The 100 Most Influential People by Time is a complete joke

So recently, Time Magazine released “The 100 Most Influential People.” The list is the result of a bunch of people voting in and seeing if someone was worthy of being on the list. The results have been (to me, anyway) a cross between hilarity, frustration, and this thought:

 

Now, do not get me wrong, there are indeed people who do deserve to be on this list that are on the list. People like Pope FrancisMalala Yousafzai and Barack Obama totally deserve their place on the line. But some just leave me going “What in hell are people thinking?”

This goes beyond things like “Well I don’t agree with the things he/she says/does so they don’t deserve the recognition” These are people who have contributed close to NOTHING of significance, and their presence on the list is a complete and total mystery. Let’s start with a few “favorites.”

 

The “Influencers”

First up on our tour of BSland is Kim Kardashian West. It’s important to keep in mind, by the way, that each of these people has a brief bio/article written by someone else who is also famous, and they tend to be more famous than the person in question. In this case, the article is penned by none other than Domestic Legend Martha Stewart. According to her, KimK is influential because she (and the rest of her clan) are “a totally modern construct.” She argues that because they are a blended family with “biracial pairings” (Which is her way of saying she’s married to Kanye) that they deserve to be on the list.

Right. We’re talking about someone who initially got famous because of a sex tape with her and Ray-J, and who has basically done nothing but bask in her late father’s earnings and life savings. She has a product line and other things because…why, exactly? What exactly is she even influential for? Shaking her ass? Well, I guess that works. I guess it also helps she’s married to Kanye West.

And Speaking of Kanye, yup, he’s on there too. And his article is written by no other than ACTUAL INFLUENCER Elon Musk.  Basically, the whole blot can be summarized in the first sentence:

Kanye West would be the first person to tell you he belongs on this list. The dude doesn’t believe in false modesty, and he shouldn’t.

There you go. Kanye West is on the list, according to Musk, because Kanye would feel like being on the list. Seriously Elon? I really don’t want to knock Elon because I really respect his work and the thing’s he’s done, and I’m kinda pissed that Kanye made the list and he didn’t. Then again, maybe this is Elon’s way of getting back at Time and Kanye for not making the list, by making Kanye look like an ass. If so, well done, Elon.

Tim Cook is on the list as well. Look, I think Tim’s done a bang-up job running Apple, and he’s definitely helped make the company a much more mature version of what it used to be, but to give Tim this spot over Apple’s founder, Steve Jobs, is a complete insult to the man’s legacy, and to Apple’s as well. I’m not a fan of ol’ iGod, but even I have to admit that Steve Jobs has influenced technology in a way that Tim Cook could never hope to achieve.

And then we come to Taylor Swift (In the ICONS section next to people like Pope Francis and Malala no less). Yes, that Taylor Swift. Her contributor, Mariska Hargitay, feels that Taylor is “tuned in to the greater good, and she embraces—thoughtfully and authentically—the chance to contribute to the world.” Umm, how, exactly? About the only thing Swift is famous for is writng 10+ songs about broken relationships. Hardly the workings of someone truly influential. Trouble. Trouble. Trouble.

These are people that readers picked. WE THE PEOPLE picked them. I think We The People can do better. Where’s Martin Luther King? Where’s the Dalai Lama? Where’s Winston Churchill? Where’s Thomas Edison, or even Nikola Tesla? What about Satoru Iwata, CEO of Nintendo?  Oh well, guess nobody cared enough for them.

Influencer funnies

Now that you’ve read through my rant about how “influential” these people are, here’s a funny. Go take a look at who penned Ruth Bader Ginsburg‘s entry into the top 100 (Yes she deserves to be there, IMO). Just look. Laugh. Then come back. Also, the Koch Brothers’ entry was written by Rand Paul, which is funny too.

I also laughed at the fact that Kim-Jong-Un’s entry was written by a North Korean defector. I mean the guy definitely has few friends but still…that’s kinda funny. I also think it would have been funny if Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren had written each other’s Top 100 blurbs. (Clinton wrote Warren’s but not the other way around.)

 

Why it’s good to be a jack of all trades online

When I first started out blogging, I didn’t have a theme. I blogged about whatever I wanted. Some days I blogged about politics. Others I blogged about technology. And some days I just made fun of a video.

It wasn’t until after grad school and I seriously took up blogging again that I realized that I needed a theme. At that time, I chose social media and blogging as my theme, and it was a good theme, but then came 2012.

After my mom passed away, I lost almost all interest in social media. I felt like nothing was going to come of it, so I let my blog hang dry. Now, almost 3 years later, I’m back…but guess what?

I HAVE NO THEME AGAIN!

But honestly, I don’t really care anymore. When I blogged previously, I wanted to be an expert (and I did know what I was doing,) and I wanted to come off as that. But now I figure if I want to write something professionally, I can guest post wherever I feel my interests lie. I still love consumer technology, and I guess I’ll always have a foot in social media, but I’m moving more toward going after the “Law” of Attraction publicly, moreso than I already have.  And that’s ok. Because I think that audiences want more than just a single area. I think talking about tech all the time would get boring. We’re humans. We have multiple interests and we should utilize them.

So once again, my blog is a blog about nothing. And I’m ok with that. My life has always taken a bit of a “Jack of all trades” mentality, and while I am skilled in some things and suck in others, I think I should just accept that my interests will never be in one place for the rest of my life.

So what about me, the reader?

If you’re truly passionate about a topic or a theme, by all means get with it and make a blog dedicated to the niche. If, however, you’re like me and you have the theme capacity of a goldfish, be a jack of all trades. Most people carry a Swiss Army Knife because it serves multiple purposes, and they all fit on one knife. That’s what you should be: The Swiss Army Knife in the Internet.

On Memories Pizza and Harassment

Memories Pizza in Indiana now has a gofundme account nearing close to a million dollars, despite the fact that they have served no pizza in the last few days. How did they get such an amazing gift in money? Well, it’s because they decided to take a stand and say that their pizza company would NEVER cater the wedding of a gay couple. (Nevermind the fact that no person capable of a decent wedding would choose to have pizza at their wedding…)

 

And what happened, you ask? Harassment. The pizzeria received tens of thousands of rounds of hate mail, threats, and other comments.  Their Facebook, Yelp and website all got attacks from trolls and angry people. It got to the point where the store was forced to close down. All throughout, I have seen posts and comments from people saying that the harassment was totally justified.

Angry Sphynx

Angry Sphynx (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now, some will argue that Memories pizza was taking advantage of a situation and was goading people to respond to it. My response? If that’s the case, (which I doubt) and you chose to give them crap for it, YOU FELL FOR THEIR BAIT, HOOK, LINE AND SINKER.  At the end of the day, you still chose to harass this restaurant instead of simply ignoring them and letting them fade into oblivion, and it’s your fault they’re raking in the dough. If you didn’t harass them, then you should at least explain to people why letting these people slip through the cracks was a far better option. In this case, if they were ignored, they would either reverse course on their own or simply go away.

I condemn online harassment of all types. I condemned the harassment Anita Sarkeesian got (and still gets) for Feminist Frequency, even though I don’t necessarily agree with everything she says. She has a right to say what she wants to say within applicable law (Libel, fire in a crowded theater and all that). I’ve been stalked online. I’ve been harassed before. It’s not fucking fun. Yet some people choose to stalk and harass her and other people online.

But Anita Sarkeesian is talking about advocating feminism and equality, and Memories Pizza is advocating bigotry!

So what? You’re missing my point. By giving them negative attention, you feed the fire. They get to go back to their supporters looking like victims, and they end up getting coddled and reinforced. By attacking them, YOU LOST.

All those Facebook comments? They all disappeared after FB got wind of them. The Yelp reviews? Give them a week or two and they will go away, just as they did with Amy’s Baking Company and the Stingray Cafe after they got attacked online. Their efforts will be all for naught. Good job, people.

 

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ATTACK EVERYTHING YOU DON’T LIKE ON THE INTERNET.

IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT, IGNORE IT. IT’S AS SIMPLE AS THAT.

 

 

 

Should Matthew McLaughlin be Disbarred from practicing for his ballot? I say no.

Hi. Paralegal here. Someone with decent knowledge of the law and what it means to be an attorney, as well as things you should and should not do as an attorney. Let’s talk about Matthew Gregory McLaughlin, who recently submitted an initiative to have gay people “be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.” There is now a campaign to have McLaughlin disbarred for his little ballot initiative.

Let’s get one thing straight here: What McLaughlin proposes is WRONG and AWFUL. I DO NOT approve of it and I think it was a stupid thing to do. 

That being said, here’s the problem with trying to disbar Mr. McLaughlin: In order to be disbarred, you have to do something that’s considered unethical or illegal. Things such as double-charging a client or maliciously prosecuting a case you know is BS, or trying to steal people’s identies and claiming their copyrights (Prenda Law in a nutshell).

You can also see some of the most recent disbarments in CA here: Note that these attorneys for the most part did things that were super bad.

Stupid things like what he proposed are neither illegal nor unethical. Just stupid. And you cannot be disbarred just for being stupid. Either way it’s unlikely this guy will ever net another client ever again after the shit-pounding he’s been enduring. So seriously, enough with the petition already.

A Public Service Announcement from your friendly neighborhood Paralegal. Seriously, I really do think he’s trolling to protest the BS of the California Initiative System.

QUIZ – How positive are you?

Do you consider yourself a positive person! Do people stare at you in awe while you exude your positive vibes? Or are you worried that you might not be able to fend off the negativity as it stands? Not to worry! See just how positive your vibrations and thoughts are with this handy quiz!

English: Think positive

English: Think positive (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. You are driving down a road when a cop up ahead stops you. He explains to you that the bridge ahead has completely washed out, and ice on the road makes it dangerous to drive, informing you that you should turn back. You:
  • A: Try to explain to the officer that he needs to be more positive about the circumstances and not automatically think bad things will happen.
  • B: Laugh in the cop’s face and keep driving, obviously in control of your universe.
  • C: Immediately put petal to the metal. Negative people, when given the chance, will immediate cause problems for you later on with their vibrations.
2. You’re at your local coffee place. You ask for your usual latte from the barista, who then informs you that they are out of the main ingredient required to make it. Your response is:
  • A. To berate the barista for their lack of optimism about the product.
  • B. Insist that they search for it, and while they do, manifest thoughts about finding the ingredient
  • C. Never come to the coffee place again, because it’s clearly infested with negative people.
3. You’re leading a project to design a new product. Your engineer has taken the time to painstakingly explain that the way you want the product to work would be mathematically and physically impossible. You respond by….
  • A. Painstakingly explaining to the engineer that you know the product will work the way you want it because you manifested it that way.
  • B. Having the engineer referred to HR for “productivity enhancement programs” to correct the negative deviancy.
  • C. Firing the engineer on the spot before he can further contaminate your company with negativity!
4. While at a convenience store, a clearly homeless person asks if you could spare them any food. You know you can get a lot of cheap stuff at the store, so you tell the homeless person:
  • A: A lecture about how to manifest food from positive thinking, as Jesus, a positivity guru did.
  • B: Making the homeless person say 10 self-affirming statements, 10 things they’re grateful for, and promise to purchase your guru’s book for $29.99, which “Changed your life.”
  • C: To fuck off and to have them think about how they exude so much negativity.
5. One of your best friends calls you late at night, telling you that she was just robbed and raped at gunpoint. How do you respond?
  • A: By saying you’re sorry that she manifested the idea of being raped and robbed by someone, and that maybe she should take this as a positive opportunity instead.
  • B: By enrolling her immediately in a positive-manifestation camp…at her expense, of course.
  • C: By immediately slamming the phone shut before she can disrupt your positive vibrations further.
6. Your company is proposing that you and your fellow employees do community service around the city for the betterment of the less fortunate. How do you feel about this?
  • A: “Why should I help anyone less fortunate than me? It’s obviously because they don’t think as positive as I do!”
  • B: “I’m happy to help. I’ll lead classes on how we all need to think more positive!”
  • C: “I’m tending my letter of resignation because this company wants to associate with negativity!”
7. Your doctor informs you that you have a disease which unless you take constant medication will kill you. You tell the doctor…
  • A: You take no meds. Medications are a sign that you don’t believe in manifesting with the universe.
  • B: The above, and you also add that you will also be signing up for daily meditation and focus classes.
  • C: A & B, and add that will only see spiritual healers from here on out.
8. The entire day has just gone south for you. Nothing went right. What do you do when you get home?
  • A: Beat yourself up over the day you manifested.
  • B: Watch a marathon clip of your guru’s videos on accentuating the positive.
  • C: Plop down a shit-ton of money for direct access to your guru: You’re in the negative danger zone!
9. Just exactly how much money have you invested in your guru, or in positive psychology stuff in general?
  • A: $100 or less
  • B: $1,000 or less
  • C: $10,000 or less
  • D: Money is no object
10. One of your friends wishes you luck with something that she wasn’t able to do. You respond with…
  • A: “I know I can. I just have to say that over and over and over and over again.”
  • B: “Don’t worry, I’m reading every book to manifest hope and positive outcomes. You should read some of these!”
  • C: “I know I will, if only for the fact that I am more positive than you are. Being more positive = better experience!”

Negative Perceptions = Negative Reality? BULL.

Ok, I need to say something really quick. For most of you who know me, it’s kind of obvious what I will be saying. For others, and those totally into the “Our thoughts shape our reality” baloney, read on:

Yesterday, I posted a rant on Facebook about something that had happened to me. When I posted this, I got a nugget of a comment asking me if I ever considered that my “negative perceptions create a negative reality?”

Ok, seriously? This is something I VEHEMENTLY disagree with. I am someone who has been told countless times about needing to be “more positive,” often by people who would basically do the equivalent of driving off a cliff without a parachute because we should “always take risks.” Yeah, good luck with that.

What the man was saying is something that’s a core tenet of something called the “Law” of Attraction, that like thoughts attract like realities. I refer to it as the “Law” of Attraction because it’s about as much a universal law as the “Law” of Potato Inference is…which, considering that I just made it up, means it’s not a universal law at all. First off, what he said is on its face absolutely untrue, as there have been many occasions where I expected the worse and everything went great, and times when I thought everything would be awesome and it blew up in my face.

But seriously, let’s take a look at how this line of thinking (Negative thoughts = Negative Reality) is a bullshit line of thinking:

  • If a woman is raped, it’s clearly because she was thinking that she was going to be raped.
  • Your son got killed by a cop for no real reason? You obviously hate cops.
  • Experience racism? It’s only because you manifest the negative feeling of racism.
  • Got beaten because you were gay? You obviously associated being gay with something negative.

The negative perception line of thinking is a direct highway to a blame-the-victim mentality. And that is an extremely bad mentality.

I might add, by the way, that the commenter also contradicted themselves later after I replied, saying “Nothing works out for anyone 100% of the time…” So basically, even if I have positive thoughts all the time, I’d still have a negative reality. Awesome.

I’m going to go on record saying that I used to be a lot more negative than I am now, but apparently in the eyes of some people (Especially the people driving off cliffs), I will never be positive enough, until the day that positivity is literally coming out of every orifice of my body.  And that’s never going to happen. Because that would be disturbing.

iPrivilege and Hyperlapse – How iOS gets preferential treatment

If you’re a photographer of any kind, amateur to pro, you’ve probably heard already that Facebook satellite Instagram recently released an App called Hyperlapse. Hyperlapse is an app that’s designed to help people take time-lapse photos of things like valleys, commutes, and other things.

Now, I’ve done my own Time-Lapsed projects, such as this one…

Which totally got me excited to play with this app! I mean, I’d love to do more driving videography!

……And then I see this:

Hyperlapse from Instagram is available today for iOS devices in Apple’s App Store. It is currently only available for iOS.

SERIOUSLY?

Once again, us Android users are left in the wings while everyone with an iDevice gets to reap the benefits. I’m sure we’ll EVENTUALLY get to play with it, but until that day comes, all us Droid users get to do is sit and watch while everyone and their iPhone time lapses away. iosallapps

And this isn’t the only time I’ve seen this either. Time and time again, apps are often first released to iOS before they even THINK about releasing to Android. Vine, for example, took six months to produce an Android version of its app, while iOS users had been living it up. Hell, it took Instagram 18 months before they finally decided to release an Android version. 18 MONTHS. 

To borrow from some of my progressive friends, Apple has privilege.

Specifically, it has the privilege of being the first market for almost every app there is.

And honestly, it doesn’t even really deserve it. Here’s some of the following reasons:

  1. Android device sales FAR outnumber those of iOS 
  2. There are more entry level Android devices than there are iOS ones (Same source as above)
  3. It’s cheaper to develop for Android than it is to develop for iOS ($25 flat rate for android vs $99 PER YEAR for iOS)
  4. Android code is made with common languages Java and XML, whereas iOS has its own “Swift” language, and before that, Objective C

I think it’s time for a change. I don’t want to advocate that people give Android priority, as that would basically make me hypcritical. However, can we at least start releasing both iOS and Android apps at the same time?  That way, nobody has to be left out of the fun.

But no, of course we can’d do that. Because apparently all the developers are iFanboys or something like that.

Seriously people, learn your damn audience.

Commentary on Robin Williams’s death and mental illness.

English: Robin Williams, U.S. actor, at the 20...

English: Robin Williams, U.S. actor, at the 2008 BBC World Debate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The passing of Robin Williams is indeed a tragic event. What makes it worse is that it was a death that may well have been preventable. While to the best of my knowledge authorities have NOT confirmed suicide as the cause of death, it is well known that Williams suffered from severe depression.

Many of my friends (and myself included) have suffered from depression at some point. And a few of us have even contemplated suicide at some point in our lives. Depression is not something you just “push through.” It is not something you just “gotta get over” or as my mom would have put it “something you just buck up and deal with.” It is as much a disease as the flu and cancer are, and should be treated as such.

The stigma that mental disease is stupid or crap or just something you have to “Happy yourself” over needs to go away. Perhaps if it never existed, Robin Williams would still be with us today.

* If you are suffering from depression, there is help for you. Talk with your friends. If your friends can’t help, then family. If family won’t help, then find someone who will. It could be a therapist, a priest, rabbi, or hell, a bartender. Just SOMEONE who will listen.
* If you know someone with depression, do everything you can to help them. You’d help them if they fell or got hurt physically, right?
* If you or someone you know has expressed an intention to kill themselves, TELL SOMEONE, or call the police.

Requiescant In Pace, Robin Williams. Nunc tandem ad pacem.

How to get stuck between a rock career and a hard place career.

Career advice

Career advice (Photo credit: quinn.anya)

Ok, I know I’ve been…lagging a bit in writing something on this post. But I’ve had good reason. Several, probably.

The thing is that I was kind of forced into a career change.

See, in September of 2012, my mom passed away. At the time, I was still struggling to find work in copyright and social media.

It’s true what they say. You really don’t know what it means to lose a parent until it actually happens to you. My mom’s death was probably the worst thing to happen to me. Even worse than grad school. Still, Mom’s death caused me to reach out to a lot of people. I’ve been learning a lot more about social interaction (I still consider it mostly bizarre and stupid)

After discussing this with a family friend, we agreed that my attempts at getting work were probably going to flounder on account of the many many many many many bloody social media marketers out there, along with the idea that writing should be something that should be on par with third-world shoemaking.

“If I were you, I’d look into another career.” “What about being a paralegal?” my Aunt said.

I never thought I’d be going into the legal industry. I figured if I did, it would be as an attorney, because gosh darn, I’m smart enough, I’m good enough, and people hate me. But I’m not passionate enough to accept that finding a job as a lawyer would be even worse than finding one in social media, not to mention including the epic Mt. Everest size-debt I’d incur as a result.

Deciding I had nothing to lose, I applied to the Paralegal Studies program at California State University Los Angeles. Got in easily.

Going back to school to mean meant finally accepting that the years I was a Communication Studies major were a mistake (Which they were.) I had no business being in Comm and I was too stupid to realize the warning signs until it was too late. Training as a paralegal, which I NEVER thought I would consider in my life, is my way of trying to rebuild that.

Over the course of the year, I learned to be an effective assistant to lawyers. Originally, I felt kind of low about it considering that I’d never be more than an assistant…but then I learned to think of it less like a slave and more like a commander to the captain of the ship.

For the years itself, it’s mostly been pretty good. I’ve had plenty of new experiences, and I’ve even found a niche in the legal profession to call my very own. I’m going to try to use public transportation more often, (if only for trips into DTLA,) and I think I have a bright technology future, one path or another.

I no longer consider this a professional blog. This is a personal one. I’ll still post opinions and commentary, but I don’t really want to write about How-tos and social medias and that sort of stuff. I still like it, but I think I’m going to stop  writing about it on a regular basis.

So yeah. I guess I’m back.

 

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Is my birthday (November 23rd) cool?

Yesterday was my birthday. I’m 29 years old today. However, something I’ve been thinking about for the majority of my life is this: Is my birthday cool?

Is my birthday considered something cool, as in, are cool people born on my birthday? (Aside from myself, obviously) Did any events of historical significance occur on my birthday? Did something generally amazing happen today?

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake (Photo credit: Will Clayton)

Today, on my 29th birthday, we’re going to get to the bottom of this.

First, let’s take a look at some of the people who were born on my birthday. A non-exhaustive list is as follows:
Billy The Kid: Infamous Wild West villain. Cool.
Salli Richardson – Wow…she was amazing on Eureka. I’d say it was cool.
Boris Karloff: He played Frankenstein’s creation. Very cool.
Miley Cyrus: She likes to get naked on wrecking balls. Not so cool.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi: She likes to get naked and wreck men’s balls. Also not cool.

I also want to give a special shout out. At long last, I discovered that there is a famous person born on my own birthday in 1984, making her the same age as me. Her name is Amruta Khanvilkar, a Bollywood actress in India. I haven’t seen her work, so jury is out on whether or not it’s cool.

Next, we look at some historical events that happened on my birthday.

534 BC – Thespis of Icaria becomes the first recorded actor to portray a character onstage. COOL.
1584 – English parliament expels Jesuits (NOT COOL.)
1906 – Joseph Smith, leader of the Mormon Church, convicted of polygamy (HAHAHAHA)
1924 – Edwin Hubble’s scientific discovery that Andromeda, previously believed to be a nebula within our galaxy, is actually another galaxy, and that the Milky Way is only one of many such galaxies in the universe, was first published in a newspaper. ALSO COOL.
1936 – Life magazine is reborn as a photo magazine and enjoys instant success. VERY COOL.
1939 “Wearing distinctive armband, “”Judenstern”” (Jewish star) becomes obligatory for all Jews in Central Poland.” NOT COOL
1960 – Tinseltown dedicated its Walk of Fame at Hollywood Blvd & Vine St (Totally cool…I mean, I try to avoid the place like the plague but hey, it’s the shrine of awesome for Celebrities.)
1963 – “Doctor Who” the long-running British sci-fi series debuts in England (VERY FUCKING COOL!!!! And apparently 11/23 is a sacred day among the Whovians.)
1963 – JFK’s body lay in repose in East Room of White House. (Not cool.)
1980 – 4,800 die in series of earthquakes that devastated southern Italy. (*Not very cool either.)
2004 – World of Warcraft was created, which is still the most popular MMO to date. (Awesomely cool)
2011 – Arab Spring: After 11 months of protests in Yemen, The Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh Signs a deal to transfer power to the vice president, in exchange for legal immunity. (Totally cool….I think.)
2013 – Pop Band One Direction declares day “Global 1D Day.” (WTFBBQ?!?!?! SO NOT COOL)

A few people also died on my birthday, such as the following:

1990 – Roald Dahl (Ouch. But honestly, he wrote James and The Giant Peach, so this is a neutral.)
2012 – Larry Hagman, American actor and director (b. 1931)

FUN FACT: November 23rd is the earliest day that Black Friday can fall on. I myself was born on Black Friday.

At the end of it all, I can now safely conclude that my birthday….is actually pretty cool. Sure there’s some bad parts, but some really cool people were born today (aside from myself, of course) and cool things happened too.

 

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