[Tl;Dr: Our take on various events and happenings in the world this week.]
Sunday, February 7, 2021
This was a long week and pretty cold for most parts of the world. Thankfully winter is close to halfway over. This week we saw a few interesting stories and such but many of them were too politically motivated for our site that tries to concentrate on a better life for most millennials. Although we did see a few stories that seemed to be interesting so we’ll touch on them briefly on our “what’s going on?” commentary.
1) Movements for change
Protests overseas were happening and covered briefly in the news. But they were widely eclipsed by U.S. news on stocks and also other political items and vaccines. But a political activist called Navalny that is said to be an activist and advocate for reforms and political opponent in Russia who brought to light certain injustices and who is popular on social media has brought many regular citizens to support the movement and clash and rail against the establishment. We don’t really have much to comment or say on this topic. Even though we normally do more research, in this case it’s probably easier to DYOR and do your own research and make your own opinion. We will comment that it is noteworthy that a lot of movements to ‘rage against the machine’ so to speak have happened in the last decade. From recent protests in the U.S. to protests in the Middle East a few years back using the Internet to organize and to the recent GameStop movement from Reddit that involved a group of people betting against the Wall Street big institutions and hedge funds. The latter was sort of a updated version of Occupy Wall Street but quickly fizzled out but you will likely see more movements including the racially charged and gender equality movements. It is important that we all realize that the world is not static and constantly changing. And change is good. If we had not changed and adapted our civilization would have disappeared like the dinosaurs to disease and other environmental changes, etc.
2) Young investors
The GameStop phenomenon was interesting. We don’t own any shares either, but if you’re a millennial, it’s always a good thing to keep in mind that usually you have to be positioned well before the news talks about it to profit. By the time it because main stream news often the train or boat has left and sailed on. Same thing with gold, crypto, and other stocks. By the time you hear it there’s an old saying to sell on the news. So it was an interesting way to bring into the consciousness of millennials about investing concepts and how the up and down cycle goes. Many current generation stock investors may have started off with micro-investing platforms like acorn or using services like Robinhood. Always research and check what you’re investing in thoroughly to avoid any kind of pump and dump scenarios. And also be aware of what kind of account you put it in to be more tax efficient and avoid unexpected tax consequences.
3) Overworked in a time of Covid
A trend we notice is that people have had to accommodate and work in ways they have never had to because of social distancing and cleaning / sanitation protocols. Most people know what is respectful and how to act proper around others. Even when talking someone often notices that ooh perhaps they are standing a bit close, or need to get their mask on etc. Most of us have had to become unexpected station wipers and sanitation crew and janitors. But we know we do it because we don’t want to get sick or anyone else and do it just in case to protect others if there’s someone that could get extra ill.
However, people are a bit weary. People want to do what they need to in order to survive, get through these odd times and changes, but we also may have noticed this influx of extra work, tasks, perhaps extra costs we’ve had to eat to accommodate these changes and understand it’s not easy. On one hand we know we have a duty to be better and help where we can for those that are put into that position with extra responsibility. I think innately we realize that when we’re called to responsibility we try to rise to the occasion.
Although sometimes we like to think we’re facing these tough moments alone, often our coworkers and family and friends are our best means of support. Even when we’re running around at W.O.R.K and our J.O.B., We all are trying our best and trying to get home to be with family. There’s a running joke in Robert Kiyosaki’s book that a “job” basically stands for being just over broke in terms of salary. And the joke of work is it’s a “wonderful opportunity for real knowledge” or a “weekly overload and recreational killer”. But really without work we often wouldn’t have a bit of structure and motivation to go out and meet challenges, chance for financial freedom, and opportunity to meet our own personal life goals.
Often work allows up to get out of sitting down and raiding the fridge and also affords an opportunity to at least get a mild amount of exercise movement throughout the day versus working from home. Many may not realize that remote working has changed our daily habits and we may not be moving around as much as perhaps we used to? Be mindful of this and challenge yourself to get in your steps or walk, or go to the grocery or walk your dog if you still can (although harder in the winter and with Covid). We all often feel under the radar and stressed out when talking to the boss and probably underpaid and overworked. There’s a reason Dilbert comics demonize the pointy haired bosses as we feel they just don’t understand us and communicate on another planet. The joke is, what does a B.O.S.S. stand for? Perhaps it is: Blame it on secretaries and staff. But really it’s not easy running a big ship and having to answer to and be accountable to more and more people. The longer you work any position the more you understand that there’s just too much to do, not enough staff and training and too many things that can go wrong. Working together is essential.
The other day we heard a news program on public radio. The program went on to say that often the way a team handles it relationship (or interpersonal / emotional conflicts) versus task conflicts can ensure the success of the team. And that surprisingly good leadership often does bring in different people with different backgrounds and that people can agree to disagree. But there will be occasionally disagreements and that’s healthy because the other end of the spectrum is apathy and not caring enough to voice or chime in to help an organization or goal or project improve. People that don’t feel heard or unable to chime in and fear retaliation, that’s when you get the Enron’s the BP’s and other think tanks that end up combusting internally. Differences are what can help an organization see different sides and solve problems and utilize different strengths. To challenge a position can occasionally be to improve a process.
4) Phone development needs to improve
This was something I noticed this weekend while looking for a new phone. My phone has been holding up just fine for several years as I had gotten a new phone a few years back and a spare battery when batteries still were removable and separate from the phones. I’ve noticed this awful trend in the last few years in the electronics industry where people care more about form over functionality. And we have an article about Planned Obsolescence and Right to Repair a few months ago on our site. Apple is one company that is closed sourced and is known to seal off its batteries and computers and laptops to make it super hard to work on. And even the most recent iPhone 12 there was something written in a forum that the phones have something in the software level that makes it so that if you install a piece of hardware from another spare phone of the same type it still may not work because it’s not paired or keyed correctly at the hardware / software level. Apparently there might be some kind of firmware or programming that prevents fake hardware and counterfeiters and modders from trying to alter the security of the device. While this is commendable it may also render your device so much more harder to service for a layman. Although it may be arguable you might after spending a few hundred to a thousand on a fine piece of jewelry… I mean electronic hardware, you want to have someone trained to not fubar your device when trying to service your device. Apple had a few months ago gotten a backlash for its slowed down CPU’s or throttling to save battery after some O.S. upgrades but some perceived it as planned obsolescence again.
That is why we found some interesting phones that were attractive.
We’ve seen that LG makes some nice phones and Samsung. LG made a few nice phones with its V and G series of phones that included removable batteries for so long. You could just pop off the cover and swap out batteries and throw in a microSD card. Samsung also had some nice phones including the Note series with pen. However gradually they began to phase out batteries and emphasized waterproof and tried to copy the Apple phones too much. Not all of us want an Apple clone and again these companies tried to appease to a market of users and ended up ignoring a good size of the market. Many of us want batteries back and the ability to upgrade our own phones. But it’s all profit for these companies again. I would surmise to say that there’s a market somewhere for people that still want these removable battery phones.
What probably also spurred on these changes was that a lot of people had rented / loaned subsidized phones that they never truly owned and after 2 years the battery was going to die anyway and the hardware was old anyway so they just swapped out the phones. But that meant lot of people never have a back up device. And also a chance their data could get partly lost in the process. Having your own phone and not having to swap it back is somewhat liberating for some.
Anyhow, there are some new phones coming to market. We notice the Moto phones have removable batteries but there was a rugged odd sounding brands like Blu, Sonim, Doogee and Cat. However we noticed that with the enthusiastic hacker / modder community the OnePlus devices and Google Pixel devices had good reviews despite not having removable batteries. We also heard about Fairphones, Pinephones, Librem. Some of these allowed modifed versions of Sailfish OS, Ubuntu Touch and Linux variants to be installed. Although the Librem seemed quite pricey at near 700 to 800 in dollars but not having specs at the flagships you could get from iPhone 11 and 12. However Librem’s selling point is its privacy features, open source and Linux software. Is it too much to ask for an open source phone with removable, user replaceable batteries, microSD, dual nano Sims? It was a dizzying task trying to check for frequency band capability / compatibility on frequencychecker.com and also look for the most recent phones with replaceable battery and a top of the line camera and open source software. True, most people aren’t modding or rooting or installing TWRP or Lineage OS or downloading F-Droid apps and loose apk’s. But there’s no reason why some of us that want to shouldn’t be able to. I eyed the Samsung Xcover Pro that came out as that seemed to be a decent phone. And even went to check out. But a couple days later I discovered the iPhone had better specs with 128GB and 256GB internal storage and yet at premium prices. You couldn’t get the best of all worlds.
I had wanted to dabble in a small rootable phone that I could play with and not be my daily driver, and true I had noticed the Pinephones at less than $200, but the specs seemed slightly underwhelming and I read reviews it wasn’t a fully finished product but more tailored for developers. It was nice it was for the open source community.
The most recent item I saw was an impressive. It was the XDA forum offering that came out in December of 2020 at IndieGogo. And they had initially had a 28% off special for first early adopters. I didn’t see they had this phone or promotion till a few days ago. It seems to be a nifty phone that can come with LineageOS or Ubuntu Touch and has a slide out real keyboard and can be paired to a monitor with its miniHDMI ports. XDA forums is known for its modified LineageOS that originally had the soul of Cyanogenmod. They also have come out with many great projects like TWRP and also Magisk. This new XDA offering was near $800 though which put it almost competing against an iPhone product. Unfortunately the iPhone had some pro’s while the XDA offering also had some others. I realized that 5G was near the corner and anything 64GB was pretty much becoming obsolete since 128GB and 256GB offerings were becoming the standard.
In fact the Samsung S10+ at one time even offered a 1TB phone. You can imagine the amount of capacity you could technically have with a 1TB internal phone and an additional 1TB microSD card. That would boggle the mind but again no phone has replaceable parts and batteries and microSD and the latest frequency bandwith to utilize 5G and top of the line cameras. I suppose it’s still many years away. And on top of that, an open source modifiable one without Knox security hindering the devices such as on some Samsung devices, or a reboot flaw as some of the LG G4’s were known to have. Maybe one day we’ll have the perfect phone that came be a portable camcorder with no location sharing and great privacy settings and switches.
5) Trans acting , type casting based on race
Back in Greek ages, people were wearing masks and being inspired by the Muses. There were coliseums and theaters later in London in Shakespearean times. People have been telling stories through out all of time. You have kabuki theater and minstrels and cartoons and movies. We’ve have comics and all that. People have gathered around the fire telling stories of Paul Bunyan, Hercules, and Joan of Arc and all kinds of legends. Punch and Judy shows and other puppetry have served to entertain and also educate people. Lately there’s been a culture of people trying to balance being politically correct but with storytelling. Should you be politically correct at the risk of censorship, or should you allow unbound creativity and mixing and fusions? You see people mixing foods. And cross-fusions of America, Mexican, Italian, Asian cooking etc. You see people trying new styles of dancing and dress and people assimilating cultures. Korean fried chicken. You see people enjoying different music and types of work. Should we isolate activities and things to only one group? Why? People for example need an outlet, way to release tension and creativity. And Halloween is one of them. Perhaps you’ve had people want to dress up as cowboys or sailors, pirates, ghosts, vampires and goblins etc. It lets the kids practice make-believe and imagination and get away into a world they might never get to. A lot of social outcasts and quiet people have often found sanctuary and a creative outlet in music, band and theater. And they just want to belong or try something new and try an activity. We shouldn’t be disapproving or culture-shaming people that have a little bit of creative artistic fun. There’s been people that for instance wanted to cosplay as Wonder Woman but didn’t look the part or wasn’t the right shape or size. Stop following everyone else’s script. Make your own movie. Don’t play by Hollywood’s rules and create your own Act I, II, and III. Get represented in the community and change the narrative and start being the lead in the story instead of the one watching the story. Perhaps if we all stopped acting as uptight judgmental side-driving commentators we’d all be less triggered and get along.
People that often fall too in love with a particular character or story forget it’s often fiction and that truth be told, a story is changeable and malleable, just like your own life. You have the power to dictate, change and alter the destiny and direction of how the ending goes.
6) Cat vibing
Lastly if you have not yet enjoyed some “cat vibing” clips, go look it up and look up Bilal Goregen and enjoy some non-sensical fun. You’ve worked hard this week, put up with covid restrictions, had to deal with a B.O.S.S. and all the judgmental people out there. Relax and enjoy a few minutes of just silliness. 2020 and 2021 has been way too serious and sometimes you just need some time to just laugh and web surf like it was the 1990’s before the fast pace of social media and cameras everywhere. We all miss the early infancy, innocence, tom-foolery and comradery of the early Internet.
Hopefully you found this week to be interesting.