Frankology

Everyone has to start somewhere.

Everything must have a beginning. Every venture, adventure and journey has a day one. Even the biggest corporations were once upon a time just an idea, probably by one single person.

Always remember this when the fear of the unknown kicks into high gear. When your “yes but” mentality rears its head. When the curve slows and things get trickier than you remember them being in a while. Just like everything has a beginning, so too does it have an ebb and flow.

If they say it was easy, they're lying.

An easy way, which is at least mostly true, to remember the use of assumption versus presumption is implied negativity. Presumption being the negative version.

We live in a presumptuous society.

All day people jump to conclusions, often based on no information at all, about others. I doubt this is intentional. It may be an evolutionary trait, designed to filter out “unnecessary information.” A world based on written as a posed to spoken communication doesn't help. It is notoriously difficult to read emotions in text.

Either way, it is dangerous and often leads to a confrontation in some cases, and regression in others.

In the same vein, if you believe someone else to be presumptuous, for whatever reason, best you pause and check your own reactions, chances are you too are behaving presumptively.

According to the web, the happy birthday song is in its 125th year this year. That is a lot of happy birthdays. It's supposedly the most sung English song in the world. Nevermind it is sung in many languages across the world (the internet is American it seems).

Point is this, have you ever met a single soul who doesn't absolutely hate it? We hate being sung for and maybe hate singing it even more, it's a close call. How the hell then is it so popular and why is there always one dreaded twit who insist on everyone singing it? More than this, why do we all, always agree?

Occasionally we receive videos of the kiddie’s parties at my son's school. Everyone is always having a whale of a time until the infernal “let's all sing happy birthday” time! If they hate it as early as 3 why can't we get off it already?

Accept it sucks and move on.

Every year we look for “firsts” and “lasts.” First time together on a bus, first Christmas away from the new home, first time Santa called. Last Monday ever at this school, last time you'll see this person, last time you're taking this route.

I tried finding substance in this. The practice of trying to add meaning, or some milestone, to an otherwise normal situation. A situation you're unlikely to remember next year. When exactly was the last time we were on a bus together? Who was that person again? Santa called you say?

The significance is only in the moment itself, soon lost to the next moment, and then the next. Therein lies the answer, we are too busy living life, enjoying the moment, the here and now. This is a good thing.

If there were some kind of enchanted dust we could sprinkle over idiotic people who tell bullshit stories I’d be first in line to buy it.

Listen dick-cheese, nobody believes your story about how you “wrestled a bear with one arm cause your other was caught in a meat grinder, all the while the dog from down the street (who was by some magic in the same vicinity as you, a bear and a meat grinder) was gnawing off the big toe on your left foot, and that is why you cannot use stairs anymore, because you are off-balance.”

You are a fucking idiot. You should be dragged out back and shot.

I am often struck by the tendency of people, to try to impress others, no matter the situation, circumstance or cost. Cost of their own dignity, physical cost and even long-term cost. A few examples:

• A waiter/server who boasts about the restaurants they have worked at, or managed. This to complete strangers who not only do not care (they are just trying to have a meal) but are probably far more successful than the individual to begin with. • A stranger at the gym injuring themselves, trying to impress other members with what they can (or more accurately cannot) lift. • People who by cars, clothes and houses far beyond their means, as if someone else cares what they drive. Maybe someone will complement the car, possibly even think about it for a while, and that’s that, they move on. The individual has made a major commitment, and for what? • People telling hyperbolic stories about their past adventures, probably in the hopes this makes their uneventful lives more attractive or interesting.

Pitiful.

What's in store for us in the year to come?

To say we find ourselves in strange times is an understatement. Take the US. It's so riddled with social justice (online) warriors, it has literally lost its appeal as an immigration destination. A destination of any kind. Who wants to visit a country where you could find yourself in deep water for calling your wife a woman (cue eye rolls)? Bloody ridiculous!

What about Zimbabwe? A failed state on the brink of secondary failure. Fuck, is that even a thing? No food, fuel, currency, nothing but a lot of nothing. What happens to those poor souls?

South Africa. Still the most beautiful country in the world, certainly in my eyes anyway. What's in store for us? A government talking about handing over ownership of land, without reward or recourse, as if it were the era of crusades.

Not one can deny that there were times in history where some pretty crappy shit went down. People faced countless forms of injustice. Nor can they deny that every nation, race, gender, and creed on earth took part in crappy shit. Are we saying we are just going to roll back the clock? Correct the social wrongs, just like that? Reverse them is it? If we are, then wouldn't that mean it's time for some barbarism while we're at it? In fact, why stop there why not throw in a witch hunt or two? I'm all in for a spot of cannibalism – if not why not?

“Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance,” – Plato.

We live in a world overrun with opinions. Most formed on the back of the opinions of others, spread like a wildfire across social media, little grounded in fact let alone truth. Even facts can be interpreted to reflect a preconceived “truth,” but beliefs are not to be confused with truth.

It is best to teach ourselves, and our children, to steer well clear of opinions, and to dig for truth at all times. It is only through this we can rescue the “age of information,” from the age of ignorance.

“Create a problem and then create the solution.” A common business mantra. Being both the problem and the solution means you become the totem of your industry.

Problem: being found in an uncurated mass of data. Solution: ambiguous procedures based on secret ever-changing algorithms, avoided by auctioning attention.

This is the world of search engines. Genius – if you’re search engines. A never-ending spiral liken to gambling addiction if you are not. How addiction? Well, just like an addiction you need it, even though you know it’s bad for you. Also, like gambling, there are controlled systems designed to “steer” you into channels which complement the house.

When we are asking a question, it is a fair assumption we are either completely ignorant of the answer, can’t remember the information, need clarification, or confirmation of the answer. Therefore, we ask, correct? What then is the bleeding obsession with the argumentative retort?

Could it be people are inherently unhappy with answers they are given; the first reaction is disbelief? Is it there is so much misinformation out there, people can no longer differentiate between bullshit and the real deal? Or is it that there is so much garbage information, they can no longer trust any information at all?

Oddly, I find the first idea to be the least concerning. This just means people are jerks, and we all know this to be true already. Finding methods of counteracting this would not be as challenging as trying to fix the eventual consequences of the last two ideas. If trust in values such as good faith, expert-knowledge, and provider-client relationships are lost, then all is eventually lost. The entire system will break down.

The trouble is, the access to unfiltered information places deeply unqualified people in a position to spread misinformation and opinion, as fact. Although, this is not the real trouble. The real trouble is we are not providing individuals (especially youths) with the tools to sift through, process and recognize what is nonsense. What you end up with is entire generations who find themselves the least informed despite unprecedented access to learning. This is our fault – not theirs. We did this.

With the mania around fake news, it is easy to forget the overabundance of other information available, which is not news related or political of nature. Much of it potentially far more damaging. Even that which isn’t, just adds to the mist, the constant barrage of drivel. Eventually, the mist will be too thick to navigate and what then?