succumbing to peer pressure

Sunday, April 26, 2009

(written on airplane 4 days ago)
Money Money Money

What’s with the social standard that it’s impolite or inappropriate to discuss income? Is there any gain to be had? Except, perhaps, for employers? Isn’t not talking about salary how we get in to Lily Ledbetter situations? If we all knew what comparable work in our field was earning, wouldn’t we all be better off for the knowledge? Isn’t that how a free market is supposed to work? How can healthy competition exist when the employer setting the salary holds all the cards of knowledge? What am I missing? Besides the social awkwardness of volunteering for your friends and neighbors how much money you make, what’s to lose? Don’t we all already have a vague idea of where we fit within the financial hierarchy of our peers? What’s the harm in knowing specifically?

Kindle 2 – a review

Thanks to an incredibly generous friend, I am now the proud owner of a brand new, shiny Kindle 2. Clearly, this little bit of cutting edge technology is never going to replace my book collection. But they’ve done a surprisingly good job with design – satisfying weight, size, and shape, intuitive page-turning – that lends itself to a rather enjoyable reading experience (with the exception of a fairly dismal toggle button). So my kindle fits an excellent niche – as we speak I am headed to SF for a week, with only two ‘books’ in my bag – one actual library book and my kindle. My back thanks me for lightening the load. The only unfortunate aspect at the moment is that I forgot to charge the damn thing before leaving the house. So I may be stuck with trashy magazines for the flight home (it’s supposed to go two weeks on one charge if you turn off the wireless, but I’ve been using mine quite a bit already over the past several days, so it’s pretty close to empty. I managed to remember power cords for the phone, camera, and laptop, so I suppose as things go I forgot the lowest priority one). The only other immediate downside is no reading during take-off and landing (I assume? The thing has a power switch, so technically I’m not allowed to use it, right?).

The other thing the kindle is lacking is a Netflix-esque library feature. Pretty much by definition, I’m loading books onto my kindle that I don’t want to keep forever (if I did, I would buy tangible copies to add to my already-too-large collection). So although kindle books tend to cost about the same as a trade paperback, there are still tons of books I’d rather not pay for, as I’m going to burn through them once on a long flight and never come back to them. How hard would it be to get a library system up and running for a monthly fee with expiration dates or exchanges a la Netflix?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel super-strongly that the taboo against discussing salaries exists to protect those who are benefitting from unequal salary practices, and ought to be dispensed with. It's total bullshit.

10:49 AM  

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