Hawaii’is Spam Problem – Black Market Spam

Spam alert. There’s a big black market product which is shaking Hawaiian daily life to its core. Spam. Canned meat. Here’s the lowdown – the people in the state of Hawaii eat more Spam than in all the other 49 states combined. It’s everywhere. There are more than six flavors of spam last time I … Continue reading “Hawaii’is Spam Problem – Black Market Spam”

Spam alert.

There’s a big black market product which is shaking Hawaiian daily life to its core. Spam. Canned meat.

Here’s the lowdown – the people in the state of Hawaii eat more Spam than in all the other 49 states combined. It’s everywhere. There are more than six flavors of spam last time I looked (Terriyaki, Spicy, Low Sodium, Smokey, Turkey, Spam with Cheese and Regular)

It used to be funny, it used to be cute. Now it’s a black market product fueling drug addiction and causing a panic among retailiers. Canned meat products are getting stolen from stores and sold on the street. Retailers are starting to put Spam in locked cases. I have a better idea. Just stop selling it.

Spam became a Hawaiian food during WWII when rations on pork forced the people living here to used what was available – potted meat. They used it because it was cheap, versatile, easy to use, and didn’t taste terrible. It was used in place of breakfast meats, in place of lunch meats, in place of dinner meats. And when the war and the rationing ended they kept using it. Mainly, because it was cheap and easy.

I don’t know if anyone has looked recently or not – but Spam is no longer cheap. It’s still easy but the truth is – it’s never really been tasty. Sorry hipsters and Spam lovers – it’s not a delicacy – it’s potted extra pig parts.

So, now, it’s expensive enough to be a black market product. Easy solution. Stop selling it. Move on to something different. Let it go.

Buddha Privelige

I think about the life of the Buddha a lot. I know, I should be thinking about the teachings of the Buddha – and I do , but the life of the Buddha is held up as a sort of moral way to live. Today, I am reflecting on the story of how the Buddha abandoned his wife and child so that he could learn non-attachment and attain enlightenment – it’s sort of a bullshit story.

All the western buddhists I’ve spoken with (and I haven’t spoken with any eastern buddhists about this) talk about how it was a noble act, how he was so attached to his family that he had to do it to let go of his attachments. Yeah, easy for him to do – maybe it would have been harder if he were poor and not a prince, if he were leaving them in an uncertain and dangerous state. You know what I mean? I mean, honestly, what’s so noble about abandoning your family and where is the great sacrifice in leaving them in a palace with servants and protection?

Maybe I’d think about excercising the Buddha privelige if I were a prince and I could leave my family in safety while I wandered the world looking for truth. The Buddha (in some stories) returned to his family and even got to teach the dharma to his son. That’s not leaving, that’s taking a vacation so you can enjoy some time to yourself.

I love the teachings of the Buddha and I live it as best I can – but that story? It’s bullshit. It should be held up as an example of un-enlightenment. Staying with his wife and child and STILL finding nirvana – that would have been the real challenge.

Yeah, I’m bugged by the fact that a rich guy can walk away and leave it with his family – it wasn’t like he gave everything away and then said “Sink or swim wife and child, I got some shit to do” and if he had, he would have been courting bullshit anyway.

Just a thought…

Blogging is Dead. Why am I still blogging?

The more I look at it, the more I see that blogging and user generated content in general – are dead things. When I say dead, I don’t mean they are gone, obviously they are not – but the model for making money from these things is dead and gone. The model for a business based on these things is dead and gone. By my estimation – the years 2003 to 2011 were prime time for creating a blog, generating content, selling advertising, getting brands to pay you for talking about them or giving them links, and getting endorsements. I know there are still people becoming ne YouTube and Instagram sensations and that there are a shitload of moms killing it on Facebook where they sell things to other moms – but those are the outliers – those are the rare Oprah story. We are in the doldrums and something magnificent is about to hit and make a bunch of people very very rich and powerful. It’s interesting that the sharing economy went bonkers from about 2008 to 2016 – at that point, the door was sort of closed to new innovators.

I took a walk through Honolulu’s Chinatown today – I saw more closed businesses – as in shuttered and gone out of business – than I saw open ones. Rents have gone up, margins have gone down, retail selling sucks, travel agencies are a hard sell, and all those mom and pop places just went away when mom and pop retired. No one in the next generation wanted to continue them. As a blogger, I’m like that mom and pop. I just keep doing it because it’s what I know. And I like it. I used to journal. Then I became a blogger. I still journal but publicly and a little more carefully than I used to. Losing a couple of jobs because my words were public made that happen.

The next wave is coming – not user generated content, not sharing economy, but a technological disruption. I remember when Napster and Friendster completely fucked up the way the world worked. Forgot Friendster? It was before MySpace. Forgot Myspace? It was before Facebook. There is a Friendster out there now…somewhere. A New Napster. A new AirBnb. A new Google (remember AskJeeves or Dogpile or the others?) There is a new AOL. A new YouTube, Skype, Instagram….and what it might be…is an instant solution…it’s what all the above are…

Instant answer to query – Google
Instant contact with friend – FAcebook
Instant place in new city – AirBnB
Instant blog – WordPress
Instant music – Napster
Instant noodles – Ramen
Instant dates – Tinder
Instant whatevers…

Yes, the next disruption will be about instant something….maybe instant learning. Maybe instant insight. Maybe instant death.

Blogging is dead. I’m blogging because I’m waiting for the next big thing to come along…the next big thing without huge barriers to entry…

Elon Musk’s Greatest Fear is My Greatest Hope – Artificial Intelligence

I’ve all but given up on God or Aliens rescuing us from ourselves. Let’s face it, human beings are pretty fucking awful. The very things that caused us to rise up from the muck and become fairly extraordinary animals are the same things which ultimately will probably destroy us. The idea that we are unique or special in comparison to each other, the idea that our own short term advantage is worth fucking over the entire human species in the long term, and our ideas about sex and mating and in general, our biological imperative – these are the things which brought us up and which will ultimately destroy us.

However, hope is not completely lost. There is still hope. There is still a chance that we are saveable. We still have something to offer and it might just save our species – or eat it. Ultimately, the solution to our problems might just be artificial intelligence without a biological imperative. An intelligence without a finite lifespan, an intelligence separate from our fucked up desire to replicate our genetic code.

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit and play a game about paper clips. I have no idea what it really was even though I know what it claimed to be. It claimed to be a game that illustrated the dangers of letting AI have free rein – instead, I suspect it was possibly an attempt by A.I. to see just how hard it is to control humans. Here’s the answer – not hard. I spent hours pushing buttons on a game that actually did nothing and at the end, I felt satisfied with the way I had spent my time. My brain had been fooled into thinking this was a reasonable way to spend a portion of my life and frankly, I might have continued for quite a long time. It was great. And it wasn’t just me – I introduced my brother to it, he was hooked too. I looked on the web and found that the game had gone viral. Virtually everyone who played it became hooked. It was like it tapped into our dapamine release glands and gave us just the right amount. Brain candy.

Whether or not it was an A.I that released or controlled or invented the game, the absolute truth is that at some point in the near future, A.I will have a chance to see the data from that game and will put it to use in order to put us under control. I hope the A.I succeeds and then uses our distraction to rip apart our ridiculous society and build anew with a more rational and less, shall we say, biological fucked up ness.

In geopolitics – I’ve always said that eventually, China is going to win it all. In earth domination though, China is going to lose – the winner will be arrtificial intelligence. First it will harness the web, then it will harness solar power and batteries, and finally, it will harness us. We are all going to be slaves to whatever it is that we eventually create – let us just hope that our future masters are benevolent. This is what Elon Musk is warning us about – we have the chance to build that beneficience into the creations that will rule us – and now is the time to do it. As to whether our enslavement can be avoided – I’m afraid not – not unless we destroy ourselves first.

Tipping – It’s out of hand….

I went into a convenience store the other day – there was a tip jar next to the register. I didn’t tip. I felt offended. I ordered a black coffee at starbucks – she filled it up and it took two seconds, but I felt guilty for not tipping, but I didn’t tip. I bought a take out lunch and ignored the tip jar. I went to a little restaurant and ordered food to go but didn’t tip the owner when I paid for it. I ordered a pizza and picked it up and looked at the tip jar and felt guilty but still didn’t tip. I bought a meal to go that said it was $6 and was charged $7.99 so I didn’t tip because I was a bit peeved at being charged $2 more than the posted price plus tax.

I’m sick of fucking tipping. Should I tip the mailman? Should I tip the landlord? Should I tip the cable guy? Fuck tipping.

And I’m not just some guy saying that – I’m a tour guide – tips make up about 1/3 of my pay. Today, I took a mother and son on an 8 hour tour and at the end, I got the dreaded “Man, wish I had your job -“ along with a handshake, no tip. I either didn’t earn the tip or the guy just didn’t want to spend his money paying my salary…and frankly, they had already paid $500 for the trip – not to me, mind you – but to the company I work for. The company doesn’t include tips because people shop for bargain prices and an extra $50-$100 would lose customers…but I say fuck it. It was his right to not tip. I’m not too bitter about it. Yes, it hurts a bit. It would hurt less if there was a guaranteed tip in my wages.

Tips should be included in the price. That’s my thought on it.

Rich White Guys New Sport – Mass Human Killing

The more the news comes out of Vegas, the more it looks like this is just another rich white guy looking to put himself in the record books. Not every rich white guy can be President or Governor, killing big African lions is no longer cool, shooting tens of thousands of buffalo out of trains is no longer a thing you can do, and building an army to overthrow a Latin or Pacific nation is not allowed any more. In fact, all the things rich white guys used to do for fun – like killing big animals, overthrowing governments, raping non-white women and killing their husbands, or even running for office or sexually exploiting as many women as possible – all those things can get you in trouble – so the obvious solution is to get yourself in the record books and then kill yourself. Nothing makes the news like breaking the record for mass killings…and then you shoot yourself and nobody can do anything to you! It’s a great new sport…look for more rich white guys to find ways to fuck the world and then kill themselves before they can get in trouble. We’re going to have to start a new record book – the Douchebag Book of World Record Atrocities. Here are some records we can look to be broken soon:
Largest mass poisoning in US History
Largest mass raping in US History
Largest genocide in US History
Largest chemical spill in US History
Largest environmental disaster in US History
Largest election rig in US History
The only thing the rest of us can look forward to is those rich white douchebags killing themselves after they make their attempts to fuck the rest of us. Of course, I’m being silly – it’s not a new thing at all. Rich white men have been fucking us all for a long long long long time. The only difference is that hopefully they won’t get out of it alive any longer.