A bag of Avocados

Posted in News and Politics | Tagged ,

I was working on an article for the CNP earlier today on the US presidential elections and made an offhand remark that if the Democrats nominated a bag of Avocados for the presidency that California would faithfully line up and vote for it.  And then it hit me – a bag of Avocados would actually be a better nominee than either American party’s candidates.  Here’s 10 reasons you should join me in writing in a bag of avocados on your presidential ballot this fall.

1. Foreign policy

While it’s true that a bag of avocados doesn’t have much foreign policy experience, avocados are widely travelled – they’re grown in 57 different countries and exported and consumed world wide.  Moreover, everyone loves avocados – neither Trump or Clinton can come close to a bag of avocados in global opinion polls.  Finally, a bag of avocados is far less likely to get us into World War 5 (WWI, WWI, the Cold war, and the current ongoing neoliberal war being waged on the worlds poor via the WTO and various other treaties and trade organizations being the first 4) than either Hillary “Iraq is a business opportunity” Clinton or Donald “macho man” Trump.

2. The environment

Avocados understand the importance of rain that isn’t full of acid, air that isn’t polluted, and soil that isn’t full of toxic waste far better than Hillary “let’s frack everything” Clinton.  Even better, we can plant the avocado pits and grow trees.  Trees drink carbon dioxide and fight global warming.  I rest my case.

3. Trade and the economy

As mentioned in point 1, avocados have vast world experience and are a key part of a balanced breakfast, lunch, dinner, and trade portfolio.  A bag of avocados won’t sign the TPP or push through any other similar trade deals that continue the decades of class warfare that both American political parties have waged on behalf of their corporate backers.

4. Women’s rights:  

Avocados will not push to overturn Roe vs Wade or defund women’s health clinics like Trump/Pence would and they won’t drop bombs on poor women in Honduras/Iraq/Libya or sell weapons to regimes like Saudi Arabia that oppress women and execute LGBT people as HRC did as Secretary of State.  Instead, they will gracefully adorn your morning toast and lunch time hamburgers, add body to your post-yoga smoothie, and spread joy wherever they go.

5. Healthcare reform

Avocados are full of polyunsaturated fats – the good kind of fats – and surprisingly low on calories at only 234 calories in a medium-sized avocado.  They will promote healthy diets and the consumption of more fresh produce instead of the over-processed pre-packaged junk most americans eat far too much of.  They probably won’t deliver the healthcare reforms we so desperately need, but then neither will Clinton or Trump. While it’s true Avocados can be bought out by the HMO’s, they are the only candidate where we can say with honesty and certainty that campaign contributions will not impact their decisions about what legislation to sign into law.

6. Social Security

Avocados will not privatize social security as the Republicans want to do or raid social security to pay for wars and “balance the budget” as Bill Clinton did.  They won’t expand it the way Sanders wanted to either, but then with him out of the race that’s off the table anyway.  As a bonus, avocados are soft and easy to eat, even if you lost all your teeth during Bill Clinton’s presidency, and the new-age types claim they have powerful anti-aging properties.  That’s probably bullshit, but then so is literally every word out of Clinton and Trumps mouths.

7. Taxation and benefits

Unlike Clinton and Trump, Avocados will not give giant tax cuts to the super-rich that defund the government and create deficits that they then use as an excuse to cut social programs for poor people who are struggling to survive.

8. The Supreme Court

Unlike Clinton the Neo-liberal and Trump the neo-fascist, Avocados will not appoint evil bastards that put corporate interests above the needs of ordinary people to the Supreme Court.  In fact, they won’t appoint anyone to the Supreme Court.  And maybe that’s what we need for a while, after their idiotic Citizens United ruling, the entire Supreme Court needs to sit in time out for a few years and think about what they’ve done.

9. Integrity

Avocados tell no lies, they won’t set up private email servers to skirt the freedom of information act, they won’t turn the presidency into a kleptocracy, and they cannot be corrupted.  At the end of the day, you can trust a bag of avocados far more than any major party politician.  And if you don’t have trust what do you have?

10. Avocados are delicious

’nuff said.

So please join me in voting this November for your next president – a big bag of avocados

Deep links and Cross-platform targeting

Posted in tech | Tagged , , ,

Two new posts up on corporate blogs for my job.  One is a product announcement on our new deeplinking solution:

Announcing: Smart Link

The second is an explanation of how data from that tool is being used along with other data to power our new cross-platform and cross-device targeting technology:

Cross-Device and Cross-Platform Targeting

(Hopefully) interesting stuff if you work in the mobile advertising and media space!

Career advice for my younger self

Posted in Life | Tagged ,

First off, let me be clear here.  I’m not some big shot super-successful business guru that you should model your life on.  These are rules that I’ve learned or made for myself over the last decade or so, often from bitter failure.  If I had the opportunity to go back in time and give 20 year old me career advice it would be a long conversation, but these points would form the core of it.    So do yourself a favor and learn from my mistakes!  Or don’t, I’m not your supervisor after all.

Continue reading

PII, Analytics, and Advertising

Posted in tech | Tagged ,

I’ve been thinking about privacy and the inherent conflict between the drive by advertisers to want to know more and the need to respect end users personal information.  I ended up writing two articles about it.  The first is up on the RadiumOne corporate blog and talks about threats to end user Personally Identifiable Information (PII) presented by the growing trend toward integrating mobile analytics tools with programatic media buying solutions and how RadiumOne is addressing that issue.

The Fight to Keep Personally Identifiable Information Private on Mobile

The second post is up on iCrunchData news and goes a bit more into the nuts and bolts of digital media targeting, as well as some of the threats to user data posed by solutions that don’t use the data themselves but store it on behalf of third parties.

Why Modern Advertising is Based on a Contradiction

Enjoy!

Enough

Posted in fiction | Tagged ,

Jake sighed as he slumped against the steering wheel of his truck and moved back into the lane.  He had moved over to the side to let a motorcycle past because the truck filled the whole lane.  It had been years since he’d been on a bike, the girl who loved to ride on the back of his cruiser when they were dating had mysteriously morphed into a wife who made him sell his bike because she was worried he’d get killed riding it.  At least that meant she wanted him to make it home, right?  Things could be worse.  Some couples burned hot for a few years and then faded but they still lay in bed on Saturday mornings laughing and cuddling like newlyweds.  He smiled, thinking about her eyes looking up at him. Continue reading

Lucky

Posted in fiction | Tagged , ,

The airstrike rattled the city, everything shook. Dust rattled down from the rafters and somewhere in the basement below an infant cried. Mo sat as still as he could amidst the crush of strangers and tried to focus on breathing. The air was thin, too many lungs sucking oxygen and not enough ventilation. The earth shook again beneath the roar of planes overhead, and the thunder of bombs; aggravating the ringing in his ears.

He had ended up here by sheer good luck, if you could call it that. The university had closed months ago because of the protests and never re-opened. When the military had opened fire on protests in the capital the shock waves went right across the country. Many of the students had joined militias, others fled. Mo headed for the border, he couldn’t muster enough faith to believe in a revolution and the fundamentalists were even worse than the soldiers. On foot it was a long journey and the war overtook him. Continue reading

The do’s and don’ts of online dating, from a newlywed.

Posted in Life | Tagged ,

Almost 2 years ago now I wrote a humorous (well, I thought it was funny…) blog post on taking a data-driven approach to dating.  In that post I promised to write a follow-up if I had success.  Since I got married in July, I guess it’s about time I keep that promise!  So here’s a few things I learned along the way (big thanks to the okcupid data blog and the okc forums on reddit) that might prove useful to others.

For the sake of transparency, these are written for someone who’s looking for a life partner, if you’re just out there to get laid you can disregard most of them. Continue reading

4 phrases men should use more

Posted in Gender and Feminism, Life | Tagged , ,

There’s an article by Soraya Chemaly that’s been making the rounds on Social Media about the 10 words every woman should use.  It’s a truly fantastic data-based analysis of the way differences in social conditioning around communication styles for men and women have lifelong impacts, in and out of the workplace. I highly recommend you give it a look – especially if you’re a man.  It got me thinking, what are the phrases that men should use more? How can we be better allies, friends, and colleagues to the women in our lives? It’s absolutely essential for women to speak up and demand to be heard, but it’s equally essential for men to support them when they do. Continue reading

Walled Gardens

Posted in News and Politics, tech | Tagged , ,

Yesterday I put up a new post  on how to optimize your mobile app’s URI scheme.  The post is mostly technical but touches on a few important points – notably the fact that the mobile app ecosystem is a fragmented series of walled gardens.  This is in sharp contrast to the free and open web where anyone can add content and anyone can access it.

If you feel the way I do about free speech, feel free to insert your own rant here about the privatization of the (virtual) commons.  This is the digital equivalent of town squares where free speech was legally protected being replaced by malls where a rent a cop will firmly escort you off the premises if you try to do any sort of outreach. Continue reading