Wednesday, November 28, 2012

On Twitter

Since I first became aware of this thing called Twitter back in 2008, I have questioned its value, just as I would with any new gadget or any trend in our cultural zeitgeist. I am by nature a contrarian, one who is not inclined to go along with something new just because it’s “the latest thing.” It’s not that I won’t come around eventually—I often do—but I require demonstrable proof of worth before jumping on the proverbial bandwagon. That’s because I really don’t believe in bandwagon-jumping in general. Performing an action because it’s being marketed to you, because someone is spending a great deal of time and effort to get you to buy into it, just doesn’t seem logical to me, and never has. I guess part of this mentality was formed by my own personal circumstances, and by growing up in Washington DC in the 70s, a period of intense cynicism and self-interest. My father was a lawyer, and I learned fairly early on that I had better have my facts down if I wanted to hold my own with him. Dealing with him was often difficult because he had a brilliant mind and rarely lost an argument, legally or otherwise. He would hold forth on and we would all be forced to listen whether we wanted to or not. It got so that I would take the opposite point of view whenever I talked to him just to antagonize him, just to get his attention at all. It became a defense mechanism, one that did no good for our father-daughter relationship and which made forming any sort of personal relationship very tricky. I spent years keeping people at arm’s length because of my argumentative nature, because of habits formed around the dinner table. But I gained a great deal of respect for facts in the process.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012, or What I Learned From Sandy

1) Backup generators don’t necessarily go to those who need them most, and sometimes they don’t work. Several hospitals lost generator power due to being flooded. How is it possible no one thought this would happen, especially at the Shore? Also, it is not mandatory for gas stations, grocery stores and cellular towers to have backup generators. How is this not a security issue? And then there are the people with generators in their vacation homes while entire buildings were in the dark.