The Benefits of Social Media in Prepping

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The Benefits of Social Media in Prepping Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps” Listen in player below! In past shows I have talked about the dangers of social media and the internet. This episode I will flip the switch and talk about the benefits of social media in prepping. We often see the dangers of the … Continue reading The Benefits of Social Media in Prepping

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Facebook Is Categorizing Your Political Views – Here’s How To Find Your Label!

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Facebook Is Categorizing Your Political Views – Here’s How To Find Your Label!

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SAN FRANCISCO – Facebook users likely know that the social media company is trying each day to make money off of them, but they may not realize that it also is categorizing their political views – and that it may have them classified all wrong.

It is all part of Facebook’s effort to target specific ads to specific customers. The company keeps track of which websites and posts you click, like and share, and then puts you in one of three broad categories: conservative, moderate or liberal – with descriptors (such as “very”) added.

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If you’re curious how Facebook has you categorized, then follow these steps:

From there, you can tweak your preferences, which will impact the ads you see. The main “preferences” page also lists your other interests – at least what Facebook thinks are your interests.

As The New York Times reported, political candidates and companies can target audiences based on their political views. Donald Trump is running Facebook ads aimed at moderates, the newspaper said.

What is your reaction to Facebook classifying its audience? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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The Stunning Way Facebook Can Manipulate The Public To Defeat Trump (Or Cruz)

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The Stunning Way Facebook Can Manipulate The Public To Defeat Trump (Or Cruz)

Image source: Wikimedia

 

Giant tech companies like Facebook and Google could determine the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, simply by deciding what information the voters see.

It may seem like science fiction, but the possibility has been raised by multiple experts and media outlets in recent months – most recently in The Guardian newspaper this week.

The idea is somewhat simple: Americans spend an incredible amount of time on social media and the Internet, and any change in the algorithm of Facebook or Google could sway their opinions.

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“America’s next president could be eased into office not just by TV ads or speeches, but by Google’s secret decisions, and no one—except for me and perhaps a few other obscure researchers—would know how this was accomplished,” Robert Epstein, senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, wrote in a Politico column last year.

Research by Epstein and Ronald E. Robertson indicates that something called the Search Engine Manipulation Effect, or SME, could determine the outcome of elections.

“Google’s search algorithm can easily shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20% or more – up to 80% in some demographic groups – with virtually no one knowing they are being manipulated,” Epstein wrote.

How it Works

When you type a request into a search engine like Google, an algorithm program determines the results. Likewise, a Facebook algorithm determines what you see in your timeline.

The Stunning Way Facebook Can Manipulate The Public To Defeat Trump (Or Cruz)

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For example, the Google algorithm could be set to show mostly positive news about a candidate such as Hillary Clinton. Likewise, the algorithm could be set to show only negative news about Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.

Epstein and Robertson say they have demonstrated that his effect is real in experiments.

“Our new research leaves little doubt about whether Google has the ability to control voters,” Epstein wrote. “In laboratory and online experiments conducted in the United States, we were able to boost the proportion of people who favored any candidate by between 37 and 63 percent after just one search session. The impact of viewing biased rankings repeatedly over a period of weeks or months would undoubtedly be larger.”

The effect already may have determined the outcome of a 2014 election in India.

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“Given how powerful this effect is, it’s possible that Google decided the winner of the Indian election,” Epstein wrote. “ Google’s own daily data on election-related search activity (subsequently removed from the Internet, but not before my colleagues and I downloaded the pages) showed that Narendra Modi, the ultimate winner, outscored his rivals in search activity by more than 25 percent for sixty-one consecutive days before the final votes were cast.”

Facebook Employees Raise Possibility

On March 4 of this year, Facebook employees voted on a question to ask their boss, Mark Zuckerberg. The question: “What responsibility does Facebook have to help prevent President Trump in 2017?” The question was reported by Gizmodo, and was apparently the fifth-most popular question posed to Zuckerberg.

“Facebook can promote or block any material that it wants,” UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh told Gizmodo. “Facebook has the same First Amendment right as The New York Times. They can completely block Trump if they want. They can block him or promote him.”

The social network did carry out an experiment to see how it could impact voting in 2010. The idea was to get more people to vote in a congressional election and it apparently worked, according to a University of California-San Diego paper. Facebook has 1.59 billion users around the world.

What is your reaction? Do you think Facebook and Google could sway an election? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Facebook’s new tools to fight video piracy

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After receiving criticism from content owners, Facebook is offering new tools that will identify and remove unauthorized video content that is uploaded without the owner’s permission. YouTube’s video-sharing business has been going on for a decade, while it’s only been a year since Facebook allowed users to share videos on their news feeds. Facebook isContinue reading>

Are Preppers actually Prepared?

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Jungle Run at the Big Run Ranch 
When thinking of a prepper, most often we picture a person who has some sort of room in which they store massive quantities of supplies such as food, water, methods of self-defense and tools for hunting. They may have some limited training on survival or bush-craft and hopefully can properly utilize the firearms they spent all that hard earned money on. Ask a prepper what they are preparing for and they will mostly likely draw up some specific event or collapse of some kind. They may even go into their plans on how to survive it.


That sounds like a great plan right?

It sounds like they could live forever in their cozy secret squirrel location. If an intruder came they could defend their location with their armory. For me it sounds like borderline hoarding and they are not prepared for anything other than becoming a supply house for an intruder because they are a soft target. If you prepare yourself with purpose and maintain a flexible but firm preparedness philosophy you will be better off with very limited “Prepping” supplies and a shitload of training.


Don’t be this guy
Having more firearms than your team can carry by hand is stupid, plain and simple.  We are preparing for complete self-reliance not starting a firearm collection. Having too much of anything just means you wasted your time and money. You will potentially leave food and guns behind, to a possible threat to you, when you decide that you can’t take them when you bug out. I am sure by now you know how I approach preparedness.

Do you even prep, Bro?
I am a minimalist and I see that people are starting to get good at hoarding not preppingbecause it is easier to go to a store and buy gear and buy guns and ammo and to buy preassembled “Survival kits”. Someone please explain how buying an endless mountain of gear and supplies makes you prepared. That awful Doomsday Preppers atrocity is filled with commercials of washed up celebrities hawking crappy pre-packed meals. For a small fortune you have managed to prep without even leaving your couch. Spend a quarter of that money on some damn training and classes on how to grow food, how to dehydrate meals and how to pack them in a manner that will save your food for decades. We have gotten so lazy as a nation that we can’t even prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse ourselves!

We go to Ebay or Amazonand buy some Zombie survival kit or Prepping essentials kit because it’s easier than getting off of our fat pimply asses to do it ourselves. Do you actually think these stupid ass kits are assembled by someone who knows their shit? Does the username of the seller give you the sense of trust your very survival depends on? Zombiedude543 has a blue star rating so he must be legit, right?

A chicken for no reason

The difference between an individual who is prepared and one who is a prepper comes down to mindset and physical fitness. Take this post as a challenge to you to take a long look in your signal mirror and make the decision to up your preparedness game.

Are you prepared enough to even enjoy those freeze dried lasagna meals or the dreaded Country Captain Chicken MRE while the world turns into a shit sandwich all around you? Test yourself and document what your physical limits are now. Give yourself 4 months to make substantial gains in your strength and endurance. What is the point of spending your time and money on all this food, gear and training if you die of a heart attack trying to get to your bug out location? I am no model of physical perfection by any means trust me, but I work at making myself better every day. If your survival skills are up to par with your level of fitness there is little left to chance regarding your survival. It is solely upon you to change the terms that define you. Prepping is an action, not a way of life. The act of prepping is merely a small facet of what being prepared is. I hope you are getting sick of me saying this and you start to put these words into action. Having a whole mess load of instruments doesn’t make a musician; it’s what we do with the tools we amass that define us.


Stay fit and keep that Warrior Mindset!!

My week at the Big Run Ranch

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I was fortunate to be invited to the Defensive Preparedness Summit hosted by ORSto share ideas and philosophies on defensive shooting tactics and wilderness survival in a practical application environment. The ranch facility is a sprawling hilly terrain which is perfect for anything ranging from shoot and move drills to shelter building and animal tracking.

When the group all arrived we did our hugs and handshakes and then we got down to business. Lance went over the range safety rules and safety procedures, showing us the location of the medical kits and the information necessary to call for EMS in the event of an injury. Lance has clearly done his homework on how to run a safe range, it felt good knowing that the person running the range to the time to educate himself on proper range procedures.

Lance shooting steel.

We began our first course of fire with some basic pistol shooting drills to reinforce the basics of the SAFE series. Once our fundamentals were solid and we were warmed up we started to do some drawing from the holster drills and Getting off the X type drills. Being from Massachusetts where drawing from a holster is mostly banned at ranges these drills were a breath of fresh air to me, drawing in my living room with snap caps just isn’t the same as drawing and firing live rounds. We did variations on these drills for quite some time and moved onto strong hand only firing and reloading drills in which we would rack the slide off of our holsters or belts to get the pistol back into action. We moved on to shooting some Vtactargets in which Lance would call out a color and number and we would close on the target and shoot the designated number of rounds into each called target. I did almost all of my training with rifles in the military so pistol shooting is far and wide my weakest skill-set. I struggled a bit on these exercises, but anytime that I needed assistance or when Lance would see that I was getting sloppy he would be right over to reinforce the fundamentals in a manner which translated directly into hits right on target. Over the next few days we did some shoot and move drills with everything from a KRISS Super-V to some nice custom Ar-15 rifles in which he hid some of my favorite targets, the Ivan!

Me shooting the KRISS

It wouldn’t be an ORSclass without some serious PT involved, so we did a great deal of hill climbing and pull-ups because you only fight as hard as your body is capable. Lance setup 4 steel targets ranging from a sniper’s paradise target to some really challenging gong targets at distances of 15yds – 320yds. Lance was able to make our long days on the range seems like mere minutes when in reality we were spending upwards of 10 hours a day honing our skills in defensive shooting and long distance shooting.

The Hill

We ended our last range day with a competition, a modified version of H.O.R.S.E. we would take turns calling the most difficult shot possible and it was no surprise Lance tied for first, I surprised myself and got second place but there was no better ending to one of the most memorable training experiences I have ever had in my life. Enough can’t be said to the level of approachable professionalism Lance has integrated into his company’s philosophy of training. I cannot wait to go back and get some more rounds down range, if you are looking to get some training in I highly suggest reaching out to ORS, you will thank me after and tell him KERsent you.

Stay fit and keep a Warrior Mindset!

People who believe in “Absolutes” have not been in enough danger.

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Lance (right) and I



Greetings, I consider myself to be a lifelong student because I firmly believe that once you stop learning you have stopped growing and have ultimately started your decline towards death. I do a fair amount of networking through electronic means and the old fashioned hands on approach as well and what I have come to learn is that there is no such thing as an “Absolute”.

 Nothing is ever certain. It is quite a challenge to become an expert in a field such as preparedness and defensive firearm tactics when they have an infinite amount of variables. The best methodology to achieve maximum amount of tangible comprehension is maintaining an open philosophy in your student brain. Don’t be shut off to what some people may consider unconventional or even sometimes against the rules. You are preparing for a disaster not preparing for an isolated incident. Do not become the stereotypical curmudgeon, shaking your fist at the neighborhood kid for some newfangled contraption because it’s unfamiliar to you. Living by absolutes has never been proven to work in any society; there will always be situations to where the rules are changed or broken. If you stay stuck to your absolutes while others around you adapt you will find yourself at a serious disadvantage.
Recently I was talking to my good friend Lance at ORS and we had a fantastic discussion regarding an article on trigger finger placement in a possible engagement scenario. We both served multiple tours in combat and have real world experience in these scenarios. Keeping your finger straight and off the trigger until ready to fire is a non-budging commandment of many of the various ranges we have all been to. Some of us may have even gotten a punch rod smacked off our hands a few time to have those rules reinforced. I follow these range safety rules like gospel when at the range.

When we were doing combat patrols and helo raids into CQB environments do you think our fingers were straight and off the trigger until ready to fire? Hell no! We cleared rooms and patrolled with weapons on fire and finger in the trigger-well. Does this mean that keeping your finger straight and off the trigger until ready to fire is wrong? No, the situation will dictate. Anyone who says any different is either lying or has not been in a close quarters firefight or ambush before. You cannot live a life of absolutes, whether it’s believing that nothing bad will ever happen here because it’s Murica’ or firmly believing that an economic collapse will happen and you will need to live off your preps for years to come.

The point of being prepared, not a prepper, is that you are prepared for a multitude of scenarios. Will you be able to prepare for everything? No, that is just stupid. But what you can do is be flexible and be willing to adapt to your surroundings and the situations that may arise.




Semper Gumby was an expression we used a lot in the Marines and it seems to be a perfect example of how to proceed with your preparedness. Be flexible and don’t let your pride or the lack of understanding to different methods impede your skill advancement to becoming a more complete individual.



Range time is key for consistency



Stay fit and keep a Warrior Mindset.

“Absolutism cost Spain the Dutch Netherlands and gave rise to Al Capone during prohibition—power is at the heart of absolutist thinking.  Either the subject of absolutist thought is too lazy, inexperienced or scared to try new ideas or tactics or the person pushing for their absolutist view is too weak and concerned about his authority and power being questioned that he pushes forcefully his ideas and rejects any kind of honest debate where facts rule.  Absolutists would rather hide behind make-believe fantasies rather than standing beside science.” – Lance Olmsted ORS

If I got a Facebook notification saying the world was having a catastrophic event what would I do?

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1.      Like the status

2.      Change my undies

3.      Get to working on a plan to thrive

 I would actually assemble my so called “A-Team” established from people I know, who would be useful to me in dealing with an impending catastrophe. Would I need some liberal hipster who hates confrontation and has no actual skill? Hell no, let him and his skinny jeans fend for themselves.

The key to success is going to be having a diverse group of people who can work together, and are willing to teach their skills to others in the group. You almost always see in apocalypse movies two types of people; you have the “gun nut” and they survive solely by that gun. Let’s face reality here, how does the gun get you medical care or food? How does the gun do anything besides provide security and meat? You then have the “complainer”, everyone hates this person. The only thing this person brings to your group is certain death to everyone but themselves, they manage to put everyone in constant danger and do nothing to help. If you need an example watch Saving Private Ryan and take note on how many people die directly due to Cpl. Upham and his poor decisions or pure inaction when his comrades needed him most.

 What am I looking for in my survival super group, and what can I offer them in return? Think of basic things needed to sustain life and and ask; can I facilitate any of these basic needs? Clean water for hydration and cleaning our food and bodies, can I successfully grow vegetables and medicinal herbs? Am I able to hunt or provide a stable and reliable security perimeter, if someone is injured or falls ill will I have the knowledge to be able to help that person in need? The list can go on and on, but I’m trying to keep from boring you. The point is help to you see what if any group of survival skills you fall into and to help you find the remaining puzzle pieces to create a cohesive team that will no doubt thrive in any adverse long term survival situation.

If you find that after reading this you are sweating due to realizing that you may not currently posses the skills that would consider you a member of my “A-Team”, don’t worry some of the most critical survival skills are the most simple and quite frankly there is too many different valuable skill sets to even list.

If you find yourself on the couch after work thinking about the Food Network, get your ass up and exercise or read a book on gardening or basic survival, take a course a couple times a year on things such as CPR/AED or self-defense. Head to a local gun range and sign up for a class on marksmanship and responsible gun ownership.  I am not someone who believes in wasting your savings on some “Doomsday Bunker” or some other ridiculous thing, but I do firmly believe you should be physically able to keep yourself alive in a short or long term survival scenario. Nothing drives me more crazy than people who are prepping for the end of the world but don’t even have a simple flashlight in their car. Who says your survival scenario has to be the end of days or total collapse of American society as we know it? Most likely your life or death scenario will be far less spectacular, such as blowing a tire and spinning into a ditch late at night or even losing power in the winter for two weeks. These are things that happen way more than we even give a second thought to, if you are able to have some crazy ass bunker with food storage for 35 years then by all means do so, I am one that cannot do that. My plan is far simpler; prepare for what you are able and know your limits.

I try not to make these too long winded and your comments fuel the future posts, please leave your thoughts in the comment section, thanks for reading my ramblings!

Confessions of a Cross-eyed Dominant Shooter

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I can recall the first time I noticed something was off about my eyes, I was issued my first ACOG while serving in the Marines. I was beyond excited to have something other than iron sights to go into battle with, we were instructed to keep both eyes open while acquiring a target and everyone but a couple people including myself had some difficulty. It was like my eyes were working in an opposite manner and that my left eye was the stronger eye and I was not even seeing the reticle from the ACOG.

 I raised my hand and mentioned my issue but since it was the Marines somehow it was my fault and was just told I was a moron and was using it wrong by my platoon sergeant. The instructor who actually knew what he was talking about walked up to me and explained that I may be cross eye dominant, I had no idea what that meant. The instructor had me make a triangle with my two hands thumb touching thumb and my two index fingers touching, I was then instructed to hold it out in front of me and to bring it straight back, well I did just that and I notice that my hand triangle is over my left eye. Being a simple Lance Corporal at the time  I just stood there with a dumb look on my face I’m sure,  he then explained that the ACOG will still work for me but to keep my left eye closed.  I got into a few good firefights using the ACOG, and this piece of equipment worked to a level that using a word like awesome does it no justice. 

I got out of the military and a few years after I found myself missing the trigger time, I got back into guns and started to research more about marksmanship as a cross eye dominant shooter. I was not really impressed with what I found for informative tools for me to utilize to become a great shooter. I know from my experience on the battlefield that putting tape over my eye or wearing something that inhibits my vision on my dominant eye is probably the most idiotic thing I have ever even had the displeasure of reading. Why would I sacrifice my situational awareness because of a dominant eye on the wrong side? I start to think about realistic options for me to either overcome or to adapt in a way that I could be a two eye open shooter who actually hits the target without sacrificing my fields of view. I decide that it’s worth a try to just apply the same fundamentals used to create muscle memory for other muscles in the body, why not my eyes have muscles that control them and if I can train myself to do a break fall every time I am about to hit the deck why can’t I train my eyes to do the same. I started off slowly using a pistol since you can use either eye to aim without changing your stance or grip.  I first start out by using my left eye only to aim and it felt unnatural but I shot pretty good, I then used my right eye only and shot decent as well, I did this for a month or so just shooting with each eye separately and then when I felt comfortable with both enough I start to slowly use my right eye more and more to aim. I was making some good progress so I attempted to give both eyes open a try and I immediately noticed I lost the front sight on the pistol for a brief moment. I tried to refocus and stick to the fundamentals of marksmanship, I decide that it would be a waste of ammo figure this part out at the range; I then make it a point for months to basically start snapping in or dry firing with a safe and cleared pistol for about 20 minutes a few time a week and gradually I notice that I can make the conscious effort to have both eyes open and acquire a target correctly. The front sight is clear and the target is hazy, no double vision. I look through a long eye relief 4x CQB scope and slowly attempt both eyes open and I can see the reticle the way the optic was meant to work. Being cross eye dominant is not a death sentence on marksmanship; it just takes a little dedication and some hard work to be able to shoot with both eyes open.