Saturday, October 18, 2008

Picks and Pans


How the States got their Shapes by Mark Stein

Take a look at a map of the United States. Ever wonder how or why the states are shaped the way they are? Why don't borders match where logic says they should? Why are some large, and some small? Oddly enough, a great deal of thought went into each bend, bootheel, and arc., and this book is here to tell you why.
Mr. Stein's book "How the states got their shapes" is a state by state history and geography lesson on how the American states shapes evolved. In amazing detail he tells of pre colonial land grants, wars with foreign powers, territorial mineral wars, shifts in river banks, voting blocs, slave and non slave states. Is all here, in elaborate detail, yet concise and highly readable.
I highly recommend it.

I am not a frequent EBAY shopper, but I well understand its utility, and as an asylum for American's pack rats it was a genious invention.

To me, its greatest innovation was the feedback mechanism. The original idea that buyers and sellers could rate each other on how well they performed was insanely great. Somehow though, the whole idea became corrupted by the inmates and then EBAY f'ed it up even worse.

While I appreciate the notion of feedback, somehow I never caught on to the idea that as a buyer, I had to furnish feedback first. It seems to me if I won an auction and paid for the item, I'd completed my end of the bargain and feedback was due NOW! not after I received the goods and stroked the seller a bit.

Consequently, I have never provided feedback to sellers who did not see things my way. You'd be amazed at how testy they become.

Recently, EBAY pissed in the pool by requiring sellers to provide positive feedback if they met the basic terms of the sale, ie: won and paid. Becomes sorta meaningless at that point.

So now feedback has become ingrained in the fabric of internet sales. I hope it catches on. I always appreciate things that save me from myself.
Stop in and say hello.


Mom on the Run said...

I just dipped my toes in the ebay pool recently (looking for Vera Bradley in retired patterns). I only buy New with Tags and don't give feedback until I get it and inspect it.

There are people who won't sell to you unless you have 100 transactions, so I say forget it to them. I'm all about Buy It Now, too.

Seems totally ridiculous that anybody should ask for feedback until you see the product. What are you supposed to, they took my money really fast?

ms. mindless said...

i agree. i am completely opposed to giving feedback before i can inspect the goods. i have gotten some really nasty feedback from sellers since i prefer to wait on my feedback. people are nuts!