People staring at their digicrack while walking/biking/driving absolutely drives me nuts. There's a guy in my neighborhood who takes his baby out for a walk in a stroller and proceeds to spend the entire time staring at his phone, nothing says dad of the year more than caring more about your dopamine fix than I dunno, actually interacting with your child. Honestly, the world would be much better off if a lot of these techno junkies ended up as pavement splatter.

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I wanted to comment on one of the sub-topics of your thoughts, RE: society's increasingly risk-tolerant behaviors:

Desensitization to risk - The constant bombardment of thrills and dangers presented through social media, and other virtual outlets seems to have desensitized many, especially youth, to real-world risks. They may not fully appreciate the very real dangers of risky acts.

I find it intriguing, for example, that what the government wants you to be terrified of is frequently not what you should be actually concerned about. The US government will crack down hard on raw milk distribution but not on other harmful ingredients in processed foods that other countries have previously prohibited.

Thrill-seeking gone too far - Some may engage in dangerous acts largely for thrills and shock value rather than any meaningful purpose or skill. We could possibly include here the rise of 'clout chasing' on social media. There are grave consequences for those that are popular on social media... until they're not https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGUQEPJAK5U

Aside from daring circus acts, proper risk and skill are crucial in many aspects of society. The myriad perilous occupations that keep society running are valued because some people are willing and capable of performing them even though they can come with considerable risk. Many people fail to understand the enormous time, effort, and practice required to execute these tasks, talents that are gained by dedication rather than casual irresponsibility.

Short-term thinking - In the heat of the moment, long-term consequences are often disregarded. But as you note, those final moments before tragedy may haunt families who later contemplate what was risked. Is this short-term thinking correlated with the short-term attention spans that social media, such as TikTok, encourages?

Impact of isolation - You suggest pandemic isolation may have contributed to a "Fuck-it" mindset and desire for thrills/connection among some. This could cloud judgment around risk-assessment. There is one area of risk assessment that is influenced by others. Observing individuals around you might also alert you to the dangers of certain actions. An lone individual witnessing non-risk-aversion E-celebrities on YouTube pulling silly pranks might seriously distort their view of risky behavior.

Herd mentality - Peer pressure and desire for online notoriety may induce greater risk-taking than would otherwise occur. Bystanders can also have an impact on results, for better or worse, and usually for the worst. We notice that the bystander effect these days is primarily in the role of documentary-voyeurism; for example, when a terrible brawl or accident occurs, instead of interfering, people want to be the first to capture it and post it on social media.

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Nov 2, 2023Liked by Mark Bisone

I watched G.I. Joe every day after school when I was a kid, and my brother had all the toys and we’d play GI Joe for hours.

I don’t remember when it dawned on me that cartoons, like magazines, are really just long form commercials, but it was far too long into my life. It’s insidious when you have kids. Social media, too. Everything is advertising disguised as entertainment. Including the war/current thing/whatever.

I really laughed hard at your description of the episode and it all made perfect sense to me, so thank you, I needed a laugh like that.

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LOLOL at the Federal Reserve being the good guys. People probably don’t *consciously* remember imbibing this lesson (gold bad! Fiat money good!), which probably makes it all the more effective later on. Toy advertising was just the icing on the cake.

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I have a moment like that every once in awhile.

"I returned to my sister’s, and played a few rounds of PIG with nephew, with his mini-hoop in the basement, while nephew’s friend played a video game. As nephew and I were trash talking, nephew told NF to forget the game and play PIG. NF said, “I’m trying to figure out which meth lab I should buy.”

It was one of those moments where time sort of stopped. “What did you just say?” I asked, not angry, just, what was that?

“I’m trying to figure out which meth lab to buy.” The kid is like, eleven.

“This game gives you options about what meth lab to buy?”

“Yeah, see, there are four here.”

“Really? Really?” I looked at nephew and back at NF. “Does this game seem like it is healthy for you guys?”

NF says, “Yeah, we can steal cars, do drugs, buy all kinds of guns, we can even hire prostitutes!”

I stared. Silly uncle. Finally when I recovered, “Do your parents know you play this game?”

“Mom doesn’t care,” Nephew said. “[NF’s] dad doesn’t care what he does.”

I looked at NF, he looked at me, shrugged his shoulders and turned back to his game.

“What is it about this game that you guys like?”

Nephew didn’t say anything, but NF said, “It’s fun.”

“What is fun about it though?”

NF thought about that for a second. “It’s like sugar.” I laughed loudly. “Sugar. It’s like sugar,” he confirmed


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Nov 2, 2023Liked by Mark Bisone

G.I.Joe will not be able to save us in the real world- they can’t even pass a P.T. Test.

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