Byler Algorithms

Ken Byler

I recently rejoined the Facebook brigade. It seemed like the thing to do if you want to be an informed member of the community.

Every cause, movement and endeavor has a Facebook account.

I resisted Facebook at first because I didn’t want to broker my communication through a third party. But it became obvious that the only way I was going to hear from my grandkids or get any pictures of their babies was through Facebook.

So I got a Facebook account and confirmed those “friends” whose names I recognized. Over the years, my computer and the operating programs in it became obsolete. But the computer still served me well as a typewriter and a mailbox.

So I kept it and kinda forgot about my Facebook account or maintaining it.

After having been gone from active involvement with my Facebook page for a long time, I was gifted with a new laptop computer. I upgraded to Windows 2016, Google Chrome and got me a Yahoo mailbox.

I began posting on my Facebook page, and my friends could see I was back in the game. While sifting through a lot of stuff posted by friends, I’ve managed to pick up a few good recipes and shared some artist techniques and heartwarming posts on my timeline.

But Facebook posts and shares from some of my friends are starting to erode the pleasure of Facebook. It appears that I got back into Facebook just in time to be hit with tons of “Hillary for Prez,” “Feel the Bern” and “Trump’s a Bigot” propaganda.

My Facebook friends are spread out throughout the southwest from California to Arkansas and run the gamut from Millennials to Baby Boomers with a few geezers thrown in for good measure.

If a point can be made from the things my Facebook friends are sharing on their timelines, it’s that Millennials, those between the age of 18 and 35, are Bernie Sanders’ real base and the Boomers are evenly split between Hillary and Trump.

As for the geezers, they’re wandering around asking what happened to their country.

The algorithms on Facebooks trending topics showed that Bernie Sanders had a shot at becoming the Democratic candidate for president. He was pushing all the right buttons and the Millennial generation were lining up to “feel the Bern.”

I believe Sanders’ greatest strength is in his honesty. He’s a socialist and says so. The difference between socialism and capitalism has been described as getting a check or earning a check.

Socialism always appeals to those who have nothing to throw in the pot. But there is a sense of brotherhood between those who feel like they’ve been shafted.

It seems to be that a lot of residents have come to believe that by being Americans, they’re entitled to not only equal opportunity but an equal share in the returns of free market capitalism.

The idea behind free market capitalism was thought to be that the harder and smarter you worked, the higher your standard of living. But that was found to result in income inequality.

The cure for income inequality is said to be a $15-an-hour minimum wage. But that’s middle management wages in a lot of America’s service disciplines.

Meanwhile capitalism has devolved into the practice of hiring labor at its cheapest rate and then letting the taxpayers provide the social benefits.

The taxpayer can only avoid paying for those social benefits if the labor is done in another country.  

So today, free trade means mostly American manufacturers having access to cheap labor in another country while the American middle class becomes mostly civil servants holding jobs supported by taxes rather than enterprise.

Now as for Facebook postings, they seem to get more outrageous and devoid of certifiable facts as the presidential campaign drags on. The postings would have folks believe that whatever is wrong with America is the fault of the other party, Muslims, Christians, the NRA, Obama or Dick Cheney.

These aren’t personal observations from my Facebook friends. They are propaganda pieces unaccompanied by certifiable facts from organizations like Occupy Democrats and Daily Kos to Right Alerts and Extremely Pissed Off Right Wingers that are being “shared” by some of my Facebook friends.

Now, if I unfriended all those who are “sharing” this veracity-challenged propaganda, I run the risk of having only Facebook friends who agree with me.

That could lead to a condition known as cerebral freeze up, which eventually leads to an inability to learn anything new.  

Ken Byler is a longtime Allen resident and Star Local Media contributor

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