Hear Ye! Since 1998.
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26
Dec 07
Wed

A small post

Greetings. I’m now on holidays and it’s time for a much overdue post on some random bits and pieces. It’s been a long but, for the most part, a fairly uneventful year for me.

Tomorrow I leave for my annual overseas trip. Only two stops this time – Hong Kong and Tanzania. In Tanzania, I’ll be climbing Mt Kilimanjaro and going on a short safari through the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. Quite excited but feeling a bit of trepidation as well…

In the last couple years I’ve never really posted about what I actually do for a crust, so now’s a good a time as any. I’ve been working as a finance lawyer for about a year. In a nutshell, this means we help lenders lend money, and help borrowers borrow it. We prepare and negotiate the contracts that allow this to happen, and also provide advice when things go wrong. A lot of things have gone wrong this year. The “credit crunch” which has been prevalent in headlines for the last few months was sparked off by homeowners in the US not being able to make their mortgage payments. This set in motion a chain reaction which now means people are much less willing to lend money, which is a problem especially if your business depends on being able to get borrowed money… The work’s very interesting, and some lending arrangements can get pretty complex.

This has been the year of Facebook. It seems to have burst out from being a US-centric student’s social network. I’ve found it interesting see people’s different reactions to it… It’s basically the new mobile phone. When mobiles started getting popular at the turn of the millennium, the uptake was generally rapid. Maybe 75% of people in my first year of uni had them? But there was always a small minority who were steadfast in their refusal to get one. They had all sorts of reasons for not wanting them – they could use a payphone, or they valued their privacy and didn’t want to always be contactable, or it was another thing they’d have to carry around. It took several years, but mobiles became a part of mainstream culture and no one complains about “what the fuss about mobiles is”. They’re just nothing particularly “special” anymore.

Facebook is similar. The uptake has generally been rapid, but there’s always a small band of stalwarts who refuse to open an account because they “don’t see the point”. I’m sure that in time, as happened with mobiles, these people will eventually get accounts. Facebook will shift from being a “new fad” and just become a part of cultural norms. A friend has even sent out his annual Christmas “email” by Facebook this year, eschewing the traditional mass email.