Rohit's Realm - December 2008

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December 21, 2008

Death and Taxes

The deafening silence on this blog over the last month has been most unbearable, and for this reprehensible failure—one of many over the past month, rest assured—I sincerely apologize. Rather than dwell on the past, however, in this entry I look to the (equally dismal) future. In doing so, I hope to move closer to resolving a central paradox that has haunted this blog for much of its six-plus year existence, namely the simultaneous assertions that love is futile and marriage is a value-maximizing transaction. How can this be?

December 25, 2008

In Defense of “Unfriending”: Asset Liquidation on Social Networks

Yesterday's Journal had an interesting page one article (subscription required) on a subject that, I suspect, will hit a little too close to home for far too many otherwise self-assured twenty-somethings: getting unfriended on social networks such as Facebook or LinkedIn (or, I suppose, MySpace, if it was frequented by anyone but degenerates and pedophiles). The article, as its title suggests, takes the position that an unfriending1 is (or ought to be) perceived as some sort of personal affront or rejection, perhaps even rising to the level of getting dumped by a significant other. I, however, am not convinced. Though I too have experienced unfriending in the past, certainly not each instance invoked the same level of emotion—nor should it have. Considering the wide variety of individuals, ranging from value-added to deadweight, that compose one's relationship portfolio these days, a reasonably well-connected individual cannot be expected to react equally to her vague acquaintance and her boyfriend of five years dumping her on Facebook on the same day. How, then, might we go about understanding this very real phenomenon and the emotion, great or little, that it evokes? Recent events in the financial world, I believe, provide a nice parallel from which we may derive some lessons.

December 22, 2008

Year in Review, 2008

Another year has come and gone, and no doubt neither you nor I have anything to show for it. Such is always the case in this necessarily futile enterprise we sometimes call life. And with the economy in the tank, the blind materialism that usually serves us so well cannot even be of much solace. At a time like this, holiday cheer is hardly called for, and that is precisely why I have issued another holiday card—my fourth.

Those for whom I have a valid e-mail address should have already received a link. Those who did not may find a non-exclusive list of possibly reasons why not here. In any case, see the card here. I hope the new year for you is one of less failure and misery than the one that has past. Happy holidays!