Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Facebook, the econ and everything

I think those two words work well in place of "Life, the Universe", at least lately. I'm in the process of disassociating myself from Facebook (psuedo life), at least with my one of two accounts that I use for any personal purposes. I've taken some shit for deciding to, for the most part leave facebook behind. I struggled with it for a while; it was the source of lots of good discussion, and gave me a glimpse into how other people think (via pushing people to explain themselves). I don't, never did, and never will rely on facebook as a way to "find" people I've lost touch with. If I've lost touch with someone I probably did it for a good fucking reason (or the other party did). In the end, all FB really did for me was remind me why I don't talk to a lot of my old highschool friends. I gained nothing substantial besides a slightly better understanding of things.. I suppose things I could have gained by reading blogs, books, newspapers and Limbaugh's site.

So anyhow, I debated, internally, for quite a while whether or not to be done with it. The latest security breeches, disregard for privacy, the global "Like" issue (which has an end to render search engines obsolete.. if that happens, the actual democracy of the web is in jeopardy. Don't take my word for it, think it through. FB, if this catches on, could very well hold a monopoly on content aggregation), and the CEO's clearly adolescent attitude towards running a business.

Don't agree with me? Have some kind of layperson idea that "every other website has your personal data" (Holy shit, I hear this one the most)? Specifically, a good friend of mine brings up google searches. Now, I don't know about you, but I don't remember having to tell google information such as who my relatives are, what content on websites I actually do like (a web-hit is NOT the same as liking something.. it's a passive piece of information as far as google is concerned. "liking" something on FB kind of implies that you.. actually... like what you're reading. Far more valuable, and far more intrusive.) This is all magnified by the fact that, if you read the fine print, FB can do whateverthefuck it wants with this information. A bigger point that should NOT be missed, is that for google to share any information it has collected about you, you have to OPT-IN. The default is: deny, allow. The fb default is allow,allow.

Then again, I've only been playing the www game since 1994 (Anyone else remember downloading Netscape from a BBS? People on Fidonet went apeshit.. I had to get it!). My first actual internet experience was in 1991.. IRC and gopher. My BBS experience goes a few years earlier yet (though I was a latecomer to that). I hate to play the seniority card, but... look I've been around since the fucking get-go. You don't have to agree with me, but at least my reasoning is on solid ground, based in a fuckload of experience. You can use whatever in the shit website you want. I really don't care what anyone does so long as I don't have to listen to it when I am in my fucking basement (car audio), or see it when I am in public (PDA infuriates me, but I am not sure why), or be otherwise receive substantially negative impact from it (stealing, murder,etc). So get off my fuckin' back.

That being said, econ: pseudo universe. I am pretty sure we're about to witness another shit storm. I can't be sure (and I sure as hell hope not), but I've got the same feeling I had when the very first sub prime defaults started to happen.. it was pretty quiet. I heard about it briefly on MPR on a lunch break. My mind recalled something I had read on the motley fool about how sub prime package investments were a risky but rewarding investment... "Everyone's doing it!" I remembered the dot-com bubble, and did some research.. I was convinced, just after it started, but before everyone went ape that this was it. And I've got that feeling once again, I can not explain you would not understand, wait... that's a song.. and you probably understand better than I do. You get my point. (I hope)

Overnight bank to bank rates are increasing. I am not an economist, but I am capable of putting one plus one together to get two.. so LIBOR is increasing... this is what happened when the credit crunch damn fucking near took the world economy out of existence (For reasons that have been explained to me, I think I understand, and couldn't really try to explain to anyone else. Www.justfuckinggoogleit.com)... it's a year plus ago now, so we've all forgotten (and all hate the bank bailouts), but for Christ's sake, we were looking over the edge of a very very deep chasm.. the insanely low fed rate (0% to fractional %) saved us. Along with the wall street bailouts. I read it, everywhere.. any economist that had any kind of credentials insisted that these things happen, lest we all lose .. well, everything (except the well off, they don't really lose shit in a recession.. or even a depression, at least proportionally.. it ends up funneling TO them), but anyway, I am rambling.

We've blown our wad here. The low rates are ensuring that the same shit heads we had to bail out are making money HAND OVER FUCKING FIST, and the rest of us are, best case, in the same position (interesting to note, we've been in the same position for, arguably, the last 30 years).. but it had to happen, really. (BUT NO, we can't REGULATE wall street. Assholes.). If you make the rate negative (as far as I know, unprecedented, politically, and perhaps economically suicidal) you're basically paying these big banks to take your money. How will we unfreeze the credit markets if LIBOR keeps going up, and euro banks can't afford to fund day to day operations? What happens with a massive run on the bank in the Euro zone? This bank to bank overnight rate caused the shitstorm that was festering to progress in 07-08, and it could very well do it again. Could we end up having to bail out Europe? It wouldn't happen.. but anyway, I am getting tired, and starting to forget my points.

The big point is: watch your ass, because if the shit hits the fan again, I don't think we've got any more stops to pull. I've got at LEAST 50 more paragraphs of rambling to do on this topic.. I'll be back.

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