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Random Life Update 1

06/12/2022

Here's what's been going on with my life for the past few months.

First, my friend Jim and I have ventured forth and started a podcast.  It's called the Low Barrier Podcast which is titled to parody the reality that everyone is starting one.  I mean, podcasts have been a thing for at least 10 years in general, but as of late, a lot of people are firing up microphones to join the fun

To me, as saturated as the craft is, it's a lot like a more formalized and technically savvy version of 1970s CB radio fad.  About 90 percent of the people, like Jim and I, talk about nothing with any kind of gravity.  We are trying, like everyone else of course, to move into a sphere above by improving show quality and maintaining a consistency.  We are now 11 episodes in and with much room for improvement in future episodes.

I'm also moving soon.  It's to a new neighborhood literally blocks away from the Canadian border, so for the next two months or so I'm going to be engaged in box moves, some house repairs, and all the usual hassles, stress, and frustrations that come with it. 

I am anguished about leaving the trendy neighborhood I've lived in for the past 3 years, but alas, most of the potential good time in it was ruined by the pandemic.  Though, in any event, it became pretty clear to me that living in stairs-distance to all the area bars was leaving me nothing more than at risk of being arrested every weekend. 

Originally I imagined myself as some sort of artisan joining the most eclectic neighborhood in Buffalo.  In reality, I wound up the annoying drunk barfly even steep tips couldn't abate the bar tenders who had to deal with me.  

I gave being hip at 50+ a chance and we'll just say, it didn't work out.

Now I'll have a chance to focus on supporting a home with someone I love and want to be there for, making up for some lost time I hope.  Not to mention, all while enjoying my hobby of over-securing a large property with webcams.   Because, yeah, I have that obsession and my new flat gives me a platform to express it with.

In fact, my move will require me to bring down the Buffcam overlooking Allen Street and Delaware Avenue.  If you are someone with an interesting vantage point in the Allentown neighborhood, reach out to me to discuss how you can continue hosting the camera and keeping the view alive.

And, it looks changes may be in store on the work front, too, but it's too soon to tell how and in what capacity.   Recent events there have expanded my range of support expertise and value, and I think it's going to lead to greater things if not more challenging ones. 



  By Dave for Personal Blog.

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Sensible Death Won't Stop Senseless Death

05/18/2022

Looking over the streams of narratives coming out in wake of the mass shooting here in Buffalo, I encountered this one about a candidate for governor capitalizing on the tragedy for visceral "string'em up and hang'em" votes (or just dumbly offering solutions).

Capture of news headline about governor looking to re-institute the death penalty.

It's not that I don't think the death penalty is worthy justice for the victims; it's just that knowing the ultimate penalty might be death doesn't actually deter enough people from doing whatever heinous thing they might, to make me think politicians who champion it are on the up and up level with voters.

The way we, if you'll pardon the pun - execute - the death penalty in America doesn't work to deter criminals enough to tolerate the immorality and penchant for errors of process it incurs.

In the first place most people doing horrible things are acting at some level, irrationally in the first place. Crazy doesn't consider its future. And to those who might, they know the death "system" can be gamed and dragged on for years.  In fact, you don't even have to "game" it; by default it just is a slow multi-decade process. 

As we know the process to take, it would never effectively deter anyone in their 40s or older from acting out who would sooner die of old age waiting for their turn in the chamber.

The death penalty also doesn't deter the "dry suicides". People who have killed themselves spiritually ages ago yet still walk physically among us hurting others and committing crimes, indifferent to their life status or to that of others.  Our consumer winner-lose society breeds these dark souls to no end.

And scrupulous politicians know it. It's just more "Rush Limbaugh Profit Hour" nonsense designed to illicit more votes from people who have an over-idealized idea of what the death penalty on the books actually accomplishes.

I have always been more for keeping people locked up without parole. Sometime after the fifth year or so of hardcore incarceration they truly begin to feel the torture of consequence for what they've done as the world forgets about them and whatever stupid cause they acted in the name of.

Plus, if there has been a mistaken conviction, which is far more common than people think, it's a safeguard that they can be still be rescued.



  By Dave for Personal Blog.

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I'm Fine, Society Is Not

05/16/2022

Capture of CNN website coverage of Buffalo shooting incident.

Hi all, I was away from computers and the news for the entire period, helping a friend move, when this horrible thing happened. I am safe, but thank you for all the concern and messages.

You can imagine that something like this happening local to me would have had me all over it with respect to ground journalism and online ranting philosophies in wake of, the actual lack of which, raised alarm bells as to my well-being.

As it is, and probably for the better, I am just a horrified member of the regular audience digesting in what I can from the regular post-analysis news. I have seen some clips of the since-pulled videos of the shooter's livestream and find myself wanting to personally strangle the man responsible. The anger has no bottom on this one.



  By Dave for for BuffScan.

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Giving Local Media Police Radios Resolves Nothing

05/07/2022

One of the most bizarre compromises to emerge between public safety officials and open broadcasting advocates in some areas, is the idea of giving designated media houses access to encrypted police communications, but not to what they consider the general public.

While such a compromise somehow feels apt given the supposed professional foundation of the mainstream media and of the people who work within, the premise collapses instantly on the idea that the mainstream media can somehow be trusted more in principle to never sensationalize or to somehow commodify the police radio traffic they maintain privy access to.

Sensationalize and commodify are what they do.

All these types of agreements would likely wind up doing is creating an alignment between government officials and local brokers of the news, with access to the police radio traffic turning into the "currency of compliance" between them. If the local sheriff finds himself bothered by a probe into its practices by a pesky reporter for a newspaper, for example, that sheriff might find it all too easy to "de-classify" said newspaper as a legitimate media outlet, and pull the newspaper's plug.  The newspaper would be at a significant disadvantage against its media processing competitors.

There's that, and then, there's the outdated presumption that anyone operating a media center is doing anything exceptional anyway. In 2022 everyone is a journalist, and those we would deem journalists it turns out, are just people.  Vulnerable, greedy, and biased.

Giant media houses are just profit-suckers who happen to present a more polished and frequently agitating tweet than your crazy uncle might. Filled with cheap-to-produce superficial insight and biased interpretations and positions which are often designed to invoke ever-profitable conflict, it makes zero sense to make every city and jurisdiction dependent on them for information.



  By Dave for for BuffScan.

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Replacing Police Scanning With Human Networks

05/07/2022

Public safety radio moving to encrypted systems has left me trying to self-formulate and explain what a replacement for public monitoring looks like.  I have yet to articulate an idea well, let alone document it.  And, unfortunately, I have to assume that's because I haven't yet imagined or conceptualized a solution well first.

What I do have are a loose array of outlines going in one direction or another, with the idea that most excites me being that of a human-based reporting network.  That is to say, I hope that as average people lose the ability to eavesdrop on police or fire radio signals, they will form human networks of radio teams that "patrol and report", spotting on and contributing to local newsfeeds in real-time of various sorts and platforms.  Digital tools for that exist today in off-the-shelf social media tools like Twitter and other platforms, as do cheap analog radio backbones such as old-fashioned CB radio.

Linkage



  By Dave for for BuffScan.

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