I have a good feeling about 2016. This is the year that the stars align and the wormholes reopen. Rock on, Cheat Commandshows.
I've always loved answering polls online. From the time I was seven years old and called into other BBSes using Renegade software, I loved creating and answering various polls. Ranging from silly jokes to serious questions designed to spark passionate debate, I've enjoyed polls for a long time.
And thus, the newest feature of "The Online Revolution" is a poll section where you can answer polls that I post. There is also a form that you can fill out if you are so inclined where you give me the basics of a poll you'd like me to create. One of my favorite sites for more than a decade was YouThink.com, where I had the opportunity to ask and answer many questions.
YT has since moved beyond that poll-centric format that drew me to it back in 2001, but there are still tens of thousands of interesting questions tucked away on the site, just waiting for someone to dig them up and post a (hopefully) reasonable response based on the question.
The polls for videokid.org will be wide-ranging as I have a lot of interests overall. But you, the reader of this website, have a chance to shape the polls in a direction of your choosing. Don't like the polls available? Go ahead and submit your own and I will put them up for you!
Answering polls online isn't just about passing the time. It gives us a chance to see what others think and challenge our own world views. Of course, just because 95% of people believe in Option A, that does not make it inherently true. But it gives us a good idea of what people believe and even if that is not inherently "the truth" it still helps in all walks of life.
Yes, I really do love polls. And I hope you enjoy the opportunity I've given you to answer them. Have a great night!
Apparently this website has "adult content" according to various web algorithms developed by sites that determine whether a page is "safe". Thus, videokid.org has been determined to be somehow "unsafe" by some heavy-handed automated process. I wonder if that limits its potential. Probably, but I don't think younger children will be interested in the content I produce here.
But it's still a little discouraging to realize that various processes may block this site from being viewed. I'm not sure what it is. Perhaps simply the word "revolution" invokes images of a violent bloodbath even though this is simply a revolution of thought and returning the internet to the way it once was rather than a circlejerk of like-minded people patting each other on the back for saying the right thing.
Perhaps my version of the internet is dated and even undesirable to many, but I still wish to see it happen. I want a world where people actually have honest debates with one another rather than simply agreeing with others and continuing the trends prevalent in sites like Reddit. Reddit is a very mixed bag overall and one that confuses me sometimes.
I have friends that have earned over 200,000 "comment karma" compared to my 555. Despite both of us joining Reddit around the same time, she's found it much easier to fit in with the crowd and become a well-respected member of Reddit while I often find myself the victim of serial downvoters.
I don't really like the way Reddit is set up and generally don't enjoy any site that involves such a high amount of "user-generated content" where the behavior of other members determines what content will be viewed. I would rather have someone with something informative and interesting to say be able to get it out there even if the average reader might not appreciate it.
This site hasn't taken off like I once dreamed it would, and perhaps that inaccurate "adult content" label is part of the reason. I wish that user behavior wasn't such a deciding factor on what content rises to the top. But to be honest, this is because I don't fit in with others very well and when the other people are in charge of what gets seen, content I produce might not get the attention it would in a more traditional setting.
Someday I am going to make it, a great writer just as I've always wanted. Keep thinking for yourselves. You are not alone in this world!
Little annoys me than being forced to pay with cash when a credit card is so much more efficient and secure. When someone steals cash from your wallet (that happened to me and it was my fault for leaving a wallet with $60 cash at work) it's untraceable and you are never going to see that money again.
But when someone steals your credit card number and runs around making purchases, it might take a few weeks to everything cleared up, but you'll usually get all your money back. In July 2011 when at a movie in San Francisco, my credit card was declined when I tried to buy concessions. I used my debit card instead and later that evening I discovered that people had charged thousands of dollars up to my card's limit at a variety of Target stores in Maryland and Pennsylvania.
I was able to dispute the charges and while it involved some bureaucracy because the person using my card had signed my name (and my signature is a rather generic scribble as it is) I got all my money back. Had someone taken that amount of cash from me, I would have never seen it again.
Even in 2015, some stores (usually non-chain) seem to avoid credit cards entirely. Cash-only businesses are something I wouldn't trust. Are they paying employees under the table? Are they hiding something? Even without those suspicious questions, it's annoying and inconvenient to have to carry cash around on the off-chance that the place you're going to won't let you use your credit card or even your debit card.
I do understand that credit card companies have some fees that could be considered unfair to smaller businesses, but simply having a reasonable minimum purchase limit or a small transaction fee for cards can work there. I'd prefer not to have to pay those fees or have to buy some extra stuff, but both of those situations are better than being forced to use cash.
Credit cards make things easier and they're safer. It is time to stop fearing them, both as businesses and consumers. If you are responsible with your credit card and don't spend money you don't have, you're not going to have an issue. But if you're doing things like using one credit card to pay off another, that is your problem and not the credit card company being evil or out to get you.
I like credit cards. I use my Best Buy RewardZone card all the time and enjoy getting money back I can spend. There are plenty of similar cards that can work for you at a store that you enjoy, or others that don't give quite as much reward but are flat cash-back cards. Ditch the paper and get the plastic (Credit cards, that is).
No, I was not paid by anyone to write this. I really believe credit cards are great and cash is frustrating!
Without any goals, this revolution will not go anywhere. Thus I will use this first blog post to define the "internet revolution", the goals I hope to achieve, and the means in which I will do so.
First and foremost, I would like to declare that this revolution is not meant to be violent or threatening. I am not here to advocate dangerous political positions. This revolution is in no way homophobic, xenophobic, racist, or an attempt to send the world back to the 19th century. Politically I would say it is moderately Libertarian in its roots, in that I would like to see fewer government regulations in both our daily lives and the actions of corporations, but at the same time, this is not a cry of anarchy and chaos.
My ultimate goal of this revolution is to get people to use the internet to its fullest potential and open up to the world around them, rather than shutting off everyone who threatens their worldview. Instead of simply deleting, unfriending, blocking, or otherwise distancing ourselves from things that bother us, we should be direct and discuss our frustrations even if it risks offending or annoying others.
The internet is a place where you are as anonymous as you choose to be. But for me, I've never taken that strategy. When I was 12 years old and had my domain Videokid.com up and running, my decision to name my site "Jesse's Cool World" and share pictures of myself, pets, and my family members made it so people knew who I was. Other people were not so honest. Rather than be amongst the youngest members of a message board, they would inflate their age.
There are several reasons to lie about one's age online. To access information or entertainment that busybodies have deemed inappropriate for your age, to have conversations with people older than you that wouldn't talk to you if you revealed your true age, and inversely (and more frighteningly), to speak with people underage that you shouldn't be conversing with as an adult.
In modern times, people are forced to give out too much personal information in order to access content that normally would come at a premium. Instead of paying a fee for this content, we instead sacrifice our privacy to receive targeted advertisements and potentially get addicted to play simple games that convince us to pay a small fee to get more "lives" or "energy" because we need to play that game right now and can't wait another 15 minutes for the recharge that will occur without payment.
In the past, having "turns" or "energy" or "activity points" within a game made sense. Bulletin board systems (BBSes) had limited resources and players only had a short amount of time to access them as to allow others to use it as well. Thus, players had to be discouraged from spending all their time in a single game. But now, with always-on connections and various accounts connected to one another, the limit on activity often leads to us paying for instant access rather than waiting.
And I think it's really gone too far. While the various Zynga and King games claim to have some modicum of educational value, that is hardly their first goal. They are attracted above all else by profits, and while profit itself is just a motivator and not a cause of evil, the way that companies choose to make money is questionable. The worst games I've seen are some terrible games that charge $0.99 upfront for a game that is often of lower quality than free games, and they still offer additional paid content on top of that.
As stated earlier, my goal of this revolution is to get people to use the internet to its fullest potential and not hide away from others in tiny social circles. And my means of doing so will be to create computer games that have educational value as one of their main goals rather than a side effect of playing a simple and addictive game that vaguely improves "motor skills".
For a first game I would like to see an economics simulator that allows people to start off as farmers and go through various stages as they improve their lot. They would start as a firm that was stuck in "perfect competition", with a flat (perfectly elastic) demand curve and thus they could not adjust prices to their liking due to have very little impact on the market.
Then after showing success at the first stage, they could enter a "monopolistic competition" where there is some difference between each firm and the products they offered but still many different options and thus not a true monopoly, though with differences between each firm there would be some similarities with a monopoly.
I would like to hear from others in regards to creating a game that simulates economics and teaches kids how the economy works. And as a final note, I think it's time we encouraged more philosophy and other reading material into public high schools. Instead of simply reading literature, people should be reading Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, and other philosophers in order to encourage critical thinking skills, rather than just writing simple essays about the "symbolism" in various works of fiction.
No, this revolution will not promise quick profits. But I am a sustained marketer. I will be here for a long time, and I'm here to stay. I am not interested in creating a new fad but into shaping the world into a better place where people think for themselves more.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope to hear from you regarding my "internet revolution" goals.