Atta Ikede

September 1, 2008

Jumping into the money pool

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 9:14 am

One of my projects at work right now is an image upload feature. it’s nothing special – just normal functionality to add and remove photos. The developer and I discussed what to do about photos the user wants to remove. I suggested we delete such photos from the image server because they’re unwanted, but the developer preferred to keep them because disk space is cheap and it’s good to keep the photos for audit purposes, and who knows, the user may want to resurrect those photos later.

I kind of felt that the audit benefit was small .. of how much use would a bunch of junky old user submitted photos be? … but since it doesn’t hurt to keep them so I figured his point makes sense and that’s what we decided.

Thousands of software people around the world have similar discussions about features that collect user data. What really happens when a user clicks delete? Sure, I know there are some cases where that content really is deleted – even some of my previous features worked that way – but that’s gotta be a tiny sliver of all the data we put out there. It’s so easy to keep everything, and there’s always the “audit trail” factor, which means that I think it’s rational for us, as users, to assume that nothing gets deleted.

For whatever reason, this thought has stuck with me for the past few days. What data trails am I giving to companies? Am I ok with that?

Like many others, I got my first credit card when I turned 18 and never looked back since. My credit limit kept getting higher and higher and i continued charging everything. $10? $1000? $1? No problem. I have plastic!

I literally pay for everything with a credit card. Some months I get a mild panic when I get my statement, but thank goodness I’ve always had a good job and some financial sense .. I’ve never gotten into debt or racked up interest except in cases where I was so lazy I didn’t check my mail. Embarassing, I know.

In fact, most days I walk around without a nickel in my pocket and therefore even bend my spending habits around this. Starbucks, not timmies. Spending more to meet minimum CC charge requirements. Ignoring small cash-only joints in favour of larger ones. Such are the habits that CC addiction breeds.

If it weren’t for the overwhelming convenience of CCs I don’t think I would have kept up this habit so diligently for the last 8 years of my life. Getting an itemized list of my purchases at the end of the month… priceless!

I’ve decided that starting from today, I’m going to kick my credit card addiction. I don’t want the CC companies and banks knowing about every single purchase I make, and perhaps more importantly, many of the buying habits I’ve picked up as a result of my 8 year CC addiction are obviously bad habits and they should be kicked regardless of whether I continue to use CCs or not. Might as well kill the weed at the root though, right?

So .. for the first time in my life, I’m going to start withdrawing cash at an ATM on a regular basis, and actually start carrying a normal wallet around that has space for coins and bills. I’ll probably also have to start carrying purel around because the thought of touching so much dirty money has me queasy, but I can deal with it. I will deal with it!

Hmm.. I just noticed that I have a dollar bill on my desk and 2 quarters on a side table. Yes. This is the start of my cash oriented lifestyle. I stride forward boldly with my $1.50!

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3 Comments »

  1. I discovered your homepage by coincidence.
    Very interesting posts and well written.
    I will put your site on my blogroll.
    :-)

    Comment by Susan Kishner — September 1, 2008 @ 9:16 am

  2. You can do it!!! I’m slowly trying to do that too – but there are days when I find myself stranded with no cash and there’s not one ATM in sight. :(

    Comment by rabbitdownunder — September 2, 2008 @ 12:37 am

  3. Spin that quarters now…

    Comment by picnic buddy — September 2, 2008 @ 7:09 pm


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