Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Misinformation & Covid

All over the world, we see people protesting the pandemic measures designed to protect people and misinformation is at the heart of the problem. Facebook started to work on some features that help reduce the spread of misinformation by flagging videos that they deem misleading and reducing its reach. The problem who is qualified in making these decisions? Maybe the field experts can review each and every videos and flag the ones with misleading data but even them are prone in making errors. 

Few of the problems:
  • Part of the problem comes from the Schooling system, and society in general, that teaches kids to not question the information from authority figures. Because of this, which ever piece of information that's the loudest takes precedents even though it may not make the most sense (misinformation and negativity does tend to be louder).
  • Misinformation, and negative news, have a shock factor to it which help spread it faster than truth or trustworthy information.
    • More often than not, people ask what is legal rather than what is right. It's not illegal to spread misinformation, in order to profit from it(from social media or other), but it's not the right thing to do.
    • Internet algorithms put emphasis on stories that are more likely to sell and misinformation/shocking news sell more.
  • People no longer see their Government as a trust worthy source of information. Governments, all over the world, are sharing the information given to them by top medical professionals but this is seen as unreliable because of the many errors committed, by those Governments, in the past.
    • Celebrities' have more influence than Governments and/or medical professional among the masses. If a Celebrity says something that doesn't align with the medical professional it could still be believed solely due to status. Some celebrities' have voiced their oppositions to the vaccines and the security measures which had a devastating effect.
  • Virus, vaccine, Covid-19... these are all things that only experts fully understands and some people don't trust what they don't understand no matter the source. All that they know is that one day they used to be able to go to restaurants and now they can't.
  • We live in a "Microwave / I want everything now" type of society and the pandemic has been around for a few years now... people are exhausted.
What's the solution? It took years for some of these problems to materialize therefor there are no quick fixes/easy solutions here. People will continue believing what they want to believe but we first need to be more patient and we need to revisit some of these beliefs as well as how we function as a society. We need to build a society that's not a representation of who we are but who we need to be. A society that seeks truths rather than shocking.

In the meantime, my hope for the world is that the Pandemic ends and that these protest don't turn into something uglier.

Stay safe.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Now Isn't The Time To Buy a House


A friend of mine, who's in sales, recently contacted me regarding how "hot" the housing market was and wondered if I was looking to purchase a house. While my friend was well intentioned, I know not to buy when the markets are "hot" as this is when things are more expensive.

What's a hot housing market?

A hot housing market is simply that there's a high demand for houses which as an obvious effect on the price. The reason why it's hot right now is because many people are working from home, due to COVID, and decided to move as they no longer require to live near their workplace.

I live in the countryside and the obvious benefits of living here is the cost of living is a lot less than in big cities. Another friend of mine bought a decent size house, a few years ago, for 70K and could probably get double that today if he wanted to sell it. On my street, 2 houses were sold roughly 2 months after being on sale, which is unusual here, and because they were sold at higher price point than normal it had the adverse effect of raising everyone else's taxes on this block... but that's something for another day.

All this to say that you want to sell when the markets are hot and buy when they're cold. When the markets are hot, more people places bids which increases the prices and when the markets are cold less people place bids and you end up with a better deal. It's a bit like playing a game of hot potatoes ... you don't want to be on the receiving end of the hot potato as you'll get burn.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Old Couple - Same Old Fights

Long term relationships, something I've only ever seen from afar, seems to have their fair share of fights that are just repeats of older ones. Even though I've never experienced this myself, just hearing about it from friends and family, over and over again, is tiresome. I can only imagine how tiresome it must be for those involved.

While I can certainly understand that couples sometime fight, having the same fights over and over again seems to suggest that there's an unwillingness, from either side, to do anything with the problem. When neither make compromises, or take responsibility, over the issue then they allow it to remain. It's not about finding who's at fault as much as it is to find peace. Every situation requires a solution tailored to the problem. Communication is key!

Some people seem to be more comfortable in having the same fights, over and over again, than to make the change necessary to for peace. For someone like me, who wants peace out of life, this isn't an acceptable situation to be in. I either need to be with someone who can workout the issues with me or let me be alone.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Where Do We Go After We Die?

Humans have wanted to know what happens after death for as long as we were able to formulate a thought. We found answers for ourselves which we compiled into the various religious text that are still being taught today. I've never really liked the answers the various religions gives to that question because a lot of it isn't based on anything tangible or that can be measured.

Where do we go after we die?

When we're alive, we're able to hear, feel, see, smell... but, after we die, we change into the state we were in before we were born which doesn't have any of these bodily characteristics. We are part of this Universe regardless of the state that we're in but our interaction with the Universe, when we no longer exist as a person, will not only be different but incomprehensible to the living.

The Christians Heavens is said to be a place where we'll meet everyone that was meaningful to us but everyone that was meaningful to our bodily self remains in the memory/brain of the decaying body. The state we were in before we were born can't be referred to as a person and neither is the state we will be after we die because what is referred to as a "person" remains here.
Sometimes, when we sleep, we don't have any dreams. Everything is black and we feel, see, are nothing. This, at least in my mind, is how death will be.

Am I scared to die?

We're naturally afraid of the unknown and death is unknown to us but when we die we won't have the ability to feel afraid, or anything else, anymore.

A.I. will complicate things...

I think that once Artificial Intelligence becomes common place the question of where we go after we die will have a different meaning. Where would an A.I. mind go when it's shut off? Religious folks will be quick to point out that A.I. doesn't have a soul they, therefore, don't have an afterlife but once A.I. becomes so good that we can differentiate them from human minds are we, finally, going to conclude that the difference between mechanical and biological death isn't that different.

In the end...

In the end, nobody knows for sure what will happen after we die but I think that if we focus on what we know of our physical body we can find some plausible answers that make more sense than reincarnation or heaven/hell theories. Some people have had near death experiences where they "saw" angels or a glimpse of a heaven/hell but then the question becomes "which version of heaven/hell did you see?" as many religions not only have different heavens/hells (some have none) but also have different requirements on how to get there. Did they see the Christian heaven or one of the 7 heavens mentioned in Islam? Considering that they're still alive can we truly say they were dead or did they simply have a near death experience? Were the images they saw something that they wanted to see?

One thing is for sure is that we're alive now and we should live our life the best that we can.

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