Has anyone though of THIS angle regarding service delivery and or quality of life?
Anyone else notice the new Facebook feature: Credits?
Facebook Credits is a virtual currency you can use to buy gifts and virtual goods in your favorite games and applications on Facebook.
Visit the Games dashboard for the hottest games your friends are playing:
Check out all the games that use Credits:
And don't forget to send your friends virtual gifts:
To provide the fastest and easiest way to pay for digital goods and services.
So Facebook's starting to charge for "stuff" and is no longer totally free? OK, that's a bit inaccurate as there are already things that require payment, such as the various Zynga and other games, other apps that allows you to spend real money for virtual things etc
What's got me thinking is that not only are they starting to charge but are also actively trawling contact lists for new addicts/victims to suck into the social media arena. Nothing new again, they have always had the option to "scan your email contacts to add friends" but it is usually noninvasive. Lately I've been browsing around my usual online haunts like Farmville etc and did the usual stuff only to suddenly get blocked by Facebook itself, not the application, that wants me to surrender my Skype and Googletalk contact list for assimilation before being able to view an application's information, a user's profile or finish sending a gift etc. Usually the applications themselves wanted the information to add to the players etc but this time it's the Big One who is asking. Do I dare ignore it?
Step one of world domination, seduce or coerce everyone to join the "it's free and fun" Facebook. Step two, once you have them hooked and they're lost without you, start introducing "charges for extras, optional and not required)
Step three, increase till everything's pay-or-else then cut off their contact and extort vast sums of money or souls or brain cells from them.
Step four, repeat to infinity
The parable or whatever it's called about a frog in boiling water: dump it in boiling water and it jumps, screams and freaks out...put it in normal water and bring to a boil over a few hours, one happy but eventually boiled frog with no fuss (excpet for the SPCA maybe)
Facebook itself keeps promising not to charge anyone for using the service but the pages and petitions to "join now and stop Facebook from charging" keep popping up. Of course, they don't mean anything as the people joining have no power over the Facebook phenomenon.So, start saving, you may not be able to poke anyone for free for much longer.
SA people are an industrious bunch but not too bright it seems. No, I don't mean everyone, just those who are contributing to destroying our character/name/reputation...
Culled from online sources, including News24 and Mail&Guardian and from reports on East Coast Radio and other national news stations...
Thieves broke into the Uruguay team hotel and stole $12 000 from two of the squad while the team were playing against France at the World Cup, Uruguay media reported Saturday.
Three members of Greece's Soccer World Cup squad had cash stolen from their hotel rooms in the northern suburbs of Durban, a team official said on Thursday. Cape Town – Southern Sun Hotels is investigating "an allegation" that cash was stolen from the hotel rooms of Greece's national soccer squad in Durban, a company spokesperson said on Thursday.
An armed gang stole money and a camera from four Chinese journalists in South Africa to cover the Soccer World Cup, state media reported on Thursday.
Three European journalists were the victims of an armed robbery early on Wednesday morning at their lodge in Magaliesburg. Three journalists, two from Portugal and one from Spain, were robbed in their rooms at Nutbush Boma Lodge in Magaliesburg by armed men at about 04:00. Two of them slept through the incident.
Lanseria airport has reopened after the wreckage of a plane which had to belly land was removed from its runway on Sunday. Johannesburg - A plane full of World Cup journalists, including 14 from the Al-Jazeera network, escaped unhurt after their aircraft made an emergency landing near Johannesburg on Sunday, an airport spokesperson said.
Rustenburg - Burglars stole camera equipment worth $70 000 from a New Zealand television crew covering the Soccer World Cup in South Africa, police and the network said on Sunday.
Johannesburg - The two women accused of stealing money from the Colombian soccer team's hotel rooms applied for bail in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday.
Thieves seem to be aiming for journalists (great move, p#$$ off the people who WILL and CAN report the incident internationally) and the international soccer teams. So far it seems like "they" are working towards hitting every attending nation at least once. It hasn't taken the lowlife criminals long to realize who has the best "stuff" to affirmatively acquire. The next question is however just what are they going to do with the high-tech cameras and sound equipment? It's not a handy-cam or tape recorder but broadcast-quality specialized equipment which will definitely cause a stir if they try to pawn it at the corner pawnshop.
At the same time some blame is also due the victims. How you may ask? Well, common sense dictates not to let expensive stuff lie about unattended and one would think journalists at least, with their access to news sources, would know there's a bit of pilfering going on in the good 'ol SA. Even the "common" tourist will have seen the many sensationalist reports and the Facebook status updates and warnings... so much for the internet and almost-real-time updates/reporting of information.
At least none of the tourists have been attacked by the lions and other wild animals international media reports are all over every dorpie in SA...
The planet's f'd up, everyone says so and it's plain to see in the weather. But what will it take to stop this from getting worse or even reverse the trend?
My numbers will be in the "general" frame, not accurate as to actual individual body count but I believe the "ballpark" figures are close so don't kill/shoot/flame me for inaccuracies please, but open to constructive proof-based criticism...
Our planet has more than 6 billion people squatting on its surface. Of those 6 probably 4 are subsistence level, meaning the scrounge enough from planet Earth to not die too quickly or too often. Not only are they reliant on the Earth itself, they also don't place a huge burden or demand on it. No chemicals, pesticides etc, no electricity demands, water from the sky...(no electricity = no TV/internet = nothing to do @ night in the dark = the reason why there are 6 billion of us on this planet 'cause you don't need any techno stuff to have fun in the dark unless you're into kink?)
So 2/3 of the planet doesn't actually use up our coal, oil, natural gasses, metals, minerals etc. They rely on "renewable" source such as sun for light/warmth at day, wood at night. Which mean their carbon footprint is minimal and impossible to reduce unless you don't allow them to cook food or oh, not freeze to death?
Of the other 2 billion or so souls left, 1.5 billion probably are what can be called "poor" or "disadvantaged". This doesn't mean they are stone-age cavemen technophobes but just that they have a very limited use/access to tech. There's some electricity (in many cases stolen but that's a diffirent story) Probably one light and Tv, possibly a gas/fuel stove, again, not much one can take away to reduce their impact.
Which leaves us, the half-billion or so which has access to reading this blog, which means more-or-less that you have access to all the mod-cons, the technological modern conveniences such as electricity on demand, ready for use/abuse as needed, cars to get where you want/need to go, enough money to buy all those technological toys such as 3D TV's etc. Every one of these techno "stuff" requires huge amounts of resources to manufacture and later dispose of. manufacturing and feeding the factories is what's killing our planet by messing with mother nature. This is however driven by our greed, lack of judgment and need/wish for creature comforts and improving our lives. No-one wants to be huddling frozen in a cave in the dark somewhere, especially if it's possible to relax in an air conditioned penthouse with 100-inch 3D TVs with 70-point surround sound systems, bubbly on tap, the internet right there to download the latest porn or pirated movie...
We are all to comfortable and lazy for the good of our planet. We need to cut back on waste and unnecessary "stuff" that cause pollution and exhaustion of natural resources. How we do that is the actual point of this blog...
What can we as consumer/waster of resources realistically do? On my side, I can't cut much more of my usage of resources as far as I can see. I don't have more than one light on at any time, if two need to be on one's usually only on for a few minutes only. I've put in low-power "special" green globes (which by the way use massive amounts of scary stuff like mercury etc and is therefore worse for the environment as mercury's POISON!!!). I eat take-aways too often which means the stove get's used maybe once a week for an hour, the microwave to nuke food for few seconds. Washing laundry once a week only. I'm in a lift club with 3 other people to reduce fuel consumption but there's no way to cut that even more as I have to get to work, a round trip of 100km a day with very few others going the same way.
My total monthly electricity bill's around R150. Which means in a year I spend R1800 on Eskom. Putting in a solar water heater at R18000 (or more than R10000 at least) is not an option as I cannot afford that in one go and I'd only recover the cost over a couple of years while being in debt for longer than that. I don't use kiloliters of hot water anyway as take-aways mean very little dishes and two showers a day for about 2 minutes each does consume water and electricity but is required to keep me smelling fresh enough to go out in public. (unless people are willing to not discriminate against smelly people?) Showering's also a requirement to avoid an overdose on germs which leads to diseases which leads to medication which needs natural resources to manufacture which leads to reducing the Earth's capacity for sustaining life...
I've looked into various ways of trying to reduce my impact on the planet.
Rainwater harvesting...which requires hi-tech filters that need to be replaced regularly if one is to be able to drink the polluted skywater (rain), and the weather's changed so getting rain's not always a reality these days.
Solar powering "stuff"...which requires metal-rich processes to manufacture the panels, chemicals to make the batteries and MONEY as enough solar panels and batteries to keep even a minimal "normal" load of a light, TV, microwave (and the internet on a PC/laptop of course) running again builds up to thousands of rands which I don't have.
Wind power...the same as solar powering except worse as the generators are more expensive than solar panels, less effective and of course requires wind, which doesn't "work" in my area as the wind's not constant enough being disrupted by natural and unnatural obstacles such as buildings, stadiums and hills
Hydroponics...growing one's own food, at least some of it...I'm not a veggie person so this will be a limited venture of fruit and possibly potatoes and carrots. Again though, it's not a zero-input solution as growth chemicals are required, which again needs manufacturing. The yield again is very low unless one goes large. I live in a complex with virtually zero yard space so that's not a great option.
Cars...My car works and it's not a gas hog hummer 20litre engine (exaggerating) it's the smallest I could find that would be able to manage my daily commute as part of the lift club (need to fit 4 people in it). Hybrid cars don't yet exist for the general public and the ones that are "out there" cost up to 5 times the price of my car so not an option to change, too expensive. Also, the manufacturing process abuses natural resources again and keeping it running still consumes resources for fuel, whether bio fuel or electricity. There's no "petrol stations" for those yet either so if I get stuck in the middle of the Freestate/Karoo etc how do I fill 'er up? Can't ask a passing electrocar to "Hey, please loan me a few volts" or even in town/cities stop somewhere and plug it in to recharge. Any recharge stations in SA would quickly become a quicky-buck opportunity for people who will wire up a dozen shacks in 5 minutes.
Pets... I have one, which eats (of course) but gives nothing in return so I should get rid of my little bitch? Hmm, what about the companionship this lonely blogger receives, the warm fuzzy feelings he gets when coming home and seeing someone happy to see him? Emotional needs supersede nature's needs? being alive and miserable isn't a great incentive.
The average man/person, one of that half-billion, has almost no chance of "going green" although we should be the ones doing that. We do use the resources so we are responsible for a large part of climate change. But we're not able to do that financially. Of course, cutting out all the necessities and luxuries would help but we'de be miserable and take it out on each other with violence probably.
The ones who can afford to don't need to, in their own opinion. The rich...well they're rich so can afford to waste and not care.
So the chance of "going green" saving our planet? Probably zero without a major shift in humanity's overall lifestyle. Correction, of a minority's lifestyle (half-billion out of 6).
Someone once said (can't remember who or where I read it but have to use it) "The problem with the people on this planet is there's too many of them" which was used as a reason for the Earth going down the drain. The person went on that a solution was to basically kill of 4 billion people and the problem would be solved. He was however aiming at the people NOT causing the problem (african, chinese, indian "savages" who didn't have access to electricity etc, basically people still using iron-age methods of farming) He was actually wrong though. It's not getting rid of 4 billion non-threats, It's not even about getting rid of the 2 billion actual resource-using humans, it's actually about wiping out less than a half-billion people who's causing this crap...US (you, me, the people with access to reading this blog and our peers).
To misquote Klaathu from the newest version of The day the earth stood still "Kill the animals and plants and humans and the Earth dies, kill the humans and everything else lives"...
The solution to saving the planet? Shoot yourself in the head three times to show you're green
A cretain wellknown Motormouth may have inadvertantly let slip The Plan...
In a speech/statement regarding the Nationalization of SA's mines that person made inferences that the mining community/companies (who according to him are all white colonialists) can expect to be given the shaft (pun intended) when the government take over and run the mines (like they do SABC, ESKOM and all those doing-oh-so-well parastatals).
Of the little bit they are allowed to keep they can expect to pay two arms and two legs of their choice or if they can't stand that (pun intended again) they can bugger off 'cause the Chinese would be willing to step in for a smaller chuck of the gold nugget (I'm really rolling with puns today).
So...good bye white colonialism, hello yellow imperialism? The government seems to be doing quite a lot to suck up to the Chinese lately, including telling a leading man of peace, the Dhalai Lama, to bugger off from a peace conference. Other deals have been struck as well, some public or semi-public but how many private ones are there we don't know about?
Let's say some important person (who will remain unspecified but pick a name from the top...) made a deal with the Chinese to destabalise the country to a point where the top brass can scream a loud "HELP!". 5 minutes later the Chinese start helping a bit here, a bit there, just for a small token of appreciation say like 5% of the mineral rights for every time they help? after helping out 5 or so time we end up with a freeloader-pocketstuffer majority that pander to a yellow minority that can and probably will grow into influence until SA's a new province of China?
An unlikely scenario?
Anyone remember the parable/story/urban legend of the experiment with frogs and boiling water? Dump a frog into boiling water and watch the reaction, hopping, screaming, bleeding, boiling... But put the frog in normal water and turn up the heat by a degree or 3 over a long time... one happy contented eventually-dead-boiled frog...
If the Chines try and step in and take over the country by coup or visible bribes/payments to people to take over large chunks the US at least would cry foul but if they don't see the buy a bit cheaply here, receive a gift/donation there...eventually they may end up owning more of the country than it's own people (except for the guys who sold us out and can then afford to move to one of those white colonialist countries and subject themselves to the tortures of modern capitalist fruits-of-others-labours) and we may be required to start eating rice more often (OK, stereotypical comment there).
And of course China has that wonderful reputation of being all for improving the lives of the masses by their sterling human rights record and enormous wages they pay there slav...workers