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Profile Information

Name: Dolores
Gender: Female
Hometown: California
Home country: USA
Current location: California
Member since: Thu Nov 30, 2017, 02:58 PM
Number of posts: 3,804

Journal Archives

The Five Universal Laws of Human Stupidity


In 1976, a professor of economic history at the University of California, Berkeley published an essay outlining the fundamental laws of a force he perceived as humanity’s greatest existential threat: Stupidity.

Stupid people, Carlo M. Cipolla explained, share several identifying traits: they are abundant, they are irrational, and they cause problems for others without apparent benefit to themselves, thereby lowering society’s total well-being. There are no defenses against stupidity, argued the Italian-born professor, who died in 2000. The only way a society can avoid being crushed by the burden of its idiots is if the non-stupid work even harder to offset the losses of their stupid brethren.

Let’s take a look at Cipolla’s five basic laws of human stupidity:

Law 1: Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.

No matter how many idiots you suspect yourself surrounded by, Cipolla wrote, you are invariably lowballing the total. This problem is compounded by biased assumptions that certain people are intelligent based on superficial factors like their job, education level, or other traits we believe to be exclusive of stupidity. They aren’t. Which takes us to:

Posted by alwaysinasnit | Fri Apr 2, 2021, 10:33 PM (23 replies)

The Right Curriculum? How PragerU Infiltrates Schools.


The right-wing nonprofit, known for viral videos like ‘The Left Ruins Everything,’ launched a program specifically designed for teachers last fall. But according to students, its content has been in public schools for years.

Robyn Ellis was a high school sophomore in a rural town in Kern County, California, when their government teacher started showing a string of videos from a media organization that Ellis had previously seen criticized online for being conservative propaganda. In one of the first weeks of school, Ellis’s teacher plugged in a Chromebook to the classroom’s TV and screened the first of what would become many videos created by Prager University.

Caroline Lannes, now 18, knew her economics teacher was right-leaning even before he started showing the class PragerU videos. In a Northern California high school, the teacher talked about Ronald Reagan with a particularly nostalgic cadence and had a poster of Margaret Thatcher pinned to the classroom wall. But for Lannes, showing PragerU content crossed a line.

“I knew it was BS. It was clearly misinformation,” she said. “But the teacher never said anything like that. And it made me mad.” As a self-described liberal, Lannes knew that the content was only egging on her already right-leaning classmates. “It was totally fuel to the fire,” she added.

Posted by alwaysinasnit | Thu Apr 1, 2021, 01:27 PM (9 replies)

Amazon keeps pushing the envelope...


As Big Brothers go, it doesn't get any bigger than Amazon. So there's a furor over the company's recent ultimatum to its contracted drivers: Either agree to surveillance by our new-age technology or find another job.

As Vice reported today, "Amazon delivery drivers nationwide have to sign a "biometric consent" form this week that grants the tech behemoth permission to use AI-powered cameras to access drivers' location, movement, and biometric data.

"If the company's delivery drivers, who number around 75,000 in the United States, refuse to sign these forms, they lose their jobs. The form requires drivers to agree to facial recognition and other biometric data collection within the trucks they drive."

Amazon manufactures the new technology and has battled against efforts privacy-based effort to restrict its use. Five progressive Democratic senators wrote to the company March 3 demanding it respond to the privacy concerns, with a deadline of tomorrow to provide an answer.

Posted by alwaysinasnit | Tue Mar 23, 2021, 11:02 PM (29 replies)

The Gig Economy Is Coming for Millions of American Jobs


California’s vote to classify Uber and Lyft drivers as contractors has emboldened other employers to eliminate salaried positions—and has become a cornerstone of bigger plans to “Uberize” the U.S. workforce.

The tower of aging Manila envelopes, stacked in a corner of Rome Aloise’s cluttered Bay Area home office, is a monument to five years of failure. Aloise, who heads the Northern California chapter of the Teamsters union, has spent a lot of time sitting across a table from officials at Uber and Lyft, trying to work out a deal to organize their drivers. The companies wanted to forge peace with labor while ensuring the workers would still be considered independent contractors without the legal rights employees are guaranteed, including the hourly minimum wage. The union wanted to increase its ranks and boost drivers’ pay without setting a precedent that would endanger its other members’ rights. The envelopes contain a small forest’s worth of rejected proposals, handwritten notes, and other detritus from a great many meetings that couldn’t bridge the gap. “Everybody would love to see some resolution,” Aloise says. “It’s just what that looks like is the problem.”

Back and forth the companies and the Teamsters have gone over the years, as the firmament has shifted around them. During Aloise’s first round of monthslong talks at Uber Technologies Inc.’s headquarters in San Francisco, in 2016, the company’s clout was on the rise—its top officials included then-President Barack Obama’s former campaign manager, and Obama himself joked about becoming an Uber driver after leaving the White House. A couple of years into the Trump era, the union appeared to have the upper hand, after California judges and legislators made it much tougher to call workers contractors if they were central to a company’s operations. Now, however, union leverage is at a nadir, and the scenario that labor officials—including some who don’t represent drivers—spent years trying to head off is beginning to unfold.

Last year companies such as Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and Instacart spent a record $200 million campaigning for an Election Day ballot measure that would exempt them from the California law, arguing in ads and in-app messages that keeping drivers contractors would protect their ability to work. They won: Proposition 22, as the ballot measure is known, now limits their drivers in California to a set of sub-employee alternative perks such as an “earnings guarantee” that doesn’t count the time or gas they burn waiting between trips. Prop 22 also insulates itself from future reform efforts by preempting local laws and requiring that any tweaks by the state legislature comport with its intent and pass with a seven-eighths supermajority. All this has left many drivers feeling stranded in the worst of both worlds—as beholden to bosses’ whims as employees, without the corresponding protections.

Employees in related fields are already feeling the knock-on effects. In December, Albertsons Cos., the supermarket chain, started informing delivery drivers they’d be replaced by contractors. In California hundreds of Albertsons employees are being swapped for DoorDash Inc. workers, according to the United Food & Commercial Workers union. Albertsons declined to comment on the layoff figures but says that the move is happening in multiple states to “help us create a more efficient operation” and that affected workers are being offered other jobs there. (Some workers dispute that last part.) Startups such as Jyve Corp., which sends contractors to grocery stores to stock shelves in lieu of employees, are seeking similar exemptions.

Posted by alwaysinasnit | Sun Feb 21, 2021, 02:55 PM (16 replies)

How To Sign Up For A COVID-19 Vaccine In Your State


This might help provide some useful info.
Posted by alwaysinasnit | Fri Feb 19, 2021, 07:56 PM (12 replies)

I know it looks funny to send another "Thank You for my heart" message only minutes after my

previous one, but I don't want my most recent, kind DU heart donor to go unacknowledged.
Posted by alwaysinasnit | Fri Feb 12, 2021, 02:59 AM (5 replies)

Thank you so much kind DUers for my hearts. DU is the best digital community!

Posted by alwaysinasnit | Fri Feb 12, 2021, 02:39 AM (0 replies)

More hearts! Thank you very much for your kindness!

Posted by alwaysinasnit | Thu Feb 11, 2021, 07:16 PM (0 replies)

My "heart-felt" appreciation to those who gave me my hearts!

Posted by alwaysinasnit | Mon Feb 8, 2021, 04:12 PM (0 replies)

And I'm feeling good by Nina Simone

Posted by alwaysinasnit | Wed Jan 20, 2021, 03:29 PM (2 replies)
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