Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Big Brother 19 Cast in Retrospect

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Two years ago I went over why Big Brother 19 was hard to watch, and why, as a result, I thought that Cody should win America's Favorite Player. With Big Brother 21 wrapping up in a week, I figured now might be a good time to take a look back at what was (before BB21) perhaps the most controversial cast in Big Brother history. 

For the purpose of this article I will only be analyzing the Big Brother 19 cast members who I thought were particularly controversial, close to Paul, and made it to jury. 

With that said, let's begin with everyone's favorite...

Blogger Tricks

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

iPhone 6S Plus 2019 Review

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With the world abuzz about the soon-to-be-released iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, I thought that it would be prudent to write an article about iPhones (something I haven't done since I compared iPhones and Androids several years ago).

In particular, I want to take a look at what it's like to use an "old" iPhone like the 6S Plus in 2019, since it's what I and many other people currently use, despite multiple generations of iPhones separating it from the devices being released on September 20th. 

The short answer is this: the 6S Plus is still pretty good. However, it's starting to become just bad enough to where I'm considering upgrading to the iPhone 11. With all that said, let's jump right into talking about the pros and cons of owning an iPhone 6S Plus in 2019. 

Monday, September 16, 2019

The Super Rich Problem

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It has become trendy within the past few years to blame all of the country's problems on the "super rich," roughly defined (by me) as those making more than a couple million dollars per year. And yet, while I would agree that they are in large part responsible for today's lack of social mobility, worsening income inequality, and more, I would argue that blaming them for everything risks misdirecting from another problem. 

What am I referring to? The apathy of the so-called "upper-middle class." Personally, I would define this as individuals making around $100,000 a year, or families making a combined income upwards of $200,000 a year (depending on where you live of course, adjust the numbers upwards if you are living somewhere like San Francisco).

While it is true that these people don't have as much power and influence individually as the super rich, I think that, as a collective, they pretty much shape the direction of politics in the United States via their combined purchasing power and influence over those of us who are less fortunate than they are.

And I think the problem here is that this class of folks too often uses the "super rich" as a scapegoat to excuse their own political inaction. They take the stance that, because they aren't Jeff Bezos, they aren't going to affect change to the same extent. This results in them bowing out of the political game, choosing to sit on the sidelines rather than to take steps to ensure that society moves forward. 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

With GreedFall, Spiders Has Replaced Bioware

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Hi all: short update for today. At the end of August I wrote an article about GreedFall, which, at the time, was an upcoming roleplaying game being made by Spiders scheduled to release on September 10th. Soon after I wrote that piece, I decided to preorder GreedFall (something I practically never do—the last time was for Mass Effect: Andromeda). On Tuesday I received my copy in the mail. These are my initial thoughts.

First things first: WOW. I have nothing but good things to say about GreedFall, and I haven't even left the first city yet (for those of you who have played Knights of the Old Republic, think of it as GreedFall's version of Taris). Immediately, the game demonstrates its strengths. The first few main quests you complete branch off into several side quests, each of which can be completed in a variety of manners and offers as much moral complexity as the best side quests in The Witcher 3.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

My Experience With Racism On Twitter

I blocked out this person's username to protect their privacy.

A few days ago I witnessed firsthand just how racist this country can be. To give you the short version, this is how things went down: I replied to a Tweet written by UC Berkeley Professor Robert Reich advocating for the removal of the Electoral College. In my reply I agreed with Professor Reich, noting how the Electoral College works to the advantage of states with populations that lean towards a conservative political perspective. I also compared the Electoral College to the 3/5ths Compromise, in that the Electoral College serves to empower states with conservative views much to the same extent that the 3/5ths Compromise empowered slave states in the lead-up to the Civil War.

For about twelve hours nothing came of it besides a few likes and comments supporting what I said. Then it happened. A tidal wave of conservatives descended on my Tweet, and all of the sudden my notifications were flooded with people saying things like "you don't know the constitution, boy," or some variant of that. Other people made the ironic choice to laud the Electoral College as a symbol of freedom while simultaneously defending the 3/5ths Compromise and downplaying its effect on slave state's political power.

Perhaps the most racist reply I received is the one screenshotted above. In it the person does a few things. They first mock my intelligence by implying that I should know better as a "history phd candidate." They then claim that I said the Electoral College is racist, which I never did. Next they pat my head and tell me that, because I am of the "Philippines population" I must not comprehend "American" politics (implying Filipinos can't be true Americans). Then they question my legality, assuming that because I'm brown, Filipino, and have the last name Garcia, I must be undocumented, and thus, lesser than them.