Plenty Of No-Brainers In The News

The other day, while sitting in on my huband’s neurology appointment, where the subject was his brain (he recently had a stroke, see, Coffee Break), the word “nobrainer” kept rudely hacking into my consciousness. It was highly irreverent and annoying, but I caught myself stifling a giggle.

(By the way, Jerry’s brain is doing great, according to all reports. Mine, on the other hand …)

Anyway, since then, everything now makes me think, “Well, that’s a no-brainer.” It’s kind of the Saturday Night Live version of critical thinking.

On the news, there are scads of “no-brainer” moments.

Take the Ebola virus coming to America. Many reporters seemed appalled that a man from Liberia exposed to Ebola would travel to the United States and not tell anyone. The U.S. has an anti-virus drug, and two Americans with Ebola survived the virus after being treated here in state-of-the-art hospitals by renowned doctors. If you had an inkling you could succumb in Ebola-rich Liberia crammed inside a hot, makeshift isolation tent with dozens of other dying people, wouldn’t you just quietly try to slip into the country where you might have a teensy chance, then apologize later?

A sad, human-survival, post-mortem no-brainer.

Political No-Brainer: Don’t vote for the same people who have been screwing up things for decades and expect different outcomes. The campaign ads may change, but a politician’s brain doesn’t.

Hollywood 2014 No-Brainer: You are famous actress Jennifer Lawrence and some evil people hacked into your iCloud account and published your nude photos. There is history here, girls, known as the infamous “Kardashian sex video.” And if Russian mobsters can hack into the heavily protected accounts of Home Depot (56 million accounts), Target (110 million cardholders) and JP Morgan Chase (83 million accounts), then just might your personal iCloud account be vulnerable, especially if you’re young and famous?

Internet Brainy No-Brainer: Passwords that are long, complicated and full of symbols are a pain in the brain to create, but are a must in this crazy cyber-hacker universe.

Right now, I’m wishing I had no online accounts. No Facebook, LinkedIn, online banking, nothing. Maybe keep one credit card and cancel all else. But here’s the scary no-brainer: No matter what accounts we delete, the information’s still out there — yes, even your deleted Facebook page.

It’s only a matter of time before some smart aleck — probably a teenager — figures out how to get to it. In an Oct. 8 piece in the Washington Post, Joann Weiner reports that, using a password-hacking program called “John the Ripper,” students from George Washington

University demonstrated what a no-brainer it was to hack a password. “A password like ‘bear’ took less than a minute to crack,” while one with bunches of symbols, numbers and upper- and lower-case letters could take decades.

An unsatisfying no-brainer is the article’s best advice: If you’re really worried about privacy, don’t put stuff out there in the first place.

This naturally leads back to a quote in Jennifer Lawrence’s recent Vanity Fair interview, where she was indignantly defending the now hacked and published nude photos meant for her boyfriend’s eyes only. “I was in a loving, healthy, great relationship for four years. It was long distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you.”

With so many no-brainers in that sentence, mine hurts just contemplating them. In a loving, healthy relationship, either you send nude photos of yourself or else your boyfriend will turn to porn. Lawrence may actually define the literal definition of a no-brainer.

My final no-brainer: I’m really old.