Instagram Creepiness

I hesitate to say this, as I am a bit nosy.

If you have an Instagram app on your phone, you can see those who have liked your stuff or who have followed you. No problems there.

But IF someone follows you (and you allow for yourself to be followed), there is a button which enables them to see whatever YOU liked and who YOU followed, whether or not you follow that person or not.

That’s right…even if you don’t follow them, they might be able to see some of the photos you liked…e. g. that Instagram fitness model’s butt shot….

though in my case, most of what they will see is sports team stuff or someonne’s selfies.

And if you want to be insecure, you can see “hey, she liked HIS stuff but not mine…WHY??? (boo hoo hoo).”

September 17, 2018 Posted by | social/political | , | Leave a comment

Why I block on social media

Facebook and Twitter are different. FB blocks are stronger than Twitter blocks; to see a Twitter account that has blocked you, all you need to do is to log out then go to their account. Or you can make a Twitter follower tool by simply, say, cutting and pasting their twitter account url into, say, this blog.

One thing common to both: social media is where I spend a lot of my free/leisure time; I see it as the place for water cooler discussions.

Twitter: I block if someone is nasty to me (or to a friend or loved one) or I block if they appear to be ignorant and unaware of it or if they act as if their judgement of me should matter (e. g., “your comment about X tells me what I need to know about you”…as if they were even capable of making a proper inference). And yes, I once blocked someone because of something they did in real life.

Facebook: these blocks are stronger. I tend to block those who

1. Tell me what I should or should not post on my own wall.

2. Say stuff like “if you don’t see that, bye”.

3. Are nasty to my friends.

4. Attempt to argue making accusations or “yelling” slogans/hashtags “e. g. #checkyourprivilige). This is my free time; I have no obligation to dumb down what I say or to explain that I did NOT say what they are sure that I said. I don’t tolerate “splaining” very well either. (note: I am NOT talking about an accurate explanation of a concept that is given to me by a genuine expert…those I always appreciate.)

5. Issue insults.

Some have claimed that I don’t tolerate criticism. I DO accept critique of my ideas..logical and relevant criticism.
Yes, I know, some have ideas but can’t express them very well. But I am not going to be a captive audience for them on my free time.

Now I will tolerate more from a good friend, or say, from a spouse or relative of a good friend.

May 28, 2018 Posted by | social/political | | Leave a comment

Using the “block” feature liberally…

In my day to day life, I cannot avoid the “less than intelligent”, including some of these who are so sure that they are right.

But can on social media; I have gotten to the point where I block on the first instance of self-righteous stupidity, even if the person is likely to vote the same way that I do. I have to be tolerant at my job; not so on my free time, or at least on my “optional” free time.

Discussing any issue that is the least bit technical or contains any nuance at all is also a waste of time. Here is a post about evolution (written by a genuine expert). The issue: evolution is a stochastic process; there is an element of randomness to it, as it is based on genetic mutations. But there are forces which give certain mutations a higher probability of attaining a higher frequency in a given population; this is where multiple alleles come from. One such force, of course, is natural selection (and yes, genetic drift exists..some mutations are fitness neutral).

Well, that is too much complexity for some to handle; as soon as they see “random” (as in mutation) they think “how could we have come about by a purely random process?” This is the “wind blowing parts to make a 747 argument.

So, if I like the person, I might recommend a few of my favorite books written by genuine experts and remark that it would be interesting if so many fields, such as biology, paleontology, geology, physical anthropology and biochemistry, along with every major science department, science museum and science lab were in a conspiracy to deny the truth.

But I won’t be able to convince them of anything, and frankly, the probability that all of these expert sources will be able to is also next to nil.

It just isn’t worth my time and effort.

Workout note: I had a final and some student meetings, so I decided to just run my hilly 10K + course. It was 65 F, 97 percent humidity when I started. Yes, I was a sweaty mess when I finished. No, I did NOT even think about starting my stopwatch. At first I balked at trying; I think that my long history of failed training runs has turned me into a headcase, even though MOST of my runs turn out successfully.

This one did was fine. However I did notice that I got two green lights when crossing Main and was sort of disappointed; I was looking forward to “guilt free” rest. No heel pain at all, but then again, I did little other than just shuffle in place.

May 3, 2018 Posted by | evolution, running, science, social/political | , , | Leave a comment

More on blocking, etc.

This block …looked legal to me at first (shoulder to chest) but later I saw the helmet to helmet. Yeah, we used to do that (albeit at a much lower level) but that is indeed illegal now.

Not that I have much sympathy for the person getting blocked on this play.

But now I’ll talk about another type of block: social media. I view social media as my recreational tool and if someone is too annoying, I block. This includes people who give unsolicited advice, give unsolicited negative feedback, “know-it-alls” who in fact, know little, and dummies who want their opinions taken seriously.

I do give slack to those I like as well as those who are dear to those I like.

Workout notes easy 4 mile run (Cornstalk classic); toward the end I was passed by an athlete as if I were standing still. Then again…if they couldn’t do that easily, they wouldn’t be an athlete. 🙂

December 6, 2017 Posted by | running, social/political | | Leave a comment

The joy of blocking on social media and one appeal of Trump (it is nowhere near enough though)

Well, work has its challenges, and decorum (and just simply doing my job) forces me to be more polite than I’d want to be; it would be unprofessional for me to go off on someone, even if they “deserved it” (e. g., being completely in the wrong but unwilling to entertain the thought that it might be true).

And what does Trump do: he goes off on people…and once in a while, he goes off on someone I do not like.

Ah…sort of a guilty pleasure, no? But it is a poor quality in a POTUS…in addition to his utter lack of qualifications for the job.

But one way I do engage in that fantasy: on social media, “dumbsplainers” get blocked on the first, or sometime the second warning. And yes, often these are liberals, but not always.

One example: there were some empty seats for the Bears Packers game this year, and the Trumpchumps were trying to tell me that this didn’t happen in previous years; this year’s empties were due to their “boycott the NFL”.

So I found an Instagram photo from the 2016 game (during the game) and SHOWED them..yes, there were empty seats in that game. And this year, Aaron Rodgers was out. That felt good.
And if the Trumpchump can’t accept that I will block them.

(yes, the game was going on, and it was close the whole way).

Workout notes: Sunday: 2 mile “fast walk” (25:30) before a Bears vs. Packers game
Yesterday: weights; usual PT, pull ups 5 sets of 10, one set of 5-5 on the new bar, bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 8 x 170, incline: 10 x 135, military (dumbbell) 10 x 50, 10 x 50 (first with thick bar dumbbells), 20 x 40 standing, dumbbell rows (3 sets of 10) later (slept in)
today: 10K walk outside.

November 14, 2017 Posted by | NFL, social/political, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Statistical inference and the morning weight room

I know that this is far from perfect. But for a couple of years, the university had some smaller than average classes. And yes, the gym was more empty at 6 am.
Today: there were more people than usual in the gym at 6 am (start of classes). But that isn’t the only factor: our university is also tearing down buildings and replacing them with updated ones (yes, badly needed upgrades). That reduces the number of available classrooms, hence we have more afternoon/late afternoon classes than before.

So more students plus “being in class in the afternoon” means “more people in they gym” in the morning. Nevertheless, I got through the routine (weights only) in 42 minutes; then added 20 minutes of skips and legs then walked 4 outside.

Social media: it is interesting. In one case, somebody thought he was “calling me out” when, in fact, I was arguing about langue and not the concept. In another case, a Trump supporter refused to read anything from the mainstream media because…well, the election projections were wrong.

Note: the polls did pretty well with the national popular vote; even the state polls in the battle ground states were not that far is just that several were off by a little bit IN THE SAME DIRECTION (which Nate Silver said was a real possibility). The polls weren’t bad, but some (not all) of the inferences from the polls were. But try explaining that to someone whose mind is already made up.

I’ve learned to say “ok, I’ll leave your company for others to enjoy”.

And yes, I’ve had to do that with people who vote the same way that I do. Statements like “no, Bernie Sanders would not have won” or “Hillary Clinton really isn’t that good of a campaigner; Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were a lot better” or “yes, the Russians did spread disinformation but there is no evidence that they hacked the voting machines themselves” have earned me both ire and blocks on Twitter.

No big loss though.

Workout notes:
hip hikes, toe raises, rotator cuff
pull ups: 5 sets of 10: ok.
incline: 10 x 135, 8 x 150, 4 x 160 (decent hip placement)
military: (standing, with dumbbells) 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 20 x 40
rows (Hammer) 3 sets of 10 x 200

The above took 42 minutes.

rope skips: 34, 50, 50 (last two sets: ended at 50 voluntarily). I am getting better.
goblet squats: 5 x 50 (window sill), 10 x 50, 10 x 53 (kettle), 5 x 70 (20 inch box)
4 mile walk in Bradley Park; kind of sluggish. Very good weather though; nice and cool.

August 23, 2017 Posted by | 2016, social/political, statistics, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Blocking someone on Twitter vs. Facebook

Someone I once talked to got angry with me and blocked me on Twitter. The year before, I got angry with them and blocked them on Facebook. No big deal…but I learned something.

On Facebook: if someone blocks you, you cannot see anything about them…even if they have an account..from the account that they blocked. You cannot see comments, etc.

Twitter is very different. If you remember their twitter address/handle, you can do a search for it on the little search window in the upper right and corner and see where they have been mentioned by others. What you can’t do is access their timeline or tweet to them.

If you really want to, you can set up an alternate account and see their time line (can’t do that on Facebook unless their wall is a “public” wall, as mine is (mostly)). I have zero desire to do that, but someone COULD do that to you, if so inclined.

I found that is useful to know. Off to the gym.

May 31, 2017 Posted by | social/political | , | Leave a comment

Pet Peeves on Social Media..

First, workout notes: I had trouble kicking myself out the door. Finally at 8:30 I walked 2 miles, lifted : rotator cuff, 5 x 10 pull ups, bench: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 4 x 185, 10 x 135 incline, dumbbell military: 20 x 50 seated supported, 2 sets of 10 x 45, 3 sets of 10 x 110. Then 2 miles on the treadmill: 2-2-2-2 then 6.7 from about .7 to 1, then up .1 mph every .25 to 2, then 7.2 (10:38, 8:39, 2.09 in 20 minutes).

Tracy treated me to nachos; that was lovely..friendship lunch dates are among my favorite things…then grading. Ugh. The students did well though.

Social media I got a reminder that I don’t always “get” what someone else is doing when they post something on Twitter or Facebook. Sometimes they want to vent or express sans feedback of any kind. Someone posted an article that said a poll showed that the White House was more trusted than the political media (37 percent to 29 percent) and I replied that I’ve seen evidence of that in the “letters to the editor” section of the paper. I got a series of angry tweets in response. So..I unfollowed the person though I put no ban on them seeing my stuff.

That got me to thinking about MY pet peeves.

What others do on their walls: That is basically their own business; if I like it I read it and follow it; if I don’t, I won’t. It only becomes my business if they tag me. Some have a green light to tag me because I almost always like it when they do. Others have become a nuisance which I why I have “timeline review” for tags; I remove the ones I do not like.

The tricky stuff is knowing who wants discussion from me and who doesn’t. If I find the person doesn’t want discussion from me, I will post the link to their article on my own wall and talk about it there. That appears to be a good work around.

What others do on my wall Ok, here is what I don’t like:

1. Sanctimonious finger wagging: often this happens when a “friend of a friend” follows them onto my wall and proceeds to tell me that I am being XXXist or violating some rule that they think should be imposed on everyone. This appears to occur when a conservative friend comes onto my wall but sometimes comes from a social justice warrior. z

Now there is a short list of friends that I permit to call me out, but it is a very short list, and they have to be someone that I have deep respect for. I’d say about a 2 dozen people fall into that category and you can tell who they are because they either have a photo with me or they are frequent guest.

2. Attempting to play with me without knowing me well: my online persona is a socially hapless, very dumb billy goat. So many of my online friends insult me and I take it..I even have a meme set called “you’ve been dissed”. Sometimes someone I do not know well attempts to join in and I delete their comments. This play is for certain “special friends” that I’ve established a friendship with; they have to be people that I already like quite a bit.

3. Jumping in inappropriately into some thread that is not for them. For instance: I have many friends who like to either run or walk long distances. So I might say something to my running friends and some jackass will jump in “you wouldn’t catch me running even if…” or they might say how they don’t like football, baseball or something else. I delete those comments too and if someone becomes insufferable, I boot them off for good. Exception: I do allow a handful of selected friends…ok, make that one selected friend, some leeway here.

4. Stupid discussion. Yes, I am a liberal but am open to different points of view, so long as they are competent points of view. I don’t permit from SFB to attempt to refute a climate scientist with some jerkoff’s youtube video, or for creationists to spout their bullshit or someone to compare Obama’s “57 states” (he meant “states and territories”) slip of the tongue to the outrageous bullshit that Trump spouts almost daily. And I do not entertain Fox News/Breitbart fantasies on my wall.

If you want to quote some conservative University of Chicago economist, or some respected mainstream conservative jurist, that is ok.

But I refuse to entertain arguments that I rejected back in high school.

April 30, 2017 Posted by | Friends, running, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Keeping Facebook friends that you don’t like….

First, I should talk about MY Facebook behavior. Yeah, I’ve had a dear “IRL” (In Real Life) friend complain to me about it; this is someone who I’ve had several “friendship outings” with.

Yes, I post a lot: political, social issues, spectator sports (football, basketball, baseball), outing photos (via Instagram), running/walking/weightlifting/swimming posts, “playing with my troll friends” posts (inside jokes that I want selected people to see) and, every once in a while, a spandex/butt joke/photo (not as often as people think).

So, if someone wants to unfriend me, I completely understand and am not offended at all. Unfriending me means “you are tired of my BS” and I don’t blame you! No offense but I’d rather run off Facebook friends than my wife or my IRL friends. 🙂

And yes, I’ve unfriended people. One large group of people I unfriended were a large subset of my Naval Academy classmates; while I don’t mind competing points of view, so much of their social commentary was “bumper sticker like” and full of hidden assumptions. Honest, fact based critiques of my ideas are fine; chanting slogans and cliches gets tiresome. And yes, I’ve unfriended some idiotic liberals too..for similar reasons.

I’ve unfriended a few scolds who didn’t like that rare spandex shot or an anti-religion post. No one tells me what is permissible to post on my wall.

And yes, I did get very angry with a “formerly closer IRL” friend who didn’t treat me well; they got unfriended and blocked for several months. But this individual can be fun and thought provoking; some people I can enjoy online but perhaps not in person.

But the purpose of this post is: why do I keep some people that I have interactions with (on my wall) that I really do not like, and quite frankly, disrespect? Note: I am not talking about the smart successful person who has went through (or is going through) a rough time that affects their personality. I am talking about something else.

And I wonder: do I keep at least a few people because they, well, feed my ego? If so, how ethical is that?

On the flip side: Facebook has been very positive for me. I’ve reconnected with people I haven’t seen in 40-45 years and found out that they are interesting, “fun to talk to” people. I’ve also met a few people who I look forward to talking to on almost a daily basis; one turned out to be a special gem.

Interestingly enough, people have thought about FB relationships and the emotions of breaking them: here, here, and here.

November 26, 2016 Posted by | social/political | , , , | Leave a comment

Safe spaces: utility and inappropriateness …

Workout notes: just a 5.1 Cornstalk course run after a rain; it was a bit humid and I didn’t bother with a stop watch. I’d guess I ran at 11-11:15 mpm or so.

Safe spaces

I’ve thought about the “safe space” concept. This has been a topic of discussion on college campuses. In some cases, the “safe space” concept is used to shield students from ideas that, well, they don’t like and to keep away speakers they don’t like (including: Hillary Clinton!). Of course, one can protest a speaker and counter their ideas with other ideas; in the article I linked to, we see one student saying that Clinton ought not to have been permitted on campus.

Ironically this concept has been used against activists (e. g. the very presence of activists might violate the “safe space” of campus staff members).

So I’ll say that I have serious reservations about this concept.

BUT, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for private conversation for certain groups of people. I’ll give some examples.

Example: I find it useful to have a private place to discuss dealings with students. Faculty sometimes get frustrated and there should be a place to deal with said frustration where one doesn’t have non-academic administrators, parents and students present.

Example: sometimes the self destructive habits of the poor come under fire. This can be an especially sensitive subject when, say, birth rates among unwed and underemployed African Americans is brought up. In fact, this very topic IS frequently discussed in private in African American circles. One famous African American columnist said that the privacy was to “keep the bigots from having another stick to beat us with”, or something along those lines.

Example: it is sometimes useful to have a place where one can discuss their prejudices in private. Sure, some might think that they have no prejudice but I am skeptical. Sometimes a good way to deal with them is to discuss them in private. One example: I was walking to an event and I saw a young man with his pants pulled down below his butt; his boxer shorts were visible. I had some non-flattering thoughts. But, when he saw me, he….held the door open for me. Go figure. 🙂

I admit that I’ve joined a “secret” Facebook group for Hillary Clinton supporters. This doesn’t meant that I am afraid of challenges to my ideas. However, it had gotten to the point where if I posted a Democratic primary election article, I’d be attacked by Sanders supporters. And the attacks were often illogical, factually incorrect, or were laden with hidden assumptions. Correcting basic errors is part of what I do for a living. I don’t want to do that on my off time, especially with people who seem themselves as logical and informed, even when they aren’t.

Now the risk in joining such a group is that one is, by definition, in a bubble when one is in such a group. That is why I value some individuals who, while they might differ on candidate of choice (e. g. support Sanders or a Republican), know the basic facts and understand basic logic. These sorts of friends are also good to discuss science related issues with.

So I’ll say that I value private conversation groups, though it is a very bad idea to turn public spaces into “safe spaces”. Private groups can be joined by choice. The latter affects all of us, and I don’t want someone else dictating what is appropriate for ME to see or hear.

One other comment On social media, I treat people differently. If I know a person (either in person or online) and I’ve had history of interaction with them, I’ll cut them some slack. What I won’t tolerate is some moral scold going onto my wall and wagging their finger either at my friends or at me. I’ll accept (even welcome) correction of my factual errors, my error of omission, or my hasty inferences. I sometimes get things wrong or I sometimes am blind to an important factor. So yes, I’ll accept those from strangers.

But if you want to be a moral scold on my wall, I had better have a history with you, like you and respect you. But until you’ve shown me something, I won’t tolerate it. And no, a high self opinion is not a credential that impresses me.

May 26, 2016 Posted by | running, social/political | , | Leave a comment