What’s your slant?

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Jeffrey Neil Jackson

Jeffrey Neil Jackson has 27 articles published.

Tightening the Tether on Tasteless Tech

in The Tech Slant by

*As economies have moved forward, more and more complex arrangements, instruments, and machines have come into existence. For example, the reason we can make music earbuds so small now is because of rare earth magnets, made of praseodymium, which is mined in the U.S., China, Russia, Australia, and India. Many of the resources needed to produce the inventions of our modern society are linked around the world. As I have stated on numerous occasions, we have been in a global economy since the East India Company of 1600.

Big Tech - Global Economy
Image Credit: The Economist

There have been several game-changers in economics, mostly two Industrial Revolutions, the revolution of the late 19th century when machines became essential to make other machines, and the more recent tech boom. Let’s review some of the industries that tech has affected.

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The Cracks in the Cogency of Corporate Culture

in The Money Slant by

*Describe the culture here” is a question I like to ask in interviews. Like it or not, most of the places you work will have a culture. I was told once that I should try to fit into the culture where I worked, and my unstated response was that if nepotism and pilfering were the corporate culture, I would just as soon go elsewhere. Looking back upon it, I think that I was supposed to give credit to the solutions I devised to the group. The only problem with that scenario from my perspective was that when it came to the application of any solution, I was the one who would be working overtime, or coming in on my day off. It was strongly in my interest to solve the problems before they arose, if simply to keep from spending my life working overtime addressing problems created by other managers. Keep Reading

America’s Immigration Conundrum – 13 Million is Enough

in The Political Slant by

*We need some major fake news at this point in time. We need to announce that there is a crowd of immigrants marching through the U.S. towards Mexico, and we’re not going to do anything to stop them. In fact, we will feed them and offer them assistance as long as they don’t stay in the U.S. This mob consists of people dissatisfied with their economic prospects, and they have learned that life in Mexico is free from gangs, murderers, and corrupt governments. (We are under no obligation to disabuse them of this belief.) No matter what the Mexican laws are, we, the U.S., do not care, because as long as the crowd doesn’t stay in the U.S., as long as they leave, everything is great. They can march through the U.S. to Mexico unencumbered. In fact, if they want to pick up some U.S. gangsters along the way, that’s good too.

Just what would Mexico do if the situation was reversed? One of the tools of critical thinking (I’m not going to get too Hegelian on you here) is to reverse the situation and see how it looks. Taking the perspective of a different person can expand one’s viewpoint and help understand where someone is coming from, so let’s look at the folks coming north to the (Democrat promised) promised land. Keep Reading

Kavanaugh Hysteria

in The Political Slant by
*On Saturday, October 6, Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate for a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States, but not without controversy. Mr. Kavanaugh faced charges for something that he supposedly did thirty-five years ago. The “star witness” against Mr. Kavanaugh was someone who stereotypically not only sides with, but openly advocates the liberal agenda, a college professor. I’ll just rack that one up to another strange coincidence in life.

Would you like to be denied a job for which you have strived for your whole life because someone claims you did something thirty-five years ago, has virtually no evidence, no corroborating witnesses, and openly dislikes you, bringing up the issue at a last-minute?

While Supreme Court justices are held in high regard, there are other, shall we say, “judiciary figures” with personal “agendas” who are, in my estimation, some of the most despicable authorities in this nation. Keep Reading

The Trifling Take of Truckers

in The Money Slant by
Trucker Shortage

*The economy of 2018 is booming, according to any indicator you would choose to pick. One of the indicators of a booming economy is the volume of items sold. Most household or business items sold need to get to the household or business of destination, whether transported by the buyer, the seller or a third party. Every time the economy picks up, people buy more things.

While today’s economy has a lot of intangible products such as streaming or downloaded products, there are still a lot of material products being purchased. Material products, be they commodities or finished goods, have to be moved, and the vast majority of times, the material products are moved by a truck. The trucking companies have lots and lots of potential customers, all wanting the company to transport something for them. Every time this economic condition happens, the trucking companies cry out that they cannot get enough drivers.

There’s a national driver shortage, and has been one for a long time. As someone who has extensive experience in the trucking industry, I can safely tell you, there is no driver shortage. Sorry, the driver shortage is another urban legend, conspiracy theory, fake news, whatever description you wish to use to describe something that doesn’t really exist.  Keep Reading

Imparting Inclinations Involving Indentured Servitude

in The Money Slant by
Alqattan

*You’ve probably not heard of Sondos Al Qattan.  Neither had I, until recently. Sondos Al Qattan is a Kuwaiti beauty blogger, if you hadn’t already guessed. I realize that in the world of political correctness, using the title Miss, Mrs. or something else might be presumptuous of me, so I will just use the name. You can assign a gender as you wish, or, not even use a gender. Let’s not assign genders here, as that is politically incorrect and presumptuous.

I will get straight to what Sondos Al Qattan said in social media regarding new laws passed to help the Filipino housekeepers in Kuwait: “The new laws that have been passed [in Kuwait] are like a pathetic film. For her [domestic worker] to take a day off every week, that’s four days a month. Those are the days that she’ll be out. And we don’t know what she’ll be doing on those days, with her passport on her,” she said in a video in July, adding, “”

Pretty strong stuff. A day off a week, and the ability for the worker to hold in their possession their passport was just too much for Sondos Al Qattan, who had to speak out. Keep Reading

Theoretical Education in a Practical World

in The Life Slant/The Money Slant by
Library - Theoretical Education

*From the New York Times, May 26, 2018: “Last year the University of Wisconsin at Superior announced that it was suspending nine majors, including sociology and political science, and warned that there might be additional cuts. The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point recently proposed dropping 13 majors, including philosophy and English, to make room for programs with “clear career pathways.

It’s about time.

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Policing for Profit – the Abuse of Civil Asset Forefiture

in The Political Slant by

*The seizure of assets, or asset forfeiture, by government agencies (FBI and local police agencies, among others) without proper legal proceedings, has become intolerable. In case after case, government officials confiscate cash that citizens are carrying, and it is up to the citizens to fight to get it back. Essentially, if any police or law enforcement agency finds that you have a lot of cash, they seize the money, under the assumption that it was obtained illegally, whether or not they even charge you with a crime.

Forfeiture - Handcuffs

This behavior of confiscating assets is nothing more than theft, abuse of power, and denial of the rights of citizens. Only an out-of-control police state would do such a thing. Keep Reading

Facebook’s Fickle Finger of Fate

in The Money Slant/The Tech Slant by

*Some years ago, there was a comedy show that had as a part of its weekly bits, the “Flying fickle Finger of Fate” award, which went to people in the news who accomplished “dubious achievements.” From The Wall Street Journal, Friday July 27, 2018: “Facebook shares fell 19% to $176.26, erasing about $119.1 billion in market value, after the Menlo Park Calif., company warned late Wednesday about slowing growth. Facebook’s loss in market value Thursday is larger than 457 of the 500 companies in the S&P 500. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg alone lost almost $16 billion in the value of his stock holdings.”

But Mark Zuckerberg is a genius.

Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg poses a question during the CEO Summit.

Perhaps Zuckerberg will have to skip the Wadyu steak Friday night, and just have the regular filet mignon. Keep Reading

Big Data & Big Business = Big Bucks

in The Tech Slant by
Big Data

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NICE GUYS FINISH LAST

I’m not in opposition to “big” things. I am, however, fearful of “big” things going bad. Hedge funds losing billions of dollars (Knight Capital) and having the stones to ask for their money back. Brian Hunter of Aramanth losing $6 billion. Big moves can lead to big mistakes. Torch Tower, one of the tallest buildings in the world, where catching fire on a regular basis is the norm. The Titanic, which was the biggest ocean liner in the world, within a short period of time, became the biggest ocean liner at the bottom of the Atlantic.

Make no mistake about it; we are in the era of Big Data. Data collected on every click you make, every time you press a key on your keyboard.  Insight, pattern recognition and projection, all aspects of human intelligence, are being performed by machines that may or may not be making the best of judgments.

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