Tag Archives: new york times

I got Twitter and suddenly, everything’s relevant

The last judgment

Before I joined Twitter, I never really noticed its significance on social networking. I sort of blocked it out like I did with Friendster or AsianAvenue – passing them off for another ‘internet phenomenon’ that would eventually disappear or at least fade into obscurity. But as time passed, I realized the popularity of Twitter was only growing stronger. I began to see it everywhere in the news, but didn’t fully understand how it worked. I thought, what’s the big deal?

After being a Twitterer (?) for a few months, I can finally make connections between what is mentioned in media and how it relates to me. The amount of interaction that Twitter opens up is immense, but it’s a different kind of interaction than, say, Facebook. It gives you the ability to speak your mind, provides a medium for you to deliver a message at once to people who want to hear what you have to say, and to some degree, tightens the gap between us and celebrities. The real-time blogging aspects forms connections in a different way than dated, retroactive methods. The flexibility of the Twitter API makes it easy to share across platforms and create interesting mashups. I can’t really describe the experience to someone else – you’d have to try it out for yourself, because everyone will use it in a slightly different way.

Not to say that everything is positive. The service begets the same privacy and social risks just like Facebook or MySpace. Also, it’s not as if my “tech routine” wasn’t tedious enough. I’d just be assigning myself another site to check everyday.

I think the New York Times said it best:

“Your identity on Twitter is more your ability to take an interesting conversational turn, throw an interesting bit of conversation out there. Your identity isn’t so much identified by the music you listen to and the quizzes you take,” as it is on Facebook, [said Andrea Forte]. She called Twitter “a comparatively adult kind of interaction.”

I’m certainly not a power user of Twitter, so I probably haven’t harnessed all that it has to offer. But now I do see the big deal, and have made peace with the fact that ‘tweet’ is becoming a part of my everyday vocabulary. I look forward to having more of my friends share this experience with me.

Tiny update: I stopped importing this blog feed to Facebook – my personal level of accessibility was a bit too high and that scares me…

Another update: THANKS JUSTIN for giving me another way to waste time bugging me to join Twitter.

Feeling the squeeze

The Promised Land is kind of a letdown for over-achievers these days. As the NYT article puts it,

Members of this generation have lived their lives like track stars trying to run a marathon at the pace of a 100-meter dash — their parents typically waiting at every turn with a stopwatch.

And it’s like the biggest reality check you can have thrown in your face. All that hard work, just to… move back in with your parents? Ugh. FIX IT!

Edumacation

Pretty true.

Pretty true.

In high school, it didn’t take me very long to realize that the things we were learning were going to be either obsolete or not applicable to real life by the time we entered the work force. Most subjects were too simplified and high level. Those four years were mainly used to secure a foundation for higher learning, and to help us develop the skills needed to achieve and strive for further knowledge.

I predicated my future on the basis that through the university courses I take, I would emerge with the necessary education to apply directly to a job related to my field of study. My expectations were that I’d find something I took to – a personal “thing” I enjoyed, and could see a future in. I sort of discovered an interest in finance through process of elimination, but I find that I’m unsatisfied with my learning. I know courses like MATH239 and CO370 are supposed to help with “analytical and critical thinking” development in addition to teaching us the material, but I still feel like it’s a waste of my time.

On the other hand, the finance courses I’ve taken so far don’t seem to go in depth enough. Investment Management was supposed to be interesting, but I feel like I haven’t really learned much. Efficient markets, portfolio theory, options pricing, okay, but it seems that this course is too broad, still “building a foundation”, and there’s still so much more to know. It’s like whenever something starts to become slightly interesting or go in depth, we’d just move on. If everything I ask “why?” to is “beyond the scope of the course”, where am I supposed to find the answer? Would I be forced to pursue post-graduate education? I want to know more; the details, the innards, the linkages, the “icky” parts that are glossed over.

I guess what it comes down to is that I just don’t feel ready to hit the job market. I don’t think I’ve learned everything I need to. And having only one year left, I don’t think I will. I realize more and more that education is no replacement for valuable industry experience. In a strange way I feel that undergrad has failed me. This is just something that’s been frustrating me lately.

Today an NYT article caught my eye: Obama Pushes Broad Rules for Oversight of Derivatives. Basically the US government is considering regulation for standard derivatives (like the ever-so-toxic CDS). With these kinds of articles, I usually find the comments to be more interesting because objectiveness gives me a lot more insight. I think it’s great that major newspapers decided to publish online articles and allow for community discussions. The reader interaction really supplements the content well. Also for some reason, the first thing that popped into my head after reading this piece was the amount of ISDA headaches that would arise… @[email protected]

In other news, I ate cookies for lunch today. Yesterday I had a medium pizza by myself. I’m probably going to die early.