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Sympthsical's Journal
Sympthsical's Journal
December 1, 2022

While everyone watches Twitter, Apple helped China fight dissidents

Our silly media obsession with Twitter while other tech monopolists actually aid authoritarian regimes remains unabated.

Protests in China have attracted international attention as the greatest challenge of President Xi Jinping’s premiership and a major knock to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) longstanding authority.

But their spread within China was partially hobbled by a key change in Apple’s AirDrop feature, launched just weeks before the unrest.

AirDrop, which allows users to share content between Apple devices, has become an important tool in protestors’ efforts to circumvent authoritarian censorship regimes over recent years.

That is because it relies on wireless connections between phones, rather than internet connectivity, placing it beyond the scope of internet content moderators. It uses Bluetooth to form a peer-to-peer Wi-Fi network between two devices.

The tool was used widely during Hong Kong’s 2019 pro-democracy protests, when demonstrators would share messages and protest literature with passers by and visitors from mainland China through AirDrop’s open network.


Now. What did Musk have for lunch today? I hope at least five media outlets cover this vital and breaking news.
November 28, 2022

Will China anti-lockdown protests become a new Tiananmen?

Early days, but it's certainly interesting that protestors are not merely calling for reform, but the removal of the current government - that does not happen in China.

Kinda odd how little discussion this seems to be generating. Should we send Musk to China so attention will be paid to it?

"For the first time in decades, thousands of people have defied Chinese authorities to protest at universities and on the streets of major cities, demanding to be freed not only from incessant Covid tests and lockdowns, but strict censorship and the Communist Party’s tightening grip over all aspects of life.

Across the country, “want freedom” has become a rallying cry for a groundswell of protests mainly led by the younger generation, some too young to have taken part in previous acts of open dissent against the government.

“Give me liberty or give me death!” crowds by the hundreds shouted in several cities, according to videos circulating online, as vigils to mark the deaths of at least 10 people in a fire in Xinjiang spiraled into political rallies.
Protests against Covid measures in Urumqi city, Xinjiang, China, can be seen in a screen grab obtained from a video released November 25.

Videos circulating online seem to suggest China’s strict zero-Covid policy initially prevented emergency workers from accessing the scene, angering residents across the country who have endured three years of varying Covid controls.

November 21, 2022

Kaiser nurses avert strike and nab amazing contract

Here's some good labor news. I'm in school for nursing, so I've been personally interested in this story.

About 22,000 nurses and nurse practitioners reached a tentative agreement with Kaiser Permanente on a new four-year contract that includes provisions for a 22.5% raise and increased staffing.

The tentative deal averted what would have been the biggest private-sector nurses' strike in American history. Nurses working at nearly two dozen Kaiser Permanente locations planned a two-day strike that was set to begin Monday.

The California Nurses Association (CNA) announced the proposed deal Thursday. The proposal represents the "biggest annual raise in 20 years" for Kaiser Permanente nurses with a 22.5% increase in wages over the four-year term of the contract, according to the nurses' union.

Kaiser registered nurses and nurse practitioners in Northern California have been in negotiations since June 2022. On Sept. 1, nurses at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center joined their Northern California nurse colleagues in holding informational pickets for a total of more than 22,000 nurses.


November 21, 2022

Student Loan Forgiveness Approvals Going Out

My nephew got an e-mail from the DoE yesterday. However, because of the lawsuits, the relief is on hold. He was one of the people who put in applications in October when they opened up. So I guess they're sending e-mails out to those who are approved now.

From the e-mail about the status.

Unfortunately, a number of lawsuits have been filed challenging the program, which have blocked our ability to discharge your debt at present. We believe strongly that the lawsuits are meritless, and the Department of Justice has appealed on our behalf. Your application is complete and approved, and we will discharge your approved debt if and when we prevail in court. We will update you when there are new developments.

The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to helping borrowers as they recover from the pandemic.

Education is a great equalizer, and we will never stop fighting for you!

In Service,

Miguel A. Cardona

U.S. Secretary of Education

So they're still processing everything despite the lawsuits.
November 9, 2022

Ralston is seriously backpedaling from his Nevada predictions

On my phone, but if someone has a link to him I’d be much obliged.

I’ve never seen him like that before.

November 5, 2022

The problem exposed

We're three days out from an election.

Note how much content - just in general, but particularly in the media - is Twitter, Twitter, Twitter, Twitter.

Still think this wasn't a problem, that we weren't dealing with a massive addiction in our commentary and journalistic classes?

Three days from one of the most important elections in our lifetime.

Twitter, Twitter, Twitter, Twitter, Twitter.

No one can accuse Republican propaganda or media sneakiness or a plot to distract or any other conspiracy.

A huge chunk of people on our side looked at the oxygen remaining in the room and decided to spend the last three days of it before the election.

Twitter, Twitter, Twitter, Twitter, Twitter.

May the platform burn and the withdrawals be severe enough to teach a lesson to the addicted (it won't, but one can always hope).

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