The Tally Stick

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Not All Millennials Should be Treated Equal

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First and foremost, I am considered to fit in the category of being born in the millennial generation. Therefore, I am a millennial. But, I must say, the biggest similarity that I have with other millennials is the fact that my birthday lies between 1981 and 1996. This is a big gap in time that encompasses a vast amount of diversity in individual thought, education, morals, personality, and so much more.

We speak of how lazy, narcissistic, dependent and entitled this generation is, yet, these qualities can be used to describe many of us in varying generations. These terms should really be used to describe what we have created as new societal norms, which includes many more people compared to those just in the millennial generation.

There is a problem with how hastily we categorize each other. Creating assumptions before even meeting each other. There are so many categories we cram each other into lately and it is frightening because we are all unique individuals that one group or term should not be used to describe, or a list or categories for that matter.

Am I millennial? Yes. Do I identify as having Republican political ideals? Yes. Christian? Yes. Homemaker? Yes. See you are trying to gain an understanding of who I am. But you can’t, because even though I am placed in these categories does not mean that each category fully defines who I am as an individual. You may actually be surprised how I defy the norms of these categories. So throw away your prejudices and get to know each other by caring and wanting to gain an understanding of each individual you interact with by engaging in meaningful conversations. Not the petty conversations we all have now a days because we don’t want to hurt each others feelings, but something deeper and more meaningful to gain an understanding of the persons’ experiences, morals, views, beliefs, personality without the barriers of categorization.

We need to learn from one another. If the conversation happens to have opposing views then inquire deeper and try to gain an understanding of a new viewpoint. We need to have these hard conversations to progress society to a new norm, one that is boundless in categorization.

We have created a normalcy of feeling based arguments, categorizations followed by prejudices, broken families, lack of common sense, dependence, debt ridden, unmoral, lack of religion or purpose, yolo mentality vs eternal life with God, sex and money idolization, all of which are hard to break the cycle from. All of which will never lead the next generation to accomplish any good as a whole, instead we are contributing to the digging of a hole.

How are you going to contribute to fix these problems and help build a better foundation for the next generations sake? We need to have these tough conversations with friends, families, educators, politicians, strangers. We need to create dialogues with as many people as we can so we can better gauge where societal thought is going and why it is going astray.

Most importantly, take parenting your children as the utmost important task in your life. Research, educate, discipline, create healthy habits, and love them unconditionally. You only get once chance to raise them. Make it count.

Having these conversations directly about controversial topics or issues while setting aside the categorization of individual assumed stances allows us to gain an understanding of peoples views and allows you to inquire as to why they stand for the so called issue or not. This can create a more harmonious society. When we discuss a wide range of topics we come to an understanding that we are more alike than we think. And even if it goes completely opposite than that, we still need to learn how to communicate with each other to gain an understanding as to why they believe a certain thing. This can either lead to the solidification of your viewpoint, or skew it gradually. Both of which is fine, but we need to stop all the negativity from the get-go of meeting someone, a glass ceiling is created and topics will be untouched based nearly on assumptions. If we keep having these hard conversations the categorizations of humanity will hopefully deteriorate and we can be more loving and accepting towards others by eliminating barriers of preconceived notions and prejudices.

We need to be break out of our comfort zones in order to move forward and break the ugly cycle that is occurring in society today.

Written by Tathiana Wolfe

February 11th, 2019 at 9:10 pm

Posted in Commentary

Let’s Not Talk About the Weather…

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Growing up we were taught to never talk about politics nor religion. They were naughty topics that always seemed to create heated disagreements and tough conversations that usually ended badly, with someones feelings being hurt. I didn’t think anything of it at the time since religion nor politics played a big role in my life as a child, or so in my innocence I thought.

I didn’t come to the realization of how important these topics really were until I met the love of my life, who happens to have political aspirations. He turned my intellectual thought process upside down by testing my stances on issues through deep, meaningful conversations. Each conversation left me with a series of questions that I urgently wanted to answer. I felt an overwhelming sense of frustration and guilt for not thinking about the issues beforehand. I was overwhelmed with how much I did not know or understand on issues that directly effected me.

The rising movement of black-and-white sides to topics urged me to dig deeper into understanding what politics even involved. I felt like I had to choose a side on every topic being discussed in the media since there always seems to be so much division. Republican vs Democrat, Collective vs Individual, Abortion vs Pro Life, Religion, Feminist Movement, Gun rights, Healthcare, Public vs Private Education. All of these topics, and more, that I have never put much thought into hit me like a brick wall since I knew these important conversations in the media were creating societal norms for the generations to come and each of our opinions really did matter, especially since I am a parent and a voting citizen.

Parents are their children’s role models, this is the most important role as a human, and how we raise our children matter. We are creating what our children are going to consider being their sense of normalcy, whether our influence on them being positive or negative, it is a fact. We, as a society, need to be educated in the issues that matter the most so that we can pass down morals and behaviors that act in accordance to the values we want to instill into our children. There is an attack on culture in our world today and we need to raise strong individuals to combat the harmful pressures they will encounter.

Which leads me to religion. I wasn’t raised in a religious upbringing and it is easy for me to blame this for the few bad decisions I made in my life, at an early age, that I probably wouldn’t have made if I felt that I had a purpose. Whether you are religious or not, it is hard to deny that religion is directly related to morals and submitting to a higher authority than ourselves. Both of which are essential characteristics to teach our children in order to help them navigate through life.

Over the years I am finding that the two issues that we need to pay the most attention to in society today are politics and religion since these two topics work hand-in-hand by determining the outcome of the societal state we will leave to be inherited by the generations to come. So instead of talking about the weather, Lets talk about how we can change the world that is crumbling into a state of mass confusion. Now is the time for a more conservative cultural shift in thought and behavior before it gets any worse. If you are not a fan of religion, then do it for the next generations sake.

Written by Tathiana Wolfe

January 9th, 2019 at 9:09 pm

Posted in Commentary

The Green Deal – Reviewed

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Today we are in a political environment that shows one of our two major political parties, increasingly moving towards Socialism. As a quick review, Socialism is a system where community/government heavily regulates or even owns vast swaths of the economy. In this new proposal by the newest star in the Democratic Party, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC).

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has put forth a congressional rule change to take effect on January 1st, 2020. This would create a “Select Committee for a Green Deal”. This would be such a sweeping change to how our economy would be working and a hard lurch into Socialist governance. You would think by the title, this would be maybe some large infrastructure spending on renewable energy technologies. It is in vogue these days to have catchy titles for laws when in fact this goes well beyond any scope that could be imagined.

Key Points:

1. 100% of national power demand through renewable sources

2. Building a national “smart” grid

3. Upgrading every residential and industrial building for state-of-the-art energy efficiency

4. Eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from transportation

5. Funding massive investment in the draw-down of greenhouse gases

6. Job guarantee program

7. ‘Just Transition’

8. Mitigate deeply entrenched racial, regional and gender-based inequalities in income and wealth (including, without limitation, ensuring that federal and other investment will be equitably distributed to historically impoverished, low income, de-industrialized or other marginalized communities in such a way that builds wealth and ownership at the community level

The Green New Deal was so good that after its released online by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s office, days later they had to fully retract the text and F.A.Q and start a campaign to gaslight the media that these documents were not genuine. This didn’t hold water for very long as people went to the Internet Archive (Link: Click) and saw the original attribution was in fact from the Congresswomen’s website. At this point the angle changed again to say this was a ‘draft’ version mistakenly put online by a staffer (Chief of Staff?). The only problem with this line is, where is the final draft?

In my experience, if a draft is put out, then you would quickly put the ‘final draft’ to replace it. To this point, it has not been forthcoming. I even went to Twitter to ask for this clarification. No response yet.

What does this tell us?

This tells me we have people in Congress and broadly in the American public that wants this full transformation into Socialism. The breadth and scope of the GND agenda would require such of level of government regulation and compliance as to completely transform the American economy into a fully Command-n-Control economy. This is were the battle lines are drawn for 2020 politics and our general fight. Never did I think after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 that capitalism triumphant defeat of Communism that we would now be debating Communism-lite (Socialism).

The Democratic Party is now fully in a identity crisis in which the winner will capture the soul of the party. This is clearly a god-send for the Republican Party. The American public is not where one of the major political parties wants its supporters to go. When you see polling on the Medicare for All, Free College Tuition, Climate Change policy and Gun Reform, they seem to have very favorable numbers until you actually get into what the policy implications are and then you see support fall sharply.

I will declare he that we are fully in a values and class war. This is going to pull the American public apart and you will be forced to choose a side. This is our new civil war but its not a shooting war, but a war for the hearts and minds of the American body politic.

Written by Tally Stick

January 4th, 2019 at 12:11 pm

Posted in Commentary

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Gizmodo: Former Facebook Workers: ‘We Routinely Suppressed Conservative News’

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This is a very troubling story.  It shows the new form of censorship and bias in the media.  There was a time in our history, where journalists and news organizations would pride themselves on being unbiased or give equal air time for both sides of important issues and ideological points of view.  Now we are seeing the truth of the matter that we are being constantly spun and editorialized while not admitting as much, holding the mantle of neutral observer, when that is far from the truth.

Facebook and Twitter are now being a sort of digital ghetto that becomes an echo chamber for confirmation biased of the regressive left persuasion.  The likely response is that we will see more ideologically defined platforms rise up for conservatives to combat these injustices.   The problem that creates is in America we need to be a melting pot where we can all engage and let the best ideas prevails as Americans supporting it, not Democrats or Republicans.   When you have people using platforms for their political leanings, you reduce the engagement between our major political ideologies.  This divides us and with our current politics showing that we still have major division on issues and how governance should be handled, this does not bode well for the future.

If we continue to not discuss these issues with our opposition, we will never have a meeting of the minds.  That means over time the different sides will just think that opposition is just wrong.  From there you see the demonetization and misinformation that plays to peoples unqualified assumptions.   Once you get to a point where you see the other side as less than human, then you can start supporting and take increasingly extreme positions against them.   This process usually ends in violence with both sides claiming moral authority and that only leads to civil wars unless the situation is de-escalated.   This tactic is used when countries prepare to go to war.  They are try and portray the other sides as animals or monsters.   This gives your side a easier time to engage in the wholesale slaughter that comes with war.

Everyone needs to push back against this, not be complacent just because you happen to support the message.  That is not moral authority, just or a healthy way to approach our human politics.  We all have worth and should be listened too.  When you alienate or chill free expression, this creates the dark pockets that make desperate people justify extreme actions.  If you want to win the in the arena of public ideas, you have to make the case and allow it to be challenged to the point where it is clear that you have the best ideas and it has survived all the serious opposition thrown at time, while still maintaining clear merit for the majority.  People have lost or ignored this concept,  how you win matters more than the winning itself.

In other words, Facebook’s news section operates like a traditional newsroom, reflecting the biases of its workers and the institutional imperatives of the corporation. Imposing human editorial values onto the lists of topics an algorithm spits out is by no means a bad thing—but it is in stark contrast to the company’s claims that the trending module simply lists “topics that have recently become popular on Facebook.”

These new allegations emerged after Gizmodo last week revealed details about the inner workings of Facebook’s trending news team—a small group of young journalists, primarily educated at Ivy League or private East Coast universities, who curate the “trending” module on the upper-right-hand corner of the site. As we reported last week, curators have access to a ranked list of trending topics surfaced by Facebook’s algorithm, which prioritizes the stories that should be shown to Facebook users in the trending section. The curators write headlines and summaries of each topic, and include links to news sites. The section, which launched in 2014, constitutes some of the most powerful real estate on the internet and helps dictate what news Facebook’s users—167 million in the US alone—are reading at any given moment.

URL:  http://gizmodo.com/former-facebook-workers-we-routinely-suppressed-conser-1775461006

Written by Tally Stick

May 9th, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Posted in Commentary

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LA Times Op-ed: The robots are coming for your jobs?

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The rise of the robots has been compared to a Fourth Industrial Revolution.  The sophistication of robotic technologies, new materials and breakthrough in Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making this a very serious subject.  Even a few decades ago this material was more for science fiction than grounded fact.  Currently the world seems to be having a great debate about immigration and its limits, along with discussion of fairness and national sovereignty.  This is a big issue with many players dug into entrenched positions.    If you take a second to look over the bluff you will see that what we should be discussing is how more automation, robots and A.I. will affect the employment landscape.  We are already having trouble employing the other 4 billion people on the planet under our current model.   It seems we may have conflicting systems of governance that are now reaching their limits without very public discussions being had to figure out how the world will look after these changes and if we are going to get to the outside without catastrophic disasters, what underlying assumptions are being made that the general public are unaware of?  Immigration is an important issue but it seems like robots offsetting employment in general will be an even bigger issue with more impact because automation and A.I. affect all ethnic and cultural groups universally.

On one hand we have our tradition of free-ish enterprise wrapped up with a republican democracy with the ideas of basic human rights, justice and liberty.   These seem great and would be a great fit for a society that defends the individual with the goal of generational improvements a overall a more educated and objective citizenry.   In practice in contemporary times, what we have is much more collective and centrally planned by nature, with more and more difference to groups, over-ceding the individual persons.    With increasing talk about guaranteed incomes to offset structural changes.   We also can not forget the deafening roar of climate change, resource constraints and population.   Something doesn’t seem to match up.

What I like to think about in these intellectual exercises is what each piece represents in the puzzle.   What do robots represent in this scenario, are they for the good or bad?  What are the goals we are using to even measure good or bad in this situation?  I personally am not a believer is technology improvements just for technology’s sake just like I am not always for productivity improvements for productivity’s sake.   You should looks at the broader picture and see how these changes will affect the people that bare these changes and if on a whole, be able to demonstrate that this is an improvement when weighing all things.  When I look at robotics and AI, it makes me wonder if this is a solution looking for a problem?

When I objectively look on one hand, we still have 4 billion people unemployed and on the other, we need to protect the environment and be much more conscious in our resource usage.    It seems if we are sincere in uplifting the World’s poorest from abject poverty, we need more jobs available, not less.  Robots and A.I. can easily be considered a labor-saving device, not a labor-demand-increasing one.  Conversely, if we are going to slow climate change and bring 4 billion people into modern civilization, maintaining our current consumption habits and giving them a guaranteed income will be counter-productive.

When looking at it from this point of view, it makes me think there may be an unstated assumption for the future.   Will we be brought to this Utopia where work is eliminated for the most part because of our servantian robots and A.I.   A place where we have time for maximum leisure and finally we will have the time to work on the world’s great problems and mysteries?  7-9 billion people that have finally been able to throw off the shackles of labor?   Is all this high technology going to be democratized for the betterment of mankind?   I really hope so.   It worries me that we are throwing ourselves headfirst into this reality without really address these really big questions that it doesn’t seem to take more than a few hours of heavy thinking to see that we have some serious incompatibilities with desired outcomes and human nature.

{LA Times}:

A viral video released in February showed Boston Dynamics’ new bipedal robot, Atlas, performing human-like tasks: opening doors, tromping about in the snow, lifting and stacking boxes. Tech geeks cheered and Silicon Valley investors salivated at the potential end to human manual labor.

Shortly thereafter, White House economists released a forecast that calculated more precisely whom Atlas and other forms of automation are going to put out of work. Most occupations that pay less than $20 an hour are likely to be, in the words of the report, “automated into obsolescence.”

The so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution has found its first victims: blue-collar workers and the poor.
In other words, the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution has found its first victims: blue-collar workers and the poor.

The general response in working America is disbelief or outright denial. A recent Pew Research Center survey found that 80% of Americans think their job will still exist in 50 years, and only 11% of today’s workers were worried about losing their job to automation. Some — like my former colleagues at the CIA – insist that their specialized skills and knowledge can’t be replaced by artificial intelligence. That is, until they see plans for autonomous drones that don’t require a human hand and automated imagery analysis that outperforms human eyes.

 

Written by Tally Stick

March 29th, 2016 at 12:50 pm