Monday, October 31, 2016

OK, I Get It, But.....

As the craziest and ugliest Presidential race enters its final week, I think I finally get it.  While driving today, I heard an interview with Paypal Founder, Peter Thiel.  Thiel claims that Donald Trump will "save our politics."  Hearing this while driving nearly caused me to crash (seriously.)  But, being [what I consider to be] an educated individual, I wanted to hear Thiel's logic.  I wanted to give attention to his point of view as I would want people to understand mine.

Thiel is not a Trump supporter so to speak.  He does not think that Trump's antics or his degradation of women and minorities is acceptable.  What he does see is a person who is going up against the establishment, as Thiel feels nothing gets done in Washington via the life-long politicians.

I do understand where Thiel is coming from.  I do understand that Trump and even Bernie Sanders started a movement that is needed.  However, I don't necessarily agree with everything Thiel says, as I don't feel it can be summed up that simply.  Our country is huge and it's challenges are even larger.  The self-interests, lobbyists, and other factors have steered us far off course.  Remember, during one of the debates, Trump criticized Clinton for being a 30 year politician and not accomplishing a thing.  Most notably, he said she was a terrible Senator.  Her response summed up what many of us feel - she was a Democratic Senator in office during a Republican President and a Republican controlled Congress.  Given what President Obama has endured over the past eight years, I tend to agree with Clinton's statements.  Moreover, when Senator Ted Cruz and others, just last week, stated they would not affirm any Supreme Court Justice nominated by Clinton (if she wins), the polarization was never more clear.

I grew up thinking that we all wanted to make this world a better place, to learn from our past challenges and mistakes, not repeat them, and work together for the common good.  I feel this way, day in and day out, as an educator.  I have seen how many people have lost focus - it is happening everywhere.  Our elected leaders need to consider what is best for their constituents, not themselves.   They need to do the job they were elected to do.  While Peter Thiel has a justified point of view, I think it's safe to say that plenty of coercion and corruption takes place in the private sector just as much as it does in the public sector.

Hopefully, one day, we will have a candidate who is anti-establishment and focused on what is best for our country.  Perhaps Bernie Sanders was this person (though his economic policies appear to be a disaster.)  I do know one thing: Trump is not this person.  He is a playground bully; a spoiled rich kid who has always gotten his way and in no way can identify with the Americans who are in most need of a reformed system.  Trump is all about Trump - he has always put himself first and will continue to do so.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Heard On The Radio (my wearable tech follow-up)

As I was driving yesterday, I decided to listen to KCBS 740am, as traffic and weather have been road factors lately.  The KCBS Technology Analyst gave a report about wearable technology, notably the Apple Watch.  He claimed that the last quarter saw nearly a 50% decline in sales as compared to this time last year.   (Last year:  500 million units sold; this year: 270 million.)

I found this report interesting, but quite frankly, not the least bit surprising.  The analyst, as well as the broadcaster both stated that they own an Apple Watch as well as the Samsung Gear model.  Both also went on to state things I have felt from the beginning of this wearable technology craze:

  • The Apple Watch is pretty cool; it is fun to choose and create your own watch face
  • The battery doesn't last long enough.  Having a second device to charge is a pain
  • The price point is far too high; consumers can buy a traditional wrist watch and it will last them longer
  • They often forget to wear the watch
  • They look at their phone when they need to know what time it is
I really liked my Fitbit Flex.  It helped me eat more consciously and made me more aware to stay active - shooting for that daily goal.  But when is enough enough?  Maybe I am just getting old and maybe my eyes are just getting tired.  I love technology and the possibilities it creates - especially for the teaching and learning process.  However there are times when I simply need to disconnect - pick up a magazine, watch a tv show, or just veg out.

What is the future of wearable technology?  Time will tell.  I do know that it won't be attached to me.  I'll use my golf app / distance finder, but that's all for now.

OK... I know this is a weak post, but I haven't posted in a long time.  I didn't want to post about the current Presidential election - 12 days to go - and I can't wait until it's OVER.