A collection of rants in response to some common Facebook arguments I'm trying to stay out of...

A group of some random rants that have been building up inside of me as I struggle not to engage in various Facebook comment fights (a.k.a. narrowing my followers down to just the likeminded and/or opening up a can of worms with the rest):

- Any business that was operating with a thin margin prior to this mess is going to struggle regardless of when they re-open.

Many patrons will be slow to return, each sale will take more time & effort to complete. Prices will have to go up, margins will have to go down (catch-22).

It will mean trimming the staff and getting as lean as possible as well (more layoffs; more rate reductions).

All of which also means less disposable income to pump back into the economy (ie. even after the big 're-open', things will get continue to get worse for awhile before anything gets better).

- You might hate the idea of masks, but when you stop to think about it, it's really just an extension of 'accepted/expected' clothing. (You can't walk around town naked without the risk of a ticket and prob. some shame -- and I've heard very few people in my lifetime complain about having to wear clothes as an infringement on their personal rights/freedoms).

And we're all pretty familiar with the 'no shoes, no shirt, no service' mantra...requiring a mask to enter/shop in a store is really just an extension of that too.

I'll be honest, I still feel a little silly wearing a mask when I go out - but it's not really about how I feel. It's about how I can be a helpful member of my community -- what I can do to help others feel safer.

- You can stop with the conspiracy theories. If you're anything like me, you know it's hard enough to get the most basic of things accomplished in life, so as much as you might think the facts line up or the events are too crazy not to have been orchestrated, no one really has the skill/knowledge/power to pull off the complex/crazy stuff you think they do (or, if they did, they would be so far superior to the common person that they wouldn't be able to be caught and/or there would be nothing you could do about it anyway).

Here's the sad truth. The rich and powerful aren't trying to screw you over. They don't care about you at all. They don't even think about you (other than in the generic sense of, Let's find a narrative to try to shape the people to think, vote, or do X). Politics is a game to them, scored in revenue and fame. No matter what 'side' you're on, they aren't playing to win for you (or people like you -- though at the local level they may have honestly got into the game for that reason).

Whomever you see as the enemy - do you *really* believe they are so smart and powerful to be able to do all the complex things you envision they are doing...and yet, so stupid as to leave a trail for you and social media to be able to follow, understand, and 'catch' them?

- The virus is real. I know people who have had it and recovered. I knew people who had it and didn't recover (and their families are still morning). Right now it doesn't matter if it's like the flu, if it's China's fault, or whatever else the useless argument of the day is -- the potential for sickness (and death) is real.

Until you KNOW how to stop yourself from getting it and spreading it, you need to be smart and careful about your own actions and what you expose yourself and your loved ones to.

- Here's my bottom line, this is not war. There is not an enemy with intent out to get you (the virus isn't targeting you or anyone else specifically). It's a mess. It's painful. It's frustrating. There needs to be sacrifices and compromises made. But it's not a war.

Being a helpful, productive, and mindful member of society does not make you a warrior or a hero. It makes you a human being.

So maybe spend less time selfishly moaning about what the government is or isn't doing, what the news is or isn't trying to get you to believe (or freak out about), or buying/spreading the conspiracy theories you are hearing around social media (and yes, I get the irony of me saying this here)

Instead, maybe spend more time thinking about how you can actually be helpful to those around you that are suffering (b/c of mental stress, financial stress, emotional stress, fear, or whatever it is that we are all feeling at various points of each day throughout this mess).

Don't be a jerk.
It's human to fight.
It's also human to work,
to put things right.

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This is the personal blog of Kevin Marshall (a.k.a Falicon) where he often digs into side projects he's working on for digdownlabs.com and other random thoughts he's got on his mind.

Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.

If you have comments, thoughts, or want to respond to something you see here I would encourage you to respond via a post on your own blog (and then let me know about the link via one of the routes mentioned above).