Friday, February 17, 2017

Conclude Me

Jeb "Please Clap" Bush said two memorable things on his race to the bottom of the GOP candidate pack last primary season:

"Donald ... You're not going to insult your way to the White House. That's not going to happen."

"Donald is great at the one liners, but he is a chaos candidate, and he’d be a chaos president.”

After yesterday's one man circus act in the East Room, we now know that Jeb is batting 0-2.

I am however willing to bet that the guy he inherited the chaos from was our country's most data-driven chief executive and that Donald is the least. Naturally, I have no actual numbers to base that on I'm as much a prisoner of my own inferential biases as the next NPR filter bubble dweller.

Regardless of how long we have the pleasure of Donald's WWF-style press briefings, I have ceased believing our number 1 duty as citizens is deciding who holds public office. It's not railing against ...

* The jerry-rigged elections
* The gerry-mandered districts, 
* The partisan pandering, 

And who ...
* Holds more eyeballs, 
* Or assets, 
* Or less respect ...

... among members of a Facebook advertising category that contains people who fake text during moments of social awkwardness.  


It's to figure out what humans are actually good at. 

I say that because in our + half-century on planet earth, there's no combination of tyrants, typhoons, bad neck ties, single cell terrorists, and yes, loose nukes, that tells me the balance of our days should be lived out under the existential cloud.

So why are anti-anxiety meds the new normal? Sure, there are gobs of fear and anger and despair and antipathy towards Belichick and Brady. But that doesn't explain the gap between the end of common decency and the end of days.

I'm guessing there's widespread silence on the agreement that people make crappy machines. If you look in the classifieds, the owners of capital are not looking for human qualities at all. They're looking for high functioning order takers who are skillful violation avoiders and devoid of personality (Facebook pages affix no smiles upside-down).

Couple that with the individual's need for safety and shelter and we see how our marginal job prospects spiral into the ditch known as lower life expectancy for middle aged white guys. Our actual human personalities are as relevant to our pairing prospects as a 5% unemployment rate. No connection whatsoever.

So I end this grim soliloquy with a crack of sun in the door. People are superior to machines whenever we make the machines do our bidding. Have Facebook log into us if they want our data -- OK, that's still a fantasy but we can scheme. How about the complex relationship between I.C.E and I.S.I.S? The algorithms are not caught up to us there either. Also, we don't have to involuntarily install the Rush to Judgment app like the next guy and gal. We don't need to get stressed out at how we may be judged. It's that stress that blocks the ability of our peers to think critically, i.e. holding two opposing ideas in our heads at the same time. 

Note to selves: machines can't touch that task. Not in our lifetime.

Fellers -- we are now in a world that's no likely to honor critical thinking than  it is to honor the liberty of not belonging to one intolerant tribal judging panel or the next. I can think of no higher calling than Bolishuk to describe our unique place in the gift of each day where we have our collective wits, our independence of thought, and one another.

Happy February 17. And thank you Canuck for your loving cultivation of our artistic legacies.

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attentionSpin is a consulting practice formed in 1990 to create, automate and apply a universal scoring system (“The Biggest Picture”) to brands, celebrities, events and policy issues in the public eye. In the Biggest Picture, attentionSpin applies the principles of market research to the process of media analytics to score the volume and nature of media coverage. The explanatory power of this research model: 1. Allows practitioners to understand the requirements for managing the quality of attention they receive 2. Shows influencers the level of authority they hold in forums where companies, office-seekers, celebrities and experts sell their visions, opinions and skills 3. Creates meaningful standards for measuring the success and failure of campaigns and their connection to marketable assets.