Things that get worse

We like to think everything is going to get better over time. Mainly due to technological advances, this turns out to be true in most cases. Our phones tend to get better over time, or at least they get faster and have more memory (and get more expensive). We’ve gone from about two types of crap beer to so many microbrews that its becoming uncool to drink light beer. Our cars are safer, our water is better quality, and our appliances are more energy efficient.

Not everything is getting better. There are plenty of things that get worse, mainly due to human beings.

Home Building and the trades. I recently had a home built, and it was an ugly process. One of the most surprising parts was just how hard it was to find people that were willing to work, because most trades are solidly booked.

Locksmith? A week to get one in.
Electrician? Solidly booked, literally bounced from my house to another plus multiple emergency calls every week.
Brick and foundation guy? When I met him, he had five other jobs on the books.

Because of the shortage, we’re going to continue to get homes mostly built to lower, quicker to obtain standards. It’s not going to change until we get more people in the trades to help increase competition.

Wifi and Internet. Most people get internet in a cable modem, and then to an all-in-one wifi access point and router combo unit. The unit acts as a router, switch and wireless access point all in one, doing all three of these things poorly. Especially for bigger homes, the all-in-one sucks.

This is made worse by throughput. I have a small script that checks my internet throughput every hour, and its shocking how poor the connection can be from Cox. You might have a great WiFi device, but its like hooking up a new car to an old set of tires…you just don’t get the right performance.

Free Speech. We have access to tons of information via the Internet, and the exchange of ideas should be relatively free. But its not going to be, and social media is largely to blame. Social media is allowing people to remain in an echo chamber, and despite the increased connectivity, this is going to result in more restrictions on free speech.

Don’t believe me? I shared a Babylon Bee story and had a liberal friend of mine tell me he had never heard of the Babylon Bee. Now, Babylon Bee (a satire news agency) tends to be more conservative, but it’s very well known…unless your Facebook feed is being manipulated to never share conservative viewpoints.

Echo chambers lead to turning people into “others,” which make it far easier to legislate against and even commit violence against. At some point, we’ll have enough free speech restrictions that it will reach a tipping and we’ll snap back, but in the near future, social media is going to make it worse.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

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