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June 28th, 2002

So I haven’t updated in a week or so because I am in NoVa now, house sitting for the Mische’s while they trek around Czech and other parts of Eastern Europe (Brats! I wanted to go!) Convenient for me as I get a place to stay rent free for a few weeks while I try to get a job and deal with paper work at Mason

  1. Home…
  2. First of all I have to say that staying at the Mische’s feels like home. The US had not felt quite rite since I got back. Very dull and depressing. I thought it would be a little strange being in the Mische’s house again — for what should be obvious reasons to anyone reading this, but I felt completely at home very quickly. Even thought I am board here a lot as there is nothing to do but wait for the phone to ring (more on that soon) most days, there is just a feeling of home that was not in C’ville at my parents house.

  3. Headaches part the first — Mason.
  4. My first headache was when I went back to Mason to get my Graduation paper work in order. I went to the Computer Science Office and talked with the people there who have to fill out my grad application and they said they could not do it because none of the classes I took at city show up on my transcript; Well Duh! I told them that the registrars office will not put them on till the official transcript from Syracuse gets here and that that will not happen for a while because the British exams have to go to an outside examiners board which they won’t do till early July. They said that I would have to wait till all that was done. So I informed them that the grad application needed to be in by June 28, and I had paper work saying what classes I had taken and would receive grades for. That was not good enough and it did not matter because they had no Transfer of Credit Request form on file and I would have to get the signature of all the teachers who would have taught the equivalent course at Mason and that it would take more than a week to get that. Bottom line: I could not file for graduation! So I went over to the Global Studies office and they said the people in the CS department where idiots (in more elegant terms of course) and that I had already filled out the required paper work and they would file it for the transfer of credits. They also said they would call the registrars office and make sure that I would be allowed to file a grad app as soon as the grades came in from Syracuse. So the end result is I have to go back to Mason when my grades come in and file the grad app. Lovely!

  5. Headache part the second — Job.
  6. Don’t have one, that’s the start of this headache. Can’t seam to get interviews, that’s another part of this headache. Only good lead I have I don’t really want, that’s a big part of this headache. I may have to take a job I really don’t want if I don’t get some more interview here soon. Or maybe I will just stay unemployed a while longer, which I don’t really like the idea of, but I may turn down the one job I have been interviewed for because I really don’t want it. I need a job! Anyone reading this need a qualified graduate programmer? (Especially if you live/work in Europe!)

  7. A little rant…
  8. Last thing I wanted to write about is the “crisis of confidence” in the markets that is the big story right now. An outgrowth of the Enron/Anderson/Tyco/Martha Stuart/WorldCom situation(s) I think it is going to hurt the American economy for years to come in the world view, and weaken the dollar. But we will see what it does, we need to know why it happened. I think there will be a ton of speculating on why, but most of that speculation will come in the form of interviews with “experts” on tv. I think that all these experts will overlook the cause — that it was a crisis born of greed but made passable by the “experts” themselves through the 24 hour financial network TV channels. To flip through the tv today in the US is like attending a investors conference: CNNfn, CNBC, MSNBC, Bloomburg, even Headline news has the 24 hour stock ticker on the screen. When there is no news they have to make up news, a new type of yellow journalism. Where as ten years ago only people who worked the stock market for a living — people who knew what they where doing, had any in depth knowledge of the day to day workings of the markets, today everyone with a TV knows what a PE ratio is. Now the company do not just have to justify their numbers to the market but to the general public. The 24 hour finance channels have given opportunity to the greedy and the ruthless through their fast paced superficial, image driven culture. If all the market news channels picked one company and decided one a story together they could crush any company, no matter how big, or what the company said. Because people blindly follow the guys on TV. Now the guys on TV are discussing what is needed to fix the crisis of confidence, I say we need to turn them off, shut them down for a while along with the news stories on the Internet (not the investments sites, just the yellow journalism stories that go with them) and let the markets do their jobs for a while. Let the people who know what they’re doing do it without the 24 hours scrutiny of the journalist who need a story.

    I don’t know if that really made sense but the bottom line is we, in America have turned court cases into a spectator sport and now we have turned the markets into one two. And just as there are player and teams who will do anything to win (take drugs, hire people who are morally corrupt) there are companies who will use every trick in the book to look good, they will bend a rule till it breaks and then bend another till it breaks. Because the pressure is on, and the only thing that matters in the end is the bottom line.

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