It is written in the ancient codes of FORTRAN that the geeks will inherit the earth, and now it seems we’ll also get all the pretty ladies too. According to a fellow geek, we make the perfect partner for the opposite sex. He goes on to say that we cherish loyalty, stability and once you’ve made it plainly obvious that there is an upcoming birthday/anniversary (and by obvious we mean emailing us the date and occasion two weeks in advance – seriously, that’s all we ask) we’ll draw upon super human Googling powers, gather data and create complex spreadsheets with advanced filters just to find that perfect gift. Disagreements and arguments will be few and far between too, because anything can be quickly solved by searching the Internet, and since we all have smartphones we can nullify disputes before they blow out of proportion. We can also do spontaneity, when given reasonable enough time to plan in advance.
Makes for depressing, unhappy reading. But smile: We’re all doomed in the end.
Read this interesting article from the New York Times today, it seems to make a lot of sense. India appears to be embracing consumerism as if its life depended on it with newer, bigger, flashier malls being thrown up all over every city in the land and branded stores all over the place.
Just like in America and England, the newly created aspirational middle classes are fueling their addiction to Apple, Levi, Gucci, BMW, Sony, Starbucks and foreign holidays via credit cards and bank loans. Citibank had a stall in the food court of my office building the other day with a banner that read: Why put your dreams on hold? Get a Citibank personal loan and have your dream today!
The bank that I use, Standard Chartered, is also on a mission to get people to take out loans to fuel the middle class addiction; the image below is from their Indian website – basically they are saying “You deserve to go on your dream holiday for 6 days so don’t worry about spending the next 5 years paying it all back with interest“.
Anyway, this journalist puts in a far more eloquent way than I can so have a read.
My New Year’s resolution called for me to improve my grammar over the course of the year and to take a little bit of extra thought about what I’m writing. It’s not going to happen overnight and will be a long process, I’ve almost trained myself out of writing things like “Dell have launched a new laptop” and “Google are the number one search engine” and will catch myself (most of the time!) if I make this mistake. I came across this grammar Nazi blog post that I think I need to print out and read daily.
Just watched the video in the link below where a chimpanzee can see a series of numbers flashed on to a computer screen quicker than it takes a human eye to register what it’s seeing and then proceed to recall the exact position where the sequence of numbers appeared. I don’t think even the Rain Man can compete with that! I certainly could have done with some chimp memory back when I was applying for my air force scholarship, apparently my own number recall ability was beyond useless!
Not sure if it’s been widely reported back in England but it’s making the national news here in India. Apparently someone from the Indian Directorate of Visual Publicity decided to use John Terry’s image as part of a health warning on the packet of cigarettes here. Obviously this wasn’t authorized and Terry has taken legal action against ITC, the manufacturers of the cigarettes. Judging by the comments in the link below it seems many people in India don’t understand what the fuss is about.
From my own experience I have found there to be a certain copy and paste culture in India where people will copy the content from a website and pass it off as their own not realizing the legal or ethical problems with it. A case in point is that I do all the writing for my company website and marketing literature and I’ve lost count how many other Indian IT companies here have simply copied and pasted my content, in some cases forgetting to even remove the company name! An SEO candidate came for an interview once and was very proud of the book he had “written” on SEO and used it to show off his skills. A quick search on Google showed that it was a PDF anyone could download for free. I know copying and pasting happens everywhere but the feeling I get is that it’s more endemic here because there are no implications should you be found out.
In the case of John Terry, I’m sure the designer simply did a Google images search, found this image from the Internet and didn’t see any problem with using it – after all, it is slightly blurred, right?! I’m actually kinda curious as to why they used this image instead of an Indian man, it’s not like John Terry is particularly famous here – although he is now!
How bad do things have to get in a country when the media starts talking semi-seriously about 7p meals dating back to the Victorian times? Are we, as a country, now in such a bad way that the last hundred years have been undone because of the credit crunch and banks? Come on guys, I don’t believe that it is now so bad that people are actually considering a slice of toast tucked between two pieces of buttered bread as a legitimate meal.
To add (cheap) salt in to the financial wounds a journalist has now decided that what the nation really needs is advice on cooking meals for less than 50p. Huh! The only good side about these meals are that they are all so processed and full of fats and salts that if you did live off this kind of food you’ll probably be dead before you run out of money anyway.
According to a survey by myvouchercodes.co.uk, the average Brit now has just £98 left over at the end of the month to save. I’m a bit skeptical about this because it just seems like such a low figure and also is the type of person who goes to a voucher website representative of the whole nation? When comparing people here in India to those in England, I can’t help but think that Britain has a sense of entitlement attitude and the instant gratification that spending on credit gives helps fuel the notion that there is no money left to save.
I read a user comment on one financial that said he’s lived his life by the wisdom that “if you can’t afford to go out tomorrow and buy what you’ve bought today then don’t buy it”. It seems like a pretty fair and reasonable mantra to live by if you ask me.
I’m not sure if it’s just that the news corporations in England love to push the “we’re all doomed” angle but if you read through the financial or business news it’s very difficult to find anything positive that’s going on. Carphone Warehouse are shutting down all their Best Buy stores putting 1,100 jobs on the line, retail spending is shrinking as people keep their purses shut and now we even have articles on how to plan a family Christmas for just £200.
To cap it all off, LoveMoney has written an article telling all you Britains (I’m in a different country so don’t count) that things are the worst they’ve been for nearly 20 years. High inflation, high unemployment; and there’s not a damn thing the Government can do about it until it sorts its own finances out and hopes against all hope that the Greeks and Italians can do something about their past prolific spending.
I noticed that the last few posts about England were all a bit doom and gloom and since nothing sells like bad news that’s mostly what the newspapers and media companies will push. However there is still some good news around, you just have to hunt a little harder for it. Today it was announced that around 5,500 jobs will be created and secured in North Wales thanks to a new factory that will produce the wings for the new Airbus A350. Hmm, I wonder if they need any aerospace engineers…