Here are two apparently unrelated articles that I found interesting during my morning sweep through the news:

Free Expression Can Be Costly When Bloggers Bad-Mouth Jobs. It talks about people being fired because they mentioned something that was against the company’s image. It is sad how important this concept of image is for a company. Sure they try to prevent people from lying saying bad things about the company that could make investors run away for no reason. But, at the same time, isn’t firing a person going to do more harm than not? It is as if you admit that this person was leaking information about the dark side of the company. At least they didn’t kill her!

My point of view is that people have to be careful with what they post about work. Especially when it could be secret information of a product that will come out soon and knowing it early could warn the competitors; or the investors. But just discussing problems you have with some internal company policy should actually trigger discussion inside the company. Saying: “I read you don’t like our way of doing things, so you are fired!” does not solve any problems. Oh, well…

Now for the next piece of news: Crime-Friendly Neighborhoods. This article talks about some modifications in some neighborhoods that remove the isolation that it had through the need of cars and ended up bringing criminals in. A friend of mine mentioned that this is one of the reasons why public transportation is terrible in many parts of California. People are afraid that if they put buses going to the rich areas, this would attract criminals to these rich areas.

It is the same idea of adding levels of security to your house or car, or even to a web site. They are not unbreakable, but they make the criminals decide that it is easier to go elsewhere. As human beings are naturally lazy, it works. But does this solve anything? It just creates a larger rift between the two groups that acts as a capacitor, letting charges accumulate. Think of a small capacitor exploding: just a small popping sound and the smell of something burning, not too bad. Now think of those huge mC capacitors, 40 cm of diameter or more… You don’t want to be around when they do explode.

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