Friday, November 11, 2022

The Rising Tide of Global Sadnes

Democrat re-elected by a landslide in Pennsylvania – even though he’s dead

In Germany, the ‘K’ in KFC Mistakenly Becomes Kristallnacht With Promo Error.

The Department of Parliamentary Services had decided to find the source of leaks to senators and the press, after revelations about a string of controversies had made their way from the secretive confines of the building into Senate estimates hearings and national newspapers. 

They had exposed problems inside the department - embarrassing its officials and raising questions about its handling of major contracts and security alerts.

Chambers of secrets: How a Parliament House staff member fell afoul of Australia's outdated whistleblower laws

Australian Parliament backflips, ‘sincerely apologises’ to Julian Assange’s family for confiscating books

The Rising Tide of Global Sadnes - The New York Times: “…The researchers Charlotte Brand, Alberto Acerbi and Alex Mesoudi analyzed more than 150,000 pop songs released between 1965 and 2015. Over that time, the appearance of the word “love” in top-100 hits roughly halved. Meanwhile, the number of times such songs contained negative emotion words, like “hate” rose sharply. 

Pop music isn’t the only thing that has gotten a lot harsher. David Rozado, Ruth Hughes and Jamin Halberstadt analyzed 23 million headlines published between 2000 and 2019 by 47 different news outlets popular in the United States. The headlines, too, grew significantly more negative, with a greater proportion of headlines denoting anger, fear, disgust and sadness. Headlines in left-leaning media got a lot more negative, but headlines in right-leaning publications got even more negative than that. The negativity in the culture reflects the negativity in real life. 

The General Social Survey asks people to rate their happiness levels. Between 1990 and 2018 the share of Americans who put themselves in the lowest happiness category increased by more than 50 percent. And that was before the pandemic. The really bad news is abroad. Each year Gallup surveys roughly 150,000 people in over 140 countries about their emotional lives. Experiences of negative emotions — related to stress, sadness, anger, worry and physical pain — hit a record high last year…”

Facebook’s Going Back to Only Using Algorithms to Curate News

Gizmodo: “If at first the algorithms don’t succeed at stopping disinformation, just simply add humans. But if the algorithms grow too burdensome, then simply go back to the algorithm. So round and round the social media carousel we go. Meta, which owns Facebook, confirmed that the human-curated “Top Stories” section in the news tab will instead be handled by the algorithm starting early next year. In an email statement, a meta spokesperson told Gizmodo “Most people do not come to Facebook for news, and as a business it doesn’t make sense to over invest in areas that don’t align with user preferences.” The company has said that less than 3% of what people see in their feed are news links. Apparently, the company sees news links as such a small reason that people come to Facebook, that they’re actively looking to scale back any features dealing with news…”

I am privileged to be an Independent Director of the North West’s Good Grocer – Booths – a 175 year old Family institution in the North of England.


Here’s a bitter/sweet letter from a loyal customer – and a reminder to all of us; we can all Be the Difference and touch our customers, if we choose to.


To whom this may concern Hi My name is xxx. I am 61 years of age and quite severely disabled. Since approximately 2013 I have been partaking of the Cafe service in your Fulwood store, either by myself or most commonly with my wife. On average we would use this service approximately twice per week. We both enjoyed the quality of the produce and were thrilled with the general standard of staffing. By standard I mean the quality of persons recruited to serve your customers. Indeed. On two or three occasions I have completed the website comments section is praise of certain people, always and sincerely including the team as a whole. This communication is to try to convey the intensity of gratitude and humility I feel in regard to the team as it presently stands and has done so for some time. In October of 2020, my wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. As a general paediatric consultant based at xxx, she was far more aware than I as to the statistics around this condition. Over the next months, to 18 months, she endured much in the way of operations, chemotherapy, pain, fear, hairloss... and all that cancer and cancer treatment throws at one. We initially maintained our visits to the cafe, as it was a source of comfort and familiarity for xx, helping to keep up with her better 'routines'. As time progressed this became too distressing for her and so, we stopped coming. She often talked about the staff in the cafe. Their warmth, their genuine care for people, their thorough professionalism (though annoyingly to her, not from ALL of the younger staff) and their drive to push on through what were commonly non-stop queues. She also enjoyed to banter and converse occasionally, with the high-end 'wit and intelligence' that she encountered, from some people. Though xxx no longer visited, I in truth found it, including the team, a place of comfort, and from people whom I now considered, friends, I found support, understanding and compassion; and all delivered in a truly appropriate manner. For example, there was genuinely an apparent innate understanding and knowledge of the times, and only those times when I was in need of solitude; in a crowd. On the xxx, xxx died and was interred a week later. Its of no surprise to hear that I was distraught. Not always showing this externally, but the team at Booths Cafe always seemed to know when I was struggling. Their sincere words of love, support and comfort and successful encouragement to eat and look after myself would bolster me for a few more hours. This remains the case to date. At my darkest point of grieving, the love and support of the team and especially xxx caused a sudden change to my then drastic thinking, snapping me back back to reality. My guess is that xxx didnt have a clue, nor does to this day. I shall always be indebted to this lovely person, and the team as a whole!!!!! 


That’s not customer service – that’s customer love.

SEXUALLY EXPLICIT IMAGES WERE TUMBLR’S MAIN SELLING POINT BEFORE, AND THEY’VE NEVER RECOVERED:  Nudity comes back to Tumblr, but sexually explicit images still banned.

Know your platform, people.