15 December 2005

Internet Perils & Joys

Two interesting things came across my screen this morning... and interestingly, both are from Asia.

First, I learned about a Chinese poet named Tu Fu (or Du Fu). He was born in 712 AD, wrote a bunch of poems and was generally obscure during his lifetime. He is now considered one of the greatest Chinese poets ever, and is compared to Virgil, Shakespear, Horace, Ovid, etc... Thanks to the internet, some dude in central NY can now read this guy's poetry over 1200 years later... in English, no less. Wow!

Then, I got a link to a sad story about a recent trading snafu in Japan. An as-yet-unidentified trader intended to sell 1 share at 600,000 yen. You guessed it - he accidentally transposed the numbers and sold 600,000 shares for 1 yen each. Ouch! They are estimating the financial damage at 60 billion yen. Double ouch!

So, this amazing thing called the internet lets me read chinese poetry written over 1200 years ago by a guy who died in relative obscurity (makes me wonder what people will be reading 1,000 years from now!)... and it also lets people make monumental financial mistakes.

Such interesting times we live in!

No comments: