big data is watching you

Should you ever find yourself in a position of influence, you’ll be required to pay the toll of compliance.

I am part of the first generation. I was dial-up internet chatting with friends and strangers over ICQ and AIM in junior high. I have created an account on just about every major social networking site since the phenomenon’s inception. I’ve gambled on sites that have long since dissolved and disappeared. I’ve been a user on sites that are only popular in other countries. I have used my own name. I have used fake names. I have lurked, trolled, whored, geeked, gamed, and just about everything else one can do online. I have a long history of internet use—with almost two decades of it occurring before privacy ever became a notion or concern.

Prior to Trump, my generation—the first generation of social media users—could have never been elected into office. There’s too much dirt on us—sticky digital fingerprints all over the trash, photos, videos and every ignorant thing teenagers and twenty-something morons think, do, and say online. For the first time in human history, all the nonsense of growing up and discovering life—experiencing all of the good and bad in the world—has been digitally documented and preserved forever. Moreover, we didn’t know that prior to going in—neither did the adults—and we surely didn’t consent with an understanding of the consequences.

5 Reasons Why Newspapers Have No Future

No matter your political stance, newspapers are organizations of sensationalism, partisanship, editorial opinion, and payola. Journalists must abandon these institutions to rebuild credibility.

I caused some hurt feelings on Twitter the other day. While filling out my ballot for the midterm elections, I took to the internet to help make sense of convoluted wording of the propositions. First off, that’s saying something about the voting process. I have a degree in philosophy and found it easier to understand Spinoza than the different amendments and propositions that I was voting for.

To gain clarity, I went to Google and began searching. Naturally, my local newspapers—namely The Denver Post and Colorado Springs Gazette—continued to pop up in the results. Once clicking on them, I quickly found that all of the important information about candidates and the propositions was gated behind a paywall. These sites required that I buy a subscription to view this content.

Las Vegas Strip

Today was… difficult.

October 2, 2017—the day of the Las Vegas Massacre. It was technically the night before, but the world woke to another tragedy. A community shocked and numb.

It wasn’t surprising—I feel like everyone knew something like this was going to happen at some point in Las Vegas—but that doesn’t make it any less devastating or easier to accept.

I’ve seen it closeup several times before. I have a lot of connections to the Columbine shooting—know people on the hit list, have friends who lost their friends. I was there for the Theater Shooting, was a couple of miles up the road from the New Life Church shooting, drove along the highways during the Arizona I-10 Shooter scare, and used to play arcade games where the Trolley Square Shooting went down. I have dealt with this in my backyard, I have seen it unfold through the eyes of people who have established roots in these communities.

Vegas still felt different.

See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil.

While there is absolutely no moral equivalency being drawn between good and evil—right and wrong—this exposé on same-sex marriage and modern families is completely about turning a blind eye. How I looked the other way—simply because everyone else did. We are afraid to ask the simplest of questions just because of the way it makes us feel. Ignorant. Confused. Fearful of the future. A whole host of complex questions that require considerable thought, vulnerability, and stirs deep emotions.

Meet Ginger; a longtime family friend and who would be the closest thing I have to a sister. My dad and her dad have been friends since the mid 1970s. They met while at work; my dad being a construction manager and her dad, David, owning a painting company. The two played competitive softball with each other for many years. As the stories go, it was a tight-knit group of friends and the ballgames were much more than obsession—it was their life. My mom had a significant role in Ginger’s young life, acting as an close-to-the-family babysitter for her and her brother for several years. Ginger’s mom and dad were always very much involved in her life, but appreciated the extra help while working full-time jobs and managing softball teams. Eventually I was born and my mom looked after all three of us. Though I was only a toddler, Ginger was my favorite and I followed her around like a duckling.

Kellyanne Conway

No. For reals. I’m genuinely asking.

While Conway isn’t single handedly responsible for Donald Trump being elected, she was certainly instrumental. A strong case can be made that if it weren’t for her, Hillary Clinton would have become President. In my opinion, this has to create tremendous pause within the movement.

Is Kellyanne the troll of women’s rights? The pawn that men used to tear down another woman? Or, is Kellyanne the posterwoman of the movement’s success?

Contribute to SWH

Pick Up Your Copy

  • Prime
  • Kindle
  • Paperback
  • Hardcover
  • Buy
News
HUD
The world’s most successful and celebrated pop star. A Native American making a name for himself in LA. The two collide in a powerful love...
SW Hammond
Contribute to SW Hammond Over the last few weeks, the swhammond.com website has undergone a few major changes. With the completion of the...
SW Hammond
Believe me, you guys—I am so in love with these characters! Well, it has been quite the summer. Those of you who keep in touch and check out...
Culture
SW Hammond
Should you ever find yourself in a position of influence, you’ll be required to pay the toll of compliance. I am part of the first...
SW Hammond
No matter your political stance, newspapers are organizations of sensationalism, partisanship, editorial opinion, and payola. Journalists...
SW Hammond
Today was… difficult. October 2, 2017—the day of the Las Vegas Massacre. It was technically the night before, but the world woke to another...
Media
Music
SW Hammond
Sarah Saturday's dreamy-reflective bedroom pop rock project captivates and compels with earnest songwriting. Sarah Saturday might be my...
SW Hammond
Maybe you can never go home again. But if you could, Ghost Notes would be the soundtrack. For some reason I’ve avoided writing about Ghost...
SW Hammond
Guilty Pleasure? Embarrassed??? Hardly. As much as I love music, and devoted a significant amount of my life to it, I can still be pretty...
Philosophy
SW Hammond
The answers I’ve arrived at could have never been told to me—as I cannot tell them to you—they were achieved through realization by...
SW Hammond
On every measurable scale, no matter which side you are sympathetic toward, The Shortest War In History adds to the long list of Unjust wars...
SW Hammond
Knowledge is not an edifice built upon a foundation of indubitable facts, but an interpretative web of mutually supporting beliefs and...
Memoirs
SW Hammond
I was finally able to extract a bunch of data from an old hard drive. I was sure it contained old writings, school projects and music but...
SW Hammond
As I’ve become older, out of my twenties for a couple of years, I’ve found myself settling into a pattern of reveling in solitude. When I...
SW Hammond
I used to pour my guts out. Seems the only way I ever understood my feelings were to read them. The collection within these pages used to...

Newsletter

Enter your email below and never miss news and new releases from SW Hammond.