Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.  I love seeing pictures of friends and family and learning what they are up to.  I love funny jokes, videos and shares of memes, podcasts and things gone viral (whatever any of that means).  But I hate, and I mean HATE, drive-by opinion sharing.  If you are reading this, yes, I get the irony.

Clinton sucks!  Trump supporters are idiots!  Don’t believe this!  Don’t believe that!  It all sums up to “I’m screaming my opinion so that everyone can know where I stand!”  So, as I write this “scream of my opinion” I ask the question, “Why must so many of us do this?”  We have basically all turned into virtual bumper stickers, and I don’t want to be a bumper sticker (roll credits).

There isn’t nuance online.  We lose the often necessary emotional attachment of our words online (which sometimes is a good thing).  We can be lost in sarcasm online.  But most importantly, in these short sound bytes, we lose the particulars/details that can drive a point home properly.  It is the thing I struggle with the most when I teach biology to undergraduates.

For example, evolution is a complicated subject.  You can take an entire year of class on the subject, but yet many will make opinions, strong opinions about the subject because of what they learned online, TV, or quite frankly in a classroom.  I teach evolution in all of my classes, but it is difficult to to teach it in its entirety when its practically impossible to do so.  So, students are left with the best that they can make out of it, and unfortunately, they will have gaps in their knowledge, but think they do not have gaps.  Heck, I have gaps, and I teach the stuff, how can they not possibly understand that they too have gaps?

So, what’s the answer?  I don’t know, but I know it’s not Facebook, nor instagram, or whatever the kids are using these days.  I believe in relationships.  I believe in time.  Strangers are way less likely to listen to my words than friends.  I believe in talking over dinner, beer, or coffee.  I believe in being open-minded.  My mind must be able to listen to others with the real possibility that my mental framework can change based on what I hear.  It may not, but I must believe that it can change.

Here is the bet I am willing to make every single time.  If you vote for Trump, you didn’t do your research.  If you vote for Clinton, you didn’t do your research.  If you vote, you didn’t do your research.  I won’t win that bet everytime, but I am winning it more than 75% of the time.  But I guess the main point of my blog is that research is not a bumper sticker.  Whether read on a car, or read on a post, it’s still just a bumper sticker.  The volumes of information available on multiple subjects, simply can’t be summed up in a blog, a post, nor a sound byte (yes, I know I am spelling it this way).

I’m a pretty smart guy.  I know a lot about a lot of things.  But the most important thing that I know, is that I don’t know a lot about a lot.  I find the bumper stickers of life, politics, Facebook, etc., dangerous to society.  How important is it to believe in certain things?  In other words, if I disagree with you on a subject does it hurt society?  It’s not the disagreements that bother me, it’s the us versus them mentality that bothers me.  The bumper sticker, the post, the tweet, the politcal sound byte tells the world which team you are on.  It’s not about sharing.  It’s not about opening discussion.  It’s about declaring sides.  I’ll talk to just about anybody about anything, but it needs to be in-person, or at the very least on the phone.  So, give me call.  (Terrible ending for this blog.  Oh well, what you going to do?)

On a related note.  Vote!  Because what else you going to do?


My son and I drove passed some cotton fields two days ago.  Cotton fields are HUGE!!  Do you have any idea how big cotton fields are?  Also we passed by bales of cotton.  They were HUGE!!  Do you have any idea how big bales of cotton are?  Cotton is also very prickly.  Dangerous for the hands and there are millions of bolls of cotton in the field.  My perspective on “picking cotton” has never been more adjusted.

Read Full Post »

So, it has been a while, but I am back.  I would like to dedicate this blog to my buddy, Corey, who I miss more than he will ever know.  He is not dead, just lives far away and I rarely see him.

Anyhoo, I have been sitting on my 100th blog for a long time.  Maybe because it is the 100th and I have applied too much pressure to it being great, but as my friend Doug in California told me recently, the 100th episode is not always the best episode, it is just the 100th episode.  So, to Doug, for getting me re-energized to blog, and to Corey, for pissing me off enough to sit down and write this blog immediately.

I recently posted on Facebook that I am fortunate to have both conservative and liberal friends.  I also posted that they often say the exact same things about the same issues.  Both sides think their votes don’t matter.  Both sides think the other side uses unfair or unscrupulous actions to get their way in congress or senate.  Both sides think they represent the people.  Both sides think they are right.  In response to my Facebook commentary, my buddy Corey writes to me (in private) “As an intelligent man with a wide range of accomplishments both personal and professional, you are a leader.  I know you and I do not agree on everything, but society needs you to get off the sidelines.”

Those are strong words to speak to another person, aren’t they?  And I love him for it.  Don’t we all need people to push us?  Don’t we need those in our lives to encourage, nay, dare us to be better people?  We sit back and drop political/religious/opinion ideological bombs on Facebook, and then just walk away.  What is the point?  Maybe I have been on the sidelines too long.  Maybe it is time to take some action against the drive by ideologue shootings that are taking place everywhere I look.  Maybe it is time for me to lead a group of people to something better.  But how?

I am not really sure.  But unfortunately, I think my friend is right, I need to get off the sidelines.  I have so many thoughts in my head that I feel like it will explode sometimes.  I think that is why I enjoyed blogging so much.  I say enjoyed, in past tense, because I have been going through some things over the last year, but I need to move on, or continue in the direction I know I need to go.  My life has always been driven at being the best, being wise, being kind, and most importantly, improving myself.  It is time I get back to those main goals.  That is why Corey pisses me off so much, and why I love him so much.  He is the guy I can have hard conversations with and the guy that can tell me when I am full of sh*t.  He is not the only guy in my life like that, but one of very few.

So, what does this mean?  For now, it means I have finally written my 100th blog.  It may mean that I get my opinions out there more often, but hopefully in a way that affects change.  As I stated before, I have so many thoughts:  Parents need to parent.  Discussions need to continue among all walks of life.  Global climate change IS happening.  Taxes are NOT always bad.  Taxes are NOT always good.  If you were to write down the mandates of the Bible, it would NOT include pushing for government abortion laws.  God is good, but we are NOT.

Oh yeah, and one last thing, Corey can suck it!

————————————————————
My friends and I used to have lots of discussion about random things while in high school. I was reminded of one such discussion by my friend Doug from California. If 7-Eleven is open 7 days a week and 24 hours a day, then why do they have locks on their doors? I’m just sayin’ …

Read Full Post »

So, first of all, “Hello, it’s been a long time.  How have you been?”  I have not blogged in a long time.  It is not because I have not had things to blog about, I most certainly have (e.g., when my five-year-old was singing the “My Friend Penis” song, or recently when a stranger tried to talk to be about politics on the tee box.  I don’t care if we were planning on voting for the same person, totally uncalled for), but I have not had the energy or motivation to blog.

I don’t know if my lack of motivation is related to the recent passing of my father, but I have definitely been off since the summer.  I am not crying and wailing every night, but something is definitely different, a new normal if you will.  It will be interesting when I return home for Thanksgiving.  Regardless, your continued prayers and well wishes are always appreciated.  Now, without further ado, on to the blog du jour.

So, I am convinced that people have lost their minds.  If you are super excited and overcome with joy because your man got re-elected, then something is wrong with you.  If you are super depressed and think the world is going to end and everyone is stupid for re-electing the president, then something is wrong with you.  The world has not ended.  The apocalypse is not upon us, nor is Jesus coming back today, or at least not since I last checked outside.  I refuse to be left behind, although I have mixed feelings about whether or not Kirk Cameron gets left behind.  The beauty of the American political system is its resiliency.  The checks and balances, for the most part, prevent any one person from destroying the country.  And if you are reading this and immediately thinking how wrong I am, then pick up a newspaper and read a little about just about any other country in the world and tell me I am wrong.  Feel lucky that you got to vote without fear of danger.  Feel lucky that you get to be pissed and angry and complain to anyone who will listen to you about how bad you think of our country’s leaders.  Because if you lived somewhere else and did that, you would be pulled from your home in your sleep and no one will ever hear from you again (You know, now that I think about it, maybe that is not such a bad idea for some of you).

So, for you right-wing conservatives, here is a little message from a book that you might have heard of, The Bible:

Romans 13:1 – Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

And for added measure:

1 Timothy 2:1-4 – I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Now I realize that all of my readers do not read nor care about the Bible, but I know those that do.  And for you non-Bible readers, the word according to Brett is, “Don’t be stupid.  You don’t know every damn thing.”  So, let me leave you with a few thoughts that I had about the election and the whole process:

THINGS I THINK

You can’t be anti-government and brag about how you built your business without any help.  Because if you don’t need the government, then why do you care who is in office?

Law of Unintended consequences – Encourage voting, and guess what, people vote, but not always the way you want.  Now you can begin suppressing voters, especially, minorities and women.  Go ahead, I dare you.

On a further note, I am bugged by the pundits saying that Obama won just because of minorities.  It wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that people preferred his ideas, would it?

Regardless of side, no one is 100% right.  It just isn’t that simple.

People are way too comfortable about making political comments on Facebook and in public.  I really don’t care what your opinion is, and I certainly don’t like the way you are expressing it.  That is why I like blogs, you can read my blog or not, but it is hopefully not in your face.

My sons are Obama fans.  They both predicted that he would win.  It makes me wonder if anyone can be raised unbiased.  They are likely to vote the way we vote, possibly without seriously considering their decision.  Are most people like this?  I am afraid it is probably the case.  It kind of makes me sad.

My sister just texted me. “Barack to the Future.”  I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there.

As I watched the different campaigns, and this includes the democratic and republican conventions, I thought to myself, if I go to a party, I hope it is a democrat party.  ‘Cause ain’t no party like a democrat party, cause a democrat party don’t stop.

I watched Fox News during the election, and I liked their coverage.  I was shocked.  It was surprisingly balanced.  And then I watched Fox News in the morning.  Is it me, or are they racist?  I am sorry, but I have watched the morning show multiple times, and I am usually offended either by their words, their tone, or both within the first five minutes.  I first thought it was the entire network, but maybe it is just the morning crew.

One thing that the election and Wesley Snipes has taught us, “Always bet on black.” – I’m just sayin’ …

Read Full Post »

So, I was defriended, unfriended, removed as a friend from someone’s facebook.  Yes, I know I was going to talk about my near-death experience, but by the time I publish that story it will be anti-climactic, so it is probably for the best.  Besides, this just happened, and I need to write about it.  OK, where was I?  Oh yeah, someone removed me from their friends list.  What’s up with that?

Now, I am not a huge fan of facebook?  I still haven’t seen the movie, although I plan to, but I just don’t go on it very often.  When I do go on my facebook page, it is usually because I got an email that someone said something to me, tagged me, or I had a stupid thought that I wanted to share on the facebook airways.  Granted, even when I have a stupid thought, of which I have many, I still only hand select a few stupid thoughts worthy enough for me to take the time out to log on and litter your brain with my randomness.  This is the main reason I started a blog.  It gives you, the reader, the option of whether or not you want to log on and read what I have to say.  Most of the stuff I see on facebook, I couldn’t care less about.

But, I find facebook useful in one way, and one way only.  There are people in my life and past life that every now and then I would love to see how they are doing.  The few close friends that I have, hopefully are not relying on facebook to know how my life is going.  If that is the case, then I find that sad, partially because I don’t share enough on facebook for you to know anything about me, of course you could always read my blog =).  I hate emoticons, but I use them, and every time I do, I die a little inside, =(.  Actually, there is one other reason; if I ever won a contest to throw a party for me and 100 of my friends, I now have a mechanism to make that happen.  Have you ever heard one of those contests?  I have never entered a contest where the winner gets to throw a party for 10 or more people.  I am just not that popular.  Oh well.

OK, here is what happened.  A person in my past life popped in my head.  I had befriended them long time ago and thought I would look them up to see how they were doing.  THEY WERE NOT ON MY LIST!  What!  I know I didn’t take them off.  They must have done it.  You know what it felt like.  It was like you have decided to break up with your boy/girlfriend, but before you get a chance to break up, they break up with you.  Suddenly  you are talking about how much you love them and can’t live without them, although had they not broken up with you, you would have broken up with them.  That is how I feel right now.  How can I be removed from a friends list?  I’M BRETT WOODS!  Are you kidding me?  But it is so stupid.  I almost never go on facebook, and this unconscionable action probably took place months ago, maybe even more than a year.  That is how much I have no idea about the activity of people on my friends list.  Maybe there are people on my list that are sad that I don’t interact more.  Possible.  Am I going to change?  No.  And yet here I am, Mr. Sad Face.  What are you going to do? 

This may sound like a stupid irrational reaction to you, and it is, but everyone has their thing.  What is yours?  I hate rejection.  I just do.  You might be saying to yourself, but who doesn’t.  I really, really hate it.  Mainly because I expect everything to go my way, but that is another issue.  I will get over this, eventually, but for now, I must live with the fact that everyone does not want to be my friend.  Sad clown =(

—————————————————

I am at the library right now and there is a woman who is working behind the desk who I think is pretty.  But here is the thing, her beauty is highly depended on her age.  Of course beauty is relative, as I point out in a previous blog, aptly named, Beauty is Relative.  Check out that blog as I discuss additive and subtractive points for different scenarios.  In this case, the librarian gets one point, just by being a librarian.  Hot librarians are rare, and therefore get an automatic point addition by being good-looking.  However, this librarian is unique in that she is 50 years old if she is a day.  So, here is my beauty ranking for her:

If she is 35 years or younger, she is a 3 (no added library point for being below 5)

40 – She is a 4.

45 – She is a 5, plus a point for being a librarian, and gets a final point total of 6.

50 – She is a 6 + 1, for a grand total of 7.

55-60, she is an 8 (7+1).  60-70, brings her up to a 9(8+1).

If she is 70 years old or older, she is a stone cold fox, and receives the coveted 10 ranking with the librarian adjustment.  I’m just sayin …

Read Full Post »