Fandango’s Provocative Question #128

FPQ

Welcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

This past week I heard someone say, “opposites attract.” A few days later I heard someone else say, “birds of a feather flock together.” These two statements seem contradictory to me. I thought about my wife and me and realized that, while she can be high strung and emotional, I’m more laid back and easy going. But aside from that, we have much in common, almost like two peas in a pod.

So I wondered if people with opposite personalities, beliefs, and physical traits are actually drawn together like opposite poles of a magnet. Or are similarities in age, intelligence, religion, and education level the keys to lasting, healthy relationships?

So my provocative question this week is…

Do you feel that people are more attracted to one another by their differences or by their commonalities? And why do you feel that way?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.

Am I Feeling Vulnerable?

I usually don’t respond to my own Provocative Question prompts, but this week I’m making an exception. Especially when Melanie, over at Sparks from a Combustible Mind, commented, “This is one question I hope YOU write an answer to, too. It’d be interesting to hear your thoughts on the matter.”

My Provocative Question post yesterday referenced Pegasus, the latest kind of spyware that can spy on almost any device and any social media networks and messaging apps without the victim having any knowledge that it’s happening.

When I first learned about Pegasus, it freaked me out that hackers could access my iPhone, monitor my keystrokes, track my location, and hijack both the microphone and camera. I use my iPhone all the time. It’s always on. It has all of my credit card information on it, my bank account information, my retirement account information, my investments information. I use it to talk and text with my kids. If some evil doer can get at all of my information and see me through my phone’s camera and hear me through the phone’s microphone, I’m in deep doo doo.

I told my wife about it and started to have a panic attack. You know what she did? She started laughing at me and said “get over yourself.” She asked, “Are you an activist, an important business executive, a high powered lawyer, a senior government official, a journalist?”

I said, “No, but I am a blogger who has been quite outspoken about….”

She held up her hand to stop me and said, “I hate to break it to you, sweetheart, but you’re a nobody. I don’t think you need to worry about anyone wasting their time trying to track your every move.”

So now I feel much more at ease about the prospect of being victimized by this spyware.

At the same time, though, I’m pretty bummed that my wife of more than 40 years thinks of me as a nobody.

Fandango’s Provocative Question #127

FPQ

Welcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

My provocative question this week stems from some disturbing articles I’ve been reading about spyware called Pegasus, which was developed by an Israeli cyberarms firm. Pegasus is spyware that can be covertly installed on mobile phones and tablets running most versions of iOS and Android. It exploits vulnerabilities on those operating systems.

According to the Washington Post and other prominent media sources, Pegasus not only enables the keystroke monitoring of all communications from a phone (texts, emails, web searches), but it also enables phone call and location tracking, as well as the ability hijack both the mobile phone’s microphone and camera, thus turning it into a constant surveillance device.

In short, Pegasus in a highly invasive tool, and can spy on almost any device and any social media networks and messaging apps. So far, it has been used by some, shall we say, unscrupulous governments to monitor smartphones belonging primarily to journalists, activists, business executives, lawyers, government officials, and perceived “enemies of the state.”

Knowing that spyware like Pegasus is out there, and that it can be used to hijack your smartphone, record your keystrokes, your voice communications, and your camera without any actions or knowledge on your part, my proactive question is…

How vulnerable do you feel about potential hacks or intrusions while using your smartphone? And if you do feel vulnerable, what steps, if any, are you taking to protect yourself and your data?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.

Fandango’s Provocative Question #126

FPQ

Welcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

This week’s provocative question is about COVID-19 vaccinations. I know that four months ago, in this Provocative Question post, I asked if you’d gotten vaccinated for COVID-19 yet. My question this week is similar, but different.

I know that many of us were hoping that COVID-19 would be behind us by now, given the widespread availability of free vaccinations to protect us from this potentially deadly disease that brought the United States, and most other countries around the globe, to its knees in 2020. But it’s not behind us.

COVID-19 cases are back on the rise in the U.S., with a disproportionate number new cases among unvaccinated people in Southern and Appalachian states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Florida, and West Virginia, where vaccination rates are low.

Further, the rise of the delta variant of the virus is rapidly speeding transmission among those who haven’t been fully vaccinated, and that variant accounts for more than half of all new COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

So my provocative question is simply this…

Are you fully vaccinated against COVID-19 yet? And if not, why the fuck not?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.

Fandango’s Provocative Question #125

FPQ

Welcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

This week’s provocative question is about “style.” What do I mean by style? Well, as Shakespeare might say, there’s the rub. According to my extensive research, style refers to a person’s particular way of expressing themselves — whether that’s through style of clothing, writing style, preferred hair style, or style of architecture. It’s the total combination of the way a person dresses, talks, writes, moves their body, etc. Simply put, style is how we express our inner being outwardly. This includes all of our thoughts, emotions, interests, and values. Everything on the outside is merely a reflection of what’s on the inside.

Having read all that, I still can’t put my finger on what style actually is. Do we each have one style or do we have several or even many styles? So my question to you is about how you would characterize your style. You can interpret the question any way you wish as you consider your answer. So here’s the question.

What’s your style?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.