Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Mr. Goldfinch Returns - With His Whole Family!

Apparently, Mr. Goldfinch (right) found us suitable lunch dates, yesterday, because he returned for sunflower seeds today, with Mrs. Goldfinch (middle), and junior(ette?) Goldfinch! :)

(Forgive the initial shot, apparently of our floor lol)

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Our Surprise Lunch Guest: An American Goldfinch :)

We've been putting out sunflower seeds every day, and every bird came a-calling, but the American Goldfinch - even rose finches.  Today, he made a surprise appearance to have lunch with us  :)

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Nothing 'Spooky' IS Going On, Most Mandela Effects Are Easily Explained: Human-Memory Tendency to Merge Similarities, Over Time :)

I may not have many skills, but one thing I've got is super memory.  Thus, I actually remember these according to reality VS. public-perception memory :) For example, I heard people say Mandela died in prison years ago, but knew they'd confused Nelson Mandela with Stephen Biko (Both South-African anti-apartheid activists in the 70s/80s who went to prison, only Biko died there).  I was iffy on a couple, but my education taught me how the human brain perceives info, categorizes it, and remembers it (often in a biased manner).

Based on my education, my theory as to what is really going on with the "Mandela effect" isn't anything "spooky" at all - it's simply a very natural, efficient way the human brain has evolved to works in order to create more "memory space" for new information :)
We humans identify and categorize things immediately -  but we do so in a biased manner, based on details we believe are the important ones.

However -  over time - we "make more memory room" by essentially getting rid of subcategories of more detail by merging 2 similarities into main categories.

Thus, you have the similar details of stories of Mandela and Biko merged into one, or Mr. Peanut Planter's Guy with monocle VS. The Monopoly Guy without monocle.

I admit, I always thought the Monopoly guy had a monocle, too - but the fact is, he doesn't and never has.

However, there's nothing spooky about it -  my theory is - just how our brains and memories work over time :)

And the reason we all think the Monopoly guy had a monocle is because Planter's "Mr. Peanut" and "Mr. Monopoly"- both having similar cartoon-style and similar features - hit peak popularity around the same time (1930s).

Thus, our memories have simply merged the two characters over time based on similar features that hit peak popularity around a similar time period - get it?

Basically, think of your brain being like a PC or your smart phone, saying: "You rarely use this app, so maybe you don't need it - let me defrag it and remove some files, and transfer it into archives."

The problem is, our brains are biased on what it chooses as important data.

Thus, not all the data details transfer correctly, sometimes a files even corrupt, or it's difficult to find that archived data later on - and wham, you've got a Mandela effect.

So, nothing spooky going on, just our brains imperfectly attempting to be more efficient so as to "accept new apps" - fascinating, isn't it?

Having said all that, there is one of these - and only one of these - that I have trouble explaining myself.

Mark and I were to go kayaking today, but it's supposed to rain, so instead, we're having a Netflix binge-watching day (which are often my favorite days).

(If you're interested, currently, we're watching my husband's choice of "Black Spot," which after the first 5 minutes, I pronounced essentially the French version of Twin Peaks, though not as funny and the characters aren't nearly as likeable.  It's meh, mediocre, and I bet David Lynch is banging his head against the wall and wondering how he can sue them lol.)

Thus, I went on YouTube to look up a a full clip from Jimmy Fallon's original Lip Sync battle from years ago that apparently has been retired (the one with Stephen Merchant, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Jimmy)?

You know how you watch one video, then another, and you somehow end up in strange places, having no idea how you got there? lol

That's how this happened :)

Anyway, I watched a new Mandela Effect video, all BS and easily explained - with the exception of one, that I admit, had me scratching my head (as apparently it did other people) - because it's not as easily explained as "memory merging."

Now, because of my memory, I can remember dates, times, and nearly verbatim conversations (unless super stressed or distracted), which is why I aced history classes, and I consider myself a fairly strong history buff, particularly American history.

This "effect" is regarding WWI.

Mark asked me, "When did WW1 begin?"

I shot back "1914, but the US didn't enter officially enter until ... 1916? No, 1917, I think?"


Which is why this next one is the only one of these that has me scratching my head - because his one actually isn't the case of our memories merging 2 similarities over time.,

So, we all knew that Pearl Harbor got us into WWII, right?

But I had always been under the impression that nothing really got us into WWI, except increasing pressure from our allies (the whole war being political and started by the assassination of Austria's Archduke Ferdinand to begin with).

So, you think I would remember - or at some point, I would've been taught in American history - that there was a massive terrorist explosion (supposedly performed by German spies) in New York City in 1916 that partially destroyed the Statue of Liberty, and was responsible for not only the Espionage Act of 1917 and the creation of the first US domestic terrorism agencies,  but the biggest reason why we entered the war - and it was called Black Tom Island.

I honest to God never heard of this event until today?

It doesn't freak me out or anything, but I am having trouble explaining why most of us don't remember this/weren't taught this in US history?

In fact, one of the commenters claimed to be a HS American-History teacher, but had never heard of this event either - but I think it sent him into an existential crisis! lol

Because this one, you can't explain away by merging memories of two similarities over time - so how to explain it?

(I don't watch these because I believe in Mandela effect, but because I find the way the human brain works, and false-public memory aspect, fascinating.)

And there you have it - that is the only "Mandela Effect" that stumps me and I can't easily explain by the way human memory works over time (which is the aspect that I personally find fascinating about these) :)


Mark reasoned: "Maybe the reason we didn't know is because of lack of national communication, lack of media in general, which had improved by WWII.  People relied on local newspapers.  By the 1930s, we received more national news, and movies had newsreel trailers before movies and at intermissions, whereas they didn't in WWI?"

Me:  "Well, that sounds plausible - but it doesn't explain why I know that the Titanic sank on April 15, 1912, without even looking it up (which I knew before the movie, mind you, because my grandparents saved the local newspaper clipping )  - which occurred 4 years before Black Tom Island?"

"You mean to tell me this major terrorist event on US soil by the Germans, that essentially obliterated from existence a tiny island in NY Harbor and partially damaged the Statue of Liberty - and was essentially the 9/11 of their day and a major impetus for our entrance into WWI - most of us have never even heard about this event and were never taught about it in school, but even local newspapers published the Titanic and WWI events?"

"So there goes that theory, too.  Even my country-Kentuckian grandparents knew about the Titanic from a saved newspaper clipping from 1912, but never mentioned Black Tom's Island, that just seems weird to me. lol." 

Mark: "Maybe the name of the island is controversial as knowledge about racism increased, so the education system glossed over the event due to the name of the island, in shame?"

Me:  "Hm, well, it appears tiny Black Tom's Island itself was essentially blown off the map with  the explosion, the remnants were almost immediately incorporated into Liberty Park - and we all know it wasn't due to racism - racism and racial segregation was standard, accepted practice in 1916, even in NYC.  People made no attempt to hide their racism in the 1910s."

"Plus supposedly Kaiser Germans were responsible, who were white, so? Could it be because they were white, and it happened on US soil -  it didn't fit the narrative about people of color versus whites?"

"Nah, that doesn't make sense, either -  because at the time, we were looking for justifications to get involved in the war, and anti-Kaiser/German propaganda was high.  So why wasn't this event more broadly used and popularly known as justification, as Pearl Harbor was for WWII?"

"Plus again, racism was standard, accepted practice in 1916, even in NYC. White people didn't NEED a political narrative to hide white crime because people were already conditioned to wrongfully assume people of color were up to no good and at fault, if left to their own volition, and therefore "needed" whites for that "benevolent white patriarchs" bullshit, even in NYC.  So even race theories are a stretch."

"So I gotta admit, this one's a stumper.  I'm sure there IS a more plausible explanation for why virtually no one remembers this being taught in American History than "alternative universe" theories or CIA-mind control (LOL) -  I just can't find it yet." 

Mark:  "Well, as far-fetched as it may sound, there are those who believe that with all these US-soil events, 9/11, Pearl Harbor, and maybe even Black Tom's Island, the US did it to themselves, to turn public sentiment towards war.  Because remember, up until Vietnam, war in the US was a money-maker.  Didn't Wilson want some big international co-op deal like the UN or something?

Me: "Oh my gosh, now, you may be onto something with that one.  Because Wilson had tried unsuccessfully for years to establish the League of Nations.  The LON was not accepted and established until 1920 - a little over a year after the war ended! :)"

"Wow, I really hate to even think like that, especially without any evidence - it feels I should next don a tinfoil hat, but unlike the others, that explanation at least makes sense, and the timing of the LON is odd -  and as I've always said, from Hillary to Trump, to Kavanaugh to Blasey-Ford - though we should always presume innocent until proven guilty, lack of evidence does NOT automatically mean innocence, either - so that possibility cannot be excluded, like the others on the table."

*I need to add, here, that by that I do NOT mean we need to assume every accusation made contains any truth at all, especially when it comes to politics, and trying to prove those false is often like trying to prove someone murdered a unicorn - which you can't - because you have to prove the existence of unicorn in the first place lol.
I'm just saying that when it comes to an actual crime, just because no evidence has been found doesn't mean the crime didn't happen or a suspect is innocent.  That doesn't make the suspect guilty OR innocent actually - it means there's not enough evidence - period.

(i.e., a body or murder weapon is never found, but the person was never seen again. A woman was raped but was afraid to tell anyone until years later when all evidence is gone, etc.)

But in this case, unlike a unicorn, we DO have have evidence this major world event existed in the first place - but what's missing is why this major world event has been virtually ignored in American History - but all we have is a timeline of circumstantial evidence, which isn't true evidence at all - it proves nothing.

Mark: "Yeah, and remember, I'm a former Army ranger.  I know for fact, shit gets covered up, based on personal experience - and it happens under every US president.  People are extraordinarily stupid, if they think Trump isn't the worst liar/cover-upping con of them all.  They've all seen him contradict himself, lie, and try to hide stuff (including his tax returns, college records, military records, thwart investigations which no innocent man would do), right in front of their faces, all day, every day, since day one, and they still blindly trust the man, it makes no sense.  We all saw/heard the video of Trump saying, "I could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose support," and they cheered it on, it's unbelievable that that's okay with people!  People are stupid sheep, blinded by wanting to believe something so badly, they can't see the forest for the trees."

So, has my husband solved this mystery of why none of us were taught about the terrorist explosion of Black Tom's Island essentially being responsible for pulling us into WWI?


(And yeah, you probably don't want to play Trivial Pursuit with me.  I'm a font of useless skills and useless information such as dates, times, events, and conversations lol.)

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Why People Still Victim-Blame in Cyberbullying Situations in 2019

(Edited). Cyberbullying is started by 1 person enlisting at least 2 friends to attack/smear to instigate gangup.  The most common causes are retaliation for rejection and/or to discredit the victim (to avoid taking responsibility for something the bully did).  Mob-mentality/scapegoating causes gangups, but this article explains:"When bullying occurs, people often place the blame on the shoulders of the victim. Most of the time, they falsely believe that if the victim of bullying were somehow different, then bullying wouldn’t happen. They might even ask the victim: "What did you do to cause it?" But bullying is never the target's fault. They do not need to change or be different in some way to avoid being bullied. Change is always the bully's responsibility."

In other words, otherwise nice people see a gangup forming, and assume mob rule makes the mob right - they assume there must be some logical reason everyone is jumping on - though that is rarely, if ever, true, and if anything, it's the reasons already mentioned above.

They will first will look for anything the victim might have done to bring the attack on themselves, typically basing it unfairly on the victim's current normal emotional reactions to being bullied - confusion, expression of sadness, fear, cursing, fighting back. This, of course, reverses the order of events, but nevertheless gets used as "proof" the victim deserved it.

The most fascinating phenomenon that occurs during cyberbullying situations is how many people will actually approach the victim with "advice" on how the victim should change their behavior, instead of the bullies :)

"Maybe if you didn't post personal information that could be twisted." 

"Maybe if you hadn't freaked out"

"Maybe if you hadn't posted personal pictures."

"Maybe you love the attention and drama of it all."

"Maybe if you just ignored them."

"Maybe if you hadn't said what they were doing was creepy." 

"Maybe if you'd shut up and just go away."

"Maybe if you'd just gone out with them when they asked."

"Maybe if you hadn't told them to stop it, knock it off, or F off ."

In this way, even if they don't help attack or cheer the bullies on, they are still helping the bullies out, because they're insulting/blaming the victim for their own attack, too.

Often, they genuinely believe they're helping, not even realizing they are helping the bullies.

Making it worse is the bully and friends will play the victim to justify themselves - even lying about the victim/projecting their own behavior on the victim.

Thus why it's hard to tell the difference - especially if the victim fights back.

(***This is why it's important to figure out who the real victim is before taking action - because both sides will claim they're the victim. ***)

However, this should be your first clue ... 

(Unless there's a weapon involved) many against is one never a fair fight ;)

Additionally, here's an interesting aspect of a study done in 2013 about why people blame the victim in cyberbullying:

"Participants attributed more responsibility for the bullying incident to the victim when the victim was presented as extroverted and very open in revealing personal information. This diminished social support for the victim. The effect was partially mediated by the victim's perceived attractiveness."

I found this fascinating - because in other words, the reasons for real-life bullying are often the exact opposite reasons for bullying online.  In real-life, it's often those perceived as introverted and less attractive that are bullied, but online, it's typically the opposite.

That doesn't mean one type of bullying can't happen in the other setting, it certainly does - but it's interesting that one incidence is higher than the other online and vice versa, isn't it?

Lastly, I found this study/white paper the most fascinating - it explains to me something I've wondered for a long time - why people you know to be otherwise very moral and empathetic people can engage in cyberbullying gangups, cheer it on, or give unsolicited "advice" to the victim that they should change behavior instead of the bullies?

The study/academic white paper is based on the work of Albert Bandura, renowned Social Psychologist explaining why otherwise moral people help the bullies instead of the victim.

The simple answer is - they exhibited higher levels of "moral disengagement" than others.

"Moral disengagement" doesn't mean they don't have morals, or even lack empathy - it means that when an individual's actions aren't consistent with their self-concept and their own moral code, to ease that cognitive dissonance, they disengage from their morality and empathy, through justification, rather than take responsibility - even make themselves the victim. 

In other words, people who exhibit higher levels of "moral disengagement" regularly suspend their morals and empathy through self-justification.

In the most basic terms, they were studying essentially 4  groups of people observed in group cyberbullying situations:

1)  The bullies. 
2)  The cheerers-on/hop-ons/victim-blaming "advice-givers."
3)  Those who did not get involved. 
4)  Those who stood up for the victim.

Though everyone has had at least one poor-coping moment of "moral disengagement" at some point in their lives, what they found on testing was that Groups 1 and 2 had higher/more frequent levels of moral disengagement, where as Groups 3 and 4 had lower/less frequent levels of moral disengagement.

Oversimplified, they have morals and empathy, but instead of adhering to their own stated moral code, they apply their morals and empathy based on subjective/random snap-assessments of what they perceive they "deserve."

So the  first 2  groups have a moral code that allows for situations that justify group-cyberbullying, but the latter 2 groups have a moral code that never allows justification for group-cyberbullying.

Even more interestingly, those with higher levels of moral disengagement will continue to justify their bullying long after the event, rather than experience remorse for their actions.

It doesn't mean they can't experience remorse, they certainly can - it's just means that in certain situations, they will avoid feeling remorse - and they will often continue to blame the victim long afterwards, even bully them further - just to shut them up so they don't ever have to look at themselves and address the cognitive dissonance between their moral code and their actual behavior.

And you can see how being online makes it easier to "morally disengage," for those already so inclined ;)

Fascinating stuff.

I also read 4 studies showing (varying by study) up to 80% of cyberbullying is instigated by females (often more subtly) and that up to 80% of cyberbullying victims were female.

HOWEVER - Females were twice as likely as males to stand up for the cyberbullying victims,  whether the victims were male or female - whereas males tended to "hop on" the side of (male or female) bullies more often than females.

*All 4 studies on gender and cyberbullying proved this to be true (though the percentages sometimes differed significantly).

Interesting, huh?

Having been cyberbullied before myself, after reading these articles today, I have just now finished parking in draft every more personal post I've written except the change in email addresses (and some documentation of a chronic cyberstalker/cyberbullying/impersonation situation :)

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Email Address Change: Multiple PayPal Accounts Hacked Through A Specific Former Employer

Last night, a contract company (that I still occasionally pick up work for) emailed us that several contractors didn't receive their pay.  The email stated the hack was internal - someone used our contractor company and email passwords to get into Paypal accounts and take contractor pay.  I was NOT affected, but have my suspicions as to who's" internally" responsible.  Several of us reported some pretty creepy privacy/security issues last fall, but were ignored.  Of course they're now trying to pin things on anyone who stood up to them or reported it to management - it's called retaliation - Duh?

Regardless, I've asked the company to close my account permanently and I'm changing my personal email address for security reasons - I've seen enough at this company.

Here's the bounce-back email you'll receive when writing to my current email address.  If you are not this company, but would like my new email address, contact me via phone or through this email and I'll send the new one to you :) ...

As stated in my email, due to your email, last night, stating the discovery that several of your freelancers' Paypal accounts were hacked and thus did not get paid, last week (interestingly using XXXX passwords and emails) -  as well as prior experience on your company forum in November -  I wish to have my XXXX work account permanently closed after receiving my pay on Monday. 

Several of us warned you repeatedly about certain individuals potentially becoming a liability for XXX, but we were ignored, and now here we are - people's accounts are being hacked and not receiving pay.

No more chances, I'm sorry.  You should've done something before now.  No hard feelings, but XXXX is clearly not a safe place to work.

Please delete my work account and do not send me any further correspondence.


Chrystal Chaplow

PS - I think after the Virginia Beach shootings of coworkers, and our pay being  hacked by someone internally at a contract company I still intermittently work for, I've seen enough - especially  online - I'm hibernating like Rip Van Winkle for the next 20 years lol.

No social media, no work forums - nothing.

(No worries, I contract for another company most days who are super cool :)

The world is getting a crazier, angrier, meaner, and more dangerous place and it's on both sides of politics - and most of the people acting innocent are the very ones responsible, so everyone's so shocked when they discover it's them :/

Though it may feel safe because you're in your home, even at work,  it isn't safe for anyone.

Please stop blaming the victims for crimes like these, assuming they brought hacks, crime, violence and bullying, online or real life, on themselves - and please be aware of retaliation behavior towards those who tried to report these things to management or authorities!  

(Reporting a crime to management or authorities doesn't make them deserving of false accusations, hacks, crime, violence, or bullying either.)

I was lucky this time, I wasn't affected, but some fellow coworkers were.

But this happens by the thousands to people, every day - and companies ignoring reports about certain others creepily violating privacy/security issues certainly isn't going to magically make those problems go away.

In fact, if they're allowed to remain in the work environment without consequence, not only will they get worse, but of course they'll try to pin their own misdeeds on anyone who reported them, to retaliate!

You cannot teach or train grown adults in ethics and integrity - by adulthood, you either have ethics and integrity or you don't.

All you are doing with such "training" as a consequences is teaching them how to better hide unethical, even criminal, behavior.

Just because you haven't been bullied, hacked or even shot doesn't make you a smarter, more diplomatic, tougher or a better person - you're just incredibly lucky.

Take care all