Ohio State redshirt junior guard Kam Williams (15) and sophomore guard C.J. Jackson walk down the floor late in the second half against Nebraska on Feb. 18 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorExcitement and uncertainty. If there were two words to describe near-universal opinions from everyone about the Ohio State men’s basketball team, those two words would probably fit best.In addition to a coaching change with Chris Holtmann being hired as head coach, the roster has experienced a high degree of turnover. The Buckeyes lost three of their five starters from a season ago while adding three touted recruits and gaining a healthy redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop.The uncertainty starts in the head coach’s office as Holtmann said he knows who only two of his five starters will be when the team kicks off its season with an exhibition game against Wooster at 4 p.m. on Nov. 5 at the Schottenstein Center.“[Senior forward] Jae’Sean Tate is going to be in [the starting lineup], Keita Bates-Diop is going to be in it,” Holtmann said in an interview with The Lantern Wednesday. “After that, I’m still trying to figure out where to go from there.“I think we have multiple guys that can play and I think we’ll have a fairly fluid starting lineup throughout the year. That happens when you have eight to 10 guys that can potentially all start a game for you.”Ohio State then-sophomore guard C.J. Jackson attempts a shot over Indiana’s Thomas Bryant on March 4 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Mason Swires | Former Assistant Photo EditorThe only other position Holtmann would go so far as to name a favorite in was at point guard, where junior C.J. Jackson was called the “likely starter.” Jackson being the likely starter should come as no surprise as he is the only true point guard on the roster.  A heavy weight will be added to Jackson’s shoulders if he is asked to be the on-court leader at point guard. Though he appeared in all 32 games for the Buckeyes last season, he started only nine games and averaged just 5.6 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. Holtmann said he has seen steady improvements out of Jackson since hired in June, but said he still needs to learn how to keep a cool head even he is dealt with some struggles.“I’ve challenged [Jackson] to be a little more physical, to kind of grow in his areas of physicality and toughness and he’s embraced that,” Holtmann said. “Our biggest challenge with C.J. has been not to get too frustrated with himself because he’s going to have to play through mistakes this year because the ball’s going to be in his hands a lot, and he’s going to play an important role and he’s going to have to stay with the right approach.”Jackson being the only natural point guard is a clear sign of the dire lack of depth the team possesses at the position. Holtmann said he believes both Tate and redshirt senior Andrew Dakich could play at the one if called upon by the team. However, Tate is more of a wing and Dakich played just 203 collegiate minutes before transferring to Ohio State. And, in prior seasons, he was more of a bench player.The depth is not much more improved at the shooting guard position either. Freshman Musa Jallow and redshirt senior Kam Williams are natural shooting guards and are both unlikely to see much time at the point. Jallow is also a freshman playing college basketball in what would have been his senior year of high school — he reclassified over the summer and committed to Ohio State — and Williams was inconsistent last season.“We are thin in the backcourt, we know that,” Holtmann said. “I think that’s well documented right, everybody who knows our team knows that people reflect on the point guard position, but we’re thin at the two.”As for the roles of the trio of highly touted freshmen, Holtmann has yet to devise a full plan for what to do with them. The aforementioned Jallow will be able to play both shooting guard and small forward, while freshman Kaleb Wesson will provide the Buckeyes with a low-post player who could receive starting minutes at both center and power forward. Freshman Kyle Young is a big man who has the positional versatility to provide the Buckeyes with depth at both forward and potentially guard. The flexibility of the young players gives Holtmann options when examining ways to fit them into his lineup. “I think all three are going to play in every game,” Holtmann said. “I think they’ll all play significant roles. And when I say significant roles, I think they’re going to be in our top nine or 10 in our rotation, which is a significant role as a freshman. I think it’ll be varying degrees based on how guys develop and our needs for the relative to their position, but all three are ready to help us.”The starting five is made all the more uncertain by the fact the team is currently dealing with a handful of injuries. Though Bates-Diop was listed as one of the starters, Holtmann said he has a knee injury. Wesson and Young each are also dealing with ailments as the former has a sprained ankle and the latter had his tonsils removed. Holtmann added that all three “have missed significant days of practice.”“That slows you down a little bit, but you know, it’s nothing that is going to keep them out for a significant time and we’re all back and healthy right now,” Holtmann said.Though clouded with uncertainty, Holtmann’s squad has the first-year head coach excited to begin the season and see what players will step up. “We certainly have some new faces and some young people that we’ll need to grow into new roles,” Holtmann said. “But I’m excited about the potential of this group and I see those things.” read more

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first_imgÖzgür Aytürk Culture and Tourism Counsellor of the Turkish Embassy in India takes pride in promoting his country’s culture and tourism and has taken several steps to tap into the ever-increasing outbound travellers market from India. In an interview with Millennium Post he speaks about how both Turkey and India are connected culturally.Can you tell us about the cultural of your country and how similar it is to India?Turkey is on the crossroads of Europe, Asia and the Middle East and that in itself makes it unique. And it is for this reason that for centuries Turkey has seen many civilisations come and go and has had the fortune of evolving a diverse and rich heritage and culture much like India. So when one visits Turkey today you will find richness of this diversity in every part of the country and especially in Istanbul as it was capital to three different empires in the history. So one would find a great mix of religious worship places, cuisine, and cultural all under one roof in Istanbul. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’What steps have you taken to improve cultural relations between India and Turkey?We think that culturally we are close to India unfortunately, however, we have to remind this to the people of both the nations. Both India and Turkey share common platforms in terms of cuisine, general characteristics amongst our people, hospitality and even language.  In fact there are more than 9,000 words that are same or similar in both the languages. To remind both the nations of these similarities we have been organising several cultural nights or supporting them. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixSufism is another string that binds both the countries musically and culturally hence we have orgainsed several Sufi festivals. The last one was performed at the Rastrapati Bhawan. So we are trying to promote and showcase these similarities in order to build stronger cultural ties. We had also organised a Turkish food festival some time back which got a good response. We are also looking at establishing a cultural centre in Delhi, once that is established we will be holding Turkish events more often in the city and we hope to have it established by the end of this year. What is the role of the Indian travel fraternity in promoting Turkey among Indian travellers?Now people are using websites more often but still when you look at this market, majority of them are still going to the travel agents before making their decisions. They still have a great impact on the end consumers while shaping their decisions and making their vacation plans. That is why we will be supporting the travel trade through road shows, fun trips, media campaigns that are going on. What segments are you looking to promote in India? Please tell us about your strategies in targeting these.MICE definitely. Although, we do not have certain breakup for MICE and leisure, we believe that more than 20 percent visit Turkey for MICE purpose and little less for leisure. We are focusing on MICE because we think Turkey has many things to offer. It has very beautiful and big convention facilities. Ontalia is hosting the ICCA 2014 conference, Ismeirs and some other cities have big convention venues.On the other side, wedding is becoming very popular for Turkish private sectors. We are getting queries from Turkish hoteliers and associations. We are willing do so something on wedding and golf. We are inviting decision makers and tour operators to showcase the gold destinations. We have been organising Istanbul shopping fest for the past two years. Istanbul shopping fest is 20 days shopping fest, where we have lucky draws every day and people can win every day.Has Turkey seen many repeat travellers from India?Turkey is  a destination which can’t be explored at one go. If you are curious about the country you have to definitely return. They visit Istanbul and when they return they tell their friends and start planning for other trips. I can’t say about promoting Turkey as a repeat destination because the numbers from India are still below our expectations.last_img read more

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. January 20, 2010 Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now 4 min read This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. According to a recent study by comScore, the number of people in the U.S. using multipurpose smartphones such as iPhones, Blackberries, and Droids more than doubled last year. Of those who used mobile devices to access news and information on the Internet, 22.5 million–or 35 percent of the total–did so on a daily basis.And this year, that number is expected to skyrocket even further as more companies–T-mobile, AT&T, Spring, Garmin, and even Google–gear up to release their own Android-supported mobile devices. In fact, experts predict that mobile Web usage will overtake PC usage in five years.The online tools people are using to find and share information with their mobile devices are changing, too. The comScore study shows that the number of people who used smartphones to access a social networking site or blog increased by 427 percent last year, more than any other category.So what does this mean for you?If you want to put your business in front of this exploding online population, then you need to know how they use their mobile devices to access and share information online. You need to know the community sites where they hang out, and understand how they communicate with one another if you want to engage them and build lasting relationships.Smartphone users are looking for genuine, trustworthy information–recommendations, reviews, rated answers to questions–and they’re already geniuses when it comes to filtering out and ignoring inauthentic voices.Here are five important things you need to do to ensure your business is primed to take advantage of the mobile media storm:1. Make sure your website is mobile-friendlyMobile users are impatient people. They want information and they want it now. You have to make sure your website delivers that information in a way that’s useful for them. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to create a quick mobile version of your website. If you use WordPress, there are plugins like this one that can help you create a mobile-friendly edition. Or you can use a paid converter such as MoFuse and MOBIFY to do the job.2. Make sure your website is optimized for mobile searchDid you know that both Google and Bing have separate indexes for mobile content? And right now, they return far fewer–and far more localized–results than regular search. So the sooner you get your site optimized to rank well in the search results, the sooner you can put your site in front of the hundreds of millions of mobile device users.3. Start a Facebook Fan page Because so many mobile device users are active on Facebook, the world’s top social networking site, it only makes sense to have a presence there. Encourage your customers and visitors to sign up as Facebook fans so you can use the networking site to keep in touch with them and share information about your business.4. Become involved in TwitterThe same logic applies here–Twitter is one of the fastest-growing properties on the Web because it’s so easy for people with smartphones to use for accessing and sharing information. If you start building relationships with your visitors and customers via Twitter now, you will be light years ahead of the competition when the smartphone explosion really hits its stride.5. Make sure you’re listed on Google Maps A huge and growing number of mobile users go to Google Maps first when searching for a local business. You can make sure your site conforms to Google’s quality guidelines here .6. Encourage customers to review your business on Yelp or FourSquare Yelp is a business review site that has active users in cities all over the world. More than 26 million people a month use Yelp to find information about more than twenty different categories of businesses. FourSquare is somewhat similar in nature. Its members use FourSquare to keep one another informed of their whereabouts. You can also write reviews and recommend places to fellow FourSquare members.You may think you’re not at the right place to start thinking about mobile marketing yet. But no matter where you are in your business building efforts, the time to start laying the foundation for an effective mobile marketing strategy is now. The mobile revolution is happening right now, and if online marketing has taught us anything, it’s that the way to be successful is to put your business where the customers are. And that means reaching them on their smartphones. Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

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first_img Categories: Yaroch News 06Feb Macomb County legislators laud measure ensuring effective use of PFAS cleanup funds The five Republican legislators representing Macomb County residents today supported a resolution in the Michigan House ensuring effective use of state funds provided to address a contaminant identified in the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair.In December, the Legislature agreed to allocate $23.2 million to provide testing, monitoring and technical assistance at more than a dozen sites across Michigan where per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been found in groundwater.State Reps. Diana Farrington, Pamela Hornberger, Peter Lucido, Steve Marino and Jeff Yaroch all supported the budget allocation as well as today’s resolution, which provides a framework to ensure public tax dollars are used in an impactful way.“We need to act quickly and efficiently to address the contamination in Macomb County,” said Marino, of Harrison Township, whose district includes the lake, river and Selfridge Air Base, which is adjacent to two of the contaminated sites. “The resolution we approved today will help form a sensible action plan to guide the efforts of state agencies and the PFAS Action Response Team appointed by Gov. Snyder.”The resolution calls on the PFAS Action Response Team to create a scientific advisory committee made up of experts with various backgrounds.“It’s important to ensure the spending decisions made by the PFAS Action Response Team are backed by science,” said Farrington, of Utica. “The advisory committee will conduct a non-biased scientific risk assessment to determine, among other things, the extent of PFAS contamination in Michigan and who is responsible for its presence.”Hornberger, of Chesterfield Township, said this will also help determine the extent of public exposure.“The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has identified 14 locations in Michigan so far, but I believe this will go much further,” Hornberger said. “PFAS are found in everything from fire foam used by the military to carpets, clothing and upholstery found in all homes.”Additionally, the scientific advisory committee will be asked to conduct an evaluation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s current drinking water health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion.“This is a complex issue that the state of Michigan is likely going to be dealing with for many years to come,” said Lucido, of Shelby Township. “The information gathered by the scientific advisory committee will give us the tools we need to make sure state resources are spent in an effective and efficient manner.”Yaroch, of Richmond, said information gathered by the scientific advisory committee will help guide Michigan’s PFAS response in the future.“Protecting our fresh water is a top priority, and we need to respond quickly to address the risks of PFAS,” Yaroch said.###last_img read more

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first_img We have been accused at times – rightfully so – of being largely focused on the trials and tribulations of the newfound political economy. Given its place as one of the biggest contributing factors to the performance of the investment markets these days, it makes sense. However, there is one area of the economy that continues to grow, largely unabated by the foolish risk-taking of investment banks and the constant flow of bailouts and “easing” – it’s the technology sector. This week, I had a chance to sit down with Doug Casey to get his thoughts on a subject that has long been near and dear to him as an investor and as a person, starting with the most talked about tech story of the past month, Facebook. Louis James: Doug, with a market capitalization surging to almost $100 billion on the IPO of a website company, subsequent 50% haircut wiping out billions of retail investors’ dollars, and now a rugby-style pile-on of lawsuits, I’m sure you have some thoughts on the Facebook fiasco. Care to share? Doug: Sure. Problems were rather predictable, from a number of points of view. First was the market valuation approaching $100 billion; that was a completely arbitrary number, based a ridiculously high P/E ratio, close to 100:1. It’s true that a billion dollars isn’t what it used to be, but it’s still a lot of money. It tells me that there’s still way too much optimism in the stock market in general. It’s a new world since 2008; and it’s absolutely nothing like the late ’90s, when the Internet/telecom/tech bubble was inflated. People are, ironically, living in the past while they think they’re investing in a technology of the future. Apparently the majority of those who piled in at up to $45 per share were retail investors. I’m not opposed to buying IPOs; sometimes they’re deliberately underpriced – in good part so the underwriter can be a hero to its clients and build a good reputation for successful offerings. But a gigantic offering, at a rich price, when the ducks are quacking? Include me out. I like deals that relatively few people are interested in or have even heard about. Of course that approach kept me out of Google, as well. But you have to play the odds. In fact, there are very few stocks I want to own today. The financial sector is entirely too big as a proportion of the economy, and people are still way too interested in “the market” – especially as the world sinks deeper into the Greater Depression. The name of the game today shouldn’t be trying to scalp a few dollars by selling some tech stock to a greater fool. It’s about preserving capital. L: No evidence of “market capitulation” on that IPO – the volume was so fast and furious it crashed the Nasdaq trading system, and lots of people never got their orders filled. Doug: Lucky for them. The shares have gone from that $45 high to a low – so far – of $25.52. That’s a 43% haircut in just a few days. L: Sounds like a junior mining stock. Doug: [Laughs] It does. But at least a mining company can offer a lottery ticket for life-changing gains. When you buy into something with a $100 billion market cap, you’re most likely just providing liquidity for early investors who’ve already made 100:1, or even 1,000:1, on their money. I’m sorry to see people lose money in the market. Theoretically, investors are providing capital for new businesses and technologies. They’re doing that instead of consuming wealth and frittering away capital on high living. I’d like to see them richly rewarded, which would encourage more people to do the same thing. But people who blindly gamble on a trade they don’t understand deserve their losses. Of course, since we’re talking billions of dollars, the “fairness police” are sure to put this thing under a microscope. And naturally, hordes of ambulance-chasers are coming out of the woodwork to collect their fees helping people waste time and money suing each other. The result will be more people who are permanently turned off of investing. And likely lots of new rules and regulations. We’re in a major bear market. The bad news is that lots of nasty things will happen to take the market lower, toward an ultimate bottom. The good news is that eventually a real bottom will be reached, and it will be possible to buy great companies unbelievably cheaply. However, there’s more bad news, namely that the bottom is likely quite a while down the road… In the meantime, the busybodies, losers, and goons who populate the “Swindlers Encouragement Commission” will have a field day. Their counterproductive rules serve only to enrich lawyers and create a false sense of security for naïve investors – as we discussed at some length in our conversation on insider trading. It’s all part and parcel of an investment climate – and more importantly a moral climate – in which the public thinks someone should pay them if they gamble and lose. It’s more writing on the wall: the America that once was has been replaced by the “United State,” inhabited by herds of obedient, reality-TV-educated inmates who take no responsibility for their own actions. Things are going to get worse before they get better. L: Will it get better, Doug? You keep saying it’s going to be worse than even you think it is – and I know you have a pretty fertile imagination. You say you’re glad you have quiet, out-of-the way places to go to when the stock market really crashes, inflation sets in with a vengeance, and the middle class gets thoroughly wiped out. When the riots start, you want to be watching on your widescreen TV, not through your front window. That’s scary enough, but if it’s going to be even worse than you think it will be, what makes you think things will get better – at least in a timeframe of any use to us? How do you know things won’t go “Mad Max” on us, leading to a new dark age? Doug: Well, if the climate-change hysterics get their way, we could see a new Dark Age – or a Dark & Cold Age, since candles put carbon into the atmosphere. Starting a fire could become a capital crime. L: That’s not encouraging. I thought you were an optimist? Doug: I am. I don’t expect a new Dark Age, but neither did the Romans in the early 5th century. Everything and anything is possible, both on the upside and the downside – you don’t live long and prosper by ignoring unsavory possibilities. We’ve become accustomed, as a civilization, to rapid improvements in science, technology, and our general standard of living for roughly the last 200 years, since the start of the Industrial Revolution. It seems like a long time from one perspective. But it’s only about eight generations, or the overlapping lives of two really old people. If you take a longer view, since biologically modern humans evolved perhaps 200,000 years ago, you see that progress was very slow. Maybe 100,000 years went by between the ability to make fire and the invention of the bow. Then maybe another 80,000 to the invention of pottery. Maybe advances in technology are subject to periods of punctuated equilibrium, as are the evolution of species. Maybe the last 200 years of rapid progress are slowing down. It seems to me there were rapid advances in every area for that time – electricity, aircraft, telephony, atomic energy, and literally a thousand other things resulting from the systemization of science. Other than in computers, though, things seem to have slowed down over the last 50 years. I wonder if we’re not just advancing past breakthroughs more than making new ones. Living off of past inertia… I really don’t know if that’s an accurate view; I’m just considering possibilities. L: So why are you an optimist, then? Doug: Well, for one thing, as we discussed in our previous conversation on technology, I think it’s a very important fact that there are more scientists and engineers alive now than there have been in all of history combined. That’s an extraordinarily positive thing. But looking at the trivia many of them are working on, I don’t get the impression there are that many Edisons, Teslas, and Einsteins out there. Let me put that in context… there are probably more, simply because it’s a standard distribution, and there are more people. But maybe conditions aren’t as conducive to their blossoming as was the case 100 years ago, and making the most of their abilities is harder in some ways – although it’s easier in others, like the things made possible with the Internet. In other words, it seems to me most geniuses in the past were entrepreneurs, working in their basements and garages. Today it seems most go to work for big corporations, or especially the government; those aren’t environments conducive to game-changing breakthroughs. A lot of the science today seems to require multibillion-dollar investments; it seems to consume capital, as opposed to creating capital. For instance, NASA resembles the post office more and more every day. On the other hand you’ve got Burt Rutan’s and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, and Elon Musk’s SpaceX. But capital has to be available to fund things like that. And the losses people have incurred in Facebook and a protracted bear market may be a disincentive to put that capital together. Plus, the actions of governments – which are largely approved of by their subjects – all over the world are very destructive of capital, even if we don’t get World War III. L: Where do you expect these trends to take us? Doug: The two areas where it seems the most progress is being made are biotech – including medicine – and computers, in which I include robotics. In medicine, rapid progress is being made on previously incurable diseases like cancer. I’ve heard credible arguments that completely effective cures – not just treatments, but cures – for various cancers may be as little as 10 years away. And it’s not just curing diseases, but understanding and prolonging life expectancy. As things stand, if we can prevent or cure all diseases, disorders, infections, and so forth, various factors point to a “natural” human life expectancy of about 120 years. But researchers already have lab rats growing new legs, vat-grown organs, and maybe the keys to slowing or stopping various aging processes altogether. L: Wait – what happens if the Baby Boomers all get another 100 years of relatively good health? Doug: Good question. The average age of death keeps rising – it’s something like 78 now – although the ultimate age remains about 120. The key is to extend the ultimate age while reversing the aging process. There’s no point in being one of Jonathan Swift’s Struldbrugs. This is why “estate planning” for smart 50- to 60-somethings should not be focused on dispersing accumulated capital to younger generations, but keeping capital productive and growing for many decades to come. Anyone not already suffering from a specific, terminal condition that gives them a life expectancy of fewer than 10 years should have more than a 10- or 20-year financial plan. You want a plan that will allow you to buy the technology to live to 200, with a better body than you now have. But that possibility will be available only to those who can afford it, at least to begin with. No one knows what life will be like on this world in 100 years, and by then we should have colonized other worlds where things could be even more different, so such plans can’t be too detailed. But you only have a chance of finding out if you have the capital to buy the technology to make it possible. L: Sounds like a lot of money. Doug: I’m not a planner by nature. My approach to life has always been that when I come to a fork in the road, I take it. But the accumulation of personal capital is important because it offers vastly more possibilities than does being poor. Money is not hard to come by; you only need find goods and services to provide other people. Vision is hard to come by. It’s because most people’s vision is limited by the culture they grew up in and their own negative attitudes that money is hard for them to accumulate. You know very well that most investors, for example, don’t have what it takes to be successful speculators – that’s why there will always be fantastic profits for those with the independence of mind to be true contrarians and hence successful speculators. L: Okay, well, that sounds more optimistic. But what about the dark side of advanced medical and biological technologies – bioweapons, for example? Doug: Utopia is not an option, at least on this planet. Sure, The Andromeda Strain could wipe us all out tomorrow. Barring that, however, the trend in medicine and biotech is definitely skewed towards longer, healthier lives for most people. L: And the other trend, in computers and robotics – are you as optimistic there? Doug: To be honest, it’s harder to be purely optimistic about this one. Powerful new technologies that lend themselves to abuse are already being deployed, and I don’t just mean weapons, as in Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove – which is one of the best movies ever made. And I don’t mean things as obvious as video cameras on every street corner, as in V for Vendetta – another of my all-time favorites. I’m thinking about the swarms of drones that are already taking to the air above our heads – not to mention all the stuff that surely exists but is not public knowledge yet. On the other hand, the fact that single individuals can take on whole governments – as participants in the Anonymous group have done – shows that it’s far from a foregone conclusion that we’re headed for the world of 1984, where Big Brother is watching all of us all the time. The technology that could enable that is certainly on the way, but the hacks and technologies to foil universal surveillance is also certainly on the way. More than any specific nightmare technology or scenario, like “Skynet” taking over, what concerns me is that during the Great Enlightenment and ensuing Industrial Age, scientists and inventors were almost entirely private individuals, working for profit or at least their personal interest. Now, Big Government has led to an age of Government Science, which is a very dangerous thing. And the worst part is that a lot of the best and brightest are going to work for the government or for government-funded projects, which is practically the same thing. This is giving the state access to brainpower and creativity. And, as I pointed out in my articles on why sociopaths are always and inevitably drawn to government. Combine these things and you get a really nasty combination. That is frightening. L: Not sounding optimistic again… Doug: I said that sub-trends like this make it harder – not impossible – to be optimistic. Overall the longest trend of them all is The Ascent of Man – and that’s extremely bullish for us all. L: Hm. Well, back to Facebook. I have to say, we did warn people to stay away from that IPO in our technology letter. Doug: Yes, we did. I was tempted to short it myself, actually. But there’s something more interesting than just the IPO disaster to think about regarding Facebook. I saw Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg interviewed on the Charlie Rose show, and several things stood out for me. Now, I actually have a Facebook account, though I don’t use it for anything. I got it some years ago, when someone suggested it would be a good way to find old friends, but mostly it’s complete strangers who “friend” me… although, on the bright side, about 90% seem to be other anarchocapitalist libertarians. On the dark side, it will be one-stop shopping for the bad guys when they use Facebook to round up the usual suspects. The problem is that I don’t know my Facebook friends well enough to want to get to know them, given that there are only 24 hours in a day. And I wouldn’t dream of posting anything other than utter trivia about my personal life there. But I understand that others do use Facebook extensively, even to the degree of it being their primary way of communicating with their friends and family. It seems entirely too impersonal to appeal to me anyway. L: I have a Facebook account as well, which I use largely for one-way communication, sharing a bit of my adventures with my readers – stuff they find interesting, but for which there’s no room in the newsletter. Doug: That sounds like a fairly rational use. This technology does, however, seem to be changing the way people communicate and interact. One thing Zuckerberg said in the interview was that if Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world – and gaining. Now, Facebook could be out of business in a year, for all I know and care, superseded by the next online phenomenon – hopefully one that’s not a direct pipeline into the NSA and every other dangerous government agency out there. But whatever comes next, the Internet is still connecting people along lines of their choosing, rather than by accident of birth, and without regard to national boundaries – or even language barriers, for that matter. Things like Facebook are basically giant engines for creating phyles, and that, as we’ve discussed, is what I think the social organization is evolving toward. We can see it happening. Virtual communities are forming, solidifying, and becoming more important to many of their members than nationality, race, or even religion. The future is taking shape right on our screens. The question is where this will ultimately lead… Once talking about technology, it is easy to continue on the subject for a long time… understandable, given the sheer number of breakthrough developments of the past few years. After all, it was only five years ago that the first iPhone was released… two years ago for the iPad. All of this development also presents a remarkable set of opportunities for investors. It’s the reason that Doug has long championed having a technology-investing division. For the past three years, that division has been headed by Alex Daley. He and his team have posted an incredible track record in that brief period – including a very accurate call on the direction of the Facebook IPO. Part of their success lies in understanding that behind every amazing advance are great minds – minds that are so valuable to tech companies that they are willing to fight to get the best and brightest on their team. By Doug Casey, Casey Researchlast_img read more