Amanda Spradlin is the founder of Coincidental Chaos. She writes with the passion of a questionable mind. Any donations are appreciated!
Liberty Lost in Laws
More often than not, the lawmakers of America do not write the laws themselves. An investigation performed by USA Today found that between 2010-2018, over 2,100 model bills have been passed into law. A model bill is a bill that is originally drafted by lobbyists, and then copied and pasted by an elected official who continues to formally propose it to Congress. These are also known as fill-in-the-blank bills, as most go on to get copied over and over again, in a fill-in-the-blank format, to be reintroduced by several states (Bottari, 2015).
Collapse in America
Recently, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists just released the time on the Doomsday clock which reads, “It is 100 Seconds to Midnight,” right now in 2021. This theoretical visualization of the existential threat to society and the world is intended to urge action and encourage safety and prevention. Will this generation see Doomsday? Are we safe? This report aims to take an objective look, all around, at the current challenges we face today by examining history and research.
Facebook Under Fire
January 24, 2021 Since my last op-ed on Facebook, many things have changed. However, the overall slippery slope theme remains the same. This tech giant has grown considerably over the past couple of years, increasing its influence and impact, and strengthening its control on content and creativity. Previously, I showcased how the platform uses algorithms and artificial intelligence to cater to its user’s interests and encourage more engagement (Spradlin, 2019). This is the business model Facebook uses to increase its value and draw in profits through the sale of advertisements. Currently, Facebook earns roughly $40 from each of its users every quarter, for a running total of about $160 per year (Gao, 2020). On a per user per year basis, that does not seem like much. To compare, most people pay $160 per month to have cable and internet. On the other hand, when you factor in Facebook’s 196 million daily users, it is quite clear how it has become a billion-dollar company. Nevertheless, more money and more users has resulted in more problems for Facebook, especially on the skirt of a global pandemic and a controversial politics.
Dear Mr. Trump, For the last 4 years, you have proudly held the office as President of the United States. Very outspoken and controversial, you always spoke your mind, regardless of how much backlash you received for it in return. The worst possible hand had been dealt to you during your term but you never folded. There are many people who do not agree with how you have been treated throughout your time in office. Unfortunately, most of them are now being silenced as well and labeled “extremists” (Guynn, 2021).
The People's Problem: Population
Did you know that the U.S. government, in entirety, consists of less than 1% of the American population? It is true. I added up the most recently published populations of congress, local governments, police, and military for a calculated sum population of about 2.1 million. If you take out the military of 1.3 million, the “government” is only about 800,000 people. In retrospect, according to data in 2020, the total U.S. population is currently about 331 million. How does such a small number of people, have so much power and hold so much authority over such a massive population?
The Perfect 2020 Ornament
This year was full of surprises, thanks to Covid 19. From travel bans and sanitized hands to school closures and wearing masks, the one thing that shocked me the most was the stores running out of toilet paper. I guess it goes to show that in the midst of a pandemic, people still prioritize a bathroom wipe. It didn't matter if it was quilted, cotton, soft and strong, or plain old 2-ply; eventually, like most people, I wound up just rolling with whatever I could find.
Michigan, Where Do Our Tax Payments Actually Go?
I have had a lot of questions about taxes lately. So, I reviewed the State of Michigan’s Annual Financial Report prepared by the State Budget Office in comparison with the Budget Briefing: State Tax Revenue Overview which was prepared by the House Fiscal Agency. I did not like what I found.
5G Technology and Covid-19
The evolution of mobile wireless communications from 1G to 5G has been a worldwide competition which began in the 1980’s. Ever since, civilization has been consistently receiving technological upgrades incrementally every decade. The country of origin and decade for each generation of technology, as retrieved from Verizonwireless.com, is listed below:
Shame on You, GM and the UAW
Originally promising production of 40,000 ventilators immediately, once the CARES Act was passed, GM decreased their offer of production to 6,000 ventilators in 6 weeks, also at increased prices. This is what caused the Trump administration to invoke the Defense Production Act (Hansen, 2020).
The Influence of Facebook
The world has become a place of such conflict and controversy throughout politics and technology recently, producing a fear of what will come of it all in the future. Could it be painstakingly detrimental to our kind? What makes us human—our free will, individual traits, personality characteristics, behaviors, and how we communicate or interact with one another—all of these things are being collected as data by social media giant Facebook. The data is then used to offer ad space to companies for marketing purposes for a fee.