Davos World Economic Forum Takeaway – COVID – Social Media – The Climate – And the Clueless

Davos World Economic Forum Takeaway – COVID – Social Media – The Climate – And the Clueless

   This will be my personal take away from what I have had a chance to watch, so far, from the World Economic Forum 2023 events. I have not had a chance to watch all of the events yet, and likely won’t see them all, but will be watching more of them when I have the time to do so There’s a lot and many ran simultaneously. In this post I intend to cover a few of the important things I noted during the live streams, a couple of quotes and their care to keep themselves healthy that many of them have told us were unnecessary for the rest of us

 

The Precautions

   To start with my first noted quote, which was said about the battery passports but applies more to how they have treated the many virus outbreaks during the last 3+ years now.

 Once you give people a choice, they will make choices” – Benedikt Sobotka

 

   This brings me to the less appealing topic for most people right at the start, as i do. The extra precautions they are taking. How our elites haven’t given people a choice, they have instead lied to the general population to support the possibility to save a few dollars today even if that means many people will pay for that mistake later on. If most people knew the actual dangers and how easy it is to prevent them I don’t imagine they would have been so willing to be infected.

 

   I will only cover the 5 measures that were blatantly visible to those watching the interviews and live streams, I won’t bother trying to speculate on what was done to the building ventilation and so fourth.

 

  For those who don’t know, the battery passports are about being able to identify where the parts of these battery packs, we use in things like vehicles, come from. So we can pick companies based on where they source their materials and the labour condition relating to them. Although realistically most people won’t care, even the elites who are implementing this system. It’s a neat idea on paper but will prove to mostly be useless in the grand scheme of things given many of these materials are limited and we need more than we can produce. This means we won’t have a choice to be able to care where it comes from. There are many reasons I say personal cars are not the future and this is only one of them.

 

Measures

1) For starters they have a mandatory test and trace program in place, something that was deemed too expensive and annoying to implement on the public. They have PCR tests on arrival and special badges that change from green to red if their test comes back positive or if they refuse to be tested to block them from potentially spreading it to other attendees. Rapid tests are also provided, to be used at the attendees discretion. This simple measure would significantly reduce the spread.

 

2) Air filtration units, I would presume HEPA filters are installed, are visible in scenes even where some people are wearing winter jackets to deal with how cold having the windows open can make the indoors at this time of year in that climate, yet an air purifier is also running as well. It’s generally accepted knowledge, even among the ‘expert’ anti-mask crew, that air filtration in an environment is one of the best ways we have for making the indoor air safe again that would also result in many other airborne pathogens to practically vanish over night, such as the flu. The part that hurts my head is when those same people then think that strapping a filter around the air holes in your face won’t produce the same, if not better, results. This is why I put quotation marks around expert when referring to them.

 

3) As the previous point mentioned, they obviously have the windows open since multiple interviewers are in outdoor winter clothing. This is also a simple measure that can be used in most environments to try to keep airflow up. Although the hard truth is that because we have infected other mammalian wildlife across the surface of the planet (the virus only seems to care that we are a mammal, nothing more) outdoor air is no longer as safe as we would like to pretend. It’s spreading through deer populations, mice, outbreaks in zoos with other mammals like the apes and big cats. This means many pets are also vulnerable.

 

4) They are also providing masks to the attendees. From what I saw, they were KN95 and up masks. We never actually provided masks that will work, we provided surgical masks that sometimes work instead. KN95 and N95 are really the bare minimum people should be using in disposable or more preferred elastomeric half mask with filters you can swap out.

 

5) I think this one is the most important one that we saw come out of there, as there has been quite the push to look into testing the safety and implementing it. They are using UVGI (Upper-Room Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation) in places. The lights were visible on stands during some of the indoor gatherings. Simply put it’s a UV light above people shining across the ceiling instead of at the people. We have had UV systems for cleaning the air and surfaces for a long time so it makes sense to look at them for disinfecting rooms while in use.

 

  All of these are relatively basic measures to implement, and the only reason they haven’t been is because we have been lied to about what measures we should be using so now the people who need to implement them don’t want to because it makes them liable for what they did the last three years now. Even I knew in early 2020 that surgical masks weren’t going to cut it… By the end of January I was already aware that our leaders were picking the economy over public health and I tried to find ways to get more vocal. If I knew then the people in charge clearly did as I don’t have the teams of people they do.

 

 

António Guterres

   Next I would like to cover a couple of my impressions of António Guterres’ address and interview. He seems to have his head on his shoulders regarding the state of the world, which given he is the Secretary-General of the United Nations is nice to see. So many other leaders, as he calls out, are not thinking to the future but instead thinking of now regarding the own reelections. This is leaving most of our major issues untouched. Ultimately these things all cost us more in the end compared to if we had just made the changes early on when we detected the issue. Eventually we will cross a point where fixing those issues isn’t possible anymore.

 

   Aside from the expected comments about how we need to learn to work together better or else we’re all boned. He also stopped Børge Brende (the interviewer and Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway) from just pointing the finger at social media being a problem as so many people older than myself do. I will just provide their words in text:

 

Børge Brende: “Social media is maybe not helping when it comes to incentivize long term thinking”

 

António Guterres: “We have in social media, all kinds of things. We have fantastic contributions to social media for the most noble causes of human kind and we have also the problems, in my opinion, of the business model of social media, in which of course the interest is to have as much interactions as possible and to reach as much people as possible. And as we know from traditional media what is news is not when a dog bites a man, what is news is whether a man bites a dog. The algorithms and the business model of social media are constructed in such a way that they tend to expand the informations, the positions, the ideas that are more extreme that are more controversial that create more trouble. And it’s not a question of censorship that will solve the problem; the question is the business model needs to be redesigned, the algorithms need to be redesigned in order not to be based on evil to make profit”

 

   I agree with that stance for the most part. The issue isn’t social media itself, it’s not that we use algorithms to make it so people don’t need to live on the platform to experience it by spreading posts out through times outside of when they were posted.. The algorithm is like having an air compressor instead of hand tools, then even someone without the physical strength to remove a tire suddenly can. The problem is that capitalism is trying to profit off of it through control and pushing ads down people’s throats. They limit communication and knowledge trying to profit off of the accomplishments of many others. An example would be how social media advanced the LGBT and racial equality movements but then all of the corporations try to jump on that to get attention and profits, snuffing out the very people that need to be heard during those times, we don’t need to hear from the companies who did nothing but uphold the status quo initially.* Without that I would argue social media is exactly what we need to solve our issues given the level of communication it gives us and the scale of our problems being the entire globe, not these pretend AIs they are making that just mimic what we have done instead of advancing it.

 

   I think a lot of people don’t understand what social media is and what the algorithms do so they just fear it and blame it for everything. Much as a simpleton blames immigrants for a housing crisis actually created by the wealthy buying up the properties and using them as investments, instead of people using them as housing. Something I grew up hearing from most of white people around me, almost every one of them… meanwhile part of it was the “my home is my retirement” thing where the idea of letting investors make housing unaffordable was advantageous to the people who held the voting power rather than the generations to come.

 

 

Open Forum: Pack Up and Go – Climate Migration

   Second last I have Agnes Callamard (Secretary General of Amnesty International) at the end of the event this section of my post is titled. She goes on a 3-minute and 15-second closing speech which ends with “It’s everyone’s job! Not just our job, the little people”. She talks about how we have leaders who are focused on not changing, which is exactly what brought us here. She notes the major point many seem to be looking past which is the fact they are all looking a a 1.5 degree Celsius maximum increase temperature target, what we are aiming to limit it to. But the truth is we are currently on target for 2.5 degrees which makes for vastly different outcomes to which we honestly have little idea on how bad it will get. This makes many of our already lack-lustre plans look pathetic, and useless to be honest. The amount of people being displaced will mean we need to plan for what to do with them in advance.

 

   As she says, we need to hold our leaders to account for their actions, much as I say we need to regarding how poorly they handled COVID. Both COVID and climate change bare a striking resemblance to each other regarding how our most wealthy view them as problems. They tried to cover up the problems and are hoping that people just don’t turn on them and start protesting. This is not the world we want, we shouldn’t need it to get there to have the people in charge implement fixes that are for the greater good, including themselves and their own children.

 

   The sum of the problem is basically we need to stop burning things for energy, this requires us to reduce our usage. Capitalism can’t do this because it requires constant growth, including in energy usage. So the life we knew cannot be the life we carry forward as it’s what brought us to this very point. This isn’t good enough and we must demand more actions rather than just accepting this and becoming complacent in the outcome. ALL of our futures demand it.

 

The Guy I Don’t Remember

   This situation is one of the moments I realised how in trouble we actually are with these people. That many of them are not protecting themselves from COVID but instead they are being protected from COVID by the people running the event space. Unfortunately I can’t remember which event had come up that I heard this from as the list was auto-loading, so I don’t have the speaker name or the event up to quote more of it directly. But the part I do remember was the speaker saying how the January 6th 2021 insurrection in the USA and Russia attacking the Ukraine were both complete surprises. My issue with that statement is that it’s completely false and meant to cover up the fact those who didn’t know didn’t pay attention. The January 6th attack was promoted on social media and fuelled by elected members who wanted President Trump to remain in power after his loss, President Trump now facing issues because he also helped support it verbally. As for Ukraine there is little surprise to them being attacked after it was very apparent that the US economy was shot and they were unable to even hold the Taliban at bay anymore. The world watched the US be chased out of a country they had referred to as savages for a couple of decades. I’m not saying Russia is doing well, but neither is the EU or USA on that front either… and frankly it’s more pathetic that most of the world is struggling to keep Russia at bay, it shows how weak they have become. But even without that there have been decades of buildup with the US and NATO pretend like they haven’t been edging towards Russia and China this entire time or playing with world governments like they accuse Russia and China of doing.

 

   The future looks rather bleak on that front at the moment and I wouldn’t even begin to try to predict what will happen now, I can only hope we can come to an agreement… but it seems unlikely. I don’t see either side just walking away from it. In my opinion, the answer would be to hold a vote with the people of Ukraine on what they want to do, Join NATO or join Russia. But doing that after all of this risks the chance that many people who wanted to join NATO may not be alive anymore. It’s the same as the COVID issue, the people that the capitalist leaders are culling currently are mostly supporters of capitalism. Which is why after 3 years of trying to educate people when I could I now mostly just block them when they annoy me instead. COVID will take care of them if they don’t want to listen and instead want to abuse others. Dark, but so is me taking constant abuse by people who won’t listen especially when they came to me just to argue haha.

 

 

– Anthony

Moving Forward

Moving Forward

So it has been awhile…. again. I would apologize for this but it’s not like I have taken the time to build an active following on my blog. Life has been a zoo which has taken a lot of my time but also means I have a fair bit to write about now. I will likely be shifting away from tech related things for the time being as I need to put on a different hat to accommodate the skills I will need. It was never my intention to make a tech blog.

 

What have I been up to these last few months? Well the landlord situation hasn’t improved but he and his paralegal now understand how screwed they are and suddenly I am dealing with issues with the cops where they seem to be helping him by refusing to enforce laws or collect evidence until it’s me they want to “handle”, then suddenly laws and evidence are important again. I can’t tell if they are stupid, or if they think I am stupid… maybe both. The behaviour is identical to COVID minimizers, which many cops are so it’s not exactly surprising. Both situations have gone on for 5 – 6 years now steadily so I would lean towards it being targeted…. particularly since I’ve noticed the cops suddenly try to enforce speed limits on the one route they know I always take, again I think they are under the impression I am stupid when in reality I am just autistic and thus more likely to notice the patterns abusers tend to exhibit.

 

I have an answer about my injury now as well, got that at the end of October… I don’t know how long my knee will take to heal up as I have a tear in the meniscus of my right knee and a lack of access to care during the unmitigated spread of multiple viruses causing much of our healthcare system to collapse, along with our government trying to save money and push us into privatized healthcare means they thought it was a FANTASTIC idea to cut off our access to virtual appointments. This leaves it difficult for me to access my own doctor until I replace my car that is falling apart after being rear ended and the cops mishandling it, this will come up in later posts. Thankfully the rest of my injuries, my entire right side, have healed up and are at the stage of having to be careful not to re-injure, they are easier to irritate than they were before I fell about a year ago.

 

I am still most active on Twitter focused mostly on important topics but have started to migrate more and more towards Mastodon, and some of the other instances out there. I have been intending to start doing this for a few weeks now but haven’t had the energy to do the initial setup for writing. Currently I am hosting my blog here but I would like to move it to my own server, and a .ca instead of .com web address. We will see how that goes, I have it sort of running but was having technical issues in setting up the routing for it, had it working then changed something, I don’t think I will have the time to mess with it for a bit. As life goes. Even without the time to do that now I can still find the time to work on progressing with my blog, this was my original goal around 4 years ago. It was why I even became active on Twitter and took my account off private after my divorce. Basically getting back to writing like I used to enjoy years prior… prior meeting my ex-wife. Twitch is the hobby, not the end goal, as I don’t like being on camera enough to do Twitch and people don’t seem so fond of just hearing a voice. Writing, even when I’m not great at spelling or grammar, is fun and Twitter and recent world events have shown me that I, to my surprise, actually do have important things to say that should be heard.

 

So… What do I plan to write about in the coming weeks?

 

As I intended originally I plan to write about the situation with my landlord. Since I last posted about it I have put together a lot of the evidence for the hearing, which was on November 8th 2022 and was put off to another date, that we don’t have yet, for time concerns due to the apparent complexity of the evidence. Had they actually listened to it then it would have been thrown out within a few minutes due to the errors in their filing alone, even without the situation with my leg being on them thus the entire case actually being fraud. I would go into more depth now but that would remove the point of writing about it later, there is a fair amount of harassment with it from their end at this point.

 

I also intend to write about my dealing with the local police, and how they seem pretty determined to create a situation with me by refusing to collect evidence, then standing with each other through camaraderie instead of the evidence they refuse to even collect. Again for the sake of something to write about later and to keep this blog post a post instead of a book I won’t get too into depth with this yet. Needless to say I’ve had enough dealings with authoritative bullies in my life to know when they are working together against their actual positions to save their own behinds instead of doing the job they were hired to do. Thankfully they told me who to go to this last phone call to attempt to get out of doing work (this is a common excuse with local police here) they told me who to report them to before they knew what I was reporting… again… complete negligence.

 

I will also likely get into the topics I actively talk about on Twitter and Mastodon in more depth as I learn better ways to communicate those things. My issue has always been learning the terms to explain it to others more than actually understanding the topic, understanding the topic is relatively easy for me if I’m honest.

 

Life has been interesting to say the least but I have now spent the time to setup my writing environment so my original goal of posting at least every Sunday should be more realistic now. I have setup my old laptop to be a writing device as well as my desktop for redundancy and portability. Writing is something I always come back to as something I enjoy, which I think is kind of obvious with how much I post on text based social media vs image or video based ones.

 

I am looking into learning markdown and seeing how I can use it on this current blog for better aesthetics and readability to my posts (there is a theme manager on here already that came with the web host and I’m not sure how it handles markdown)

 

Anyway I believe this is a good end for my return blog posts, here is hoping I keep up with it moving forward… give or take lol.

 

 

– Anthony

Landlord Nonsense

Landlord Nonsense

Relevant but Not

    I’ll open with something I enjoyed first. Nothing to do with my landlord directly but I wouldn’t have been rushed to do my switch from Ubuntu to Arch if not for this situation and I am quite liking being on Arch as a workstation. It’s making putting the documents together easier on me because I am happier in the environment I am doing it in. In general this is a pretty terrible experience on me and isn’t something anyone should be putting up with.

Part 1 – Procrastination

    After another couple of days going through the text and email communications between my landlord and I, I missed posting on here. I’m a little upset about this because I promised I would do it yesterday and told myself it would be a proper post. Yet here we are, me feeling exhausted while needing to go grocery shopping and to spend far too much on ink cartridges so I have paper copies of the text logs I have put together. I shouldn’t have to do this but here we are instead.

    I cannot change the past, and I cannot change needing a break from dealing with the nonsense this word insists I deal with. I have a tally count to summarise the 34 page log that doesn’t include emails. I was going to pull out some of his better comments to me but I can save that for another post when I have the time. I do plan to vent about this situation on here, maybe we can work towards setting a precedent so rights are upheld instead of making people fight for them while impoverishing them at the same time. I will say though that procrastinating on looking at it for a day this weekend did cause me to remember I’m a coder and don’t need others to decode files for me and turn them into tables. I can use python and Pandas. Turned hours and hours of work into just a few minutes of coding, which was nice to allow me to catch my breath. Making text logs viewable is a pain.

    Anyways, my blog theme handler is being super annoying again so I’m going to end this here and maybe make some breakfast. I really need to have time to organise this as well but I am only one person haha.

 

Tally
Texts = 20
WhatsApp = 13
Emails = 12
Physical = 3

Total = 48

Issues
Electrical = 6
Heat = 7
Shower/plumbing/kitchen taps = 7
Pests = 5
Fall from no salt = 7

Total = 32

Lacked functioning heat = 2 years

Electrical issues = 5 years

Plumbing and water issues = 4 years

Pests = 4 years

 

 

– Anthony

Linux – Mostly Ubuntu

Linux – Mostly Ubuntu

Linux – Mostly Ubuntu

     The best way to view Linux, Ubuntu specifically, it’s how you wanted your computer to be when you had Windows XP in the mid-2000s. It’s not perfect by any means and it can also take some tech-savviness to get it to work well in some cases. But once you get it set up it’s easy, but with 2022 features. If I didn’t tinker with how it’s set up I wouldn’t have a single issue with it currently. I had it working flawlessly but keep testing more and more on it and typically this makes a mess of the installation..

An Image of the Linux Logo, Ubuntu Logo, Ubuntu Mate Logo, Linux Mint Logo, and Pop! OS logo

The Good

 

I’ll start with the sunshine, as all Linux users do, I just don’t plan to ignore the caveats later. I will also preface this with the fact I am not a fanboy nor am I all about hiding my information, I don’t feel like I have anything to hide and although advertising doesn’t work on me sometimes the targeted stuff helps me find things I need. For someone like me, it’s a tool I can use to help me navigate this hell-hole haha. Lastly, for the people who don’t know what Linux is because most of us use the term incorrectly. It’s a kernel, which is the code that links everything we do to the hardware in the system. The OS in my case is Ubuntu which is basically what lets us all interact with the kernel easier. Computers are just layers of different translators stacked on top of each other, which might help you explain why a reboot is often just the easiest way to fix a problem. Then with Ubuntu you also have different flavours, which just means a different program package comes with the OS instead of their default. In my case, I use Mate which changes the desktop, and file manager, basically everything in Linux is an app like your phone and most programs can be downloaded pretty easily from an app store. Most flavours have their own app stores, just like your Samsung vs HTC vs LG situation.

Now that is out of the way, as I said it’s very much like using Windows XP was. As I stated earlier I use Mate. It can be intimidating to pick one initially because there are a lot of choices. Ubuntu is the most friendly, from there most of the flavours are pretty easy to pick up. The main ones are best because there are large communities behind them. Mint, Ubuntu Mate, Kubuntu… I didn’t like Pop OS! And would say avoid Arch as a new user.

The choice seems annoying at first but becomes incredibly useful once you start using your system. Think of every time you have looked at something in the taskbar and thought to yourself, “I don’t like this here. Why can’t I rearrange this how I want and have more taskbars?”… well now you can! You can also choose a completely different desktop environment (although I prefer to stick with ones preinstalled because most groups test compatibility and such so you don’t have to). It can be as fancy or as plain as you want. It sure is nice being able to have resource monitors in my taskbars on two screens. It takes me more time to configure it, but ultimately it’s worth it in how much time it saves me. My PCs are workstations and home entertainment machines so being able to fine-tune their interfaces is a game-changer for me.

It’s pretty reliable overall, but not perfect. I also personally haven’t tried to update from an older version to a newer version. I also wouldn’t upgrade in the first few months of release, but I feel that’s a given with most products. But it’s at a point I would install it on my parent’s computers for them to use and not worry they would mess them up like I always had to worry about with windows XP. The best thing with it is it keeps everything installed through its “repos” (app stores) updates as well as the OS so there is just so little worry about. I didn’t just pick Ubuntu up, I have been trying to for 15 years and have used it daily for the last 2 now on my secondary PC. My Windows 10 installs have by far been more problematic to me in the last 2 – 5 years than my Ubuntu one has, but a lot of that is down to me being able to figure out issues when they have arisen. The difference with Ubuntu is I caused the issue, not the company behind the OS trying to save a buck.

Also if there is a program you need to do something, it’s probably free and easily accessible. I have built my own suite of programs around working on both Windows and Linux with a small mix of cloud services to make things accessible across many devices. I get into Video editing, Graphic design, Web page building, Coding… just about anything else I feel like, and it’s all easily done on Linux, and easier than I did on Windows once I learn the new programs. The programs are just there free to use because people wanted them so they code them and they just exist. It’s really neat when you think about it.

For me, one of the biggest benefits is how much better it handles the hardware. Windows has always struggled to use multi-core processors efficiently. Linux on the other hand excels at it so suddenly a 5 – 10-year-old PC or laptop can multitask better thus meaning it’s useable and can run most programs again. Even my old laptop can run games I didn’t think it ever could, I couldn’t get them working on Windows. The most recent updates to Linux and Ubuntu both seemed to have made it even better at managing it. Its task manager is built to be fine-tuned to a degree you just don’t have in Windows. There is also little concern about getting a Virus if you stick to the repositories available to you on your installations, much like your phone. But unlike your phone, the lack of viruses is mostly down to the lack of users.

As I alluded to earlier privacy is a bigger benefit as you aren’t being watched, although I know there’s some fuss with Ubuntu. At the end of the day, you need to accept you are getting a service and that info will be used to better it in various ways, even if it’s selling the way you act to others.

 

Cons

 

Although I have mentioned a couple above and brushed them off. Errors do happen and when an error does come up on Linux I would compare it to how I think fixing modern cars is easy because the computer can tell me exactly what is wrong, but it’s because I understand what it’s telling me whereas most do not. So most people think electronics in cars have made things more difficult. Linux tells you exactly what is wrong but in a different language that most people don’t understand. So when it goes wrong it can take a lot of Google searching to find the fix. Windows wins here because it gives you a simple code you can just google and get an answer to in most cases.

The biggest issue comes if you need the Microsoft store or like to game A LOT. Like in the mid-2000s gaming is an absolute chore most of the time which is why so many people think their consoles are better than a beefy Windows 10 PC when they just aren’t anymore. But many titles on steam load up problem-free which is where I have most of my games anyway. I don’t game enough anymore for the lack of having access to Xbox GamePass to bother me. I end up not using it when I subscribe to it because most of the games aren’t things I would sit and get into for hours and hours and if they are why do I need access to so many other games. It makes more sense for me to own the game if I plan to play it for many years than pay for it over and over every couple of months. Gaming is becoming mundane so I am doing other things or sticking to the 2 or 3 games I enjoy until new interesting games come along.

Most programs on Linux feel like they are several years old, mostly because they are. There’s no need to make needless marketing name changes or needless style changes if it already works for you. That said in the case of Libre Office, even with its many styles I find I am tending to use Google Docs now instead anyways just to make things more portable and it works faster. Big things like Discord, OBS, Browsers, Spotify, etc all feel modern and just their Windows counterparts so you won’t notice it there. But try to set up a firewall or network share (stuff most people never even think of) and you’ll quickly find yourself buried in a terminal. The Terminal is only so talked about with Linux because it’s ubiquitous no matter what computer you are on. I wish I had learned to fix Windows more this way but ultimately the fact every windows PC is the same meant I didn’t need to.

 

TL;DR

 

     I feel Ubuntu is finally at a point where it can meet the needs of power users and people who don’t really understand PCs as long as they have someone who does to set it up for them. But the idea of a factory build computer maintained by a company with Ubuntu on it seems perfectly doable now for most people. The only people who will have issues are those who are in the middle and want to use the PC to do more but need it to be at the press of a button, they will find Ubuntu annoying to learn. Although most things are far less complex on Linux when you take the time to learn them it takes time to learn them.

     Ubuntu is the German car of OSs. It works and is easy to maintain and fix… you just need to be willing to learn how they think to see how easy it is.

     My A4 is notorious for being difficult to work on even though the entire front fascia of the car unbolts with a handful of bolts to give you the most access to an engine I’ve ever had in a car before… haha. When you know what you are doing it’s a super reliable and easy to maintain vehicle, as long as you don’t ignore issues for too long. Linux is similar to that and Ubuntu is that with lots of hand-holding so you don’t have to become a rocket scientist to use it(just a joke on how Linux is used in some satellites and such).

 

– Anthony

 

The Blogging Really Begins

The Blogging Really Begins

The Needless Opener

     For starters.. let’s all hope I can remember my tab spacing choice (5 spaces this time). Since when I write on my browser I don’t know how to accomplish it with the press of a key yet and always forget to google it. Has to be worth throwing myself off a writing mood to look it up and I always forget by the end.

     Today started with catching up on sleep accidentally, I am testing out THC pills akin more to taking an Advil or Motrin rather than smoking and hurting my lungs. But also not taking them today as I still don’t know how they effect me for daily activities yet and I need to go out and do things. I felt overly anxious due to the things I need to deal with this week so I took some time for a 10 minute guided meditation session to help set the tone of the day, helps keep me and my child calm through the busyness. Outside of that it’s mostly been having to fix my PC because I decided a 500 GIG SSD isn’t large enough for my Ubuntu install to be a daily driver and windows would be relegated to the smaller drive and Ubuntu would get the 1TB SSD. Alas if I wasn’t poor I would just have two 1TB SSDs instead. Well in my attempt to just clone it over I learned that although it used to work with how bios boot records were handled, it doesn’t work with UEFI. Now I could learn how to sort this out as I am running off of the 1TB drive anyways but it would take me more time than just backing up my games and reinstalling Ubuntu and Windows fresh. Which is crazy to think of.. But most of the wait used to be updating if I am honest. But I’ve spent a couple of hours backing up Games and am almost ready to do a fresh install which is easy when Chome and VScode with git keep all of my important settings backed up.

Now The Actual Point

     The important tasks today are both my ultrasound for my leg so maybe I can see where that is at and a plan for recovery can be made, or I am going to find out I need a different scan that will take longer. For now the cane allows me limited mobility, but enough to do some grocery shopping and such. Outside of that the last 3 months has almost entirely been sitting in my apartment. Thankfully I have a nice office chair with lots of adjustments so I can stay comfortable and adjust it when I hurt to get more time out of bed. Maybe most people might be concerned about it, I’m just happy to be headed towards knowing if I should be looking at life going back to normal or if I am looking at a big change. Both are a lot of work currently so I’d like to know where I’m at before progressing greatly, unfortunately seeing a doctor after the pandemic is proving to take far longer than it used to.

    Secondly I have to vote. Okay, I don’t have to today I could do it later this week but I have other things to do and would rather just get it out of the way the first day I can do it. The local early polling location just opened today, some of the others opened earlier but I wanted to wait for the closer one. It’s more of an annoyance since I am just voting between choice which all are about the same, for the ones with a chance anyways, and all three have made it very clear they work for themselves and not us. I’m just hoping it’s dead since I have to wait until later in the evening to go.

 

The Long Goals

   This week I need to day with several things. Most importantly being writing a long letter to several people in leadership and media positions locally, provincially, and federally given I have hit an impasse with their system not making sense for what it enforces.. it has hit that point. While also juggling the several massive financially issues this whole multi year long situation has caused. It isn’t right they ask the victim to compromise after they have already to a degree well beyond what the general compensation rules even cover….. It’s going to take a day or two and a lot of focus. I have spent the last several days planning on it’s structure and topics in my mind hoping I do a half decent job at writing it so others can understand it clearly. I planned to write about how it all goes here. People tend to like hearing about this sort of drama when I talk about it so I thought I would share not only to make noise towards it for myself but also so others who might be in this situation might find a way to approach their own plight without going down the usual dark road many people would dealing with this.

 

    Maybe as I put together more of the evidence I plan to use for a letter I will most likely take the entire week and weekend to put together with the evidence, I can write about it here. I need the evidence elsewhere so this this is a two bird with one stone situation although I would much rather focus on one thing rather than two. 

The sooner I get all of this sorted the sooner I can get back to coding and working on bettering things in general.

 – Anthony

 

That Was Sobering!

That Was Sobering!

That Was Sobering!

 As many of us, in Southern Ontario, are aware… a large powerful storm just rolled through. Although the nature of this may not seem like a surprise to anyone who may read this from outside of this small part of the world for us this weather isn’t common or normal, but is becoming so. So how do I feel about this, and the culprits that caused it…...

Photo of a firetruck blocking off a major road with 3 electric utility poles leaning over towards traffic after the windstorm in Ontario May 21 2022

The lead-up!

   Friday I had a long conversation with someone during which they brought up their concern with how most people are so reliant on their technology but have no real solutions for if the power goes out. This made me think of how I don’t have a radio for that situation anymore, but I’ll try to get more into that later. I already knew we were looking “forward” to some thunderstorms during this long weekend, I thought we might watch them by the large window in my apartment. Alas that would happen but it would not play out as relaxing as I had hoped. The weather went from being nice to dark very quickly, the only other time I remember seeing weather change like this was when I was visiting Florida as a child and a tornado caused a reasonable amount of damage close to where we were. As the dumb Canadians we all got in the minivan and went to the store to go shopping after, only to see the destruction when we got there. Things got dark, the sky looked green… I did not like what I saw and suspected the power would likely be going out, although I didn’t expect it would be in such spectacular fashion on the infrastructure side of things which I will also get into later. By the time it started to downpour and we were trying to close the windows the power was already flickering. And then… it was out! Before I even finished explaining to my 9 year old how I wasn’t as prepared as I would like to be for a power outage we were now in a power outage. The storm was down to a light drizzle not 5 minutes after that and basically non existent shortly thereafter. 

   Great.. So now what? Although I’m from a small town where the power going out regularly was normal. I am a city dweller now and the power almost never goes out and when it does it tends to be quick since I live in a downtown area with businesses. I don’t have candles, although getting some and holders has been on my list lately it’s just not THE priority knowing I have lights on a few phones I can power up with my car if I need to. Thankfully the cellular communications towers weren’t taken out so we still had data, although even that proved to show flaws the longer it went on… yet another thing to cover later. This time it’s the general public being dumb. My phone had a reasonable charge of around 60% and it has a decent sized batter so it gives me a lot of use. My 9 year old on the other hand was already realising keeping everything she owns almost dead constantly may not be a wise choice in the long run. I’m able to load up my local hydro provider (what we call electric companies here in Ontario, like bagged milk.. it’s a local thing confined to a few areas) where they had the information already there with outages so I at least knew it wasn’t just me, because I sure wasn’t going out to ask my neighbours haha. I still wasn’t sure what had caused it and was hoping it wasn’t a tornado… but the youngster and I could hear a lot of sirens from emergency vehicles from different areas around us. You can tell by how they lay on the horns and how aggressive the driver is on the throttle, with a motor that loud it’s easy to hear it, how bad the situation they are expecting might be. It didn’t sound good.

 

Now what?

 

So all I know is things don’t sound great and the power it out.

Is it a hydro substation?

Maybe a transformer popped on a pole, a surprising amount of our infrastructure is still above ground here even in the areas they keep developing, or in a neighbourhood?

Maybe a tornado took down a few poles, since they are usually well kept when near homes and most of this city is developed and maintained? Right?

 

   So now I go to Twitter thinking that will likely be my fastest way to find out what is happening, I was correct, but it wasn’t as fast as I would have liked. That said although nothing was on the feed yet a friend almost immediately sent me a pic of the culprit. Several main feed hydro lines had fallen over in the wind. Yes… main feed, around residential, stores, and even a large high school at that intersection.. you did in fact read that right. this is also something I will get more into later. So I think to myself “great…. that isn’t going to be a quick fix” but now it made sense why the power kept coming on and going off like someone had hit a power pole.. because the “wind” took a few of them. At this point I’m going to the spots I know I stash things like batteries and such, to my surprise my portable battery pack is almost fully charged and my Bluetooth speaker seems to have a charge as well so I turn it on, but turn it down to conserve power, and I think let’s check the local radio stations to see what they are saying about the issues from the local authorities. within about an hour I went from thinking the radio was a useful tool for information in an emergency to realising the recent cuts by both Bell and Rogers, some of which was ironically being complained about by local viewers on one of the prerecorded shows I came across, mean no one is there most of the weekend to report anything at all. No emergency messages through the system they annoy us with when it’s for a test but not when it’s an actual city, or province wide emergency. It was shameful the only warning I really got was the weather network spamming weather warnings within a minute or two of each other.

   All in all I got lucky and my battery pack was charged, I had some food to get us by that didn’t need to be heated. Generally it wasn’t that bad for us outside of my daughter wanting to go to the park and me being too injured to take her once the weather got nicer. We coloured and such. With the energy companies website I was able to check things here and there and know a rough time as to when they expected to be finished. My 9 year old kept needing a reminder it wasn’t a definite time to count down to haha. I ended up sleeping to deal with the humidity and leg pain. Other parts of my province don’t seem to have been quite as lucky and many were without power for various reasons but usually all with the same root cause.

For others it wasn’t as nice.. there was far worse damage in other cities and our leaders should be ashamed of how this is playing out currently.

That said. To the emergency responding to emergencies and crews working to restore power and services through the weather… you are heroes. You are only fixing an inconvenience for me that can be life threatening for many others. I appreciate everything they did for us! The leaders on the other hand.. disgraceful. These people are struggling through years of infrastructure neglect.

now onto the issues

 

1. The First Issue – Lack of Publically Funded Communication Networks

   What happened? Money.. As always money has happened. As someone who grew up pre-internet being the main communication form I understand how linked to me having power or a network of locations needing power for me to have a connection. In an emergency this is a bad way to do things. I am surprised, and very concerned, we don’t seem to have any real alternatives left anymore. This brings up the fact that letting corporations own local radio stations isn’t a good idea long term and has basically made them non existent along with many of our local newspapers as well. We NEED pubically funded radio and people need to have hand crank radios for an easy to power device we can even add things like a flashlight to. These are devices that exist but are useless now because the radio stations we rely on don’t really exist anymore.

2. The Second Issue – Mindless Poorly Educated, Inconsiderate, People

   This has always been a problem in these situations. People often don’t think of others because we are trained to be capitalistic consumers at a very young age. We want to have more than the people around us, never ever less. Doesn’t matter if we need it, we WANT IT. With our phone systems, and electricity for that matter, people think the resource is unlimited because they can’t ever physically see the limits. As someone who has worked in that industry and climbed my butt up the towers to actually work with the equipment… I will tell you there is a very finite amount of data and even call capacity to go around. It’s a lot better than it was 20 years ago but is still more akin to the phone systems back then. When the power and cable would go out they would have regular notifications on the radio to tell people to try to keep off the phones to keep them open for actual emergencies and not to sit having conversations for hours to pass the time.

   So data showed it’s ugly limitations when I ended up having difficulty even managing a consistent stream of audio for radio. Why? because people all jumped on their phones to watch Netflix. Usually that is throttled through a single home connection. For phones it’s not since a single household can have multiple sim cards and thus multiple unlimited connections vs the typical one we can just throttle all of them with. So they throttle all of us.. poorly.. which even made accessing some websites difficult such as Hydro to see the status of things. This is when I just went for a nap.

  We NEED to be considerate and realise everyone else is also trying to do the same thing so try not to hog all of the data capacity with video streams.. listen to a podcast or something if you must.

 

 

3. The Third Issue – THE BIG ONE – Infrastructure Collapse Due To Neglect

   Now this one is a doozy… but in general the infrastructure systems are all collapsing in North America. I see a lot of dams and roads showing that in the USA and here in Canada I have noticed it with our roads, water, and power infrastructure systems the most. I think we can all see the roads suck far more than they have in the last 30 years I can recall. In Ontario I’m sure everyone knows the Gardiner expressway fell apart due to years of neglect and deeming it too costly. Well now we are seeing this with our highway overpasses such as the 403. As for water the region I am in had to admit to not even budgeting for emergency repairs or long term maintenance of water infrastructure when they had to raise taxes to accommodate for it all. These are subjects for a different time but just highlight a much larger issue with our current leadership… they live in pretend bubbles that aren’t part of the real world and thus never plan accordingly for the real issues at hand.

   So this brings me back to the more relevant state of the electrical grid. This bothers me because in 2003 we had the clear discussion around Ontario, Buffalo, and New York State when we all lost power due to the electrical grid being neglected for profit and thus causing the massive power outage. So why now am I watching major feed lines being blown over in the wind? I can’t say I didn’t notice how many of the poles around here are in terrible shape and we just prop them up.. In general it’s neglect when it comes to maintenance but also neglect when we engineer them in the first place. These are signs of an even bigger issue of Money doesn’t work and when we pretend it does it goes to the wrong people so we all pay for the issues over and over. Privatising Ontario Hydro was a MASSIVE mistake the Conservative set in motion and that the Liberals kept going.

This is an issue so big if we do not rectify it the coming more severe weather will bring our society to a screeching halt! Pretty much everything we currently do isn’t sustainable long term entirely by our own choices.

 

 

 

 

Solutions

More on a personal front here

   – Continue to work towards keeping more and more dry supplies that don’t require heat to be edible or cold storage to stay fresh. Ex. I usually have dry beans, tuna, and bread around.

   – Make sure to check my battery packs and spare phones so they are charged, especially when I know a storm is coming.

   – Possibly get a Radio, but we need to fix radio stations for it to be useful on off hours

   – Possibly work on bringing up issue with local leaders regarding radio and infrastructure neglect

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have made a situation where climate change can still be sorted out, but given we aren’t doing much about it currently it seems we best start planning for the less pleasant aspects of it and neglecting our infrastructure just isn’t going to be an option in the coming years.

 

– Anthony