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J. Riley Castine Posts

Random Thought for Friday, July 22nd, 2016: Pokémon DOH!

IMG_20140505_085058Welcome to Friday’s Random Thought.

For those of you who do not know, Pokémon Go is the latest augmented reality game from Niantic Labs. Augmented Reality Games, or ARG’s, use your smart phone or tablet to overlay game graphics on the live view from your device’s camera or on a GPS map view. Such games attempt to turn the real world into a gaming environment.

I played Ingress when it came out and for a while it was fun but I immediately saw issues with the game. The concept of the game was based on a capture the flag model. You would capture a ‘portal’, deploy devices to power up the portal and then link portals together to claim physical land. Simple enough and it was fun, as I alluded earlier, there were issues. First, if a portal was located inside someone’s property, gaining access could be an issue.  There were stories of people climbing over fences to get to a ‘portal’. There is of course, the distraction factor when playing a game like this. People would be so engrossed in what was on their phones that there were people who did literally walk into walls, trip over curbs, walk into people, traffic, etc…

Fast forward to July 2016 with the release of Pokémon Go. Yup, I am seeing these same stories in the news but this time, more frequently and with more severe consequences. Just Google Pokémon Go and you will find many stories of people actually dying as they were not paying attention to their surroundings. This is a sad state of affairs where people are dying while playing a game and I do feel badly for those who have lost their lives as well as those loved ones who are left asking why.

We do need to acknowledge something here. Niantic Labs has done something wonderful for humanity and at the same time, successfully trolled everyone beautifully.

People can’t use their smartphones and walk safely at the same time. This game, Pokémon Go, has proven this point to be absolutely true for a large number of its player base. Whether people like it or not, this is how Niantic has trolled everyone. Niantic has released a game that will now fuel the argument that you can’t text and drive safely. I’m not saying that was Niantic’s intentions, but it is a valid conclusion you can draw from the daily news reports.

You can’t argue that texting while driving is a safe activity anymore. Nope, no way, not at all.  If people can’t walk and play Pokémon Go safely, how can you possible drive and text? Driving a car is much more complex than walking by far.

You are using your legs for the pedals, arms for the steering and your eyes for watching the road. Ninety-nine percent of the population can not text and drive safely, myself included. It’s why I don’t like texting.  I’d rather talk on the phone and even then, it’s difficult to juggle all of it together.

So while I read the news this morning, I see more stories of people who can’t walk and play Pokémon Go. I wonder if these same people will finally wake to the reality that they can’t text and drive either.

On a side note, that sound you are hearing the background. That laughing sound? Yup, it’s Darwin, from the beyond. He’s laughing and celebrating as his theory is finally proving true for Humans.

About time, eh?


Random Thought for Friday, July 15th, 2016: Sound of Silence

Welcome to Friday’s Random Thought.

I don’t have a lot this week, been busy with work and various projects. With everything that has been going on across the country, with the revelations about Hillary Clinton and her continual lies and the violence that has stricken our country, I’ve been in a strange place in mind.

I always loved the original song by Simon and Garfunkel (

I heard a newer version last year and it struck a chord with me.  I think that everyone may enjoy this version by the band Disturbed.The vocals escalating through the song and a powerful voice are striking. The video below is their official production for their rendition of this classic.  The song paired with the imagery here, it’s a hauntingly beautiful echo of our times today.

Take a listen to this version and watch the video.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Random Thought for Friday, July 8th, 2016: Comey is Brilliant

IMG_20140419_111752Welcome to Friday’s Random Thought.

Yes, I’m going to delve into politics, sorry.

While the media pundits gnash their teeth on different angles, some saying this is a win for Hillary, others say it’s a loss, I’m going to sit here and smile.  It’s hard not to smile when you are watching a genius at work and many people don’t see what has really happened here.

Allow me to rephrase what Director Comey said:

We found lots of negligent actions regarding handling of classified information. We agree that this is illegal.

We have confirmed that Hillary Clinton has lied both to the American people and in her testimony to Congress.

We don’t think a prosecutor should try to press charges.

We think this as hey, it’s Hillary Clinton. She may be guilty but you won’t win against her in a court room. She has the resources to drag a trial out for years. You can’t win against her.

That being such, let me just publicly release all the findings so that she can be judged in the court of public opinion .

You know why?

Because if this goes to the Attorney General, the ‘Clinton Effect’ will happen and no one will hear about the truth. At least this way, everyone will know.

Shocking? Not really.

You need to keep in mind that Comey’s career in serving justice spans a few disciplines. He’s been an investigator and a prosecutor.  He knows when he is confronted with a case where the person is guilty but pursuing a case will not end in a conviction. It is unfortunate but it happens. The best you can hope for is some measure of justice through another path. Perhaps adding what you have to a pile of evidence that can be used later to build a winning case.

Think of it this way. Look at Al Capone. He was breaking the law at the time in regards to smuggling alcohol. Investigators could never build a case against him for breaking those laws despite the mountain of evidence they had. All they could hope for would be to convict those doing the smuggling. Capone was too insulated, too powerful and held too much influence for any prosecutor to be able to win a case against him. How did they get him? By going another route. When it came out that he was being charged and prosecuted with tax evasion, Capone did fall from people’s favor albeit it a small amount. A lot of people loved the man but when people learned that he was not paying his taxes, opinions turned. With a bit of luck, they were able to locate Capone’s book keeper and decipher his financial ledgers. This allowed prosecutors to pursue another angle. Capone was ultimately convicted on money laundering and tax evasion. Justice lost the battle on breaking the prohibition laws but won the war with the breaking of tax laws. Justice was ultimately served.

Investigators, as Comey remarked in is comments, do make unofficial recommendations and opinions when handing a case to a District Attorney. They will say if they feel the DA can win and that does influence the decision to prosecute someone for a criminal act. Comey knows that “any reasonable prosecutor” will have a difficulty time in dealing with the Clintons and that in the end, it will take a large amount of time and tax payer money to prosecute Hillary Clinton.  It’s a loosing battle.

Directory Comey knows that this fight over the blatant mishandling of classified information by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will not win the war for truth and justice. He knows it is better to loose this battle as it will mean a win in the war later. In the meantime, he can do something for more useful for the pursuit of justice. He can release the truth to the world and let justice come from those who have been wronged, the American people.

Well played sir, well played indeed.




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