Category Archives: OpEd (Thinking out Loud)

Watch Movie Online The Fate of the Furious (2017)

Streaming Full Movie The Fate of the Furious (2017)
  • The Fate of the Furious (2017)

  • Duration
    136 mins
    Genre
    Action, Crime, Thriller.
  • In Cinemas
    April 12, 2017
    Language
    English.
  • Country
    United States of America.
  • Watch and Download Movie The Fate of the Furious (2017)

Plot For The Fate of the Furious

‘The Fate of the Furious’ is a movie genre Action, was released in April 12, 2017. F. Gary Gray was directed this movie and starring by Vin Diesel. This movie tell story about When a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of crime and a betrayal of those closest to him, the crew face trials that will test them as never before.

DIRECTOR

F. Gary Gray.

Producer

Vin Diesel, Neal H. Moritz, Michael Fottrell.

Writer

Chris Morgan.

Production Company

Universal Pictures, Original Film, One Race Films.

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Can’t get no (lasting) satisfaction? Here’s why

I wrote an article on medium not too long ago titled “The Real Root Cause Behind ‘I’m Bored'”, where I basically (spoiler alert) said that humans crave a goal or purpose to fulfill (this is not a new idea, I admit). Perhaps part of the reason why some people keep working even after they’ve won the lottery is because no one really wants to just sit around watching TV in their underwear all the time. It might seem pretty awesome at first, but I think eventually they would get bored and want something more meaningful.

Then there are people like me who are so obsessed with goals and creating meaning, that I try to do too many things at once and just get frustrated that I can’t clone myself or grow a second pair of arms, or never need sleep.

Well, Psychology Today has a good article titled “Why You May Never Be Truly Satisfied, and Why That’s Okay”, which also touches on this issue. With actual science to support it, rather than my attempt which was mostly just personal experience.

Have you ever set a goal, achieved it, became content, and then went looking for the next thing? It’s fascinating how quickly our lives adjust to reaching a goal: We get our dream job and, soon enough, start wondering when the next promotion will come. We move into a new house and then, a few years later, start dreaming of the next dream house. We quickly adjust our realities, constantly creating “new normals.” And then we want more.

That has been my experience lately. For me though, it’s more a constant question of “can I do this thing?”. Like, can I, as an individual, physically and/or mentally step up and get through it? And once I’ve answered that, I test the next thing. There are some things I don’t particularly care to know if I can do or not, but asking myself “what can I learn from this?” has done me very well since I started focusing on that question.

We all have different goals—different mountains to climb. One person’s climb may be about sobriety; another’s may be about diet; and someone else may be trying to find a passion. And we often think we’ve reached the top of the mountain, only to realize it was really just the base of another, larger one. And so we start out again. Generally, this works: If we had to reach the zenith all at once, we might be too intimidated to begin.

Popular inspirational speaker Iyanla Vanzant puts it another way, positing that there are curves in the road because if you were shown how long a stretch you actually have left, you’d never drive yourself there. These curves that only show a little bit of the road at a time so you can just focus on that piece. The lesson? Today, focus on the piece that’s in front of you. The better you manage that stretch, the better you’ll be set for the next leg, whatever it is.

I’m feeling this right now. I’ve figured out I have been pretty successful in doing a lot of incremental learning/goal tackling. Currently, I have several ambitious goals, they’re all larger, and I’m battling my brain because I want to do them all at the same time, but not all the little steps (feels too unproductive), so I’ve actually been procrastinating somewhat.

Those goals (in case you’re curious)
-finish learning how to program so I can make an app (this will take months of learning to code bit by bit, and I don’t really want to deal with that right now)
-re-learn website coding so I can built a website idea I have
-finish the curated book I’m working on (probably the most nebulous)
-finish developing the card game ideas I conceived recently (need to playtest)
-finish recording/producing an album I started 6 years ago (only a few things left to be recorded, then lots of editing/mixing which I am not in the mood to do)

The question, then, becomes how we balance being content—and grateful—where we are, while also being okay striving for something still greater. It’s not easy: Oprah Winfrey once said, “I got so focused on the difficulty of the climb that I lost sight of being grateful for simply having a mountain to climb.”

On the plus side, one of my other admittedly larger goals is happening – I’m currently learning ASL (American Sign Language), and unsurprisingly, I’m really benefitting from the formal classroom environment that I’m learning in. It’s incremental, so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. I know I could just discipline myself and do these other things incrementally, and maybe that would work better if I didn’t have that many things I want to do (all right now, not one now, the rest later). Maybe it’s time for me to get an accountability coach. When I get in a groove, I’m really good at not procrastinating, but right now I honestly just can’t seem to bring myself to pick one thing to focus on (well, aside from ASL).

The reality is that our journey stretches as long as we live, and if we ever think we’ve made it to the end, we might be limiting ourselves. We just don’t realize it when we set our current goals. This is why so many of us never feel truly happy, or fully satisfied. We want to see today’s goal as a destination because that allows us to feel a sense of certainty, finality, and accomplishment when we reach it—as it should.

However, there is another piece that often gets lost, which is that we’re always in a state of change. It’s not about wanting more, but about being present for where we are, and the people we’ve become at every new stage of our journeys. It’s not specifically about the better job, home, or relationship—the truth is that wherever we are, there will always be something more to reach for.

One thing I can definitely say since I got on this persistent quest for learning, skill building, and personal growth, is that I have been exposed to some things I never expected, met some really cool people, gone to some cool events, and ultimately inspired and enriched my life quite a bit. In my “old life”, I never would have thought someone like me could have some of these experiences, all I had to do was try. I was afraid, I was unconfident, I didn’t think I deserved it in some cases. Now I just want to encourage others (which is why I started a bucket list group with some friends on facebook, so we could attempt to tackle some of these things together), and that has really helped me not feel so unlikely to accomplish some of my goals. I’m in that ASL class because of a friend of mine who I didn’t even know was interested in ASL. She’s my accountability buddy. And I’m loving it. I’ll be writing about it later, but I’m excited by the possibilities it creates, and the ability to interact and connect with people I couldn’t before.

I’ll leave you with one last quote, from Jon Bon Jovi: “Any time that you think you’ve hit the top of the mountain, the truth of the matter is you’ve just reached another mountain. And it’s there to climb all over again.”

Political perspective: Liberals and Conservatives really ARE different (but maybe not how you thought)

Most people don’t want to talk, or even think about politics. It’s too divisive, and rarely pleasant. Unfortunately, politics is a part of our lives whether we like it or not, and we’re better served to not stick our heads in the sand and hope everything just works out.

That said, I found an article recently that finally seems to bring some clarity to the age-old Liberal vs Conservative debate. I’ve been really into the idea of emotional intelligence lately – understanding someone else’s situation, point of view, why they feel the way they feel. In doing this, it’s easier to relate, empathize, and maybe even work together (compromise), rather than just saying “I don’t agree with you, you’re stupid, I’m going to make your life harder”.

From Vox.com comes “Why Democrats and Republicans don’t understand each other”, and I think it does a good job of explaining some key differences that we hear about, and we perceive ourselves, but they’re finally presented in a more “tangible” way.

First:

Democrats are more focused on making policy to appease their various interest groups and Republicans are more focused on proving their commitment to the small-government philosophy that unites their base.

As Speaker John Boehner put it when he was asked about the slow pace of lawmaking in his House, “we should not be judged on how many new laws we create. We ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal.”

As one example I can think of (though I’m sure there are better ones), I watched a documentary years ago about Ralph Nader called “An Unreasonable Man”. The title is derived from the quote “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself, thus all progress depends on the unreasonable man”. In this documentary, it chronicled how Nader initiated several organizations and committees to protect various groups – workers, consumers, families… and he was making quite a bit of headway, until the next Replublican president was elected and quickly squashed and stagnated his efforts.

This next bit speaks to a point that Chris Rock made in one of his stand up specials, about being liberal on some issues, and conservative on others:

On its face, this presents a puzzle: how can conservatism be the more popular ideology even as the Democrats are the more popular party?

Grossmann and Hopkins disagree. They see this not as a puzzle about American politics but as an explanation for why it works the way it does. They note that 73 percent of Republican voters say they’re conservative but only 42 percent of Democratic voters say they’re liberal. And they note that while voters tend to agree with Republicans on the philosophical questions in American politics (should government be smaller?) they tend to agree with Democrats on the policy questions in American politics (like should Social Security be smaller?).

The Republican Party, in other words, has a very good reason to base itself around philosophical conservatism, while the Democratic Party has a very good reason to base itself around policy deliverables.

This next part is pretty interesting, and gives you an idea of the broader, longer-term implications of this:

The chart above shows the results: Democrats consistently prefer politicians who compromise and Republicans consistently prefer politicians who stick to their principles.

What’s remarkable is that held true even when Republicans controlled the White House. “Though they voiced strong disapproval of Bush, Democrats still expressed a preference for compromise in government — a tendency that has carried over to the Obama era,” write Grossmann and Hopkins. “Republicans have been consistent in their elevation of principle over moderation, regardless of which party is in power.”

That is…extraordinary. Even when a Republican president was facing a Democratic Congress, Republicans did not choose the answer that would have helped their president get more done. And even when a Republican president was facing a Democratic Congress, Democrats did not choose the answer that would have stiffened their party’s spine against passing Bush’s bills. I would have bet money against surveys showing this kind of stability between Democratic and Republican administrations. This is a difference between the two parties that runs deep.

This is something I do tend to find frustrating about more pure conservatives, some might call it “stubbornness”, and it’s important to be able to tell the difference between stubbornness (refusing to budge no matter what) and sticking to principles because you don’t feel you’ve been giving satisfactory reasoning for a change.

“Democrats and liberals are more likely to focus on policymaking because any change that occurs is much more likely to be liberal than conservative. New policies usually expand the scope of government responsibility, funding, or regulation. There are occasional conservative policy successes as well, but they are less frequent and are usually accompanied by expansion of government responsibility in other areas.”

The cleanest way to shrink the size of government is to repeal laws and regulations. But it doesn’t happen very often. In the American political system, Grossmann says, “it’s hard to pass anything, but it’s particularly hard to repeal a law that already exists.” Systematic analyses show it’s rare for laws to be repealed wholesale. “That creates perpetual disappointment among the Republican base,” Grossmann continues. “They correctly perceive that their party does not succeed in enacting their professed ideology.”

But they’re a reminder that American politics is fundamentally rational. Republicans are uncompromising because compromise tends to expand the scope of government. Democrats are willing to make deep concessions because policy moves in a generally liberal direction. Republicans have a clearer message about government because their message about government is fundamentally popular. Democrats talk more about policy because what they have to say about policy is fundamentally popular.

I think that’s a good distinction, and I think if more people were aware of it, it could help grease the gears a bit better and perhaps lead to a little more getting done. I think it suggest that partisanship is at least partially misconceived. Yes some people are truly stubborn and unwavering for personal and/or selfish reasons, but I’m sure that’s actually a minority.

This next bit feels a bit like the whole “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” idea, but applied to politics:

The data also explains why Democratic and Republicans have so much trouble understanding each other. Democrats tend to project their preference for policymaking onto the Republican Party — and then respond with anger and confusion when Republicans don’t seem interested in making a deal. Republicans tend to assume the Democratic Party is more ideological than it is, and so see various policy initiatives as part of an ideological effort to remake America along more socialistic lines.

This is really why effective communication is so important. If you make assumptions that are wrong, you obviously won’t get the results you expect. As frustrating and broken as the 2 party system often seems, perhaps there is a healthy balance hidden in there.

I’ve been “liberal” and “socialist” for a long time, and used to be much more ideological than I am now. If I was given political power in my 20s, I probably would have made a bunch of laws which were well-meaning, but not fully or properly considered/researched. Now I feel like I would think longer and more carefully before setting a policy for something.

Want to get more cuddles? There’s an app for that

A few days ago, a friend of mine posted an article on facebook titled “Tinder for cuddling: This app will find you a random stranger to spoon”, which initially I thought was satire because it just seemed so unexpected. The article is about a new app called “Cuddlr”, and when I tried to google it, I actually couldn’t even see what looked like an official website, or press release, or anything. So things didn’t quite seem to add up.

But then I spotted an article on medium by one of the inventors of the app (Charlie Williams). His article, “It’s Touch, Not Sex”, is about the app, its inception, its purpose, and its goal.

What is Cuddlr? Put simply, it works like Tinder, but is meant to help you find willing, platonic cuddle partners. I’m sure a lot of you can think of problems with this idea, but hang on for a second and hear them out.

Cuddlr is all about the power of touch, though some folks are confusing “touch” with “sex”. Oddly enough, the hubbub shows exactly why the app and the discussion it is creating are necessary in the first place.

Coming this week [out now as far as I know], Cuddlr connects you with new people in your immediate area who are up for a cuddle. (It’s sort of like Tinder or Grindr, but for public cuddling instead of hookups.) Once you and the other party agree to cuddle, the app helps you find each other, and the rest is up to preference and communication. For each user, the app shows a tally of how many successful cuddles they have had already: the more someone has been vetted by other users, the more likely they are to be good at cuddling, communication, and respecting boundaries.

I like that he is immediately addressing issues of communication and respecting boundaries (ie consent). That tells me that his intents for the app are more on the positive side.

He also addresses another important distinction here:

While we seem wired to pursue both sex and closeness, we aren’t necessarily wired to expect them to come packaged together into one experience. Before the birth of the modern egalitarian relationship, no one would have expected a romantic partner to also be a friend, a confidante, to share one’s taste in music or books. Now, if and when we find a partner we’d like to marry, or have children with, or buy a house with or just stay together with for a long, long time, there’s a presumption that we no longer need close touch to come from anywhere else.

But we are born needing, even craving touch. As children, we revel in the closeness we get from snuggling with parents and close family members. As teenagers or young adults, we discover sex, and generally speaking we try to do as much of it as we think we can get away with. By the time we form a stable adult peer group, we’ve effectively trained ourselves not to cuddle except for with people we’re sleeping with: not because it wouldn’t be pleasant or fulfilling, but because of inherited social rules left over from our ancient pregnancy anxiety.

I really like that he addresses the distinction between intimacy and sex (since it rarely seems to get addressed otherwise), and how many people who are not in romantic relationships (such as myself), often get little to no physical touch of an intimate, caring nature. And to be honest, a hug from a family member is not the same as a hug from a female friend, co-worker, or new acquaintance. They don’t have to love me, so getting a hug is at least somewhat of an implicit “you’re a nice person and I like you”.

And this is the paragraph that I practically tripped over myself to quote because this really is my experience:

It’s not just me: a friend who had moved away to teach at a private high school came back for a visit, and when I gave her a “welcome back” hug she was momentarily overcome with emotion. It took us both a moment to realize why this was happening. Then she said, “I just realized that I haven’t actually made contact with another human being for three months.” [emphasis added] There she had been, unaware of the sort of contactless confinement she’d fallen into even as she was surrounded by people all day long. When people relocate, we rarely acknowledge how it will also radically affect our day to day intimacy needs, nor do we have any systems in place to accommodate. I think future civilizations would find her lack of opportunity for benign touch disturbing. We find it normal. That’s not something we should let continue; it’s something we should work to change.

I had had a vague sense for a little while now that I lacked intimacy in my life. I was trying my best to reach out to women via OkCupid (as one example) to try and make a connection, to meet and maybe start dating. I really do love hugs, cuddling, hand holding, gentle physical touch, and I rarely get it. In fact, the only person who ever really regularly hugs me outside of my family, is my best friend’s girlfriend, and I feel a bit weird of wanting to hold on for a couple extra seconds, but I really don’t want to let go. Then this came along and I was just like “holy crap! I am totally starved for physical intimacy!”.

I actually sought out “friends with benefits” arrangements earlier this year, and while sex did end up happening, I did not really get intimacy and I ultimately realized that was what I wanted more than the sex itself.

There’s even science behind all of this – hugs have been shown to release oxytocin which is a natural anti-depressant hormone, so hugging people is literally good for your health. Yet, many people who are not in relationships rarely get that physical contact, and it’s something that we literally need as human beings. I certainly try to make the most of things, but the absence has definitely been noticed and felt.

And so, with my “not quite poly, but supportive!” attitude, I’ve decided to be proactive. I have actually reached out to a couple females specifically, to ask in the most respectful, transparent way that I can, if they would be willing/interested to be platonic “cuddle buddies”. And I plan to reach out to more yet. Technically, all I need is one. I can’t get the app (sadly, since it’s currently iPhone only as of this writing), but the idea has been planted and I want to be proactive about it.

If you want to watch a video showing how the app works, you can see one on www.cuddlrapp.com.

So honestly, I think this is a cool thing, I’m glad someone made it. It also helped me realize a deficit in my own life that I am serious about addressing in the most consentual, mutually beneficial way possible. If you’re not really into hookups, but would rather meet someone more sensitive and arguably nurturing, this might be for you.

Insightful Quote of the Day

Attempting to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth
-Unknown

I haven’t been able to find a source for this (heard it on a podcast), though I would at least partially beg to disagree.

The point is that you’re constantly changing and evolving, so any definition you come up with will eventually be inaccurate, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be very self-aware and know how you have changed and thus know how to redefine yourself. I’m all too familiar with that, thanks to being a Scanner.

Reminds me of another Incubus lyric:

Picture the scene
Where whatever you thought would in the blink of an eye,
Manifest and become illustrated
You’d be sure man that every line drawn reflected a life that you loved
Not an existence that you hated
So, must we demonstrate that we can’t get it straight?
We’ve painted a picture, now we’re drowning in paint
Lets figure out what the hell it’s about
Before the picture we painted chews us up and spits us out

More insight for introverts: Stimulation

I was just listening to the Talk Nerdy podcast with Santa Maria and there was an interesting little bit about introversion. Here’s a transcript (from ):

Cara: “I’m kind of a semi… introvert-extravert [editor’s note, this is known as an “ambivert”], like I’m somewhere in between, because I’m more than comfortable obviously doing the podcast, I’m more than comfortable getting on a stage in front of a thousand people and giving a talk, but I get really overwhelmed in social situations where there are just like shitloads of people. I’d much prefer like a quiet dinner, or you know, like less is more for me, I don’t like to have hundreds of friends, I have like a small friend group that I like to spend time with. So places like big conferences, unless I’m there on a mission, I feel very lost and a bit like I just want to go hide in my hotel room.”

Sandra: “It sounds like you are just an introvert. I mean, but people think that introverts are just like… want to hide in their cave all the time”

Cara: “Yeah but it’s like you know I’m comfortable being open, I just don’t really like… you know what? it’s about stimulation. It’s like I don’t like a lot of stimulation. I think that’s part of it.”

Sandra: “Like with autism”

Cara: “Yeah. It’s funny because there’s a lot of really interesting research with introverts and extraverts, that they have these weird thresholds in terms of exterior stimuli”

Sandra:”Oh, I haven’t seen this research, bring it on!”

Cara: “Yeah so, I think that there’s, like I remember learning about this in social psychology in grad school, that people who tend to rate high on introversion scales on personality tests, are the same kinds of people who have a hard time, for example, studying with loud music, or music with lyrics, whereas people who are extraverts, it’s really easy for them to study with lots of stimulation outside of them. So AETOS they think that part of why some people either can or can’t be around a lot of people is because they have this weird threshold, and once they pass it they become too overwhelmed. I’m the same way, I can’t study unless it’s light classical music, if it’s anything more than that, I’m immersed in the music and I can’t focus on what I’m reading or what I’m writing. What about you?”

Sandra: “I’m just thinking of all the Pandora stations I have that don’t have lyrics so that I can still focus. I generally… I like music so much, but I like silence the most. It took me a long time to realize it, that I don’t always like to listen to music you guys, like I just need earplugs, and all my friends think I’m crazy”

Cara: “Yeah, it’s not uncommon for me to just not turn on anything in the car while I’m driving, and then people are like ‘how can you drive in silence!?’”

Sandra: “Yeah, and then they sit there awkwardly like ‘why isn’t she playing music?’”

I’ve experienced both of those things before (I listen to a lot of instrumental music, and often can’t have music or radio or podcasts on while trying to absorb information, as well I used to drive in silence quite often). Even when I go to the gym I don’t listen to anything, because I actually do have a harder time concentrating on what I’m doing with extra stimulus.

I just went to a social gathering last night at a pub, I wanted to talk to people, but it was just too hard. Forty odd people in one room, plus music playing, I only lasted an hour and a half and then I was just tired and frustrated that I had been unable to really connect with anyone new.

On the flipside, I’ve found that if I go to a pub or a crowded gathering, but I meet someone interesting and socially stimulating, I can go for hours. But when I am not stimulated in the right way, I just get bored, and then tired.

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Quality : HD
Title : Caligula.
Director : Tinto Brass
Release : January 21, 1979
Language : en.
Runtime : 156 min
Genre : Drama, History, Romance.

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Life without a cell phone

Tom Grotewohl did something that I’m sure many of us have nightmares about these days. He spent 16 months, not only without a smartphone, but without any phone at all. As my friend Steve has said “[as a society] we are better prepared for a zombie apocalypse than we are for 24 hours without the internet”.

So, why did Tom do it, and what did he learn? He answers those questions in his article .

You’re probably reacting to that line as if it read, “I’ve spent the last year and a half without breathing air.” Cell phones have become such a crucial part of our daily lives that most folks rely on them more than the majority of organs in their bodies. In fact, you can get your spleen removed and continue living a normal existence, but the same cannot be said of a cell phone.

For this last period of my life, I haven’t had those things because I’ve been traveling. I’ve been crossing borders too frequently to hold on to friends, and sleeping anywhere that offered a free bed or a bit of floorspace so I didn’t have to work. It’s what has allowed me to conduct this experiment.

So, there’s the why. What about the lessons learned? Well, since I don’t want to give everything away (you should actually read the article!), here are the headers:

  • Being in two places at once means you aren’t anywhere.
  • Instant communication has transformed us all into paranoid, over-protective moms.
  • Eye contact is the 21st century dodo [bird]
  • We’ve mistaken being alone for loneliness

I think he makes some good and interesting points, though I would say not everyone is as addicted to and reliant upon such technology. Personally, having GPS on my phone was a lifesaver as I was always bad with directions and getting “lost” made me extremely anxious and stressed. Even with GPS, I still get anxious sometimes.

One thing I have done, to try to manage the chaos, I’ve turned my phone ringer off completely, and turn off all notifications except email (that’s my weakness). Whether at work, at home, or out with friends, unless I’m waiting for/expecting a call or text, I do my thing and my phone just sits there quietly and doesn’t bother me. This allows me to concentrate better, and not be constantly checking my phone like a junkie looking for another fix.

In fact, when I am at work, if I’m checking my phone or my email, it’s either because I’m bored/understimulated, or because I have had an idea that I need to send to myself for later. I truly enjoy being engaged enough in an activity that I don’t feel the need to check messages. So I’m trying to be better at keeping myself productively engaged. When I started tracking my activities and time allocation with an app IronFX recently, it made me realize, on the positive, that most of the time I spend on sites like YouTube or Reddit are actually not “distracted” time, but I’m usually researching, learning, or otherwise informing myself. Not always, but more often than not. I don’t really play “games” very much, because in part, I feel like there are far more enriching things I could be using that time/technology for.

Lastly, with my plans for international travel in the not too distant future, I may have to go without a phone myself, since I do not have a plan with a larger carrier, the carrier I’m with won’t be able to give me any service where I go, so I’ll either be paying out the nose for service, or I’ll be doing what Tom did. Of course I think it would be a different thing being “home” without a phone, vs away, where you’re supposed to be exploring anyway, not tweeting or facebooking. I like to connect with people, and after a long time of doing that mostly electronically, I’ve been feeling good about connecting with people more in the flesh.

At the end of the day, it’s important and healthy to not be too dependent on anything. Technology certainly makes life more convenient, but I don’t think very many people make an effort to regulate themselves, so convenience can and does develop into an unhealthy habit that can persist for a long time and be hard to break out of.

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Alone (2017) HD

Director : David Moreau.
Writer : David Moreau.
Producer : Abel Nahmias.
Release : February 8, 2017
Country : France.
Production Company : StudioCanal, Echo Films, Scope Pictures.
Language : Français.
Runtime : 76 min.
Genre : Drama, Fantasy.

Movie ‘Alone’ was released in February 8, 2017 in genre Drama. David Moreau was directed this movie and starring by Sofia Lesaffre

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To Like or Not to Like, turns out there’s really no question

Great dichotomy here, two very interesting articles, both about liking (or not liking) things on facebook, and what happens if you do/don’t.

“Liking is an economic act.” writes Mat Honan on Wired, in :

The like and the favorite are the new metrics of success—very literally. Not only are they ego-feeders for the stuff we put online as individuals, but advertisers track their campaigns on Facebook by how often they are liked. A recent New York Times story on a krill oil ad campaign . Liking is an economic act.

I like everything. Or at least I did, for 48 hours. Literally everything Facebook sent my way, I liked—even if I hated it. I decided to embark on a campaign of conscious liking, to see how it would affect what Facebook showed me. I know this sounds like a stunt (and it was) but it was also genuinely just an open-ended experiment. I wasn’t sure how long I’d keep it up (48 hours was all I could stand) or what I’d learn (possibly nothing.)

He describes a feedback loop that liking can cause:

There is a very specific form of Facebook messaging, designed to get you to interact. And if you take the bait, you’ll be shown it ad nauseam.

Facebook seems to inherently get more political and extreme when you do this:

My News Feed took on an entirely new character in a surprisingly short amount of time. After checking in and liking a bunch of stuff over the course of an hour, there were no human beings in my feed anymore. It became about brands and messaging, rather than humans with messages.

Likewise, content mills rose to the top. Nearly my entire feed was given over to Upworthy and the Huffington Post. As I went to bed that first night and scrolled through my News Feed, the updates I saw were (in order): Huffington Post, Upworthy, Huffington Post, Upworthy, a Levi’s ad, Space.com, Huffington Post, Upworthy, The Verge, Huffington Post, Space.com, Upworthy, Space.com.

By the next morning, the items in my News Feed had moved very, very far to the right. I’m offered the chance to like the 2nd Amendment and some sort of anti-immigrant page. As day one rolled into day two, I began dreading going to Facebook. It had become a temple of provocation. Just as my News Feed had drifted further and further right, so too did it drift further and further left. Rachel Maddow, Raw Story, Mother Jones, Daily Kos and all sort of other leftie stuff was interspersed with items that are so far to the right I’m nearly afraid to like them for fear of ending up on some sort of watch list.

Think Facebook will stop encouraging this? Think again.

While I expected that what I saw might change, what I never expected was the impact my behavior would have on my friends’ feeds. I kept thinking Facebook would rate-limit me, but instead it grew increasingly ravenous. My feed become a cavalcade of brands and politics and as I interacted with them, Facebook dutifully reported this to all my friends and followers.

And apparently, the more you like, not only the more does facebook suggest to you, but your friends see your obsessive liking:

That first night, a small little circle with a dog’s head popped up in the corner of my phone. A chat head, from Facebook’s Messenger software! The dog turned out to be my old WIRED editor, John Bradley. “Have you been hacked,” he wanted to know. The next morning, my friend Helena sent me a message. “My fb feed is literally full of articles you like, it’s kind of funny,” she says. “No friend stuff, just Honan likes.” I 二元期权 replied with a thumbs up. This continued throughout the experiment. When I posted a status update to Facebook just saying “I like you,” I heard from numerous people that my weirdo activity had been overrunning their feeds. “My newsfeed is 70 percent things Mat has liked,” noted my pal Heather. Eventually, I would hear from someone who worked at Facebook, who had noticed my activity and wanted to connect me with the company’s PR department.

Now, bear this in contrast to Elan Morgan’s , on Medium. In contrast to Mat’s statement “Liking is an economic act”, she writes:

The Like is the wordless nod of support in a loud room. It’s the easiest of yesses, I-agrees, and me-toos. I actually felt pangs of guilt over not liking some updates, as though the absence of my particular Like would translate as a disapproval or a withholding of affection. I felt as though my ability to communicate had been somehow hobbled. The Like function has saved me so much comment-typing over the years that I likely could have written a very quippy, War-and-Peace-length novel by now.

She writes how, despite the Like feature theoretically being meant for learning what you like and showing you more of that, it doesn’t always work that way:

You would think that liking certain updates on Facebook would teach the algorithm to give you more of what you want to see, but Facebook’s algorithm is not human. The algorithm does not understand the psychological nuances of why you might like one thing and not another even though they have comparatively similar keywords and reach similar audiences, so when I liked several videos and images of heartwarming animal stories, Facebook’s algorithm gave me more animal stories, but many of them were not heartwarming. They depicted inhumane treatment. Apparently, Facebook’s algorithm mistook my love for animals as a desire to see images of elephants being brutalized.

In showing me more of whatever it inferred that I wanted to see from my Likes, my Facebook experience included a lot of things I really didn’t like, because its algorithm doesn’t understand the many political, philosophical, and emotional shades of a given topic. Liking a local animal hospital does not equal my wanting to see abused dogs, and liking a post about a sweet wedding does not not equal my wanting to see every inspiring human who ever existed in New York.

As Mat pointed out, Liking things tends to garner more and more extreme responses from the algorithm:

It seems that the Like function had me trapped in a universe where the environment was dictated by a knee-jerk ad-bot. You like yogurt? You’ll like Extreme Yogurt more! You liked eight cute kitten videos? You’ll really want to see to this graphic image of eight kittens being tortured by scientists!

And finally, the sea change begins:

Now that I am commenting more on Facebook and not clicking Like on anything at all, my feed has relaxed and become more conversational. It’s like all the shouty attention-getters were ushered out of the room as soon as I stopped incidentally asking for those kinds of updates by using the Like function.

I feel as though reason has been restored. I can comment on a cute cat photo without being inundated with all the animal videos 800 people shared this week, and I can comment on a post about race relations without then having Facebook trot out an endless showcase of vitriol.

Facebook without the Like appears to be nearly sane.

Turns out that saying why you like something, vs passively giving a digital thumbs up only, brings the humanity back into the equation (whodathunk?):

When I disallowed myself Facebook’s Like function as a method of communication, I was left with this unmet desire to let people know I heard them or liked their content, and I suddenly felt invisible. I was reading, but no one knew I was there, which made me realize that my habitual style of Facebook interaction had to change. Without the Like function to rely on, I had to comment or risk looking anti-social and experience even more disconnection, so I started commenting more than I ever had before on the platform.

I had been suffering a sense of disconnection within my online communities prior to swearing off Facebook likes. It seemed that there were fewer conversations, more empty platitudes and praise, and a dearth of political and religious pageantry. It was tiring and depressing. After swearing off the Facebook Like, though, all of this changed. I became more present and more engaged, because I had to use my words rather than an unnuanced Like function. I took the time to tell people what I thought and felt, to acknowledge friend’s lives, to share both joys and pains with other human beings.

It turns out that there is more humanity and love in words than there are in the use of the Like.

Her conclusion:

It turns out that your friends might actually be more likeable than Facebook’s Like disruption makes them appear, and the growing sense of disconnection that many of us experience might just be due to a tone-deaf algorithm.

When we drop the Like, we might actually like each other. We might actually connect.

————————————————————-

I just wanted to say that my experience has mirrored Elan’s. Liking less and talking more has made my facebook quite human friendly. I actually took the time, a couple of years ago, to go through my “liked pages” section and actually unlike a lot of things. And now I typically try to comment instead of like whenever possible. I see others waking up to this idea and I hope to help spread it. Anything that helps us move away from reactionary interaction, to a more community oriented vibe, is fantastic in my books.