— Anything, not everything, but lots in-between | Pratamnak Hill, Jomtien-Pattaya, Thailand | April 9, 2023
Refinements in artificial intelligence to make you control millions because you can; Elon Musk vs. Substack and 1 million whiny does (plus, three no-exceptions rules for life); A final parting with The Girl and Her Girls — nomadic travels on the horizon; Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is running for president, and I’m glad
Refinements in artificial intelligence to make you control millions because you can
I’m not spouting facetious bullshit.
I’m really banking on AI to make a huge difference in this blog’s paying membership roster, and not because I’m now or will ever be an expert in AI. I don’t care about AI. I care about jobs to be done.
“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!” —Theodore Levitt
It’s because I’m an expert in business systems and the organization and management of the personnel who operate them.
You don’t want to be an expert in AI either, and perhaps business systems and personnel management are just too daunting…kinda like…‘I’d love to take a swing at them, but how can I possibly even get a chance at bat?’
I hear ya. I still look back in wonder that in 1992 I started a business in a spare bedroom with under 200 bucks (to my name, at the time) and somehow ended up some years later with four offices, 30 employees, a dozen or so independent sales reps, and a million bucks sunk into software development for a completely one-off, customized CRM (customer relationship management) that was the business system that everyone used to get ‘er done. Could’a bought something off the shelf or customized a Saas, but I need my system that reflected how I think, and how I manage the business flow, using employees.
… I have designed many business systems in many work environments to do many things and have managed teams of employees to run them. I can show you exactly what you’re going to need to do as the AI capabilities come online and become available.
What’s going to come online in weeks, months, to just a few short years is precisely the tools to give that try at bat for silly money…by which I mean, the equivalent of running a team of 100 “employees” doing every little thing you can think of for a price less than some people’s monthly Starbucks bill.
… You ever stop to think how some actor is suddenly the head of a pretty big business empire completely separate from acting? What do they know, after all, about real-estate development, clothing lines, branding, perfume, restaurants…the list goes on?
A film studio or production company? Sure, that makes sense. They’re in the industry and have seen it all from top to bottom. Toss in the starting capital, hire the right people, get the right investors, pick the right movie project(s)… Not easy-peasy, but doable, and many have.
The other stuff? It’s the right people. In fact, oftentimes, the people will come to them. All they need is the name…the face of the brand. So, they make it look like Kanye West has been laboring over various clothing-line proposals for months…perhaps even doing some sewing his own damn self. Nope, they just do sniff testing about what’s plausible for him to sell, run tons of design ideas by him, he picks what he likes best, rinse, wash, repeat, and before you know it, Ye’s gear is in a storefront, and then his own stores, and we’ve all seen the end result of the same formula a million times.
How much time does it take? Almost nothing, compared to the time they have to put into their artistic trade, whatever it may be.
What I’m going to be going over, systematizing and integrating as the right tools come online is just this sort of thing. The big difference is this: rather than paying bitchy-ass employees crazy sums of money, you’re going to have AI employees that never complain, and work 24/7/365 fuck weekends and holidays.
How do I train the AI to do all this stuff? No need. It will already know thousands of AIs that can do everything, and it can talk to them. You will literally be able to have a team of 100s working as much as you want on any business ideas you can dream up. As time progresses? You’ll pay your AI force less, not more.
Now think of this: you’ll do all that pacing the room in a verbal stream of consciousness, and it’ll understand as though it’s your drinkin’ buddy. And it’ll talk back. It will be conversational. Whatever you can think, you can say. Whatever you can think and say, it will be able to do and report back, probably within seconds to minutes.
So let’s move on. More to come. Stay tuned.
… The harsh reality is that a membership blog requires paid subscribers to keep it alive. The more free content I give away, the fewer new paid subscribers I get. It’s like the young woman… You know… How do her proposals of marriage dwindle?
But here’s a sneak peek of today’s post, split into three riveting sections: Elon Musk vs. Substack and 1 million whiny does; A final parting with The Girl and Her Girls — nomadic travels on the horizon; and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is running for president, and I’m glad.
I explore the fascinating battle between Elon Musk and Substack, diving into the issues of free speech, censorship, and the power dynamics at play. A tale of epic proportions. Discover how the world’s richest man takes on the publishing platform that’s home to some of the most controversial voices on the planet; and you’ll find out how my three no-exceptions rules for life come into play. As I say, “When everyone is saying the same thing, everyone is wrong.”
Then comes the sad part, the end of a relationship with a woman and her two daughters from Sisaket, Thailand. Despite efforts driven by commitment and excitement, it became clear that the girls lack the curiosity and motivation to make things work for me, amongst many other things. I make the difficult decision.
Now that this chapter has closed, I’ll resume my initial plans of traveling around Southeast Asia, which had been interrupted by the Covidiocy. Naturally, that will be tons of new member content spilling over into the blog. You’ll like it. You think I know Thailand. How about over 50 trips to the Philippines under my belt?
I reflect on the Kennedy legacy and how RFK Jr.’s work during the Covidiocy has earned him respect, including mine. I believe he has a genuine shot at winning the presidency, but securing the Democrat nomination may be the hardest part. Trump should be worried.
Intrigued? Subscribe for full access to my 5000-post archive, with new material being added several times a week. As a subscriber, you’ll get immediate access to this post and all the juicy details I’ve just hinted at.
Elon Musk vs. Substack and 1 million whiny Does
It’s not actually a lawsuit—at least not yet, anyway. This blew up onto the front page a couple of days ago. Just as I got wind of it—via a popular Substacker and Tweeter self-righteously posting a screen clip of his unsubscribe confirmation to Twitter Blue (the 8-bucks-per-month blue checkmark Twitter offers to hoi polloi now—even toilet-seat leaver uppers like me—and not only to the nomenklatura)—I began getting notifications from all over…emails, tweets in my feed, Substacks I follow began writing posts about it, and in comments on the latter two, everyone lined up taking sides.
… That was an interesting dynamic, since Substack holds the distinction of being the go-to platform for publishing mis-and-dis information—which are, of course, euphemisms for anything that goes against any narrative with an institutional stamp of approval.
… Take like The Land of The Free (…home a’ the brave, yada yada…that one!) with its 1st Amendment to its constitution “guaranteeing” freedom of speech.
But in the land of the free now, free speech has become something like smoking ciggies.
Can you buy smokes?
Where can you smoke ’em?
(Or, it’s like the Seinfeld episode where Jerry gets up to the counter, and they have his reservation for sure—it’s right there—but no car to rent him.)
So, long story short, bunches of people all over the globe who got deplatformed everyplace else (just about literally, I think) for daring to exercise their free speech, going against-stamps-of-approval issued by all the approver-stampers, found a welcoming home at Substack and for my money, it’s the best concentration of skeptical sanity on the planet.
That list used to have all the anti-Covidiocy Who’s Who, but at this point, I just wait until the really notable stuff gets written. Like I said in my AHS presentation ten years ago, important news will always find its way to you.
… Enter Elon Musk who some months ago bought The FBI’s Bitch…uh, Twitter…for 44 BIL big ones with the express purpose of digging up some semblance of a putrid, desiccated, rotting corpse of free expression and weekend-at-burnie’s it onto the platform—until such time as self-driving-car and self-landing-rocket engineers could breathe resurrection and new life into should-be-simple algorithms that had become Rube-Goldberg machines to convey JUST SHUT UP!!! in the most sophisticated, bureaucratic of ways.
He’s made a lot of progress, with still more to go. Latest news is that he unblocked all the Russian media mis-and-dis informers.
Anyway, a Twitter-Substack cross-pollination has seemed to most sane people to be a match made in heaven, no strangeness whatsoever in bed.
… So it came as a shock to a lot of folks that Elon was suddenly, out of nowhere, seemingly “censoring” Substack. Specifically, it was a measure of restriction, not outright censoring. Anyone could tweet a link to any Substack post and anyone could click on it and go there (there was a warning message to dismiss, but I believe that was only for a brief while). The issue was that those Substack links could not be forwarded, liked, retweeted, or commented upon. In other words, it put a damper on viral-like engagement, where a few people retweet it, and more and more retweet it, many comment on it and the retweets, and soon it’s in everyone’s feed in one form or another. And just as soon, people will be clicking out of Twitter to go check it out.
Save that thought.
… Almost immediately, what I was seeing was hitting up against one or both of my rules, #1 and #2.
Rule #1: When everyone is saying the same thing, everyone is wrong.
Rule #2: When half the people are saying one thing and the other half, an opposite thing, both halves are wrong.
Rule #3: There are no exceptions.
(Of course, this is contextual. Everyone is still safe to say that if you jump off a tall building, you’ll trend downward and that if you jump in the lake, your relative personal humidity will spike.)
Now, Elon has his haters and always has for-some-reason-who-the-fuck-cares. But the funniest are these nouveaux imbéciles.
So, they loved loved loved Tesla, SpaceX, everything about it and Elon farted perfume.
Did. Past tense.
So, rather than stop and think, waitasecond, if Tesla and SpaceX and all the other cool shit Elon has his hands in are so great, then maybe he knows what he’s doing—has a clue, even—in his purchase of Twitter? Possible?
He’s ruining it.
Intransigence is my chief way of identifying leftist moron unthinking fucktarded congenitally worthless scum underneath regular pond scum; and you know why? Because religious faith is intransigent by design. It’s that one area where intransigence is proper and baked into the cake. That’s why it’s called faith.
It gets a pass.
When you’re talking about secular matters?
It doesn’t. You’re a fucktard. Sit down and shut the fuck up.
… There’s another sort here, the ones who love free speech, love Substack, were generally supportive of the Twitter purchase, and have been more-or-less pleased with the progress…though everyone always wants everything overnight and that’s stretching it. Now would be better.
Amongst those are some who I think of as the perpetually I-could-be-wrong crowd. A certain degree of that is healthy, but so is a certain degree of cocksure-I’m-right-dammit!
I think you need both as a whole person.
… Anyway, in this particular instance, I noticed so many of the I-could-be-wrong folk immediately stepping up to sort of hedge their bet after placing it.
It’s odd to me because of the way I always thought of it.
The richest man in the world…who got that way because every year he builds hundreds of thousands of cars that drive themselves and launches hundreds of rocket ships into space that land themselves (with no wings, from a free fall to earth)…just bought a social-media platform containing mostly a bunch of whiny-ass bitches and asking what could go wrong is asking the wrong question…
Whiny-ass bitches are less than nobody and can just go fuck themselves.
And nonetheless, Elon gives them a platform from which to whine…and often enough, it’s to whine, degrade, and besmirch him…as though doing so elevates their societal worth above that of Elon…it’s called faking self-esteem.
I’m getting long-winded in this, but I’m having a kinda ball doing so; but let’s start to get to the point and wrap it up.
… So the bet-hedgers after-the-fact ran the gamut from “it’s gotta be a mistake” to “I’m disappointed in Elon.” Mostly. Later, they can take any position without having to admit they were wrong because God knows, there’s nothing worse than ever being wrong about anything.
For many people, it’s better to know absolutely nothing at all, ever—fuck all, as they say—than to have ever been completely fucking wrong about a single thing ever.
Whereas, for me, being unequivocally wrong about something is the only time I truly know that for sure and certain, I’m right.
So it turns out it wasn’t a mistake. Elon did indeed not censor Substack links, but restricted their ability to viral propagate. So, in other words, for that link to be in 1 million tweets, a million people gotta tweet it individually and independently because it’s a dead-end and can’t be forwarded, retweeted, liked, or commented upon.
But why? I’m just guessing, but perhaps because of Twitter Orange?
You didn’t hear about it? It’s the new social-media platform Twitter is launching that’s exactly like the regular Twitter, just orange instead of blue, a little bit different styling, you get the idea.
…Oh, wait. I’m getting confused. It’s not Twitter that’s launching Twitter Orange, it’s …wait for it… Substack. I know; weird, huh? Why would Substack launch a Twitter when there’s already a Twitter?
Got me? They certainly wouldn’t want to punish Twitter’s good deed of being a platform where all Substack links could flourish and go viral to heart’s content.
But here’s a deal… It was 01.00. I had just slept solid for about 4 hours and got up because, well, I felt like it. So, I spent a good hour reading tweets, posts, and comments to tweets and posts and not ONE FUCKING SINGLE PERSON HAD A FUCKING CLUE!
NOT ONE, and I read or skimmed hundreds. I had the whole picture inside of minutes. Nobody else had it, however long they’d been laboring under the oppression.
But you know what? I made no assumptions, thought of no nefarious motives, and tried to understand it from the points of view of two companies trying to turn profits. I drafted a thingy and posted it all over the place, and you know what? It shut a whole lot of people THE FUCK UP.
Here’s what I wrote and posted in many comment threads on posts read by many thousands. It got a whole lot of Like reactions, and only one single reply comment.
Now remember the though I told you to save.
And just as soon, people will be clicking out of Twitter to go check it out.
I think one thing not being integrated in these discussions is the basic difference in revenue models. Substack makes money as a cut of subscription revenue (a small slice of the merchant discount Stripe applies). When a paid subscriber to a Substack leaves and goes to browse an embedded Twitter link, doesn’t affect Substack revenue at all.
The converse is not the case for Twitter. When a Tweeter clicks and leaves to head over to a Substack, that affects Twitter ad revenue. The eyeballs are gone. Retweeting and Liking Substack links multiplies that revenue loss.
Twitter was tolerating that because there’s cross-pollination, of course. Then Substack decides to create a direct competitor, Notes.
There’s a Substack post by Eugyppius, “Why crippling Substack links on Twitter is dumb, counter-productive and bad for everyone:”
This is his best point:
“Substack links on Twitter are Twitter content; they are one of the reasons to browse Twitter every morning. Disconnecting Twitter from closely aligned platforms, which share many of the same journalists and readers, makes the site less interesting and much less useful.”
(But, caveat down below.)
Second, he makes good distinctions. Substacks are primarily accessed directly by email…it’s direct while unless you set up a list or go directly to user profiles, you’re stuck with Twitter curation of feeds which is a balancing act for them since they’re advertising based.
… So, one takeaway is there’s a core “incompatibility” that makes the cross-pollination work. Posting your Substack links to Twitter gets eyeballs to your articles, the tradeoff to Twitter being they lose those eyeballs for advertising revenue, which adds up. (People need to truly integrate that tradeoff from Twitter’s perspective, and they aren’t, so far as I can tell). OTOH, because so many of a Twitter user’s following have Substacks, going to Twitter is a good way to have them curated for you.
BUT, on that last point, it’s not a big deal so far as I can see, since Substacks are primarily accessed via the email list. In my case, I MAY click to a Substack via a Tweet, and especially one I don’t subscribe to, but most I follow are 99% accessed via the emails I receive whenever they post.
So, I see marginal harm to those trying to build their Substacks via Twitter, but no real harm for those Twitter users already subscribed to particular Substacks, nor the Substackers whose subscribers have Twitter account too…the emails aren’t going to be blocked.
Finally, it needs to be kept in mind that Substack started this by starting a Twitter clone, direct competition. Perhaps they should rethink that first, since they started it.
OK, so shots have been fired. In terms of Elon, he’s playing hardball, as he should. He’s running several many-billion-dollar companies. I just laugh at all the “he’s being such a meanie!” bunched panties about it.
So, that should about cover it. Here’s the one comment I received at all the places I posted it with thousands of readers each.
Thank you for your informative perspective on this development.
Rather than criticizing or choosing sides, you have elevated the discourse to the examination of potentially conflicting business models and loss of revenue that would affect Twitter. Kudos!
I also found only one other instance of a solid take on it. Written before mine, but I didn’t see his until after I wrote and published mine.
While many are understandably upset, I think it’s wrong-headed to be enraged at either Twitter or Substack. This is what we always wanted: the free market. Twitter and Substack are both customer-focused entrepreneurs and they are both currently battling for the top of the market, and while the fight is ugly, it will eventually be good for customers. I do NOT want them to “get along,” that’s not capitalism.
I prefer that they compete. Go for it. May the best man win, and so forth.
I so much prefer this kind of free market competition over the IRS showing up at the offices of a fledgling Facebook competitor, or FBI agents raiding their file servers or whatever.
Anyway, hang on for what is sure to be a wild ride.Jeff Childers: https://www.coffeeandcovid.com/p/transitioning-saturday-april-8-2023
A final parting with The Girl and Her Girls; nomadic travels on the horizon
We have completed an amicable final parting.
The process took about a week, and I’ll spare the tame details. I kinda knew something was up, or coming down the pike (that feeling we get), when I increasingly found myself less inclined to talk, write, or video about the relationship and, in particular, the two girls. And that was in the midst of quite a lot going on as they completed their respective school years with flying colors and are all paid up for next year.
Nobody did anything wrong. I just determined that I was not getting even a small measure of what I would want out of the commitment I was prepared to give—being essentially a fully-time hubby-daddy financial provider and educator of teenage girls (13 and 12, now) in English, maths, money, business, accounting, entrepreneurship, and thinking for one’s self.
Mom and the two girls showed up at my place last Monday evening after the long trip from Sisaket (about 500km). Initially a lot of fun, engaging, etc. I had determined that the only way to get the focus where I want it—and am paying for in money and time—was to pour it all into the girls.
Seemingly, it was the right move. I mean, when we’re walking down the street, they want me to hold their hands. Touching, huh?
I don’t want to go on and on with this, but the yearning, desire, commitment, and curiosity just isn’t there. And there’s no real encouragement or motivation from mom, and even she’s ho-hum about really learning anything—at 30 years young.
That’s the gist of it. There are a lot of details, no need to go into them, but I had to make a decision.
This might encapsulate it.
I started a word of the day thing Tuesday morning. The other stuff was just dynamic things that came up as they were cleaning up after breakfast.
The girls knew about the word of the day, the requirements, so did their mom. That was Tuesday morning. There was never a peep uttered about it after that. Plenty of games and videos on the phones though. Plenty of other stuff. Plenty of Thai TV. Plenty of Netflix, dubbed in Thai.
And I could go on and on. It’s not just one thing.
It’s a total and complete…ironic…lack of curiosity.
When I built the house out in the province, and we all lived under the same roof for five months, the girls were 10 and 9. There was an intimidation factor. So, I was anxious to get things going now that I know they’re not intimidated.
They’re incurious and uninterested in just about anything that isn’t Thai. And to an extent, their mother as well…even though this is her second relationship with a foreigner, the first being a Brazilian, and she spent a total of about 7 months in Brazil over three separate trips.
So, what was to be a month-long gig until they go back to school, I cut short. Gently but definitively. I sent them home.
Then, a note to their phones.
I am sorry, girls, but it just will not work for Yui and I no matter how much I try; and so, I am sad too much and not happy like EVERYONE should be. If you are not happy, then you MUST find out why and you MUST change what is causing your unhappiness.
I know you will be OK and do well.
Study English. Wasabi too. It’s very important and will give you options and opportunities in your life. And then study about money, business, and accounting. You will not regret it.
Remember that: English. Money. Business. Accounting.
That’s the first time I’ve re-read it since sending it about 24 hours ago. Also first time reading it chokes me up a bit…
Their mom messaged me last evening.
So here I am, honestly relieved; sad, honestly, too. But relieved. Honest.
First, do no harm. I didn’t, and when you deal in life with an imperative like that—that ought to go far beyond doctoring—there’s never a reason to have any regrets. Why would you regret anything? I did no harm and left them with objective measures of a better life (house, car, schooling…cultural exchange).
But all the money, Richard!?
My attitude in all such things for decades:
- Ouch taxes…make more money
- Ouch inflation…make more money
- Ouch she can take me to the cleaners…make more money
Tough to see the theme there, but try.
So now what?
Well, it’s time to resume what I’d intended to do all along, when in line to check in for my flight to Saigon on March 16, 2020, and I was rudely interrupted by Covidiocy and falling dominoes. That cost me over 200 thousand big ones in lost vacation-rental income…but money shmumy, right?
The silver lining is that I have an established Southeast Asia home base, complete with visa, a nice living arrangement for 200 bucks per month, and a motorbike to get around. The home base is important because the life of digital nomads sucks balls, eventually. At first, it’s coolish. Every 60 days they go live someplace else…for about 60 days. But eventually, you develop preferences and ties to one place…but without a formal long-stay visa, you’ve gotta up and do a “visa run” every 60 days (plus, you spend a lot of time in immigration lines getting extensions). I know “nomads” who’ve spent years in Thailand, but never more than 60 days in one stretch.
And sooner or later, you’re going to end up with no option but to take a 04.00 cramped bus to the Myanmar (or Malaysian, or Laotian, or Cambodian) border to pop out and back in—to literally go through motions—arriving back home at 19.00. Long day for stamps of approval.
In no particular order:
- Visit the Philippines again, first time since 1989 (about 50 previous trips and months combined time in country). Flights from BKK to either Manila or Clark are about 100 bucks one-way
- Vietnam (1st)
- Cambodia (1st)
- Laos (1st)
- Hong Kong (8th visit, 1st since 1989)
- Singapore (3rd visit, 1st since 1989)
I’d also like to find some places not super far away to hang out and travel to from about May/June through September/October when it’s raining all the damn time here. Suggestions welcome.
… This will be a fantastic opportunity to expand this membership blog. Members have read and seen video of all my takes of Thailand and frankly, they’re fucking sick of it. Time for some fresh landscapes and totally recalculated and recalibrated geoarbitrages.
So, it’s all your fault I broke up with the girl…
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is running for president, and I’m glad
I’m not sure how long it’s been, but you’ll often hear conservative Republicans say stuff like, “if JFK were around today, he’d be a conservative;” “he’s rolling in his grave…” stuff like that.
It’s not a new phenomenon. Doubtless, Roman citizens voiced similar observations as to the nihilistic, self-indulgent, morally decaying and et cetera political antagonisms careening toward fallen-empire, societal collapse at rocket-sled pace.
So, I want to tongue-in-cheek say to Republicans, time to put your money where your mouth is, because I believe that RFK is genuine and honest; that he tirelessly did yeoman’s work throughout Covidiocy; and, he gave us an opportunity to better understand the political culture of the times and in particular, the Kennedy legacy.
Thanks to him, I have an appreciation for it that I did not have at all, growing up (JFK was assassinated when I was 2).
Four very short clips from the “Who is Fuckface Fauci” documentary he did to accompany his book of a very similar title. I put these together some months ago when I saw the film because I wanted them for handy reference. Like right now.
The relevant part of this final one begins at 02:38 in.
So what to make of this? I’d softened in my someone-else-please stance on Trump…understanding a bit more of what probably happened with respect to that lockdown bullshit Trump flipped into overnight. And also, his germophobic, moronic stance on the medical experiment falsely called “vaccines…”
And DeSantis? I dunno, man. I hate to waste keystrokes on a non-starter candidate. He plays well in Florida, but nationwide?
RFK is an interesting proposition. Clearly, I would hope he’s the Democrat nominee. That way, even if Trump locks up the Republican, and that’s where my own hat ends up, I wouldn’t care if he loses the general to RFK.
Frankly, my sense and iced-tea leaves give RFK a real shot at this, and it could actually be that securing the Democrat nomination will be his toughest roe to hoe.
Trump should be very worried because given that race, I am solidly undecided, for the first time in my life. An odd feeling, because I’ve generally always mocked that column in the poling, believing it to be bullshit.
Perhaps it’s not after all. But I could be wrong…
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Regarding AI, have you seen this AutoGPT thing? I haven’t played with it myself yet but looks quite intriguing. https://youtu.be/7MeHry2pglw
Yes, cool. Progress.
Not something I’d use yet because it’s not open-ended, by which I mean, the forced structure with the 5 goals and such.
Needs to have a GUI. I only work in command line if it’s something really short I need to do, like change a Mac OS setting that’s not part of the choices in the settings pane (like changing screen-clip outputs to .jpg instead on .png).
Biggest thing is that it’s only half voice and it’s the wrong half! I want to be able to prompt it via voice. For now, I could tolerate it’s output being text only, but for inputing prompts, I want voice.
AI. It writes quite good social stuff; thank you’s ,apologies etc.. Soon folk will be knocking such up so easily..
Just wondering if this will result in hand written notes becoming popular again…..as true messages from the real human heart ? True they could be copies of AI flowery prose …but who’d bother doing that ?
pen and ink……coming back to a love letter soon ?
Do the Philippines still require a covid “vaccination” for entry? Last I heard, citizens and foreign visitors alike were required to be jabbed. An ex-Air Force pal is going this coming September, and is four (possibly five) shots in.
Just did a quick scan…not thorough…and it says something about no vaxx requirement, but testing within 24 hours…which I won’t do either.
No. Fucking. Covid. Hoops. Zero. No. Exceptions.
“I want to be able to travel.”
Then you’re a fucking idiot.
I got through the whole damn thing in a foreign country without once being subjected to a jab or a poke up my nose to search for useless information.