One of Gawker’s most cherished tags was “How Things Work,” a rubric that applied to posts revealing the sausage-making, the secret ways that power manifests itself. The phrase has a children’s book feel to it, bringing to mind colorful illustrations of animals in human work clothes building houses or delivering mail. Of course it also carries the morbid sense of innocence lost, and the distance between the stories we tell ourselves about the world and the way it actually works. Collapsing that distance is, in many ways, what Gawker has always been about.
And so Gawker’s demise turns out to be the ultimate Gawker story. It shows how things work.
Source: How Things Work
Much lauded, much hated. So long.
I seriously need to change my habits. I’m spending too much money and my cost of living went up %250.
I thought it’d be easy — doesn’t one always think so? — but it’s not. For starters I need to stop buying other people food just because I can.
Need to be much more careful with these sort of expenses. They really creep up on you.
This month will be more or less okay, but I really need to pay attention during September.
Turns out I might have to keep working like this for at least another six months at least.
I finally solved my woes to find a new living space… but it is at the very margin of what would let me save money. I’m going to be living paycheck to paycheck for a bit and I don’t like it.
Not one bit.
I hope I can either find a new job that will let me compensate for my new astronomically high living costs or save enough money to find another living space that will be cheaper.
Either way I’ll have to work 70+ hours a week to be able to afford all this.
We tend to think of Silicon Valley being built on Moore’s Law making computers continually cheaper and more powerful, but the dot-com era only pretended to be built on Moore’s Law. It was actually built on hype.
Source: I, Cringely Thinking about Big Data – Part Two – I, Cringely
It’s a bloody pain in the ass, is what it is.
Craigslist has been taken over by spammers (I’m looking at you, fucking Roomster), padmapper is useless to find roommates and the market is getting more expensive all the time since all the new housing excitedly approved by the city is luxury housing.
Yeah… most people in this city do not have a grand to drop in rent monthly. And that’s without taking into account the security deposit (usually a month’s rent) and the rental application. So if you’re looking to live in one of those hot new apartment buildings you’re looking at at least $2500 USD, give or take a few hundred dollars.
The entire structure is setup to screw renters. Same goes if you actually try to buy a house.
I’m just annoyed because I’ve looked at a few places and they all suck.
There was a tweet from @findchaos that made me remember a conversation I had with a coworker at my kitchen job a few days ago.
The gist of it was “I’m looking for a new computer that’s good for everything and has lots of gigs to do what I want because I don’t want to spend a grand on an apple laptop“. Cue the questions regarding use (“Are you going to use for facebook? Youtube? Are you going to play on it?”) and connectivity (“Do you have WiFi at home? No? Are you going to use a hotspot from your phone then? No? So how are you going to get online???”)
This guy is from a poor part of Mexico. Whenever I ask specifics I just get grunts or non-answers, because he gets embarrassed. He knows he’s in over his head on these matters and I am understanding, but there’s so much I can do without kissing his ass which I will not do.
So with that said, I recommended a few models from the Dell XPS line, the Lenovo Thinkpad line and a couple of Samsung laptops I saw for cheap on Amazon. The guy was quite insistent that he wanted a “Sony laptop” if he couldn’t get a cheap Apple laptop. It didn’t matter what the sub-brand was since Sony has a few, most of them with the esoteric model names so favored by this manufacturer. I kept asking if he wanted a Vaio, but he just answered “I want a Sony laptop if I can’t get a cheap Apple laptop”.
After a while of circular arguments on his part I eventually ended the conversation with “If you don’t want to pay over a grand for a computer from Apple and you don’t like what Sony or Dell or Lenovo or Samsung or anyone else has to offer then I can’t help you. You have to decide what you want and all of it costs over 500 dollars from what you say you want.”
That shut him up.
From this I get a few things:
- Apple is quite uncaring of people like my fellow cook. I’ve seen their support and as they’ll help you as long as you give them money, which most in his position don’t have, otherwise you’re on your own. For them, an Apple device is a status symbol.
- Other computer manufacturers should try to fill in this gap. Even though these people are mostly illiterate they are already online through facebook and whatsapp. They are quite willing to spend the funds, it’s just that they don’t even have brand awareness of others because no one has even tried beyond a few ads in the most popular telenovela.
- I think more efforts to promote Chromebooks would help as these people pretty much only use facebook, youtube, whatsapp and a few others. Particularly now that Google is working on having chromebooks have the capacity to run Android apps and even use the Google Play Store itself.
- People like him want to know more but the classes available are designed for people with 9 to 5 schedules. The vast majority of Hispanic immigrants do not have that schedule and if governments want to better integrate them into US society at large more efforts should be made to allow for schedules where people have free time in the morning and work in the evenings.
- I should probably start a side business giving people like him advice on what to buy and for a commission, buy it for them through Amazon. Offer training for an additional charge.
In writing this I forgot the original point of the post, but that’s okay. At least this is now out there since it happens somewhat often. People ask me something, I try to obtain more information to provide better advice, then they clam up because they realize they don’t even know what they want or what the person that wants the thing wants.
I’ll just go along with it.
There are a few things that I have to make clear, though, as the entire conversation was conducted in Spanish:
- “Lots of gigs” is a valid unit of measure for people like him. I don’t know whether they refer to RAM or to storage capacity, but I go along since they usually mean a bit of both. The actual phrase was “hartos gigas”.
- Apple is the same whether they are talking about an iPhone (“Un telefono Apple”) or a computer (“una laptop Apple”) regardless of whether the computer is a desktop or a laptop. The only difference is whether it is a mobile device or not.
Don’t you want to know how far you fell
Don’t you want to know how much was lost
Source: Gordon’s Notes: Systemic failure in American medicine: combining ICD-10-CM with “leaf code” reimbursement rules
It’s confusing and quite abstract if you don’t work in healthcare, but it does make sense when you think about it in terms of money, as I did. The only times I’ve stepped in a hospital in the past five years are when I buy coffee from a store inside of one.
The system as described by Gordon lacks something crucial when talking about illness, disease and health conditions: specificity.
When you can’t properly code something in a very specific way, everything else built on top of it goes out the window.
me: i love reading because it relaxing
me: *screams at books*
me: throws it at the wall
me: *cries over characters for days on end*
me: *curses author's name to the winds*
me: so relaxing