Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Financial security, complete insanity

I tried to write a blog post today about my experience drawing money out of ATMs around town. In effect, the gist of the story is that today, in contravention of everything I thought I knew about banking security, I was able to withdraw HKD $4,000 (equivalent to about US $500) 3 separate times from 3 separate banks, out of one bank account. The moral of the story was that, while I was glad to be able to get the cash I needed, the experience made me a bit nervous about just how protected my money is (an especially salient concern, considering that the debit card for one of my banks was eaten by a Cambodian ATM...more on that in another rant).

Originally, I offered a considerably more detailed and nuanced account of the process, which represented a somewhat amusing but completely unremarkable post. But it would not publish. I obsessed over this, experimenting with Blogger. I attempted to isolate the problem, figuring out which paragraph seemed to offend the system. Then I narrowed it down to a sentence. Then I found the last word that system deemed acceptable.

I experimented with phrasings, spacing, and arrangement. I thought the problem might have something to do with dollar signs, as the only other time this happened, there was also a dollar sign-intensive post involved. I played with different browsers, cleared the cache and cookies from my computer, pasted in and out of Microsoft Word. I marveled at the quirks and complexities of the system, looking in vain for a pattern, struggling to beat it, determined to beat it.

I worked for hours.

And what do I have to show for it? I've given up on writing the post as it was intended to be written, but even if I'd managed to be the winner against Blogger, I still would have been the loser at life.

Why did I do this? Because I couldn't not do it.

And now, all I've gained from the experience is the realization that the "neurosis" tag I so frequently use on this blog should have a companion tag called "crippling neurosis." I am seriously screwed up.


pamiam said...

somehow it WAS published at some point...i totally read it!

Ken Basin said...

At some point during my experimentations, I was able to get most of it in, but what you read would have been missing anywhere from 1 to 3 sentences, and if you refreshed a bunch of times, the second paragraph would have been constantly in flux.

If the flow seemed weird, it's because I was never able to get the system to let me end the second paragraph (or to make a separate paragraph out of the end, or to tack that part onto the third). An important joke was missing!

But that's pretty funny. I wondered whether someone with Google Reader or something had caught it for the brief time it was up in truncated form.

I actually think the post that resulted is a bit better than the original, but it seems you're the only one who can say for sure.