Jan. 16, 2017 No Survivors

I once read an obituary of a small town school teacher. It said she taught for forty years. She never married and had no children. Therefore it said she had no survivors. I thought about that. Of course there were survivors. Every student she taught was a survivor. She touched the lives of thousands of people.

Copyright 2018 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Lights Out

Lights Out

By Ted Koppel

Koppel explains how vulnerable the American power grid is to cyber attack. Much of the equipment is customized or no longer made in this country. It would be months and possibly years to replace damaged equipment. It could not be moved on our crumbling infrastructure. Millions of people might die in the disruption. The solution is to prepare or build a society that does not depend on the grid. This means batteries and solar panels everywhere.

Copyright 2018 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Mindhunter

Mindhunter

By  John Douglas and Mark Olshaker

John Douglas was one of the last of J. Edgar Hoover’s G-Men who hunted serial killers. At the FBI, he developed profiles on people like Ted Bundy. Apparently Douglas predicted that Bundy would live in Seattle, be in the legal profession, a registered Republican and drive or collect Volkwagen vehicles. Every page of this book seems to have a horror story.  How do we prevent this? Douglas, a hardboiled cop and conservative, thinks society creates them and can prevent them.

“Bill Tafoya, the special agent who served as our ‘futurist’ at Quantico, advocated a minimum of a ten-year commitment of money and resources on the magnitude of what we sent into the Persian Gulf. He calls for a wide-scale reinstatement of Project Head Start, one of the most effective long term, anticrime programs in history. He doesn’t think more police are the answer, but he would bring in “an army of social workers” to provide assistance for battered women, homeless families with children, to find good foster homes. And he would back it all up with tax incentive programs.”

Copyright 2018 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

 

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Jan. 10, 2017 Daryl Issa Retiring

On Jan. 10, 2017 NPR’s Jessica Taylor reported “Rep. Darrell Issa To Retire, Adding To Record GOP Exodus From Congress”

“Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., announced he will not seek re-election Wednesday, adding to a record number of House Republicans heading for the exits ahead of the 2018 midterms — perhaps seeing the writing on the wall of a possible wave election for Democrats.

There are now 31 Republicans who will not seek re-election in November: 19 who are retiring outright and another 12 who are running for higher office. And that list is is expected to grow in the coming weeks.”

Copyright 2018 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jan. 9, 2017 American Gods

Neil Gaiman’s American Gods on Starz TV proposes that gods need worshippers.  Essentially most many gods are immigrants to America and must adapt to the new world like anyone else. You really have to know your mythology in this series. I recommend lots of books by Joseph Campbell. It is odd and disturbing, much like the folktales on which they are based. It reminds me very much of the novels by Tim Holt. Ian McShane plays Odin.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jan. 7, 2018 Blumbers

Battling Bonobos

I read this week about Bonobo chimpanzees liking strong bullies versus cooperative leadership. People are always looking for things that makes different from other apes. We cooperate on an large scale. We build systems with people we do not know. They are not family or tribal members. Leaders who talk about the world being a jungle are looking at the wrong apes.

Copyright 2018 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jan 6, 2017 Dirk Gently

I enjoyed Douglas Adams book The Hitchhikers Guide To The Universe. He also wrote two Dirk Gently Holistic Detective Agency books. They were odd but the BBC TV series is off the charts. These are shaggy dog stories so shaggy that I’m not sure there is a dog underneath it all. The characters keep saying everything is connected but they sure take their time showing it. Not recommended if you are using cold medication.

Copyright 2018 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jan. 5, 2018 Happy!

Someone recommended I watch a show on SYFY called Happy! It is not. I am not. The actor who plays a good detective on one of the Law And Order but plays a very bad one here. Patton Oswalt plays a flying blue unicorn. Really. I won’t even try to explain. Not a show to watch if you have the flu.

Copyright 2018 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jan. 3, 2018 Family Flu

The holidays are over and the visitors have left. What they left was the flu. The gift that keeps on giving. Yeah, I had a shot, but apparently it only covers ten percent of the flu strains out there. Time to catch up on my reading and binge watching.

Had a strange fevered dream after falling asleep watching video. A buffalo wanted their picture taken down, but there was no picture. They could not give a date or link. Cannot take down what is not there. Will not be buffaloed.

Back to sleep.

Copyright 2018 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jan. 2018 Events To Attend

Here are some events you might want to attend. Check with the respective organizations for more information.

Date: Jan. 5, 2018 6:00PM

Org: STC East Bay

Topic: What User Experience Is and Why Tech Writers Should Care

Speaking: Nicki Davis

Venue: Brass Door Restaurant, 2154 San Ramon Valley Blvd, San Ramon, CA 94583

Date: Jan. 9, 2018 6:00PM

Org: STC San Diego

Topic: TBA

Speaking: Chapter members

Venue: Kilowatt Brewing, 7576 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego CA 92111

Date: Jan. 13, 2018 6:00PM

Org: STC Berkeley

Topic: Touchstone Awards

Speaking: Richard Mateosian and Patrick Lufkin

Venue: Highlands Country Club, 110 Hiller Drive, Oakland, California

Date: Jan. 16, 2018, 6:00PM

Org: STC Puget Sound

Topic: Step Up to the Podium

Speaking: Lin Laurie

Venue: Tableau – NorthEdge Seattle, 1621 N 34th St. Seattle, WA 98103

Date: Jan. 17, 2018 6:00PM 

Org: STC San Francisco Chapter

Topic: Git for Non-Programmers

Speaking: Jimmy Cuadra

Venue: Salesforce office at 121 Spear St. in the Rincon Center, San Francisco, CA 94105

Date: Jan. 22, 2018 6:00PM 

Org: STC Silicon Valley Chapter

Topic: Leadership

Speaking: David Hovey

Venue: IHOP Restaurant 4200 Great America Pkwy. Santa Clara, CA 95054

Date: Jan. 23-24, 2018 9:00AM

Org: CIDM

Topic: CIDM IDEAS Winter Online Conference—Understanding User Needs

Speaking: Rob Hanna Kit Brown-Hoekstra, Larry Kunz, Diana Lakatos, Christina Mayr, Sarah O’Keefe, Elena Osichkina, Lisa Pietrangeli, Debbie Roemer, Keith Schengili-Roberts, Dawn Stevens, Mike Unwalla, Val Swisher

Patty Gale Vijay Kulkarni, Marie Louise Flacke, Eric Kuhnen, Nathalie Cotté, Siva Reddy Bora,Don Bridges, Kirsten Peterson, Jacob Royal, Jess Caldwell, Jack Henry, Lynn Chesler and many more

Venue: Online

Date: Jan. 26-27, 2018 8:00AM
Org: TC Camp
Topic: API Day, Workshops on Chatbots, Minimalism, WordPress/SEO, Adobe
Speaking: Liz Fraley, Peter Gruenbaum, Dawn Stevens, Michael Lam, Massimo Paolini and Alyson Harrold
Venue: Hospitality Management Building, Mission College, 3000 Mission College Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95054

Date: Feb. 20, 2018 8:00AM 

Org: STC Orange County 

Topic: MadCap Software

Speaking: MadCap Software representatives

Venue: Doubletree Club Hotel—Orange County Airport, 7 Hutton Centre Drive, Santa Ana, CA 92707

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Dec.30, 2017 Apple iPhone Slowdown

People are saying their phones are slowing down after they update their software. It is not just phones. I know someone who updated their laptop and now it freezes up and shuts down. They were forced to buy a new machine and battery in order to be productive. Personally I seldom update. The software a machine uses is optimized at the time the hardware is released. I am using machines that are over ten years old. Now if I can only get my internet service provider to speed up its network.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Dec. 24, 2017 Blumbers

Christmas Eve

This is when you should read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his coworker George Marley on Christmas Eve. Marley warns Scrooge that he should care for the weak, poor and vulnerable while he is alive because he will be unable to help after he is dead. Marley realized too late that “Mankind was my business.”

Listen for that ponderous chain.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Dec. 23, 2017 American Poverty

On Dec. 23, 2017 NPR’s Sasha Ingber reported “U.N. Investigator On Extreme Poverty Issues A Grim Report — On The U.S.” Philip Alston, United Nations special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights recently issued his report. Poverty exists mainly with women and children of all races. “Contrasts between the rich and poor abound. While funding for the IRS to audit wealthy taxpayers has been reduced, efforts to identify welfare fraud are being greatly intensified,” he says. The wealthy also stand to benefit from advances in technology, while robots and automation threaten to take away jobs from people in low-skill labor positions, he says.

Meanwhile, the poor may not even be able to use the Internet. Alston states that nearly half of all people living in West Virginia lack access to high speed Internet. “When I asked the governor’s office in West Virginia about efforts to expand broadband access in poor, rural communities, it could only point to a 2010 broadband expansion effort,” he says in the statement. It’s not that they don’t want it; half of the state’s counties have reportedly applied for broadband assistance. The U.N. considers the Internet to be a human right for its ability to support education, drive development and foster citizen engagement, among other things.

“In 2016, 40 million people — more than one in eight citizens — lived in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. “The reality is that the United States now has probably the lowest degree of social mobility among all the rich countries,” Alston says. “And if you are born poor, guess where you’re going to end up —- poor.”

Alston also criticized the Republican tax reform bill that just passed in Congress. He says it “stakes out America’s bid to become the most unequal society in the world.”

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Dec. 22, 2017 Homeless Memorial Day

On Dec. 21, 2017, NPR’s Camila Domonoske reported “Cities Across The U.S. Honor ‘Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day.””They pass quietly, often out of sight, their deaths more likely an unconfirmed rumor to those who knew them on the street than the basis for a news story,””Many never get a funeral. Some of their bodies go unclaimed at the morgue.” Homeless groups across the country held vigils reading the names of the homeless people who have died over the past year.

On Feb. 17, 2015, Mother Jones reporter Scott Carrier wrote an article “The Shockingly Simple, Surprisingly Cost-Effective Way to End Homelessness” about the Salt Lake City approach for the homeless. They spend $10,000 a year to house, feed and care for them. This is cheaper than spending $20,000 putting them in jail or hospital emergency rooms.

Carrier said “We could, as a country, look at the root causes of homelessness and try to fix them. One of the main causes is that a lot of people can’t afford a place to live. They don’t have enough money to pay rent, even for the cheapest dives available. Prices are rising, inventory is extremely tight, and the upshot is, as a new report by the Urban Institute finds, that there’s only 29 affordable units available for every 100 extremely low-income households. So we could create more jobs, redistribute the wealth, improve education, socialize health care, basically redesign our political and economic systems to make sure everybody can afford a roof over their heads.” Or, we could give a trillion dollar tax break to the richest one percent.
New York University psychologist Sam Tsemberis had an idea. “Okay,” Tsemberis recalls thinking, “they’re schizophrenic, alcoholic, traumatized, brain damaged. What if we don’t make them pass any tests or fill out any forms? They aren’t any good at that stuff. Inability to pass tests and fill out forms was a large part of how they ended up homeless in the first place. Why not just give them a place to live and offer them free counseling and therapy, health care, and let them decide if they want to participate? Why not treat chronically homeless people as human beings and members of our community who have a basic right to housing and health care?””We have the cure for homelessness—it’s housing. What we lack is political will.”
Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.
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Dec. 21, 2017 US Life Expectancy Falls Again

On Dec. 21,2017 NPR’s Rob Srein reported “Life Expectancy Drops Again” “I’m not prone to dramatic statements,” says Robert Anderson, chief of the mortality statistics branch at the National Center for Health Statistics. “But I think we should be really alarmed.””According to the latest analysis, U.S. life expectancy fell from 78.7 in 2015 to 78.6 in 2016. That follows a drop from 78.9 in 2014 that researchers hoped would be an aberration.”

“The decline of well-paying jobs with significant yearly salary increases, job security, and good benefits may be fueling a sense of frustration and hopelessness, Case says. That may be one reason fewer people are getting married and more people are having children outside of marriages, Case says.

“They don’t have a good job. They don’t have a marriage that supports them. They may have children that they do or don’t see,” Case says. “They have a much more fragile existence than they would have had a generation ago.”

As a result, “it may be the deaths from drugs, from suicide, from alcohol are related to the fact that people don’t have the stability and a hope for the future that they might have had in the past,” Case says.”

So this is what happened.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

 

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Dec. 18, 2017 Portland Trainwreck

On Dec. 18, 2017, a Portland bound Amtrack train derailed from a bridge over Interstate 5 east of Olympia Washington. The number of  dead or injured is unknown at this time according to Pierce County Sheriff’s office spokesman Ed Troyer. There were 78 passengers and 5 crew according to Amtrack.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Dec. 17, 2017 Blumbers

Percentages

There was an election for US Senator this week in Alabama. It was decided by less than a percentage point. A few thousand votes changed history. You can do this by voting. You can do this by contacting your elected officials. You can do this by becoming an elected official. Keep voting.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Dec. 16, 2017 Star Wars Something Something

Another Star Wars move is in theaters. People like it so much they will sleep outside theaters just to see it. They do know that the film is not like a banana, right? It is a manufactured object. It is not going to disappear after a few days. In a year it will be on cable television three times a day. You will be able to pause it, rewind it, adjust the volume and talk with your friends about it.

Spoiler: Luke is somebody’s father.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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For Future Reference