Wednesday, November 22, 2006

lucky kids

hey. I listened to this podcast this morning, and it made me think.

slightly more info here:
"[T]his innocuous preference for the privileged may eventually grow more harmful, further increasing negativity toward the disadvantaged. Such preferences may, in turn, help explain the persistence of social inequality."
My comment: in places where I read synopses of this study, there seems to be a sociobiological bent to the interpretation, ie "this natural childhood phenomenon could explain persistent social inequality."

I lean toward the social conditioning explanation, which seems to be getting a lot less play: "Hmm. So kids learn by age five to side with the advantaged. Not unsurprising, I guess."

Friday, November 03, 2006

Aatcon Update

You know, in some ways I may have brought this on myself.

Some background: I'm a man who keeps pretty good tabs on his bank statements, and you could say I'm kinda frugal sometimes. So when someone says, "Hey, here's a 0% interest loan for a year, no fees!" I basically read that as, "have some free money, on us." And I often say, "Sure, why not."

Since I keep good records, and pay off debts when it's advantageous, I just earn some conservative interest on that money for a year, and imagine that I'm taking a bite out of the profit margins of predatory lenders. Which I think is a good thing.

So how does this relate to Aatcon? As I mentioned before, Aatcon often gets a better offer than I do, so... er ...

Full disclosure here: In the past I have claimed to be Aatcon in order to get the better rate.

It's not something I'm proud of. You have to understand that Aatcon had been flaunting his preferred status for some time. Yes, I took advantage of him, but I'd hardly call it identity theft; I'd call it quid pro quo. Customer service didn't call it anything, they just said, "I'm sure we can help you with that," when I said, "you got my name wrong on your offer".

So, in my declaration of war, I suppose it wasn't entirely just of me to represent him as only a burden. Yes, he uses me, and he has taken certain liberties that I find detestable (the matter of making me a "formerly known as") but the truth is that I have found him useful to have around at times.

Which is probably one reason why I still hesitate to finish him off. Yes, he is still here. In fact, Aatcon started getting mail at my new address before I did. I think the reason was that my mail forwarding paperwork got caught up in the USPS system somehow, and of course, it took me a while to inform friends and family of the new address. So I didn't start getting my real mail for a couple of weeks. But, of course, I had immediately changed my address on my credit cards. So Aatcon's friends were the first to know about the move, and sent him a greeting (in the form of convenience checks from US Bank) before I happened to get any mail myself.

I guess that's the advantage of being made of information. When your address changes, people know it. It's like he's got little elves that update all his friend's address books.

I could use some of those elves. I think I'm still getting mail in Santa Cruz.