Techie Saturday – About Feedly

This Saturday, I want to clue you in on one of the most essential tools I have in following my favorite blogs. That tool is Feedly. Here is how they describe themselves.

Feedly (click name to see the sign-up screen) tracks blogs that offer content via Real Simple Syndication (RSS). It delivers that content to your computer, tablet or phone, where you can see the updates and decide what you want to read.

All I have to do every morning is to open Feedly in my browser and all the unread blog posts from my twenty or so favorite sites show up. It gives me the list and a snapshot of what the post is about. When you find a new blog you want to add to the list it is simple to add it. See the image below:

I would highly recommend that you sign up with Feedly, its free and easy to do. When you do be sure to add to the list.

If You Have To Build A Wall…

I think the masonary union has some sort of power over the current Oval Office. What else would explain the obsession with wall building? If the current Oval Office occupant (#CO3) hopes to have ANY chance of re-election, he should change just where he wants to build his wall.

Let’s investigate the possibilities some with this post. What is the biggest sinkhole for our money in the world today? Undoubtedly it is the Middle-East. I’m sure we have spent trillions of bucks in the region of the world and in the end have gotten practically nothing to show for it. We prop up so many failing regimes in that area when we should be looking at keeping our country afloat.

Saudi Arabia is the prime example. #CO3 says they are our friends because they want to buy billions of dollars worth of our war machines. But, in the end, their country represents almost everything we despise. They execute people for speaking out against their way of government. They enslave almost half their population to serve the males in their country. Almost all the 9/11 terrorists were from there. Their regime represents the opposite of what we think is any level of morality.

Afganistan and Iraq are not much different from Saudi Arabia. The main difference is that we took down their the dictators who ran those countries and haven’t been able to escape the consequences even after decades there. How many trillions of dollars have we poured into those two countries and have nothing to show for it.

Everything about the Middle East is very contrary to our way of life. It is almost as if it was a separate world and maybe it should be. If any region of the world needs a wall to separate them from us it is the Middle East.

So, Mr. President, if you must build a wall do it to block off the Middle East from the rest of the world. I might even vote for you if you did that. No, I changed my mind, there is no way in hell I would ever vote for you.

The Twilight Of Democracy?

Is democracy going to be that short 250 year period in earth’s history when we thought people could rule themselves? Given what has been happening the last decade or so, it seems we might not not up to the task. In the beginning of our American democracy Thomas Jefferson said:

Are we up to that task today? It seems not. We in the US allowed a completely incompetent con-man to snake his way into the Oval Office. Anyone who cared to do even a minimal amount of study would have found that he was totally unprepared for the job. He is there primarily because of a non-informed electorate.

For the most part the world has been ruled by the elite few, for almost all of its history. If you don’t believe me just look at all the kingdoms and dictatorships that have come and gone throughout our history. Even the eras of history are named after the prominent rulers of that age.

Utopian societies have come and gone throughout American history. Everyone thinks they can form the perfect government by going off into the wilderness and fashioning their own society. I have been studying these types of communities for quite a while now and one thing most have in common is that they don’t last more than a decade or so before they are abandoned. Why that was so is primarily because factions developed in the community and they started fighting with each other. Everyone seems to think that their view of the world is the only one can can result in utopia.

It seems that one democracy after another is in trouble now. The US has an inept president. Canada is struggling because its prime minister seemingly did a favor for a private company. Britain is on the verge of a crisis, trying to divest itself from the rest of Europe. France is crumbling due to the citizenry failing to embrace long term planning.

The world’s democracies are in trouble. Will the coming decades mark their end?

The Personal Reality Spectrum

I spent some time last week fleshing out my thoughts about one of my foundations in life that drives my “Question Everything” attitude. I have been living it for some time now but just never got around to thinking it thoroughly through till now.

I originally posted this on my special projects blog over at CrackingCreativity but thought it would be a good thing to also present it here:

The Four Parts of our Personal Reality Spectrum

What is Personal Reality? – I know that that this term has been used for a myriad of topics over the years but my definition is very down to earth. Personal reality is how we shape our view of the world. Over at my main blog at RJsCorner, I often lament about how some people seem to a very different view of the world than I do. Particularly the MAGA folks who are getting so much attention now. I believe that where you are in the spectrum determine most of our personal reality differences. Some stop at the first part and it becomes their entire spectrum, some eventually progress through all four parts and thus cause parts 2 – 4 to shrink and 1 to grow. Our view of the world depends on how much of the spectrum you explore. Let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of each part.

Part One – What I know.

This is what you have convinced yourself the world is all about. It is things you are sure you know, most often you don’t even consider the possibility that they may be wrong or at least incomplete. People who fail to explore the rest of the spectrum are convinced that anyone who thinks differently than them is simply WRONG.

Part Two – What you think you know but maybe most likely don’t?

This is where you are willing to consider that things you think you know could just be wrong. To most people, this is called being open-minded and willing to learn. Most of us won’t likely stay in this second sphere very long. We need some resolution to our uncertainty so we move to part 3.

Part Three – What I know I don’t know.

Unlike the person who is stuck in part one, a person in this phase realizes that she doesn’t know everything and recognizes that there are others who know much more about a particular topic than they do. They know what they don’t know and they do something about it.

Most of us who consider ourselves free-thinkers live our lives in Part Three. We are constantly trying to learn what we know we don’t know from those who DO know.

Part Four – What I don’t know that I don’t know.

Of course, the fourth phase is not a place for permanent residency. Instead, it is discovering things that we have never considered up to that point. At that point, some of us drag that particular item into the third part for investigation. Some others never even consider that Part 4 exists.

Here is a graphic I made up to illustrate this spectrum:

Depending on how much time you spend in each section, the magnitude of each pie part changes.

  • If you are stuck in Part 1 then you think it makes up your whole pie.
  • If you acknowledge Part 2 you are consciously aware that you need to adjust your view so that part shrinks and part 1 grows.
  • When you discover Part 3, it enables you to move on to new thoughts and ideas. It opens your mind to other possibilities
  • Part 4 will almost always make up the majority of everyone’s pie, but the smaller it is the more complete your views.

I would be very interested in knowing what you think of all this?

I’m A Car Guy

I am sorry to say that some of the most respected creators in the car customization field are in the long run just one of the followers of the latest trends. Being a car guy, I am an avid watcher of custom car creators like Dave Kindig. He makes cars that are above and beyond the quality and uniqueness of most of the field. But in the long run, he is just like most of his competitors, a follower of the latest fad no matter how impractical they might be.

The fad I am talking about is taking a $150,000 car and make its body sit one-inch above the roadway. He likely charges his customers thousands of extra bucks to install custom air-shocks to make that happen. Of course, it is totally unusable in that state, especially on our ever deteriorating American roads.

To me personally, I think the cars really look stupid in that configuration. I know the enthusiast say “rad”, or maybe “bitchin” but I say “stupid”. I personally have a pretty big stable of cars in my collection and none of them are laying down on the ground.

I am especially proud of my 1963 Studebaker Avanti. Its gloss black finish is worth every penny I paid for it. Here are some other vehicles in my collection.

  • 1939 Chevy Sedan Delivery Truck
  • 1937 Plymouth Pickup
  • 1961 Chevy Impala
  • 1963 Stingray
  • 1957 Chevy Belaire
  • 1963 Volkswagon Bus Double Cab Pickup
  • 1953 Chevy Stepside Pickup
  • 1967 Shelby GT-500

I have several more that I am also proud of. It has taken me years to accumulate this collection. I enjoy looking at them every day. But I think my Light Cycle prototype from the movie Tron is my favorite.

Tomorrow I will tell you a little more about my collection and show you a few pictures.

Riding Into The Sunset…

I was about ten-years-old before I saw my first TV set. It was a big box with a little grey-lined screen. One of the things I remembered most about what I saw in that box was that the good guys always won. If it was a western, most often the hero would ride off into the sunset at the end of the show. Matt Dillon took on so many bad-guys during his years on Gunsmoke that it is almost impossible to determine how many bad-guys he took down. The bad guys always lost in the end.

Flash forward to today and the good-guys-always-winning seems so naive now. People who are morally bankrupt, who cheat and lie seem to flourish. There is even one in the Oval Office. In order to take him down, it would require two-thirds of the Congress to be good guys and that seems literally impossible now.

Watching the Cohen fiasco a few weeks ago was an eye-opener even after all gutter stuff that has gone on in the last two years. To see Republican Congressmen who totally ignore the bad stuff happening and instead they attack the person who is reporting it. Yes, I know that Cohen is a liar but isn’t the person they are defended the ULTIMATE LIAR? It is reported that he has told over 10,000 documented lies in the last two years alone. That is an average of more than ten lies a day! Lord knows what the count would be if we had access to what is said inside the White House.

They don’t even bother anymore to pretend that what he does is “not that bad”. But I still hold onto the hope that those cowardly Congressmen will be held accountable for their not taking on the bad guys.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to watch the Congressional posse ride into the sunset after taking down the bad guy? Just like the “Good Old Days” sixty years ago. Now that I would say is great again.