Hate This

     Did you ever wish you could hate things?
     OK, I realize that’s an odd question, but I mean it in the Internet context. You can go on Facebook and like something, but you can’t hate it.
     Why not?
     Especially now that Facebook, because it’s a public company that has to come up with ways to make money, has started using the names of people of who “like” products or companies in paid ads without paying the likers or telling them they’re in the ads.
     You’re reading your message wall and suddenly there’s an ad for a department store seemingly sent to you by one of your friends. Except the friend hasn’t sent the endorsement – the advertiser has. The friend doesn’t even get an endorsement fee. All he or she did was “like” the advertiser at some point.
     A lot of people find this annoying. (I don’t because I never like anything. Bah, humbug!) Who wants to be known as a commercial shill?
     But if Facebook were smart, it would offer us an alternative: hate.
     I might be annoyed by having my likes used for advertising, but I might be willing to pay to have my hates distributed worldwide.
     Picture a billion Facebook users spending five bucks a day sending out hatred. It’s therapy for the masses and fiscal salvation for Facebook.
     I’m guessing a lot of the hates will go to Facebook itself – which won’t care. Corporations may be people, but they don’t have feelings.
     If you don’t like (in the traditional sense of the word) some of Facebook’s policies, you should help them come up with money-making alternatives to stay afloat.
     I have a few ideas myself.
     Evil twin. Keep Facebook pure and come up with a parallel dimension profitable version. Call it Buttbook (a term I’m scared to Google).
     Naturally, this is a place for your hates and, instead of a friends list, you compile an enemies list.
     You can spend the day joyfully trading insults and paying for corporate hates.
     Liking for money. Celebrities get paid for endorsements. Why shouldn’t the rest of us?
     Wouldn’t you like something more if you got paid for it?
     Facebook could make advertisers pay likers and take a cut. And everyone will like everything.
     This is the path to world peace and a revitalized economy.
     
     I am not a Knit-Wit. I just looked at my Facebook wall after writing the above and, sure enough, there was a posting from a friend that was really an ad for “The Knitting Club.”
     Really?
     The upside to this is that it will make us all reconsider our friendships.
     
     Court Efficiency. Here’s an idea for relieving the pressure on understaffed, under-budgeted courts: Give people every option.
     The Florida Supreme Court, in its annual statement on the need for more judges, noted that one problem is “the effect of self-represented litigants on court time and resources.”
     I admit that’s a tad ambiguous and it wasn’t explained in the statement, but here’s what I see over and over again in California clerks’ offices: a nervous, usually distraught person approaches the counter and asks for some sort of form but doesn’t know exactly which one.
     The clerk refuses to let the person know which form to use. The customer has to know because the clerks aren’t allowed to “practice law.”
     And then when someone tries to file the wrong form, it gets rejected – and the clerk still refuses to say which was the right one.
     They know but they’re not telling.
     Apparently, saying a form is the right one is practicing law, but saying it’s the wrong one is not.
     So the solution is clear – pro per litigants should be given every form so they can keep filing them until they get to the right one.
     This should work for some lawyers too.

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