Thursday, August 27, 2020

A change in government is coming ironically through power

The sky is falling, no,  just a tree limb fell on to wires

    The past couple weeks in Connecticut for the weather have seen an extreme turnaround of events we start the month of August with a tropical storm on the fourth which knocked out power to almost 1 million customers across the state which led to massive power restoration efforts that took up to almost 8 to 9 days to complete completely, although there is still an argument that there is still some ongoing work to sure up from the temporary patches that were made at the time. This is been the subject of the bay has been going on today to get as PURA the public utility regulatory authority in the state of Connecticut opened up hearings today against ever source about their current rate hike prior to the storm hitting Connecticut. The reason why I'm commenting about this particular incident is that is made politics become extremely local in Connecticut. Is cause something to occur that has not occurred in about four years in this country. A agreement with the Republicans and Democrats in their agreement that Eversource needs reform or to be broken up, or more regulations implemented. You had a few state representatives both Republicans and Democrats, calling for possibly the breakup of the company, a takeover by the state government, or regulations that would effectively make them a nonprofit company.
In the few hours I was listening to the meeting today, there was a strong indication that reform needs to occur. In the next few days I plan on going through some of the testimony that has been submitted posting some points that are made in the testimony as highlights that should be noted from the average citizen in the state. It is good to hear the information from politicians and state leaders but I would like to focus on two individuals and their stories and how it affects them. The sky is not falling, but rather enlightenment or awakening is occurring in civic participation in the United States of America. At the national level we see this awakening being portrayed in some other states especially out in the state of Oregon and Washington. Here in Connecticut on a more local scale we see protests occurring at the post office, and on street corners. However, the more interesting aspect of this political awakening is the amount of people that are now involved in learning about their governmental systems and how they have the power to change things. I believe in Connecticut the land study habits is about to go through a revolutionary change in the state politics especially at the municipal level. The reason for this belief is that the electric crisis that was crated by the tropical storm in combination with the rate hike led people to start examining how things are done in this state and by the government. When you have over 1000 people wanting to attend and give common on a state agency repertory board which most people did not know exists up until a few weeks ago there is a change that is occurring. 

    Therefore, both parties Democrats and Republicans will see great influence on them in the next coming months. I believe that there will be a movement afoot to make the state government and town governments in the state of Connecticut more responsive to the people that are not necessarily the corporations. I believe the catalyst for the shift will actually be ironically the educational process that will occur through learning about their electric bill and the fees that are associated. When people see and compare it to municipal power that was much better run and is cheaper for a few people in this state that have chosen to live in towns with municipal power there will be change that occurs in people understanding that government can be a force for good and mutual beneficial engine of economic growth when a costs of the essential service can be offered at a much lesser rate compared to a private enterprise offering the same surface especially in a monopoly typesetting. A new era of progressive politics is upon us, the same style that led to establishment of the antitrust acts, the new deal legislation, the establishment of prohibition and the repeal of Prohibition. People are sitting at home having time to think about learn about their government and will be an active participant in their government.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Are you ready to get to work?

Here are some pictures from last Midterm Election.

I hope the picture give some motivation to get out there.

Jahana Hayes Waterbury Office on Election Day 2018

 Chris Murphy in Cornwall CT in 2018

Jahana Hayes in Cornwall in 2018

Sunday, August 23, 2020

How to Make Sense of Information That You Are Not an Expert In

 Evaluation of Information

One of the first things to consider when it comes to evaluating information is the source, as I've outlined before. However, if you're not an expert in the information that you're looking at, one of the things you must consider is the author. In particular the author that is writing the piece or presenting the information to you. One of the biggest aspects of this consideration is, is the presenter or the author an expert in the field? For example, if you're taking information about nuclear physics from an English Literature author, claiming that nuclear physics will solve the world's energy problems without harmful effects, would you consider this statement from this person credible? A statement is more credible coming from a person with a background in nuclear physics. They could potentially provide you with detailed arguments about their position. This is one of the major problems in my view when it comes to dealing with information that is being presented to the average citizen or person. There is no clear way for an individual to determine the person's credibility on the topic. If we were going to further discuss this topic, evaluation of information from the author, I would consider also your ability to contact the person and their ability to respond to challenging questions. Also, research the topic from other perspectives that question their work. Questioning is not an issue for a person that is well-versed in the topic, they should be comfortable with presenting their topics and arguments.

Another aspect to consider of the information being presented is of the quality of the underlying information. How was the information taken, how has it been presented, and what type of framework is used. This can lead to skewed results of impressions. For example, you can say, "please get out of the car," which sounds more like a request, but is still something you must do. Or somebody can say it this way "I order you to get out of the car or you will be arrested." Again, same action will occur, you getting out of the car. However, one is much pleasant and may get you to be more cooperative later on. Then there are statements that can be factually wrong and misleading, just by using the same technique as I demonstrated above. Furthermore, if you're going to continue to evaluate a piece of information to see if it is determinative as good, how would you critique your own position if it agrees with the sources that you're reading?

Critiques of Information

The critique of information being presented is very important. One's ability to self assess and critique their own arguments provides insight into how other information they may be consuming could be evaluated. Critiques are very important to determining the credibility of the source. If the author or presenter acknowledges the flaws of their argument and provides information against those generic type arguments on their positions, that would be providing some more credibility to their arguments. However, I would caution that sometimes a falsity may be setup on purpose to make their arguments appear more effective. I would also go on to say, this is a classic literary technique that is used by other authors even in nonfiction and fiction settings. 

This post would be an example of this. An argument could be had, evaluating information in this way is inherently flawed because it distracts the reader from the absolute truth that the author is trying to present. The argument against us is that it does not provide a stimulation to challenge your own belief system. If you do not challenge your own belief systems, then you are inherently flawed. A flawed approach to a view is actually worse, because you're blinded from the truth or the position that you're supporting. Therefore, I always recommend constructing an argument against your position in order to be able to verbally and radiantly defend your position.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

The Problem With Thinking About Concepts in the World


Some of the issues that are occurring today is due to the lack of critical thinking skills. I am making this as an overall claim to what is occurring in the United States and globally right now. What I am going to tend to address in the next few articles on this blog, is how to proceed evaluating sources on the Internet. I find it quite ironic that you're referring to this blog now, as I am about to discuss how to evaluate a blog. This leads you to believe that this blog should be irrelevant to your considerations of information. Now, I am writing this in a style of dictation and the software is writing it for me. I found Microsoft dictation software in Word to have gotten slightly better than my dragon NaturallySpeaking software. I am testing this theory by writing this post with this software through Microsoft Word. I would also go on to state, we're going to cover different topics.

What is truth or a fact versus opinions?

This is a debate that has been all the rage in academic circles for years. What is truth, is it spelled with a capital T versus a lower case t. This debate goes back to religion and science. How do we know what is going to be the best way of summing this up, and this is the where the problem begins. We could say that the Internet has increased the amount of knowledge that is exposed to an individual however, the individual now must sort through what knowledge is good and what knowledge is bad. An individual must make a decision based on that information he or she is presented.

The information will that be determinative of how they form their opinions of the world. Do vaccines cause autism? Do vaccines cause other long-lasting effects in children into adulthood? This has been one of the classic case examples have been raised about how false information is spread. Well, examine the author of articles, consider their academic standing in their ability to discuss the topic. Is it coming from a primary source? Or, is it coming from a person with an opinion that might be picking quotes out of a primary source article or paper to justify their position, when the article they are citing is completely contradictory to their point of view?

Let's take for example this article, what's to say that I, the author, have the authority to discuss this topic. Look at my academic credentials, I have a Master’s Degree in History from Western Connecticut State University, and I have an undergraduate degree in Meteorology along with minors in Math and Physics, also from Western Connecticut State University. These credentials can be verified by asking me to provide you with a certified transcript from the university, or your ability to contact me to pose questions. You can also do cursory searches to verify articles from the period when I would have been attending University to see that I was there as a student.

So therefore, you could verify that I am somewhat of an authority figure I'm figuring out how to define truth with a capital T versus a lowercase t.

What are good sources?

After you examine the author of the material that you're consuming, the question becomes, is this a good source or a bad source for you to base your opinion on? In that case, refer to how we determine the truth and what is the authority of the figure that you're reading. Are you going to weigh my opinion on the biology of the human brain cell, or what the forecast is going to be for the next 5 days? Honestly, I would not compare my paper on a human brain cell to a neurosurgeon's paper on the same topic. However, I would not hold as much weight for a neurosurgeon to give an accurate, detailed forecast of the weather for the next 5 days.

Furthermore, when you are watching television, what is the news portion versus the opinion portion? It's a question that needs to be further examined. The first question that I always like to ask myself is, "what are the facts?" Facts are intangible pieces of information that can be either proven true or false by careful examination of the written record or by evidence-based testing. These concepts I will come back to in a later post.

The way I typically parse any type of source or information is the following. There should be a claim of the facts that the author is trying to get across, then followed by some sort of supporting information to support that claim. If there is no supporting information underneath the claim based in any type of fact or truth, then we can assume the claim is based on an opinion. This is where the issues begin, let's say the claim is that the a person who committed a crime has been charged in a court of law. Does this mean the person is guilty of said crime? The answer is no. The reason is that the article or the statement did not mention the individual was convicted by a jury or pled guilty. If the piece that you're looking at says, "no, the individual has committed the crime and is guilty," without supporting evidence of the jury conviction or the plea, the individual that made that statement in the piece may be subject to legal action for defamation of character.

Some picture of Parks

 Here are some picture I have been taking around town of Southbury, CT.

Lt. John H. Ballantine Jr. Memorial Park

Little York Park

McMillen Park

Hinman Park

Southbury Historical Society Museum

George F. Ewald Park