Konform Or Be Kast Out

This weekend the news appears to be leaning heavily toward sensationalism. Doom and dread are at an all time high trying to gain attention under the guise of preparing for the worst. Just what everyone needs – more stress to add to actual difficulties the world is already facing. The nation’s capital is under a major lock-down, I’m sure this must be very expensive. 75 million people are now being viewed as worthy of suppression, and in need of anxiety over unpopular views. In reality there are probably a lot of people who either don’t buy into all the nonsense or just don’t care. They must have something more important to worry about.

It’s winter, it’s cold and snowing, and there are better things to do than watch the news all day waiting for something to happen. I’d rather get some work done around the house and then relax with a good book, or watch a good western. I was at the grocery store earlier this weekend, but did not see any evidence that people are panicking and clearing the shelves. Most people are already stocked up enough to ride out a winter storm or deal with a quarantine where they can’t leave their home. It’s not that I’m getting desensitized to the never ending negative narrative, I’m basically just tired of the nonsense other people feel the need to push onto others. So I did something more productive and cleaned all the old baked on coffee in my thermos and coffee pot with baking soda. It takes a few hours, but when done the insides of both look brand new. To me that was more interesting and productive way to ignore all the crazy chatter – and the coffee tastes better now.

These are long dark days of winter that we need to get through every year. You keep busy and avoid as much negative garbage as possible. Road conditions and staying warm are more important than news media speculation. Waiting to see what the new crop of Chromebooks and OS updates have in store for this year are worth the research time. Not using Windows OS has increased my productivity. This is part of my methodology to simplify and streamline my work flow. I use the Linux terminal for basic troubleshooting (nmon, traceroute, htop, tcpdump) and avoid the Play Store apps for anything more than a basic setup. Don’t forget Python for some simple things like finding square roots – that you may use in more complex calculations:

import math
math.sqrt(25)
5.0

You can spend your free time playing around with your Chromebook and seeing how much you can do with a streamlined setup.

You can conform – follow the crowd and run Windows as your business orientated daily driver operating system, or you can opt into the creative world of Apple products. You can go off the well worn path and become a Linux purist, although in reality these systems are all slowly mimicking each other so much that there’s no longer much of a difference. Each of these are all reasonably good operating systems that come pre-loaded on a wide range of hardware. The machines they run on are also becoming rather expensive depending on the design and hardware features associated with the OS you choose. So for now I don’t really care what anyone else is using. I have decided not to follow the crowd and see just how much I can do with a Chromebook. Yes I realize Chromebooks are getting more popular, but I still feel like I’m not following the mainstream. That makes all this a little more challenging, and very satisfying. This also works well for my philosophy of doing more with less – although sometimes the Chrome OS allows me to be more productive because of it’s limitations. Sometimes simplicity promotes more creativity. Getting more out of what you have has it’s own rewards.

So even if the world has gone off the rails and divisions are widening, you don’t always have to follow the crowd (or crowds). If there is to be any positive outcome from all this disarray – maybe it should be that more people start thinking for themselves and doing things for themselves. Everyone needs a little help sometimes, and sometimes you can help others by showing them how to do things for themselves.

I still have to read through my old computer books to remember how to do some things I don’t do every day or haven’t done in a long time. When I figure something out that’s giving me some difficulty I feel pretty good – almost like I’ve actually accomplished something. It usually makes the time go by very fast. It’s best to focus on the positives when you can. It’s also a good idea not to drink so much coffee that you won’t get enough sleep at night. That can start your week off on the wrong foot.

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