Unexpected Rewards for Evoni William’s Good Deed

An extraordinary act of kindness that has occurred recently has reassured our faith in humanity, once again. A recent high school graduate who has been working at the Texas Waffle House is the perfect illustration of the fact that you will be rewarded for the good deeds that you have done when you least expect it. 18-years-old Evoni Williams from the city of La Marque in Texas has taken the job straight out of high school in order to earn enough money for college tuition. Adrian Charpentier is an elderly customer who was at the restaurant during William’s shift. He had just been released from the hospital after his recent surgery and was still recovering. As such, he was not able to utilize the cutleries properly which was captured by the surveillance video.

“I had no coordination or strength in my hands,” Charpentier proclaimed.

Following that, he requested for help from Williams. Amidst the crowded restaurant, Williams was seen to provide assistance without further hesitation.

“I was never raised to bash people. I was raised to help and try to give blessings. It just came from the heart,” Williams spoke modestly.

She further mentioned that Charpentier is a regular customer at Texas Waffle House and it was clear to her that he really needed assistance. This seemingly trivial deed consequently turned out to be so much more, though Williams certainly did not see it coming. A photo of the undertaking was posted on social media platforms and within a short period of time, went viral. This, in turn, turned many heads, including Bobby Hocking’s, the mayor of her town who then honored her. In addition, countless of people have openly complimented Williams for her action – an act of kindness without expectations. However, none of these compares to the biggest reward that she was offered by the Texas Southern University. Williams is now the recipient of a scholarship worth $16,000. This means that she will be able to begin her tertiary education with $4000 per semester for four semesters.

As we proceed into the later stages of the capitalist system, it seems that the notion of profit maximization has far exceeded the system itself. Money is slowly becoming the object of worship in the society, despite the fact that it is nothing but a piece of paper. A piece of paper which value was decided by the beliefs of people. This, in a way, destroys humanity because people have gone to extreme lengths to acquire wealth. Evident by the history, people are capable of sins like murder and such if they were obstructing their paths to gain money and power. Hence, it is heartening to find those who are willing to go out of their way to help others in need without incentives whatsoever.

While seeing the act of kindness itself is more than inspiring, we are certainly glad that Evoni Williams is getting the appreciation and rewards that she deserves. Her compassion and helpfulness towards the elderly are entities that every person should have. The society has always been cruel and deceitful because people are selfish by nature. With the growing capitalistic mentality, it should come as no surprise that a majority of the people are increasingly self-concerned, which subsequently means that they are less concerned with the well-being of others. Finally, this leads to the question wondering if our assumed ‘progress’ is for and against the sake of humanity. We have come so far from living in caves to being surrounded by skyscrapers. We have learned to build and go along with various economic and political systems that allow a nation to function properly.

Yet again, are we destroying mankind or improving it? Perhaps because of the tangibility of one as opposed to the abstractness of the concept of humanity. It seems as it has for a long time now, that the tangible things are overpowering our moralities. With Evoni Williams’ act of kindness, however, we can safely say that our system has not killed our humanity.

Featured Image via Flickr/Ethan Prater

Are we being tracked by MoviePass?

Since the modern age of breakthroughs in science and technology, some people have been rather suspicious of the government’s intention for quite some time now. This is evidently elucidated in the phrase “Big Brother”, who is supposedly watching and spying on our every move. “Big Brother” also commonly refers to the seemingly authoritarian regime as some believe that the government is more involved in our lives than it seems with the help of surveillance ubiquitously. Nonetheless, recent news reveals the actual antagonist in this dynamic that, much to everyone’s surprise, is a movie app. This revelation was disclosed by Mitch Lowe, the CEO of MoviePass, a week earlier. He allegedly spilled the beans about the way the app could track the client’s whereabouts, before and after a movie.

During an Entertainment Finance Forum, Lowe played a part as a keynote speaker, who, interestingly enough, named the title of the speech as, “Data is the New Oil: How will MoviePass Monetize it?”. From the self-explanatory title, it is no wonder that he subsequently took pride in the substantial amount of data and information on clients’ locations even after they have left the theatre. From Lowe’s responses, it seems that the reason for such actions lies in the profit motive, attributable to capitalism, the great motivator.

In another interview that took place over six months ago, Lowe explained his main intentions in retaining this information. He mentioned the possibility of transforming a movie night into a long line of business transactions. In short, with the information on places that the clients’ frequently visit, MoviePass could attempt to promote package deals involving those places in the sale of movie tickets since they now have the statistical evidence of potential patrons.

“The second thing we’re going to do with data… is we think going to the movies is a centerpiece for a lot of other transactions. You know, going to dinner, getting drinks, taking Uber, and we’re going to be working with local merchants around the theaters, and around the malls to drive more people to those businesses. And take a share to drive transactions,” Lowe coherently articulated in the same interview.

In the more recent interview, Lowe apparently suggests a call on commission from other businesses that are profiting from his actions, such as the dining establishments that are recommended by MoviePass. Though attempts to acquire more specifics have been made, no additional comments have been made. All we know now is that MoviePass has the intention to infiltrate the clients’ privacy in order to expand their profit margins.

Should clients be more informed about such a breach in security? Through a thorough reading of the privacy policy of MoviePass, it seems that they only ask for permission to access location once in the selection of a movie theatre. The app proceeds to explain that the need for these data is to further enhance and upgrade the service provided.

Once again, the consumers have become yet another pawn in the capitalist system. As we approach late capitalism, the measures taken by large corporations in order to maximize their profits have gotten more extreme. An unintentional error initiated by the firm could ultimately lead to the disclosure of our confidential information, without a say on our part. This is no longer a simple strategy deployed by a profit-making company, or Lowe for that matter. This is a potentially life-threatening situation that consumers should be cautious of. In this late capitalism era that the United States have come so far to achieve, no longer are things as simple as they seem. Consumers need to learn to filter the information that is presented to them as well as being more astute in performing daily tasks.

Featured Image via MoviePass

The Chinese Stock Market Crash That Nobody is Talking About

Chinese economic progress was sharply curbed on Friday when both major indexes fell more than 7 percent. With the Shanghai and Shenzhen falling 7.4 and 7.9 percent respectively, the drop came at a volatile time. While this major piece of news was all but ignored, and with relatively good reason, Americans should be seriously concerned.

As Europe struggles to get the likes of Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain back on their feet, global attention strayed from China under the assumption of guaranteed growth. Even token growth has been hard to come by though. For the past year or so, the Chinese economy has been relatively weak, but stock prices had yet to respond.

With a weak economy, share prices tend to decline, but to this point in China, stock prices continuously grew while economic growth remained insignificant.

Share prices have also fallen in the face of stricter regulations. When authorities increase their oversight, periods of instability should be expected. Regulation changes the landscape making investors tepid and uncertain of the future. Uncertainty leads to instability and to a certain extent, this volatility was predicted. The Chinese government has repeatedly warned investors of the risk, but of the companies growing 80 to 100 fold in the past year alone, few headed regulator’s advice.

Despite Friday, both Chinese markets have significant, multi-year gains to boast. Such gains appear to be slipping away though. While still up 160 percent in the past two years, the Shanghai composite has seen significant decreases, approximately 18 percent, since the start of June. The Shenzhen’s decline has been even more precipitous, losing 30 percent in the past few weeks alone.

This decrease is a market correction away from overvalued companies.

Government policy has protected debt-saddled public companies in the past but times have changed for China. As a product, smaller scale investors reliant largely upon borrowed money bore the brunt of the downturn on Friday. Times have also changed on a broader scale.

Nowadays, all economies are linked in an international market. Not two decades ago, misfortune for one country’s finances would not preclude a same day gain for another. Now though, when such a vast economy like China’s sees a one-day, seven percent decrease, the rest of the world braces itself. Friday this train of thought was proved perfectly. As China’s market was the first to open, Friday spelled downturn for everyone as economies struggled in the wake of struggles in the Far East.

In response, Hong Kong acted swiftly and decisively. On Saturday, interest rates were cut and reserve requirements were reduced immediately. It seems as if China, after witnessing the potential consequences of a policy change, is reticent. For the worlds fastest growing economy, relative stagnation is one thing but contraction is another animal.

Every country is worried about contraction. No one wants a shrinking economy, but the international market is more volatile and vulnerable than ever before. Contraction in China would spell disaster, and even a double dip. Unfortunately, the world is far less prepared for another recession than it was in 2008.

While this may simply sound like a fear-mongering statement, it’s true. Regulators have already pulled every trick out of the bag. Interest rates are already basically zero. Reserves are at minimums. Bailouts, while plentiful, are not a strategy to count on. And as Chinese regulators attempt to balance a movement towards capitalism with the protection of powerful, debt saddled public companies, the world will watch anxiously and attentively.