I wonder why more of us (including me on some days) don't think more for ourselves. Has this age of information and automation actually coaxed us into thinking less?

I am not so sure. As I write this (of course inspired by something I'll get to in a bit) I recall my own father complaining about the same thing over twenty years ago. But then he was one who naturally picked up on human behavior. This topic has become a common theme of sorts with me as well.

I came across the Blackle site (sorry, no link here I am writing about it, not encouraging it) the other day. Now here's a piece of marketing. I'm not saying I don't care about the environment by any means. I just don't see how feeling good about something by itself does any good. Common sense and/or research should tell you that LCD monitors use much less energy than the old tubes. If you're still using a CRT and googling with the rest of us, Blackle may be for you. Google for it using the white screen and then start saving energy. But know that simply switching to an LCD might make a tad more sense. (There's gotta be a Sopranos finale tie in here somewhere.)

Now here's something to think about. I've been saying this for a few years now and I should have written about it sooner. First off I have to say it's not a unique idea. I would guess there are quite a few of us around who have come up with this idea independently of one another but that's because it's simply the application of a common idea. Any lawmakers reading? The social security number itself should not be protected. It's the use of this number for making credit decisions and identifying folks that's the problem. The idea of a unique number (folks stealing them because of the past implementation not withstanding) is a very good one. I would argue a person should want to use this number to distinguish themselves from others with similar names.

What we need, IMHO, is to begin using PINs with SSNs. The way I (and apparently others) see it working is to issue a master PIN to individuals. This master PIN would allow the individual to issue single use PINs which are decision and/or third party specific. No PIN, no credit decision. I think any organization that's actually legitimately using SSNs probably has most if not all of the technology in place that would support this idea. Now which organiation(s) should issue PINs? At first I thought it has to be the SSA but as I think about it credit bureaus already have the infrastructure and like so many other areas, competition is a good thing. Certainly the SSA could get the ball rolling but the "one free credit report per year" legislation resulted in a credit bureau "service."

Thinkle about it...
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