December 31, 2011

The more things change....

Today marks the end of yet another year on the Gregorian calender. A perfect moment for retrospection and analysis.
Last night, I was listening to a song from way back in  my youth and I realized that this year wasn't as different as different as some years from when I was in my late teens to early twenties. It's a comforting thought, but at the same time it makes me wonder how intelligent we as the human race really are. We don't seem to learn from our past. My hope for 2012 and beyond is the might all grow to be better people and that as a whole we might progress past pettiness.

Take for example 1985:
There was famine in Africa. People were starving left and right. A group of singers and songwriters decided to throw money at it. People were given fish, but were never taught to fish. In 2011, people were still starving in Africa.

Many charities are  still out there trying to the poorest of the poorest. I find this quite commendable, but somehow this is not enough. Human egoism and egotism  are still taking their toll.
Not all of us are cut out for charity work. But I don't think we should only chuck money at problems from our comfy homes. Mentalities will have to change all over and that is something we can all help  achieve. We're not all cut out to be charity workers or social workers. Nonetheless, we are all teachers. We teach by example. a kind word here, a helping hand there, these seemingly gestures start out as ripples in a pond, but can grow to be huge waves of positiveness.

Actually, this wasn't even the song I was listening to. I was listening to "Civil War" by Guns and Roses. It seems as if the same old wars are still going on. Different countries maybe, but it's the same thing all over again.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

December 26, 2011

One tool to rule them all

It's incredible how much of how personal information is being aggregated nowadays. Worst part of it, is that we're doing most of it ourselves. Albeit, with the 'help' of certain big corporations. Facebook, Picasa, Blogger, Google+, LinkedIn etc etc, we're being given the choice to connect them and 'manage' our information better. But should we really be doing this? Have we really thought about all we're putting together.

With all the information we're putting 'out there' on the net, I wonder what the next generation  of secret questions are going to be for password recovery. It's hard to choose "What is your mother's maiden-name" when your mom is on your Facebook list and sharing information like that herself.

I've been using a set of tools to facilitate keeping my address-book and birthday calender up to date, but sometimes they really scare me. And I mean they REALLY scare me.

Just imagine the following:
You meet a nice guy or girl in a bar and you exchange first name and e-mail address. By next morning, you know this person's last name, date of birth and place of work. All, without having to do a lot of digging around. Or, even worse, without any extra effort. All because this person's information is publicly available on the internet and interconnected. 

At one time or another, we all say that we have nothing to hide. But is that really so? It doesn't necessarily  mean that we want all our information indiscriminately available for all and sundry.

So next time you put your information out here on the Internet, think what you are sharing and who you are sharing it with. It might even be a good idea to compartmentalize different aspects of your private life. At least, try to keep professional and private information apart from each other.

I might be overreacting, but decide for yourself. Google yourself and see if you were aware of all the info that you find shared.

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