The big news this week was Facebook’s initial IPO filing. The paperwork itself makes a good read, apparently “Facebook users upload 250 million photos a day, signal that they “like” items posted by friends about 2.7 billion times a day, and have created a web of 100 billion friends and connections on its site.” The company itself thrives by selling display ads targeted to users.

Debates about privacy aside, I’ve noticed that this has sparked a rather heartwarming interest in the way companies are valued by some of my most unlikely friends and peers. The other day, I had this discussion in a class with people who earnestly did not know how market mechanisms work. I have no doubt that some of them have gripes with financiers and the like, but maybe the press surrounding this IPO will enlighten people who would otherwise remain uninterested – and possibly resentful – of stocks. Most of my generation procrastinates on Facebook (including your humble correspondent), maybe the consequences of “going public” will help them care more about the world outside.

General aside: Barack Obama is trading at 57% for re-election on InTrade. Probably the result of the jobs report; any other ideas?