The Internet Hate Machine

The internet was supposed to be a place to empower people , to give them access to knowledge, allow them to think and discuss reasonably ideas and differences without resorting to the extremism that has become too commonplace today. Instead of helping us to create a better society, it has devolved the quality of conversation from the intellectual to the banal, crass and horrific extremes of polarization.

If it were not so, we’d have a unified nation versus a nation spoon-fed a daily dose of constant hatred of anyone of anything that is a different idea than some want them to acknowledge can exist. The “both sides do this” argument is no excuse for the behavior, it is still unacceptable in a civilized society. We owe ourselves better ideals and a life free from the consumption of hatred in the daily diet.

I’ve been getting emails, articles and posts from the so-called social internet that would make anyone believe that the world is about to end tomorrow if they were not capable of critical thinking. Of course, there are those who are willfully ignorant of facts, and choose only to see the world through the myopic vision of their world-view, but that isn’t a person who will ever change their ways. It’s sad, but the facts are that there will always be the willfully ignorant among us all. We just have to move on from trying to change their minds and accept that they choose to live in their cave versus come out and do anything to change their world.

I have a particular dislike for the political emails from the parties of today, not because they are political, but because they remind me of a former lover, turned manic-depressive, arrogant narcissist that would shiv you in the back at any moment and won’t go away. I’m not kidding here at all. A sample of these headlines would give a clear view of the emotional manipulation that is used every day to drive people toward the one goal that they sender is after: your money.

  • “We’re packing our bags, it’s over!” (Really? Do you promise? I’ll help you pack)
  • “He/She is furious!” (And that affects me how exactly? Don’t care here – go away)
  • “They’re destroying X” (Pick your value of X, it is all bullshit anyway)
  • “You don’t support Y?” (Again, see the statement about X…)
  • “Why haven’t you answered us?” (Umm. maybe because all you want is my money and aren’t doing jack all except making yourself rich by taking money?)
  • “You didn’t vote for (the person you did vote for)?” (Shame on them – they still think I’m a dupe)
  • “We can’t do X without your money” (Nope. You can. That’s why we elected so and so – to actually do something)
  • “We’ll be gone if you don’t…” (See the first answer)
  • “It’s over, no one is voting for…” (Voting is over, it’s time to get your ass to work)
  • “They are killing babies…” (No, but admit it, you don’t do shit when people are actually born, now do you?)
  • “The government is bad..” (Well, as long as no one restores the rule of law, that’s a fact. So get to fucking work and restore the rule of law where no one is above the law.)
  • “If we don’t A, then B will happen…” (Again, get off your ass and earn your pay. Anything else is just bullshit. Do your work, we’ve done ours.)
  • “So and so has outraised us by…” (Really, you think I care? Money should not be the dominant factor in politics. The big mistake was allowing that to happen at all. It only breeds corruption – period.)
  • “We can’t negotiate…” (Agreed, you suck at it. The only way to negotiate things in government should be transparently, on camera, with the nation having insight as to the BS that is being said.)

That’s the first part of the problem: money is buying the laws and government in our republic today versus the people having the elected represent us. The elected officials are beholden to their owners/financiers versus the actual voters. We see you clearly, and we know when you don’t represent all of us. Corporate money is the biggest mistake we’ve ever allowed into politics.

Then there is the media, which also is owned by corporations (just about six corporations in reality). The media is also responsible for fueling mistrust and hatred, allowing it not only a ‘social media’ but the funded fake news of hate machines that spread lies and mistrust of the American form of government. Democracy in a Republic is built for every man and woman, regardless of the creed, color, sexual orientation or any other point of descriptive difference. Money destroys that democracy as the government is bought and paid for by owners of wealth. It makes the system an oligarchy which does not listen.

To all those thinking that screaming is the way to change things: nope. The way to change things is to change our system in a way that does not reward incumbency. We need to abolish the political party system as it stands and make people run on their record. What did they accomplish for the people that they represent versus what BS lies or divisive statements they make to hold onto their power versus actually working for a living?

A modest proposal

Here’s something we could do to build a much better America that actually wasn’t programmed to destroy itself.

  • Limit elections to only a two or three month period when they will actually occur.
  • Prevent any rallies or communications about any election by law except to just that period.
  • Limit the dollar amounts campaigns may raise or use during a campaign to use money for the people and not just the electioneers and their lifestyles.
  • Make it a crime to spend any more than the agreed amount per elected office – putting everyone on equal footing.
  • Once the amount is spent – the campaign is done. No more ads, no more appearances, no more flooding life with propaganda. We’ve seen it, it’s over.
  • Make candidates stand on their own values. Removing the party labels makes them not able to associate themselves under some false label. They have to be themselves, not a “party hack” who uses the ‘party line’ to hide their real selves.

If we did this, then those who are in office would have to be responsible to us and not their ‘owners/financiers/backers’ who do not represent the people at all, just a narrow view that supports a small minority of the population.

I’ve already been accused of ‘wanting to destroy free speech’ with the ideas, but that is likely one of those people who want that money over the sanity of making the system work for the people. I can’t see any reasonable argument for keeping things the way they are, it is driving a wedge in the middle of our republic for the sake of a few miscreants who make money their god.

If we truly want change, we need to consider a radical rethink of how things work. Do you want to be programmed for hatred, or do you have a better society in mind? I know that for me, the better society is the answer. I’m also not so naive as to believe that there are not those that wish for our destruction at home and abroad. They only win if we succumb to the addiction to hate. that addiction actually causes you physical harm and takes years off of your life. It’s up to you to choose whether you wish to live and do better or die and be smug in your hatred.

Have a nice day, don’t worry, be happy!

Solving the TTY resolution problem in Pop!_OS

One of the main problems I’ve had with using Pop!_OS has been the configuration of the TTY resolution. Since Pop!_OS does not use Grub to start the system, older solutions to alter your TTY resolution simply didn’t work. I could barely see the login screen due to an entirely too small resolution when using the CTRL+F2.. etc shortcut.

Digging around, I knew there had to be a way to do this. Several kind folks suggested that I use the command sudo dpkg-reconfigure console-setup which was very nearly correct. I blame myself for the poor choice of words when trying to explain the issue. It’s not their fault I couldn’t ge what I wanted, it was my explanation saying that the fonts were huge. Not the best ways to say that the resolution on the console wasn’t working for me. (facepalm there)

Anyway, because this will recur for me, I want to store the solution for anyone else who might need it (and I know I will in future).

First, you need to identify the resolutions that will work for your environment. For this, you will need the package hwinfo in order to determine what works. If you don’t have it installed, you can do this through the command line:

sudo apt install hwinfo

Another method, if you’re more of a GUI person:

sudo apt install synaptic

Once you have synaptic installed, you can search for hwinfo and simply allow the dependencies to be resolved for you.

Using the hwinfo package, you need to determine the best resolution that will work with your monitor using the command:

sudo hwinfo --framebuffer

This will give you something similar to this:

hwinfo output

Looking at this, I can easily see that the resolution that I wanted 1920x 1080 at 24 bits is available to use.

From there, it is a simple matter to edit the console default in nano to present the proper console:

sudo nano /etc/default/console-setup

This presents you with the proper code here:

Console setup with resolution added

Note: If you do not add the proper bit setting, the display will not change. Lesson learned, add the setting.

I hope this helps someone else out (besides myself) as the default resolution was simply not useful for my textual needs in context.

Have a nice day, don’t worry, be happy!