Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Leelah Alcorn - Her Murderous Parents

It has come to my attention that the USA is still stuck in 1800 … BC, especially for transgendered people. Consider this: you can have synthetic silicone injected into your breasts, a deadly virus injected into your face, and poisonous inks injected into any surface without even a single psychiatric evaluation; but to do the planet a favor and have your genitals removed or modified requires not only two full psychiatric evaluations and 1,000 times the cost of the procedure in funds, but also 10 years of living in the most dangerous environment with no safety, no protections, and no respect.

That's just the requirement for the surgery, society here has no respect for the transgender, when they realize you are one. I am considered 100% passable by the medical industry and supporters, even after getting to know me it is impossible to tell I am transgendered without seeing me nude, or seeing my birth certificate.

This produces a very hostile and dangerous situation, not only do my own alienate me without knowing it, I cannot take the chance of making any local friends lest they find out and kill me, which is legal in the USA in all states except California. Even in California the law is useless to the person who is dead, they were erased from the planet just because society is unwilling to accept some very basic facts.

The first fact is this: we exist. Get over it, deal with your own insecurities and stop taking them out on us.

Second fact: we have no choice, but you do. It takes a conscious effort to hate someone, and we have a genetic predisposition to be us, one which is largely ignored and misunderstood by all but real biologists.

Third fact: your comfort is no more important than ours, stop pretending like you are the center of the universe. We all have to live on this over populated world because straight cis breeders won't take responsibility for their own actions, yet we are the one being blamed for doing the world and our own species a favor by reducing the chances of increasing that population beyond the breaking point. Don't blame us for your stupidity.

Fourth fact: removing or modifying the genitals not only has health benefits, it is a billion times safer than a tattoo. Not that tattoos are wrong, some are awesome, but put some damned perspective into your head for once.

Fifth fact: it costs the public more to care for transgendered people for one year prior to surgery than the surgery costs. You pay for it, in all cases, because your hatred of us is what makes us unable to find jobs. You could hire us for actual jobs, instead of ridiculing us after you discover what we are. You were our friend for years before I told you, nothing changed except you.

There's the biggest problem, cishet change their perspective of us when they find out, even though there was no chance they'd get into a sexual relationship. They suddenly invent some slight that never truly existed, only because of their invented fear of the unknown.

The fact you could not tell is not because we lied, it's because we are the gender you mistook us for. You lie to yourself when you say otherwise, you are the one pretending to care about people but place such shallow conditions on your friendship and love, you are the reason we die horrible deaths.

The term cognitive dissonance comes to mind, because we shatter your idiotic and invented notions of what reality is so you become violent to defend your fantasy world, and we pay the price for you being unable to deal with reality. This is your fault, not ours.

We owe no one anything, for we do no harm to anyone else and often seek safe medical help but end up becoming the toys of a cruel psychiatrist for our efforts. Psychiatrists who are given legal rights to kill their patients under the false pretense of science.

This is your fault, cishet, because you made us then turn your back on us just because we are different from what you thought you were making. Ironically this is not the end of our problems.

Almost all transgendered people have fought for gay rights, against racism, for animal rights, and even for women rights. But the only ones who stand with us when we really need it are not the ones we fought for, the small percentage of cishet who are intelligent and/or caring.

We get harassed and publicly executed by black folks, gay people turn their backs when we ask for help, women deny we exist, and the animals that are not human have no power to change us. Which makes it almost everyone's fault that the transgendered are slaughtered in horrible ways, slaughtered even in the USA.

So when you try to sleep at night, know this, one transgendered person in the USA is being tortured to death somewhere because you don't care.

Everything Rides On This New Year

Privacy is one of those things every older person, or younger person who is not a critical thinker, seems to actually believe exists. But like any of the gods claimed to exist, privacy is a myth.

The reason is less obvious than the fact, it has to do with our social need to belong. This social trait, selected because a single organism is more likely to survive if the species knows as much about it as possible.

The problem is that the human species has become spoiled by the illusion offered by our manufactured caves, walls we build between us and the rest of the world. Eventually these walls are built in our own minds as well, the mind always reflects the world around it.

This creates an illusion of privacy, while we ultimately share everything when we think there is anonymity. This illusion is shattered by the internet, now we see just how much of our lives is truly public knowledge, and it frightens many people.

The intelligent people just enjoy riding the wave of reason and accept these facts as revelations granted by it. These are the people I want to address today; I know, talking about the silver lining is not my usual style. But hey, it's New Year's Eve.

When you realize that privacy is an illusion you will see that every detail of our lives is public knowledge, because we shared it with them. It requires no spying, snooping, breaking into computer servers, because we posted that information somewhere or filled out a questionnaire somewhere else.

Today kids are less obsessed with the illusion of privacy, they grow up no longer wasting energy worrying about such things and embracing the reason why we should not worry about it. By sharing our life, our details, the real us, we ultimately offer a way for other humans to know what we need and one of them may be able to actually help.

Islands are eventually swallowed by the sea, but a continent will last for a very long time and always leave traces of it's existence. For this reason we need to bind together, those who embrace reality, to stand against the ocean of deluded human minds who fear losing what they never truly had, the ones that want to hide behind delusion and mythology.

The effect of this discarding of illusions, delusions, and childish fairytales is that we all live longer. When an advance made by one who accepts reality is made, it benefits us all, no matter the age of the one who develops this advance.

For this reason alone we now stand firm against the destruction of childrens' brains, done by religious parents. The cure for death may reside in a brain lost in a fog of delusion, worshiping death only because their parents made them too afraid of reality.

We would all benefit from such a cure, so use this new tool called the internet to find those poor children and protect them from the delusion called god. The last thing the older generations can offer in return for what children are advancing today is a chance to advance even more.

Friday, December 26, 2014

The Question Of Verifications - The Rules Of Facts

One of our biggest problems, as a species, is our lack of verifying information and resources. This habit was not a natural one, and has no genetic traits to cause it, it is something we learned.

You can easily guess how we were taught this, so let's look at what I mean in more detail. Often there is a news story, or talk show "expert," which mentions some finding or discovery that has little to no evidence involved.

Another common story us the misrepresentation of the facts, when a mistake is made they ignore the correction and just run with it as some sort of miracle or mystery. Ultimately these stories ruin the wonder and beauty of the world by keeling people from asking more questions about it.

The reason this is done by media is to placate the masses, to prevent them from asking the questions allows the media to, essentially, control what people think and thus engineer their personalities and behaviors. Rather beneficial to those who are running things, as conspiratorial as this sounds, we know this has been happening for a while now.

Now the part about engineering society this way may sound farfetched to those unfamiliar with psychology and neurology. What we know and remember defines how we respond to stimuli, these are what influence the neural pathways in the difference engine portions of our brain, in other words, the personality.

When information is handed to us without any any external stimuli, it becomes a null pathway, meaning your brain will produce less emotion and use less logic when a similar bit of information or memory is presented. Essentially, you ignore it.

Until an emotional response is tied to information it is dead weight, preventing us from exploring it further, preventing us from growing and experiencing the world. We require actually experiencing the information to begin to ask questions again, thus tragedy rarely evoked an emotional response until it affected us directly.

This is also why science requires lab time when studying any subject, you must experience the tests and experiments to associate emotional responses that permit, and encourage, further exploration. Leading us back to the topic at hand, why so many people in the USA are so complacent and unwilling to even verify the sources, much less the actual evidence.

By quelling our curiosity in this manner, people will recite "studies" or "cases" they hear about in media without realizing they are either misrepresenting the data, or lacking most of the important information. This creates a black hole of knowledge as they condition their children to do the same simply by not accepting when the child just happens to have more information than they do.

Today children are exposed to an excess of information, and, in a trail by fire fashion, they are forced to learn how to verify sources, information, even tests and experiments. Skills their parents see as dangerous or evil, so the kids pretend to be like the parents until they move out.

This is the great effect of the Information Age, our youth are measurably more intelligent than all of us before them, and only because they learn this one ability and use it without hesitation. The benefit is that us older folks have a bright future as our children thrust us into the future, the drawback is that it's scary in spite of how much fun it is.

So my challenge to all adults today, let your kids learn and explore the world, then let those kids teach you. I have learned a lot by observing the behavior of children in the last decade, and what I have witnessed fills me with hope for our future, which I will be able to see because those same kids are now solving the problems my generation refused to even acknowledge.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Space, Time, Matter - Eternal Questions

I sit here in a Starbucks, having been awake for about 24 hours, sipping coffee to keep going. An image on Twitter reminded me of how vast the universe actually is, not difficult for a scientific person to grasp, the notion that we are a tiny speck, inside a tiny speck, inside another tiny speck, of a tiny speck, of dust in this vast cosmos.

The sad fact is that no religious person truly grasps the concept of forever, much less infinite in any amount. Even Einstein, a deist, was hard pressed to comprehend it, thus why he was afraid of things like quantum physics.

It is easy to see how little they grasp about the concept of infinity, as they talk about "forever" as casually as if they are talking about tomorrow. This limited view keeps them from facing the most scary notion to a planet bound organism, that we float endlessly for all eternity through an infinite vast emptiness.

It also protects then from fearing their own myth, by not comprehending the notion of infinity, the "after life" becomes nothing more than a pleasant weekend getaway, instead of the truly horrific monotonous form of torture that it would actually be. Consider the vastness of the universe, and living as long as it would take to get from one side to the opposite if the universe stopped expanding today, using current space travel technology and an infinite source of energy.

Less than one percent of the way through the voyage you would have read every book ever written to date, including all alternatives, and all languages they have been printed in. Yes, you would even actually finish War and Peace, and every word of every scientific paper published and unpublished.

After two percent of the trip you'd have done every scientific test in the scientific papers you read, and verified them with several repeated tests. You would have the scientific understanding of a god at this point, nothing would be a mystery to you because of our inherent ability of inference.

Now we're just nearing the fourth or fifth galaxy of this trip, at three percent. Your tops scores on every video game ever written would be perfect, impossible for anyone to score higher. You would have ever race track memorized, every glitch mastered, ever combination perfected, every letter of every script known.

Any psychologically healthy human would have been insane three fold at this point, and there is still 97% of the universe left. You would have lived a thousand lifetimes just to get to the next galaxy, eaten more than a billion tons of food.

Food would literally be tasteless after only a few hundred years of thus trip, your taste buds would be unable to distinguish one flavor from the next out, because the repetition would would eventually cause the neurons in your brain to be flatlined in sensory input, all valences would be neutral.

Hallucinations, a combination of memory and imagination, would haunt you after only five hundred years because of the monotony. This is less than a hundredth of a percent of your trip too.

Adding more people to the trip would increase the degradation of sanity, after a few hundred years everyone would be paranoid of each other with violent consequences. This is not because of a biological flaw.

There's the catch, religious people will likely claim it's a biological flaw in our brain or body that would be removed after death, but this is not an effect of biology. The boredom is an effect of memory.

Unique memories always stand out to us, because they are easy to identify in the crowd. When no memories stand out we begin to lose focus, we call this phenomenon boredom.

The progressive insanity and delusion is an effect of logic, once all that is possible is known to a single logic center, it will make up new things to explore because curiosity is an inherent trait of logic, the need to explore. Religion seeks to destroy the curiosity, which always results in psychological instability because the logic engine of the intellect becomes damaged.

This can cause many things, almost always the loss of curiosity results in hallucinations of various degrees. You often hear religious people describing a relatively mundane event as "spiritual," even mentioning voices or visions.

These are hallucinations cause by logic methods being imbalanced. Much like a painter with only three colors, the picture is incomplete because there us no curiosity asking the important questions, so the gaps are filled in with random nonsense.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Price of the Future - Resistance of Change

Since the dawn of time, at least a few million years ago, humanity has always been afraid of change. This is apparent in our mythology, gods that never change and laws that are definitive.

One area that this fear has affected most is technology and science. When humans first learned the Earth was not flat, anyone who stated it was not flat were tortured to death simply for stating the possibility of some other curvature.

In the Dark Ages, any form of technology was met with hatred and violence, the inventor and user were tortured to death, accused of witchcraft and deals with an imaginary adversary. Even today, with the resistance against clean energy and modern genetic modifications, people are fighting hard to prevent this new technology, even going so far as to start wars to slow progress.

The world of religion is the greatest weight against modern technology and scientific advancement, many even oppose some necessary scientific theories, responsible for their survival, out of fear of change. Others are more straight forward, attacking and killing those claiming the new technology is a sign of their imaginary adversary.

However, this is not limited to religion, there are those who oppose change because someone in an obsolete industry told them it's bad. Genetic modification is a method of producing food which we can eat, and grow, that has been used for thousands of years.

Yet people oppose the more modern methods, they often cite studies that are not only fraudulent or fallacious, but often outright lies. The new technique simply takes the margin of error to a minimum, crossbreeding is very prone to error, just ask a cow.

Another such group, which is aptly named anti-vaxxers, oppose modern medicine in place of ancient herbology and other such woo woo. Synthetic medicines and chemicals never add anything, but they do remove other chemicals that can cause harm.

Herbs are the same as drinking a glass of unfiltered water just because there's one drop of lemon juice in it, homeopathy is a gallon of filtered water for the same. Lemons, citrus fruits in general, is a great example of the difference.

Citrus fruits will prevent an illness that plagued sailors, known as scurvy. Scurvy is rare today, we often do jot even hear of it, because we discovered the reason citrus helped prevent it and, using modern chemistry, we started putting it into all of our foods. We also sell this chemical in pill form and tasty candies.

Vitamin C, a chemical that citrus fruits contain high amounts of, is found to be an essential vitamin we have lost the ability to produce, as a genus. Homo species have to get this vitamin through consumption of foods that contain large amounts, this is why all of us apes love fruit, especially citrus fruits.

The problem lies in the quantity required for certain environments, humans have learned to live in all environments so this affects us most. Urban regions are most likely to spread scurvy, as well as other illnesses that vitamin C helps combat, so the vast majority of us need lots of vitamin C to keep healthy.

The fruit is tasty, so eating enough won't be a problem, until you notice the enamel on your teeth vanishing. All fruits that contain vitamin C contain acids as well, citric acid and ascorbic acid are both very corrosive. This means you will lose your teeth eating enough fruits to stay healthy.

The alternative, a process call refining or synthesizing. This allows us to take the essential vitamin from the rest of the chemicals, or produce it, then we can safely consume as much as we need without worrying about the ill effects.

This is what modern medicine is, those against it are paid for by those who would prefer you get sick, or buy their product and live with no teeth. There are many such groups, selling either "organic" and the mythical "all natural" or herbs and woo woo.

The easy way to make them stumble is to ask for the evidence, when they pull up some study look for the scientific journal it was published and verify it. Most likely, it was not even published, often it will be a misrepresentation of the actual paper (common for anti-GMO nuts).

This fear of new needs to end for our species to ever improve beyond today with any pace worthy of our great ape ancestry. This means we must be rid of our superstitions of old, end the delusion called religion, and stop listening to big corporations just because they support dark aged methods.

I love living in the future, but I want to see tomorrow, and will fight all junk science and mythology to increase my chances of this.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Year Nears It's End - Summary Of Observations

One trend I still see, which started back in the late nineties of bulky and overpriced cellphones, is the notion that homeless people with smartphones means they are wasting taxpayer dollars. When it started it was almost understandable, cellphones were expensive, but when thinking clearly it begs the question: how else would a homeless person get a phone call for a job?

The problem is in the thinking that homeless people are inherently lazy, or unwilling to work at all. This is a stereotype started by the media, if you have been paying attention then you know the media is controlled by the wealthiest people, the very people who pay no taxes at all and collect welfare masked as "subsidies."

In the eighties, and most of the nineties, the media controlled all the information, they literally controlled how society thought. Today they still control the majority, who are delusionally ignorant, but are slowly losing their poisonous influence in information. This is thanks to the internet.

So now they still decry poor people, in other words the very people who listen and obey the media, owning anything beyond old technology. Anyone with half a brain knows why this is a very stupid stereotype, anyone who has had to pull themselves out of the gutter knows why this is a dangerous one.

First, again I ask, without a phone of any sort how are homeless and poor people going to get calls for jobs? A homeless person has to have a mobile phone, they don't have a home for the cables required for a landline!

The poor person is forced to run through appointments, almost daily, just to keep their home and feed themselves, spending little time at home as it is, then if they are going to interviews they have less time at home. Most often they cannot afford a car, so they have to walk or take the bus, both are very time consuming. Essentially, being poor is a full tine job which pays less than liveable wages and has zero chance of promotions.

Okay, that was the basic logic of the situation, and now the part that shows why media, Republicans, inbred hillbillies, and most religious people, are total idiots. The numbers.

I had a landline with internet access, internet is now required to apply for most jobs today, so it is as essential as a phone, perhaps more so as many businesses worth their name allow for email communication. The total I was paying, when I finally got fed up with the ever increasing cost, was almost 80 USD.

I found offers online for unlimited data, voice, and the nearly obsolete text, starting at 30 USD per month, prepaid. You could pay for that with change from your couch, but what about the phones, those must be expensive, right?

Wrong, so very wrong. The prices of technology have been effect by a very rare phenomenon, and inversion of value. Due to the false nostalgia and novelty of the old phones, I have seen phones that were considered junk in the 80s on sale, yes on sale, for 100+ USD. Most poor people cannot afford that, without saving up for a few months, even today.

The inversion effect made modern technology cheaper, smartphones for 100 USD were comparable to desktop computers costing 500 USD, and many times you could sign up for service and get the phone for free, or in small payments. My smartphone, I got to see if I wanted to even bother with the transition, cost me 15 USD and was delivered in three days at no additional charge.

My smartphone is not top of the line, but it's only last year's model so it's not an antique yet either. My unlimited plan is 55 USD for 2gb at 4g and the rest at 2g per month, that includes taxes.

Now let all that sink in a moment, wireless is becoming more affordable than the landlines for one important reason, one that neither the Democrats nor Republicans like. Lack of regulation and a huge amount of competition is keeping wireless services at prices everyone can afford, and allow homeless people a chance to drag themselves out of the gutters they have been swept to by a society which cares only about appearances.

The so called conservatives in the USA often say too much regulation stifles competition, which is correct, but then they vote for the ban (ie regulation) happy Republicans. Republicans are not conservatives, they are right wing liberals, they prefer government control based on an archaic ideology.

Democrats are becoming more conservative these days, as they vote against many bans, though a single party government is a bad idea. The problem is that there is no opposition, the third parties are often too specialized to be viable replacements for the Republicans, and we cannot afford to keep the Republicans any longer.

Personally, this seems almost orchestrated, in the same manner that the media was controlling information before the internet. What scares me is: if this is orchestrated then the very people who are openly pulling the string of the Republican puppets are the ones who want people to vote Democrat.

To close, the ignorance enforced by religion has allowed our society to be manipulated so easily as to make everything appear to be a conspiracy, even the mundane things like the price of a cup of coffee. But when you are in a mudslide, you have little choice but to grasp the nearest root and cling to it in hopes of not being washed away again.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

It's My Birthday - A Simple Challenge to Creationists

I have often stated that when you cannot grasp basic science but want to wear the uniform, become a doctor. The alternative is to become a creationist but everyone already knows they're idiots.

Both use science without ever truly understanding it, the difference is that doctors are less inclined to deny scientific advances. Not that doctors are all intelligent or better than creationists, just those in countries where religion is not an acceptable reason for allowing a patient to suffer and die, like they are allowed to do in the USA.

The creationists keep reciting the same tired, debunked, and ignorant arguments that use to be hilarious. Now they are just sad and pitiful. The reason is because none of them seem to have learned anything after 1983.

That was the last year any respectable scientists ever claimed that mutations are all detrimental. The reason being, we have discovered many mutations in many species that have resulted in them being more fit for their environment, including us.

In 1998 they discovered a specific sequence of genes responsible for HIV resistance in some human populations. In 1997 we discovered that blue eye and blond hair is caused by a rare mutation in the human genome, rare because it is even less likely to pass to offspring.

From the discovery of nylonase to algae capable of absorbing toxic waste produced only by humans, the list of recently discovered genetic mutations with hugely beneficial effects is continually growing.

So the creationists attempt to dismiss these by calling them adaptation instead of evolution, which is just sad. Adaptation is the result of natural selection acting on the phenomenon of evolution, in other words, adaptation is the result of evolution.

But here's a challenge to creationists, I have no reward to offer other than to agree with you should you succeed in this task. Provide evidence of any species willfully altering their genetic make up, resulting in a specific adaptation to a specific and known environmental change.

Now this challenge is twofold, though I doubt you will succeed at either step. I know creationists have a problem with sequential problem solving and the very definition of evidence, so I will describe the two steps more clearly.

The first step requires you provide evidence, meaning facts that require no interpretation which suggest the phenomenon. The word "phenomenon" is really a catch all in science, it describes and event, occurrence, object, person, fact, law, or basically any noun that is within our reality.

Thus you must show how the organism is aware of the change and able to discern what the change is and what is required to better fit the change. If you cannot present evidence suggesting this, you cannot have failed the challenge, without this recognition there can be no intent and thus no possible way the organism can adapt without random mutations.

Now, given the unlikely event that you have succeeded at the first step, the second step is one that biology has proven cannot occur a very long time ago, but I grant the benefit of doubt. You must provide evidence than any organism can alter their DNA at will, and that the changes will affect the organism immediately, prior to their demise.

Now the catch, you must also provide evidence that the theory of evolution does not, in any way, predict this phenomenon. I know none of you will ever succeed at this challenge, as it requires you to study actual science before presenting anything, and the catch means you must study the theory of evolution completely, or you will miss the explanation.

Should a creationist take this challenge and succeed, I will concede that the theory of evolution is incomplete. The fun fact is this: it does not mean your religious myths are any more correct as there are many such myths just as credible and other scientific explanations that are far more credible than creationism.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Science Deniers - Pitiful Empty Creatures

One of the greatest tools we have created is the one we call science, as it benefits everyone, even those who deny it. Speaking on science deniers, the two most heinous and prolific ones are those who try to oppose evolution and climate change.

The problem is jot that they disagree with a notion mentioned by the people who research these things, it's that neither know what they are even opposing yet present their opposition as if it's a well thought out argument. The reality is that these so called arguments are less than laughable, they are an embarrassment to the entire animal kingdom that we are part of.

Now, there are some climate change supporters who are also completely clueless, but that is another topic. The climate change is not itself a crisis, but when the media mentions it they are neglecting the rest of what they are truly attempting, and failing, to report on.

The problem that climatologists have noticed is an erratic and unexplainable variation of the expected climate change. One which correlates to human population growth increases caused by industrialization.

In other words, after eliminating the impossible, the most probable cause is our species, no matter how much we deny it. Industrialization was a great thing, it has allowed us to live much longer before, but like all good things, we must be careful when using it and work to avoid problems caused by the benefits.

Typically correlation does not equal causation, this is why the climatologists are still making certain they have eliminated all possible causes before announcing one as being definitive. A fact both sides ignore.

Catastrophic climate change deniers are the easy one to address, the morons who deny evolution are more complex, and thus I will be unable to address every point in one post. Denying evolution happens is denying a fact, unless you can present a better word for "a change in allele frequencies within a population over generations."

The core problem with those who deny evolution is that none of them even know what evolution is and often describe some caricaturization fed to them by scammers out to make a profit on their stupidity and laziness. The vast majority will cite religion as an alternative, the religion they have been sold to them by atheists who have so little empathy that they are willing to take advantage of those who are too lazy to learn anything, most often we call these scammers preachers or priests.

A perfect example of such a scammer is Kent Hovind, he even has the police record to prove it. Go ahead, look it up, this article is going nowehere.

Evolution deniers will often ask for "missing links," and when they do you can rest assured that they know nothing about evolution or biology, and less about genetics than a high school student in any civilized country. Asking for punctuations in a spectrum where there are no inherent boundaries with which to define such is extremely dishonest, and precisely what these poor fools have been told to ask for because the scammers who are taking their money know you cannot provide what never existed.

This idea of links and punctuations in biology lead then to think evolution is some form of cartoonish morphing or some other nonsense that would actually challenge the all theories of biology, including evolution. This is another tactic used by the scammers we call priests, ask for something that would destroy a theory as proof of said theory as a means of ensuring that if said evidence were presented they could then point out that the theory was wrong because of it.

Another very common spoonfed tactic is to redefine words used by others so as to make them appear to contradict the facts. If this tactic is used it is certain you are dealing with a scammer themselves, keep them talking if it's on a public forum as eventually even the least intelligent person will begin to see the dishonesty of the scammer.

The truly sad fact that deniers illustrate is that scammers are correct, there is a fool born every second, a wise person born only once a month. Take pity on them, but do not expect much for they are really just insecure and lonely, and so they seek out the popular clubs to forget how hollow and empty their lives truly are.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Corruption of Welfare - Not so Corrupt

There is a hidden problem with joining the future that I rarely discuss, because it's not a problem inherent in technology. The lag of upgrades.

Technology is a sink or swim endeavor, not something that can be done willy nilly or half assed. The most important thing an organization must do is how decent IT personnel.

To better understand this I will use Washington state as an example of how to do it wrong. The specific point of interest is the Department of Social and Human Services.

This organization is notoriously a mess, the majority of workers are lazy and callous. Visiting in person was always the best method to take care of issues, however, visiting in person has an inherent issue with convenience.

The Moyer traditional method is to call by phone, which should have very few problems. This office ha's average wait times of 60 minutes, even if no one if being helped.

So it was great to hear that they finally have an online method available. That is, until you visit their website.

The Washington state DSHS website is designed as poorly as those old Altavista websites designed for people's parrots and gerbils in the 80s. The Lansing page is bland and login links are obfuscated, and none of it is mobile friendly.

When you manage to find the link to create an account they demand you choose a password based on insane criteria, like including a special symbol. This  ensures that you will forget the password in the future.

So you sludge through their poorly conceived login system, but you still have no access to what they want you to complete.

For that, there is another account system you have to find, yes, it is also obfuscated. Then you create a second passcode.

Okay, now you're ready to begin the rebel process, if you can figure out which text word you're suppose to click on. Instead of obvious menus or links, they bury the correct links in the actual text that drones on about different languages and how to get help if you can't read this page in English.

Ladies and gentlemen, the stupid of that one page alone is a threat to the sanctity of the internet. We have not  reached the end of our misadventure yet.

Once you start filling out the forms, you glance at the URL and notice, it now looks like a document on its own. The session ID is probably about 1k of data on it's own, excessive barely covers it.

Assuming your browser and connection are both perfect, in which case you don't need DSHS anyway, you get through and just wait for the letter telling you their decision.

Most browsers or connections will crash, that session ID and the fact they use JavaScript in ways the spaghetti monster never intended.

If you are a poor person who needs this service, you load the browser back up an navigate to the page again. Instead of your application, you are greeted with a warning that you have to wait 30 minutes for the other session to expire.

Yeah, they don't use cookies, and they have no way of tracking your IP address. In server scripts your IP address is very easy to check, even some of the laziest coders will connect that with the session for reconnects.

Alright, 8 hours later you manage to get this all done and now you can rest easy knowing you have renewed your much needed benefits. Then you get the letter explaining that you no longer get any benefits.

You have to call them anyway, wait more than an hour on the phone listening to the annoying voice telling you that it's better to use the system that just screwed it all up in the first place. This is not how you join the future, or save the planet, this is the result of bad hiring practices that result in nerds working positions where geeks should be.

I type this after being on the phone for 55 minutes, my second time trying to call to figure out why my medical renewal was denied in spite of no major changes. I am still waiting for an operator, and I was using my cheap $15 phone's keyboard.