Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Highest Priority

Tonight I attended the wedding reception of one of a good friend from high school. I love the excitement that accompanies wedding receptions as a new family begins. It puts life into perspective. When it comes down to it what in this life has the greatest potential for bringing happiness or misery to our lives? I believe its our families. In a world that downplays family relationships and encourages individuals to seek happiness in self-centered ways, it is important to protect and defend these family relationships. From my point of view, a family is the most fulfilling thing this life has to offer. It deserves the highest priority in our lives.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Tolerance in America

Yesterday, there was a story in the news about two Mormon missionaries who had vanished while hiking. My mom called and let me know that one of the two missionaries was a friend of mine that I had grown up with. I was extremely worried yesterday, but filled with gratitude this morning when my mom woke me up to let me know that they had been found and were just fine. Yesterday, as I read the news articles about the missing missionaries, it was very disturbing to me how mean and cruel people could be in their comments regarding the news articles. They took it as an opportunity to insult the Mormon faith, instead of expressing concern as any decent person would do. It was extra hurtful to me, because I knew what a good person my friend is. We need greater religious tolerance here in America. I appreciated Mitt Romney's speech this morning, I believe that there is a great need to accept others because of have in common as members of the human family, instead of focusing on differences in our beliefs and customs. Why can't we all just treat each other with respect?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Facebook Beacon: How far is too far?

Last week, online privacy concerns were raised to a new level as the tainted underpinnings of Facebook's Beacon advertising system were exposed. Now as Facebook tries to save face, the important question that everyone online needs to ask is how far is too far? The public is now beginning to see that when you are online, it is quite possible that the whole world might be able to see what you are doing at a given moment. Publishing your latest movie rental or recipe might not seem like a huge deal, but given enough data points and you can turn a lot of harmless information into something quite harmful. For instance, knowing that an anonymous online user speaks Japanese does nothing to help you identify that specific person. But combine that with the information that the user's hometown is some small, mostly Caucasian town in the middle of America and you can probably figure out who that supposedly "anonymous" user is. I'm pretty sure that Facebook did not have bad intentions, but other people will. Facebook is not a small company, how many other people on the web are following your every move? Do you care? In general, we are willing to sacrifice a little privacy for better service in our behalf. But it begs the question, for you how far is too far?