Category: society

Debates Worth Watching

I’m sure a lot of people are disenfranchised about today’s politics as I am and I was especially dissatisfied with the last presidential debate of this country’s mainstream and overexposed candidates and their lackluster and uninformative debate. It was nothing but propaganda and talking points that have been regurgitated for so many years by both parties that it has become nothing more than white noise.  If you heard this weeks presidential debate you will have heard nothing new except for a lot of lies and misapplied facts that did nothing more than perhaps confuse an already uninformed public.

A good alternative I found to this was the “extended” debate that was held by Democracy Now! with the 3rd party candidates from the Green and Justice parties. Not only did you hear the nonsense that was spewed by both Romney and Obama but you also got to hear alternative opinions that you won’t be hearing during the regular debates (because the Commission of Presidential Debates are run by both the Democratic and Republican parties and the one thing they both agree is to keep 3rd party candidates out of the debates and the public eye).

Also, John Stewart and Bill O’Reilly decided to have a debate of their own. Even though they aren’t running for president and they aren’t politicians, it was still, in my opinion, more informative and definitely more entertaining than the real one. They tackled a lot of serious issues and contrasted their pundit point of views on some of the issues that were discussed in the Presidential debates plus other issues that weren’t. I believe that John Stewart of course came 0ut on top by pulling the veil from a lot of O’Reilly’s props that he used to push his “fair and balanced” arguments. I had no problem spending $4.95 to download and watch this debate and I recommend that anyone who is politically and socially conscious or who has questions about the state of this nation should find $5.0o and download this immediately. You’ll laugh, you’ll scream in anger at the opposing point of view, but more importantly you’ll be informed.  And that should be the point of a debate.

Definitely check out both these options to get a better picture and scope of the issues that are affecting our country and what other options you have as a voter.

I Suck At Social Networks

I recently reactivated my account on Twitter (yet again). I keep hearing how people are better informed because of this network so I decided to try to use it as a newsfeed, like a more real-time version of a rss reader. Of course this only works if I follow just news accounts and other accounts that catch my fancy and not follow people who I would normally follow on say FaceBook. I’m sure there is a more social way to use Twitter but I’ve not found a way to do it (it’s one of the reasons I’ve killed my account so many times). Which brings me to a realization: I suck at social networks.

Then again I’m not really good at socializing to begin with. When I’m not at work socializing with customers or work associates, I’m home doing non-socializing forms of recreation (reading, listening or watching some form of media). At least that has been my main form of recreation for the last year. The only exception to this are the few social casual games I play on my phone thanks to Zynga. I have been going out to comedy shows a lot less and staying home a lot more. I guess I’ve become a bit of a social recluse and I guess I’m ok with that.

It seems I’m more comfortable spending my time escaping into mediums of fiction rather than meeting new people or making more social connections. I only have enough time to just do random status updates and lurk through my various news feeds/timelines/streams to get an idea of what’s going on and then I log out and go on about my day (or at least that’s the only time I’m willing to divulge). Then again, another reason I don’t seem to updated my accounts much is that I don’t do much besides work and then go home. There is only so many times you can post that mundanity.

Oh well, how about you? How do you use your social networks? Do you get more out of Twitter than just a news feed function? Let me know.

So Grateful for LastPass

With recent news about how LinkedIn got hacked, I’m sure most of us became concerned about our password safety online. I for one, do a bit of a half-ass job of making sure my accounts are safe. I come up with one difficult password and then use it on all my important accounts and then a really stupid easy one for my social network accounts (I mean who’s going to hack my FaceBook, right?). It seems every year or so another site is getting hacked and passwords are getting released. So far I’ve been very fortunate in that my accounts haven’t been hacked yet. At least not to my knowledge.

This last news story was the final bell toll that made me decide to take this issue a little more seriously. It can be a bit of a pain to come up with a multitude of random passwords, try to memorize them and if you want to be extra careful, change them every month or so. I am definitely bad at remembering things as it is. Thankfully, with LastPass this isn’t an issue. Just come up with one master password (you might want to change this every so often to be more secure) and let LastPass generate and save all the other random passwords for the rest of your online accounts.

I’ve known about LastPass for a number of years and didn’t think to use them until now. What’s more, they also have mobile apps so you can bring all your passwords with you on the go, with a $12 annual subscription (why keep an insecure text file lying around?). Thanks to LP, within the past few days, I got all my important accounts and social networks taken care of. I’d say about 80% of all my online accounts are done and the remaining 20% are sites I haven’t visited for a year or so which makes me feel pretty secure. I’ll definitely get to those in time but for now I can breathe easy.