Issues!! Problems!!

I was just reading news and stuff and there seems to be some issues nowadays what are pretty messed up. This entry is not supposed to enrage you so make you feel depressed or anything so don’t shoot the messenger (ME!)

Gulf Oil Disaster: you’ve heard of it. If you haven’t, then you should. It’s mad scary. Basically BP’s oil tunnel got leaked and oil is just all over the place right now. It’s much much scarier when you look at this picture, which is taken from the satellite:

Gulf Oil Disaster

Gulf Oil Disaster

The grey-ish part is oil and the blue-ish part is water. Actually BP’s doing such a bad job with this that Obama made his own team of super geniuses to handle this. You can read more right here.

I personally think that BP, or any oil company should have thought of this scenario when they started. It should be in like Oil Drilling 101 under the section What To Do When You Mess Up. Well apparently it’s not there. Hopefully that’ll be handled soon.

Let’s move on! Ok I don’t know about other majors but for Engineers here at Lafayette College we have to take a course called Ethics. I think in the world of technology, Ethics is pretty much the biggest issue. One of the reason I like technology is that it tends to make the world better. Technology never downgrades, machines run faster, better, more reliable and all that stuff. However, normally human is the one who makes mistakes (just saying, I’m not a bot or pro-terminator). The time when machines make mistakes hasn’t come yet since A.I right now is pretty limited.

Ok so what about ethics? Hmm do you guys use Facebook? I’m addicted to it since it’s a great way to keep in touch with friends. But Facebook’s privacy is pretty bad. In fact all the social media’s privacy policies are controversial. FYI, Twitter is gonna donate their Tweet archive to a museum (I think it’s MOMA, not sure though) so your tweets will be indexed by Google real soon.

Gizmodo wrote a lot about Facebook’s privacy issue. If you do some google on the history of Facebook, it’s actually pretty messed up.

Facebook's messed up

Facebook's messed up

CEO of Facebook had a pretty bad record during his early days in Harvard. He illegally guessed a lot of people’s email passwords based on their Facebook passwords, which he maintains. The default privacy settings of Facebook pretty much shares your info with the world. And since it’s pretty confusing and long, few people went in and change them. It’s also pretty hard to delete your account. Yeah delete, not deactivate. I tried that once but I ended up googling on how to delete Facebook account. Facebook doesn’t want you to do that. And you never know whether they still store your info even after you delete it.

Google definitely faces the same issue. Its motto is “Don’t be evil” but that’s not trustful enough. I think that privacy issue is also a trade-off for convenience in technology nowadays. There’s a new trend in searching nowadays called Context Search.

What context search is, is that it can search for what you want (obviously) but in a more comprehensive way. For example, when you search for “restaurant”, normal search spits out all the asian restaurant, that’s easy. On the other hand, context search digs in your personal profile in Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Blogger, your IP address and everything relates to you online and factor them in. The results would be a restaurant near your location, with the type of cuisine matches your favorite food on Facebook, with the settings match your family cause you indicated that you have a wife and 2 kids on Facebook. That’s wicked cool, and wicked creepy also. Just think about it…

The last one I’m gonna talk about is stress level in Technology companies in pretty much all levels. In case you don’t know, it’s pretty bad in outsourcing countries like China, Vietnam or India. Take Foxconn for example.

Foxconn stress room

Foxconn stress room

Foxconn is the manufacturing company for Apple. Yup!! iPad, iPod, Macbook… all that stuff. The suicide rate there is so high that the company has to hire counselors and monks to do rituals for dead souls. Employees there apparently have to work long hours and the job is just like any manufacturers, very boring and repetitive. They actually intentionally drop stuff just to bend down and pick it up for change in 8-hr standing. The pay is bad also since the job itself is not had. You can read more about it here.

Yeah that’s for minimum-wage jobs. That doesn’t mean high-paying job is better. I’ve read numerous stories about work environment here in the US. Big companies here have a lot of fun stuff: free massage, free snacks, free drinks, free food, free gym, free salon, free laundry… That makes me think “I wanna work for those companies”. Well they have those stuff cause they don’t want you to leave your workplace. Benefits don’t come for free for sure. In fact, those companies prefer recent grads to experienced cause recent grads are fresh meat and are willing to do anything for money. We’re also physically and mentally healthier. It’s illegal for sure. So what they come up with is certain tests that statistically young people do better, in the name of “aptitude tests”. Solve 10 problems in 5 minutes is 1 of those. It’s technically not age-discriminatory but actually, it is.

However, it’s pretty logical when you’re young and of course have no family. All you’re gonna do is work and make your boss happy. A lot of people I’ve talked to worked their butt off early life then settle down in a lower-pay positions somewhere in a more laid back environment. Sounds like a downgrade but I think there’s more to life than work. It also kinda goes against social expectations of keep going up the career ladder. I personally think it’s a smart choice. When you have family and kids, you don’t wanna miss his football game and not care about family and stuff. That’s just bad!!

Anyway, I’m not saying I’m happy to give my life away but the next 4-5 years looks pretty hectic… Nah!! it’ll be fine. Have fun and keep on rolling guys!!

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One thought on “Issues!! Problems!!

  1. The Destructionist says:

    While watching the latest news about the BP Oil spill, a frightening thought came to mind: what if we can’t stop the oil? I mean, what happens if after all the measures to cap the pipe fail, (i.e., “Top Hat”, “Small Hat” and “Top Kill”). What then? An accident this problematic is new territory for BP. The 21 inch-wide oil pipeline is nearly a mile down on the ocean floor, accessible only by robots. Add on top of that the extreme pressure at which the oil is flowing out of the pipeline and there you have it: the perfect storm.

    Moreover, scientists also claim that they’ve found an enormous plume of oil floating just under the surface of the ocean measuring approximately 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick. (I’m no math genius, but I bet one of you reading this could figure out just how many barrels of oil that is…)

    There are new estimates that the amount of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico is anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 barrels of oil a day: that’s a far cry from BP’s estimated 5,000 barrels a day. If BP’s estimates are correct, the total amount of oil now in the Gulf would be approximately 150,000 barrels (or 6,300,000 gallons). That’s barely enough to fill 286 swimming pools: sixteen feet, by thirty-two feet, by eight and a half feet deep. That wouldn’t cover an area the size of New York City, let alone an area the size of Delaware. Obviously, the spill is much larger than we are being led to believe. If the leak can’t be stopped, in a year’s time, we’ll have roughly 18,250,000 barrels of oil (or 766,500,000 gallons) in our oceans, killing our marine and animal wildlife. Such a calamity would be environmentally and economically disastrous. I’m not a religious man, but I pray that BP and our government work fast to end this catastrophe.

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