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relating to the masses

at the SWE conference last week I went to a technical poster presentation about virtual worlds, and a session about the use of social networking. at the virtual worlds presentation there was another girl who was a phd student who was absolutely shocked that anyone would pay real money for virtual things, like in second life. she kind of had this "what losers!" impression of the whole deal.

here's what I think: the internet has proven itself as a force that cannot be ignored. companies that ignore its capabilities will be left behind, like a person who doesn't have e-mail today. in 1996, you'd log on and do whatever you felt like doing, if anything, because we were all sort of feeling it out. but now that web tools are obviously having a big impact, i think you have to force yourself to look into and research what others are doing out there, even if you don't personally relate to it. that's why i'm signed up on sites like linkedin, and honestly, twitter... did I need another place to log into? crap no. but I don't want to be missing out.

there are guys at my office who'd rant about politics last month, especially about barak obama, they were shocked and appauled that anyone would vote democrat. Obama was too inexperienced, they'd say, or had bad economic policies. I finally told one of them, "If you can't relate to one person, the problem might be with them. But if you can't relate to 100 million people, the problem is more likely to be with you. We don't live in a country of total idiots. It's very self-centered of you to assume that you're the only one who knows anything, and that we're all going to hell in a handbasket if people don't think like you."

try first to understand, you know?


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 11th, 2008 12:55 pm (UTC)
virtual things, unlike say stock options or bad debt dressed-up as financial packages. the only thing virtual about the virtual economy is the hosting location. the effort you put in to "earn" virtual items is still real. if you think of a dollar as a unit of human work, then virtual goods are just as real as bread.
Nov. 11th, 2008 01:35 pm (UTC)
Your ranting office colleagues remind me of this:


... but I'm still sort of wondering how the election could be so close in popular vote terms after 8 years of incompetent, dishonest Republican rule, so I can sort of understand your ranting office colleagues :)
Nov. 11th, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
I think the popular vote stems from McCains run in 2000 where he had vastly different views than Bush and even bashed him on many occasions. I don't dislike McCain - I doubt he'd be another Bush. If like, Cheney had run, I think you'd see a much bigger gap in the popular vote.
Nov. 11th, 2008 04:22 pm (UTC)
I agree about the internet. There are a lot of people who think I'm silly for spending $10 each month for the "Item of the month" in a game I play. But I bet spending $20 a month buying "real" games like Clue or Scattergories or Monopoly would be fine because they are tangible objects. I don't see why the way in which I choose to have fun should ever come into question. If that $10 a month makes my relaxation time more enjoyable for me, who are they to say I shouldn't?
Nov. 11th, 2008 04:41 pm (UTC)
The teflon president.
Nov. 11th, 2008 04:56 pm (UTC)
We had a teflon prime minister for 10 years, but he was more of an inarticulate and wily type, like Bush (but way leftier and less inclined to drag us into wars).

Chrétien was pretty good on economic stuff and fiscal tight(wad)ness; may Obama manage the same way in that respect!
Nov. 12th, 2008 02:41 am (UTC)
Sorry, but we do live in a country of idiots. Almost everything about our culture continues to show how true this is.

I think the greater problem is when people try to pass off other arguments when they aren't representing what really worries them. I doubt it was just Obama's supposed inexperience or economic policies that worried them so much as partisan bickering and other issues.

As for being idiots, well, explain how same-sex marriage bans can be justified by anyone with any modicum of intelligence.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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