As long as self-serving hypocrisy prevails, America cannot be unified

Capitol building
Capitol building
Image Source: Cameron Smith on Unsplash

As an independent, what I crave is values-based policy, and values-based politicians.

I realize this is terribly idealistic, but don’t expect me to buy-in to empty calls for unity, if they are not backed by values.

We cannot be a unified country if we refuse to hold hearings on opposing party judicial appointments in the last year of a presidency, and then ram through judicial appointments from our own party in the last few months of a presidency.

We cannot be unified if we support violence from our own wing of politics, and then act swiftly a decisively to punish violence from the other wing of politics. …


The rise of alt-tech

People holding up smart phones with common social media icons on the display.
People holding up smart phones with common social media icons on the display.
Image Source: All Things Web

“Alt-tech” is the name that has now been given to various alternatives to “Big Tech” (FB, Twitter, Google,…). In light of recent events, Alt-tech is likely to get more attention, and more usage.

While it is clear that alt-tech takes the form of software services similar in nature to social media (Parler & Gab for example), as I wrote on the weekend, it is not clear whether it will take hardware forms. I doubt that it will, because that is much harder to realize, but who knows; will countries like China pounce on alt-tech seekers all over the world, to realize its dream of separate Internets? …


Could this mean waves in the tech ecosystem?

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Image for post
Image Source: pxhere

The news that Apple has communicated to Parler that it may ban the app from its Appstore, has me wondering about the future of the device ecosystem. Could the right-wing of politics/society create an alternative tech ecosystem? If not, will regulation, at a future time, be its only remedy?

Given all the talk about right-wing social media, I decided this week to sign-in to Parler, and see what content was on the site. There is plenty of the usual right-wing rhetoric, normal stuff. It also did not take me long to come across a post from someone with 100,000+ followers, demanding that the Insurrection Act be invoked, and that the military be used to round up traitors. Scary stuff (and the kind of stuff that no doubt is motivating the Democratic leadership to remove the President as soon as possible). I am not reposting here for a variety of reasons. Firstly, because I am not sure of the copyright issues. Secondly because Salmon Rushdie advised me not to. …


Is silence an option?

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Image for post
Image Source: Brett Jordan on Unsplash

In 1990 I was a young man. I was touring Europe. One of the stops in that journey was Mauthausen in Austria. The WWII concentration camp in that town shocked me into a reality that changed me for life. The awareness of how people were marched to the pinnacle of a rock quarry and then pushed off, how people were treated while alive, the ovens, and significantly, disturbing questions. What would I have done during such a time? Would I have stood for humanity? If I could not stand tall in the face of small injustices, could I stand tall in the face of horrific ones? What kind of a backbone did I have — the kind of question that is a semi-obsession for many young men; what kind of a man am I?; …


Flutter Future Builder Example

The problem of how to execute an async function before the UI builds was vexing to me.

The answer turned out to be quite simple. Use the FutureBuilder option. Using this option itself can see vexing at first, but it is also simple, once you know how.

  1. Specify the async function to execute before the build. In the below example, the function is called _doWork().
  2. Set the name of the variable that can be tested to determine if work is completed. In the below case “canbeanyname”. …


We must put an end to human trafficking

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Image Source: I.am_nah on Unsplash

While I’m sure I should get better at letting things go, the recent news about “Fashion magnate Peter Nygard charged in sex trafficking scheme, including minors” really got under my skin, and I can’t let it go until I get it off my chest.

Truthfully though, I hope I never let it go. I hope I never stop being disgusted at what appears to be a rampant, amoral, hedonistic pursuit by the richest people in the country. …


Or anything really

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Image for post
Image Source: Immo Wegmann on Unsplash

A recent encounter with writing software has me thinking about high-level takeaways:

  • NorthStar
  • Lego blocks
  • Architecture
  • Radical Culling
  • Defensive coding
  • Testing

NorthStar

Having spent time in strategy, it is probably no shock that the “vision thing” is top of mind for me. Strategy literature is all about that one point of clarity which value propositions are focused on, and value chains self-organize around.

I feel the same way about software. It is too easy to be browsing community ecosystem libraries and see this shiny widget and think “wow, wouldn’t it be cool if that was put in!”. No, it would not. …


What the Timnit Gebru incident says about all of corporate America

If you are looking for an article about oppressed races and genders, this is not it. While that may be true, that is not what the Timnit Gebru incident is about at its core. It is about how Corporate America makes decisions on resolving differences.

Woman singing at an opera.
Woman singing at an opera.
Image source: Snappygoat.com

Marginally it is about race & gender, because in this day and age when we are trying to drive diversity, many people feel minorities should be cut a little slack to make up for all the disadvantages they have; many people feel compassion for their situation extends to going out of our way to accommodate them and treat them specially. …


Sunday Reflections

Sundays are an opportunity to kick back, relax, and reflect on the bigger picture.

Man sitting on a chair, typing on laptop, with clock in background
Man sitting on a chair, typing on laptop, with clock in background
Image Source: Kevin Ku on Unsplash

Time. What is it? It is a question that both physicists and philosophers ask. I am not a physicist.

To the extent I have any understanding of science, I view the concept of time as a circular argument.

· Distance = speed * time

· Time = distance / speed

· Speed = distance / time

There is no time without space, so much so that Einstein felt compelled to combine them in one concept, spacetime; so much so that some assert that time is an emergent property of a universe that has space — a reasonable claim, IMO. In reality, change / speed, space, and time are all entangled in one thing, how we measure time. …


All noise, no signal

Doctors looking down on a patient
Doctors looking down on a patient
Image Source: National Cancer Institute, on Unsplash

The day that Donald Trump stood on the Republican Presidential Debate stage, and refused to back down from his comment that no one would vote for Carly Fiorina, because of how ugly she is, is a moment seared into my memory. In years gone by, it would have been impossible for someone to talk like that and be considered a serious Presidential candidate. Yet here we were, and here we are.

News flashes about Nixon resigning aside, my first immersive experience of American politics was in 1989, in the afterglow of a Presidential election, three old-school politicians, gentlemen by today’s standards, were in charge of the country: George Herbert Bush, Tom Foley, and George Mitchell. …

About

Mark Seery

Registered “non-partisan”, blogging about culture, politics, technology, photography, travel, and life. Owner of “art.bohcay.com”.

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