Spring brings sunshine and discontent.

Spring is here and I find that there’s some things in these United States that I’m missing. However great spring will be with its increasing sunshine and the opportunity to plant a garden, I’m feeling that there are some social advantages that have just flown the coop.

What I miss in this United States is a sense that competent people can be hired by ordinary Americans to take care of ordinary problems. I miss the high sense of confidence that I once had about being able to find a good doctor, a good dentist, or a competent lawyer at an affordable price.

I miss knowing that I can go to many Universities across America and acquire a real education that will lead to gainful employment. I miss knowing that Universities welcome open-minded discussions and even well argued disagreements.

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I miss ordinary things like being able to change jobs and try something new as I recall that many professions once only required a basic education. I miss the extensive job ads in the newspaper. And I miss secretaries and HR people who would answer my questions about getting a job somewhere.

I miss being able to talk to other people about uncontroversial news in the news broadcasts that almost everyone had seen or heard about. I miss open mindedness generally. I dislike social media’s divisive content that causes constant unhappiness. I dislike personal news feeds that create discord because different people are getting different news information.

I miss the sense of welcome that everyone once could experience in restaurants when the economy was open to many different cuisines in neighborhoods everywhere. I miss giving a tip as a thank you for good service and a good meal.

I miss confidence that our government is full of competent people doing competent work. I never used to think that private businesses could be closed on a whim by people whose job is guaranteed. I miss seeing Washington D.C. open and welcoming for meetings with concerned citizens. I miss believing that my vote would help to select office holders.

I dislike having our broken economy that has less economic and political freedom for Americans. I dislike bad banking policies of deregulation and Washington’s bad fiscal and monetary policies. I wish I didn’t feel afraid that my earnings will be destroyed by stupid Washington policies closing down the economy and demanding increased taxes. I wish the economy made sense better than it does today. I miss market based price discovery.

I dislike public service messages that boss people around and that mind other people’s business. Bossy people on the radio telling me what to do all day long are bullies that I can do without. I dislike propaganda messaging.

I dislike signs that say “No Mask, No Service.” Those signs are fascistic nonsense.

My favorite checkout lady at the grocery store told me a few days ago that people are suffering from inflation in food and other things. Many of her customers feel afraid of what will become of them in this senseless economy. Let’s hope that spring brings some political and economic improvements along with more sunshine. In with spring, out with fascism.

Social media books show cause of increasing political polarity.

For Christmas 2020, I purchased two books about social media. The books I bought are Jaron Lanier’s Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, and Sinal Aral’s The Hype Machine: How Social Media Disrupts Our Elections, Our Economy, and Our Health–And How We Must Adapt. I have never joined Facebook or Twitter but I like to understand the cause of social changes that I see happening and I think that social media has changed our society. Online searches for this information weren’t very successful and I often find that books are superior to online sources, probably because the author can get paid for a book when it finds an audience and their content is more permanent. I bought two books instead of only one because I like to get more than one source whenever I explore a controversial topic.

I am only part-way through these books but I want to encourage you to buy them or borrow them from a library or a friend so that you can learn about social media’s effects on our society. I am learning a lot from them even though I don’t agree with every point of information or opinion in them. Social media has been affecting us for about 15 years. Our politics became more polarized starting about 15 years ago. It’s not a coincidence.

The effect of social media is profound and it is damaging relationships that people can have with those that differ from them. The alarming thing about social media is that it curates the content that people read and algorithms in the programming encourage discord. When a person thinks that someone else is acting crazy and believing crazy things, that craziness can be directly connected with the personalized feed where different people see different content.

When people disagree about politics today it isn’t merely because different people want different things. It’s because they have seen different on-line content about politics when they read content that is fed specifically to them by an algorithm. An algorithm monitors where a person goes on-line and tries to make them do that behavior more often. Bots often create a phony sense that many other people agree with content that is being fed to the public even when few real people know about the information. But a lot of content is a mixture of truth and lies. Controversy increases traffic. All of the content is designed to maximize clicks and likes which can be increased by causing discord. A lot of content is meant to make you think that anyone of a different opinion is crazy or evil. Don’t believe it.

We haven’t all become crazy and intolerant. A profit maximizing tool is feeding you a bunch of baloney that can make you feel bad, feel helpless, feel hopeless. Meanwhile, our nation is still suffering from real monetary and fiscal malfeasance but not because we have become a nation full of crazies. We have real political problems that are systemwide and nationwide. But it isn’t true that We-the-People are evil or crazy. Don’t go on-line for news and information unless you realize that on-line sources aren’t factual and are meant to trick you into greater involvement in a corrupt and manipulative information system that is making mincemeat of authentic discovery. If you go on-line, look for first hand interviews and primary source material. Ask questions in framing your search criteria.

Mainstream media has also proven over the last several years to be completely unreliable for authentic truth source news. Ask your own questions and don’t rely on others to inform you in any media. Current news sources are mostly full of junky non-nourishing news information. Today, it’s up to you to discern for yourself what is happening. Ask questions, seek your own answers based on reliable numerous different sources that you can cross check.

If you want to see the arc of American history in a new way, buy a copy of Political Catsup with Economy Fries, available at Amazon.com.