“Censorship that doesn’t look like censorship”

Remember, “free speech” doesn’t always align with the user policies on Facebook, Twitter etc. Own your content and your books or learn to live with the trade off of letting the algorithm decide how you vote…

“Censorship that doesn’t look like censorship. It deliberately reduces the spread of information that might otherwise go viral. Vicious. “You can say what you like but no one will hear you. And also, you’ll think no one cared, so you’ll give up trying.” Subtle, deniable, and quite ruthless.”

via Paul Dietric: Adventures in Twitter Censorship (PDF for obvious reasons)

Poverty Amongst Prosperity

These are great numbers at the macro level, but this is troubling:

“Corporate profits are at record levels; stock prices have more than doubled.”

vs

“The same Census report showed that the number of people living in poverty went up in 2014 to nearly 46.7 million — which is 6.8 million more than in 2008. The official poverty rate — meaning the percentage of the population living below the official poverty line — was 14.8 percent last year, which is 1.6 percentage points higher than in 2008.”

Source: Obama’s Numbers (October 2015 Update) | FactCheck.org

The United States’ Poor Record on LTE

“Conversely some of the earliest adopters of LTE — like the U.S., Japan, Sweden and Germany — are starting to fall behind in terms of data performance. In part, these older networks are suffering from their own success. In the U.S., for instance, LTE’s introduction in 2010 resulted in a huge base of LTE subscribers in the country today. Those subscribers are all competing for the same network resources, slowing down average speeds. In comparison, newer networks in South America and Europe are more lightly loaded. But the U.S. has also failed to keep up with the rest world in both spectrum and technology. All of the four major U.S. operators have been expanding into more frequency bands, but none have been able to match the capacity countries like South Korea and Singapore have plowed into their networks. The U.S. has also been much slower in moving to LTE-Advanced.”

Source: The State of LTE September 2015 – OpenSignal

During my first few weeks at Wofford College in the Fall of 1996, I stumped the campus IT team by asking for the TCP / IP details or a way to get an internet connection in my dorm room. “Why do you want to have the internet in your dorm room?” one of the IT team asked me. Two years later, the whole campus had a high speed fiber connection.

We’re undergoing a transition from laptops to mobile devices as a primary mode of computing for many people, young and old. However, as Thomas Whitley and I talked about on Thinking Religion yesterday, the transition is happening quickly on university campuses.

I’ve talked to young people who said that mobile service was a factor in where they wanted or decided to go to college. It wasn’t a primary factor, but it did make into the equation. I hear the same from businesses and clients I work with today when deciding on where to have meetings (“We can’t meet in that part of town…the Verizon coverage is terrible.”).

I wonder when / if we’ll, as a country, insist on investing in more development of LTE and mobile in both urban and rural parts of our country as the mobile revolution continues? Or has our political mood changed so much in twenty years that the government stepping in and working with an industry to improve what is potentially seen as a necessary service an impossibility?

“We’re here to tell you we believe that in rural North Carolina and in rural America, Internet access ought to be just as likely as telephone access…You ought to be able to use it in the fastest possible way…And if you can, it’ll mean more jobs, more businesses, higher incomes and more opportunity.”

President Bill Clinton
Wednesday, April 26, 2000

 

Americans Don’t Understand What it Means to Be Pastoral

We too easily understand the differences between “conservative” and “progressive” but our churches have taught us very little about what being “pastoral” actually means…

“Americans are often tempted to read Francis as a “progressive” pope who has tossed out the conservative playbook of Church leaders past. After all, he’s thrown down scathing critiques of global capitalism, pushed for radical reform on climate change, and shifted the Church’s tone on issues like homosexuality, divorce, and abortion. So as pundits map his views, many conclude that he’s pushing the church into uncharted territory. But as a 15th-century Vatican cartographer might have put it: hic sunt dracones.”

Source: When Does Pope Francis Arrive in the United States, Washington, D.C., New York, and Philadelphia? – The Atlantic

Essential reading as Pope Francis lands in the United States today to begin his tour of the country.

On Invoking Galileo and Columbus in Your Arguments

“If you are arguing against climate change, vaccines, evolution, etc. you do not get to invoke Galileo because in any accurate analogy, you are the religious fanatics (or the astronomers who blindly clung to Aristotle).”

Source: No one thought that Galileo was crazy, and everyone in Columbus’s day knew that the earth was round | The Logic of Science

If only I had a dime for every time I’ve encountered the “Yeah? Well, everyone thought Columbus was nuts too!” or “Yeah? Well, Galileo was right despite what all the scientists of his day said!” in a conversation.