Monday, April 13, 2020

Podcast Episode 19: Organizing

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.
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

Friday, April 10, 2020

Podcast Episode 18: Gum Chucks! The Best Way to Floss! (No Really)

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“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.”

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Podcast Episode 17: Designing a Stable Currency (No Inflation or Deflation)

Purpose of Money (To store the value of our working time)
Attributes of a good currency
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
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

Monday, March 9, 2020

Podcast Episode 16: Easy Budget

Expenses that happen on a regular basis that you are committed to pay
Expenses that you know will happen but you're not sure exactly when or how much they will be.
Everything else
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

Friday, March 6, 2020

Podcast Episode 15: 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.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Podcast Episode 14: 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

Monday, March 2, 2020

Podcast Episode 13: How to Change Your Mind (and flat earth theory)

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.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Podcast Episode 12: Pocket: Saving Articles to Read Later

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Use share feature to instantly save articles

Read at your leisure

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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Podcast Episode 11: Rethinking Traffic Stops

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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.)

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Monday, February 24, 2020

Podcast Episode 10: To Act or To Be Acted Upon

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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.

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Friday, February 21, 2020

Podcast Episode 9: The Best Virtual Keyboard

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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

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Wednesday, February 19, 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