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Solve my World

Solve my World

By Joseph
Designing solutions to the problems in our personal lives and in the world!
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55: Lessons from the Game of Poker
Poker Receive 2 cards, you are the only one to see your two cards Dealer reveals 3 cards that all players can see and use in their hand Players bet Check - if you have enough bet but don’t want to raise Fold - if you need to put in more chips but don’t want to Call - match the amount of chips bet by others Raise - increase the amount of chips bet by each player Dealer reveals another card Players bet Dealer reveals final card Players bet Best hand wins You have no control over the cards you are dealt or the community cards The only control is whether you take the opportunity given to you or wait for another opportunity If you are wise about the opportunities you take and the ones you don’t, then over time you will win more often than lose. When deciding how much to bet, you determine how often you would win out of 100 rounds with that hand (winning percentage) If you would win 1 out of 100. Then you wouldn’t want to bet much if at all because you would have to get 100x what you lost each round when you win just to break even. But if you would win 50% of the time then you only need to double your loss when you win which if you have more then 2 players is likely going to happen. In life, you don’t get to choose where you start, who your parents are. You only have a small control (usually) over what other people do to you. But you do have the opportunity to choose how you react. When you have a bad “hand” you can fold and just ignore the situation, you could also bluff and try to learn some things about the other players. Sometimes, when I have someone who is purposefully attacking me (verbally). I often find it’s a good strategy to bluff and assume that they are joking with me and I laugh along with them. Oftentimes this either softens them up or at least confuses them enough that I can leave the situation. Sometimes you are given great opportunities and you should determine your odds of success and how much you are willing to bet on that opportunity. Most of the time you are just dealt average hands and you can try to make the most of it and be willing to adjust as you go. If whenever you get a bad hand you get angry at chance and think it’s not fair, you will be a poor poker player. Use your bad hands to learn. Be creative, is there any way to turn this into a win, even if it’s a small one? Remember, we are playing the long game, it’s not about winning every hand, it’s about winning the whole pot. This happens by consistently making good decisions and correctly determining probabilities. Great players can turn bad hands into successful rounds. It’s all about the mindset Clifton Taulbert
August 24, 2020
54: Auto Assign Secret Santa
Each year for Christmas each person in my family is assigned one other person to give a gift to. We want it to be a surprise so we can’t have a rotation We can’t have ourselves or our spouse We can’t have the person we had last year We would like to make it more likely to get someone that we haven’t been assigned for awhile. My program automatically sends out an email to each person with their assignment. I like it because it forces you to try to get to know the person better so that you can get them a good gift. Strengthens family bonds etc.
August 21, 2020
53: The Tragedy of Age Segregation
Age Segregation Kids go to school, spend all day with other kids their age People are encouraged to retire, leaving the workforce for people in working age Older people spend their time in retirement homes The normal thing is for the grandparents to help teach the kids Grandparents teach what is most important, morals, how to live a good life Parents teach more practical things, how to make a living, how to organize your life etc Why the change? Perhaps because things are changing so much that many people look at their parents and grandparents as uninformed because they don’t know the latest tech. Schools and the push for retirement are big factors
August 19, 2020
52: Designing your vision for your life
People making drastic life choices without thinking them through Autopilot just following the path of least resistance Buying things you don’t need or sometimes don’t even really want Weighing the importance of each thing There isn’t enough time or money for you to do everything so you must actively prioritize Big potential mistakes: Going into debt - car, house, college, consumer Wasting time Not having an idea of what you want your life to look like What to do? Think about what a perfect day would look like for you Try to be as realistic as possible (sitting around all day gets boring fast) What can you do to design your day to look like that as much as possible? Do this exercise often because it will motivate you and also it will change over time.
August 17, 2020
51: LastPass Password Manager Syncs across computer and mobile Password Generator
August 14, 2020
50: Making the World Stronger by Allowing Groups to Split
When more than one leader crops up it is because the people no longer agree on something fundamental Social insects follow this pattern Primates follow this pattern Dunbar’s number hypothesizes that we can have a group of 150 people max that we feel comfortable socializing with If a group gets so big that each person no longer knows all the others then it’s harder to agree on a leader (or common ideologies) The tribe then splits (or fights) This is probably good over all As long as the groups can get along, separating because of fundamental differences leads to more options The more options there are, the more likely a better option will emerge If we force everyone to stay in the same group it is probably unhealthy -it leads to animosity and resentment -If there is only one option it is less likely to be the ideal (fragile) How could a system like this work? Maybe try to design cities with this in mind Allow communities as much autonomy as possible Make sure there are clear agreements, traditions, expectations, etc for what happens when there needs to be a split. (peace treaty, who leaves and who stays) Dispute resolution is key
August 12, 2020
49: Personal Preparedness
Personal Preparedness Emotional? Risk Assessment Fragility Assessment most common things are not what most people think of Lost job (savings (money and food), personal connections, side hustles) Sickness (savings, insurance, personal support group) Disability (savings, insurance) Unexpected expenses (savings, insurance) Death (savings, insurance) Etc Less likely things are potentially more disruptive Natural disaster (food storage, insurance) Economic problems (food storage, social connections) War Pandemics (food storage) etc Preparing for the more common things usually sets you up pretty good for the more disruptive things Find ways to make yourself ant-fragile Tips: Make a budget, start saving, financial freedom!! Eat what you store, store what you eat. Get insurance!! Help those around you and build social connections
August 10, 2020
48: Google Keep
-Widget on your phone -record audio When people give you a suggestion, make a note When you think of something, make a note Must plan on looking at it at some point
July 31, 2020
47: Collective Preparedness vs Individual Preparedness
Collective preparedness is fragile We can’t always predict everything We can’t have stuff for everyone Only one option, if we get it wrong everyone is hurt Individual preparedness is anti-fragile Most people are prepared for the things that they think are most likely Anyone who is wrong can be helped by those who are right There are thousands of options with varying degrees of usefulness Distribution is easier No single point of failure Each area, community and person is more likely to know what their needs are
July 29, 2020
46: Time Management
Capture Tasks (Stay Focused) When you are already doing something and you see something else that needs to be done, write it down wherever you need to so you can remember it later. Unless it is more urgent or important than what you are doing now Or it won’t throw you off track Prioritize Tasks What is Urgent? Things that will cause major consequences if they are not done on time What is most important What do you enjoy Plan Tasks Try to eliminate as many urgent tasks as you can (Focus Funnel Procrastinate on Purpose by Rory Vaden) Eliminate - Ignore Automate - Invest Delegate - Delegate Procrastinate Permanence of deadline  Rock - Cannot be changed, you do it at this time or not at all Wood - Date is set but you could potentially change it Clay - Better if scheduled but can be moved easily Water - No scheduling needed, can be done any time Focus on the most important urgent item and get it done then move on to the next Take small breaks as desired (pomodoro) When All your urgent tasks are done, work on the things that are most important and that you most enjoy.
July 28, 2020
45: Aloe Vera
Aloe Plants Easy to grow Basically never water them and they are fine Uses: Sunburn Bug bites Scratches Aloe Juice
July 24, 2020
44: Crowdsourced Funding
It is difficult to fight piracy. Are copyrights moral? (another day) You can get the product for free or maybe watch an ad or something (you would be able to anyway) Or you can buy the product and then you get a share from all future profits
July 22, 2020
43: Make Everyone Your Coach
Ask For Advice Ask Questions Listen Last week we talked about coaching. This week I will share a trick that will let you turn everyone you meet into a potential coach. When you talk with people, the natural tendency is to do most of the talking but the people who are the best conversationalists are the people that listen the most. They listen and they ask good questions. The trick is asking good questions, these are questions that allow the other person to share things that are important to them. Body Language. Where are the feet pointing While you are asking questions you may as well ask advice about the things that this person is good at. Remember, only listen to advice from people that know what they are talking about. If someone is unhealthy, discount their advice about health. If they are poor, money. Etc. (always exceptions)
July 20, 2020
42: Phone Car Mount iOttie Car Mount Powerful suction cup with sticky edges to hold Transfer it from car to car fairly easily Take your phone on and off with one hand Adjustable to fit any phone (probably)
July 17, 2020
41: Freedom of Association vs Anti-Discrimination Laws
Freedom to refuse service Freedom of association Lawsuits against wedding cake businesses who refuse to make a cake for gay weddings Anti-discrimination laws for employers This idea sounds good in theory but has unintended consequences Whenever we try to legislate morality it becomes difficult to enforce and usually starts creating inequalities with how people are treated under law If I have a company I have the right to refuse service to anyone no matter what because it’s my company. If I want to be a racist that is my right. I will probably go out of business but I have the right to make that choice. If I want to fire someone I should be able to do that for any reason whatsoever. For the same reasoning. If I fire people because I’m racist then I will miss out on good employees from other races and will be less competitive. Plus as news of my stance spreads, there will be many people that will boycott my business because of that. The market will correct itself if people truly believe in a cause. If the government gets involved it can create many unintended consequences. If I fire someone because they are a bad employee. They might try to sue me for discrimination. Well I was discriminating... against bad employees. The creates an enforcement issue that favors bad employees because they have less to lose from the situation. What if I have a haircutting place for people with african style hair. Someone that doesn’t have that type of hair would be discriminated against because they can’t be served. What about a mens haircut place? Is that discriminating against women? If I have a sales job then I might want someone who can speak fluent english. Is that discrimination? What about movie studios, when they need someone to fill a black role is that being racist that they aren’t hiring white people?
July 15, 2020
40: Natural Talent and Hard Work Are No Longer Enough
Against the Rules with Michael Lewis Natural Talent is no longer enough When playing sports the older you get, the less it is about natural talent Canadian kids highlight the advantage of coaching Thrive 15 coaches businesses to success Kids that have better test coaches/tutors get higher scores on standardized tests Better schools lead to better outcomes No matter how good/smart you are, you will not be able to compete for long without some sort of coaching. Is this a problem that exacerbates inequality?
July 13, 2020
39: Motion Sensor Solar Lights
Solar Motion Sensor Lights   I found some cheap with a deal several years ago and really liked them. I don’t have a specific brand but Jack over at the Survival Podcast recommends these ones and his reviews are very reliable.
July 10, 2020
38: How a Free Market Handles Shortages (Toilet Paper Anyone?)
Auto-Adjusting Price Empty shelves are evidence of government interference in the free market or an economically ignorant population educated by said government. In free markets scarce goods are always available at a price and competition keeps it as low as possible. In an optimized market store shelves could automatically increase pricing as inventory fell and lower pricing as inventory rises.  Imagine if we used bancor to ensure everything is always available to those who need it most when they need it. All the more reason to have prices rapidly adjusted to ration remaining supplies and reward those who prepared. Instead we punish those who prepare to serve this market by denying them profits. Those guys take an economic bet that future demand will be higher.  Further more, if stores had dynamic pricing then it wouldn’t be possible to buy them out to resell higher. In a market with fair money and free from government distortion those with money have earned it by providing value to others in the past.  If money is not the arbiter of scarce resources then political clout or those willing to wait in line at 3am become the “virtuous” entitled.
July 8, 2020
Should I Invest in Bitcoin?
What is bitcoin Peer-to-peer network Immutable Ledger of transactions Decentralized Bitcoin solved the “double spend” problem World wide access (internet) Fixed supply. Rate of inflation cannot be altered Relatively fast and cheap transactions Risks: In a normal market, as demand increases the price increases which leads to more supply being created by producers joining the market which lowers the price which leads to less supply being created as producers leave the market. This happens constantly which allows the price (supply and demand) to reach an equilibrium. If you have something with a fixed supply then there is no way for supply to adjust to meet demand. This means that the price is completely tied to demand. And because demand is the unpredictable and uncontrollable aspect of price. The swings can be irrational at times. This is predicted to lead to volatility. There are other, theoretically better, cryptocurrencies out there that could make bitcoin obsolete. There could be a new technology that renders bitcoin useless. Perhaps quantum computers Conclusion: Many people have gotten rich from the large price swings of bitcoin. Many people have lost everything from the large price swings At this early stage it isn’t really an investment, it’s speculation. Which means that you should only speculate with money that you are willing to lose because you probably will.
July 6, 2020
Amazon price tracker Notifies you when it hits a certain price Shows best deals on amazon Rss feeds of deals in a category It only saves you money if you would’ve spent it anyway Just because it’s a deal doesn’t mean you have to buy it.
July 3, 2020
Virtual Reality Driver Training
Virtual reality simulator that mimics real driving as much as possible Let kids drive when they get a high enough score? Your car can judge your driving? Yearly test or something Maybe a vr app you could have at home. Over time your score goes down As you drive in the app your score goes up Testing centers 
July 1, 2020
Accept and love yourself Don’t take things personally take them as suggestions (facts) Listen to what others say, even if they’re joking there can sometimes be truth to what they say Step back and imagine that you are an outside observer watching your speech and actions. What would you think of yourself? Pay attention to what things bother you in other people and chances are, they bother you because your subconscious knows that you do those same things. Come at it from a desire to learn and grow, not to feel bad about yourself. None of us are perfect but we should always try to be better. If someone gives you feedback about yourself that you don’t agree with, listen anyway. They’re not always going to be right but they are more likely to be right then you are.
June 29, 2020
How I Fixed my Knees I don’t know a ton about different herbal remedies but I had this product recommended to me. Growing up I played a lot of soccer. A little during high school but mostly after I started having sharp pains in my knees. One knee would hurt pretty bad so I would wear a brace on that one and then the other one would start to hurt so I would switch. In addition to the sharp pain while playing, they would also ache quite often making it hard to sleep sometimes. I had this product recommended to me because it is able to help your body to reproduce cells faster, including your bones and other deep issues. I was a little dubious but I started putting it on whenever my knees hurt. They seemed to have a small pain relief effect in the short term but I started to notice that I was using it less and less as my knees stopped aching. I also stopped wearing the knee brace while playing. In the last year I have probably only used it once. My boss uses for cracked hands My mother-in-law uses it for cracking feet Also good for small cuts and bruises Don’t use for deep cuts
June 26, 2020
Finding everyone a Good Job
Currently it’s all about who you know. Getting connections is the key to getting a good job. If you are just sending in resumes then you are going to have a hard time finding a new job. This makes it difficult for people that don’t have connections to get ahead in life. We could help teach people how to make valuable connections We could create companies that do it for us Companies want employees and are willing to pay Employees want jobs and are willing to pay There is incentive on both sides to solve this problem. Headhunters keep a list of people that they know are good employees and they are always looking for opportunities to connect their people with good jobs. Why not have a scalable version of this. Tinder for jobs Counselors to help you find interesting jobs Schools help with learning specific skills
June 24, 2020
Junk Food for the Brain
I was listening to a podcast and the host asked the guy, “Why are people so addicted to the news?”. The guy responded quickly and almost dismissively, “It’s junk food! It’s just junk food for the brain. Anything shocking or anything like that, it’s junk food.” They moved on to a new subject but for whatever reason his quote stuck with me. What is easier to sell, cookies or vegetables? What will have people coming back again and again because they crave it? I feel like over time the news has just gone more and more towards the “junk food” and less and less towards healthy foods. So to take this analogy further: Junk food: Quick high - shocking news gives you a jolt Bad for you short term and long term - in the short term it makes you anxious and emotional, in the long term it makes you cynical, depressed, numb. Healthy food: Not as exciting up front - almost boring sometimes Leaves you feeling good - learning something new Gives you more energy - Leaves you feeling positive about the world Allows your body to heal.
June 22, 2020
My Everyday Carry (EDC)
Every day carry Wallet - Grip6 Wallet v1 (not for sale) Keychain - Carabiner clip Keys Gerber Dime - Knipex Pliers -
June 19, 2020
Market for Kidneys?
Kidney Donation Market Is it ethical to allow people to sell their kidneys? Potential issues Poor people could be manipulated into selling their kidneys because they feel they need the money or even as collateral for a loan. Is this a bad thing? I’m not sure... probably The purpose of a market is to  allow supply and demand to work out the optimal distribution of a scarce resource Money is a great way to run a market because it is fungible, easily transferable and allows people to make good decisions. But a market doesn’t have to be monetary. Other solutions: Kidney paired exchange programs If you want to donate to a friend or family member but you are incompatible, you can donate to someone else in the same situation and you can swap the kidneys. Preferred status for organ donors People who have signified their intent to be organ donors if they die are given a preference if they ever need an organ transplant. My idea: Why haven’t I donated a kidney? Partially because I want to save it in case someone I care about needs it. But what if no one I care about ever needs it? What if I could donate now and then receive a voucher that I could give to anyone in the future that gets them first on the list for a new kidney? This would allow me to donate now, helping someone who needs it, and then in the future if a friend or family member needs a kidney, I can give them my voucher which would be equivalent to giving them my kidney. In fact, you could probably do this for all organs, but instead of you getting a voucher when you die, you could specify in your will who gets the vouchers for any organs they are able to use when you die. This would incentivise people to donate organs now, when they are needed but still be able to get some benefit from them in the future.
June 17, 2020
Get Off Your Phone!!
Most mobile phone users check their phones up to 63 times daily. Americans spend an average screen time of 5.4 hours on their mobile phones daily. Currently, there are 272.6 million smartphone users in America. Social media is responsible for 2 hours and 24 minutes of global internet time spent online by an average user daily. 13% of millennials spend over 12 hours on their phones daily. Most people check their phones around 63 times a day. Baby Boomers spend 5 hours using their phones. Millennials spend 48 minutes texting every day. Being on your phone isn’t a bad thing in and of itself This really is a time management issue. There are lots of ways that we waste time doing things that don’t really make us happier The problem with phones is that they are especially addictive Push notifications: This is a big one. If you haven’t disabled push notifications then your apps will send you little alerts every once in a while begging you to come back. Disable all push notifications by default and only enable ones that you truly want to be notified of immediately. For the rest of your apps, you can check them when you want to on your schedule, not whenever the app maker wants to distract you. variable ratio schedule - Excitement of seeing new things, sometimes something new sometimes not. Same as slot machines FOMO - What if you miss out on some tidbit of information? This is what the app makers want you to think. This is especially common for social media and news apps To cure yourself of it, don’t check the app for a while and see if you really missed out on as much as you thought. I bet you won’t. Infinite Scrolling - If there’s no bottom then you will never get the mental que or satisfaction from finishing so you will just keep scrolling forever. Make a stopping point for yourself. Setting a timer is a good way to do this. Autoplaying videos - This is common in video streaming services as well as social media When your show finishes the next one starts playing automatically, this means that if you don’t take initiative then you could sit there forever. If possible, disable this feature so that if you want to watch the next show you’ll have to physically push the play button. This gives you a minute to decide if you really want to watch another show or not. Remember that you are in a constant battle for your time, the only resource that you can never get more of. We only have so much time, how are you going to spend it? The app makers want you to give it to them so that they can sell your time to advertisers. They will do whatever they can to make that happen. If you don’t want that then you will need to fight back against them. I talked about it in my first show but make sure that you are paying attention to others and not ignoring them because of you are addicted to your phone. Ask yourself, am I making myself happier, becoming a better person, helping others?
June 15, 2020
Wishshield Wiper Replacement
If both of your windshield wipers are the same size you can apply this trick When you feel like you need new windshield wipers just buy one new one and put it on the driver’s side. When that one gets worn out, get a new one, put it on the driver’s side, and take the old driver’s side one and put it on the passenger side. The passenger side one doesn’t need to be as good so your old driver’s side wiper should be fine on the passenger’s side I look for when my wiper goes on sale and buy one so that I always have an extra one. Extra tip Consumer reports says that pretty much every windshield wiper will last about 6 months no matter how good it is. The better ones just do a better job before they get worn out so you don’t have to worry too much about trying to buy high quality to last longer.
June 12, 2020
Taxing Corporations
Each corporation's true purpose is to give profits to the shareholders. There is a going rate for how much it is worth it to risk creating a business in an area. This number rarely changes. If the expenses go up then costs must be cut elsewhere or prices for the product must go up. Shareholders expect a certain rate of return When you tax corporations they simply pass on the cost to the customer Of course, the tax code is so messed up that it isn’t necessarily that simple. Which of course brings us to our conclusion that the tax code is too complicated and probably immoral What would a moral tax code look like? Property taxes States pay federal Counties pay states Cities pay counties People pay cities Each city can decide how to tax for services This allows for the most competition between different tax ideas Fees for services -roads -police -fire -military
June 10, 2020
Survivor Bias
Survivor bias is a form of selection bias Selection bias is when you are doing a statistical analysis but you don’t get a good random sample because of your poor selection criteria During World War II, the statistician Abraham Wald took survivorship bias into his calculations when considering how to minimize bomber losses to enemy fire.[10] Researchers from the Center for Naval Analyses had conducted a study of the damage done to aircraft that had returned from missions, and had recommended that armor be added to the areas that showed the most damage.[citation needed] Wald noted that the study only considered the aircraft that had survived their missions; any bombers which had been shot down or otherwise lost had logically also been rendered unavailable for assessment. The holes in the returning aircraft, then, represented areas where a bomber could take damage and still return home safely. Wald proposed that the Navy reinforce areas where the returning aircraft were unscathed[10]:88, since those were the areas that, if hit, would cause the plane to be lost. His work is considered seminal in the then-nascent discipline of operational research.[11]
June 8, 2020
How to Tie your Shoes
Best way to tie your shoes How to Lace -  Evenly tighten all the way down Over-under (x-marks the spot) Double Helix Ukrainian style This simply turns the laces upside down so that you have a pre-made starting knot and two loops even when your shoes are untied How to Tie -  Fast and Secure Fastest shoelace knot is the “Ian Knot”   More secure is the “Secure Ian Knot”
June 5, 2020
Who is Liable for substance abuse?
Allow people to sue for addiction recovery How can we handle dangerous and addictive substances? Current problems: Making substances illegal: Creates black markets that lead to crime and abuse. Funds criminal gangs Addicts are criminalized People who are addicted are at the mercy of the dealer with no recourse Costs a lot of money to enforce Difficult to enforce Creates privacy issues Constitutional? Moral? I think it is immoral to make substances illegal I think we can all agree that illegal substances generally do a lot of harm so if we don’t make them illegal then how will society handle it? Many people argue that from a moral perspective if people want to take addictive substances it is up to them. But as I’ve thought about the issue and listened to debates from different experts I think that is only true when the person is able to make the decision themselves. For example, we generally don’t allow children to make their own decisions until they become adults. I would argue that when people are addicted they have lost the ability to make a rational decision and therefore are no longer truly making the decision themselves. I think this is proven by the fact that many people try to quit but can’t. If they are trying to quit isn’t it their decision to not do it? I think that they should be treated less like adults making a rational decision and more like a child that is not liable for their decisions as much. So who is liable? Well if an adult/company influenced a child to do something, the adult/company is held at least partially liable for the outcome. I think the same could be applied to addictive substances. Solution? Legalize all substances Allow addicts to sue the seller of the substance for rehabilitation costs Also apply to gambling/pornography/etc Will this work? I imagine that companies selling drugs would have to be very careful to not allow their customers to be addicted. I can only guess as to how they would handle this but off the top of my head I have a few predictions Creating/breeding for less addictive substances Monitoring of Customers, if they suspect that a person is getting addicted then they might require a doctor or specialist of some kind to sign off on letting them purchase more Go out of business all-together Benefits: Enforcement would be basically non-existent Black market would be greatly reduced Potentially helpful drugs that are currently illegal could help more people (cannabis) People that do get addicted would be helped No need for the government to violate privacy. If you buy drugs from someone you know who they are if you need to sue them. Another benefit would be that companies that make addictive pharmaceuticals would also be able to be sued. If this had been in place the opioid crisis I believe would’ve been much less. And at least the companies responsible wouldn’t have made a killing off of the problem that they caused.
June 3, 2020
How to Handle Your Inbox
Many people have issues handling their email. I think the biggest problems come when people use their inboxes as a type of to-do list. This allows anyone to add things to your to-do list by simply emailing you. Email is really a communication and information sharing tool. You could use it to give you ideas of what to put on your to-do list but your to-do list should be separate. Method 1 - Inbox 0 Idea, you must sort your email before you read any of them, clear out the clutter! Unsubscribe from recurring emails Search for all emails from the same place and delete them all at once Archive all your important emails like bank statements and such. It might be worth creating an automatic filter to archive these At this point you should only have emails that you actually want to read and because you’ve seen all of them you can go ahead and start reading/replying to the most important ones. Remember that just because someone emailed you does not mean that you have to respond or take any action. Guard your time by guarding which tasks you decide to do otherwise others will quickly fill your time with things that are important to them Method 2 - Ignore method Idea : If I’m not paying you or you’re not paying me then I’m not going to respond to your email Use your email as more of a reference. If someone wants to get a hold of you they can call or text. If they then send you attachments or more information in an email then you can quickly find it and use the information On the whole you just ignore your email. Think of it more as like a facebook newsfeed, you could scroll and scroll and never get to the bottom. Check your email once a day and only reply to people that are paying you or that you are paying Ignore everything else My method - Hybrid I generally ignore my email most of the time but then once or twice a month I will go in and get to inbox 0. This works well for me because most of the time my emails aren’t urgent and if they are I just take care of them as they come. (either by responding or adding them to my to-do list) and then once or twice a month I go through all my emails and get to inbox 0. This way I can find anything interesting that might not have been important enough at the time to worry about but that I would like to put on my to-do list.
June 1, 2020
The Most Ancient Game Still Played
The game was invented in China more than 2,500 years ago and is believed to be the oldest board game continuously played to the present day. Go was considered one of the four essential arts of the cultured aristocratic -Instrument -Go -Calligraphy -Painting Rule 1 (the rule of liberty) states that every stone remaining on the board must have at least one open "point" (an intersection, called a "liberty") directly orthogonally adjacent (up, down, left, or right), or must be part of a connected group that has at least one such open point ("liberty") next to it. Stones or groups of stones which lose their last liberty are removed from the board. Rule 2 (the "ko rule") states that the stones on the board must never repeat a previous position of stones. Moves which would do so are forbidden, and thus only moves elsewhere on the board are permitted that turn. Backgammon is a "man vs. fate" contest, with chance playing a strong role in determining the outcome. Chess, with rows of soldiers marching forward to capture each other, embodies the conflict of "man vs. man". Because the handicap system tells Go players where they stand relative to other players, an honestly ranked player can expect to lose about half of their games; therefore, Go can be seen as embodying the quest for self-improvement, "man vs. self".
April 23, 2020
Retirement or Financial Freedom
The cultural norm is currently that we work until 65 and then retire. This is looked at as everyone’s dream, work hard your whole life so that you can retire at 65 and just relax the rest of your life. Is this really what we want and for that matter, is it what actually happens? Many people are returning to work after “retiring” sometimes several times. So if the holy grail is that we can give up working at 65 then why do so many people continue working long past that? I believe that we all want to find meaning in our lives. Working is a way that we help others and contribute to the world. If this is true, why would we ever want to stop? I think the reason the idea of retirement is so appealing is because when we “retire” it means that we no longer have to work, any working we do after that is a choice. Once we don’t feel like we have to work, any work we do is much more enjoyable and fulfilling. So why do we need to wait until 65 to get to this point? We don’t! Let’s change our mindset, instead of focusing on retiring sometime in the future, what if we focused on becoming financially independent as soon as possible. What is financial independence? I define it as when you have enough money, or passive income, that if you decided that you didn’t want to work tomorrow, you wouldn’t be stressed about it, at least not from a financial perspective.  Maybe this means that you could start working part time at your current job and still have enough money to get by for a year while you worked on a side-business you’ve always wanted to do. Maybe it means that you can take a lower paying job that gives you more meaning and still be able to support your family. Maybe it means you can simply work for non-profits the rest of your life with no pay. Maybe it's just taking a year off from your current employment The point is that you are free! If you don’t want to go to work you don’t have to! You only work when and on what you want to! It might take you until your 65 to get to that point but it also might only take you until you’re 30 or anywhere in between.  So how do you become financially independent? Good question! I’m not anywhere close right now but it is my goal to get there as soon as possible. A few tips I’ve heard from people who are financially independent: Start saving... a lot! Many people start saving as much as 50% or more of their income. Just think, if you saved 50% of your income, you would technically only need to work half the year! If you save 50% for 5 years think of how much money you would have! Invest wisely, investing is a great way to increase your savings at a faster rate, but remember that if you aren’t getting good advice and really researching and learning about investments you could very easily lose a lot of money.  You will probably lose money on many of your investments but you want to learn from your mistakes and get better over time. Either increase your income or decrease your spending or both! This allows you to save and invest even more.
April 22, 2020
Leave some feedback or ask a question A place for every thing and everything in its place -Benjamin Franklin Start big picture. Instead of finding a specific place for everything find a home for categories of things. Food in the pantry, dishes in this cupboard, pots and pans in this one. Once you have the basic areas for things you can start to organize each area more specifically. Canned goods here, fresh stuff there, etc No point in starting with the specifics when often you end up changing it all around anyway. When organizing an area, make sure that you only get out enough stuff that you will have enough time to put it all away. Ask yourself if it’s worth finding a place for the thing/storing it. If not, decide if you want to sell it, recycle it, give it away, or throw it away Have a place for homeless items Pick one area and anything that is not in its home: If it has a home, put it there If it doesn’t then if you can think of one in less than 30 seconds then do that and follow step 1 If you can’t think of a place right away, put it in the homeless area. Homes: Make it easy to put away. If you want something, you will take the time to get it but if it’s hard to put away then you often just stick it somewhere If you’re not sure where something should go, ask yourself “if I needed this, where would be the first place I would look?” Usually this is a good indicator of where it’s home should be. The more frequently you use something the more convenient it should be to get it out. If you only need something a few times a year, you can put it in an inconvenient spot but if you use something every day it should be easy to get to. If you use things together, think about putting them close by
April 14, 2020
Gum Chucks! The Best Way to Floss! (No Really)
Leave some feedback or ask a question “According to the American Dental Association, you should floss at least once a day in order to maintain optimal oral health and prevent gum disease. If your gums are really healthy, flossing every other day or 3-4 times per week is fine. If you ever see any blood on your floss, just increase your frequency of flossing until any bleeding stops.”
April 10, 2020
Design a Stable Currency (No Inflation or Deflation)
Leave some feedback or ask a question Purpose of Money (To store the value of our working time) Attributes of a good currency Transported Spent Hold Value Problems with Inflation Money loses value over time Problems with Deflation New users to the system are penalized Hoarding is encouraged, potentially leading to a deflationary spiral How to create a true stable coin (Match Supply with Demand) Tie to the worth of human time Money represents our working time so the value should follow human working time. Design of System Stable Coin - Tempus (Time) Maintains stable value in relation to human work time Users mint new coins by proving they are human and spending time Shares When new coins are minted, a percentage goes to shareholders. New shares are created (5% annually) and sold for tempus that is burned Increasing supply Users mint new coins by proving they are human and spending time For every new coin minted by users, a percentage is also minted and given to shareholders (or perhaps just used to buy and burn shares?) Decreasing supply Steady rate of burn (In theory, if there is a constant rate of burn then we should avoid the “death spiral”) Inflate shares to buy and burn tempus Proof of Human Work Captcha market (I don’t really like this idea but it’s the best I’ve got so far) captchas that prove you are human Users are given a random captcha to prove they are human and mint new tempus captcha developers get paid with bonds that mature at a later date (1 year?) and can be seized if the captcha is shown to be cheating the system Bounties for discovering cheating users/ captchas captchas must burn tempus to be listed/they must pay users out of pocket for an amount of time (1 Year) Maybe try to determine the value by analyzing the fees people pay Some other way to find how much people value their time
March 11, 2020
Easy Budget
Leave some feedback or ask a question Recurring: Expenses that happen on a regular basis that you are committed to pay Reserve: Expenses that you know will happen but you're not sure exactly when or how much they will be. Discretionary: Everything else Steps: Take your income 10% for charity 10% for investing Fund recurring items Take 10% of what is left for reserve The rest goes to discretionary income Track your expenses and subtract them from your saving categories
March 9, 2020
Pick a Person
This algorithm is designed to select a random participant from a group by having each participant select a random number. This allows for a decentralized and tamper proof way to select a random participant. Following is a brief explanation: Each Participant picks a number between 1 and the number of participants. You then take the sum of the numbers and get the remainder after dividing by the number of participants. The remainder is the participant that is selected. (remainder 0 is the last participant) To see an example of a single round click here. To run a test to see if the algorithm is truly random click here.
March 6, 2020
How Does Money Work?
A currency is simply a type of commodity that's use is facilitating trade A good currency needs: The ability to be transported easily The ability to spend easily The trust of people that it will hold value in the future. You don't need to tie a currency's value to another commodity Original Article
March 4, 2020
How to Change Your Mind (and flat earth theory)
How to disagree productively and find common ground | Julia Dhar Leave some feedback or ask a question We all have opinions on how we think the world works What are the chances that you are right with all of them? Your chances will actually increase if you are actively changing your mind to be more correct over time. Ask yourself, what would it take to change your mind This opens you up to the possibility of being wrong This doesn’t mean the you should change your mind all the time Sometimes you are right, you just need to give equal weight to your opinion as to others’ opinions. Just because you hear something new doesn’t always mean you need to change your mind right away There are reasons people (or you) believed the things that they do. Take that into account Sometimes the reason is ignorance. In this case when you learn something new it can change your mind Most of the time there is a counter argument, find out what the counter argument is and the counter argument to that argument. Most issues have been debated back and forth enough times that there are good arguments and counter arguments for each issue Usually it comes back to where your worldview originates and what is most important to you. Flat Earth Theory What would it take? There would need to be a convincing set of arguments to explain the natural phenomena we experience.
March 2, 2020
Pocket: Saving Articles to Read Later
Leave some feedback or ask a question Use share feature to instantly save articles Read at your leisure Offline mode Article View Text-to-speech Easily Share Tags (open to the “not tagged” page)
February 29, 2020
Rethinking Traffic Stops
Leave some feedback or ask a question Should cops pull people over? One of the dangers that cops face is when they pull people over on the side of the road It is dangerous for the cop because: They might be on the edge of a busy highway They don’t know how dangerous the person in the car is It is dangerous for the person because there is always a potential for escalation leading to problems for the person or the cop It also causes increased traffic because people are trying to get out of the way of the pulled over vehicles or slow down as they approach. Increased traffic leads to dangerous situations So why do we do it? To keep dangerous people off the roads. To get drivers to slow down To disincentivize drivers from driving recklessly Is it worth it? Keeping dangerous people off the road is probably worth it because they might cause an accident and I can’t think of a better way to do it Getting people to slow down is questionable because speed has been shown to not be all that dangerous on its own. I think a cop could be just as effective pulling up behind someone and writing them a virtual ticket that will be mailed to them along with their picture. Stopping reckless drivers is potentially worth it because they might cause an accident. But I think you could use the same tactic as the people speeding to get them to stop. Problems with the idea: What if someone else is driving your car (maybe they could take your picture so the owner of the car would know who was driving)(maybe facial recognition could be used though I’m not sure if I like that idea.)
February 26, 2020
To Act or To Be Acted Upon
Leave some feedback or ask a question Statistical analysis can predict with scary accuracy what people in general as well as individually will do What does this mean? We are predictable We react according to our circumstances We are swayed by propaganda and marketing We should make our own decisions and not just go with the flow This doesn't mean that we never do what we are predicted to do, we just make sure that it is our choice, that we are the ones controlling our destiny. When we passively let things happen to us as opposed to actively deciding what we will do, we give up that control and let whoever designed the system run our lives Pay attention to the mechanisms of control in your life. Who is trying to influence you and what is their motivation? It's probably better to by default be resistant to anything that is trying to influence you to counterbalance their tactics. It doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad thing, many people are trying to help. But regardless, we should try to learn and then make our own informed decision, even if that decision is to trust someone We can't know everything and make every decision so we need to create our own methods to help us make our own choices. Find people you trust that can make / help you make the decision. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through social network feeds, make sure you are curating what you actually want to be seeing. Find people or systems that's goals align with your own as much as possible. Are they just trying to sell something, that doesn't mean that they can't give good advice but it means that they might have a conflict of interest.
February 24, 2020
Best Virtual Keyboard
Leave some feedback or ask a question Video of the keyboard in action To install the keyboard go to this link click "Download" You might need to give permission to install it When it is installed, open it up and find blackberry keyboard from the list Install that (you might need to give it permission) Follow the instructions Let me know if you have any questions or issues
February 21, 2020
Peer-to-Peer Charity
Leave some feedback or ask a question The thing that stops many people from giving to charity is not knowing who they should give the money too. I believe that most people would give a share of their money to help people in need if they were only aware of the people that most needed it. Many people say that the governments should do more "charitable" things. But charity is supposed to be about helping each other, not having our money stolen (which makes us angry) and then given to someone else from the government (which makes them feel entitled and ungrateful). It should be about you giving money from your own free will (which makes you feel good) and someone receiving help from you. (Which makes them feel grateful) This last month there was a girl in my small town that got in a snowboarding accident. She ended up in a coma and needing brain surgery. A few members of our community put together a fundraiser. They asked local business for donations of food and products for a silent action. Many members of the community baked desserts and had a bake sale. They were able to raise thousands of dollars to help this family. How do you think we all felt as we participated in this event? How do you think the family felt when they saw the community getting together to support them. It became about more than just the money. This is how it should work. We could've just raised taxes and then sent them a check from our town. It would've been the same amount of money spread across the community. But how different would that've felt? I have often thought about how we could better bring together the people who need charity with people that want to help. I think that with blockchain technology we now have the tools to make this a reality. We could have an organization where people can request donations for themselves or others who are in need. Then people can join by donating every month and choosing which people/organizations would get their money. Then based on who you are donating to the platform could suggest other causes that you might be interested in supporting.
February 21, 2020
The Permanent Portfolio - Automating your Investing
Leave some feedback or ask a question Decide which assets you want to hold Assign each asset a percentage of your portfolio A permanent portfolio is composed of equal parts stocks, bonds, gold, and cash. Periodically rebalance your portfolio The idea is that when one asset class goes up and another goes down, you harvest profits from the one and put it in the other. This way you are always buying low and selling high. Suggested to rebalance once a year I have an algorithm that rebalances constantly Algorithm to determine what price you should buy or sell the item for You need an average of what the price normally is The more you have of an asset the lower your price will go The less you have of an asset the higher your price will go Your buy and sell prices should have a spread. Mine is at 5% right now. The lower the spread, the more you will be buying and selling. But you make more money on the swings The higher the spread, the less you will be buying and selling. You make less money on swings
February 17, 2020
Chore Program with Automatic Pricing
Leave some feedback or ask a question I share a few updates to my chore system. Here is the link to the blog post that introduces the idea.
February 14, 2020
Automation - How big of a problem will it be and what to do about it
Leave some feedback or ask a question People are worried that automation means that we will lose so many jobs that we will have to create a UBI just so that people won’t starve. We should stop automation because people won’t have anything to do What will likely happen is automation will keep taking people’s jobs just like it always has Automation is just using a natural process to get something done without human time being spent. By natural I don’t necessarily mean “nature” but the natural laws of the universe. If we build a computer that can solve a problem that means that we have used natural laws to create a process that gives us the desired outcome without spending human time. We created the process and now it just works, over and over without additional cost. People will need to be adaptable as the job market changes Value = how much time someone takes to do it * how much expertise (expertise is just another way to say time because it takes time to get the expertise) Automation can decrease these two variables which means it will make things cheaper Anything we pay for is to get another human to do something for us. Robots don’t need to be paid. If robots really did everything then everything would be free and we wouldn’t need jobs anyway. So this means there is nothing to worry about? No, many people will probably lose their jobs as the jobs become obsolete. We need to make sure that our skills are flexible so that if our jobs become obsolete we will have other options.
February 12, 2020
Keeping Commitments to Others and Yourself - Or be a Liar!
Leave some feedback or ask a question Many people make commitments either formally or informally. To meet someone for a meeting To do something Many people don’t seem to take these things seriously. If you’re a few minutes late, no big deal (no!) If you say you’re going to do something then do it! If you don’t then you are a liar! I know it sounds harsh but that is the reality. So we need to stop lying to ourselves and to others. Now there are two ways to help with this Before you make a commitment, pause and think to yourself if you can actually do it and if you are willing to actually do it. If not, it’s ok to say no. Saying no is a very freeing thing. It is much better to say no than to say yes and then not do it. If you say no, you always have the possibility of changing your mind and going and doing it later but if you say yes but then don’t do it you are making yourself a liar. So be careful committing yourself to things 28 A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. 29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. 30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. 31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? When you do make a commitment, you need to make sure that you do it. If you followed step one and really thought before you said yes then you have already decided it is possible. So now you just need to make preparations to be sure that you follow through. If you are always late to things, here are some tips. How late are you normally? Add 5 minutes to that and start preparing to leave that much before you normally do. If you really struggle try being ready to walk out the door 15 minutes before normal. That way, worst case scenario, you just have to sit and wait for 15 minutes before leaving. Sidenote: Find out when it is appropriate to arrive. For a meeting with a specific start time where people will be waiting on you it’s a good idea to be at least 5 minutes early so that you can start right on time. For some things, like parties or other gatherings where people are coming and going then being a few minutes late doesn’t really matter. When you say you are going to do something, make a way that you can remember it. Add it to your to-do list, set a reminder on your phone, add it to your calendar, etc Make sure that you can follow your commitment to get it done! Over time, people will start to be able to tell what type of person you are, whether you are the first son or the second son. They will know whether or not they can trust your word, in other words they will know that you are a liar or not. I know it sounds harsh but that’s really what is going on. You are naively lying to people. Now when you make commitments to yourself you need to follow similar guidelines. If you decide you want to start a new habit or two, make sure that you are willing to do what it takes before you commit to it fully. It’s ok to say that you are going to try to be a little better here and there until you’re ready to fully commit yourself. It’s better to not commit fully and then do it anyway than it is to commit and then not do it. When you have decided to commit to yourself to do something. Plan accordingly, like with commitments to other people, you should make sure you remember and make a plan that’s easy to follow that will allow you to get the thing done.
February 10, 2020
Current Projects - ROI of Buying Discounts
Leave some feedback or ask a question This will tie into my spreadsheet that tells me the best use of my money. If you can compare APR with buying things at discounts it can easily tell you if you should pay off a debt, buy at a discount or invest in some other way First you have to be able to determine what the average price is. Then you can see how good of a deal the item is Then you need to figure out how often you use the item If you buy 10 items that you use about 1 per month at a 50% discount: Every month you are saving 50% on the purchase of the item So each month you are basically getting a dividend payment for the price of the item for 10 months Problem is calculating real roi Compounding makes this difficult
February 7, 2020
Universal Resource Inheritance - Rethinking Property Ownership
Leave some feedback or ask a question Lots of talk about ubi. Benefits: Help the poor Get rid of current welfare systems Improve the labor market (workers have more leverage) Problems: How much should it be? Where does the money come from? -If it's paid from taxes that would be a huge tax burden with potential moral problems. -If it’s paid through inflation the rate of inflation would probably be too high I personally don’t think UBI has a good moral footing. Forcing people to pay money to others just because we think it’s a good idea. An idea that I came across that is somewhat similar is URI. (Universal Resource Inheritance) URI comes at the question from a different direction. Instead of saying that we should pay each person a certain amount per year (which is just an arbitrary number) by taking it through our morally questionable tax system, URI gets similar results from a different paradigm to property rights The earth is the inheritance of everyone. The human race shares it Current property rights says that whoever improves the land first gets it until they sell it or gift it to someone else. There is no more empty space that can be claimed. Where is the share for future generations This is not how it has always been done The Hebrew Law divides all land equally and ensuring land stays in the inheritance forever by returning the sold lands to the original owner family every 50 years. This basically means that you are never really “selling” your land. It is just being leased for no more than 50 years. This insured that the land would remain in the control of the original tribes. What if we had a similar system where everyone in the world shared ownership of the earth and collectively we leased it out to each other? This is the idea of URI All land would be taxed at 5% This would then be equally distributed to everyone on earth. This is equivalent to each person getting their share of the earth but then leasing it to the current owners. Real Estate - create shares for each piece of property and do the same as equities whoever owns 50% + 1 gets to make decisions about the property Some proponents suggest that we should do the same with equities and money, the idea here is that we are including all of the worlds wealth not just the land. Money - inflate the money supply Equities - create 5% more shares and sell them I’m not convinced that this idea should apply to equities and money because I feel like land is the thing that we are sharing while money and equities are things that people create...
February 5, 2020
Don't let your phone control you!
Why do we think this is ok?! Leave some feedback or ask a question  The person in front of you is the most important at that moment If you get interrupted by a notification ignore it! Apologize if you really have to look at it and definitely don’t respond unless you have to and then tell the other person Train yourself to not look at notifications Turn off unnecessary notifications
February 3, 2020