Posts Tagged ‘rant’

Be forewarned, this is a rant, and its going to offend some people.

This past week there was a lot of coverage and discussions about a famous Ontario destination for families, Marineland, due to some information and photos about the treatment and health of some of the animals. I was somewhat vocal about it on Twitter and followed along with the outrage from some people on there, biting my tongue at times, knowing full when that many people who get upset about the way these animals were treated are probably the same people sitting in a bar at night eating chicken wings, maybe even discussing the same topic while doing it.

I’m not going to get into a tirade about being a carnivore or omnivore vs being vegetarian or vegan, but I am going to point out that if you really want to be an animal activist or at least support animal rights, don’t be a hypocrite. Animal rights don’t begin and end with pets and animals in zoos and parks, they also apply to the treatment of animals that are being raised for food.  Most people turn a blind eye to how we raise our food, seemingly thinking that meat just ends up on the plate, no harm done.  Taking chickens as an example, typically they are raised in terrible conditions and driven to slaughter in such a way people should be outraged, only to be killed in a gruesome fashion right before butchering.  Again, something that should outrage the public, but for the most part people are too busy being consumers to consider where their food comes from, or even the fact it was a living animal.

If you want to see how chickens should be raised, come to my house and meet ours, I’ll introduce you to each by name.  You can hand feed them and see they are just a bird, like any other, only with more personality.  They are pets, with the added benefit they give us eggs – try to get your pet dog to do that.  It’s not a hardship for them, they do it naturally every day or so.  They are free running, roaming the entire property and just enjoying their lives.

Game reserves, when run properly do the same thing, they allow us to have animals nearby that we wouldn’t typically get to see.  Not all of us can fly to Africa to see them in the wild.  Places like Marineland were set up originally to do just that, but over the years it seems the rules get lax and living conditions suffer.  Seeing bears begging for sugary cereal is not a good way to teach our kids about wildlife.  We all need to ensure all animals have a voice and are properly looked after when in our care.  And if you insist on eating meat, do so with a conscious and a sense of responsibility, both for you and your kids.  I can’t even count the number of kids I’ve met who just don’t understand that meat was once a living creature.

Thanks to discussions on Twitter some stories get a little longer life, and more coverage as they spread, but due to the constant craving for current news, most things have a shelf life of 15 mins.  Roughly the length of time it takes a chicken to go from the truck to stunned, killed, gutted, processed and packed.

I’m glad the public saw the information about Marineland, and I hope that it is not just the grumblings of a few ex-employees tarnishing the name, although in some ways I suppose I hope that is all it is. But either way, shining a spotlight on an issue is typically a good thing, but lets not narrow that beam too much so that we only see one tree in the forest.

tcg

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Okay, now that I’ve got that earworm firmly planted… (admit it, you are humming that 1964 classic from The Righteous Brothers aren’t you?)

Typically all the tech updates and new product releases of late would have had me scrambling for my laptop to blog about them, but not this time. The world is inundated with “writers” going on about the latest and greatest tech advances as soon as they hit the streets.  I was gobsmacked by the glut of blogs posting reviews of the iPhone4s within hours of it being officially released.  All basically saying the same things as if just paraphrasing a press release.

It seems to me that in the race to capture the most readers many sites and writers have lost sight of the main point of writing.  To inform or entertain, or hopefully both.

Where’s the originality? Or the personal touch?  I’d much rather see a review posted a few days after the release of the new product that has some in-depth and original thought than a routine spewing forth of the latest features without any real-world usage of that product. I’m not really picking on the iPhone4s on purpose, it’s just a current example of the point I’m trying to make.  Have we lost the art of writing in our attempts to capture a bigger piece of the blog-viewer-pie?  If a reader just wanted a laundry list of features then they can go to the manufacturer’s website for that.  Give me something to chew on, something thought-provoking or at least educate me about a specific feature that isn’t covered by every tom, dick and harry with a tech-blog or online magazine.

What are you’re thoughts?  Am I just too close to the issue, or did I hit the nail on the head?  Is the world getting over-saturated with the same info simply due to the ease of getting it out there?  Does the lack of editors for many blogsites/websites make it so easy for them to post that even the so-called professional sites are spending less time with their posts just so they can post faster?

I think we all need to slow down and smell the roses, pick the daisies, etc., and put more effort into the content getting posted.  Instead of just worrying about being first, lets all try to be best.

tcg

Because you can isn’t always reason to do something.   Take the Swiss Chalet TV channel for instance, (http://www.swisschalet.com/) Rogers TV channel 208.  (Sorry Bell users, no rotating chickens on a spit for you)

Seriously?  Why do we need this?  Just because it can be done doesn’t mean someone needs to spend the time, energy and resources to do it.  I realize it is a new spin (pun intended) on the fireplace channel that you see during the winter, but was there really a need for this?

This post may turn into more of a rant or a peeve-list, (not pet-peeves,  that term in itself is a peeve of mine.  why would you have a list of favorite annoyances?) but mostly about tech and how we should use it responsibly.  Sure, there is something to be said for starting out simply with an idea and using it to learn how to do something more advanced, but, getting back to the chicken-channel,  what was this a stepping stone towards?

I’m not going to harp on the big screw ups or mis-steps of years gone by (New Coke anyone? or what about Sony’s Rootkit embedded into cds? Windows Vista is another great example)  but deal with the way technology is being used or abused to make our lives easier in ways that are good or sometimes just dumb (a laundry folding robot for instance – are we really getting that lazy we can’t even fold our own laundry?)  when really we could be doing so much more.

this is "useful"?

The number of Apps in the Apple Appstore that really serve no purpose is another prime example of  “because you can“.   I admit I’ve downloaded a few for a chuckle, but some of the crap in there astounds me.

Take “iWiz” for example, or “Animal Farts”.   Am I the only person that wishes these guys had spent that time doing something actually worthwhile instead of filling the Appstore with more banal and mindless garbage?  I love the quote “we are now focused on creating useful iPhone applications” and right below that is the link for iWiz.

As I was writing this, I caught an article about the Ontario Energy Board and the Independent Electricity System Operators basically claiming that there is too much capacity and no way to move it from where it is being generated to where it is needed.  So instead, they pay NOT to generate hydro.  **head-desk**  The worse part about this is the people abusing the system and poorly written agreements that allow them to make claims of not-generating power over and over again, basically taking money out of our pockets because they can.  Working the flaws in the system is not helping anyone. How about spending that same effort helping to fix the problems instead of finding a loophole in their contracts to screw us all?

Getting back to tech, IE9?  Isn’t it time Microsoft just gave up trying to make a webrowser that works and let the other guys who do it better continue on?  The only time I ever use IE8 now is when some websites will not load certain information in Chrome or Firefox.  There are not many but there are a few.  Will M$ eventually figure out how to make a good one?  Maybe.  I mean after all, they made Vista and then eventually came up with Windows 7, so there is hope they learn from mistakes.

water & electronics a good mix?

And then there is the kinda stuff that makes you wonder if some “inventors” are just too cut off from the world.  Anyone who has ever dropped or knocked something into a toilet by accident will know what I mean; open water and handheld electronics don’t mix.  Why would anyone think the iCarta toilet paper holder & iPod dock is a good idea?  I challenge you to find a better example of an idea that never should have left the first stages of the drawing board.

And what about this electronic STI detection device that is being worked on that connects to your smartphone to enable you to self-diagnose whether you have an STI?  I realize some people want to rely on their smartphones for EVERYTHING, but this is going too far.

Some things do hover on the ‘because you can’ and ‘because you should’ line.  The “Clicker” universal remote for instance.  A remote with a built in bottle opener, nice.  If you are a fan of watching the game and drinking wobbly pops its great, since no man would ever let the remote out of his sight he will always know where the bottle opener is too.  Although for me, I drink  outside by the pool where there is no TV around.  I would be better served by a smartphone with built in bottle opener. Apple? Are you listening?

I’ve said it before, there is a huge number of talented people out there, and that if the right people got together they could create amazing things, or solve many issues.  I meet more of them almost everyday thru social media, which is something that in itself just amazes me.  To think, just 5 years ago, many of the people you call friends you would never have known simply because you would never have met them if it weren’t for cyberspace.  Be it Twitter, FaceBook or what-have-you, we are able to discuss and question things with people in ways unlike any other time in history.  We all have access to a huge collection of people that are willing to answer questions, brain-storm or just let us bounce ideas.  Gone are the days of hunting thru texts and books and magazines at a library and getting out-dated or one-sided information. Use it, and don’t be surprised if you find that most people are actually willing to help and offer advice.  That is a definite ‘because you can’ AND ‘because you should’.

You may not agree with some of the above comments, so feel free to make your comments or arguments against my rants. I’m always up for a good debate, just don’t come armed with a bunch of info you got from Wikipedia.  Thats another peeve of mine, people who quote an online open source “encyclopedia” and think that everything they read is going to be accurate and unbiased.  Use that as ONE source, not your ONLY source.

Getting back to the crux of the matter, ask anyone who’s cooked bacon shirtless, or jumped off a roof using a bed sheet as a parachute, because you can doesn’t always mean you should.

tcg