Walmart is Big Brother is Amazon

This whole surveillance state thing is just plain creepy.

It is perfectly clear that patients are going to get some kind of a grade from The Walmart Enforcement Agency and you’d better believe that there will be consequences if that grade isn’t good. Good luck getting a legal prescription filled there if you don’t make the grade. Pharmacies around the country are already arbitrarily deciding who does or does not get their scripts filled. Although is not explicitly stated it a pretty safe bet that patients could be refused prescriptions because of their score doesn’t meet Walmart’s “standards.”

I wonder what George Orwell would say.

Read the article here.

Experts Say Keep Amazon’s Alexa Away From Your Kids

Hey Alexa.  Brainwash my children.

Hey Alexa, What Are You Doing to My Kid’s Brain?

Hey Alexa.  What are you doing to my kid’s brain?

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Another Reason to Put The Phone Down

The goal of everything we do is to change people’s actual behavior at scale. When people use our app, we can capture their behaviors, identify good and bad behaviors, and develop ways to reward the good and punish the bad.

The Facebook ‘transmission of anger’ experiment is terrifying.

Read this article to gain a better understanding of The Evil Empire aka Facebook.

How about Facebook collecting data on all of your cell phone calls?

 

The Role of Luck in Life Success Is Far Greater Than We Realized

Conclusion

The results of this elucidating simulation, which dovetail with a growing number of studies based on real-world data, strongly suggest that luck and opportunity play an underappreciated role in determining the final level of individual success. As the researchers point out, since rewards and resources are usually given to those who are already highly rewarded, this often causes a lack of opportunities for those who are most talented (i.e., have the greatest potential to actually benefit from the resources), and it doesn’t take into account the important role of luck, which can emerge spontaneously throughout the creative process. The researchers argue that the following factors are all important in giving people more chances of success: a stimulating environment rich in opportunities, a good education, intensive training, and an efficient strategy for the distribution of funds and resources. They argue that at the macro-level of analysis, any policy that can influence these factors will result in greater collective progress and innovation for society (not to mention immense self-actualization of any particular individual).

Luck matters.

Somebody actually attempted to quantify this.  Read the article and judge for yourself.

Put The Phone Down…

And keep your hands where I can see them.

Use of computer games was found to be negatively related to all personality and mental health variables: self-esteem, extraversion, narcissism, life satisfaction, social support and resilience.

The use of platforms that focus more on written interaction (Twitter, Tumblr) was linked to depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms.

In contrast, Instagram use, which focuses more on photo-sharing, was linked to positive mental health variables.

Go here for a link to the actual German study.

Read about Teenage Suicides here.

Seriously, put the damn phone down.

The Fragile Generation – Reason.com

Must read.  HT naked capitalism.

Source: The Fragile Generation – Reason.com

We’ve had the best of intentions, of course. But efforts to protect our children may be backfiring. When we raise kids unaccustomed to facing anything on their own, including risk, failure, and hurt feelings, our society and even our economy are threatened. Yet modern child-rearing practices and laws seem all but designed to cultivate this lack of preparedness. There’s the fear that everything children see, do, eat, hear, and lick could hurt them. And there’s a newer belief that has been spreading through higher education that words and ideas themselves can be traumatizing.

How did we come to think a generation of kids can’t handle the basic challenges of growing up?

A few years ago, Boston College psychology professor emeritus Peter Gray was invited by the head of counseling services at a major university to a conference on “the decline in resilience among students.” The organizer said that emergency counseling calls had doubled in the last five years. What’s more, callers were seeking help coping with everyday problems, such as arguments with a roommate. Two students had dialed in because they’d found a mouse in their apartment. They also called the police, who came and set a mousetrap. And that’s not to mention the sensitivity around grades. To some students, a B is the end of the world. (To some parents, too.)

To be or not to be (a tree)

This post is neither an endorsement nor a specific request.  With all of the things I have to think about I now have to decide whether or not I want to be a tree after death.

Memo to Self and To Do List Adds

  1. Decide whether or not to become a tree.
  2. Revise will.
  3. Inform spouse and children of my wishes.
  4. Review advance health care directive to see if it includes watering instructions.