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Tag Archives: politics

  • Peter Thiel, Trump’s Tech Pal, Explains Himself
    Much of the tech industry is confused why Peter Thiel would back Trump. Here, he gives some concise (although not entirely descriptive) answers to some common questions. His responses are almost the antithesis of Trump in terms of being dramatic.

    He recalls that he went through a lot of “meta” debates about Mr. Trump in Silicon Valley. “One of my good friends said, ‘Peter, do you realize how crazy this is, how everybody thinks this is crazy?’ I was like: ‘Well, why am I wrong? What’s substantively wrong with this?’ And it all got referred back to ‘Everybody thinks Trump’s really crazy.’ So it’s like there’s a shortcut, which is: ‘I don’t need to explain it. It’s good enough that everybody thinks something. If everybody thinks this is crazy, I don’t even have to explain to you why it’s crazy. You should just change your mind.’”

  • India’s ‘Phone Romeos’ Look for Ms. Right via Wrong Numbers
    Interesting story about how India doesn’t use Tindr and that sort, but just dial (or hold on to) wrong numbers to try and meet potential mates.

    Umakanti Padhan, a moon-faced 16-year-old garment factory worker, tried to call her sister-in-law. She misdialed and found herself accidentally conversing with Bulu, a railway worker eight years her senior.

    She hung up, alarmed. At home, beginning at puberty, she had been prohibited from speaking with any adult man, including her brothers and cousins.

    Ten minutes later, Bulu called back and told her that he liked the sound of her voice. “When I hear your voice, it feels like someone of my own,” he said. “I feel like talking to you all the time.”

    So she agreed. Every night, she slipped out to the roof of her Bangalore workers’ hostel, where she shares a room with 11 other young women, and spoke to Bulu about mundane things: how their shifts went and what they had eaten that day.

    “He’s told me everything that ever happened to him from the time he was a kid,” she said. “I don’t know whether it is good or bad, but I trust him. I know he will not betray me.”

  • Would the Cavs Be Better off With Andrew Wiggins Over Kevin Love?
    This is my occasional dive into the world of basketball, with this particular article being of interest because the Raptors may play the Cavs in the playoffs, and Wiggins being a Canadian. Nothing startling in this – Cavs made a trade for Right Now vs Potential, but provides some background on the Cavs.

    Love was the guy in Minnesota, a post machine who could score and facilitate. Over the past three years, his primary role has been to space the floor, though he is occasionally force-fed post chances. He’s like a more talented Ryan Anderson — a better rebounder, interior scorer, and passer. Except, for the role Love plays and the money he gets paid (tied for 22nd most in the NBA), Cleveland could be getting more bang for its buck.

  • Why Bargain Travel Sites May No Longer Be Bargains
    The travel industry is cyclic and it looks like the advantage is back in the courts of brands instead of the aggregators. My own travel planning has started at hotel brands now too, although my flight planning hasn’t shifted yet.

    He’s right: The price control pendulum is swinging back toward the hoteliers. “It was really easy for the aggregators to gobble up all this business in the past because the hotels weren’t really paying any attention,” that West Coast CEO told me. But eventually, the aggregators cornered so much of the market that they jacked up their commissions high enough that everyone had to take notice. The CEO revealed that his hotels typically paid aggregators 20 percent commission—and in many cases even 30 percent.
    In past two or three years the hotel industry has been fighting the aggregators by offering deals that wiggle around the contracts they originally set with them. Let’s say, for example, your hotel chain has a set rate for a room. You enter in an agreement with an aggregator that says you won’t further discount the rate that is the “lowest price” a customer can find on the internet. But you can get around it by offering a potential guest an instant membership in your “loyalty” program. You can throw in additional “amenities” (parking, spa, and so on) that would normally cost extra and you would not be violating your agreements by undercutting the base price of the room. Tricky? You bet.

  • No, Trump isn’t the worst president ever
    While there is a lot of doom and gloom. Trump has a ways to go before becomeing the “worst president ever” (or even of the last century). Mostly the presidents in the 1800s and how they dealt with the pro-slave states made them horrible.

    In December 1860 — after the Electoral College affirmed Lincoln’s election — southern states started seceding. Belatedly, Buchanan briefly considered sending some reinforcements south, but he let his Secretary of War — John Floyd of Virginia — talk him out of it. A few days later, Floyd resigned to join his home state in secession and treason.

    Until he left office on March 4, 1861, Buchanan continued to appease the Rebels. In the end, he gave the Confederacy a four-month head start in the Civil War. He let the South seize federal forts, arsenals and naval vessels, which they soon used to wage war upon the very country he had solemnly sworn to protect.

I suppose that the new Ontario holiday, Family Day, is popular since it gives people a vacation day in February; but I think it’s a terrible idea. I’m not one of those people that desperately needs a holiday between New Years and Easter, and if I did, that’s what vacation days are for. Having a new, free statutory holiday is of course welcome irrespective of when it happens, but guess what, it’s not really free!

We have a bunch of flex days every year, usually they’re assigned in the summer which extends our long weekends into longer weekends. However, there seems to be some sort of quota so that every employee across Canada has the same number of statutory holidays + flex days. If I take another statutory holiday, say in the wintery month of February, then I get to lose a flex day. In particular this year I get to lose Monday, June 30th.

So the end result is that I am forced to take a holiday in February, and another at the end of June so I don’t have an orphaned Canada Day holiday on the Tuesday. In essence, not only do I not get an appreciated holiday in February, I lose one vacation day to McGuinty’s election win.

I’ve been following the Democratic primaries on the net this month. I’m not sure how or why, but politics is a much more popular issue on the web than IRL Maybe it’s because you can yap your opinion without having your face busted in. I’ve also noticed that the coverage is much more available on the net this time around; I don’t even remember the 2003 primaries happening. Anyways, I suppose it’s a good thing because it causes the younger demographic to vote.

I don’t have a particular favorite in the race between Edwards, Clinton and Obama. I think either Clinton or Obama will make for an interesting presidential race (and term if successful) because neither of them are a white man. Part of me is hoping that whoever wins would make the other the VP, but I don’t think that will happen. I also fear that if Obama is selected, he will be assassinated.

Reading about the race online is like reading Slashdot, there are fanboys ranting about their hobby horse ALL THE TIME. However, in this case it’s usually about Ron Paul. Ron Paul supporters have their pitch down to an art, they’ll come by and leave a comment saying how the only true candidate is Ron Paul and then list their supporting reasons. Even if it’s a discussion of Democratic candidates. But I suppose they are hoping that come the real thing, people will switch and vote Republican (provided that Paul even wins the nomination).

While it’s annoying, I kind of wonder why the American population is so enthusiastic and political issues. Maybe it’s just a 10x population thing, but I can’t imagine people in Canada exhibiting the same behaviour.

I tend to view the issue of Net Neutrality much like the theory of evolution; I can’t imagine how a person can believe in the validity of the opposite perspective. Given that there is so much physical history of evolution, I don’t understand why people would believe that the world as we know it resulted from Intelligent Design. Similarly, I don’t understand why anyone would be against Net Neutrality. The telecom companies are, but this is an instance where the goals of the business as a whole do not align with the individual elements (people) making up the business. If Net Neutrality fails, the common people who work at the telecom companies will be just as disadvantaged as the rest of us; so will the people who have stock in the more profitable businesses. So in the end, maybe a few people break even at best, but no one wins. Thus, I don’t understand why anyone would be against this issue.

i’m don’t generally follow politics, but one would be hard pressed to avoid hearing about the election that just passed. everytime you turn on a tv, read a newspaper, browse to a web site, or glance at a magazine cover, you would see something about the election; invariably to vote for kerry. even when i’m walking around seattle or going to events, i would be harrassed to register to vote. it was insane, and much more in your face than those people who come to your door asking you to register in canada.

in the end, i’m am disappointed at the results of the election. it’s very surprising, because from my exposure to the media both mainstream and (but mostly) on the net, it seemed that kerry voters out-numbered bush voters 9-1. so how come bush won? well i guess the web sites that i read tend to have people who are rich enough to afford a computer+internet, or work in an office that does; basically people who are living in 2004 and not 1900s. it’s interesting to see that the areas that voted for kerry, the east coast, west coast and areas near the great lakes are more progressive as they are metropolitan areas (you know, more exposure to unmoral values like gay marriage and abortion), whereas bush basically won the rest. the results are even more striking when you look at this map which details who voted for who broken down by county. if the election were to be decided by land area, dubya would have won very easily.

so the question is how do similar minded people who are not happy living under the bush dynasty deal with the future? well one take on this is to immigrate to canada. well, rather than bringing to fifty or so million people to canada, why not change the borders. i think this is a good idea:

canada 2.0
(shamelessly stolen from somewhere)