Tag Archives: CNN

Facebook is a social disease

I understand how computer viruses got their name.  It’s appropriate.  Little evil, invasive things that wreak major havoc on a system.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Facebook is such a bug, of the social variety.  I’ve never had direct relations with the service, don’t intend to, but still feel contaminated.  Continue reading

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America Offline: fall of a walled gardener

This is a Tale of Two Internets, with a vivid beginning but no clear ending yet.

Technophiles of my ancient generation fondly ruminate over the early glory days of wide network communications, when there were basically two modes:  ARPANET, and Bulletin Board Systems (BBS).  As many know the former was a US government-sponsored networking project that was originally closed to the general public, while the latter was a collective prototype Internet rooted in normal telephony infrastructure and was easily accessible by anyone with the right equipment.

But something curious happened over time.

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Survey THIS!

This is going to be more of a rant than usual posts because today I pretty much reached my limit on a sore subject:

Flawed surveys.

I was tasked with taking a survey today designed to identify gaps in corporate ethics compliance.  Other than the misspelling of my organization, it started off innocently enough… and then I reached a question that locked me up.

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Swine Flu: blowing and overblowing

Medical researchers have warned us for years we are overdue for another deadly pandemic.  The Spanish Flu of 1918 and Hong Kong Flu of 1968-1969 are frequently referenced in public forums as prior examples of a common cycle.  By now people, US citizens at least, should be well informed about the potential of a new viral variant springing seemingly out of nowhere and laying low great swaths of clustered populations.

Maybe it’s a sense of anticlimax, or lingering echoes of the 1976 swine flu debacle, but numbers on a CNN poll (article here) indicate that by far most respondents think there’s too much news about the current outbreak.  To wit:

CNN Swine Flu Coverage Poll

CNN Swine Flu Coverage Poll

Which begs the question: if little or nothing at all had been said, how would these numbers look?

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The jobless saga continues

I hate to sound like a one-topic writer but it has been difficult lately to move off of the unraveling economy… especially since it has impacted me in a big way already.  I also hate diverging from my usual attempts at objectivity but maybe I just need to vent a little.

I read another job loss story on CNN that got me a bit cranky this morning.  For the most part it was an all-too common tale: hard-working professionals like myself faced with big adjustments and personal loss.

But what got my ire up was the advice doled out by a clinical psychologist quoted in the article:

“Bad times pass, and it’s sometimes hard to see that when you’re in the throes of a terrible place,” she said. “I think we do need to hold onto a spirit of optimism and a sense of confidence.”

“I think we’re getting mired in the gloom and doom, and we need to hold on to the fact that lots of people are working.”

Does that snippy bit of cavalier fluff help anyone?  Sorry, Dr. Dorlen, your desk-side manner stinks.

I want to write on more upbeat themes but I am not going to insult the few readers I have with trite, insensitive remarks such as “bad times pass” and “lots of people are working”.  So by all means propose some topics.  Send me something you would like covered– I’ll research, synthesize, analyze and write it up.  Then we’ll discuss the heck out of it.  If nothing else I can use the practice while continuing a discouraging job search…

From piracy to policy

Yesterday I vented on the distressing Somalia piracy issue, and complained about the passive-aggressive policy employed up to this point as a response.

Lo and behold, today I run across this CNN article which indicates a significant change in the US stance.  We are now proposing a multinational approach that includes land incursions.

I’d like to think my little bit influenced the decision but I have to live in reality.  Anyway, the reconsideration at least looks promising; here’s hoping that whatever actions are carried out target the proper parties and don’t get into any collateral damage.  The last thing the US needs is another ostensibly humanitarian effort turning into a global public relations fiasco…