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Half and Half Sucks
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Honestly I could almost care less whether we live in nation controlled by Republicans or Democrats. I'm so fundamentally disgusted by our cultural assumptions and practices as they relate to social justice and what true freedom really is, I understand that neither party is actually out for either principle in any big way.

Let's face it, both parties are contorting to let corporations master over the affairs and fates of individuals, so why get too jimmied up over the nature of the whip if we aren't going to act over the notion of it?

As an independent I favor at least the hot air of the Democrats who are kinder and find no shame in striving for idealism in human affairs, while appreciating the strong social policies, particularly the "law and order" mantra, of the Republicans. In the best world Dems and progressives would set the agenda, while Republicans would budget and run them.

Where the presidency is concerned, I solely rate the man. I oppose Trump - resist if you will - because he is a bad spirit who thinks nothing of channeling the worst of human sentiments through his political waterwheel for sake of power. Will he make America "great" again? Sure he will! Because sociopaths don't weigh themselves down with moral contemplation. Regulations without meaning are just regulations to be scrapped, so, just clip away any thought for the reasons behind them and viola, you're now free to clip the regulations. I cannot imagine it being difficult.

Yet as an executive, as the choice of so many naive Americans, I've been consistently pragmatic about him. Let fools suffer the consequences of not valuing intelligence and diplomacy in their elected leader, yes, but, elected he is.

What I have real trouble dealing with is the half-and-half ongoing nature of our political order that means nothing is getting done. At the end of the day I can adjust to the worldview of any strong winner (again, on the foundation of ceding to its general corruptness). But hoping for true technological and social advances in a country where only half the country can be for them at any given time, is futile and exhausting.

Build It And They Will Shun
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I'm still pretty ticked off about this. Almost 4 years ago now Google killed Google Reader, an RSS aggregation tool you could sort of view as a kind of GMAIL for RSS feeds.

Google said it was due to a steadily declining user base (which I equate, as often is the actual case, with an increasingly sophisticated one) which never made sense to its most astute users who were left scrambling to find a replacement service.

There really wasn't one. Many of the alternatives achieved a kind of functional equivalent only in the strictest sense. They all happily aggregated RSS feeds, yet failed to meet the aesthetic or organizational efficiency of Google Reader.

Feedly was widely ordained the defacto alternative presumably because it looked similar enough to Google Reader's design, to a point.

But at the time, and, understand it may be different today, I found that it was a bit too gaudy and high on the principle that your news feed should, at any cost, look like a series of magazines. It was like the service was ashamed of RSS's down and dirty approach and they tried to clean it up as a first step in the user experience.

What still grinds my gears about Google Reader's shutdown is that it appears to have been nothing more than Google's way of using its size and influence to engineer web behavior away from open APIs (read: profitless dumb pipes).

Broadly speaking Google couldn't stop people from reading news and web updates all in one place if that's what people wanted - the inferior services and RSS client side alternatives would still exist. But it didn't have to participate by providing the best watering hole.

By merely disrupting the RSS-reading population's primary fix with their little product shutdown, a good percentage of people would step away from RSS, never to return. Thus the open web would decay by yet another notch.

Some theories to this effect surfaced around the time of its shutdown.

As a sidenote, I believe the actual best alternative to Google Reader today happens to be, of all places, AOL Reader. Counter to its parent company's roots among the newbies way back when, AOL Reader feels about as close to a serious tool as Google Reader did.

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