• “ELECTRONIC MAIL AS WE KNOW IT IS DROWNING IN SPAM, FORGED PHISHING EMAILS, SCAMS, HACKS, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better… because the software we use to access email has clumsily been bolted on to the original system without fixing any of the underlying protocols to support that functionality… When the Web came along, email turned into a full-fledged web browser (along with a calendaring app, chat program, and ways to manage identity online), all without ever doing much about the possibility that sneaky people were getting at our emails… The result is that you cannot trust what arrives at your computer… People tend to believe that emails are what they say they are… but we are vulnerable to scammers, phishers, organized crime, abusive partners, and clever teenagers posing as God or Santa Claus.” Just know it. [THE ATLANTIC – May 21, 18]
  • IN THE NATION’S CAPITAL, MORE THAN 20 LOBBYISTS ARE REGISTERED FOR EVERY MEMBER OF CONGRESS, most deployed to “block anything that would tax, regulate or otherwise threaten a deep-pocketed client.” Money now dominates all activity so completely that elected officials “have been reduced to begging on the phone for campaign cash up to five hours a day, and spending their evenings taking checks at fundraisers organized by those swarming lobbyists.” The overriding impact is that the real polarization which has divided America is not so much political parties, but rather “the protected vs. the unprotected, the common good vs. maximizing and protecting the elite winners’ winnings… On one side are the few who don’t need government for much, and even have a stake in sabotaging its responsibility to all citizens… On the other are the many who look to government to preserve their way of life and maybe even improve it.” A fascinating article on how, over the past five decades, “the core values that make America great have instead brought it down.” http://time.com/5280446/baby-boomer-generation-america-steve-brill
  • PSYCHOPATHS ARE ALL AROUND US, JUST DIFFICULT TO DISTINGUISH MOST OF THE TIME since they tend to end up bunched in the same careers. The DSM Manual of Mental Disorders defines psychopathic personality as “having an inflated, grandiose sense of themselves, and a knack for manipulating other people… Combined with ruthlessness & fearlessness, many are led to leadership positions…where ‘functional psychopaths’ use their detached, unflinching and charismatic personalities to succeed in mainstream society – often living as normal people” working in normal jobs. The top five careers where you’ll find them are: CEO, Lawyer, Surgeon, Media personality, and Salesperson. The next five are: Journalist, Police Officer, Clergy person, Chef, and Civil Servant. [BUSINESS INSIDER; IMPACT LAB.NET – May 23, 18]
  • DESPITE ‘DO NOT CALL’ REGULATIONS, LITERALLY BILLIONS OF ROBOCALLS CONTINUE to plague landlines and wireless phones. The FTC has enforced actions against nearly 600 violators but abusive calls daily “harangue households with calls that are at best a nuisance and at worst threaten unsuspecting consumers with financial scams.” In April, legislators in both House and Senate introduced bills to hopefully curtail the problem by “requiring phone companies to provide effective technology that verifies accurate caller IDs and offer consumers free robocall-blocking… along with a ‘right of action’ against telecommunications companies for violations.” [MANATT TCPA CONNECT – May 31, 18]
  • “THE HUMAN BRAIN IS WIRED SO THAT PEOPLE SEE WHAT THEY BELIEVE… and any two brains can perceive the same events differently, especially when influenced by mood.” For people whose nature opts for seeing the glass half-full versus half-empty, face and body movements are usually perceived differently: a smile, for example “may be seen as meaning ‘I’m happy,’ ‘I consent,’ even ‘I’m afraid’ – all stemming from a brain’s belief about what is true.”  When people who are accused of ‘harassment’ or ‘misconduct,’ under today’s norm of political correctness, insist that their encounter was consensual, it may well be a simple mis-perception of the other party’s meaning. What ever happened to the (until now) standards known as ‘benefit of the doubt’ and ‘innocent until proven guilty’?  [TIME – May 28, 18]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: Last week, three cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Verge & Monacoin) were hacked for $20 million.

      A recent major city survey found that using UBER versus personal driving reduced weekly commute costs in Los Angeles by 30%. In New York City and Chicago, the savings were over a third. In Dallas, however, UBER charges nearly tripled the cost of using a personal car for work commute.