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11 Hours In Front Of A Computer & The Culture of Fear

Such a tired little boy I am. Have you ever sat in front of a computer for 11 hours straight? Not because you wanted to, but because it’s your job?? Wow, I don’t know how it happens, but I am worn out. Probably from working 7am to 6pm.

Oh well, I’ve only got two more 12-hour days to go this week. With deadlines coming up very soon, and me wanting 2 days off next week, I have to do all of next weeks work in 2 DAYS!!! I am kinda stressed. But there’s no way that I’m going to miss the ultrasound to find out if it’s a boy or a girl. I’m way too excited to miss that.

It will feel good having 4 days off in a row though. I could use that. I’m also hoping that I’ll have an interview set up in Syracuse this weekend to work at the Post Standard – hopefully in their advertising department. It’ll be really nice to have a job all lined up. A good paying one, at that.

I’m working on my HTML programming. It’s coming along alright. Just practicing on my computer for now. Haven’t actually published anything that I’ve coded. Still needs work. The hardest part, I thought, was programming tables, but they’re pretty easy actually. It’s just a lot of work to put an entire page together.

So what else? I finished “The Culture of Fear.” (See my previous entry’s headings) It was a great book. Enlightening. It kind of changed the way I look at the news, and the media in general. Whenever a “fact” or statistic is presented, you have to look at it in perspective. Say, for instance, the news says that our country is in great shape and the economy is growing – the GNP (Gross National Product) is growing at a rate of 3% per month.

First of all, what is the GNP? Is this an accurate depiction of how “well” our country is fairing? Part of our GNP is the production of weapons. Would you say that our country is doing well because we are making more weapons? Or security systems/personnel? What happens when couples get divorced? More housing is needed. This is also part of production. Moving into a new house requires, in most cases, fixing up of some kind. This is also part of the GNP.

Taken at face value, many statistics can be altered to look the way you want them to. Especially to make people afraid. Say, for instance, a certain disease kills 100 people in a given year. Leaving out the actual numbers, and the disease this year killing 150 people – the media could say that this “killer disease” death rate grew at 50%. Of course it sounds scary! But what is it actually saying? That the millions of people that live in this country have fought off the disease and that only .0001% die from it.

This is how our media operates. For specifics I’d definitely refer you to that book. Just scroll down a little for a link to it.

Now that I’m finished with that book, I’ve started a new one tonight. It’s called “Fences and Windows: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate.” I’m really looking forward to it. The author, Naomi Klein, wrote another book called “No Label.” It’s about how in our country we are so bombarded with advertising and brands, that it’s become a culture. Or at least that’s what the corporations of America want. To make a culture out of buying their products. To consume.

But this book is quite interesting so far, just from the Preface. She talks about how in this world where Globalization is presented to us as a way of bringing down fences and walls, and making a world for everyone, when, in fact, it does just the opposite. Heading toward a world government reduces freedom for everyone. Power is centralized and the power resides in the market, not the people. Everything is becoming a regulated, owned, and marketed product. Even drinking water, becoming privatized for the sake of Globalization – forcing the indigent and poor of the world to turn to contaminated sources because they can’t afford it.

It’s very eye-opening from the start. I’m wondering what I’ll learn from this.

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Categories: All, Books, Education, Media, Politics, Work
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