TaN: There is free and then there is “”free”. Today, one must be very careful with respect to being too trusting with the flowery words of glibs and spin meisters. This is especially true with the Internet, where many web sites entice unsuspecting surfers and browsers with numerous tempting free offers but not divulging that the freebies come with strings attached — like requiring that your furnish personal information as a pre-requisite to getting the free stuff even if the personal information is totally and obviously irrelevant (e.g., your height and your weight unless it is a dating or medical service).
Even on the everyday physical (as against the virtual) world, there are likewise deceptive free offers that have not free either. You will have to give up something in exchange for whatever “free” you will receive — reinforcing the saying that, There is no such thing as a free lunch. There is always a catch.
Take the case of print ads where the reader is captivated by an image of, say, a free lunch but if you read the fine print somewhere below, you are required to use your credit card so many times to accumulate a certain number of points before you get your “freebie”. Or, in the case of a department or appliance store where some items will be given away for free on the condition that a minimum purchase amount is made.
In this world where nothing gets done without money and money is god, there is very little hope for anything to be truly free…unless it came from God — only God gave us everything for free.
TaN: High-frequency trading is immoral in so many ways. And front-runners are the vehicles by which this immoral trading activity is achieved. In a recent telecast from “60 Minutes” of CBS News, the first segment featured high-frequency trading.
High-frequency trading involves purchasing (a large chunk of) shares ahead of someone else at a low(er) price and turn around to sell them to the original intended buyer at a higher cost — ensuring a nice profit. The trick is to beat everyone “to the punch” and this is achievable only either through having inside information or via high-tech high-speed telecommunications or front-runners (like an Internet connection).
Front-runners are those that are tasked to determine which transactions have huge profit potential then rush ahead of the intended transaction using ultra high-speed connections — in the video, the front-runners arrive (if I recall correctly) just 4 milliseconds before the actual buyer — to conclude the purchase of the desired shares in order to profit from the re-sale when the real buyer’s order arrived (a few milliseconds later). [4 miliseconds faster may seem to be too short to be significant but it is enough to provide a clear advantage to enable profit to be made unfairly at the expense of another.]
In the “60 Minutes” video, it revealed that though the elaborate and high-tech scheme was legitimate and legal, it was unethical because (1) profit is being made using an undue advantage — i.e., obtaining privileged information and using it to gain an unjust edge over another — and (2) violating the privacy and confidentiality of privileged communication and using it to benefit oneself. The use of front-runners and high-frequency trading by way of high-tech telecommunications technology where everyone else has to contend and content themselves with the prevailing technology.
Also according to the same video, an alternative stock exchange has been established (the IEX) which detects such unethical financial practices and diverts them into a “longer” route and causing them to arrive at their destination at the same time as their slower “rivals” — thus effectively dampening down the advantage provided by ultra high-speed telecommunications technology used by high-frequency traders.
TaN: It is not important what or which language one learns or uses; what is important is whichever language is decided upon, one must be fluent in it. Many studies have shown that it is not how many languages one can speak that determines one’s IQ (intelligence quotient) but how well one speaks a particular language. This is because fluency in any given language means that one has a rich vocabulary of the chosen language.
To speak or rather to use different languages to form even just a single sentence means that there is not enough words in the vocabulary of each language so the speaker has to “borrow” from different vocabularies just to come up with a sensible sentence. This is proof of a low IQ (intelligence quotient).
In conclusion, it is not the number of languages that a person can speak that determines one’s IQ but how fluent one speaks any language. In addition, there is a notion among some people that knowledge or fluency in English makes one more globally competitive. In truth, in countries considered to be very globally competitive, the average man on the street does not know even a single word of English — such as China, Japan, India, Vietnam, etc.
TaN: It is very interesting that grown and respected men can behave in such nonsensical and stupid ways as to succumb to idiotic trends — like selfies and the latest ice bucket challenge. It is no wonder that the world is in such a sorry state of affairs.
Selfies are just manifestations that these people have a serious inadequacy in self-confidence, that they need to constantly take photographs of themselves to fill a void of self-worth or self-recognition. People indulging in selfies appear to derive some kind of self-assurance, that one is important (even if only to oneself) or has meaning.
As for the ice bucket challenge, the whole idea behind it is supposed to be for people to know (for a few seconds) how people with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease feel — when partial and momentary muscle paralysis occurs — and to get people to make a donation to the fund dedicated to doing research into the disease’s eventual resolution. I do not see the point of having to go through the process of pouring ice water over one’s head just to make a donation. Just make the donation and stop the stupid display of pouring ice water over your head.