Share good ideas and conversation.   Login, Join Us, or Take a Tour!
blackbootz's profile

"But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?"

following: 50
followed tags: 81
followed domains: 10
badges given: 19 of 21
member for: 1955 days
style: office

comments 14
blackbootz  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 23, 2018

Great stuff. I wish I had a noble band of good natured ruffians that I belonged to. I sort of do, but we’ve drifted.

Congrats on the weight numbers. They’re just numbers but that’s a lot of them.

blackbootz  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 23, 2018

Pubski is often my de facto self-check-in. Part journal, part commiseration, part celebration.

• My third semester back at college concluded yesterday. Grades haven't been officially posted, but by my estimation it'll be straights As. Woot!

• I netted $17k of the $40k so far in scholarships and grants that I applied for next year. Total cost of attendance is $26k, so I have a good feeling about taking on minimal debt my senior year. All cause for celebration.

• The Morgan Stanley internship starts soon. Which is great, money is getting really tight--I'm definitely not the brokest college student ever but I didn't do part-time work this semester and the runway is nearly all gone. This next month is going to be rough.

I can't wait to have a normal income.

Wait, what qualifies as feteshizing the attacks as political opportunities? Are you able to discern genuine public health concern manifest as calls for gun control from rabid anti-2A folks looking to... what, stick it to gun owners?

I'm surprised the author didn't cite Bryan Caplan's work at all, like his most recent The Case Against Education. He expounds the signaling model of education which helps explains exactly what the author here laments:

    Does higher education itself offer that benefit, or are the people who earn bachelor’s degrees already positioned to get higher-paying jobs?

Judging by how little of many college curricula applies skills required in today's jobs, its a wonder why employers care at all. Unless you consider that credentials, such as undergraduate degree, signal that you're a reasonably intelligent, conformist, and conscientious future employee. These traits are probably largely determined before college.

    People who have dropped out of college — about 40 percent of all who attend — earn only a bit more than do people with only a high school education: $38,376 a year versus $35,256.

This is explained by the sheepskin effect: The reward of college is not the education, but the signaling value of the credential. Anyone can get a world-class education at their local library, YouTube University, or, as Bryan Caplan says, you could simply walk into their classrooms not even enrolled in school (the professors would be thrilled by the sight of learning for the sake of learning). Hardly anyone does this. And, importantly, employers aren't fighting over applicants with MOOCs because the signaling value is less clear than a college degree. Caplan cites evidence that finishing 3/4 of college bestows something like 10% of the earning potential of finishing 4/4 of college and getting the degree. That doesn't make sense if you believe the conventional human capital model of education.

    No other nation punishes the “uneducated” as harshly as the United States. Nearly 30 percent of Americans without a high school diploma live in poverty, compared to 5 percent with a college degree, and we infer that this comes from a lack of education. But in 28 other wealthy developed countries, a lack of a high school diploma increases the probability of poverty by less than 5 percent. In these nations, a dearth of education does not predestine citizens for poverty.

Maybe that's because education is so highly expected in the United States--we require and subsidize it more than most other countries--so the cost to not meeting that expectation is higher. But that source of that disparity is the high expectations of educational credentials, not necessarily the fault of the unschooled.


I agree with the author's sentiment that something is seriously amiss. We're screwing a shitload of people out of a good chance at high-paying jobs because they had the misfortune of being born to a family to poor to be able to prepare and pay for their kids to go to college, not to mention all the people who simply aren't cut out for years of sitting still in a classroom. I'm curious what he would think of Caplan's book which addresses and helps explain these facts. (Disclaimer: I'm very skeptical of Caplan's prescription, which is to cut all subsidies entirely so that we return to a lower level of expectation in regards to credentialism. But his book is good.)

blackbootz  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 9, 2018

I went back and read your post from two weeks ago, missed it. And this one. And maybe (probably) because I just got out of my therapist's office where I bawled at how hard things have been recently, your words struck me with a clarity and poignancy that made the sunshine feel real.

I too agonize over the mirror and with my body. I too struggle to find the balance between feeling debonair and confident and the midday fallout from realizing how big a mistake that shirt was. And I acknowledge it's nowhere near as difficult for someone like me (26 year old guy) as it is for women. That's to say, my tourism through the trenches of body image issues makes me appreciate how truly skull-rattling keeping up appearances is; striking all the balances (professional/not-too-uptight, sexy/not-hoey, done-up/not-hiding-something) each day is like the least rewarding stairmaster ever.


I feel like you’ve been doing the things I’ve been intending but not doing. Reading books from my next-up list, first Deep Work, now Conspiracy, etc. reading them in a single sitting and then writing us a proper book report. #goals

I’m curious why Holliday wrote this book. Based on his reading newsletters, I would think he’d be writing a stoic quote book or a biography of Marcus Aurelius.

What is Holliday’s note keeping system?

blackbootz  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 2, 2018

This is awesome ref. What are the 8 subcategories that help you think about what needs goal-defining? Are they the items under the MY PLAN heading in the photo?

I've also found that when I look over old journals or wishlists, a lot of what's written under the "goals" heading are either 1) still goals or 2) accomplished since. It seems that goal-setting (or dissatisfaction with the present, depending on how you look at it) is a persistent state. And the joy of completing goals is fleeting. When I take stock, there's a lot to be happy about. But there's always something more. Is there anything more to goal-setting than the exercise of spinning the wheel? (That's a bit tongue in cheek)

blackbootz  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 2, 2018

What's it like making a five year plan?

blackbootz  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 2, 2018

I really appreciate your perceptive ability, and the resulting stories — Not that (it ever seems that) you’re looking for appreciation. But as a recipient of your instincts to inform, advise, and protect, I don’t really care much if it’s out of a selflessness or a subconscious desire to heal long past psychic damage. Sometimes intentions are all important. Sometimes they aren’t.

Edit to add because it’s relevant: I’m constantly noticing how cloistered, how terrified on the inside, college students around me seem. It’s really tempting to say that it’s different This Time, because of smartphones and Snapchat. But no one seems to have a lot of courage to do anything, speak up, be different.

Who am I kidding, I’m projecting.

blackbootz  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 25, 2018

I have tracked nearly every expense since July 2014, and written out a budget for about 6-month periods since around the same time. (Keeping within that budget is another beast--I always seem to underestimate my spending by about 10-20%...) The reason for the short budgetary periods is that between traveling, service work, and atypical job lengths, I didn't have anything even approaching a regular schedule of income and expenses. That's changed somewhat, and the situation promises to be much more regular if I take a corporate job after I graduate.

But yea, knowing what you spend your money on is a huge first step that a lot of people don't even take. I know people who brag about never looking at their checking account.

This seems like a good idea for consumer welfare. It might encourage competition at the margins between hospitals and bring down prices somewhat.

blackbootz  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 25, 2018

Have huge swings in expenses a few months before summer job income. Not a massive differential, but it involves borrowing some money from dear sis. The stress from meeting my (quite low) expenses prompted me to make a granular monthly budget for the next 14 months, which got me wondering about what it's like to budget when you have a grown-up's income.

What can hubskiers report about maximizing income, minimizing expenses, and saving? Any needless suffering that can be avoided?

posts and shares 1/16