Thursday, October 27, 2011

Global Citizens

in Google+ Nick Bauman wrote:

"About 2500 years ago in a smaller seaport town in the eastern Mediterranean, a proposal was submitted to the city council by a man, a lesser noble, in a citystate which was facing its greatest existential threat. His name was Themistocles and he was worried about the impending invasion of his country by the great Persian army led by Xerxes. This plan was a plan of community self-sacrifice where the state would sponsor a project joined by all his countrymen to fight the Persians. They would use the silver from a collectively held mine to build a fleet of warships to challenge Persia at sea. The effort ended up being a great leveling of Athenian society, leading to what we recognize as the first democratic state in the world. The wealthy gave up some of their own wealth, too, to fund the project. The citizens gave up their very homes to fight. By the end, while the Persians were sent packing, Athens was besieged and the wealthy members of the city opened their stores to feed and shelter many of the displaced citizen army."

One of the positive effects of the GFC is, it brought us, “Global Citizens” together. We are living in an era of “Global Citizenship”. National Citizenship is dying.

We no longer should talk about “American-way”, “Australian way”. These memes are static stereotypes that lost meaning. Arrogant, racist, empty and irrelevant, they impose limitations in our thinking, they wrap heavy chains around our intellectual freedom. 

We should instead talk about “human values”, values that made us, like wisdom,  justice, care for environment and compassion; these are universal and limitless human values.

First and foremost the revolution ignited by “occupy” foot-soldiers made us to face a new reality. It is ‘us’ Global Citizens, and only up to us to create a better world. We now all have a shared responsibility in this. The moment has come and it is not something we should or can avoid, but something to embrace and work on.

We need to see that our survival does not necessarily depend on “fitness” criteria defined by individualism. Perhaps after all it is no longer “survival of the fittest” but it ought to be “survival of the wisest”. History brought us to face a new level of reality check.

We are New Athenians and the New Athens is the Globe.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Where is my money?

I have a product I sell in Apple App Store called MiniBluebox. In October 2011 upon inspecting Sales Reports available at  iTunesConnect website and comparing them to my bank’s transaction records I found a discrepancy and sent the following email to Apple:

According to Financial Reports in iTunes it appears I was paid AUD 49.90 and AUD 101.07 on 29 September 2011.

However based on my Bank's transaction record I received two payments; AUD 49.90 and AUD 76.07 on September 2011.

Please see attached screenshot showing section of transaction history with Apple's payments. Please note transaction reference numbers of your payments and the amount you paid on the right.

To be at the safe side I checked transaction history from July 2011 to 20 October 2011 and there is no other payment from Apple during that period.

It looks like Apple owes me AUD 25.0.

I received the following response from Apple:

Payments sent to Australia are transferred via international wire.  We do not owe you any additional earnings.  The "missing" amount is due to international wire fees charged by banks participating in your payment transaction.  These fees are referred to in your Schedule 2 Contract.

Indeed they were right. Schedule 2 Contract has the following clause:

“You remain responsible for any fees (e.g., wire transfer fees) charged by Your bank or any intermediary banks between Your bank and Apple’s bank.”

Apart from outrageous AUD 25  "wire transfer" charge, my real problem is lack of transparency in this transaction. It is not clear who charged AUD 25.

My bank certainly didn’t charge it, as it would have appeared in my transaction history.

Apple seems covered itself in the Contract –as big corporations often do-.

But my earnings simply disappeared and there is no account for it.

All I ask for is a written record of this “missing” item whether it be a “wire transfer fee” or otherwise.

I tend to think Apple should at least provide a written account for the wire transfer expenses between their bank and my bank.

Am I asking too much?