most of the time, there's nothing interesting, entertaining, or useful there. Every once in a while there is, but it's variable. And it's this expectation of rare rewards that keeps you scrolling and clicking in your browser or app for hours on end, as you wait for fulfillment, which comes just often enough to keep you hooked.

I don't know what proportion of social media information is useless junk, but it is pretty high. Just like natural systems, the equilibrium falls at the point where you get the maximum yield for the lowest energy expenditure. So social media is only going to reward the minimum amount that will keep the maximum number of people pressing the lever like a lab rat in hopes of success. This probably is not a linear function. Some people are going to stop engaging social media after very few unrewarded interactions. But others (you know who you are) will remain almost constantly connected to social media in hopes that Morgan Freeman will bless their otherwise mundane lives with profound wisdom.

I've deleted most social media apps from my devices and I've limited myself to one daily interaction with social media via web browser only. This is not in search of social media gratification, because I am aware that is elusive to non-existent. I am actually exploiting this loophole of human behavior to my own ends. Every morning, I meditate for 15 minutes, usually to a soundtrack I select from my large CD collection (part of a goal I have to cull the audio library down to just essential music). I then share a shortened Amazon URL link to my Facebook wall, sans thumbnail, with the annotation: Today's morning #meditation #soundtrack. I know that curiosity will get the better of the reward seeking social media hordes and they'll click the link to see what kind of music I deemed worthy of gracing my meditational head space. The link leads to the exact audio recording I was listening to, on Amazon. If someone clicks through and subsequently buys a product on Amazon, I get a kickback via my Amazon affiliate link. I have discovered that many people find the temptation to know useless information irresistable. So knowing what I meditate to must gratify some people some of the time. And that's all it needs to do.