Investing / Investment Groups / Private Equity / US Markets

The Wild, Wild West…aka the Internet

I believe we will look back one day at the innovations that changed our lives (within our lifetime) and shake our heads. I believe massive regulation will change the Internet. I wild westbelieve it has to.

Just like in the 1800s, when the freedom of the American West became the breeding ground of legends, it did not stay that way forever.

Originally, a man could go west, with nothing more than the shoes on his feet and the fire and desire in his heart. He was able to build something for himself and his family with just true grit, ingenuity, and hard work. There was freedom; it was just you and the land, and there was little structure.

With the freedom and lack of restraints that were present in the frontier, the opportunity was present for abuse. Rape and pillage was there for the taking by the unscrupulous! Ultimately, as a result of this abuse, more and more control was asserted over the area, first by the individual (frontier justice) and then by law enforcement. It was inevitable. Obviously this is a good thing.

However like that Wild West development, I believe we will see the same happen on the Internet. I think we need to see the Marshall come to town. Unfortunately, restrictions will come at a cost. The ease and ability, with that I write here today…will most likely have to go through a few hoops. Gone will be the days in which one can write or say anything with anonymity, which again, is a good thing and sometimes a bad thing. Yes, people do have the freedom of speech (in most countries), but at the same time that freedom comes with responsibility.good bad ugly

The Good

The Internet has changed lives.That is the understatement of the century.

Gone are phone books.Gone is wondering—“just Google it.” Gone are encyclopedias, the wondering of how to get there or of getting lost… all gone. Missing friends, postcards, physical mail …almost gone. So are the costs.

Due diligence, for firms like Grace Century, are dramatically improved as well as the expense, length of time and efficiency. Facebook, Twitter, Skype, texting, and so forth. The world is brought to your computer screen, iPad or smart phone.

The Bad

All that connectivity means people and companies have unprecedented access to you and your information.This has spawned a whole new industry of on-line security. Everything is cyclical. If there’s a problem, a solution will be found. Hint: Opportunity.

Before Caller ID, we could be bothered by unwanted calls. Now there is Spam email…meet “Spam –filters.” Advertisers have figured out a way to text ads at all hours of the day. Pop-ups , banners and invitational links line the page like trees and flowers on the side of the highway. Data mining the_good__the_bad_and_the_ugly_2is a fact, and not just a fear; Advertisers want to know what you eat, wear, look at and desire. This will be addressed (hopefully).

The Ugly

Ugly: Its straight from George Orwell’s 1948 book: 1984.

Big Brother is watching you. Almost 50 years before it happened it was predicted. Your privacy is gone from all directions. You have lost control. “They” now can know everything about you.

Ugly: Let me ask you this, when you Google something, how do you know it’s even true?

Do you believe everything you read?Just because its written doesn’t mean it is true! Did you know that Wikipedia is a compilation of information from online submitters? If you want to add something to a Wiki page or profile, you can.

Ugly: Hackers, hackers, every where hackers.

In Wal-Mart, stealing your privacy and identity. Heck; hackers are even glamorized by Hollywood in the movies these days!

Ugly:  Do you make investments or take advice from chat rooms? How do you know the people in there aren’t paid “fronts” for companies? How do you know they aren’t taking the other side of the trade? How do you know they aren’t disgruntled employees just trying to be vindictive? The answer:  You Don’t!  Even blogs, and this one is written by an investment consultant, are OPINIONS. Blog articles or posts are ALL Opinions! We all know what they say about opinions. Opinions are like noses, we all have one.  That’s why we try to inform and not preach.

End Result

The Internet is a wonderful invention. Productivity has never been greater. Never before has man had access to so much information at such speed. It’s a powerful tool. Like a gun in the Wild West, it can be used for good and bad. There will be a time when “the Net” is regulated and our freedom will be trimmed. Until that new sheriff comes to town, I urge you to be responsible, be safe, and know the pitfalls that are out there!

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