What’s your slant?

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Jeffrey Neil Jackson

Jeffrey Neil Jackson has 36 articles published.

The Conceivable Chinese Contention

in The Political Slant/The Tech Slant by

*China is an interesting state, and becoming a bigger player on the world stage as time passes. Having lost wars to major powers in the more recent century, China is deliberately moving on the world stage and is determined to exercise its power in the twenty-first century. In terms of assets, China is creating man-made islands in the South China Sea, in order to enlarge its global footprint, claiming manmade islands as part of their sovereign nation and attempting to curtail traffic in the open seas. Keep Reading

College Cash Calamity

in The Life Slant/The Money Slant by

*As the French say: “Those that profit from crime are guilty of it.” Your parents slid $50k to a university official and got you in to the college of your dreams. Some of the parents had people doctor their children’s SAT tests so that the higher score would smooth their way to getting into an elite college.  One of the “internet sensation” applicants spoke of the excitement of “game days” and “parties” and, for some strange reason, never mentioned long hours in the library researching hypnotic age regression, poring over financial reports to find the best company for which to write a paper, or going to the math lab for help with calculus.

Ah, college, all of the great memories; not having money, driving and older car hoping it doesn’t break down, lack of sleep, staying up late for tests the next day, the pressure of exam week, and all for the reward of letters and emails of rejection. They’re glad you got that degree, not that it means anything to them, mind you. Well worth it. Keep Reading

Automation’s Animus Against the Affluent

in Money/The Money Slant by

*It has come to pass, that AI (Artificial Intelligence) and robotics (the word robot comes from the Russian language, meaning work) are moving ahead as fast as they can be built. AI and robotics are inseparable, presenting a one-two punch to anyone who gets in its way, or, in the way of the people who are creating it.

AI, robotics, the internet and the global economy, a synergistic economy-changing juggernaut, have made things very good for some and quite painful for others. As the unions in the U.S. declined, the wages of the non-union employees fell, as when there were unions they lifted all wages as workers tried to get a job at the union shop and the non-union employers had to compete with employers paying union wages. Why couldn’t the unions embrace the internet? Why couldn’t the unions organize around programmers and coders?

Unions couldn’t get the attention of programmers, systems analysts, and the like, because the demand was so high that wages skyrocketed, and there weren’t many companies abusing programmers for every long, because they would just be poached by another organization where the grass was greener; their gourmet  lunch could be ordered and prepared in-house and they made, median salary, $175,000 per year at Google or $240,000 at Facebook. (Those numbers might be dated, as supplied by The Wall Street Journal some time ago.)

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The Donald, Demographics and Democracy

in The Political Slant by

*President Donald Trump, to many people, is one of the worst presidents in history. I see no point in attempting to change anyone’s mind about this, nor do I have any desire to persuade anyone to look at the president differently. What I want to do is to explain why he was voted into office.

Economic Determinism

One of my favorite questions to ask any economics professor, and I have asked many of my economics professors, is this question: Does economic determine politics, or does politics determine economics? Most of the professors will hedge their answer, saying that the answer is a little bit of both. Keep Reading

Glassdoor Reviews – Miscreant Managers Mangling the Message

in Money/The Money Slant by

*We all know that internet is teeming with liars. Conspiracy theorists and quasi-governmental “officials” claiming all kinds of things that never happened, and denying things that actually happened, in order to create doubt or encourage beliefs that will help them advance their atrocious agendas. As long as the liars stay within certain parameters, their impact is minimized and their fraudulence doesn’t affect many people. But then, not to affect many people would not serve the motives of the lying internet scoundrels. Keep Reading

Masticating Machismo’s Miscarriage – The Myth of Toxic Masculinity

in The Life Slant/The Political Slant by
Toxic Masculinity

*After some consideration, the American Psychological Association has determined that being masculine is “psychologically harmful.” None to my surprise, the APA has determined that there is more than one gender, and that you are not necessarily the gender of your biological sex at birth.  The APA has concluded: “socialization for conforming to traditional masculinity ideology has been shown to limit males’ psychological development, constrain their behavior, result in gender role strain and gender role conflict, … and negatively influence mental health and physical health.”

This is good to know, and in the next paragraphs of this article I will explain what this behavior has engendered. The study indicates the source of many problems, excuse me, “male” problems that have burdened society for far too long.

Toxic Masculinity Keep Reading

CRISPR – New Gene Altering Technology

in The Tech Slant by
CRISPR - Gene Altering Technology

*A new technology that will change the world has emerged, called CRISPR, an acronym for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat. While the mechanics of this technology are an essay all by itself, suffice to say that it is a technique that alters genes, the formula for life in DNA. Discovered by a food company that was studying a bacterium called Streptococcus thermophiles, it turns out that CRISPR has the ability to alter the genetic makeup of whatever DNA where ever it is applied. Even if CRISPR turns out unable to genetically alter human beings, it is one step closer to our ability to do so.

The backlash against GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) still rages, while disease-resistant plants that could keep populations healthy are ignored. Golden rice, which would prevent blindness in children in Third World countries, was shunned for quite some time, all due to unjustified fear of GMOs. (I wrote a very sad research paper on that topic.) CRISPR is (from my admittedly shallow understanding) another method of altering DNA to resist diseases, among other things. The question before us is whether we should use CRISPR to alter our genetic makeup, and, more importantly, to alter the DNA of our offspring to make them healthier.

If the genetic investigation indicates that your child will be autistic, and you had the ability to stop it, would you do it?”

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Forensics, Fraud and Fairness

in The Life Slant/The Tech Slant by

*Jennifer Mnookin, Dean of UCLA’s School of Law recently released a research paper on “The Uncertain Future of Forensic Science.” To begin with, the “science” of forensics always had a goal, and that was to “scientifically” prove that discovered evidence supported the conclusion that a person was guilty of a crime. The intention was to convict citizens who had committed crimes, an altogether honorable mission.

Iniquitous Experts

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General Motors – Change for the Sake of Change

in Money/The Money Slant by

*How to succeed in business in the twenty-first century: Outsource as much as you can, to the point that the CEO makes over four-thousand times what the poor schlub doing the grunt work is paid. Ask the government for bailouts, and then make sure you have an excuse for not paying back all that you were loaned, by compensating the government with stock you know will never be worth the amount you borrowed. Concentrate your efforts to specific models or types of products as the future, even when you’ve suffered huge losses by betting on that model’s marketability, and your firm’s limited ability to make new models profitable (let alone work) before. Put all of your bets on unproven models, unproven technology and areas where your firm has limited experience and expertise, especially when your firm’s past experience with innovation is sketchy at best, and when your business has a track record of abandoning innovative thinkers. The American car culture is passing on. Read on to see why.

“That men do not learn much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.”- Aldous Huxley Keep Reading

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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