Thursday, February 20, 2020

Podcast Episode 8: Peer-to-Peer Charity

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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. 

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Monday, February 17, 2020

Podcast Episode 7: The Permanent Portfolio - Automating your Investing

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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

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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Automation - How big of a problem will it be and what to do about it

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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.
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Monday, February 10, 2020

Keeping Commitments to Others and Yourself - Or be a Liar!

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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
  1. 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?
  1. 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.
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Saturday, February 8, 2020

Don't let your phone control you!

Why do we think this is ok?!

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

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Free Market Chore System

I wanted to share the latest project I have been working on. It is a chore sheet that dynamically sets prices for the chores based on the feedback of the market (group doing the chores)

This is still in development, I just built it a couple weeks ago and it is a little rough around the edges but it is working pretty well as a proof of concept.

How it Works

1. Add your list of chores. You can add more in the future so don't worry about getting all of them the first try

2. Set a starting price. The starting price doesn't matter too much because it will change over time. The idea is to try and put it a little below what you think people will actually do it for.

3. Estimate how long it will take. Again, this will change over time but you want to try to be fairly accurate. Estimating too high is better than too low.

4. Put a checkmark in the status column to say that the task needs to be done

5. Click the checkbox next to "Assign Chores" when you are finished. This will assign out any chores that are checked and not already assigned.

Now that you've got the chores set out and assigned, you can go look at your list to see what jobs were assigned to you.

As you can see, each job shows the price, the estimated time, the per hour rate and gives you four options:

Not Available - This is for if there is an urgent job that needs to be done but you are not available to do it right now. Clicking this will assign it to someone else.

Reject - This is for when you don't think it's worth it to do the job. Clicking this will assign it to someone else and increase the price by 10%.

Working - When you are ready to do the chore you check this and it will keep track of your time in the "Time" column. If you take a break without finishing just uncheck and the time will stop increasing.

Completed - When you are done with the chore you hit completed.


Background Operation

Assign Chores - When this button is pushed, each task that is not already assigned will be assigned to someone. The chance that someone will be picked is based on their balance. The higher the balance, the less likely they are to be assigned the chore. The lower the balance, the more likely they are to receive the chore. This helps to balance out between people with higher and lower balances, if you have a lower balance, you are more likely to get first pick of the chores.

Reassign Chores - This will simply unassign any chores that have not been worked on yet and then assigns the chores as explained above. This feature is for when someone has finished all of the chores on their list and they would like to be able to do more chores. This also prevents someone from hoarding chores and incentivises them to do the highest paying chores first to avoid those jobs being reassigned.

I have already explained "Not Available" and "Reject"

Working - Every minute, any chores that have "Working" checked will have the number in the "Time" section incremented. This represents how long it took to complete the job.

Completed - When a chore is marked "Completed" it will have the "Status" unchecked on the "Chores" page. The chore name, price, time, and person who completed it will be recorded on the "History" page. The balance of the person who completed the chore will be increased by the price.

Calculating Price - When a job is completed, the price is calculated as the average price that the chore has been done before on the chore sheet times 80%. The price on the "Chores" sheet will be updated to this number. This is to always be putting downward pressure on the price of the job. If people continually do the price for the price offered the price will go down over time. (Remember, when people reject a chore because the price is too low it increases the price by 10%, this is how equilibrium is found for the price. If it's too high it won't be rejected and the price will begin to fall. Too low and people will reject it, raising the price, until someone is willing to do it.


The Purpose

The idea is to easily and simply find the market prices for each chore in a way that doesn't take much thinking on the part of the users. All the users have to think about is whether they think it is worth it to do the job for that price.

It works similarly to an auction where the right to bid is randomly chosen and the price of the bid is already selected. Now the person only needs to decide if they want to exercise this option or pass it up.

This brings the benefit of free market pricing without the drawbacks of needing speculators and investors who spend a lot of time finding the market price. This of course isn't feasible on the small scale with untrained people.


If you would like more info or have any comments or suggestions for me, feel free to leave a comment below or email me at