Friday, February 28, 2020

Podcast Episode 12: Pocket: Saving Articles to Read Later

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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