Friday, August 15, 2014

#IceBucketChallenge Participants Pretend to Care Says VICE Columnist Arielle Pardes

Recently Arielle Pardes of VICE posted this disparaging article about the Ice Bucket Challenge that has become a viral social media fundraising campaign for ALS over the last couple weeks with celebrities like Martha Stuart and tech moguls such as Mark Zuckerberg participating. Pardes reports in her article that the Ice Bucket Challenge is little more than "narcissism masked as altruism" and that this is the "crux of millennial 'hashtag activism'."

She goes on to attempt to back up these claims by comparing this campaign to those launched for Haiti in 2010, Livestrong bracelets, the Red Equal Sign created by the Human Rights Campaign, and more. Her point(s):

  • $8 million dollars in relief donations aren't enough, if we really cared about Haiti it's supposed to consume our lives until the problem completely goes away.
  • User's changing their social media profile pictures to the Red Equal Sign in opposition of the Defense of Mariage Act had nothing to do with the outcome.
  • People wearing a Livestrong bracelet were merely looking for a way to "obnoxiously flaunt a social cause that you have no real connection to."

What Pardes fails to realize is that awareness for a cause is just as powerful as raising money. When I support Breast Cancer Awareness in October, I'm not disguising my narcissism as altruism, I'm spreading the word about a cancer that affects millions of women and their families and leaves children without their mother which is wholly treatable when caught early. The same is true for prostate and testicular cancer in men and teens. Most guys don't know testicular cancer is a young man's disease, and don't know they should, or how to, examine themselves. Many men, woman, and teens are often too embarrassed to talk about these things with a doctor, and just don't understand how important it is to do so during your physical with your PCP. If we can get one young man or a woman to perform a self exam that leads to early discovery of cancer, we can save a life; a life saved is far more valuable than any amount of money you might be able to donate.

Pardes also takes a shot at the LGBTQ+ community, and their supporters, for proudly standing together in solidarity against a cause we all care so greatly for: Equality. Did displaying the Red Equal Sign on our Facebook, Google+, and Twitter profiles and pages directly cause the defeat of the DMA? Probably not. Did it cause people to ask questions? Yes. Did it help to create a dialogue? Absolutely. Did it help to show other LGBTQ+ youth that they're not alone, that there is an entire community out there that supports them? Hell. Yes. Did we show our legislators we won't stand by and let them continue to deny basic human rights to some Americans, but not others, based on something so silly as their sexual disposition? Absolutely.

She wrongly assumes because we're not still in a Twitter uproar about Haiti, we must have stopped caring. Unfortunately, yes, Haiti is still wracked with problems, and yes, donations have slowed to a trickle. Would it be great if we were still pulling in $8 million rounds of relief funding? Of course! Is it realistic to expect the world to focus on this one issue forever? No. There are an uncountable number of other causes that are all just as worthy of our attention as Haiti is. Do we ignore these issues while we all focus wholly on the problems in Haiti? No.

It is unrealistic to think people can continue to donate money to a cause again and again, not everyone can afford to give like this. Not everyone can afford to give at all, but don't let Arielle Pardes catch you doing what you can do to help like sharing articles and helping to spread awareness, lest she accuse you of participating in, what she likes to call, "narcissistic altruism."

I say: Tweet, Share, dump ice water on yourself, and donate money if and when you can. Not just for ALS, but any cause you care about, whether it affects you directly, a friend, or a family member, or maybe you've never been touched by the cause you support. Just support it. Do whatever you can, because if there is one thing Pardes was able to get right in her article it's this: We really can never do enough for those affected by devastating natural disasters, horrible diseases, and other social causes. At least we're doing something.

For what it's worth, the ALS Association had this to say in their Augest 12, 2014 news article about the Ice Bucket Challenge:

Between July 29 and today, August 12, The ALS Association and its 38 chapters have received an astonishing $4 million in donations compared to $1.12 million during the same time period last year. The ALS Association is incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support from those people who have been doused, made a donation, or both. Contributions further The Association’s mission to find a cure for ALS while funding the highest quality of care for people living with the disease.
Take that, Pardes.

I have reached out to Arielle Pardes on Twitter for comment, but at the time of this writing have not yet heard back.
I have reached out to the ALS Association Media Relations Dept. for comment, but at the time of this writing have not yet heard back.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Resume Looked at for 6 Seconds by Job Recruiters

A recent study by TheLadders provides some interesting revelations about what a recruiter looks at on your resume. When you receive hundreds, or thousands, of resumes on a daily basis, you don't have time to read them all verbatim.

Eye-tracking software was used to determine where the recruiters' eyes were looking, what was there, and how long. As it turns out recruiters were able to decide on call-backs in as little as six seconds in most cases. Reportedly, recruiters did "little more than scan for keywords to match the open position." This amounts to hardly more than cursory patter matching.

Recruiters spend most of their time looking over 6 main points: Name, Current Company & Job Title, Start and End dates at your current job, Prior Job Title and Company, Start and End dates at your last job, as well as your education. The details of your resume and cover letter became little more than filler.

Does this change the way we should be building our resumes? Putting the more relevant information near the top to be easily spotted by a recruiter, is there a such thing as Resume SEO, will there be? Soon I imagine that the paper resume will be obsolete and we'll be relying on electronic versions. With employers and recruiters already running resumes through a scanning machine to toss out the poor matches (based on keywords found by the program in your resume) before they even land on a recruiter or HR person's desk, it's beginning to look more and more like we'll be crafting our resumes even more. One thing is for sure, no matter what, keywords in your resume are a determinant in whether or not you even get a phone call, or an interview.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Less than 100 Days Until London 2012 Olympics

London Wheel - London
London Wheel - London (Photo credit: @Doug88888)
The NGO (National Gymnastics Organization) has started blowing up Twitter for the commencement of the 100 Days Ceremonies. Soon the torch will begin it's journey to London where it will be greeted by the future King and Queen of England. I'm crazy excited for the Olympics, this being the only major sporting event I take time out for every four years, though I do try to keep tabs on the Gymnasts since they're my favorite event throughout.

Greece has offered to provide a replica ancient Greek war ship to bear the torch to London but committee organizers have declined the offer, and Greece has taken offence. The Greek has canceled a dinner event aboard the vesse
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece (Photo credit: freeasinfreedom)
l to which English dignitaries were invited next month.

The IRA has seemingly decided to use this year's Olympic Games in London to build their platform, most people having forgotten about the small groups of rebels. They're expected to make bomb attempt during the Torch's procession through Ireland. Since the routes are mapped and planned well in advance this is expected to be a tactical fiasco for Irish police forces. This is reminiscent of the 2004 Greek Olympics when security was at an all-time-high after the September 11th hijackings in the USA and other political uncertainties of the time. Can't we have one Olympic cycle where everyone doesn't want to murder each other? The games are supposed to bring our nations together, even if they didn't start that way. Back when Ancient Greece was just Greece, the games were far less extensive and were held as a means to resolve disputes between Sparta and Greece.

I plan to attempt to cover the Olympic Games this year, mostly to show my support and cheer on Team USA, besides this is the most patriotism I can manage to eek out every 4 years.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

14 Year Old Voice Actor Goes Viral

This kid is absolutely brilliant, his only problem is he hasn't been discovered yet, but given time he could be. Fortunately he lives in a time where launching a career via YouTube is entirely possible.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mac Users Looking to Point Fingers Over Malware

Apple marketed its operating system software a...
Apple marketed its operating system software as "Mac OS", beginning in 1997. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There has long been this idea that Macs simply "Don't get viruses." It's long been the most popular argument that Mac users love to bust out when they're backed into a corner during a Mac Vs. PC debate. I've been warning my friends for years that this myth is just that, a myth, and they need antivirus software, some went out and picked up some good software, the rest didn't listen to me, and now they're complaining about their Flashback infection.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Hunger Games Vs. Ender'sGame

I'm not going to lie, I suck at reviews, whether it's because I devour books and don't take notes so I can touch on key points or something else, I do not know. I can sit and talk about it with you for hours though, if you want, but good luck on getting a decent review from me. But I continue to do them, it seems, maybe, in practice I'll find success.  

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Modern Business: We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

This is Rogelio Rivas trying to learn his guit...
This is Rogelio Rivas trying to learn his guitar lessons. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I had a very interesting discussion with a friend of mine who, like me, works in the technology industry as an Electrical Engineer (I develop software). He told me a story about a music shop that does a bunch of stuff from selling instruments to giving instrumental and vocal lessons. This place has a Web site too, set up by the owner's son. It's a JPEG, or image. No text, keywords, nothing, just the graphic.
I'm only writing about this because I feel the guy who owns this shop should be a lesson all business owners can learn from: You need a Website for your business, and chances are your nephew shouldn't be designing it unless he actually has some HTML skills; honestly for a static page suitable for most businesses HTML is all you need.