Too Much Information

They’ve installed video monitors in common areas here at work — by elevators, in kitchenettes, places like that. I’m not sure why. But last week they were showing the standard corporate information, like what trade shows we’ll be at, which employees won appreciation awards, latest revenues, etc.

Today, they’re tuned to the financial news network CNBC. I think I preferred it when the monitors displayed corporate info. It’s a good thing this building is only three stories tall and the windows don’t open.

(Maybe we could get them to show a Heath Ledger film festival later.)


About songdogmi

I'm a longhaired almost-hippie stuck in the inner suburbs of a major rust-belt metropolis who's thoughtful, creative, and kind of geeky. In exchange for a paycheck I run around in a cubicle maze most days. When I escape, I play music, hang out in coffee houses, dink around on the computer, take naps, and think I should be off in the woods somewhere. Every once in a while I get in my car and drive far, far away, though I've always come back so far.
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8 Responses to Too Much Information

  1. animist says:

    Monitors aren’t so bad… cameras are another thing!

    • songdogmi says:

      We’re all joking that there are cameras hidden in the monitors somewhere. It’s fair to say that cynicism has always been rampant here, whether warranted or not.

      • altivo says:

        Time Inc. had monitors for a while when I worked there. They showed the usual corporate brainwash drivel. Then one day they all disappeared. No one ever gave a reason, but I’ve always suspected that it was because too many of them kept being sabotaged.

      • songdogmi says:

        They can be … sabotaged? How eenteresting….

      • altivo says:

        Oh, sure. Simplest case, depending on the installation, is just unscrew the two ends of the cable that goes from somewhere on the wall to the back of the monitor. The propaganda show becomes snow. The cable just… disappears… and has to be replaced.

        There are more clever things that can be done of course. It all depends on how well watched the locations are and how well armored the actual physical equipment is. A common one at Time back in the 1980s was to reach up and turn the horizontal or vertical hold way to one side so the picture dissolved into streaks and blurs. Quite possibly today’s monitors don’t have such controls, or at least don’t have them in accessible locations.

  2. altivo says:

    Heh. I had WBBM’s “Noon Business Hour” on the radio while driving to work. They were deliberately interviewing only “experts” who would say that it’s just a glitch, there is no recession, nothing to worry about folks, just keep on with what you’re doing…

    I say that the symptoms I’ve been observing in the real estate market for more than a year now tell us exactly what’s happening, and if it’s only a recession we’ll be getting off lucky. The Federal Reserve cutting interest rates is a pointless exercise in futility at this time. The thing is, they don’t know anything else to do but cut interest rates, as we’ve seen all through this administration. It’s their all purpose cure for every economic disease known to man. I guess they’ll have to stop when they get to zero percent interest… or will they start paying people to borrow money?

    • songdogmi says:

      Their thinking might have been, if there are enough people saying positive things, others will calm down enough and the markets won’t be as volatile. When everyone starts talking recession this and OMG that, then people panic when they probably should sit still and wait. This isn’t to say that there aren’t real problems. But adding a collapse of the stock market to them is no help.

      I think you’re right that the feds don’t know what to do. In college, I was taught that there really wasn’t anything meaningful the federal government could do. But I learned my economics from professors who didn’t believe in government intervention, anyway. It’s not the sort of economic theory that was in sway when FDR was president.

      I don’t really know anything, but I feel that the rate cut yesterday was just a panic move that won’t help anything. If the last few years taught us anything, it should be that credit doesn’t really need to be ridiculously loose.

      • altivo says:

        I think it’s largely true that the federal government can take no effective action in the short term. Long term planning and pressure can produce changes in economic direction, but this administration has shown that it is utterly incapable of thinking more than a day or two ahead.

        I also think that the jitters in the market indexes are largely the result of automated trading by machines that act based on point movements rather than by any rational analysis, and day traders (a very serious problem in my opinion) who are able to dump or buy stocks on a split second’s notice and do so. This is rather like having the market driven by lemmings, and is not a good thing at all.

        Having only one side represented in the media is much too obvious a ploy to help, no matter what WBBM or other media pundits may believe, and only inclines distrustful people like myself to believe that things are much worse than they appear. Of course, I don’t invest in stocks anyway because of the stuff I’ve mentioned above. They only affect me at a distance, as for instance when my bank or credit union invests in them. But mostly they invest in home loans and personal loans, which is a different problem (though also getting to be a huge one.)

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