App-Boy Wonder

You may have heard about this teen wizkid who built a mobile app, called Summly, that cuts down news content, and was purchased by Yahoo! I think this child prodigy deserves points for crafting the clever name, that is, in fact, a dysfunctional adverb. Makes me feel warmly inside.

The attention span of the average adult today is shorter than his dick, and this genius comes along to chop it down even further, with the assumption that only the important facts need to be presented. I miss old-school journalistic AP style writing, where you take facts out of context, sprinkle distorted public opinion, and publish it with a catchy headline.

Summly, and all technology like it, creates a perfect formula for a confused, misguided, misinformed, shortsighted public, so, really, I don’t see it causing any more damage than has already been done.

The cornerstone of Summly is that it cuts out from articles what it deems as important. I wonder how one can arrive at this insightful conclusion at the enlightening age of seventeen. A kid, who thinks he knows what’s important to others, can’t even walk into a titty bar, and see what really matters.

In the cited article, Nick D’Aloisio, the app-boy wonder, was paraphrased as saying, the core of the application is a statistical analysis that guesses. I’d like to repeat that: an analysis that guesses. The whole thing is an oxymoron, and Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo, believes this is the kind of person they need to bring aboard to save the business that is behind on the technological advances of the new millennium.

As if things at Yahoo! weren’t bad enough, now we’re going to see this genius’s influence for years to come. I’m guessing three, and then Yahoo! will once again seek more angel investors, which is a strange coincidence, as Nick believes that’s what he may just do with the paycheck Yahoo! cut him for contributing to the twenty-first century psychological catastrophe waiting to happen; nobody with the ability to pay attention to anything.

I’m not one to delve too deep into mind control, but I know that, if people stop paying attention to details, and what interests them, by letting somebody else tell them what’s important, then things can go awry.

21st Century Trick-or-Treating Tips

1. Communicate

Halloween 2012 - Check with everyone so you don't get the same costume.

Share costume ideas with friends on Facebook so no one arrives at the party looking the same.

2. Prepare

Halloween 2012 - Stuff Kids before trick-or-treating so they don't eat candy.Children need energy to go from house-to-house. Feed them before they go out.

3. Stick Together

Kids must stick together when trick-or-treating so they don’t get lost.

Halloween 2012 - Get leashes on your kid so they don't get lost or kidnapped.

4. Patience

Children need to learn the art of begging.

Halloween 2012 - Everyone takes turns Going to Door for Candy.

5. Inspection

Halloween 2012 - Sort-and-Skan-O-Matic - Keep Your Candy SafePlace candy in the Sort and Scan O-Matic 5,000 to separate the good from the bad and enable efficient treat consumption.

I missed that one

I don’t know why people want to stay safe. There’s no fun in life when everything’s safe. The Romans weren’t safe. They made an event out of people killing each other. That’s real entertainment, and people have no problem with watching it on the movies.

People seem to have no problem fantasizing about horrible thoughts when it’s from a movie or a book, but I guess just the idea of it makes it okay. If someone is murdered or raped in a book or movie, then it’s fine. But, if it happens in real life, it’s a tragedy. There’s a huge disconnect between the mind and reality. And it’s all about safety.

When you’re talking on your cellphone driving 75 and wonder why that jerk cut you off doing 90, then I got news: It’s because everything is too damn safe.

Cars crumble up, protect the people inside, and insurance pays for everything. So, really, why should we care about having to control our cars. It’s all about safety and letting someone else take care of it.

And then there’s air traffic safety. Pat downs, x-rays, and you can’t bring a match on board, but you can bring a lighter. What’s this? Suddenly, a lighter is safer than a match? I guess they’re afraid to let a passenger burn their fingers.

The one I dodged was with little league baseball, one of America’s oldest sports, a kind of sport that doesn’t require people beating the shit out of each other senselessly. No, it’s nine innings, each with six outs, and goes on until it’s over. Better make the best of it, you can be here all night long!

What I missed out on was this sick proposal that every child needs to wear a mask on the field. Apparently, parents were upset their children were getting hit in the face with a baseball, leaving a black eye. The kid is out there playing, let the ball smack him in the eye. If he gets up and throws the batter out, good for him; he’s learned to fight against any disadvantage that comes his way.

But the whining parents wanted to get their way. Their precious child’s face was so important to self-esteem they decided to teach that what other people think of his looks is more important than what he thinks of himself.

Self-esteem is about what one thinks of him or herself, and never what others think of them. This pathetic attempt to create self-esteem in a child by protecting their face with iron bars serves as a reminder to how they’re going to feel their whole life: trapped. The kid will be fine if he gets a black eye, or a tooth or three knocked out. Let little Billy get smacked a good one or two.

Here, let me measure that for you.

People are stupid with food, eating themselves out of health, and blame the place that cooks their sixth meal of the day. Oh, I’m sorry, you like eating a full steak every Friday, a 2lb fat burger every Thursday, and whatever else you can get with grease? Well, here, let the government help you.

Let’s require the calories, the fat, the sodium, and everything else about all the foods we eat everywhere, to be written next to it. Let’s forget all about listening to our own bodies and knowing when to stop eating, when something was gross to eat, and how it affects us. Never mind the majority of the population can’t read past a fifth grade level.

Uncle Sam will take care of it all, he’ll make sure every restaurant, fast food or cuisine, provides the calories, fat, sodium, lack of vitamins, minerals, and everything else about the food. Forget about letting you decide what you want to eat and give in to the numbers. You do remember numbers, don’t you? From math class, in that public school that taught you to write them down, without learning how to apply them? Oh, you don’t? Well, one plus one equals your loss!

Here’s how you decide what to eat: do you like the taste of it? Is it good for you? Do you feel good after eating it, today, and tomorrow; are you tired after eating it? If you’re tired after eating something, you’ve eaten too much, or something that wasn’t good for you.

Food is supposed to give us energy. If you’re sitting around after eating a triple mega super deluxe ultra fat patty, and don’t want to get up, perhaps you should have eaten that salad, and drank water, or milk, instead of the soda.

But what good is it for me to tell you this. Chances are you’re like the 40% obese population in this country. If you can’t listen to yourself, you won’t listen to me. And I don’t think those calorie numbers do anything anyway. In fact, I think they’re a deterrent to business. Putting those numbers in front of people tells them to be afraid, be very afraid, of how much you’re taking in.

I think, instead of numbers, they should have you stand on a scale that points the three different levels of eating: You’re hungry, you’re full, and get the fuck out.