Hurt feelings online

A few days ago, B posted a meme that lampooned religious violence. One of her old boyfriends (probably in his 80’s) complained about the meme…and his complaints were less than well received.

That made me think:

  1. Why was he so confident about expressing his opinion and
  2. Why did he think it would be well received.

So..what was going on? My guess: he is probably well respected in his church, and when he speaks there, the others listen and appreciate his insights. But Facebook is not his church.

And I think about that about myself. In class: I know more math than my students and they KNOW that. So in class, I get listened to. At a conference, my credentials are respected. Now some in the audience may know more math, and often, they are better at it. But they know that I know the topic I am talking about.

But..on something like Twitter? Well, if I am not talking academic/math stuff, well, there is no reason for anyone to, a priori, take me seriously. Who in the heck am *I*? And on math topics, I hope my knowledge shows though, but you have to know some math to make a judgement.

Online, few have any prior knowledge of us and..if we are talking about something that someone feels passionately about, well, I, as a stranger, am not going to move them, at all.

Satirical Accounts: why I like them

I admit that I enjoy certain types of satire accounts.

My favorite is an academic one; one that openly lampoons the absurd aspects of higher education:

She has 121.2 K followers. Her posts are often met with “you MUST be at our university”; her posts are just so on point.

I like Titania McGrath who makes fun of excessive wokeness: (this thread is hilarious)

“She” has 710.8 K followers.

Here is one that lampoons conservatives of a certain type:

Walter has 142 K followers.

And there is a way followers react to his post: we copy his diction and themes …and for the offended liberal that doesn’t get the joke but reacts with umbrage: we call that “being Waltered.”

Then there is 3yearletterman:

Hey plays the part of an ignorant person who peaked in high school and boasts about mundane things (“I have a 4 figure checking account” “so many youth football championship rings that I cannot turn door handles”)

But the best part: he spouts absolutely ridiculous gibberish…and sometimes even a genuine celebrity will play along! (e. g. Jim Palmer, former Oriole pitching great).

But the best part is when some clueless, sanctimonious scold will come in to tell us what a bunch of idiots we are…that is when we pounce with “bet you don’t have a reserved table at Beef O’Brady’s” etc. (these are things that “Coach” routinely brags about)

Sometimes, they eventually get the joke. But it is hilarious when they don’t; it is kind of fun to watch the sanctimonious know-it-alls work themselves into a froth over what should have been obvious to see.

He has 301K followers. And he has been quoted by Newsweek! (who eventually realized their error)

Blocking and social media

In what is now an unusual move for me: I blocked someone on Facebook. Normally, I just unfollow and put on my restricted list (so they don’t see “friends only” post). Ok, I tend to do that with people that were once active in my life that I now find annoying.

The issue: I was trying to explain to people that, yes, loans carry interest and that if your payment doesn’t cover the interest accrued during the period, the amount owed goes up.

Someone tried to argue that banks get “virtually free” loans from the Fed ( cover the reserve requirement, though they get even lower rates from other banks). And of course, administrative costs and risk costs must be covered as well.

But, this was one of those “why can’t you get that” remarks coming from a rather “dull but unaware of it” type person; someone I had no prior relationship with. So, “boom”, went the block. (on Twitter: I mute; I don’t mind their ranting into the Ether; I just don’t want to engage)

Yes, I have a double standard If I have a relationship with the person, especially one that goes back several years, AND if I like said person, I give a lot more leeway.

If that person has special knowledge that I can gain from I might put up with more.

But having dull people think that I am an idiot…I get enough of that at my job from some of the worst students. I am paid for that; I am not paid for social media.

And yes, like the old song; sometimes the one you love doesn’t love you back (as friends). Yes, there are a few that I like better than like me..I can deal with that. And yes, I give them more leeway too.

And, much to no one’s surprise, most I have blocked tend to be left wing. It is easy to see why (that is who I tend to associate with)

Come on Media: we really do not need this..

IMHO, one of the reasons we have less unity than I’d like with respect to social distancing measures is that there is a significant subset of the population that does not trust the media to tell the truth. This isn’t to say that there aren’t a fair number of Republicans on board; there are.

But dammit; the mainstream media doesn’t help things when it tries to sensationalize.

Now none of this says that Texas made the right choice, but if you test more people, you WILL get a spike in the number of positives. The “positive rate” is important, of course, (and false positives aren’t as frequent if the true infection rate isn’t very small) but they are showing the number of confirmed positives.

That is just fuel for the MUH FREEDUMS morons.

And of course, it is important to know where the outbreaks are coming from: are they concentrated in a single location or in a type of place, or all over?

Bottom line: try to report with the nuance.

Related notes: this is an interesting article about some writing during the pandemic in London in 1660’s.

Stiff as a board

Lower back is tight, upper back is tight..left knee..just overall stiff.
Reason, I think: no yoga classes (was going twice a week) and TOO MUCH SITTING. I usually pace when I teach.

So: stretch breaks between classes, during “office hours” and I’ll have to make time for stretching/yoga after every weight workout.

What will happen after ‘normal” returns (and it will…some day) I honestly do not know what normal will be; we will have a recession of sorts and we will have to learn to live with pandemics. So what will be new?
I honestly think that some aspects of our “before” society will be missed; people will find out that they do not miss other aspects. It will be interesting to see if students end up preferring online stuff or in person stuff; my guess is the latter.

I wonder if this will mean a return to society being more social..or a movement away from it.

Catch up and an oldie

Someone posted something on FB that reminded me of this old post, back in the pre-Facebook days where there was a thriving blogging community. I had no idea who the author was, at that time..but she joined the running community and now does extreme ultras, up to the grueling 314 mile staged Vol State ultra. And, well, I enjoy some of her running gear photos…

The interesting thing is that I had met her in person but did not tie her to the author of that particular blog; it was if she were two different people to me at that time.

Workout notes:
Saturday: 2 mile treadmill walk in 25 minutes
Sunday: 4 mile treadmill run in 42:27 (11:30 first mile, final mile was 9:30’ish)
Monday: slept in, skipped weights, but 49:10 4 mile treadmill walk. Back with the weights this Wednesday.

stuck on deadlift

I’ll have some other things to say as well:

workout notes: weights only. rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10, went ok), bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185 (tough), incline: 10 x 135, decline: 8 x 165 (ran out of gas)
goblet squats: 6 x 25, 6 x 50 (good depth)
hex dead: 5 x 175, 1 x 225 (missed the first..2n’d attempt…OMG), 6 x 185..that getting 225 was long and painful. Yes, handles were turned down.

back stretch, then
military: standing, 10 x 50 dumbbell, 10 x 45, then 10 x 180 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110
2:30 plank..then went home.

Getting the deadlift..what a slog. I’ve allowed myself to become too weak.

Elizabeth Warren gave some details about her proposed health care plan:

Senator Elizabeth Warren vowed on Friday to pass major health care legislation in her first 100 days as president, unveiling a new, detailed plan to significantly expand public health insurance coverage as a first step, and promising to pass a “Medicare for all” system by the end of her third year in office that would cover all Americans.

The initial bill she would seek to pass if elected would be a step short of the broader Medicare for all plan she has championed. But it would substantially expand the reach and generosity of public health insurance, creating a government plan that would offer free coverage to all American children and people earning less than double the federal poverty rate, or about $50,000 for a family of four, and that could be purchased by other Americans who want it.

And yes, though Warren is not my candidate, I agree with this approach.

About the politics of it:

But here is the thing: my not backing her isn’t about her not being brilliant (she is) or her not understanding policy (she does…better than anyone else running).

It really is about her skill as a politician, or lack thereof. I think that her political instincts are not good and that she only appeals to a narrow band of the electorate.

Social media:

Ego…and leaving Gorilla Suits for Gorillas

So, when it comes to dealing with young people…well, the ones that have ambition actually (many..most? do not), at what point is it good to say “well, that is not your destiny; do something else?”

The reality is that few of us have the talent to be truly elite at anything; most of us have to work reasonably hard to be “good.” I remember seeing a case where a player who mostly rode the bench for a 2-10 Big Ten football team really thought he’d get a shot at the NFL. Seriously..and he was coached by someone who knows NFL talent when he sees it, and he had some playing time the year before. Sigh..

Which lead me to remember this:

I bought this book as an undergraduate when I wanted to get stronger. What I didn’t get is that most of these guys were on steroids (yes, Dr. Todd talked about that in the book) and that these guys were outliers; they had natural ability to work with…then they put in the work to become champions.

Most bodies, mine included, do not respond to training in that way. So about the title of this post: Todd talked about steroid abuse and then became a staunch opponent of it. He explained that he saw the damage its abuse caused in the lives of those who used them. And he once wrote (in a column for the Austin American Statesman, I believe) something to the effect “leave gorilla suits for gorillas.”

Of course both he and Jan actively supported the Texas powerlifting club..and Jan once got me to help spot someone doing a 700 lb. squat. (there were 5 of us). I was benching 310 at the time.
They also supported less formal contests, such as a “how many reps can you get with your body weight” (I got 11 reps with 230).

But, I suppose the bottom line is “don’t beat yourself up for not attaining the unattainable” and that applies in many areas of life.

Ego and social media
I’ve enjoyed social media. I like the discussions (at least, sometimes, when they don’t involve math). And yes, I do get ego boosts. When?

1. Sometimes it is fun to see people “meet through me” and go on to become friends…and yes, on occasion, they become friends and one of them blocks me! (LOL)

2. On twitter, I really don’t count “followers” nor do I care about the number. But the WHO follows me does tickle my ego a bit:

a) when someone who has a ton of followers but is somewhat selective on who THEY follow follows me…well…I get the happy face.

These two accounts are followed by a ton of people, but follow relatively fewer accounts themselves.

b) then there is the “famous people”: one is a US Senator and presidential candidate; the other is a former boxing contender who once came within 20 seconds of going the distance with the lineal champion Wladimir Klitchko in a title fight.

On the upswing

Later in the day: throat feels a bit better…I have an idea…gargling may have dislodged something.

Workout notes: yoga (nice class) then the following: 4 mile treadmill run: 10 minutes 5.2-5.4, then 10 at 6.7-6.8, 10 at 6.9-7.0-7.1 (20:00 for 2, 28:39 for 3, 29:35 for 3.1, walk for a few minutes, run then 6.1-6.2 over the last 5 minutes (39:40 for 4).

Then 4.6 mile walk outside on the river path; pretty.

Yoga: during “Half moon” my yoga teacher said “You are cheating on me” ..yeah, I got lazy. But the “you are cheating on me” was a nice riddle for social media.

Social media: I follow people for many reasons. Some are “celebrities of interest”, some are friends that I know from elsewhere, others are mutual follows. There are a few accounts that I really don’t care for, say, 50-80 percent of their posts, but ..really come up with insightful ideas 20-50 percent of the time. So the quality of their rare good posts makes it worth my while to scroll past the eye roll caliber stuff.

Is Twitter good for me?

Workout notes: weights only; rotator cuff, pull ups: 15-15-10-10-5, incline: 10 x 135, 3 x 155 (ran out of gas), decline: 7 x 170, military: 8 x 50 standing, 10 x 45, 10 x 45, rows (machine) 3 sets of 10 x 110. plank, side plank (MUCH easier with shoes), head stand, knee stretches, crow (got 35 seconds at the house), headstand.

That’s enough for today.

Twitter: I wonder if using this social media platform is making me shallow and sloppy. There is this study, as well as our decreasing amount of empathy (the ability to see things from the point of view of someone else) and this video (yes, it is from Templeton)

The desire for “Twitter likes”, “follows” and just general approval sometimes leads one to attempt to make that pithy remark that one’s friends approve of rather than to attempt anything resembling a fair and detailed intellectual analysis. This issue came up during the discussion of Twitter’s “like” button. And there is the dreaded “being ratioed” which means that one gets a lot of comments but few “likes” or “retweets” (“being ratioed” is supposed to be a punishment of sorts)

Personally, I like the access to articles. But I’ve found Facebook to be a better platform from which to discuss things as one has more space to make one’s argument.

A couple of comments:
Evidently Trump is calling “impeachment” a “dirty word”. he didn’t always have such qualms.

Steven Pinker He is one of my favorite public intellectuals. And his intellectual honesty just drives some of the “woke crowd” nuts.