Monday, December 22, 2008

Scrub your Facebook and LinkedIn Friends!

I just got around to reading Bill Ayers' (you know, William Ayers, the supposed terrorist friend of Barack Obama) NY Times, December 6th, Op-Ed article. In his article he details his lack of relationship with President-Elect Obama and goes on to say, "President-Elect Obama and I sat on a board together; we lived in the same diverse and yet close-knit community; we sometimes passed in the bookstore. We didn't pal around, and I had nothing to do with his positions. I knew him as well as thousands of others did, and like millions of others, I wish I knew him better". As I read his piece and heard him say, "Demonization, guilt by association and the politics of fear did not triumph, not this time", it made me think about the associations that we make throughout our lives that could come back to haunt us, even though they were innocent at the time. What is different than the past and if we fast forward to the future will be the scouring of our Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks of the future to see who our "friends" are and trying to use that against us? Will the next Presidential candidate have to account for all of the millions of friends that they have accumulated or do we need to now start thinking about who we let in our friend networks or not? I casually accept just about everyone who asks to be my friend on Facebook and LinkedIn. I don't pay attention to my MySpace page anymore as it got too cumbersome rejecting one named women who were significantly younger than me. But for Facebook and LinkedIn, who are both better controlled for spam, I tend to trust that because someone knows someone else or I might have tangentially known them in the past that I let them in. But, I have no way of knowing that someone I went to college with hasn't turned into a subversive type. How would I know what secret clubs and societies they belong? And, especially I would have no idea what activities they have financed overseas on those annual vacation trips out of the country. I just accepted a friend on Facebook who I worked with early on a Frito-Lay back in 1986. He was a little wild and crazy back then but it is hard to tell now. His profile picture has him surrounded by five children who all look like him, but how am I to know that these aren't genetically engineered offspring to throw me off and never have me suspect that he is a spy for a terrorist faction? It really is hard to tell these days. Now, that Bill Ayers guy, are we really sure that when they passed in the bookstores they weren't passing secret code books between he and President-Elect Obama? Sounds like we all should just accept that we are guilty by association until proven innocent and just go ahead and have as many friends as we want because it is going to come up some time no matter what.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

“Recession” or a “Compression”?

One of the first things I ever learned about taking care of myself or someone else in a medical emergency was to apply pressure and try to compress the wound. I remember hearing as a kid growing up for all kinds of hurts, “put a compress on it”. Lately, I have been thinking that this is exactly what is happening in our economic situation. While the government is trying to get its act together on what it should do, we, the American consumers, are taking the only action we know to do when something is hemorrhaging. That is, to compress the wound. It is what we are doing with locking down our spending, sewing our pockets shut on investments, and pushing down hard on anything that seems frivolous or not necessary. And we are very, very afraid to take the pressure off for fear that the spurting will start all over again and we certainly can’t afford to lose any more of anything. So, I would put forward that we are in a Compression and that unless the government comes out and starts talking to each of us on how to manage during these times of uncertainty that we will not take the pressure off and consumer spending will continue to wither. When we said we were in a Recession, the powers to be failed to give us our instructions on how to manage through a Recession. Left to our own devices and thinking we are all only doing what we know and falling back on the little we know on how to manage. I don’t know about you, but I would be glad to see a First-Aid kit as soon as possible because I don’t like this pressured feeling and I wonder what happens if I keep this pressure on like this too long. I seem to remember something about too much pressure too long on a wound that doesn’t want to heal on its own will get worse and worse without blood flow. The similarities are just too frightening for me.