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Cake day: June 16th, 2023

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  • I think this overstates the “you must futz with it” of both Android and the common Linux desktop. Broadly speaking, both are pretty much fine out of the box for most people and the stuff they are likely to want to do to Windows is similarly easy to do with a likely default desktop environment (I’d say KDE more likely than Gnome, since Gnome opts to try not let you do a lot of stuff and demands you have to do “weird stuff” for some customizations). You don’t have to play with “expert tiling-only window manager N” or go off the deep end tweaking to the Nth degree.

    Same with Android, though with even less likelihood of anyone bothering to go “off script”. 99% of Android users never touch adb, never do an oem unlock, never boot an aftermarket OS load.

    The fact that you can, does not imply you must.



  • Problem with taxing unrealized gains is that there’s a fair argument that unrealized gains are, largely, fictitious. For example if Musk said, today, “I am selling all my stock, give me 250 billion now”, he would not get 250 billion dollars, because there isn’t 250 billion dollars of money actually primed to buy Musk’s stock.

    Analagous, if your house went up by $150k, then they said “oh, you ‘earned’ $150k, you owe $80k”, your only way to cover that would be to sell the house, which isn’t fair because you were living in it, not using it as a financial instrument. However, if you borrowed $150k and used it to buy a couple of corvettes based on that equity increase, well that’s weird but maybe ok depending on how you ultimately pay back that $150k you borrowed, but at least in the short term, you made $150k appear out of thin air, which might be janked in the long term…





  • We laughed at the protagonist.

    Sticking his hand into a fire thinking it was the way and having it burned off… ok, he was tricked by a greatly trusted person in his life.

    Then later accepting that the problem was not that it burned off his hand, but he should have put his entire body in…

    Our conclusion was that the ending where you jump in are his friends making a cover story of how stupid he was to just jump in the fire and claiming he in fact did become some invisible divine being, and that’s why you can’t see him, not because he was a gullible idiot.



  • I’ll amend to note one thing, which being color blind made me particularly aware of “what color does this look like to you?” doesn’t really mean anything. You could ask some other person “what color does blue look like?” and you two have no idea how each others minds conceptualize “blue”. The concept is called Qualia and refers to facets of our subjective experience that we cannot share, like the “color” of something (two people may reach consensus that 420 nm is “blue”, but can never know what that “looks like” to the other party).

    My best hope is sharing what I think represents how my color vision falters. In my case I can’t tell the difference between the picture presented and this


  • I had always thought, at least in my case, that my green and blue cones are normal, but my red just don’t work well. For example, if you just drop the R values in RGB in a picture to zero, I won’t generally notice. I would assume I’d perceive it somehow being different if my sensitivity shifted.



  • Also, protonopia, further adding to things.

    ‘red/green’ means either you have difficulty seeing red, or maybe green. Then there is severity. I am evidently relatively severe protonopia. Like if you take a picture and just delete the red channel, I can’t really tell except if there’s some extremely pure red in it not mixed with anything else. Any hint of other colors in the mix will drown out any red perception.




  • The market does determine, unfortunately the market is relatively unfazed by subpar customer service. It has to be really bad or a huge legal catastrophe before it moves the needle. Which is why phone trees and long wait times are ubiquitous despite being universally hated. Marketing and sales and having a 90+ % rate of people that don’t ever feel the need to call customer service basically eliminates that bad service as a concern.

    Even when asus had a famously bad customer service scandal this year, their sales continued to rise unabated.



  • Wage-based taxation has always been an awkward way to target the rich.

    Is it wages or is it income? Income covers much more than wages, and in a good system one would account for everything without loopholes. A comprehensive income tax that catches everything would go pretty far.

    Wealth tax can be dicey, in theory. It would require a sell-off to actually have money that can be used to pay taxes, and the sell-off would change the value of the assets. For example, the S&P 500 is “worth” 46 billion dollars. That’s more than twice the “money” that exists total, it’s literally impossible to actually manifest all of that to dollars, so most of the “worth” cannot be “realized”.




  • I don’t know how France classifies “income”, so it could be good at capturing income. It’s our own fault when something that is obviously “income” doesn’t technically count, in principle a tax system can capture everything that makes sense to count.

    In the US, along with wages, interest income and dividend income also count as “regular” income and are taxed appropriately. Capital gains is… weirder and this is the first area ripe for opportunity to reform to capture “rich guy income is different than normal guy income”, as long as it is intelligent about it (e.g. if you said, without qualification, all capital gains are taxed like crazy, then suddenly selling your house as part of moving becomes an unreasonable burden, which is why it already has an exemption, but just an example to say vaguely why we have to be careful about capital gains).

    Then you get to the borrowing you mention, and I’ve seen a pretty reasonable approach to capture that as “income”, in theory: https://equitablegrowth.org/closing-the-billionaire-borrowing-loophole-would-strengthen-the-progressivity-of-the-u-s-tax-code/

    TL;DR: Currently borrowing doesn’t count as realizing gains, change it so that borrowing counts as “selling” the stock, further mandating that the cost basis of all identical stock is a specific way rather than letting the shareholder pick and choose their most favored cost basis.

    I’d be willing to concede some tax break on repayment of such a loan to reconcile “real income” being exchanged for it down the road, but at that point I think it would largely be academic because suddenly there’s no point in borrowing against the stock rather than just selling it outright.