"In late 1965, President Lyndon Johnson stood in the modest gymnasium of what had once been the tiny teaching college he attended and announced a program to promote education. Almost a half-century later these modest steps have metastasized into a huge, federally guaranteed student-loan industry. On October 25th the Obama administration added indebted students to the list of banks, car companies, homeowners, solar manufacturers and others that have benefited from a federal handout. In response to students burying their obligations in court during the 1970s, anti-default provisions were imposed to make it almost impossible to shed student loans in bankruptcy. There are increasingly loud calls for reform of the system, with demands that range from a full-fledged bail-out of borrowers to a phased curtailment of government lending. The changes announced this week are designed to ease the pressure on struggling graduates. Borrowers who qualify will get payment relief, not debt relief. The administration says these changes will have no cost to taxpayers."
A Net Citizen Says:
"We create an online community that will enable us to collectively define the world's biggest problems, and then tap into our collective wisdom to create the solutions for those problems. The most important problems are "upvoted," and so are the best solutions to those problems. What we have then is crowd-sourced democracy.
I will personally fund this initiative if you'd like to join me.
But will it work? Yes it will. How do I know? Two reasons.
One: History has set the precedent. For example- the printing press (quick and cheap knowledge transfer) aided in ending the Dark Ages.
Two: I'm a Director at a Fortune 500 company, so I know first hand. For instance: I pay for a service that monitors every comment/post/tweet/blog about my company and I mobilize teams to manage even the smallest level of fallout, even “slightly negative” sentiment. Why? Because I know that the power is shifting. Individual customers can impact millions of dollars in revenue by portraying my company in the wrong light, even slightly, via the Internet. So I watch and listen, and then I react… Because I must do everything I can to control the perception of my brand and it’s subsequent impact to my bottom line.
Although I’m sure this is scary for many of my peers, it’s absolutely thrilling to me when I think of what this means for the world: the age of pure-profit motivation is very quickly colliding with the age of instant global information exchange and transparency.
But it's still early days, and we haven't quite connected the dots yet. Just wait until global corporations think about what people want (not just the product, but the product’s impact) before they think about their balance sheets. They know that if their customers don't like what they're doing (and their days of hiding are over by the way) then their business has no future. A free-market that is 100% accountable to the people that it serves, thanks to the Internet.
It's about time too, in fact it’s perfect timing. Industrialization is slowly shifting into the age of sustainability led by technological innovation, but that shift is being prolonged by companies that like things the way they are now, highly profitable and predictable. Change is uncertain and will upset elements of their business model, so it will be avoided and postponed for as long as possible. But this is a dangerous thing: global corporations have achieved unprecedented levels of power over the planet, its people, and its resources. They’re not accountable to a single set of governing rules, and many countries (both modern and developing) will do whatever it takes to attract investment from these companies into their borders, in many cases at the cost of safety to their people, and to the integrity of the environment.
So here’s what I’d like to create, in summary: • An online community that is accessible across the globe, in multiple languages • Simple and quick to start, so that we can support off-line movements while they’re still occurring (Arab spring, occupy wall-street) • Software that enables users to “skim the cream off the top,” meaning that the most crucial issues and solutions receive the most attention (as decided by the community) • Future evolution to include: o Facebook/Twitter/etc integration o Mobile access: WAP, Smartphone apps, and SMS o A repository of information about companies from customers and employees that is vetted by the community o Regional/local pages within the community to solve problems close to home • …And a lot more (I have a plan framework that I will share with the working team)
This has been something I’ve wanted to do for over three years. I’ve been saving, planning, and building connections, but I’m not quite ready… However I’ve never seen more of a need for this type of initiative than right now, and it’s important that we create this platform while the timing is right in order to keep the momentum going.http://www.plainsite.org
I want to know two things from this community: • Can you help? If so, how? (Top-shelf web developers and legal experts especially) • Do you have feedback for me? What should I be sure to include/exclude? What pitfalls should I look out for?"
Just Plain Cute
I wish we could do away with daylight savings time.
My head hurts when I try to grasp this.
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.
One day he will know...
An Orb Weaver spider Sheds It's Skin
The derivatives market is the next big bubble to burst...and guess what?