Nimbyism By All

So I learned a new word this week:


Nimby, which stands for:


Not 

I

M

Back

Yard


It refers to people who object to and don’t want something unpleasant or dangerous in their neighborhood. 


Prisons

Homeless Shelters

Garbage Dumps

Radioactive Waste Sites

Oil and Gas Pipelines

Noisy Railroads

Polluting Factories

Adult Entertainment

etc. 


Yes, society as a whole apparently wants or needs these things, but the individuals just want to see it someplace (anyplace) else. 


People want the benefits, but don’t want the costs and risks associated with these things near them. 


The problem is when everyone feels this way then you are left either choosing somewhere despite the nimbyism protests or you have to locate them in remote places that are not always functional, fair or efficient for society. 


Perhaps this is where incentives or compensation comes in for people to get in order to “put up” with the placement of things in their backyard that they rather not have there. 


Is that what it means that nimbyism aside, “everyone has their price”?


(Source Photo: here with attribution to creative2/usa)

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Amazon’s Dangerous Genius

I am marveling at the Genius of Amazon and Jeff Bezos but also concerned about their future direction. 


Traditionally, they have invested for the long-haul!


For years, Amazon never made a dime, actually operating at a loss.


But all the time making long-term investments in infrastructure (warehouses, supply chain, logistics, etc.) and in customer acquisition. 


Their great selection, reasonable pricing, free shipping, and easy return policy lured hundreds of millions of people to drop the brick-and-mortar stores and even other online retailers to go Amazon all the way. 


Most people I know get virtually everything and anything on Amazon these days. 


Of course, the fear always was that Amazon would become such a dominant player and monopoly that no one else could compete. 


For a long time, they didn’t even charge sales tax!


It seems people can’t even imagine not having Amazon–where in the world would they shop and get all their stuff in 2-days or less (Prime Customers) and still be able to return all the crap they don’t even want. 


So here is the rub.


Now that Amazon is so dominant, guess what?  They are raising the Prime Rates and cutting back on returns–with customers actually being banned for returning too much. 


Ah, the lure, bait and switch. 


Amazon got us all as their slave customers–and we let them and love them for it. 


And after they snared us with all the convenience and security of being able to return stuff, they pull the rug and what can you do, but cry foul?


I love Amazon for their genius and what they have done for eCommerce, but I don’t like that they’ve built in a sense a dark empire to prey on their loyal customer base. 


Mr. Bezos, here is my message to you…


Please stay true to your ideals of customer-centricity and long-term investment in the company that has been the foundation for what you have built into such a retail juggernaut.  


Keep valuing your customers and serving them well and not trading them in for short-term profit gain.


In the end, that is a winning strategy that won’t land you in either regulatory hell and/or antitrust action to then force you to bend your knee or your ultimate breakup. 


Remember, you have one chance to make the right decision for Amazon or I fear that it’s not product returns that you’ll be for long worrying about. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

From Malware To Malevolent People

So in virus protection on the computer, there are 2 common ways antivirus software works:


1) Signature Detection – There are known patterns of viruses and the antivirus software looks for a match against one of these. 


2) Behavior Detection – There are known patterns of normal behavior on the computer, and the antivirus software looks for deviations from this. 


Each has certain weaknesses:


– With signature detection, if there is a zero-day exploit (i.e. a virus that is new and therefore which has no known signature) then it will not be caught by a blacklist of known viruses.


– While with behavior detection, some viruses that are designed to look like normal network or application behavior will not be caught by heuristic/algorithm-based detection methods. 


For defense-in-depth then, we can see why employing a combination of both methods would work best to protect from malware. 


It’s interesting that these same techniques for recognizing bad computer actors can be used for identifying bad or dangerous people. 


We can look for known signatures/patterns of evil, abusive, and violent behaviors and identify those people according to their bad actions.


Similarly, we generally know what “normal” looks like (within a range of standard deviations, of course) and people who behave outside those bounds could be considered as potentially dangerous to themselves or others. 


Yes, we can’t jump to conclusions with people — we don’t want to misjudge anyone or be overly harsh with them, but at the same time, we are human beings and we have a survival instinct. 


So whether we’re dealing with malware or malevolent individuals, looking at patterns of bad actors and significant deviations from the normal are helpful in protecting your data and your person. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

When The Wires Get Crossed

So the flight coming back from Israel was technologically challenged. 


I’m sitting toward the front of the plane…more room, that’s good.


But there are a bunch of families with small children and babies…and that ends up being bad. 


The flight attendants bring out this contraption to hook up a crib device to a front wall of the plane for the parents to put the baby in to sleep. 


But there ends up being one small problem.


The overhead lights are seriously messed up.


This passenger with the baby tries to use his button next to his seat to turn the bright reading lights off–this is like row 10 or something. 


But when he hits the lights off button–instead the lights go off in row 22. 


And they stay on in his row keeping his baby awake and crying virtually the whole flight.


The stewardesses are going crazy trying to figure out where the “wires got crossed” here. 


When they go to row 22 and ask them to turn off their lights–thinking maybe that will turn off the lights in row 10 that is keeping the baby up and crying–but instead that turns off the lights further in the back of the plane in row 30-something. 


This was a really bad comedy going on this plane.


The baby keeps crying and crying.


The stewardesses keep running around trying to figure out how to get the lights working where they are supposed to be working.


And the parents are frustrated as hell trying to calm the baby and get some rest on this lengthy, cross-ocean flight. 


Needless-to-say, all the other passengers trying to get some rest weren’t thrilled at this ridiculousness going on.


The plane got us home, but the electrical system didn’t inspire any confidence and kept the baby (and us) up almost the entire flight. 


When you think that this was just the lights–oh boy!  


Because what if the wires had gotten crossed between something important like the accelerator and the brake instead?  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Two-Faced Monsters

2 Face.jpeg

One of the scariest things with people are when they are two-faced. 


And no, we’re not talking about people making funny faces or googly eyes.


My father use to joke:


“If that person was two-faced, they would never use that face {the one they are wearing now}!”


But many people really do have two-faces (and sometimes more).


– The seeming friend, but backstabber if they get the chance.


– The “goodie two-shoes,” but what a real mischievous side to them.


– The “nice boy/girl,” but what an unbelievable mean streak.


– The calm, quiet person, but what an explosive temper they really have. 


– The person who it seems “would never hurt a fly,” but what an abuser and bully they are.

This is not about multiple personality disorder, but rather people who either are truly this AND that, or who “fake it to make it.”


Many people do have multiple “normal” sides to their personality (like hardworking, but playful).


However, others more malevolently, use a cover up (and it’s not mascara) to hide their inner bad natures/behaviors and demons.


These are the people that are really scary dudes (and dudettes). 


You see one thing on the surface (superficially), but beneath it is a type of molten lava ready to explode and do very bad things. 


Sure, everyone alternates between good and bad days, happy and sad, more loving or less, etc. 


But when people are fundamentally insincere phonies who are deceiving others until they can but strike and do bad things to them, then they are not just two-faced, but seriously f*cked up! 


This is all part of the fight in this world of good over evil–it goes on everyday with the monsters out there that are allowed to roam free and prey on others–perhaps some of afraid or even others are covering for them. 


How long can they keep up their heinous act?


Often way too long, until those good people of faith and conscience ask when will they be unmasked and held accountable–when will justice prevail. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

How Stupid Can Metro Be

Reckless Metro.jpeg

While Metro has been touting its Get Back to Good (“Back2Good“) plan and campaign, unfortunately, it is still continuing to mess up big and stupid. 


Part of Metro’s hailed upgrades is to the new 7000-series trains. 


They look better than the old crappy and filthed up train cars from before–including the extremely worn and ripped icky orange seats and carpets.


In that respect, the stainless and more modern-looking replacement trains are most welcome.


However, check out the negligent and hazardous middle doors on many of these train cars. 


Do you see the absolutely stupid handle bars that jut out into the oft busy entry-exit passenger doors. 


Yesterday, I got caught in a mob racing out of one of the train cars, and my upper thigh got danged and good on these ridiculous and reckless handlebars in the doorway! 


Who would put these jutting out into a doorframe???


Anyway, my leg is red, swollen, painful, and I am limping good from this. 


Hey, is there a good personal injury lawyer out there on the web that works on commission (lol, I think)?


I am so grateful to G-d if this doesn’t end up messing with my hip replacement. 


What is it about Metro that they just seem to act brainless with the basics. 


This was supposed to the year of getting back to track safety and train reliability (getting the trains on time), but I guessed they seriously missed the train safety part!


Oh by the way, the reliability isn’t all that “good” either (forget great…they gave up on that a while ago)!  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

At The Doorstep…WMD

Chem Attack.jpeg

With a new threat again of a chemical weapons attack in Syria…


The U.S. is sending clear warnings to the Assad regime–Don’t do it!


Generally, the threat of using weapons of mass destruction–chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear–have become all too blase!


Syria uses chemical weapons on its own people. 


– Iraq used chemical weapons on Iran and the Kurds


– Terrorists used chemical weapons in Japan and have threatened similar in UK


– Russia threatens use of nukes over Crimea or in a conflict with NATO.


North Korea threatens preemptive nuclear strike on the U.S. 


Iran has threatened attacks on Israel over nukes.


– Biological weapons such as Anthrax have been used against the U.S. and bioterror has been threatened in India


This list is far from comprehensive–and how very commonplace this is becoming is exactly the problem!


It is one thing (already scary bad) to have weapons that can do the unthinkable, and it is quite another to actually use or threaten to use them in such blase fashion like taking out the garbage or something!


If we don’t ensure that cooler and more stable heads prevail at the notorious red buttons around the world, then the risk of someone eventually doing something very stupid and dangerous to millions–or even billions–of lives is no longer just in the realm of science fiction anymore, but becomes so very ominous and real a disastrous possibility. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)