Moderate Your Own Social Media Postings

In recent weeks two of my friends have found themselves amid controversy and an enormous amount of time might have been saved by taking a few simple steps before pressing the “post” button. Let me say at the outset that this is not a “left” versus “right” issue. Anyone who has a political viewpoint and is willing to discuss their viewpoints on platforms like Facebook or Twitter is vulnerable to this problem.

First of all, understand what is going on here. People who are usually paid operatives for things like presidential campaigns or their allies are constantly scanning social media looking for people who can be tricked into becoming their spokesperson. They understand that the only people who tune into (for example) a Trump campaign site are people who are likely to vote for Trump. But if they can convince some of those people to echo their claims or “share” the Trump info they might be able to reach into places they normally cannot get to–your family and friends. This is the social media multiplier effect, and it is a very powerful tool.

Next, understand the methods these people and parties employ. They are almost always deceitful. One clever type of deceit they employ is to use something that happened, or video of an event, but present it ways that distort the original event.

They have very good intelligence on what sort of things will motivate you to share their propaganda. For example, thanks to the ability to sort data on social media platforms, they can tell if you are strongly pro-Israel and target you with memes showing how anti-Israel or even antisemitic various Democrat supporting folks are. An example of how deceitful that tactic can be is the recent congressional resolution condemning violence against synagogues. All four Democratic Party members who are the frequent targets of this type of malicious propaganda voted in favor of the resolution, but twenty-three Republicans voted against it. This proves two things. First, that regardless of Party, the overwhelming majority of Congress are willing to vote in favor of causes important to Jews, and second, that the distributors of pro-Trump propaganda will never present anything in perspective.

Another favorite tactic of the propagandists is to misrepresent what they are posting. For example, most reputable newspapers allow opinions on their editorial page which are contrary to the stated opinion of the publication’s editors. What they will do is provide a link to the opinion with a title suggesting that the newspaper itself is endorsing that opinion–they know that >90% of readers won’t bother to click the link and see the truth of it.

Another favorite tactic is the false equivalent. People hostile to Donald Trump often mention his notorious sexual offenses and escapades. That Trump has committed egregious acts is beyond question. But if you can convince people that his opponent has as well, you might be able to blunt the force of the criticisms of Trump. As I write this there is a YouTube posted about Joe Biden which calls him a pedophile in the title. A very serious allegation. But the accusation is based entirely on photographs of Biden over the decades hugging fully clothed people. Nothing even remotely as noxious as Trump eying his own daughter lasciviously. That’s a perfect example of the false equivalent. On the one hand a person who has admitted to serial adultery against all three of his wives, invaded the personal space of nude 15-year-old girls, and bragged about committing sexual assault. On the other, a man who is undoubtedly guilty of hugging people too much. Exactly the same thing, right? Wrong.

Which brings me to the subject of links. NEVER click a link unless you are absolutely certain it comes from a reliable source. Over and over again I have found links that purport to be something like “” but when you hover over the link most email or browsers will show you the real source which might be “scams@f*”. I rarely censor my Facebook page, but one trigger for me is a correspondent who posts one or more links–I don’t want to risk my friends getting snagged in a scam, so I will delete those sorts of posts as soon as  I see them.

Another extremely common tactic is deflection. If you can’t defend something your candidate is clearly guilty of, talk about how people on the “other side” have done equally awful things–whether or not those allegations are true. Even if they are blatant falsehoods, they figure they can exhaust their opposition with senseless side discussions. A recent example of this strategy is attempting to convince people that other politicians are more to blame for the pandemic than Trump. This has led to an avalanche of social media posts condemning Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York. This is hardly the place to examine Gov. Cuomo’s actions (I may do that elsewhere), but suffice it to say that Cuomo should not have had to do anything about the epidemic because Trump’s federal team had the responsibility to do that before it ever became the catastrophe that afflicted New York. But getting people to talk about Cuomo instead of Trump is the goal of the strategy.

Yet another strategy is sewing discord within the ranks. If the discussion is about how corrupt a given politician might be, throw out some allegations by others. For example, if you’re discussing the private trip that Trump made to a private island with the pedophile and sex trafficker Jefferey Epstein, try to steer the conversation by talking about how Bill Clinton and other Democrats also went to Epstein events.

What can you do to avoid the pitfalls of playing into the hands of propagandists? Actually, quite a bit. First, if a post or meme appeals to you, check it out before you share it. Does it come from a reliable source? Do you even recognize the real source? You are usually safe to link your posts to good faith actors like the NY Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the Economist, the Guardian, Le Monde, etc. Large general circulation newspapers, news sites such as CNN and MSNBC. On Fox News it’s a mixed bag–a few of the general news hosts are safe, but some of their commentators are willing to venture into dangerous territory–I would suggest avoiding Fox for that reason and not because I disagree with their politics, which of course I do. But be fair: I never share memes I get from sites that often appeal to my progressive politics. For example, you won’t find a single post of mine shared from Act Blue or MoveOn.Org even though I largely agree with their points of view because they are very political and sometimes use the same sorts of tactics I criticize in other sites.

Finally, use a little common sense. How reasonable is it that people marching for social justice are going to be dragging innocent people out of their cars and abusing them? How likely is it that people committed to social justice are going to be slinging racist or antisemitic slurs? If you are presented with a statement or even a video which claims such things, you need to vet the source even more strongly. Chances are you are being pranked or worse–deceived into supporting a cause you might not support if you knew the truth.

The Facebook Algorithm

We all get a little paranoid–that is if we care about whether anyone is reading the posts we labor over–about the Facebook algorithm. I thought I might share a little of what I know about this phenomenon so my friends can know what it’s about and why it’s worth anyone’s concern. My comments come from no secret corner of the Dark Net, they are just the musings of a person who had a pretty long career in Information Technology and who has been concerned about social media since about 1985.

Perhaps the first thing to understand about the algorithm is that it actually is necessary for all of us. That’s because of the way Facebook is structured. Older social media was structured by threads. Everyone would always see every post that was made to a given thread. For example, in the old UseNet there was a discussion group called soc.culture.jewish, and under that header there would be topics and everyone’s posts to those topics would be listed in chronological order.

Facebook has a different structure. Facebook wants each of us to display the variety of concerns we might have–family, profession, hobbies, politics–everything is under one header, namely our individual names (of course, organized as Facebook IDs). Each Facebook user has anywhere from several dozen to several hundred (or even more!) “friends.” If we saw every posting of every one of these when we logged in, finding what we care about would be hopeless.

Facebook gives each of us a bit of control over how things show up. You can choose to “follow” people or designate people or sites as “close” or “show first.” Of those, in my experience, only “show first” makes much of a difference. But if you follow many people, indicate many are close friends, or designate many as “show first” you’ll soon find your Facebook feed inundated with things you probably don’t want to see.

Enter the Facebook algorithm. Keep in mind that Facebook wants you to be happy. You haven’t paid a dime to use Facebook, right? So how does Facebook make money? And most of you probably know the answer is advertising. Facebook is an entertainment company much like TV stations, and it depends on revenue from advertisers. Facebook wants you to be happy for the same reason that CBS, NBC and ABC want you to be happy–they only receive money when ratings companies tell them that they have lots of viewers, and Facebook only receives money when advertisers know that there is some chance you are looking at their ads.

But Facebook has one huge advantage over those networks. You have to log in to Facebook, which means that Facebook knows every single thing you choose to look at. It knows what you’ve pressed “like” on, it knows what you think is important enough to comment on. If you put in a link to Amazon in a Facebook post or comment, that can signal to Amazon that you are worth their attention for ads. If you start talking about Grey’s Anatomy, you’ll probably notice ads from ABC or various sponsors of that show showing up in a panel on Facebook. If you complain about taxes, you just might find ads from anti-tax politicians showing up in your feed.

Quite a few people know and understand this and don’t like it. They obviously might choose to abandon Facebook entirely, or limit their posts, never “like” anything, that sort of thing. That does deprive Facebook of information, but it also means Facebook’s algorithm doesn’t have what it needs to try to show you things you might like. Perhaps more importantly, it won’t know which of your friends’ posts you might like to see.

Those who have studied this tell me that the actual algorithm is fiendishly complicated and for good reason. If others can figure out how it works, they can game it to make their posts more popular than others. Nevertheless, a few things are clear. Again, Facebook wants you to be happy because they know that will keep you tuned in longer. So they do pay close attention to what you press “like” on, what you comment on, that sort of thing. One of the subtleties is whether pressing “sad” or “happy” or “angry” makes it more likely or less likely to see things which Facebook deems comparable. And that’s the sort of thing Facebook can change up to disrupt those that are trying to game the system.

The algorithm is definitely smart enough to spot trends. For example, I recently posted a birthday photo of myself that quickly drew a dozen “likes.” Facebook sees that this is likely to be a popular post of mine and shares it out to many of my friends–and even people it decides might want to become my friends. I would also hazard a guess that the algorithm is clever enough to spot congratulatory responses. In other words, it figures that if some folks are saying “Congrats” or “Mazel Tov” that other friends likely want to see it as well. So it quickly snowballs into a hundred or more “likes” and many comments. Other posts of mine–ones that I might think are more important–only garner a couple of likes or comments after an hour or two, and Facebook deprecates them and doesn’t bother showing them to the vast majority of my friends. Even though may of them would probably prefer them over the birthday photo.

One of the most infuriating aspects of the algorithm is that people with whom you feel a close connection–even people you know in “real life” not just online–can suddenly drop out of view. It is possible to combat some of this by the simple approach of searching for and clicking on their name. Facebook will then show you most if not all of your friend’s posts. And if you “like” or “comment” and the friend responds, the Facebook algorithm will usually return to showing  most of that friend’s posts.

One technique to make sure targeted friends will see your post is to actually refer to their Facebook ID , either in the post or in a comment below. If you’ve been around Facebook for awhile, you’ve probably seen comments that look like @friend1, @friend2, @friend3. From time to time, bringing a post to a specific person’s attention might make sense. But overusing this technique can be annoying to your friends, and Facebook doesn’t always cooperate by sending the post their way.

The one approach that I think does not work unless you just don’t care to read the posts of your friends is to ignore things you see that you actually do like. Many people think this is a great way to frustrate Facebook, but  it’s the proverbial cutting off your nose to spite your face. As I mentioned at the beginning, Facebook wants you to be happy, and it will try to show you things that will keep your attention on Facebook. If you don’t provide that feedback, then you won’t be seeing most of your friends’ posts either.

You might be wondering why I say that no one understands the algorithm since most of what I’ve surmised is considered pretty likely among those who discuss it. The answer is that the actual algorithm is fiendishly complex. It has all sorts of traps designed to foil attempts to game it. It has ways of deciding how long to wait to show you a post–which is why I often hear from my readers, “You posted this a week ago, but Facebook just showed it to me now.”

And we should acknowledge one more thing. Sometimes it is not Facebook, it’s us. You might think that someone is your good friend, but if you could look at their side of the Facebook ledger, you just might find that they’ve “unfollowed” you or otherwise told Facebook they don’t care much to interact with you.

I’m looking forward to seeing comments about this article below, or on Facebook where I will also be linking this. I’ll try to update it with thoughts and suggestions as they arise.

American Healthcare Cost Drivers: Explaining the Technology Money Pit

Let’s begin with a simple illustration that probably resembles what you have encountered if you’ve entered a medical office anywhere in the USA in recent years. That is, if you are lucky enough to have health insurance. But then again, if you don’t, you probably haven’t entered any medical offices.


The receptionist probably handed you a clipboard asking for your basic information including family health history and of course your insurance details. In recent years, I’ve been handed an electronic tablet instead of a clipboard. Interestingly (to me, at least) on my most recent rounds the tablets have vanished, and the clipboards have returned. Something rotten in the state of technology, perhaps?


One way or another, all that information will become part of an electronic record-keeping system. And the financial part will likely be interlinked with the data systems of your health insurer.


At my physician’s office, the practice accepts a bewildering variety of health plans. These include several local, state, and federal systems. Medicare, Tenncare (Medicaid), different plans for Knoxville City employees, County employees, University of Tennessee employees, of which I am one. As it turns out, because the University of Tennessee is part of the State government, I actually have the same coverage as the governor and legislators. That’s how I know I have a terrific plan―the Republicans in charge of our Tennessee legislature may do a lousy job governing the State, but you can bet your bottom dollar they’ve taken excellent care of themselves.


But wait, there’s more! Many large employers allow their employees to choose among a smorgasbord of different plans. Different deductibles, allowable services, service companies, on and on. But take a step back from all that and ask yourself the question, what does any of it have to do with my own health care requirements? I mean, suppose your appendix bursts, or you have a heart attack, or it turns out you have diabetes. Don’t you just want to go to a doctor or hospital and have the problem addressed? Are you going to say, gee, I have an agonizing pain in my side, so let me figure out whether I need to go to this hospital system over here, or that one over there? That’s the right way to deliver and receive healthcare?


Supposedly this is a great free market opportunity for me. Why, I can decide which plan will best serve me. But that turns out to be a con man’s pipe dream. Consider: in my service area we have a few major hospital providers, including Tennova and the University of Tennessee Med Center. Every October, I can decide which of the several providers will best serve my needs. But how exactly do I figure out whether I might need a given medical treatment in May that previous October? Most people can’t predict when they might have a serious accident or come down with a grave illness. Guess wrong, and you get the inferior service, right? That’s the American way!


Medical profiteers have even introduced all sorts of complexity into Medicare. Do you have parts A, B, C, D or F–I give the whole system an F. Do you have standard Medicare or Medicare Advantage? Getting back to all those plans, it turns out that the necessity for dealing with it all has pretty much driven single-physician offices and smaller practices out of business. You might recall that that was the impetus for many a healthcare slogan: “You like your doctor? You can keep your doctor!” Except that most people can’t any longer. The doctors have thrown in the towel and surrendered their businesses to larger and larger aggregates of providers who can afford the technology required to process these multitudes of insurance forms and claims. It’s gotten to the point where my physician’s group office doesn’t even try to tell me what my bill is when I come in for service. They take my information, send it off for processing, and a few weeks later I get a bill. I’m supposed to be able to figure out whether the bill is correct, but I gave up on that years ago.


The insurance companies employ thousands of clerks, claims adjusters, and the like whose primary purpose has nothing to do with getting you healthcare. They are there to see if they can save the company money by figuring out a way to force you to pay more or outright deny your coverage. I’ve written elsewhere about the multi-year struggle we had with our insurer to get them to cover an injury and surgery for our son who sustained that injury while away for the summer. But that’s peanuts compared to what happens daily to others in this fair land of ours.


I introduced this topic because of technology, and here is how that fits in. Because a patient who enters a practice might have insurance provided by a dozen different providers each with their own bureaucratic requirements, physicians have to buy into expensive systems to determine who gets billed for what. Hospitals require those same systems, as well as their own for amping up their bills. This is how a one-cent aspirin gets charged at $10 or more on your hospital bill. The aspirin is only worth that one cent, but the hospital figures in a charge for their pharmacist to dispense the aspirin, someone to cart the aspirin up to your room, the orderly or nurse who serves it up to you, and the labor it takes to track that aspirin through each stage of the process. And all of that is tracked by huge, costly billing systems which are completely unnecessary in most other countries of the world.


All this is a major part of the cost drivers of American healthcare, and none of it exists in most other places. If you’re Canadian and come down with appendicitis, you go to the local hospital, they accept the exactly one form of health insurance they have, and they attend to your issue. Live in Alberta but have the problem in Montreal? No problem, it’s all covered! The same is true in Finland, Switzerland, Norway, Scotland, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand. Those are just a few of the countries who spend far less than we do and show better outcomes.


Now this is a very important point: as you read the back-and-forth of the political games that are unfolding and will continue to unfold through the next election (and beyond), you will hear the frequent and persistent claim that the forms of socialized medicine being proposed will somehow increase costs. This claim is predicated on the false premise that there are no cost savings to be obtained from simplifying the process. Therefore you must keep in mind that what I am describing here—enormous costs associated with tracking and billing the stages of healthcare—can be eliminated under many of those proposals. I’m not claiming that we can save all the funds currently being invested in healthcare tracking. Some of that is necessary for the actual needs of providing healthcare. But the billing component is unnecessary, and all the costs associated with billing can be eliminated under most of the proposals we are discussing. Don’t get me wrong—technology is great. Medical technology can save lives—I know because I was the third person in the world to have a colonoscopy back in 1971. But you know what? I don’t think I ever met anyone whose life was saved by a billing system.




Of Trolls and the History of the Internet

In recent days several of my friends have urged me to block a contributor to my Facebook page arguing that he is a troll. That was a catalyst to my thinking about the meaning of the term troll. The phenomenon of trolls is as old as the earliest posts on the Internet, in fact they go back to a period before the Internet as we now know it did existed. I owe my first exposure to social media to my dear friend Ari Davidow who urged me to participate in conversations on a network called The Well which I believed was a computer housed in Sausalito. At the time I was the Associate Director of Berkeley Hillel Foundation and I had recently purchased my first personal computer, a Kaypro “lunchbox.”To reach The Well I needed to use something called a “dial-up modem” which younger folks might only know by watching now ancient movies about the dawn of the computer age. But using this device, I could connect to the computer owned by the Well community and converse with folks about all sorts of things. Truly revolutionary!

A few years later we moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, one of the cradles of the Internet and I was soon using much larger social networks and in particular something that was called in the style of the Unix computer community simply “News.” These “news” groups are still around today, but they have been subsumed by Google. When you search or contribute to a group on Google News, you are actually interacting with these old Usenet group conversations.

Usenet news groups, like The Well, struggled to cope with the specific issue of what had become known as “trolls” from the earliest days of these communication media. So what exactly is a troll?

Since there are no guardians of the English language empowered to enforce definitions, I can’t claim to have the authoritative control of terminology. I can only speak to the way we used (and still use) the term in the context of social media groups.

At the core, a Troll is a person who obtains self-gratification by introducing chaos into group discussions. The Troll is a disruptor, an instigator whose mission is not to contribute to the discussion, but rather to stop it. Trolls get pleasure from the discomfort of others in the group. One important characteristic of a Troll is that they don’t really care what the issue at hand might be. They might personally favor or oppose a given political stance or some opinion, but they will write whatever they feel will most divert the conversation. Again, their purpose is disruption rather than  convincing anyone of a particular case.

To accomplish their goals, Trolls must preserve their anonymity. They register for the group under pseudonyms (which can be part of an elaborate charade creating a fake persona) or just outright false IDs invented for the current moment. In the oldest period of UseNet there was no effective way to limit or ban Trolls, but eventually UseNet introduced the concept of a moderated group. If a Troll managed to infiltrate the group, a moderator could delete their posts and revoke their permission to add comments. In current Social Media such as Facebook, Trolls will often steal someone’s identity and post under the name of someone who has died or left Facebook until someone reports them to moderators.

Trolls often amass large libraries of Internet links to materials which they insert into their posts. Then they watch as participants waste time going through the links. They are especially delighted when those participants start side-arguments based on some issue raised in these links. There are, of course, reasonable people who also collect links and materials which they can use to support their arguments, but the difference is that they will post materials that are precisely on point. Trolls aim to disrupt, not to clarify.

To summarize, an Internet Troll is a fictional character invented for the purpose of creating emotional, angry conversation which minimizes the ability of a group to have productive conversation. The Troll is entertained by the chaos they create, and when identified as a Troll, they will move on to some other group to continue their behavior.

Returning to my opening paragraph, the person who engendered this conversation fails to conform to the definition in several critical ways. First, he contributes under some form of his genuine identity. Anyone can click on his Facebook name and see that he has been posting for years and has a known community of his own. Second, he has a single consistent agenda in the offending posts: supporting Donald Trump. In almost every other way he is a reasonable and often jovial person. He posts videos of himself, for example, blasting the Shofar at the Jerusalem Wall on the holidays. No Troll would sacrifice his anonymity this way.

The very specific message he conveys about Trump leads me to guess a different cause of his behavior. I think he may be a paid or perhaps even volunteer operative for some sort of Trump-supporting group. A Republican local group chairman or a representative of a Trump business would operate in precisely this fashion.

Simple Facebook Survival Guide (For People Who Don’t Care for Facebook)

I’ll try to keep this short and simple. As things stand in the communications universe in our times, Facebook is the best place to have some sort of presence if you want to remain in contact with your friends of yore or make new friends. I’ve been involved in “Social Media” since it first began–my dear friend Ari Davidow beats me by a few months because he was one of the founders of “The Well” which has some claim to being the first social network. But I’ve been doing it for thirty years now and that’s pretty ancient as these things go.

Back then, Terri and I wrote an annual newsletter and shipped it out via U.S. Mail around the Winter Break time. That encapsulated an outline of our doings, and we always heard back from friends about how nice it was to keep up with us. But over time, we got out of the habit and that meant that some people very dear to us began slipping into the time stream. Facebook can be better because it’s always available and does a decent job of dealing with photos, and videos and such. With that advantage comes many disadvantages. Exposure to spam, and insults, and above all a potential waste of lots of time. And lets face it, some of us (including me) overshare. Really, most of my friends don’t need to see the latest photos of our cat.

If you’re among that group of my friends who would like to stay in touch but have all sorts of doubts (and perhaps a few bad experiences) with Facebook, here are a few suggestions for making your peace with it.

First, make sure that when you create your FB account, you do so with a strong password. Miscreants will try to steal your identity, but the good news is that FB has gotten very good about protecting you.

Second, learn a bit about the privacy controls that FB gives you. They are far from perfect, but they are useful in ensuring that you get what you need out of FB without compromising your Net safety. Set your default to “only you” or “friends only” — you can always change it later to be more inclusive if you feel like engaging with the greater world.

Third, and I think this might be my most important suggestion for you: manage your time by learning how to read only the the items you care to read. Instead of scrolling through the standard FB feed, learn to click on just the sources and people you want to see. You can click on your favorite news source and see all the posts from that source in chronological (reverse) order. You can click on the names of your friends (or put the name in a search box) and then all the items that person has posted will be shown to you. You can interact (or not) with your friends, and then close out your session.

Fourth, remember the age-old adage: “Please don’t feed the trolls.” If someone is making your life miserable, click on their name and then hit the FB button that allows you to block them. It’s one of Facebook’s best features!

Sure, if you have time to spare, you can then let FB show you what it thinks you will want to see via the “news feed.” But if all you want to do is see what your family and friends are up to, there’s no need for that. Just look at their posts and log out.

I’ve written this article for the completely selfish reason that I want you to stay connected and participate in my posts. I hope my name will be one of the ones you seek out!

Perhaps some of my friends will add to these comments with their own suggestions for surviving social media. And for those of you who still don’t want to use Facebook or other social media, I’ll try to post things here in my private blog as well. Happy conversations to all!

How to Smell Internet Phonies

A friend sent me this scan of a news article that you may find amusing as I did:

Marines get their man...or do they?

Marines get their man...or do they

After a chuckle or two I had a queasy sense that both I and my correspondent had been had by an Internet hoax. Here’s what gave me pause. The newspaper is not readily identifiable. The reporter is not identifiable. While the injured marine is named, the assailant is not identified. Usually things go the opposite way–the assailant is named and the victim is left unidentified. And no matter how justified the attack on the assailant may seem from the way this story is written, generally speaking the authorities have to at least pretend that they are investigating the injuries sustained by the alleged assailant.

It didn’t take much more than a Google to get close enough to the truth to satisfy me. This particular story has been making the rounds for about 2 years. It appears that there really was a crime and some marines did figure in the aftermath. As far as I can determine, the marines did not attack the assailant and he arrived at jail with no significant injuries. I’d be interested to know if the marines actually did subdue him–when you think about it, that would be the more heroic act.

The information that seemed to be the best of about this incident is at

Barukh Dayan HaEmet, Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs, the child (biologically) of a Syrian father who partnered with a Jewish kid with roots at UC-Berkeley, died yesterday. I was never a fan of Apple products, but it is hard to deny the immense impact Apple (thanks in large part to Jobs’ energy and talent) had on my life.

I first encountered the Apple II computer while visiting my good friend Richard Grossman in New York’s Greenwich Village in the early ’70s. A friend of Richard brought it (strapped on his back) and demonstrated what it could do with games and other software. I lusted after this machine immediately, but I couldn’t afford one.

The cost problem forced me to consider lower cost computers that could do things that I was beginning to understand could alter my daily work and career. Adam Osbourne was in his way more influential on me than Steve Jobs because Adam figured out a way to make computing affordable. But I did lust after the fun that was always associated with Apple products. And Steve Jobs was always at the root of that fun.

When the Mac appeared in 1984 I not only lusted after the fun but also the desktop publishing and foreign language character potential for doing a new version of my Hebrew book. But once again, my meager salary as a Hebrew teacher did not allow me to purchase a Mac. Fortunately, others found a way to provide the technologies of desktop publishing and foreign language characters on the machines I was able to purchase.

The long drought finally ended in 2008 when I purchased an iPhone. Finally, I owned a bite of the Apple. It’s been a good friend to me these past couple of years and I’ll probably keep using one even though Apple’s first post-Jobs iPhone announcement didn’t satisfy the critics.

Even though I didn’t personally purchase Apple products in the heyday of the Revolution, Mr Jobs deserves credit and thanks for being one of the very few that made the Information Revolution possible. I still believe that the personal computer will prove to be the most important invention of the twentieth century, and I think that the ability to communicate which has been fostered by that Revolution is “insanely great.” Rest in peace, Steve Jobs.