Wandering Wednesday

First, an apology to WordPress, the platform that hosts this blog. In yesterday’s post, Strange Minds, I asked why the word “dreamt” was underlined in red while composing a post since it is a real word. Well, I asked one of the WordPress engineers that question and they replied that WordPress does not have an active dictionary monitoring posts. The engineer suggested it could be my browser or even operating system.

Second, while I am always grateful for views/comments by markcars2014 and other Canadian readers, I want to note that Disaffected Musings has, seemingly, developed regular readers in Italy, Norway and my ancestral home of Poland. I hope they will continue reading and, hopefully, spread the word.

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How many of you have heard of the site postsecret? It was created by Frank Warren in 2004. People anonymously send in their secrets on postcards, which are often homemade, and some are shown on the site.

It is a relic, for lack of a better word, of the days on the Internet before Fack Fucebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. The site has always been ad-free. For a time, so many secrets were sent in that Warren was able to publish several books containing them.

Some of the secrets are shocking and/or sad. I have always suspected that some proportion, say 20%, are not real. I don’t mean that Warren sends them in himself or via proxies, but that the “secrets” on some postcards are simply made up, perhaps as some sort of wish fulfillment.

Anyway…the picture above is captured from postsecret. I love Fack Fucebook being on the list of apps that don’t bring joy to the user. Here are two results from a study by Stanford University:

 

Facebook deactivation reduced political polarization

One of the biggest issues supposedly affecting the US voting base at the moment is political polarization — this is the idea that Democrats and Republicans are unwilling to compromise on issues that affect the entire country.

The study found that deactivating Facebook pulls former users more into line with the average position in their respective political parties. Essentially, this means that Facebook deactivation brings users closer to the political center. But, has social media actively led to the increase in polarization, or have the parties and voters drifted further apart of their own volition? According to the study:

“The figure shows that deactivation moves both Democrats and Republicans visibly towards the center. In the control group, the issue opinions of the average Democrat and the average Republican differ by 1.47 standard deviations. In the treatment group, this difference is 1.35 standard deviations — about eight percent less.

“Are these polarization effects large or small? As one benchmark, we can compare these effects to the increase in political polarization in the US since 1996, well before the advent of social media. Using data from the American National Election Studies… [another academic] calculates that the change in a different index of polarization… increased by 0.38 standard deviations between 1996 and 2016. The 0.16 standard deviation effect of Facebook deactivation on political polarization in our sample is about 42 percent as large as this increase.”

 

Facebook deactivation marginally improves subjective wellbeing

Perhaps the most interesting revelation from the study is that Facebook “does indeed have adverse effects on subjective well being.”

 

I know that my anti-Facebook rantings will not get anyone to stop using it. I suspect a larger proportion of readers of this blog don’t use Fack Fucebook than the proportion of the general public. I will make a strong statement: I think Mark Zuckerberg is the chief criminal of his criminal company and I think that Facebook should be forced to divest itself of Instagram and What’s App. The possibility that such a divestiture may raise the unit cost of digital advertising is a very small price to pay for stripping Fack Fucebook of its de facto monopoly of social media and for reducing the dangerous amount of power it has. Oh, here’s a remark made by Zuckerberg:

 

“You can be unethical and still be legal; that’s the way I live my life.”

 

For me, someone who admits to unethical behavior has no real constraints against using illegal behavior. That’s a trade-off almost no one can negotiate successfully. Fack Fucebook! Delete Facebook!

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Given the dramatic slowdown in the number of showings we’ve had for our house between weeks one and two on the market, I must admit to having some doubt that the move to the desert will take place as quickly as I would like. Of course, that means that the quest for a Corvette Companion/Grocery Car has been pushed to the back burner.

Still, I look on car sales websites almost every day although the “journeys” are much shorter than before. I have to admit that despite the change to looking for more modern cars, every now and then I look at something like this:

 

 

From this Hemmings ad a picture of a 1963 Buick Wildcat with an admittedly less than desirable 87,000+ miles on the clock and an asking price of $19,900. Throw in the black interior, a no-go in the desert, and this becomes an impractical purchase. Nevertheless, I am really drawn to this car. The heart wants what it wants.

 

#WanderingWednesday

#Postsecret

#FackFucebook

#CorvetteCompanion/GroceryCar

#1963BuickWildcat

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL (https://disaffectedmusings.com). Thanks.

 

 

100 Days In

Yes, today is the 100th day of 2020. That seems incredible to me.

If it seems like I am being Captain Obvious (or Capitaine Évident), I know I do that on occasion. However, don’t assume that because something is obvious to Person A that it is also obvious to everyone else in the “room.”

Numbers nerd/OCD person that I am, this day is significant because the number of days has reached triple digits and the number of days in a year is in triple digits. My brain says to me, “digits have maxed out.”

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Naked plea for blog views…if you follow Disaffected Musings by email, please click on the post title and don’t just read the post in your email. To all of you reading, please feel free to click on one or all of the Related Posts listed at the bottom of each post.

I have written every post and I don’t remember everything I’ve written; I doubt any of you remembers everything, either. You might be surprised by something you haven’t read or by jogging your memory about something you had.

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Fack Fucebook and Guck Foogle place tracking cookies on your computer EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT USING THEIR WEBSITES! Fortunately, Mozilla Firefox, the browser I use, has created something called Facebook Container that, of course, I have installed. The Facebook “Like” and “Share” buttons that appear on shopping, news and other sites contain Facebook trackers. Even if you don’t use them, Facebook uses these buttons to track you. The Facebook Container add-on creates a boundary between Facebook sites and the rest of the Web so it’s harder for Facebook to track you online.

Why aren’t more people outraged by this? I hear people say, “Facebook is dying because people are moving to Instagram.” Guess what? Facebook owns Instagram. Facebook and Google are criminal organizations, it doesn’t matter how much easier they allegedly make your life.

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My wonderful wife brought this “gallery” to my attention. It is a list of 27 people, some famous in addition to more than a few “oil sheiks,” who have extensive car collections. The list includes Jay Leno (of course), Craig Jackson, John Cena, Jerry Seinfeld and George Foreman. I wish the emphasis had been more on the cars than on the people, but a non-automotive publication like USA Today is not going to show 50 or 100 cars in an article.

If I ever had the means to have an extensive car collection I don’t think I would only purchase cars from my Ultimate Garage 2.0. Even if I limited the number of cars to 8 or 10, I might buy cars not on that list and not buy some cars that are on it. (An aside: feel free to click on the hyperlinks within a blog post. I only link to secure sites, sites whose URLs begin with https, and many of the links are to other Disaffected Musings posts, anyway.)

Here’s a car I would consider purchasing:

 

See the source image

 

Obviously from Car-from-UK.com a picture of a 1990 Aston Martin Virage. This was the first model year for the gorgeous Virage.

Power was provided by a 5.3 liter/327 cubic-inch V-8 that produced 330 HP/350 LB-FT of torque. The transmission was either a five-speed ZF manual or three-speed Torqueflite automatic. (In 1993 the automatic was changed to a four-speed.) Even in 1990, about 60% of these cars were sold with automatic transmissions.

Aston Martin, under Ford’s ownership at this time, was keen to point out that the Virage could be sold in the US without being detuned to meet US emissions standards. Of course, very few wound up in the US because the car, like all Astons, was not produced in large numbers. The Virage was replaced by the Vanquish in 2000; only 1,050 units of the Virage were made in total from 1989 through 2000.

Do you ever dream about having a lot of cars? Once again from the movie Diner, if you don’t have dreams you have nightmares.

 

#100DaysIn

#FackFucebook

#GuckFoogle

#AstonMartinVirage

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL (https://disaffectedmusings.com). Thanks.

 

Sunday Sluggishness

Of course people not reading this will not get the message, but I am very disappointed at the significant decline in the number of views/visitors for Disaffected Musings since early/mid November. I don’t care if I sound like a whiner; I am very proud of this blog. I read other blogs on the Internet and like almost none of them. Most people today cannot write and I am not sorry if that sounds elitist.

To those of you still reading do you have any ideas why so many fewer people are reading? What do you think can be improved? Without using Fack Fucebook or Guck Foogle how can I get more people to read the blog?

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I am somewhat surprised no one has offered an opinion on the car in which I might have bidding interest next month. Let me state up front that I would assess the probability that I buy the car at no more than 5%. The car might have a 6-speed manual despite the description, it might not look as good in person, upon inspection I might discover the car is leaking fluids or, most likely, the bidding will go beyond what I want to spend right now.

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Although I have noted the results of my blood test in a reply to a comment by Steve Dallas, for the rest of you the HbA1c result was very good. I went from having the second highest/second worst reading in my life to the lowest/best in a matter of three months. It’s amazing what cutting out ice cream and cookies will do for your blood sugar. <sarcasm> The result was good enough that my physician thinks I might be able to stop taking Metformin. I told him I was doubtful that could actually happen. I will also use this opportunity to state my politically incorrect belief that for 80% of people who are overweight and/or have Type 2 diabetes (remember Pareto’s 80/20 rule) lifestyle choices are the primary reason. By the way, I am not overweight. Given my exercise regimen and short eating window every day due to GERD it is virtually impossible for me to gain weight. I weigh 20-25 pounds less than I did before I started running 8-9 years ago. Exercise really works!

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From Car and Driver comes this picture:

image

Here is another photo:

image

This is the very limited production Nissan GT-R50 which was created in conjunction with Italdesign. Only 50 of these will be produced. The GT-R50, which might be a preview of the next iteration of the GT-R, is about 4 inches longer and 4 inches wider than the standard GT-R. The engine output has also been increased to a staggering 710 HP/585 LB-FT of torque. The engine for the Nismo “performance” version of the current GT-R is rated at 600 HP/481 LB-FT.

I have written about the GT-R before, but I think it’s an amazing car even if it’s a little long in the tooth.

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Here are links to the posts, not counting the Home Page, that have produced at least two percent of all views for Disaffected Musings:

Sunday Studebaker

Tuesday Collection

Wednesday Wanderings

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that two of these three posts are about Studebaker. 56packardman very graciously puts links to my Studebaker posts on the Studebaker Drivers Club forums. I don’t know how many members are in the club, but they are FANATICAL about Studebaker and will read anything relating to the make. The non-Studebaker post is about the engine choice for my restomod C2 Corvette build.

Once again, I would really like to read any suggestions about how to improve the blog and/or get it read by more people.

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings