Tag: conversation

Ignoring good quality because of reviews?

It’s one thing to judge a book by it’s cover, it’s another thing entirely to present yourself as a viable critic or bearing expert opinion in a similar fashion. It is not only misrepresentation, it is also doing your audience a disservice.

This is for everyone that passes judgment on a book, or a movie, or entertainment venues solely on reviews. The business world has offered to pay people to give you opinions without actually having long term access or experience in what you’re shopping for…

…and we have embraced it. No less than 4 times today, I have run into scenarios whereby in conversation I was presented not a clear argument, but a reference to a paid review. Paid reviews are just that…advertisements. Movies, technology, investments, it’s like we all suddenly made the decision to shop like shit, and in an effort to admitting ignorance, choose to back an negative opinion just so that we can say we’re right. (*cough* not alluding to Trump *cough*)

This is literally what we’ve become. marketing now is an effort of saturation rather than information. Flood a movie with crap reviews and opinions and it will tank the box office months before the movie is even out…so in seeing a trailer, I get it sometimes they are crappy. But then in seeing a movie, it’s actually frickin amazing. But then the same critic plays his “I am a credible judge of art” card it like gospel…even when they are talking out of their ass.

If you are a fan of a genre, technology enthusiast, voter…LOL…whatever…I think you should do some of your own research, and form your own opinion, rather than adopting whatever you just read on a cursory Google search.

/end rant.

All that said – Tony is a dork, and in case no one has told you today:
Have a great afternoon.
You’re Awesome.
I love you.
Nice Butt.

-T




Yearning for Learning…

We all have those points we reach where we re-evaluate where we are and what we want. I honestly think that it’s part of the process by which we make sure we’re not repeating mistakes and are on the path we want to be on.

As you all know, I started my own consulting business about a year ago, and it’s been a learning experience to say the least. I’ve learned more about the business world and finance and taxes in the last year than I had in decades prior.

It occurred to me that one thing I truly love to do is learn…be it people…trees…the wind…math…okay…maybe not math much anymore, but you know what I mean? My spark is still there…in scenarios where I have to immerse myself into an environments where I have no bearing, and no experience. While I am hardly getting rich by becoming my own boss, but I am enjoying a level of freedom that I didn’t even know when I was a kid. Part of that freedom has been having the time to take on learning TONS of subject matter I didn’t have time for beforehand, and recently, I’ve even started inquiring about tuition costs for school because unfortunately, some of the world I want to know lays buried in the books and lectures of professors I normally wouldn’t have access to otherwise.

The bottom line, I miss learning, I miss that feeling where I’m entering a completely new arena and have to soak in absolutely everything. It keeps my mind from getting too bored, which unfortunately is very easy for me if I don’t have a conversation going on…or a book to read…or the internet to soak in and learn about…well…everything. Well, as I’ve learned recently, an undergraduate degree acquired online costs over $70k. Yup.

That is what I said. HOLY CHRIST ON A POGO STICK…SEVENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS…

…and that is 100% do it yourself computer based training.

Unfortunately, as I stated above, I have time – but money like that – not readily available, especially considering my health problems and trying to buy a house this year…I know it’s simply not an option at rates like that.

So here comes that spark…

I’ve been a TED subscriber for quite some time, and the messages you hear on it are incredible…there are soooooo many people out there trying to broaden our horizons and make this world a far better place, it’s pretty inspiring. So much that I’ve tried to make sure I watch at least a few TED video’s every week or two so that I know what they know, or at the very lest can draw some ideas or inspiration.

And earlier today I saw this article on free courses offered online…

TED Blog – Completely free online classes? Coursera.org now offering courses from 16 top colleges

TED.com - Ideas Worth Spreading

And after that I checked out Coursera.org and found that t wasn’t the degree I longed for…it was the education, thee information, and the opportunity to soak more of the world or turn my brain to jello trying.

I went on to find a number of other organizations that offer free education and courses. I realized that some people and organization were finally trying to improve the world, by allowing the mind to grow. In a society that puts a price on access to virtually any information, there are finally a number of organization that are trying to share that wealth instead of profiteering from it.

Again. Me. Inspired!

So where did all that take me?

I have the time, I am going to take it and learn as much as I can while I still have it. There are already more courses out there than I could finish in the next decade, and I think that within the next few years the amount of curricula available will grow exponentially.

You’re probably reading this and thinking Jeez Tony you could have just said, “I’m going back to school.”

True, I could have, but then I wouldn’t have shared all these nifty links to all these places online that provide free education.

The Khan Academy – TONS of video and stuff…LOADS…I also found these guys from TED.

OpenLearn– I haven’t tried these guys yet but they have a huge course selection.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health – Open Coursework from a great Medical School. Prize material for med students!

Tufts University – More Med school offerings


Stanford University
– That’s right, Stanford has buku lectures free via iTunes!!!!

UC Berkeley – More from UC Berkeley, available via iTunes!

OpenCulture – Has a FEKTON of courses listed available online.

Education Portal – Good information regarding online coursework.

What did I find for myself? A sustainability class, some newer Philosophy classes, loads of history classes I might actually like learning from…bottom line…enough for me to really enjoy regardless of where I learn it.

😉

-Tony




How to be a Douchebag.

Normally, I reserve names such as these when referring to…

…people who beat children and/or spouses.
…people that think civil, or even human rights are “quaint”
…people that go out of their way to shit on others without reasonable justification.

But tonight, it becomes more than a moral obligation to point this waste of internet space out…

…it becomes an absolute pleasure.

Now you have to know a little tech first. You see, I’ve been administering over 10 domains (not including subs) for a long long time. When I first started blogging and transcribing my journals into my blog, I also set up an aggregation site on a sub-domain of TonyTown so that I could read all my news without going to anyone else, or having to surf like mad to so many sites. In doing this, I didn’t realize the RSS feeds were being indexed by the big search engines, which is in fact a pretty huge screw-up on my part. But I screwed up more. This same sub-domain/site is also where I tested out plugins for WordPress. One of these was the first original TonyTown twitter account, which I have also not used or looked at in ages, but was taking it’s queue from posts on the news feed.

Bottom line…All my RSS feeds for The Onion, BitRebels, CNN, Natalie Tran, Ars Technica, Gizmodo and Scientific American they were being posted as linked articles on the aggregation site on my sub-domain. This reeks of techno-babble, but the bottom line is that the articles were getting regurgitated through my sub-domain. This is very bad etiquette on the net. Well, let me rephrase, it is very bad etiquette to re-post content without some level of permission from the publisher.

This was totally me. I never realized the site was searchable, and didn’t know the stupid twitter feed was attached to it.

The part that makes me want to write about this though, is how I was approached about it. This insane low-life self-anointed waste of internet space starts spamming the absolute hell out of my personal twitter account (non-direct, for all the public to see) with completely unnecessary hashes (tags like #douchebag etc) and foul language. There are children who watch that feed. Not to mention a few news sites, WORK, etc…and this guy didn’t even bother emailing me.

I have to point out something here…this guy, out of the 13000 links aggregated, owned…wait for it… 7 articles. They weren’t even really articles. After reading them, I found them to be more or less absolutely useless amounts of regurgitated music babble about who’s hot and who’s not. Even funnier…he hadn’t posted to BitRebels in months, which was the actual publisher of the content.

You see the pleasure of not being in this for the money is this is 100% opinion. This winner could have easily just messaged me but started off the conversation by calling me a Twat…and THEN telling me to remove his content from my site.

Foul-mouthed Tweet #1 “Hey you TWAT! Remove immediately MY POSTS from your so called blog #XXXXingDouchebag”

Thoughts/Reaction #1 – “Wow, this guy is nuts…I don’t rip others content.”

Foul Mouthed Tweet #2 “@XXXXXXXXXXX Just look at the whole thing, [he] is stealing content from @gizmodo, @theonion, @bitrebels and Scientific American.”

Thoughts/Reaction #2 – “Wow, this nut is angry about something. Wait…those are on my aggregator”
At this time…I am trying to figure out how this guy even knows that feed is there. Remember, I haven’t even looked at it in ages, I didn’t even have the password for it.

Foul-mouthed Tweet #3 Sent to his buddy: “People like this [ME] that steals content from others really piss me off. Sorry for the language…”

Thoughts/Reaction #3 – “Why is he spamming Twitter instead of emailing me? Oh…this guy apologizes to his friend for saying PISSES…but wont bother to contact me properly.”
–Friend in California texts me to let me know the activity is on the radar *AWESOME* (not)–

Foul-mouthed Tweet #4 “That is MY CONTENT you XXXHOLE!”

Thoughts/Reaction #4 – By this time I’d found the problem (i.e. me being a dumbass) and apologized to him for the problem.

Foul-mouthed Tweet #4,5,6,7 – “I don’t say they are mine, they are mine you XXXXing douchebag! Just search for [Insert Foulmouthed Asshat’s Name Here] on your site and DELETE IT!”

–Two more people letting me know there is some guy flaming the hells out of me on twitter–
By this time…honestly…nothing I tried to say I was doing was getting through. I had already moved the aggregation access to another undocumented and unsearchable domain AND fixed the twittering silliness, but this guy was now spamming others and continuing on his little rant.
By then a tiny little minuscule spec of the Twitter community…that is ONE of his followers/friends RETELLS his complaint long after I’d already rectified the situation.

I’ve been using that feed for years without a PEEP from the other sites. Yes, the activity it was performing by allowing itself to be searchable was very bad net-etiquette. Yes, my completely forgetting there was a Twitter feed attached to it…yep, all me – my fault.

But you sir. You’re a Twitter Guru right? So in your vast repertoire of blog-knowledge did it occur to you that I might have just screwed up? Because if I were leeching content deliberately…do you honestly think I would pull content from…BitRebels?! Seriously?! I read your articles, (they’re shit) and it makes me glad I didn’t bother trying to get on with BitRebels when they started…because if you’re half the egotistical asshat in person that you come off as on Twitter, I’d probably create a website dedicated to your vastly unreasonable and offensive attitude with people on the net….which by the way…isn’t copyrighted.

The real funny, is after he’s apparently satisfied his insanely valueless content is no longer available via my news portal…he goes on to start another fight with another guy on Twitter about…of all things…how lame his blog posts and intellect is. The guy…none other than Robert Scoble of http://scobleizer.com. This is about the equivalent of Joe the Plumber telling Steve Jobs how to market the iPhone. Yeah. Winner. You. Are. Not.

Finally going to get some rest on this though. Hope everyone had a great night.

-Tony