Social media has amplified alternative facts

A problem that social media has caused is that a “wellness expert” with no scientific foundation has a much larger megaphone than actual scientists and experts. As humans we are impressionable and prone to our confirmation bias. We are attracted to what’s popular, shiny, and easy to understand. We don’t like to face facts that are complex or make us feel uncomfortable. Instead, we would rather build our realities around our pre-established ideas.

As someone who has been nurturing and developing an open source social networking technology, I am concerned and curious that how this situation can be improved by design. I don’t have the answers yet, but I have a hunch that it has something to do with mega large social media networks. Perhaps if we had distributed network of smaller social media pods, alternative facts wouldn’t propagate as fast and the network could moderate itself.

Like I said, I don’t have the answers yet, but that’s one of the topics that keeps me thinking these days

Please stop using quantum physics terms in your business and political communication

My dear thought leader friends, quantum leaps, as impressive as they sound, are in fact extremely small! Please stop using them in your articles and communications to signify a major step forward in whatever you are promoting. That is unless you are trying make a small milestone sound more significant than it is. To be safe, just stop using quantum physics terms in your business and political communications, because they are often way too complicated for most audiences and often applied incorrectly.

Comic by SMBC

I had flu twice this year and it didn’t ruin my life and other’s

I rode out a flu last week and during the weekend. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I can’t afford getting sick in this time of the year, because we are normally in the heat of doing new software projects for the new year.

During the last few days I felt tired, but had enough appetite to eat well and spend a few quiet days at home doing selfcare. I only took flu meds before going to bed. I had a bit of a runny nose in the mornings before getting out of the bed. I had a light headache, but nothing that could stop me from working from home. In fact I was quite productive during the last few days, working and taking coffee naps. A coffee nap is one that you take after a cup of coffee and it is very energizing. You should try it.

This is the second flu I got this season and the first one was just as light. I had my flu shot earlier. I get them every year. This year’s flu vaccine was only 10% effective according to the reports, but it still managed to lessen the severity of my flu. So rather than going two miserable weeks my flu lasted five days that didn’t interfere with my work schedule. I’m glad that I got immunized.

While this hasn’t been the worst flu season recorded, but seems like this year’s strains cause more intense sickness. Children, seniors, and people with suppressed immune system such as cancer patients going through chemo and radiation treatments are the most vulnerable groups to the flu virus. This year so far 53 children have died in US. The number of flu related deaths in US ranges from 12k to 56K according to CDC website.

Flu vaccine may not prevent you from getting sick, but it can still lessen the severity of the disease and save lives. Vaccines also stop epidemics from happening, because the more people vaccinate, the more the population becomes immune through herd immunity. That means it’s less likely for viruses to jump from one person to another. Unfortunately the percentage of population that get their flu shots in Canada and US hardly passes 40% of the population.

Fear of needles, Mercury, Formaldehyde, or catching flu seem to be the common reasons that people are refusing to get their shots. Some flu vaccines contain traces of Ethylmercury. That’s while the mercury content of the harmful kind which is Methylmercury is twice as much in one serving of sushi or tuna sandwich, but that’s seems to be ok. One serving of organically grown apple or pear has seven times more naturally occurring formaldehyde than a dose of flu shot. Flu vaccines don’t even contain flu viruses so the chances of contracting flu virus is non-existence. While some people still prefer not to put seemingly dangerous chemicals in their body, it is safe to say that vaccines are the most natural form of preventing a deadly disease, because they prepare body’s own natural immune system against the viral invasion. That is much safer than putting high doses of flu medication that contain painkillers and antihistamines chemicals in the body.

So please for the sake of saving lives and productivity in the society please get your flu shots. It’s not all about you, it’s for the greater good of the population. It is also the cleanest and most natural way of fighting the flu epidemics.

Problems with our School System

I learned software development and project management through open source projects where everyone is encouraged to read each other’s code, copy it, modify it, make it better, and republish it. It’s the most effective and best way to learn how to code and develop software. This concept is however considered to be academic misconduct within the school system and it is severely punished.