Monday, October 9, 2017

Reddit's AMA Reveals What Life in Post-Maria Puerto Rico is Actually Like

by Nomad

If you aren't a regular Reddit user, you might not be aware of some of the interesting things going on there. One of the topics- called subreddits- is AMA, which stands for "Ask Me Anything."

The premise is simple. A person with inside information, whether they be a scientist, celebrity or politician or an Average Joe or Jane willing to share with first-hand or eye-witness information.  He or she attempts to answer questions from the curious.
Like a virtual press conference for the world with the general question: "what's it like to be you?"

This particular subreddit has become one of the most popular on the site. As of May 2017, Barack Obama's AMA is the highest rated on the site. Wikipedia notes that the increased traffic for Obama's AMA brought down many parts of the website when it occurred on August 29, 2012.

Yesterday, I saw an AMA  from mitebcoolx, a person on the ground in Puerto Rico, a victim of Maria's destruction. He or she relates what life is like at the moment, how he and his family are coping and a few other things.

Outside of human interest, why is this information important to the rest of the world? As the Washington Post reported on Friday, October 6:
At some point this week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency removed information from its website documenting how much of the island of Puerto Rico still lacked power or access to drinking water. Instead, our Jenna Johnson reported, the federal agency was relaying only positive information, documenting how many federal workers were on the ground and the extent to which roads had been cleared.
No news is good news, as the saying goes. And apparently, the Trump administration wants to ensure the rest of the world only hears good news.
The reason for burying the bad news — fewer than 1 in 8 Puerto Ricans have electricity and barely over half have water — seems pretty obvious. President Trump has faced a great deal of criticism for his handling of the crisis on the island. (A poll released this week found that fewer than a third of Americans thought Trump was handling the Puerto Rico response well.) By conveying information that suggests the island is still struggling, which it very much is, FEMA would only be reinforcing that perception.
So, mitebcoolx's insights on the conditions in PR at the moment might allow us a bit more balance.

Please note: I have made a few edits for the sake of brevity. However, if you'd like to read the complete exchange, click here.

So what was the most surprising or interesting that you learned from this AMA?

Update: I saw this on Facebook and it was worth adding to this post.