Tag Archives: FPQ

FPQ48: Like A Surgeon

Fandango’s provocative question

Fandango provocatively asks…

“Do you believe the government of a country has a responsibility to provide universal, affordable (if not “free”) healthcare for its citizens? If you live in the United States, would you favor a Medicare for all/single-payer health plan? If you live outside of the U.S., does your government provide universal healthcare? If so, how do you feel about it? If not, what kind of healthcare coverage do you have?”

Okay, first, this type of healthcare is not “free” ~ nothing is free. It is paid for from the monies collected from taxes, as are all government programs, benefits, military spending, foreign aid, etc. I’m an American, btw. Rah. 🎉

Second, I don’t believe that what we have now is good. I don’t think that our health insurance should be tied to our jobs. I realize it’s a “tradition,” like turkey, and Americans hate giving up anything that’s traditional, but it makes no sense. We don’t get auto insurance through our employer, so why should our employer have info about our medical coverage/needs? Why are they involved at all? This is my “big thing.”

Third, relating to the above, when we leave a job or are an independent contractor, we’re usually stuck with some expensive medical insurance plan, since we must be doubly punished for not having that traditional paycheck. Yeah, that makes sense… our income has declined, so now we have to pay more for healthcare. The American Way. 🙄

Fourth, I used to be on board for single payer, but now I’m not so sure. Competition is healthy, though it doesn’t always make sense in the context of medical care, does it? If I need new tires, I can shop around, but if I break my leg, I kind of am at the mercy of the first hospital an ambulance dumps me off at. If they charge $5,000 or $25,000… welp, what can I do? Not to even mention what the ambulance charges…

So, to ramble back to my own argument that I just defeated… maybe competition isn’t the best thing for healthcare? There should possibly be some oversight and enforced limits. Who should be in charge of that? Our corrupt gobblement? Lol! 🤣

Fifth, Fandango was careful to use the word “residents” in his post, but I’m not PC and will go right ahead and use the word “citizens.” Yep, I do believe that whatever healthcare benefits we give out to those who can’t pay and don’t have insurance should be reserved for our own citizens. It would of course be lovely to give everyone medical care and housing and all the things, kumbaya, but as I said at first… none of that is actually “free.” Taxpayers pay for it all.

On the otter hand… it seems really wrong to pretend that our country as a whole doesn’t benefit greatly from the labor of the “residents” here illegally, who work for less than minimum wage and no benefits. There’s a reason why illegal immigration never ends and it’s because there are jobs waiting for these peeps… if there weren’t, they wouldn’t come. If someone gets sick after working in a meat-processing plant for 10 years so we can enjoy cheap wings while watching the big game… who should pay for his hospital stay?

See, no one has to argue with me in comments; I do it all here upfront. Just another service from Light Motifs and you don’t even have to buy me a coffee. ☕️

So, to sum up: I don’t have a fucking clue what we should do about healthcare in our screwed up country… and neither does anyone else, no matter how loudly they screech about it, nor how many trillions (trillions!) of dollars they want to throw at it. There ya go.

~*~

Image credit Fandango himself.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon

FPQ47: The Singularity

FPQ

Fandango provocatively asks…

Do you think the singularity will occur? If so, what time frame do you think it will happen in and how will it impact humanity? Alternatively, do you think or care at all about the potential for reaching singularity?

Fandango defines this as “a hypothetical future point in time when technological growth becomes uncontrollable and irreversible, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization.” Hasn’t that already happened? Have we not been irreversibly impacted by the technology from communications, agriculture, the military, and medical sciences? I guess we could “go back” if we destroyed everything in a horrible nuclear war and some humans were able to survive in remote areas, but I think the projections say this is unlikely (the remote people surviving).

Generally, the science fiction tropes give us the idea of runaway AI to the point where it develops a will to survive and surpass us, forming some sort of evil intent. It knows we will disable it once we discover its new powers, so it must kill us first. The plot of such fiction centers around a race against time, man vs machine. I assume man wins, or the endings wouldn’t be satisfying. As you probably can guess, I haven’t read/watched a whole lot of this. I prefer man vs man.

I don’t worry about machines developing feelings and trying to kill me. No. Though it’s definitely possible I could trip over a computer cord and smash my head on the corner of a table and die of a concussion. That could happen. I am a klutz. But as far as my phone and computer conspiring to electrocute me because they’ve received instructions from the Big AI… no, this is not something I worry about at all. I still figure that if anyone poses a mortal threat to me, it’ll be some jerk on the freeway, same as always.

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ46: Real Talk

Fandango provocatively asks…

Has using a telephone for making calls become obsolete? For those of you who grew up without the internet or smartphones, is calling and speaking with people on the phone still important? For those of you who grew up only using smartphones, is it necessary to call anyone anymore?

In my life, using a telephone for making calls is not obsolete whatsoever. At work, we talk on actual landline phones every day. A few times a week, my daughters and I like to connect via a real phone chat rather than just texting (which we do also, usually multiple times per day). As far as friends go, in general we usually text to chat or make plans, but if one of us is in the car, then we’ll call to confirm or whatever. Some friends prefer to call to catch up ~ last night I chatted on the phone with a old writer pal for a while about our projects and stuff. Last but not least, sometimes a phone call is simply more convenient when doing business such as apartment hunting or making dinner reservations.

I’m not one of those old fogies who sigh about the olden days when people didn’t stare at their cell phones all day. As I recall, we had plenty of ways to ignore each other back then, if we wanted to. People who enjoy engaging with others will find a way. I have noted that at places like the DMV and jury duty folks are less inclined to chat than before, since they have their phones now. But honestly how many of us oldsters actually made friends at the DMV or jury duty anyway?

As the kids say… good talk! 👻🎃

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ45: Oreos

Fandango’s provocative question

Fandango provocatively asks…

Are there limits to human creativity? Is it be possible for humans to create something completely novel and new that is based on nothing that previously existed? Or is human creativity just rearranging and building on previous ideas?

Well… I guess there are ways to stretch and say anything is somehow connected to something else. The internet was novel, allowing strangers to find each other and chat about topics in common, but before that some folks did manage to find pen pals in different parts of the world (or in prison) to communicate with. It was much slower, and individual rather than a freewheeling message board system, but one could make the case that there’s a similarity. Lonely people, reaching across the miles for new friends they’ll never meet in person…

Art, music, literature, science, medicine, etc. have existed since there were humans who had any free time between birth and death, so… nope, all of that will be filed in the “building on” category.

What about things that have been invented we don’t know about cuz they disappeared without a trace? There must be loads of ’em, and I’m thinking that many of these might fit the novel definition. But the reason we don’t know about them is because they were useless or unable to be marketed. We like things we’re familiar with. Sure, we crave novelty, but only to a degree.

This is why we keep seeing “new” offerings from the same old places, like Oreos with different middles. Ooh, a novel filling! How thrilling! But we’re comfortable with this product, and we trust it, because it’s still an Oreo.

Cookie dough Oreos

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ44: The Event

Fandango’s provocative question

Fandango provocatively asks…

What do you think was (or is) the most significant event in the history of the human race? Please explain.

The first time someone gazed out onto a golden field of wheat gently swaying in the breeze and thought… huh, I bet I could cut that stuff down, grind it up fine, mix it with water, add some eggs, vanilla, etc., plop it in my pan, cook it over a fire for an hour… and viola…

CAKE!!!!!

Everyone was amazed. People were nomming up this cake while discussing stuff like what’s that round thing in the sky that seems to affect the tides and how did we even get here and can we invent a better way to kill people on the other side of the mountain… when someone said…

Dudes! This cake is great, but it really could use some frosting. And she mixed together butter and sugar until it was all creamy and delicious, spread it over the rest of the cake… and thus was born…

FROSTED CAKE!!!!!

Red velvet cake

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ43: Genes or Jeans?

Fandango provocatively asks…

“What do you believe, when it comes to people’s traits and personalities? Are they primarily formed and shaped by nature or by nurture, as defined above? What about your personality? Nature or nurture? Please elaborate.”

I encourage peeps to visit Fandango’s post to get the full flavor of his question. Plus, he’s just fun to read! 😻

My opinion is that everything is genetic, meaning nature, but that nurture has some influence over what may be expressed or suppressed. For example, regarding my purrsonality… my parents never said they were “loners,” but neither of them had tons of friends, and both enjoyed spending a lot of time alone. My dad spent a zillion hours reading by himself, and my mom always had some solo craft project going on. I am the same. Sure, I could have learned to be this way by observing them…

But let’s take my daughters, raised by me, observing how I operate. One is similar to me and the other is quite different ~ what you would term a “people person.” She’s friendly, gregarious, outgoing, warm, and open to new people. Doesn’t really seem to enjoy spending a lot of time alone. Huh.

I say this stuff is hard-wired.

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon

FPQ42: Censorship

FPQ

Fandango provocatively asks…

“Do you feel that in today’s world — and perhaps in the part of the world in which you live — the freedom to articulate and express opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction is being threatened?”

Speaking to the legal aspect, not at all. I am referencing only my personal, direct experience here, not stuff blogged about hysterically without proof. What do I mean by that? I mean… when people start shrieking about someone’s rights being violated before they know the whole story. And then when the rest of the story comes out, it’s generally ignored. As far as me, I am somewhat protected by my “white privilege” and also by the fact that I am a very small fish and generally don’t write stupid things.

That isn’t to say I haven’t caused myself some needless personal consequences over written material ~ I certainly have. But the part of the question I’m addressing now is about freedom to write without fear of legal consequences, and I feel I have that.

What about besides legal consequences? Well, I don’t know. It’s hard to compare anything to the vast reach of the internet. There was a time, I guess, you could pen an edgy opinion letter to your local gazette and incur the wrath of a little town, but now send off an unfortunate tweet and the next day wake up to a million folks around the world calling you a c*nt. That shouldn’t happen though. See the next paragraph…

I think there should be more “censorship,” not less. But not by the government (which is why I put it in quotes). I think internet service providers and websites should be upholding their TOS and enforcing their own standards we’ve all agreed to against impersonation, hate speech, racism, etc.

It’s not impossible. It just seems that way because we’ve elevated the idea of “anonymity” to the highest value. If we disallowed anonymity, much of the hate would vanish overnight.

Not all of it, of course. The POTUS isn’t anonymous, I realize. 🤣

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ41: Perfectly Tense

FPQ

Fandango provocatively asks…

“So this week’s question is for you to discuss what you think about Zadie Smith’s quote. Do you believe that the past is always tense, the future perfect?”

I suggest you visit Fandango’s link to get the full sense of what he’s on about before you try to make sense of my jabber, but do as you will. Obviously, I am going to speak only to my limited experience on this.

In most cases, I believe people engage in a cognitive dissonance regarding their past. Well, let me back up. A disclaimer: Memory is notoriously unreliable. Even our short-term memories can be wrongola, so the idea that we can accurately remember what happened decades back and make judgments from there? Pffft. Let’s get that out of the way. Okay then.

Do I believe the past is always tense? Well, no! That’s silly. Some people say they had wonderful childhoods. Others have had or are currently in long, happy relationships. These people may or may not be optimistic regarding the future, depending upon a whole bunch of factors, including their individual personalities. That married man I was with for 2.5 years was a “glory days” guy, always telling stories of how much fun he’d had back when, and how the future would never measure up. Always nice to hear, amirite? 🙄

I’m somewhere in the middle, as usual. I had an okay childhood, not great, not awful. I recognize that my memories might be inaccurate and there is no one around to verify anything with. I accept responsibility for my part in failed relationships as an adult, which mostly connects to choosing the wrong men and then doubling down. [Note to self: Don’t do that.]

I’m kinda gloomy about the future, I admit. Maybe it’s a function of where I live, but I see people working their butts off and just getting nowhere. Is this happening in “the heartland” as well as on the coasts? You work a normal full-time job, plus maybe do some part-time work too, and can barely afford to rent an apartment? Forget ever buying a house unless Grandma leaves you one or you win the lottery. Maybe you save and save and can buy something with a group of others, but that’s not exactly “the American dream,” to live like a college student decade after decade.

Okay, so Fandango’s post was more about learning from your mistakes in order to create a perfect future. How realistic is that though? I’ll be 60 in 1.5 years. I understand I could have done many things better, but those chances are gone. I can’t redo where I went to college (passed on Northwestern and UCLA like a freaking idiot). I can’t improve my relationship with my parents because they’re both dead. I can’t make it 1995 again and fix my marriage with what I know now.

Learning is great, but opportunities do not stay available forever. Times change, the dogs bark, the caravan moves on. 🐶

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ40: Control Freak

Fandango provocatively asks…

“How much control do you believe you have over your own life?”

Not much!

Now, that might strike some as a strange response, given that I’m sort of a control freak, but I think some of us CF types are that way precisely as a reaction to how little control we actually do have.

I mean, there’s really nothing I can do about so many things. Natural disasters come when they will, and sure I can have some bottled water and flashlights on hand, but I doubt those will help me in a real crisis. I don’t have the resources to create an underground bunker, assuming you can get to one in time and can last out whatever thing. What do you do in said bunker if you have a heart attack and need a doctor? Do you kidnap one and bring him with you just in case? How about surgery and meds?

Unnatural disasters are pretty much the same thing. I drive defensively, but there’s always some idiot blasting out of nowhere ~ and indeed one hit me and sped off three years ago. You try to plan for the “black swan,” but the one that appears is often not the one you modeled. I stay home a lot to avoid people and accidents, but a while back I fell in my bathroom and cracked my head on the tub.

Shit happens, and it keeps coming. I was contentedly living in my cozy apartment when the owner decided to switch things up, brought in a management company, and raised the rent 25%. Nothing I could do. Moving is expensive; housing in SoCal is insane. Leaving the area for a cheaper one… and hope to get a new job in my late 50s? Umm. I do feel trapped like a mouse.

How do I cope? Obsessively arrange my paper clips and shoes. Make sure all my socks are folded the same way. Keep items at right angles. Create lots of lists so I can cross things off. This all gives me the illusion of control in a chaotic world. But I know nothing is really in my control and that sucks.

(I am not seeking advice. Thank you!)

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ39: This Magic Moment

Fandango’s provocative question

Fandango provocatively asks…

“Do you believe in magic? Define magic any way you wish and explain your belief about magic.”

My definition of magic (for the purpose of this discussion*) is events occurring via the supernatural ~ thats is, outside the realm of physical laws. Things that fall into this category include but are not limited to: vampires, ghosts, gods, and life after death. And my answer is no.

Certainly, there are things that science has yet to explain. But that doesn’t mean we should leap to the idea they were caused by “magic” ~ that’s what people did when they didn’t know anything. We know so much now… not me personally, but scientists and others who take more of an interest in keeping up with the latest developments in the various fields.

Now, for writing and poetic purposes, it can be fun to include some magic. I enjoy art that’s about escape from reality, so I often try to create the same myself. It makes life more sparkling to have these fantasies.

*Outside of this discussion, we can use the word magic (or magical) to mean a magic show/seance or something wonderful, such as a kiss by the beach, warm chocolate chip cookies, a snuggly puppy, or a spectacular piece of music.

I wouldn’t use it to describe cereal with little colored marshmallows however. Maybe s’mores…

At midnight…

With John Cusack…

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.