A proposal of no modesty

Every now and then someone brings up the idea of splitting the US up into two different countries. You know, so everyone’s lives would be easier, and we wouldn’t have to deal with politics. Or each other. So I took a stab at figuring out how this would work out!

I guess the only fair way would be to make a “blue state” and a “red state”.

But, we’d offer to swap CO and NM with GA and NC. I suppose we could get finer-grained than THAT, but then we’d end up with every major city and most universities as little blue oases. The red states would lose what little education and industry centers they have, and the blues would lose a lot of food production. so I think these are decent divisons.

I guess the only problem is, the red states wouldn’t have much of an economy, really:

… and you’d have to drastically change how federal funds are spent, as the reds tend to receive more dollars than they collect:

Oh, and they’d have amazingly high health costs, as that appears to contain most of the fattest states:

… And education’s tough for the reds, though there are a few brightish spots (Nebraska and Kansas are in the top 15!):

http://www.morganquitno.com/edrank06.htm

I have a sneaking suspicion that the reds would have more food production, but between urban farming and, say, California and Washington, we’re on our way.

Then of course, you’d have to deal with the internal politics of each country! I’m not sure the Santorum-clan would get along with the Ron Paul folk. So you’d probably have just as large of divisions in the new states! Even the blue states would face these internal problems.

yuk

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A proposal of no modesty

Con-grad-ulations!1!!

I was engaged in a… debate last week. The subject of which is not important at this time. Suffice it to say that there was some discussion of “science”. I use quotes around the more commonly known science to illustrate a point. What point that is, even I am not sure, though we can all agree there is one.

The discussion I mention was inherently stupid, but stupider still was one of the participants (surprisingly, not me). This individual claimed that their sibling had a “Masters of Science”, which made both of them qualified to discuss the science behind such things as climate change, evolution, etc.

It was at this time I realized that the point of contention was absolutely un-winnable by yours truly. I was arguing with people that didn’t understand that a “Masters of Science” was not a Masters IN Science.

… so I gave up arguing and imagined what a Masters in Science would look like:

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Con-grad-ulations!1!!

Social Discovery

Compared to a lot of tech users, I am not an “early adopter”. I refuse to buy v1 Apple products, bugs are irritating, lack of design polish is stupid, and having nothing to do on a site is boooooooooring. All this means, of course, is that I AM an early adopter when compared to non-tech people. Or, you know, the majority of people. I am, however, generally aware of the stuff and/or things I am “missing out” on, as (like a good little nerd) I aggressively and obsessively read The Internet.

Imagine my surprise then, when my sister (a lovely, smart, totally un-technical human being) turned me on to the site Pinterest. It’s amazing, actually. The site is slick, well designed, buggy as shit, and amazingly popular. Especially with women. Non-technical ones.

Another site is GetGlue, which has been on my radar for a while, but only because my cousin has the occasional post exclaiming that he’s watching something. It’s a neat little site where you “check in” to what you’re reading/watching/playing and rewards you with badges. Regardless of whether this sounds like your cup of tea or not, it’s telling that I only heard about it from non-technical people.

I have a theory as to why these two amusing sites slipped through my normal tech circles. With regard to Pinterst, the tech isn’t interesting, and what they do have is buggy. On the other hand, for people who don’t work in tech, the entire internet seems buggy, but it’s also generally less pretty. Don’t think so? Just wait till the next phone call from your grandmother trying to figure out what “liking” something does on Facebook. She can’t tell a feature from a bug, and vice-versa.

GetGlue, on the other hand, is gamification pure and simple. As a rule, those of us in the tech field are pretty bored by gamification. But Farmville users aren’t. And it turns out they watch movies.

My big takeaway from this is that existing techie start-ups and social sites are operating backwards. They have a high tolerance for poor design (both graphic and UI/UX), and low tolerance for buggy tech. GetGlue turns every activity into Zynga game (in a good way, surprisngly). Pinterest, on the other hand, has gorgeous visuals, a great UI, and maddeningly buggy tech. But to the “average user” (you know, those mythical people you talk about in meetings whilst pretending they will be able to learn your latest tech offering without any help…) everything on the internet is already maddening.

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Social Discovery

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Seriously. Go see the Muppet Movie. Go see the Muppet Movie right fucking now. I’ll wait (it won’t even take that long).

I’d promise not to make any spoilers about the film, but what’s there to spoil. There are muppets. They do some zany shit. Muppet style. I guess the one spoiler is that Disney managed not to use my childhood to torture me; it’s a great film.

That said don’t bother reading this box office story:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-mendelson/weekend-box-office-112711_b_1115671.html

.. it’s not that the Muppets didn’t do well. It’s that Twilight did better.

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