Who Needs Social Media?

Obviously the question in the title above is what this post is all about. Here is the definition of social media from Wikipedia. The biggies are obviouslly Facebook,Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, with many other a little further down the line.

Obviously these companies want us to believe that we need them to do almost everything essential to life itself. We HAVE to plug into their product to keep control of our lives.

  • Make friends
  • Build relationships
  • Be actively related to politics
  • To hail a cab
  • To catch a bus
  • To shop
  • To understand the world.

But is any of that really true? It wasn’t but a few years ago that we had other methods of doing all those things. I know I am going to sound like an old person here but I think many of the older ways were better than using social media. Getting down to the root of this matter, maybe the more important question is do we need what these founders of social media are doing to our lives.

We don’t need:

  • to make increased corporate or government surveillance of our lives easier.
  • to make unanswerable harassment possible without consequences of the harasser.
  • to make stalking easier.
  • to pollute our democratic processes with lies and distortions found on these sites.
  • to be exposed to all the false anti-science garbage.
  • to make the “Us vs Them” divide any wider.

Maybe we need to look back at the days before these social media giants controlled so much of our lives and maybe take a step back to change things.

If we simply didn’t use the current social media outlets I’m sure others would sprout up that would change many of the con’s above. I know all these guys are currently multi-billion dollar companies who have a stranglehold on how we interact with each other in the 21st century, but that doesn’t necessarily have to the the case.

I am generally not an advocate of burning things down in order to make improvements but that seems to be about the only method that will eliminate the problems above. The $5 billion fine on Google is a start but it needs to be backed up by a strong consumer boycott to affect change in this area.

What do you think?

The Slow Road To Love…

In my generation most of us got married soon after high school or at least college. But I see from the recent New Yorks Times column by Tara Parker-Pope that as usual Millennials have taken a different path, a better path in my opinion.

I don’t think that teenage hormones have changed that much in the last fifty years. I know they were surging in me in the 1960′. But it seemed my Aspie traits overwhelmed them. I just didn’t know how to even approach a female of the species during those years let alone be sexual involved with one. The hormones are still there in teenagers today, so what’s changed?

Is the secret to lasting love to take it slow? As in really, really slow?

The millennial generation is putting that theory to the test, opting for what the biological anthropologist Helen Fisher calls “slow love.” Studies show that millennials are dating less, having less sex and marrying much later than any generation before them, and a younger generation appears to be following in their footsteps.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/02/well/family/millennials-love-relationships-marriage-dating.html?

Of course, as usual, some of the experts say that is good and others say it is bad. The naysayers say because Millennials grew up in the social media area, they lack the ability to form 0ne-0n-one relationships and are unable to be intimate or make commitments. Others say that they are putting their sex drives at bay to accomplish more important things. Being an optimist at heart, I want to believe the latter.

If you ask me thinking with your head as well as your heart about relationships and future marriage is a good thing. Keeping everything in the perspective of achieving a joyous journey is what it should be all about. Now if we can just get all those forward looking Millennials focused on voting the most vile president out of office, they just might be able to accomplish things that us Boomer couldn’t get done.

The Post-Work World

I can still remember when I visited the 1964 New York World’s Fair on my high school senior trip. It was a mesmerizing place unlike anything I had seen before. I especially remember the General Motors “Futurama” exhibit. It was about looking forward to the year 2000. I couldn’t imagine that far ahead, I would be an old man by then instead of a kid just finishing high school.

The exhibit showed us that robots would take over the mundane jobs so that it would not be necessary for any of us to work more than 20 hours per week. It would be like a four day weekend every week. Flash forward and much of what was in the exhibit was about has yet to materialize, but one thing that is quickly being realized is that robots are doing much of the work that was once necessary by humans.

But, instead of now celebrating that possible major accomplishment, many have come to fear it. They see themselves as possibly destitute and homeless because of it. They see the future as a “Mad Max” world. It is taking our jobs away from us. What a vast difference the mentality is today compared to that exhibit 50 years ago.

We will soon be at that point where we could realize the “20 hr work week”. Except for the last two and a half years, I am an optimist by nature. If our government puts the proper rules and regulations in place a 4 day weekend is certainly possible and I still have hope that that will happen. If not then the wealth imbalance will only get greater. If that doesn’t happen then the greed of Wall Street may just produce the world the fear mongers see.

Seeking a Joyous Journey Rule No 11 – Don’t Get Hung Up On Stuff…

Capitalism in America demands that we buy more and more stuff each year. Without that insatiable drive we simply couldn’t grow as a society today. I think that needs to be basically changed to match the successes of the rest of the world. Instead of requiring us to buy more this year that last, maybe we should spend it on our infrastructure or, here’s a wild thought, maybe making healthcare a right instead of a privilege! Ok, enought soapboxing for now, let’s get back to the point of this post.

In my day, we didn’t have massive closets of clothes. I don’t think the walk-in closet was even invented until the Reagan 80’s. 🙂 It seems today that even most young teenagers could now fill an eight foot closet with their wardrobes. I could carry all my clothing in a single normal size suitcase even after I graduated from college. I just didn’t see the need to have more than a half dozen changes of clothes, as I thought even that was extravagant. The 1927 farmhouse that we renovated two decades ago had closets about two feet wide!

In that regard, here is my next Joyous Journey rule to live by:

Rule#11 – Don’t get hung up on your stuff.

Some people think that having a joyous life means you have all the stuff you could ever dream about. To me, it is just the opposite. The less stuff you have the more joyous I seem to be. Trying to keep up with the latest Madison Ave trends is just not worth it. It is ridiculous that they are now selling jeans that are threadbare and have holes in places. In my mind it is better to just wear out the ones you already have instead of plucking down $50+ for pre-worn ones. One of my active projects this summer is to wean down my four foot closet space down to three or less. Anything I haven’t worn in the last two years goes to GoodWill.

We live in houses that our ancestors would never have dreamed of owning. It seems that the requirement today is 1,000 square feet per each person in the household. When our current house was built almost a hundred years ago less than 800 sq ft and we know that a family of six occupied that space in the 1950s. It is heartening to see that many young people today are joining the “tiny house” movement. They comfortably live in less than 400 sq ft of living space.

Before I go, I have to admit to you that I am not entirely innocent when it comes to stuff. I have a couple of previous Mac computers stored away along with at least three iPads and an older Apple watch. I could have lived with the older ones, but the new features available on the latest models lure me in. So, in that regard I need to practice what I preach I guess?

Having My Say About Unconditional Love

Unconditional love is something I probably will never totally understand. I have problems even with the basic idea of love, let alone having it with no conditions attached, but even with that being the case, that is the main topic of today’s post. Let’s start with a more general discussion of trying to understand the perplexity of unconditional love, and then I will talk about it at a personal level.


I have no children but I suppose most parents give unconditional love to their children. I also realize that actions of the off-spring can become so strained that even this parent/child relationship comes with conditions, sometimes serious conditions. I’ve personally seen it happen with family members and friends.

People with serious addictions often have family just give up on them. They are tired of the thefts of their money to support the addiction, but mostly they are exhausted with the emotional strain is puts on their lives. Then there are some who are raised by parents with serious behavior problems. The kids can’t wait to get out of those circumstances. I know I lost a half-sister to suicide because of a narcissist mother who couldn’t show her the love she so desperately sought.


On a spiritual level, they say that God, at least the Christian version of him, has agape love for all of us. He loves us all the same love without any conditions attached. That is a very comforting proclamation, but what about the infant who dies falling in the bathtub. How can God allow the death of that child and still say he loves the child and maybe even more seriously the parents who will agonize over that death for their entire lives.

How can God allow millions to parish due to the unimaginable cruelty of a dictator. If everything is God’s will then he must condone even these actions. I know some answer that with “God works in mysterious ways”, but does anyone really buy into that excuse? Especially if they are on the receiving end of unimaginable agony?


Getting to this on a personal Aspie focused level, is it really possible for ANYONE to have unconditional love?

From an Aspie standpoint, let’s start off with a quote from Psychology Today:

Many people with Asperger’s find emotions messy and confusing. They struggle with expressing their emotions appropriately and often come across as unemotional or uncaring. In a piece for “Psychology Today,” Asperger’s sufferer Lynne Soraya notes that people with Asperger’s have trouble with emotional regulation. They are often able to detach during a crisis situation, but might express their feelings explosively later. They often get stuck in their own heads, swimming in a pool of deep emotions that they feel powerless to express. To avoid triggering an extreme or inappropriate emotional reaction, they keep the discussion logical. They focus on the facts surrounding love rather than presenting an emotionally laden declaration filled with unknown innuendos and hidden meanings.

I can see myself in much of the description above. Strong emotions are just not who I am and I guess love is the strongest emotion there is? I know I had great empathy for my father. He struggled with low self-esteem all his life. He just had no confidence in his abilities. He, like many in his generation just didn’t show emotions to any degree. I respected him greatly. He had life circumstances that I likely would have buckled under. If I have loved anyone it was probably my father.

I care dearly for my wife and I want to do whatever I can to make her life comfortable. We, especially now, seem to disagree on almost everything but that is ok. We take care of each other when the need arises. Maybe that is love, maybe not… But real unconditional love I will NEVER understand.

Augmented Realities #5 -Ottawa Reflections

In reality, this picture is more real than augmented. One of the things I really loved about Canada’s national capital is the reflection of the old on the new. That is, glass buildings next to the historical structures. It makes for some very interesting shots.

On a side note, when I renamed this “Special Project” to Augmented realities I didn’t know that that was already a defined term.

But it does fit perfectly doesn’t it?

Now Let Me Explain…

I know the general impression of the last post probably was that I am not very happy with my marriage of 33 years. While that is true to a degree, I don’t really regret the choices I made in life. I take my vows seriously and would not think about quitting my marriage, especially now. Even though we might not agree on things, we simply need each during these final years.

I think the crux of Monday’s post was that I was looking at today’s world and whether I would still marry if I were a 2019 college graduate just entering my adult life. Stepping out of context a little bit, one of my core life preoccupations is to imagine what things would be like if… I have been doing that since I was a very young man. I seem to equally look back and forwards with these dreams.

It seems that the 21st century is being geared primarily for those who don’t choose marriage as their life goal. Let’s face it, many young people today are finding that wedded bliss is just not for them. One of those was someone I got to know in the critical care unit two years ago after my SDH emergency brain surgery. Here is what I said about her on a March 12, 2017 post.

Sam, short for Samantha, was my critical care daytime RN for the two days I was in that part of the hospital. We spent quite a bit of time together and I felt I got to know her pretty well. She is a “traveling RN”, that is she moves around the country working in one hospital then another. Her last stint was in Alaska. She works three twelve hour shifts in the CCU and then has the rest of the week off to explore. She is a millennial who shuns high heels and makeup but has a very natural beauty that quickly shines through. She says she wants to be known for what she does, not what she puts on her body. With people like her in charge of the future of our country, I feel confident that it is in good hands indeed.  I met a kindred spirit in Sam those two days but she was not the only one.

It seems that Sam’s generation has found a freedom that my generation only dreamed about in a distant corner of our minds. For us it was all about getting that job and staying on it for 30 years to get a pension and then living the life we are free to choose. We only dreamed of having the kind of experience that Sam has.

Today’s working world is much more free flowing than mine was. There are no lifetime pensions anymore to even begin to entice you to stay with a job you might not enjoy. As long as you have the education and qualification, you can often get an internship at a very reduced pay to prove yourself to the employer. Then after three months or so, you can choose whether you want to work for that employer or seek another opportunity. There so so many opportunities opening up in new fields that you could try.

Taking sabbaticals is also becoming common. Take a job for a few years and when that contract expires take a long vacation before you look for your next opportunity. To those who are not prepared for the 21st century job market “contract employment” is a negative thing. But for those ever increasing adventurers out there, it provide the the natural break to skip work and just live you life for a year or two at a time. You no longer have to define yourself almost totally by what you do to earn an income.

Many 21st century young folks have also pretty much discounted home ownership. They just don’t see themselves as being locked down to one place. If they do buy instead of rent, they choose and affordable “tiny house” of 400 square feet or less that is easily resaleable or moved.

Many have come to the belief that if you are not destined for the parenthood mold then don’t get married.

Plainly speaking, I am envious of those who will live their lives in the 21st century

For the 21st century it is better to be single than married. It’s as plain as that as far as I am concerned. If I could live my life again, this time in the 21st century, I would definitely do things differently this time around. But as I said, I don’t regret the choices I made in life but I kinda wish some of today’s option had been presented to me.