Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Right Click It *


My blog, this one, was deleted yesterday.  What a shock that was.  I was only working with my settings, changing a bit here, a tad there.  I got on Hermit's blog where mine is listed in his favorites list.  Clicked on it.  Again the same message "this blog has been deleted".  Cuss it!  I went back to Hermit's, did a right click.  Up my blog came but could do nothing with it except stare at the opening page.

Now, here I am tapping on the keyboard.  I expect the worst as usual seeing:  "This blog has been deleted".

I have no more clues how to fix matters as nothing has worked so far except the right click this time and my surprise at success.  We shall see.  "What will be, will be"  as Doris Day sang "Que Sera, Sera."  You probably never heard of Doris.  She was long before your time - most likely.  A beautiful clear voice that I loved to listen to.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

"But Then It Was Too Late" *

"But Then It Was Too Late"
An Excerpt from "They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-1945"
by Milton Mayer

“What no one seemed to notice,” said a colleague of mine, a philologist, “was the ever widening gap, after 1933, between the government and the people. Just think how very wide this gap was to begin with, here in Germany. And it became always wider. You know, it doesn’t make people close to their government to be told that this is a people’s government, a true democracy, or to be enrolled in civilian defense, or even to vote. All this has little, really nothing, to do with knowing one is governing.

What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.

This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.

You will understand me when I say that my Middle High German was my life. It was all I cared about. I was a scholar, a specialist. Then, suddenly, I was plunged into all the new activity, as the university was drawn into the new situation; meetings, conferences, interviews, ceremonies, and, above all, papers to be filled out, reports, bibliographies, lists, questionnaires. And on top of that were the demands in the community, the things in which one had to, was ‘expected to’ participate that had not been there or had not been important before. It was all rigmarole, of course, but it consumed all one’s energies, coming on top of the work one really wanted to do. You can see how easy it was, then, not to think about fundamental things. One had no time.”

“Those,” I said, “are the words of my friend the baker. ‘One had no time to think. There was so much going on.’”

“Your friend the baker was right,” said my colleague. “The dictatorship, and the whole process of its coming into being, was above all diverting. It provided an excuse not to think for people who did not want to think anyway. I do not speak of your ‘little men,’ your baker and so on; I speak of my colleagues and myself, learned men, mind you. Most of us did not want to think about fundamental things and never had. There was no need to. Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about—we were decent people—and kept us so busy with continuous changes and ‘crises’ and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the ‘national enemies,’ without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us. Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful. Who wants to think?"
Right... who wants to think?

Twain Observation *

We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve men every day who don't know anything and can't read.

Mark Twain

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Yes, they are really true *

Yes, they are really true.  Wading through piles of saved papers today (I'm such a slob), hoping to make a dent in all the mess, I came across one sheet that has been surviving in my clutter for thirteen long years.  Today I'll toss it in the trash.  This particular paper sure shows its age and abuse - brown, wrinkled, crinkled and tattered.  Yet before the toss, I will share it all with you.

Ha,Ha, (grin) Ha.  I'm not the only one who fails to edit.  So, here we go.  Enjoy your laughter.

                                                          REAL ADS

1.  Illiterate?  Write today for free help.
2.  Auto Repair service.  Free pick-up and delivery.  Try us once, you'll never go                anywhere again.

3.  Our experienced Mom will care for your child.  Fenced yard, meals and smacks included.

4.  Dog for sale; eats anything and is fond of children.
5.  Man wanted to work in dynamite factory.  Must be willing to travel.
6.  Stock up and Save.  Limit: one
7.  Semi-Annual After-Christmas sale.
8.  3-year old teacher needed for preschool.  Experience preferred.
9.  Mixing bowl set designed to please a cook with round bottom for efficient beating.
10.  Dinner special - Turkey $2.35; Chicken or Beef $2.25; Children $2.00
11.  For sale: antique desk suitable for lady with thick legs and large drawers.
12.  Now is your chance to have your ears pierced and get an extra pair to take home.
13.  We do not tear your clothing with machinery.  We do it carefully by hand.
14.   Great Dames for sale.
15.   Have several very old dresses from my grandmother in beautiful condition.
16.   Tired of cleaning yourself?  Let me do it.
17.   Vacation special: Have your home terminated.
18.   Get rid of your aunts.  Zap does the job in 24 hours.
19.   Toaster: A gift that every member of the family appreciates.  Automatically burns toast.   (turns?)

20.  For Rent: 6-room hated apartment.   (heated?)
21.  Man. Honest. Will take anything.
22.  Used cars: Why go elsewhere to be cheated?  Come here first.
23.  Christmas tag sale.  Handmade gifts for the hard to find person.
24.  Wanted: Hair Cutter.  Excellent growth potential.
25.  Wanted: Man to take care of a cow that does not smoke or drink.
26.  And now, the Superstore -- unequaled in size, unmatched in variety, unrivaled inconvenience.
27.  We will oil your sewing machine and adjust the tension in your home for $10.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

“Facebook’s Emotional Contagion” *

“Facebook’s Emotional Contagion”
by Pivotfarm

“For a while now it has been well proven beyond a shadow of a doubt by scientific research (Cornell and California Universities) that there is a phenomenon called ‘emotional contagion’, meaning that it is possible to induce a state of either happiness or sadness in someone, by inducing that feeling and emotion without their knowledge or awareness.
Up until now the experiments have only been carried out in laboratories. But, now that Facebook has come clean and admitted that users of the social network were induced into feeling either positive or negative emotions in a study that they carried out on a handful of them, we have the proof that it is possible to do so on a massive scale.
Is this the future? Inducing happy and sad emotions? Will we be starting wars half-way around the world by subliminal-like induced emotions of aggression? Or will we be inducing euphoric happiness as we wish in the world of business to create a buzz and get the consumers buying once again? Even worse, could it be political exploited?
Facebook already had every bit of information that it wanted to have about us as do other social-networking sites. They knew where I went to school, who my brother is and whether I’m married or single and if I like the Red Sox’s or I root for the Democrats. But, it can do a whole lot more than that. It wasn’t enough to just see me happy and sad…they wanted to see if they could make me feel one emotion or another by influencing me. Plus, it didn’t actually take a whole lot of work to be able to do it.
Now, it has published the results of the test carried out on 689,003 Facebook users and how it influenced their home pages and what they wrote on their walls. Newsfeeds were secretly filtered according to the flow of comments, video and photo posting and web links. One part of the test exposed users to ‘positively-charged emotions’ while the other cohort ended up with ‘negative emotional content’. 
The results proved: “Emotions expressed by friends, via online social networks, influence our own moods, constituting, to our knowledge, the first experimental evidence for massive-scale emotional contagion via social networks”.
Facebook had the findings published in the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Science" in the USA this month and a Facebook spokesperson state that the reason behind carrying out such a test was the following: “to improve our services and to make the content people see on Facebook as relevant and engaging as possible”. To improve their services? Surely it has greater power than that? Surely it could be used to influence you in a political decision? Surely it could influence you into thinking that this product is great or that product is bad?
689,003 people participated in the study (unknown to them, of course).
That means about 0.04% of all users in the world. 
1 in 2,500 people.
It took place over a period of a week in 2012. 
Emotions were reinforced by what they read and saw.
Emotional content was filtered and the reactions of the users were monitored by researchers.
What’s worrying about the study that Facebook carried out is not so much that it was done covertly and that the people were the rats in the cages at their merciless analysis, but the fact that our emotions can be influenced by what we see , hear and read around us. It’s the fact that our state of mind can be induced and manipulated by exactly what someone decides to show us. That is the scary thing since we are no longer in control of not only what we get shown and what we look at, but now it’s the loss of emotional control that has set in thanks to damn social networking. Just how intrusive is that?
Facebook has once again over-stepped the mark of ethical behavior. It has gone over the red line of what is legal and what is not. Any human being involved in a test must by legal rights know that they test is being carried out in order to participate it in freely. Where did the notion of ‘informed consent’ in the law vanish to? What happened to the forms that should have been filled in providing consent?
We’re not guinea pigs Facebook! It’s high time that all of this were stopped! Who wants to start?”
- http://www.zerohedge.com/