Well, do let us begin with the bright light of humour with Andy Borowitz: Trump Accuses Biden of Assaulting American People with Long Words from March 12, 2021. PALM BEACH (The Borowitz Report)—Donald J. Trump delivered a scathing review of Joe Biden’s first prime-time White House speech as President, accusing his successor of “assaulting the American people with long words.”In a statement issued from his home at Mar-a-Lago, Trump ripped Biden for spewing a stream of words that were often three or four syllables.” It gets even better: “Reeling off a list of the offensively long words in Biden’s speech, Trump singled out “hyperbole,” “administer,” and “effective.” “This should never be allowed to happen in this country,” he said.
“No one knows what these words mean, and no one will ever know,” Trump said.”
It caused me to chuckle on this early morning of daylight saving time – so not that early actually. Chuckle is such a good word; its meaning? To laugh quietly or inwardly: It has the cutest of synonyms: Chortle, giggle, titter, laugh quietly, tee-hee, snicker, snigger; crow. A thought suddenly came to me, I should be required reading for Trump, increase his meagre vocabulary – now that would be a giggle, a littler, a snicker and a snigger. Perhaps he could be convinced if he knew that I was the first long term guess at the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
He: She cannot be all bad if she stayed there for that long. I did not own the place did I?
Aide: No sir! You do not own anything.
He: Oh yes, that Chinese/Malaysian fellow with lots of money owned it. What was his name?
Aide: Joo Kim Tiah, Sir. But he followed in your footsteps and went bankrupt as well.
He: Oh too bad, Hope he bounces back the way I did.
Aide: Probably he will. There are rumours of laundering dirty money which is possible in Canada and perhaps Malaysia.
He: Dirty money??? There is no such thing as dirty money.
I suppose all of my readers are smart enough to know that this is a fake conversation. I do not have a listening device in Florida. I have nothing, nor no one ,whatsoever in Florida.
But onto something most intellectual, about a seeming boring subject – ownership. The underlying concepts are rather complex but before touching upon them this paragraph is MOSt amusing. “ Fairfield, a professor at the Washington and Lee University School of Law, opens his book with the tale of We-Vibe, a line of sex toys sold by the company Standard Innovation. We-Vibe vibrators work with an app that allows customers (or their partners) to manage the devices via their cell phones. In 2016, a group of We-Vibe customers filed a class-action lawsuit, alleging that Standard Innovation had used the app to extract personal data. These data—of a remarkably intimate nature—revealed when the vibrators were operating, at what intensity, and even at what temperature. Fairfield refers to the company’s conduct as the online version of droit du seigneur. “The digital and smart devices that surround us are legion, but we do not truly own or control them,” he writes. (Standard Innovation eventually settled for $3.75 million, without admitting wrongdoing.)” Now, do not know about you guys but a vibrator from an App that starts playing with you? Whose idea of fun is this? I cannot even imagine how this might be possible or the technology behind it all. I do not want to open my imagination to those extremes. This peek into pornography is provided via a book reviewed by the New Yorker article. by Elizabeth Dolbert citing “Owned: Property, Privacy, and the New Digital Serfdom” (2017), by Joshua A. T. Fairfield.
The entire article is a must read – here is the link https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/03/15/how-much-of-your-stuff-belongs-to-big-tech?
It is truly fascinating, so well written and most informative and intellectual. If I were you I would be reading that, not me. Hahaha. The basic premise is thus: “Everyone, from toddlerhood onward, knows—or thinks he knows—what’s his. But, according to Michael Heller, a professor at Columbia Law School, and James Salzman, a professor at the U.C.L.A. School of Law, ownership is never straightforward. It “is a social engineering choice, a conclusion we come to, not a fact we find,” they observe.” The article consists of a series of book reviews: All the books speak to ownership: Heller and Salzman open their new book, “Mine! How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives” (Doubleday), with the brouhaha that became known as “reclinegate.” In January, 2020, on the day that the Trump Administration declared covid-19 a “public health emergency,” a woman named Wendi Williams travelled from New Orleans to Charlotte on American Airlines. She was sitting in the next-to-last row, and some minutes into the flight she pressed the metal button on her armrest and leaned back. The man behind her responded by pounding on her seat. Williams filmed him with her phone and tweeted the video, which went viral. Everybody, it seemed, had an opinion on the matter.“The proper thing to do is, if you’re going to recline into somebody, you ask if it’s O.K. first,” Ed Bastian, the head of Delta Air Lines, said.“The only time it’s ever O.K. to punch someone’s seat is if the seat punches you first,” Ellen DeGeneres declared. According to Heller and Salzman, neither party was exactly right or exactly wrong. When Williams bought her ticket, she’d been led to believe that she was buying access to her seat and to the triangle of space behind it. The man in the last row believed that the triangle properly belonged to him. The airline had left the “rules of ownership” vague so that it could, in effect, sell the same wedge of space twice. The result was an aerial imbroglio.”
The article must be read in its entirety as it points out that consumers have absolutely no viable ownership interests when companies are bought and sold – one’s home alarm system becomes inoperative, the author may have no rights whatsoever on the Apple book they penned. “And, In the meantime, of course, all our devices—phones, laptops, tablets, even, in some cases, sex toys and water meters—leak information about our movements and our purchases.”
The rather scary part is that there does not appear to be much one can do about it. Courts have been lackadaisical and inconsistent in enforcement of contract rights. Oh, by the way, lackadaisical has super synonyms: lax, unenthusiastic, half-hearted, uninterested, lukewarm, indifferent, uncaring, unconcerned, casual, offhand, blasé, insouciant, leisurely, relaxed; apathetic, languid, languorous, lethargic, limp, listless, sluggish, enervated, spiritless, aimless, bloodless, torpid, passionless, idle, indolent, shiftless, inert, impassive, feeble; laid back, couldn’t-care-less, easy going, slap-happy.
Do realize that this may be a bit depressing so, in my typical fashion, shall try to cheer. Yesterday I happened by the outside sales rack of Book Passage and found a book that could not be refused. It is pictured, both the cover and one of the pages. It is Baby Piglet: Finger Puppet Book and sold for a mere $4.99. I do have the ownership rights to this book. The back cover invites one to collect them all – baby bunnie, fish, giraffe, duck and many more. But the one that caught my attention was the Baby Unicorn. Readers know how much I love unicorns and so mourn the loss of the giant unicorn given to me by the Royal Family of Qatar.