Attempting to live a life more indifferent.
A radical idea:
if someone commits a financial crime, whether they acted alone as an independent financial "expert" or as an employee of an institution of any size, then they need to go to prison.
Ep2 with Travis Kling:
This podcast nailed it for me. There are sections in there that make me jump up and down with agreement and enthusiasm. When I was in college I remember the economic lesson of efficient markets. It’s a vivid memory. It’s extremely clear because after learning about what it is, i said to myself “that’s not possible”. But then i thought “well, they teach it, so it must be true. So, if they teach it, and i don’t get it, then i must be the dumb one." So i bailed out of the study of economics and it was perfectly fine since my heart and skills were headed down the engineering path. There is usually a lot more certainly in engineering.
Now years after several great books about behavioral economics have come out with some Nobel prizes given out too in recognition of it, and I am a rabid fan of the discipline, here is this super-engineered bitcoin in a completely irrational and inefficient market system created by super-idiosyncratic unpredictable humans. How perfect could my timing be? Travis Kling talks in this podcast about how behavioral economics really hit home with him. And as he talks about efficient markets, he mentions that even when he went to school (more recently than i), they still didn't teach nearly enough about the irrationality of people and how that creates lots and lots of inefficient markets.
I have this crazy idea to get together a small number of like-minded friends and acquaintances who are speculators and investors who want to get exposure to bitcoin. I want to pool together ten of us to put together a $250k fund to participate in Travis Kling’s new venture. Judging by his history as a long/short trader, he knows what he is doing. In the most simplistic view, either bitcoin goes to zero in the next several years, or it goes to levels seen in the recent past, and more importantly it goes to much higher levels that industry insiders and financial institutions are betting we will see. Call me crazy, but that seems to be a reasonable bet to me if you can afford to lose $25k. (Presuming ten equal participants at $25k each.)
I decided after seeing someone on twitter that it was also time for me to get more real with who i am. The image is what I was trying to do in the past. Trying so hard. The new twitter profile is a lot more accurate. Such as life.
Oh, and I left my day job as i liked to call it. It was with a very large Fortune 50 company. I had some personal and family priorities that needed to be handled sooner rather than later.
My new beginning here in 2018 is with Yellow Umbrella Ventures. I endeavor of my very own.
My blogging has now turned into nano-blogging with tweets. I ain't got time for shit these days. So i count my tweets as blogging - LOL.
Just random thoughts that pass through my brain and the only outlet i have is twitter. F fb.
I get mad at inanimate objects.
And it's ridiculous.
They have done nothing wrong (for the most part).
The interaction is all made up in my cave man pea brain.
Little kids = little problems.
Big kids = big problems.
The more I see, the more I am convinced that it's virtually impossible to make other people do what they don't want to do.
I am a big fan of SoA.
SoA = Suspension of Attention
It's the idea of letting your brain use a distracting activity to make it so that higher order thoughts and ideas can bubble up to a conscious level where you can analyze and articulate them. It's from my good friends at Pathwise.
Some ways to get into a state of SoA that work for me:
- brushing my teeth
- driving (aka windshield time, which works great for me and @arryinSeattle for mutual windshield time)
- washing dishes
- putting away dishes
- cleaning up the house
Reid Hoffman calls it "where do you do your best thinking". And he compiled all those places by his guests into this one podcast.
And as a side note, it is a fantastic episode if you're also on your journey to find your big idea. Timing is more important than the idea. Knowing yourself is more important than the big idea.
When Kevin Lomax blew his brains out at the end, he exercised his free will to do what he thought was best. When it all reset, John Milton came back in the form of a journalist to have another go. What was the reward he offered?
Some pride is okay, but too much of it can also be a bitch.
I wanted to end the year with a memorable post…
I can’t believe another year has gone by. My son is almost two. And I have another year of blogging under my belt.
Here I end 2017 with a situation I encountered in the latter half of the year that was very troubling.
I started to feel a certain restless leg syndrome type of discomfort that was also very painful at times. When I walked, pain would rifle up and down my left leg at random times. Sometimes I would be laying there in bed and my left leg would want to shake or tremble randomly. It was sort of like a tickle, but not in a fun way.
So I kept thinking like it was a network troubleshooting exercise. What has changed in the last few weeks? My body has been functioning just fine and I’ve done something different to cause this painful consequence.
Was it a change in diet? Maybe, I was still enjoying the same amount of junk food. But maybe my tired old body wasn’t able to process it as well.
Was it exercise? I generally don’t work out, but I did try to do some odd stretching of my back. I had not done this kind of prolonged stretching ever before. So it became my prime suspect. I stopped doing it, but the pain got worse.
Was my sleeping pattern different? Yes, there was another great disturbance in the way I slept because of my son. But not sure how that was causing this pain.
Was it a resurrection of something from my motorcycle accident? Maybe. The pain was causing me to limp in a similar way.
When I would walk, the pain could be very slightly alleviated by lifting my jeans off my left hip where it seemed like I the nerve pain was originating. So I kept working on alleviating that pressure. The odd part is that I have always worn my jeans low on my hips, so there had to be another contributing factor.
Was it my age? Maybe. I’m only getting older. Which sucks.
Not knowing how long this issue was going to be around, I kept doing the one remedy that seemed to work: alleviating the pressure on my left hip. I bought some Mork & Mindy suspenders. That way I could keep my pants up, but also keep the pressure off my hip nerves completely. I did that for a few days and again, the symptoms got better.
I remembered reading an article a long time ago about women who wore their jeans too low on their hips who might experience some weird pain. I’m thinking to myself that’s the exact same problem I’m having now. How is that possible?
My sleep has been crappy all year. What about my sleep has changed? I think I might be sleeping on my left side too much. So I started sleeping on my right. And the symptoms continued to get better along with the use of the suspenders. What else has been different about my sleeping habits? It didn’t happen that often, so I didn’t think it would matter, but occasionally I would accidentally fall asleep with my son at his bedtime. The routine we do is that Arry and I would take turns going to bed with him to make sure he fell asleep.
It turns out that when I would lay down with him, I would do it fully clothed: jeans and belt and everything. I wasn’t intending to fall asleep, but I was so exhausted that I couldn’t help myself. So I changed that too. I started to strip down to my undies as if I am going to bed for the night. And that was the last culprit that was probably the trigger that started it all. My jeans and the leather belt were putting pressure on that perfect spot when I slept on my left, which was the side that allowed me to face my son to watch for him to fall asleep so I could get the hell out of his room.
After changing all the different ways that I saw that I was putting pressure on my left hip, within a week my nerve pain was all but gone!! No doctor intervention. I forgot to mention I was trying to medicate myself back to health by using lots of ibuprofen – sometimes up to 600mg in a single dose with no great long-term results. I was thinking it would reduce any swelling around the nerves that were having the problems. Sometimes I seemed like it worked, but it never lasted.
To conclude, once I finished all the troubleshooting, I was very self-gratified. I was able to fix a very mysterious health ailment by practicing the three golden rules of troubleshooting:
1. Find out what has changed lately
2. Use the process of elimination to isolate the issue
3. If an idea seems to work well, then do more with that idea
Indeed, it was some very self-gratifying troubleshooting I did on myself!
Happy New Year, y'all!
MOST AWESOME: when you go into business with a friend, and the friendship becomes stronger.
AWESOME: when you conduct business with someone new and you become friends.
NOT AWESOME: when you go into business with a friend, and the friendship is ruined.
You’re a medium-sized country with a moderate to flat to shrinking economy, with no immediate plans for higher growth when your citizens are yearning for more opportunities. Do you stimulate the economy by pumping a couple of billion dollars into all kinds of political and economic plans with no definitive history of success?
Alternatively, maybe you sweet talk Jeff into opening up a few fulfillment centers and allowing organic and natural demand for Amazon’s goods and services to stimulate industry, innovation, and economic velocity. Oh and by the way, you can take a billion of those dollars and buy some $AMZN so you can have a stake in the success of Jeff&Co.
I have a special ambivalence in the world of raising children.
A wise friend of mine told me:
The days are long. But the years go by fast.
Someone caused great harm to me and my family on Monday, Oct 30. I have been mentally, emotionally, and psychologically obsessed over this incident since then.
I randomly needed a cooler while traveling. So I bought one.
And then I realized that I needed to decorate it. So I did.
"you are the bouncers, I am the cooler."
ASP can be Active Server Page. At least that's the definition with which I'm most familiar. It's about how web pages are controlled and rendered in your web browser.
My take lately is Asymmetrical Sensitivity Profile.
A person with an Asymmetrical Sensitivity Profile can present themselves as really blunt and harsh and critical towards nearly everyone around them, but if that person has one hint of a word said to them about anything that is in the slightest way direct, or against their opinion, or slightly coaching, or emotionally unexpected, they will treat you like The Beast himself who has come to rip their soul from their bodies. In their eyes, you will be the biggest POS on the face of the earth. And for that matter the most evil person in existence in the universe.
e.g. someone shares an idea in a group setting, and the Mr. Asshole in the group says to them "that is the stupidest idea I have ever heard in my life." And he doesn't think twice about it. But if someone tells Mr. Asshole that his idea doesn't really fit within the scope of the project at the moment, then he'll think to himself, "You are a prick and you're trying to sabotage my career. I can’t wait to stab you in the back you freakin' moron."
Have you ever told someone something innocuous like "you have some ketchup right there" (pointing to your own chin), then they react with a sour look on their face? Like they are thinking "what the fuck, man? I can't have a little ketchup on my face while I'm enjoying my fucking fries? Why do you have to be so fucking annoying?!"
One time I told a guy who came by my cube that he had something on his face. It looked like a dab of lotion. I couldn't help myself because it was so obvious and I didn't want him to walk around too much longer with it. I wasn't laughing at him. I wasn't actively clowning on him for having it on his face. I simply stated a fact in about as dry and nice way as I could. But maybe I unintentionally sounded like an asshole???. He promptly simultaneously turned around, brushed off the piece of tissue and left. He abandoned whatever conversation he was about to start with me. It felt like he was mumbling "Damn you Dae. Why the hell you gotta be like that?"
I tried to think about it from his point of view. Maybe it was that he was too embarrassed or something. But what's crazy is that he was one of the most brash and confident dudes in the office. He would not have any reason to be embarrassed around a lowly engineer like me. He walked away and I went back to work and to this very day I have no idea what was going through his head.
There is that very popular TV show called Survivor. There will inevitably be some players who are really good at the game who you don't like. And there will be others who don't play the politics very well who you do like. Their likability plays a factor in their ability to survive, but it is not the sole factor by any means.
Even though I might not like a good player, there is a certain level of respect I will give them. And that's the way it sometimes works in Corporate America. Layoffs, rightsizing, downsizing, mergers+acquisitions, the profit motivation, and maximization of shareholder value have made it so that many companies are the same Survivor Islands. And all the players are the employees who are fighting for their survival. Information hoarding, treachery, lying, and backstabbing are traits you need on the TV Survivor Islands and the Corporate Islands.
So while I do respect the players who survive, I don't have to like them.
<originally drafted May 2016. very late to publish.>
This is GREAT packaging.
No stupid packing peanuts.
No rattling around inside the box.
No product packaging getting mangled inside from bouncing around inside the shipping container.
I don't think I get too effusive about "silly" consumer products very often, but DAMN I love my popsockets!!
You might be wondering, WTF is that?
I carry two phones. One for my day job and one is my personal phone. Some people hate dual-phoning. I didn’t know what I was going to think of it. After trying it out now for over a year I have determined that I LIKE IT. It’s like having double battery life. The most ironic/tragic part is that even with double battery life, I still have to charge BOTH DAMN PHONES multiple times a day in order to make it to bed time. It’s pathetic. One of these days I'll write up all the thoughts I have about how pathetic smartphone battery life is.
Anyway, it’s been over a year. Being a typical guy, I’ve been carrying the phones in my front pockets. Yes, it’s sort of a PITA (Pain In The Ass), but for me, the advantages outweigh the PITA part. Recently, I’ve decided to stop carrying the phones in my pockets. I try to set them in the passenger seat, or generally away from my pelvis as much as possible. It is because I’ve been obsessing about the far-fetched notion that I’ve created a VORTEX OF SEMINAL CARNAGE (VSC).
Here’s how I came up with it. I don’t know exactly how the radio energy comes out of the phones. But if the radio waves from each phone emit from the antennas in basically a omni-directional way, where the phone is at the center and you can imagine circular waves of sinusoidal patterns transmitting in three dimensions, then it would look like kids blowing bubbles where the bubbles get bigger and bigger and bigger until they pop. Except with these radio waves, the bubbles don’t pop. They just go and go and go and dissipate until all the power is absorbed or naturally gone.
So then with two phones bilaterally surrounding my testicles, now you see the VORTEX OF SPERMATOZOAN DEATH (VSD) right at the center where the arrow is pointing. It is where the energy waves from both phones would intersect and overlap each other. All I can think is that my poor little microscopic seeds won't stand much of a chance being nuked from both sides.
I will still be a dual-phoner, but I won’t carry both phones in my pockets if I can help it.
I’ll carry them in murse.
When I'm faced with a network issue at home, I start with the fundamentals. I like to start with what I call "number zero". Because counting doesn't start at one. It starts at nothing. (Yes, I realize that the OSI Model starts at layer 1, but humor me for a moment.)
0.0 is it on? Is there power?
0.1 are all the plugs connected?
0.2 are all the activity lights blinking?
0.3 try rebooting one device at a time.
The whole exercise of troubleshooting is all about isolating the cause of the problem. You can't figure out what is truly going on if you eliminate multiples variables at the same time. For example, if you have an engine problem, you can replace the entire engine and it will probably fix your issue. But no one replaces an entire engine. They figure out if it's a dead battery. Then recharge the battery or replace it. If that fixes the issue only temporarily, then you work backwards and figure out if the alternator is working. If it isn't, then replace it and see if your engine problems are cured. It takes time and it takes reasonable, analytical thinking to go through one component at a time in a given system. You have to know what you're doing.
When I think about our environment and all the arguing and debate about whether the existence of humans and our carbon-emitting vehicles and lifestyles of consumption contributes to the problem of climate change, I think about what single variable we can isolate at a time. Some possible choices are:
* internal combustion engines
* plant life (forests, vegetation, etc)
* fossil fuels
Eliminate the existence of each, one at a time and figure out if it improves the situation of climate change. It's really simple. (Simple doesn't mean it's easy.)
Well, none of those are viable to isolate in any reasonable time frame. Then the debate goes back to one semi-viable option: reduce the consumption of fossil fuels. And then one side says "No. No! No!! It won't work. You're wrong. It's a stupid idea."
But the alternative is to stay on the course we are on without any other variables to isolate. We can always re-instate the use of fossil fuels. That's easy. Rather than having a negative response, how about trying it out and seeing what happens? I bet the side that wants to eliminate the use of fossil fuels won't be mad if they turn out to be wrong. They will just have to figure out what the next variable is to isolate.
According to the article below, we're pretty much fucked.
One day we won't have any other choice but to swap our planet for another one.
Elon and many others think Mars is the only choice.
I wish I could be around in a thousand years to see what we end up doing.
Lately I haven't been able to get the idea of wasting money by idling a car engine out of my head.
We got a car recently where the owners manual explicitly says "Don't idle the engine to warm it up. It doesn't need it. When you turn on your car, start driving immediately." I was very pleasantly surprised!
It goes against ALL the learning I have ever received about warming up car engines. So now I don't start the car unless I am fully, completely 100% ready to start driving immediately.
Being that men and women are different, an article I read a while back said that for some reason, women tend to sit in their cars and idle the engine more than men. So I've been gathering my own empirical data to see if it's true. It's inconclusive at this point.
Then I started thinking about the hundreds of millions of cars in the world that sit idling for one reason or another. Seems like if we could all learn not to idle car engines, then that would go a lot farther in the extreme short term to:
1. waste less money buying gas
2. not put extra wear and tear on your car engine
3. reduce your personal CO2 emissions into the world
4. contribute to saving the world by doing almost nothing
Seems like a good deal to me.
And then today I saw this article that further qualifies my rambling thoughts in a more professional journalistic way:
Yes. I am the one guy in the world who reads the owners manual for an automobile. It's shocking what you can learn about your car from it.
Before mid-life I used to think “how could he allow himself to become an alcoholic.”
After my mid-life started I think “how can anyone NOT plunge themselves into abject alcoholism.”
I don't know why I never considered the current situation I am in as possible.
At mid-life, I am in full recognition of a significant lifestyle change. I'm pretty sure its all the fault of my new kid. But of course he's wonderful and amazing and so worth it :\
Before, I had more time than money. I would sacrifice time in favor of saving money.
In other words, I tended to be very frugal. If I could save money by taking longer, then I took longer.
Now, I have more money than time. Old habits are hard to break though. I have to sacrifice money in favor of gaining more time.
"every man dies. not every man truly lives" goes the saying.
My name is Dae Yu.