Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blinky's Back and We Get to Eat Him!

Remember the 2nd Season of The Simpsons, Episode 4, entitled “Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish”?   It’s the episode where Bart’s fishing downstream from Montgomery Burns’ nuclear plant and he catches a fish with 3 eyes.  

Burns tries to bribe the nuclear inspectors who come to close down the plant but no dice.  Homer tells Burns that if he were Governor, he’d get to decide what’s safe and what’s not safe.  Isn't that what it's all about?  Burns runs.  His strategists turn the 3-eyed fish into a cute rascal called “Blinky”, and brand him an evolutionary advance rather than a genetic mutation.  Burns’ poll numbers go up.   

To seal the deal as the “guy you’d want to have a beer with” he dines with Homer, Marge and the kids.  When Marge uncovers the main dish, there’s 3-eyed Blinky, fried and tasty.  Burns spears a piece of Blinky, puts it in his mouth and spits it out.  Poll numbers dive.  Burns is out.

Now Blinky’s back and it ain’t no animation.   The NYT printed some photos of two-headed and otherwise severely defected trout, courtesy of J.R. Simplot, a mining company dumping selenium and other pollutants into the creek waters of southern Idaho.  The trout were buried in the back of a scientific study Simplot commissioned    

I’m sure J.R. Simplot contributes to a business-friendly SuperPAC.  See what kind of candidates will come out of Citizens United?  Let them eat two headed trout.  I guarantee that they won’t spit it out.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

$$$$The Character Flaw$$$ or is it?

Before there's an IPO, private shares are distributed at an artificially low price to insiders who sell when the stock shoots up opening day.

According to his roommate at the time, Arie Hasit, "he built the site for fun."

"We had books called Face Books, which included the names and pictures of everyone who lived in the student dorms.  At first, he built a site and placed two pictures, or pictures of two males and two females.  Visitors to the site had to choose who was 'hotter' and according to the votes there would be a ranking."

Gotta give the guy credit.  He exponentially monetized the high school experience.

Television king pins used to justify the inanity of commercials by saying, "They underwrite the show."  Okay, we accepted that unwritten compact. 

Now, in exchange for all our personal information including search words, proclivities, likes, dislikes, politics, financials, private thoughts, all that makes us human and exposed to prosecution and persecution, we get to write inane comments and devalue the terms "friend" and "like". 

The value of your personal information to many parties (advertisers, government enforcers, criminals, etc.) stomps like an elephant on your ephemera that lasts forever.

That unwritten contract between the consumer and the Internet will come back to bite you in the ass.  Unless, of course, you have some of those magic shares.