Rubén Rivero Capriles

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October brainstorming time

I did not want to leave October behind without writing a quick note, and there are only a couple of hours left for the end of this month, so this entry is written in a hurry with minimal proofreading. I have been incredibly busy and my blog writing has been temporarily deferred. I don't even know if I will keep on translating everything into Spanish and French as I used to until recently.

I am also concerned on the demographics of blog writing. Most people nowadays have a blog or a web page competing for readership. When I realized that I do not have any time left to read many web pages from other people, I felt guilty and stopped writing here for a while in order to give people time to read any articles I have written in the past and they have not had the chance to read, and also to make sure that I also read my reader's pages to make communication more interactive.

I am not going to edit my previous blog article on the social platforms, though I must admit I have found a use for twitter. I have a policy of not following people who have over 300% in their followers/following ratio. That means, people who just like to be followed but who do not want to follow. If someone is followed by 5000 people, who in turn follows 3000 people, I infer that this person is interested enough in learning from others, which speaks to me wonders about the openmindedness of that person. 

I am incredibly busy on Linkedin and my network has quickly grown to almost 1300 contacts worldwide. My network is becoming stronger in Canada, Japan, India, the Netherlands, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina, while maintaining my initial contacts in the United States. I believe that online networks have the potential of overcoming national governments as people will increasingly become identified with the global village rather than to countries that were established in scarcity eras when militarily oriented rulers drew artifical borderlines on maps. I am trying to rebuild an international peace and love mood that current events are threatening to dismantle. My challenge is to get to know a little better all of these people recently met. I disagree with those that say that personal face to face relationships are superior than online relationships. Many of the topics I care about are not immediately shared with the people I encounter in my limited Caracas environment and I have engaged in great online conversations with people worldwide. I invite any of you to contact me directly if you feel you may add any value to anything I have discovered so far.

This month of October 2009 had no stock market crash, just an orderly retracement that may continue during November. In any case it is worth noting that Venezuela has relied on huge government expenditures in recent years to promote some artificial growth, and the GDP results in the USA for Q3 show that the U.S. has also taken that dangerous path. Those government stimuli what they ultimately do is to delay the recovery process further. It would not surprise me that the markets will plunge again as the stimuli get removed worldwide.

Another reason why I feel that there is a continuing erosion of market value globally, is because consumers no longer feel compelled to buy everything that is produced and advertised by traditional media. Consumers through the internet are forcing companies to know exactly what their desires are, and many of these desires, of higher philosophical than material degree, are not being adequately met by multinationals quoting on the stock markets. So this recession reflects a shift on consumer priorities. It is my hope that small businesses eventually become succesful in their global village niches and lead the recovery by delivering what twenty-first century humanity really wants.

I am quite pleased to learn about the recent change of government and hope that is rising in Japan, after two long decades of recession. Japanese culture emphasizes thrift and work ethic, and with the changes there favoring a strong yen for the benefit of consumers instead of exporters, I am hopeful that Japan will be able to take a leadership role in the global recovery, for the sake of a world that badly needs cultural role models.

However, the exact opposite holds for Venezuela. Venezuela is not in a position to continue promoting a strong bolívar through an exchange control regime and through the emission of Petróleos de Venezuela bonds in order to appreciate the parallel market exchange rate. Venezuela's lack of global competitiveness, unlike Japan, requires instead that we follow the Japanese example from earlier decades in promoting competitive exports instead of consumer imports that we are unable to afford. We must learn how to save and invest just as the Japanese did so succesfully during over half a century.

My grandmother, Señora Cristina Angeli Lucca de Capriles Ricardo, passed away one month ago, I have recovered some data on her and pictures during many times of her life and hope to write a short biography about her on this blog. She was a founding member of the Child's Orthopedic Hospital in Caracas. Her social work toward the poor, and the way she built and maintained a family and marriage during over 70 years is an example of life for many couples who happily get married and divorced at the blink of an eye. I had the honor to address some comments on her to those gathered at her memorial service. 

In conclusion, this was a hectic October for me and I have been gathering lots of ideas and projects, but did not feel like writing a finished blog article as the previous ones. The month-end deadline prompted me to try publishing this out. I hope that writing in a rush does not become my writing style indefinitely, but again there are the time constraints. Too many people are trying to write and are trying to read too many things in less and less available time. The clicking/refreshing process of web pages in a browser takes a few seconds longer each day, as the global network bandwidth ever becomes ever more congested and computers become 0.1% or so more obsolete in terms of comparative speed processing every single day. I hope this information overload issue is adequately addressed by other free thinkers in the days and months to come.

Rubén Rivero Capriles