Thoughts On A SuperBowl Sunday

It's SuperBowl Sunday and almost all of the local news is focused on the coming game. That's not surprising considering the New England Patriots are playing in their tenth SuperBowl.

While I will be watching the game, it hasn't been my main focus as there have been plenty of other tasks and chores to attend to.

I will say this: I will be happy and sad at the same time because it's my two favorite teams playing each other.


Some people just don't get it, do they? A portion of those “some people” are converts to a new religion, that being the 'Holey' Church of Climate Change led by his Holeyness AlGore.

Like any converts they tend to be fanatical, sometimes to the point that no one wants to be anywhere near them so they don't have to listen to their constant preaching and proselytizing, or worse, their virtue signaling and holy-than-thou attitudes.

Some of these converts have to learn how to shut the hell up, because nobody wants constant in-your-face discussions about something that a very large majority of people do not really care about. Not because they are ignorant about climate change, but because they do not see it as a problem and they do not believe it is anything but a natural cycle.


Remember this?

Don't be evil.

Too bad the purveyor of that slogan has turned out to be evil in so many ways.

I am, of course, talking about Google, the high tech giant that is being sued by a former engineer who was fired for having the audacity to point out in an internal memo that it's efforts to ensure diversity has had a negative effect on the culture within the company.

For a company that has been pushing the 'Don't Be Evil' trope, they have created an environment of intolerance, racism and sexism that is far worse than what they have supposedly been fighting against. They have suggested (or in some cases embraced) policies that violate labor and civil rights laws. They judge people based upon the color of their skin and not the content of their character. They discriminated against employees based upon their political views, their religious beliefs, and anything else that was the Social Justice Theme of the Day. What's worse is that middle and upper level managers encouraged such behavior.

I hope then end up having to pay billions in damages. (This is quite possible because the case could be certified as a class action suit.)


For yet another example of a business owner being splashed in the face with the cold water of reality, there's this from 2009 about a woman who started a women-only TV production company as she figured it would be a place of “harmonious workers benefiting from an absence of men.”

Dreams are nice. Too bad this one wasn't the kind she was looking to create.

It was an idealistic vision swiftly shattered by the nightmare reality: constant bitchiness, surging hormones, unchecked emotion, attention-seeking and fashion rivalry so fierce it tore my staff apart.

I can understand why people want to believe that women look out for each other - because with men in power at work and in politics, it makes sense for us to stick together.

In fact, there was a time when I believed in the Sisterhood - but that was before women at war led to my emotional and financial ruin.

Her dream left her bankrupt and far wiser. Maybe this is a lesson those running Google should take to heart.


While the days of the shade tree mechanic are pretty much over (unless you are working on classic vehicles), I certainly believe that anyone who owns a vehicle or piece of equipment should also have the right to repair it. However you will find that many corporations like John Deere, AT&T, Apple, and a whole host of other companies disagree.

For many folks, this is not an issue. But for those of us who have no recourse because it is either impractical or too expensive to haul our broken down equipment to a store or dealer, the right to do it ourselves is paramount.

BeezleBub has spoken of this many times as he's struggled to fix some of the farm's newer tractors and finding out that he can't because he cannot access diagnostics or activate new part so the onboard computer(s) that control the equipment will recognize it and allow the tractor to run. This has meant an expensive service call or hauling the broken down equipment to a dealer to be fixed. Most farmers don't have that luxury as they need the equipment now, not tomorrow or next week when the dealer can schedule the repairs. This has certainly become a big deal in some states where Right To Repair legislation is in the works.

(H/T Knuckledraggin')


Is there a #MeToo backlash growing and will it harm more women than men?

The answer to both parts of that question is yes. Call it an unintended consequence of the #MeToo movement which has since turned into a witch hunt.

I have often predicted that the #MeToo movement would backfire on feminists. The picture of angry women retaliating against men for sex crimes, real and imagined, made for compelling media drama. Of course, no one is really empowered by destroying other people… especially people with wives and daughters. And by delighting in the fact.

The backlash has not been long in coming. Men are now refusing to meet alone with females in the workplace. They are no longer willing to have private work dinners or to travel with women. Feminists have increased the risk without increasing the potential reward. 

The much derided Pence Rule has become a means of survival for men in business and politics. It is also undercutting many women in those fields because their ability to interact with male colleagues or mentors is being diminished or destroyed.

Can sexual segregation be far behind?


Will truckers lose their jobs to automation? It seems it's possible considering we're seeing more autonomous vehicles being rolled out. Dan Hanson begs to differ.

I wonder how many of the people making predictions about the future of truck drivers have ever ridden with one to see what they do?

One of the big failings of high-level analyses of future trends is that in general they either ignore or seriously underestimate the complexity of the job at a detailed level. Lots of jobs look simple or rote from a think tank or government office, but turn out to be quite complex when you dive into the details.

For example, truck drivers don’t just drive trucks. They also secure loads, including determining what to load first and last and how to tie it all down securely. They act as agents for the trunking company. They verify that what they are picking up is what is on the manifest. They are the early warning system for vehicle maintenance. They deal with the government and others at weighing stations. When sleeping in the cab, they act as security for the load. If the vehicle breaks down, they set up road flares and contact authorities. If the vehicle doesn’t handle correctly, the driver has to stop and analyze what’s wrong – blown tire, shifting load, whatever.

Hanson delves deeper into the issue from the viewpoint of someone who has been involved in automation for 20 years, so I'd say his opinion carries a bit more weight than some of those making the predictions about the death of truck driving. He also points out that factory automation is easier because they are closed, static environments that lend themselves to automation while piloting a 40-ton tractor trailer in a semi-chaotic environment with constantly changing conditions and unpredictable obstacles isn't as easy as some people think.

A lot of pundits have a sense that automation is accelerating in replacing jobs. In fact, I predict it will slow down, because we have been picking the low hanging fruit first. That has given us an unrealistic idea of how hard it is to fully automate a job.

Read the whole thing.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where everyone has gathered their supplies for viewing the SuperBowl, nasty weather looks to bypass us (this time), and where I expect there to be a number of people calling in to work tomorrow suffering from SuperBowl Monday Syndrome.