Don’t buy stuff you don’t need

Social media is serving a higher purpose:  Trying to sell you things.  Most of these things you don’t need.

Social media knows the sites you visit, what you buy, what you “like,” what you “hate,” where you go, who you know, what you read, what they read, where you live, what you drive, what you wear, what you order, and 1001 other things about you.  It then targets ads trying to sell you things based on all these factors.

Since it knows this much about you, it has very high success rate showing you ads for stuff you’re interested in.  It’s not magic.  It’s also not serving some higher noble purpose trying to “connect” you to people.  It is trying to empty your pockets by making you compete with everybody else on the planet in some global “who has the most stuff they don’t need” competition.

Here’s something else:  Those “friends” on your Facebook page know about as much about you as a random HR administrator reading your resume knows.

Most people don’t post the stuff they’re not proud of, let alone ashamed of.  They don’t post all of it.  Many don’t post any of it.  All this bling, fancy vacations, nice cars, expensive clothes, beautiful people, and impressive stuff is just that.  It is likely the very best of these people’s lives – which is really kind of sad.

If you are feeling inferior to your “friends,” ask yourself these questions:  Do you know the most embarrassing moment in their lives?  Do you know their actual habits?  If you ask them for a favor, can you count on them to help you out?  Are they polite?  Are they respectful in public?  Would they have your back if you were in an unpopular position?

Knowing these things makes a friend.

Knowing what kind of car they just bought doesn’t tell you anything useful.   Neither does the fact that you both “hate mean people.”

You are almost certainly putting too much weight in the opinions of strangers.  If you care one bit about what your Facebook “friend” thinks about what you just bought, then you are the mark.  Congratulations on being duped.  Facebook saw you coming a mile away.

If you really want to experience a “high,” get out of debt.

This will make your life better in so many ways.  Drive the slightly older car.  The shiny new one is sweet, but wouldn’t being able to tell your job “no thanks, I’m done with you” a few years sooner feel better?  Wouldn’t being able to pay your bills (even a year after you unexpectedly lost your job) feel better?

If you get a better job, don’t feel the need to get a better car.  Keep the same car you had and pocket the rest.  You don’t “deserve” a better car.  You just want one because you make more money now.  And let’s face it:  new cars are cool.  If you get an unexpected bonus, don’t spend any of it.  Pack your lunch.  Don’t buy bottled water – ever.  If you must smoke, stuff your own.  If you drink, don’t do it at a bar.  Do it at home instead.

Or do none of this:  Just don’t come crying to me when you find yourself perpetually broke.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not some anti-capitalist advocate wanting to ban private property.  Buy what you want.  If it makes your life truly more efficient and better, then buy it.  If it really makes you happy, and you can actually afford it, then by all means buy it.  There are more products available to the masses today at lower prices than ever before.  This is a good thing.  It is a miracle.  I’m no luddite wanting to go back to the days of the Sears catalog – believe me.

There also just so happens to be a bunch more stuff nobody actually needs that a billion people are being targeted to buy via ads on social media.  Ignore these ads.

The problem comes when you think that some thing you buy is going to turn you from sad to happy.  It won’t.  Talk to real people if you feel sad.  We all feel sad from time to time.  Talking to real people in real time will make you feel better.

Stop comparing yourself to that other guy.  Stop competing.   You can’t win.  That’s the scam.  You will never win.  Compete instead with yourself.  Try to beat you today in one week.  Make yourself better.  That’s the only way you can win.





Cougar kills man – Bo and James engage in a battle of wits.

Some articles have nothing whatsoever to do with politics.  For example:  This one is about a man being killed by a cougar in Washington state.

It happens every time.  Has anyone else noticed that there is no subject that escapes the gravity of national politics today?

Seems poor Bo couldn’t help himself.  Bo sees politics in everything.  James fired back.

Bo Comment

Bo hopes that somebody, anybody, from a political party he disagrees with, died a horrifically painful death that day.  He is so proud about his wish that he thought it appropriate to share with the world.

James could have took the high road and said something like “Seek help Bo,” but instead decided to take the bait and go low himself.

I’m not quite sure why James decided to add quotes around “dimwitted, shallow, uneducated, ignorant, frightened little Trumptard,” except that perhaps he took that quote from somebody else.  James:  If this is the case, is that really the best insult you could think to borrow?  I’ve personally heard much, much better.

James couldn’t stop there though.  Had to bring abortion into the discussion.  Way to win friends and influence people.

Bo is definitely sick and twisted for wishing painful death on his political adversaries.  He might even be a violent psychopath.  However, I’m not sure how James deduced those insults.  There are plenty of violent psychopaths who are quick witted, deep, educated, and brave.  Perhaps he’s one of those types of Trumptards.

Uneducated and ignorant?  And this is the quote James decided to borrow?

If James was just taking a page from the standard Trump supporter insult book, then he totally forgot to add racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, transphobic, islamaphobic, and misogynistic.  And orange.

Bo got 4 thumbs up, but 9 thumbs down (3 thumbs down I’m sure are James’ and the 2 people who thumbs upped James’ comment).

James got 2 thumbs up.

And the winner is:  Nobody

Bo thinks he “totally burned” all the liberals while James thinks that Bo “got owned.”

What is clear from this exchange is that both Bo and James need to stop paying attention to national politics completely, drop the smartphones, and walk away slowly with their hands in the air.  Do something productive.

Fix the 20% of the things in your life that you do actually have the slightest bit of control over.

Bo and James could expend 756,000 cycles of “burns” and “owns” and be neither more burned nor owned that they were this morning.  If you truly believe that once “your person” sits in the white house, your life will be that much better, I’m afraid you’re going to be very disappointed when they actually do.

And that jerk that cut you off this morning:  I bet they were totally a member of your team.  Bo’s team stinks.  James’ team stinks as well.  Its just that one stinks like skunk and the other stinks like body odor.  They all stink.







Who Benefits?

Cui bono?  Lawyers should not be the only ones asking this.  Everyone should.

Now there’s a question that gets little respect. Who benefits if I read this article and believe every word?  Who benefits if I don’t believe anything?

What are the crowds of commenters saying? If almost everybody else is saying some version of A, then A must be correct – right?  Wrong.  “Most people” are wrong more often than you’d think.  “Most people” on the internet comment boards are idiots.

Just look at what “most people” believed about a hundred years ago:

Cocaine was the miracle drug.  It cured everything.  Not only did “most people” believe it, but one of the very smartest subsets of “most people” believed it:  Doctors.

“Most people” or even “Most very very smart science kind of people” should not influence your opinion at all.

Ask me why I always question “mainstream medical science.”  Especially when there is fortune unimaginable to the doctors of a hundred years ago available to insurance and pharmaceutical companies today.  Statins, I’m looking at you kid.  I love cholesterol, and want more of it.  Yummy.

Just look at these comment sections and Twitter feeds.  I’ve never been on Twitter, but I have read the feeds from my colleagues.  They look exactly like internet comments but somehow – even dumber.

How can I say most people are idiots?  How dare I say such things!

For one thing, almost nobody knows how to handle money.  Yet almost everyone likes money, and seems to want more of it.  The majority of people will blow every dollar they make and then some.  This applies if they make $8,000 a year, $80,000 a year, or even $800,000 a year.  Your 401k isn’t going to cut it.  You need to save past this.

See my first post below.  I’m sure you have a very sad story as justification for why you can’t save anything.  I can guarantee you there is a story twice as sad as yours, but somehow, this person did manage to save money.  Above that, there is a story twice as sad as that person’s, and even they managed to save money.  And look, over here – there is a story twice as sad as even that person’s, and still they managed to save.

So in a quick search, you can find a person with a story eight times as sad as yours, but this person made it.

Everybody is trying to sell you something.  You don’t need the vast majority it.  You don’t need almost any of it.  It is not going to make you happier, despite how happy and beautiful the people paid to sell it to you look.  And they do look happy and beautiful don’t they?  It is not going to make your life that much more convenient, despite how gosh darn convenient the happy beautiful people paid to sell it to you make it look. Continue reading “Who Benefits?”

Who weeps for the straw man?

Dear everyone on the planet,

I must confess a guilty pleasure:

I am addicted to the comment section of internet articles. I rarely participate in the comments myself, but I’m consistently amazed at how much weight people place in the opinions of complete strangers.

I have never used Twitter. I have never used Facebook.  If I had my own business, I would definitely use them to advertise.  Otherwise, I don’t exactly see the point.

Here is a piece of free advice. I offer this advice with a 100% money back guarantee:

You will never change the opinion of a complete stranger looking to make themselves look superior to you in front of other complete strangers.  You will not do it via logic, reason, or rational persuasion. You will not do it by offering a sad story.  You will not do it by throwing personal insults.

Your time would be better spent trying to persuade the wall in front of you that your position is the correct one.

You are wasting your life. You are opening yourself up to excess happiness and depression, both undeserved.

Guess what:  That person you “totally burned” thinks you were the one who “got owned.”

Their team high fives them and your team high fives you.  Everybody won and everybody lost.

Wow – how productive.  You might want to start a side business digging holes one day, and then filling them in the next.  This could really take you places.

Twitter and Facebook are merely different avenues one takes to the comment section on the internet.  There is nothing new here folks.

This site is dedicated to seeking out the biggest massacres of straw men on the sites I frequent.  I welcome comments myself.

I will do my best to stay out of politics.  However, it seems politics has infected every topic today.  Subjects that had been utterly noncontroversial even 3 years ago are divisive political subjects today.

For whatever sad story you present to bolster your position, I raise you a story twice as sad to bolster mine.