EppsNet Archive: Facebook

See You in Hell, O Ye of Little Faith

14 Sep 2014 /

Satan

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan -- PE]

Greetings from the underworld! I was catching up on Facebook this morning and saw that a woman is going in for brain surgery and her family and friends are asking for prayers for her recovery.

Isn’t that overkill — prayer and brain surgery? Why not just pray for her recovery and if she doesn’t make it, you chalk it up to God’s will?

Some “true believer” religions, e.g., the Christian Science church, do that. They believe more in prayer than in medicine. They decline medical care because they believe that God can heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons, etc. as he did in the Bible. These are the folks you hear about when they come up on criminal charges after refusing medical care for their seriously ill children and the children die.

Either God can cure a brain tumor or he can’t. Why ask a doctor to cure a brain tumor if you’ve already asked God to cure the brain tumor? Because when it comes down to matters of life and death, most people don’t really believe in God and prayer the way they believe in doctors.

Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?

See you in Hell . . .


More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of: Hobby Lobby Boycotters

16 Jul 2014 /
Hobby Lobby

“Don’t tell me what to do” and “Do what I say” – these are not compatible admonitions.James M. Buchanan

I just saw this Boycott Hobby Lobby group on Facebook . . .

There’s a longstanding liberal maxim — Keep Government Out of the Bedroom — i.e., “Don’t tell me what to do,” which has gone out the window on the Hobby Lobby case, where the liberal position is “Do what I say,” i.e., that a law requiring everyone to buy certain bedroom supplies whether they want to or not is not only a really great thing, it’s a moral imperative.

Individual liberty is a two-way street, folks . . .


Killed by Prayer

30 Jun 2014 /

Thumbs down

A woman on Facebook a couple of days ago asked everyone to pray for her seriously ill father. Today, he died. Go figure.

Had he made a miraculous recovery, we would have said that prayer “worked” . . . but what does it mean when you pray for someone to live and he dies?

I had a college professor . . . his exams were graded by a graduate assistant, but students had the option of appealing grades to the professor. That’s not unusual, but most professors will either raise the grade or leave it as is. This guy, however, would either raise the grade, leave it as is or lower it. Risky!

Maybe God operates on the same principle. When you put someone’s fate in his hands, he retains the option of saying “toodle-oo.”


Dying at the Right Time

6 Jun 2014 /
John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney has 5,700,000 Likes on Facebook. John Lennon has 15,000,000 Likes, despite being dead for more than 30 years.

As Nietzsche used to say, “One must discontinue being feasted upon when one tasteth best; that is known by those who want to be long loved.”


Now We Can All Feel Good About Ourselves

18 May 2014 /
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook

Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl [Sandburg] wrote the homage or essay or ass-kissing-memo or whatever we are calling the Time 100 writings, about Beyonce. Sheryl talks about how Beyonce has changed the music industry. She’s a leader in song and dance and performance. But there’s exactly nothing surprising until Sheryl adds, “Beyonce does all this while being a full-time mother.”

In that little sentence, Sandberg does something very big. Sandberg declares that you can have a full-time job and be a full-time mother.

This is convenient. Because now Sandberg is a full-time mom who spends some days away from the kids signing autographs. And running Facebook. And Beyonce is a full-time mom who spends some days away from her daughter on billion-dollar concert tours. So basically anyone who gave birth is a full-time mom regardless of how much of their time is spent on kids. Now we can all feel good about ourselves regardless of our choices.


Neil Young in LA

27 Feb 2014 /
Neil Young

Neil Young is playing a couple of solo acoustic shows next month at the Dolby Theatre. Tickets went on sale Monday morning, but somehow I missed the fact that they’d been available via “pre-sale” since last Friday and were all gone by Monday morning.

What a heartbreaker. Fortunately, thanks to the wonders of technology and social networks, Mr. Young and his team were able to inform me via Facebook that a third show had been added and I was able to log in and get tickets for that one.

The sold-out shows are on a Saturday and Sunday. The new show is on a Tuesday. Am I looking forward to driving in to LA and back on a Tuesday? No, but on a list of solo acoustic shows for which I’d be most willing to knock over my own mother to get a ticket, Neil Young would be second, behind Bob Dylan.

Unlike some singer-songwriters, Young also has a distinctive style and talent as a musician, plus an almost-50-year portfolio of great songs — not clever lyrics or inventive melodies, but a Neil Young song is as real as the day is long. They get a hold of you, like a meathook.

A solo acoustic performance is like he comes over to your house and picks up a guitar. Can you imagine that? Neil Young is at my house and he just picked up a guitar. “Do you mind?” he asks.

One more thought on Bob Dylan: Solo acoustic Bob Dylan is part of the iconography of America in the 1960s. I don’t expect Bob Dylan to ever do a solo acoustic show again but if he did, the significance of it I think would be second only to Jimi Hendrix playing a concert after coming back from the dead.


Friends Are Inconvenient

6 Dec 2013 /

Dilbert


Fast Work

17 Nov 2013 /

A junior high school math teacher posted this on Facebook:

math-test

That makes perfect sense to me. Work gets done a lot faster if the results don’t have to be correct.

Thus spoke The Programmer.


Marilyn Monroe Was a Size 12 and Einstein Was a Moron

10 Nov 2013 /

I saw this photo today on Facebook with a comment added by the poster: “She was a size 12.”

Marilyn

I’m an empiricist. Maybe “empiricist” is a polite word for what I am. I hate things that don’t make sense.

Marilyn Monroe being a size 12 is one of those bits of misinformation that lives forever because a lot of people would like for it to be true. And yet, anyone who’s ever seen Marilyn Monroe — her full figure — in a movie or photo would notice that she had a very small waist and was obviously NOT a size 12.

So I commented that while Marilyn’s point is well taken, on her worst day she was not a size 12.

The original poster replied, “Of course none of this is verifiable at this point, but your comment does not help empower those who are inspired by this ‘fact,’ no matter how true it is. Point is, girls/women who don’t fit the unrealistic supermodel form need to have something to reinforce a more realistic view of women, and of success. By unnecessarily giving your “correction” about how there is NO WAY someone that hot could be a 12, you are in essence proving my point about how, to men, dress size determines desirability. Such men, as the oppressors and the ones who, undeservedly, create the social values that drive our society, need to be met with some strong and intelligent women who challenge their definition and labeling of women.”

[Insert cuckoo clock sound effects here.]

We can feel better about ourselves without actually losing weight or getting in shape if men would just let us pretend that Marilyn Monroe was a size 12.

Look: if you want to be with guys who like thin girls, then you need to be thin. Otherwise, stop worrying about Marilyn Monroe’s dress size and what other people think about the way you look. And stop blaming men for your problems in life as though “men” is an actual group of people who’ve all agreed to think and act the same way.

In other empowering news, Albert Einstein actually had an IQ of 68. He was a total fucking moron! It’s empowering so it doesn’t have to be true.

P.S. Jessica Siegel (size 12) has posted photos of herself trying to fit into some of Marilyn’s frocks.

Jessica Siegel


Pictures of Food

7 Aug 2013 /
"The Basket of Apples" by Paul Cézanne

“The Basket of Apples” by Paul Cézanne

Years ago, if you wanted to show your friends a picture of your food, you’d have to break out the palette and the easel and paint one. Time-consuming!

Nowadays, with the likes of Facebook and Instagram, it’s just point and click!

Another way life gets better and better thanks to computers . . .


Doing What He Loved

31 Jul 2013 /
Falling off a boat

From a corporate alumni group on Facebook:

We lost another good guy last night. [Name redacted] fell off his boat crabbing in the Chesapeake. He died doing what he loved.

He loved falling off boats? That’s unusual. It’s too bad he didn’t love swimming. Or wearing life vests.


See You in Hell, Game of Thrones Fans

3 Jun 2013 /

Satan

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan -- PE]

The Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles had a telescope pointed at Saturn this week. Anyone who wanted to could stop by and have a look.

“It looks like I thought it would look,” one observer remarked.

HA! He wasn’t impressed AT ALL by the fact that better men than himself built a device that lets him see things a BILLION miles away.

This same idiot later pronounced himself “blown away” by the deaths of several make-believe characters on a TV show called Game of Thrones.

If your Facebook and Twitter feeds look anything like mine this morning, you know that unfortunately this is just one idiot out of many.

One of the reasons America is circling the drain is people’s inability to distinguish fantasy from reality until reality hits them like a pitchfork in the guts. Which it eventually does Satan smiley.

See you in Hell . . .


Visualizing Social Networks

27 Oct 2012 /

I’m taking a Social Network Analysis class on Coursera. These weren’t assignments for the class (well, the Facebook one sort of was), just some experiments I wanted to share.

Facebook

You can use netvizz to download a gdf file of your Facebook network, i.e., all of your Facebook friends and all of the connections between them.

You can then use your favorite graph analysis software (I used Gephi, which is open-source and free) to look for patterns.

My Facebook network is in the image below. Of the four main clusters, two consist of co-workers, one is family and one is people I know from roller hockey.

Facebook network

Click image to enlarge

Twitter

This is the network of people I follow on Twitter. I used NodeXL (a free, open-source template for Excel) to download and lay out the data.

Twitter Network

Click image to enlarge

I labeled the nodes in this one. With a few exceptions, the light blue nodes are people I follow because I think they’re funny, the light green nodes are related to sports and/or USC, the dark green nodes are people of professional interest, the red nodes are former colleagues, and the dark blue nodes are everyone else.

The size of the node indicates number of tweets, i.e., larger nodes tweet more than smaller nodes.

LinkedIn

My LinkedIn network is a little bigger than my Facebook or Twitter. The green, yellow, blue, purple and orange clusters are co-workers and recruiters. The gray nodes at the top are people with whom I share one or more professional interests. You can see that they split out into multiple sub-groups.

LinkedIn network

Click image to enlarge

I used the LinkedIn Maps application to generate the graphic.

Summary

These are small-world networks and I had a good idea in advance about who was connected to who and why.

The value of tools like this is in applying them to “real world” networks. In the absence of analytical tools to extract patterns from raw data, large, complex networks just look like giant hairballs.

To give you an idea, this image shows what my Facebook network looks like in Gephi before applying a layout algorithm,

Facebook hairball

Click image to enlarge


Parents of the Year

16 Nov 2011 /
Facebook convo

If my offspring ever had a conversation like this on Facebook, I hope to God someone would stick their thumbs in my eyeballs and kick me in the groin . . .


Living in the Digital World

26 Oct 2011 /

A 2011 study by telecommunications giant Ericsson found that 35% of iPhone and Android users check their email or Facebook account before getting out of bed in the morning.


Northwood 2011 College Decisions

12 Jul 2011 /

Unlike highly recruited athletes, kids who are highly recruited academically don’t get to go on TV and turn over hats so everyone knows what college they’re going to.

Northwood doesn’t have highly recruited athletes, so there’s a Facebook site where they can check in and state their college choice.

Also unlike athletes, who are evaluated on a 5-star scale, Northwood students are evaluated on a 3-star scale, according to the commencement program that I have right here in front of me:

*** = Highest honors (4.3 GPA or above)
 ** = High honors (4.0 or above, but below 4.3)
  * = Honors (Not sure; close to a 4.0 but not quite there)

It looks like Cal got the best recruiting class this year with three 3-star prospects and no one lower than 2 stars. USC and Stanford each got one 3-star recruit, as did Harvard and Yale.

To the kids going to Cal: GO BEARS!

To the kids going to USC: FIGHT ON!

To the kids going to Stanford: CONGRATULATIONS DORKS!

To everyone else: BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME!

And to the girls below: I don’t know you but you made me laugh . . .

College decisions


Not Exactly Romeo and Juliet

2 Jun 2011 /
Romeo and Juliet

A Facebook friend asks to me to vote for her friends Riq and Chantelle to win their dream wedding.

Clicking through on this invitation, I learn that Chantelle is a teacher and Riq is a “tattoo’r.” From the provided photo, I’d say they’re both in their mid to late 20s.

The reason they can’t afford to pay for their own wedding? They have five kids.

I post a comment: they already have five kids?!?!

Response: Previous marriages no judging! Just vote :)

Then this follow-up comment from someone I don’t know: By the way that was excellent advise [sic], we should indeed never prejudge, because people who prejudge only assume things and don’t get the facts straight.

OK, this guy needs to get his shit together and calm down. I’m not “prejudging” anybody; I’m evaluating people’s mental stability (or lack thereof) based on their accumulated number of kids, spouses and tattoos.

Big difference.


How to Be Liked by a Lot of People

28 May 2011 /

Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you; spend a lot of time with them and it will change your life.

— Amy Poehler, Harvard commencement 2011
Watson and SpongeBob

Great advice from Amy Poehler, whoever she is. (A little research turns up the fact that she’s been in TV shows and movies with Tina Fey.)

Thank god my kid isn’t going to Harvard! Do you have any idea what it costs to send a kid to an Ivy League university?! After which you get as a commencement speaker, not Tina Fey — which would be merely terrible, because at least people have heard of her — but Tina Fey’s sidekick.

I’m reminded of the story of the SpongeBob and James D. Watson bobbleheads. SpongeBob has almost 23 million Likes on Facebook. Amy Poehler is giving commencement speeches at Harvard. James D. Watson is alive but unknown, not invited to commencements, and hardly anyone likes him on Facebook.

Lesson learned: If you want to be liked by a lot of people, provide them with juvenile escapism. Don’t bother accomplishing something like, say, winning a Nobel Prize for unlocking the secret of life itself, because — who cares?


HW’s Book Reviews: Go the Fuck to Sleep

12 May 2011 /

If you think saying “fuck” to a toddler is the funniest thing ever, and evidently a lot of people do judging from the rave reviews on Facebook, then you’ll love this book.

SPOILER ALERT: The joke is that infants don’t have the same sleep patterns as grownups — ha ha — which is breaking news to this hapless unfit shithead of a parent, who spews page after page of rhymed obscenities at his child.

I didn’t say “fuck” to my kid until he was a teenager, and even then it wasn’t to be funny.

Seriously: Children are a gift from God and I don’t even believe in God. I love the time that my son and I were boys together more than I love anything.

If you think there’s anything clever or funny about this book, please stay away from me . . .


Skittles

15 Apr 2011 /

I just noticed on Facebook that 16 million people like Skittles.

I hate Skittles.

Worst of all, they look like M&Ms, so you think you’re going to get some delicious M&Ms and it turns out what you’re really getting are Skittles.

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