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14 Jan 2017 - Back in my day…

Even back in my day people were gunning others down in theaters
I think it’s appropriate to preface this by saying that back in my day I used to frequent Fark before it went downhill and there was a mass exodus of members. I don’t necessarily think there was any real reason why the site went down hill, either. I think it was a combination of the fact that there was more competition from sites similar to it, as well as the fact that social media became a staple in most people’s lives just before it could get real big and appeal to the masses. This notion really makes sense now because back then most sane people laughed it off thinking no one was ACTUALLY getting their news from social media, but we’ve all found out this is sadly true and has been going on for a long time now.  

This is just a long winded way for me to tell you that yes, I used to frequent Fark a lot back in the early 2000s but now find myself browsing Reddit several times a day.  

I saw in r/AskReddit someone asked “What will be the Millennial generation's ‘I had to walk 20 miles uphill both ways in the snow to school every day’?” and I got to thinking… “Yeah… what will I tell my kids when they’re in their early teens?”  

Some people responded with the obvious “Back in the day you had to wait for the modem to connect to the internet… we only had a 14.4k modem!” or “We had to actually drive our own cars!” but what are some other things that us millennials had to endure that the next generation will find to be barbaric?  

Opposing opinions
Apparently this has been going on for a while now but I have only started to take notice of it over the last 4 or so years. We have a global epidemic going on in which younger people, people post-millennial age, no longer want to listen to other people’s opinions, nor do they want to have to defend their own when questioned by someone who doesn’t share their same view. And I’m not talking about the late 60s and 70s “stick it to the man” mindset.  

The parents of the girl on the ground voted for Trump. She should have known better.
Sadly, I don’t think this is something that is ever going to be fixed. I think thanks in part to technology and social media platforms people are either fed content that plays into their perceived persona that has been extrapolated by some fancy algorithm, or they themselves have effectively doctored what they will “hear” by unfollowing/blocking any friends who don’t seem to meet eye to eye, and only visiting websites and reading content that cater to their own likes.  

Now when they go out in the “real world” and run into someone who doesn’t agree with their opinion on a certain subject matter they no longer know how to effectively deal with the situation.  

Back in my day you would see lengthy forums topics online of people arguing and defending their opinions on something they felt strongly about, or college students could actually have meaningful debates with their professors on a topic when given the opportunity to do so without fear of getting kicked out or ruthlessly ridiculed or attacked by other students. It’s sad - people now seem to have lost their gusto in defending their own opinions and are willing to live in their own little silos.  

Printed TV Guides
Yeah… for all you young people, this was actually a thing. You used to have to wait for the paper to get the TV guide for your cable provider to find out when Teen Mom was going to be airing on MTV. Oh wait, just kidding, we didn’t have trash like that on TV then. MTV actually played music videos then.  

But seriously, you would have to go through this book - usually it was printed every other week if I recall correctly - and highlight or earmark the shows that you wanted to watch or record using your VCR. There were no fancy DVRs with an easy to search/update listing of upcoming shows on each channel. And there was no real easy way to record something that was going to be on late at night. Sure, you could program the VCR to record it when it came on, but you had to program it that day and god forbid if you messed it up then it didn’t get recorded. TV guides rival card catalogues in terms of how primitive things were just 20 years ago. Hell, I don’t think my local library at the time transitioned from the old card catalogue system to computers until 2000. Both of these changes were welcomed by us millennials.  

Maps and MapQuest
I like to brag about the fact that I have a pretty damn good sense of direction and therefore don’t have any issues with using a map to find my way from point A to point B if given a few moments to review the map and maybe take note of one or two significant landmarks indicated on the map in the area. Kids who are just starting to drive now? Not a chance in hell could they use a map. They’re lucky to be able to find their way to their own high school when it’s time for them to start driving on their own without the assistance of a GPS.  

I remember getting lost in New Brunswick, New Jersey in 2005 because I didn’t have a GPS to help guide me and I was just winging it trying to pick someone up. New Brunswick is especially challenging because of the number of one way streets there are - I wound up getting within one block and then just walked the rest. Pretty damn good considering I looked up the directions the night before and was going off of memory. Looking back on the situation I am pretty lucky I didn’t go down the wrong street and wind up being held up at gunpoint and robbed.  

Infrequent Mass Shootings
Almost every week we’re hearing about some kind of mass shooting in which numerous people were gunned down in a public place and even beyond the ones that make the national headlines there are numerous instances that occur on a daily basis around the United States. Did this go on back in the 80s and 90s? Of course it did, but did it happen at such an alarming rate like it does now? I don’t recall there ever being such fear back in the 90s as there is now when it comes to the threat of potentially being gunned down when going out shopping with your family one afternoon.  

This isn’t meant to be a piece on whether gun control should or should not be a thing, all I’m pointing out is that back in the day I think we can all agree that mass shootings did not occur as frequently as they do in 2016/2017. Perhaps the media and social media allows us to hear about these instances at a much higher rate than in prior years, but it sure does seem like the instances of it occurring are much more frequent that they were even back in the early 2000s.  

Aren't we supposed to be driving flying cars already?
Cars that aren’t self driven
Being a geek and a motor head, I’m kind of torn about the notion of cars being able to drive themselves in a few short years. Sure, we already have cars on the roads that are driving themselves, but they are mostly reserved for the rich. And yeah, Uber has some self driving cars on the streets running red lights, too. But they are still not ready to be rolled out in mass quantities.  

In all likelihood though, in 15/20 year’s time cars will no longer be driven by humans but instead by themselves. Just think about all the possibilities there are and how much extra time everyone will have for selfies and other nonsense.  

This for sure is going to be one of those things that I will harp on my kids for when they have the luxury of hopping into their car and having it drive them somewhere without the need of interacting with it. Let’s just hope the iRobot scenario doesn’t play out on us and the cars come after us as a form of rebellion.

To some, this is exactly what happened this year. To those same people, this is what is going to happen over the next four years.
Pretty clever, right? If you don’t get the joke I can’t help you. I can give you a hint though - have you seen MTV’s PSA outlining new year's resolutions for white guys? Let it sink in. You might have to do some Googling to figure it out if you’re not a true geek.  

So here we go again. Another year is about to end and another about to being. Me personally… I honestly don’t see the significance in celebrating yet another revolution around the star that is in the middle of our solar system. I guess it’s another excuse for most people to get shit faced drunk and make poor decisions. Whatever floats your boat, I guess? Social media has been blowing up with people claiming that 2016 has been the “absolute worst year evar” and I am seriously wondering why. Is it because of celebrity deaths? The US election? I sure hope it’s not celebrity deaths that have made this past year the worst ever for many. The geek community will be brought to its knees if we lose another tech icon - Steve Jobs was enough in 2011 let’s wait another few years before we let another tech great log off for good.  

So now it’s time for tons of people to make bullshit resolutions that they’re not even going to bother to keep two weeks after the start of the new year. Some of the most popular resolutions from previous years have been getting in shape, spend less and save more, get organized and read more.  

Fair enough. Those aren’t necessarily bad resolutions. I can get behind most of them. But that’s not what I found through doing my own research on this subject. I went around the local weekend flea market here in eastern Pennsylvania and asked a bunch of random people what their resolutions were and I figured I’d share some of the more interesting ones with you… God help us.  

This is pretty much EXACTLY what Stacey looked like
Stacey Clien, 22 
I’m not going to lie, I’m a sucker for dogs and she just happened to be walking around the flea market with her sister and they had their 3 year old collie with them and couldn’t resist going up to pet the little fella. It’s important to note that Stacey was wearing her favourite Drexel University hoodie and was walking around with her LuLaRoe leggings while carrying a Starbucks cup in one hand and her cell phone surgically attached in the other. I honestly should not have bothered to ask.  

When asked, Stacey told me that she is going to tune on mainstream media and rely solely on social media for her news because as she said “The news failed me this November when I thought Hillary was going to win but they were way wrong. I could have voted for the winning guy but since the news was wrong my vote went to waste” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing out of her mouth. For the hell of it, I decided to ask her what she was studying in college and what her career aspirations were afterwards. Sadly, she told me it was history and she wanted to teach high school students. That was enough for me.  

Brad Green, 28 
Brad was wearing a Bob Marley hoodie and I just wanted to see what he would say for the hell of it, knowing damn well I already knew what he was going to say. When I worked the question into the conversation it was almost like clock work. He went right into a scripted tirade as to why weed should be legal and how he is tired of having his pot sent to him through FedEx. When I asked him if he was worried about drug sniffing dogs one day discovering his package he said that he has tried to have his dog smell the marijuana and is convinced that she has never been able to pick up on the scent through the cardboard that it’s packed in.  

This is probably Dan every other time he is not out of the house
Dan Plock, 44 
Dan was actually a vendor at the flea market who had the typical run down pedo van with a sagging reason suspension and rusted out wheel wells. I honestly wasn’t sure what I was going to hear back from Dan when I haphazardly asked him what his resolutions was going to be. Sure enough, I found myself your typical radical right winged middle aged, white guy who thinks the government is out to get home. Go figure.  

Dan started to go on and on about how he’s going to stockpile as many guns and ammo as he can because he said the government is eventually going to take away the right to purchase firearms. Note that he said purchase, not own. Somehow he transitioned from the topic of guns to the topic of the police being out to get everyone. He was telling me something about one of his friends getting stopped by the police and as soon as the officer stepped up to the car he said “Alright, where’s all the money?” Dan is 100% convinced that the reason why the new $100 bill has the holographic stripe is so law enforcement can see how much money you have in your car and better determine who they are going to pull over.  

I’m guessing he forgot his tin foil hat that morning. Lucky for me an older guy wearing a Vietnam hat came up and that got his attention. Rumor has it that they are still there talking today.  

Abby Fry, 32 
This was an interesting conversation. I don’t even know how I got to talking to Abby and it only lasted for about a minute or two, but in the short time that I talked to her, she told me that her resolution this year was going to be to work even more than she did the previous year while throwing the fact that she works harder and makes more money in the face of her boyfriend “at least 3 times a day” because she said that her mom raised her to be that way and that men were basically inferior. She then proceeded to take out her phone and show me an app that has tracked all of her time she worked last year and was proud to show me that she logged in 74 hours in an average week. She also told me that she was hoping to reconnect with two long lost pen pals in Europe who tried to organize a 3 way with her several years back - she was “willing to give it another try - I was really shocked when I finally met up with them for the first time and realized that they were just trying to con an American girl into having a 3 way with them while writing me letters… I never saw it coming!”  

Uhhh… Right. Call me cynical but that was pretty obvious as soon as she started telling me that.
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How are you gentlemen? All your base are belong to us!
A couple of guys over at Bloomberg put together their predictions for the upcoming new year, and my main take away from reading through it is that they are still upset that Hillary lost the election. They are pretty much saying that since one man - Trump - won the 2016 Presidential Election in the US that the entire world as we know it is going to cease to exist.

Certainly, I will admit that he probably wasn’t the best candidate that the Republican Party could have nominated, but the sad reality is that come late January of 2017 he will be president whether we like it or not. Unless of course enough college kids skip class the day after he takes office. He might be forced to then step down or face the reality that because he took office millions of college students aren’t going to graduate with super useful pottery and ultimate frisbee degrees and cease to keep piling on to the tremendous student loan debt that will never be repaid. China will hate us if this happens since they own most of our debt, anyway.

Regardless, I highly doubt that we’re going to see that much change in his first term. I think people are giving modern day Washington too much credit thinking that stuff is actually going to get done for a change. Not going to happen. Sorry, folks. That’s like giving them credit for covering up aliens - do we honestly think that these guys can keep that a secret? Bill Clinton couldn’t even keep Monica Lewenski a secret.

But these guys at Bloomberg got me thinking… What is really going to happen in 2017? Is it going to be all doom and gloom like they want us to believe? No, I don’t think so. I reckon that it’s going to be a great year - I think there are going to be a lot of breakthroughs that are going to change the planet for the better. Here are my predictions for the upcoming new year.

Eradication of Gluten Intolerance
I took a trip to the local grocery story tonight and saw a twenty-something year old woman struggling in the bread aisle to find a loaf of bread that was gluten free. I’m guessing she had a severe gluten allergy, and so did her infant in the shopping cart.

Gluten intolerance has become an epidemic and is really starting to negatively impact the lives of people. It’s gotten so bad in fact that there are even online dating communities dedicated to those who have gluten intolerances. I’ve heard rumors that they are even developing a site similar to LinkedIn for professionals who have gluten intolerances and want to share their accomplishments.

A few researchers from Norway have recently announced that they are on the verge of eliminating gluten from all foods once and for all. They have been doing small scale studies in large abandoned warehouses in which they pump a special gas into the ventilation system and it actively works to destroy gluten in the foods in which it comes in contact. Researches say that if they could retro-fit commercial airliners with special tanks and release them mid flight it should provide enough coverage to stop the epidemic once and for all. They do, however, recommend that people wear tin foil hats when this happens because people are likely to think that planes are leaving behind what are known are “chem clouds”. Also, jet fuel can’t melt steel beams.

This stack of US currency represents the entire cost of tuition of just two Ultimate Frisbee graduates.
Elimination of All Student Loan Debt
It’s really no surprise that student loan debt is out of control in the United States. What did we expect was going to happen when colleges claimed that everyone should go to college and then society agreed and more or less shamed all young adults to go to college regardless of whether or not they should have actually went. How do we honestly expect an 18 year old kid who can barely even wake up before 10am on their own accord to make such significant financial decisions so early on in their life. They do not understand the weight of a 60, 70 or in some cases 100,000 dollar loan. Then to make matters worse, they major in something like ultimate frisbee and wonder how they’re going to pay back $100,000 with crazy interest rates.

But not to worry, 2017 is going to be their lucky year when Donald Trump takes a page out of Bernie Sanders’ book and mandates that all universities in the United States will be free for all and all outstanding student loan debt will be forgiven. Nevermind the immediate downward spiral the global economy would take because of such an event, but thank god almighty universities are finally free for all. Bring on the endless cry ins, free tacos, and exams that you may or may not have to take!

But how is this all going to be paid for? Don’t worry - Keely Mullen has a plan to make it happen that she so eloquently laid out on national TV in an interview with Neil Cavuto. We’re going to tax the 1% at an unheard of tax rate of 99% in order to make up for the inequality and unjust loans in the country. Unfortunately, this still leaves a fairly large gap that still needs to be covered. Maybe the problem lies within the tremendous increases in tuition? Just a thought.

Police Forces Turning in Their Weapons
In a strange turn of events in 2017, Trump is going to slowly but surely take away the guns from our men and women in uniform and instead give them rape whistles and wooden pistols to stop the bad guys. We can thank the 2010 movie “The Other Guys” for this.

It’s no surprise that the media wants us to believe that it’s all over if you get pulled over by the police. They want you to think that you’re going to get shot up for speeding or not using your indicator when turning. In fact, rumor has it that some countries are actually issuing warnings to their citizens that they advise against traveling to the United States if they do not have to. What the media doesn’t tell you, however, is that if you are speeding, pulled over, and then give them a hard time and lead them to believe that you have something to hide you’re more likely to be viewed in a negative light by law enforcement. How it unfolds from there is between you and the police officer, but you probably shouldn’t let it ever get to that point. I will agree that there are crooked cops out there just as there are crooked teachers, doctors, etc, but the media has blown this out of proportion.

The police paranoia has gotten so bad, in fact, that people are actually calling the police well... on the police. You’re a cop trying to take college courses by attending courses right after a shift but don’t have time to change out of your uniform? Watch out, the professor is likely to stop the class and dial 911 because you’re an armed police officer in class. Obviously, in this situation, the police refused to show up citing that the police officer was well within his rights to open carry while in class. If anything, wouldn’t those in class feel more safe with a police officer given how many school shootings there have been recently?

Not to worry, Trump is going to pass an executive order prohibiting all police officers from carrying any type of real weapon with them lest it’s a rape whistle or wooden pistol. This should put an end to the rash of killings carried out by police with itchy trigger fingers. The proposed order will state that until the score is even between civilians and police, they will not be able to carry firearms. Once even, they then will be able to carry a pistol with a special one round magazine.

Google Image Search for 'skull cap'... Close enough, I guess.
All US-Based ISPs Imposing Asinine Bandwidth Caps
Thinking about being one of the millions who are “cutting the cord”? Think again. It’s no secret that cable companies in the US absolutely RAPE their customers. Between outlandish costs to “rent” their crappy equipment, about four minutes of commercials per ten minutes of live content, and them throttling traffic from Netflix and other streaming services, it doesn’t take an industry expert to understand that they have a virtual monopoly on digital content consumption in the US, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. And they know this.

Going to cut the cord? Fine, go ahead and do it. But they will just put some insanely low bandwidth cap on your connection and then charge you X per gig over that limit. Why? Because they have to (want to) come up with that lost income somehow and that’s the way that they can do it. And what do you know? Come the end of the month your bill will almost be exactly the same as it was prior to cutting the cord.

I would wager a fair amount of money that many major ISPs in 2017 will be implementing lower and lower bandwidth caps until the FCC has to step in and mandate it. What’s next? ISPs are going to start filtering out what they believe to be “fake news” since it doesn’t promote their agenda and their respective party they are backing in Washington?

Under no circumstances am I to be held liable...

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