Sick and Tired

I felt it starting Wednesday night.  Thursday I woke up with a gravely voice and an overwhelming sense of…meh.  By the time I got off of work on Thursday I felt completely wasted and wrecked.  Friday I woke up feeling even worse.  I ended up calling out and spending the day watching Top Gear firmly planted on the couch, and Saturday was no better.  Sunday I finally began to feel human again.

I hate being sick.  The feeling of not being able to do anything is worse than choosing not to do anything.  The weather has been unbelievable the last two weeks and we have been wanting to go for a hike, but first my wife was sick, now I am.  We also have a vacation coming up in a couple of weeks, and I really don’t want to be sick while doing that.

It is a part of the human experience that we end up sick.  Viruses, bacteria, allergies, fungi; these are all part of how our world has ended up as it has.  These have changed human history in countless ways.  In the late 19th century germ theory began to spread through the scientific community, giving people the knowledge and abilities to begin fighting back against disease.

Which brings me to this: it has been almost 150 years since we discovered that washing your hands, covering your mouth, and staying away from people when you are sick keeps everyone healthy.  What the hell, humanity.  Do those things.  For all of our sake!


 

It’s been a pretty slow week for me.  I spent a surprising amount of it on the couch watching Top Gear and documentaries.  For that I would like to thank Netflix and iTunes.  I do have a couple of things I would recommend this week, though.

  • The NPR Politics Podcast is excellent.  They stay very middle of the road, great insight and good discussion.
  • Need a little joy in your life?  Have an Instagram?  Then follow Bunnymama.  It is all bunnies, all the time.
  • Check out last week’s post, Is 2016 over yet?

Do you know where your data is?

Who owns the data you generate?  That is a basic question that anyone that uses the internet, or an electronic device in gneral for that matter, should be asking themselves.

When I snap a photo on my iPhone, use Instagram to edit the photo, then upload it to Twitter, who owns the photo?  Who can reprint it?  Who can look at it?

Here’s another example; if I take a picture, upload it to Facebook, and then someone extracts the metadata from that photo to find out where I like to hang out, is that illegal?

Data is what everyone wants: companies want data to better sell us more products, law enforcement wants data to know where individuals of interest are and what they are doing, theives want data to know who might not be home or what valuables you may have.  Data is everything.

In my work I see people everyday that are worried about the wrong things.  Worried that people are watching them from their cellphone cameras.  Worried that the NFC chip in their phones are leaking financial data.  Worried that the their fingerprint will fall into someone else’s hands.  Meanwhile, no concern is given to the fact that their password is easily guessable, that they use unsecured wifi, that they have no passcode on their phone.  The important inconveniences are ignored, while the vauge theoretical possibilities are focused upon.

Having control of our data should be at the forefront of any discussion on rights in the 21st century.  A free society also means a private society.  Saying you have nothing to hide is a fallacy; being private means not having to disclose which park your children play at, what you bought from Amazon, which cat videos you choose to watch, or what conversations you had with your significant other.

It isn’t about stopping terrorism.  It isn’t about catching kidnappers.  And it isn’t about bringing you services.

It is about your data.

We have given up so much already, why do we shrug our collective shoulders and walk away when it comes to the data that forms our very lives.


So, what happened this week?

  • On the above topic, for the United States, if I may encourage you to write your representitives!  Just check here.  Also, register to vote!  It is primary season, and it is an election year.
  • I finished my 4-Part story this week.  Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.
  • Continuing my coffee recommendations from last week, if you are ever in San Luis Obispo, CA, please check out Bello Mundo.  A surprising amount of this blog has been written there.

Good luck this week everyone.

 

 

Where did all our friends go?

I got a text message the other day from an old friend.  It was great to hear from them and we chatted back and forth for a bit before the conversation drifted off.

I began thinking about friends.  I have always had a lot of friends, people that I was close to, talked to, hung out with.  I am a friendly person, and that helped.  But I usually only had one or two people I was really close to at a time; a Best Friend.

To those of you that have filled that role for someone, thank you.  You have saved lives.  You have inspired and supported and changed people.  To those have been that for me, I love you for it.

If we have lost touch or moved apart or changed, I’m sorry.  I will always value the relationship we had, and the effect you had on my life.


 

I have some cool stuff I want to share from this week:

  • I have been writing a story.  Check out Part 3 here.
  • I travelled to Santa Barbara, CA for work a couple of weeks ago, and if you are ever there, please go check out Good Cup Downtown.  Seriously.  You owe it to yourself.
  • Some friends of mine are working on a web-series called Nicolife.  Go watch!

Hope all of you have a wonderful week!