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wasoxygen  ·  59 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 22, 2019

Sun 9:17 PM • Hi, i am jojo,I'm interested to [exact title of my Craigslist for-sale ad]

Sun 9:18 PM • Hello Jojo, this is Steve. I’m getting the kid off to bed, but could show you the trailer tomorrow evening if you’re free.

Sun 9:19 PM • I'm available for tomorrow

Sun 9:25 PM • Sounds good, between 6 and 9 should work.

Sun 9:26 PM • but? i am unsure you real.

Sun 9:28 PM • Sometimes I feel that way.

Sun 9:29 PM • i send google 6 digit code u get it,You can show me right code now.Then i will believe that you are a real person.

Sun 9:29 PM • Can i send u code??

I read up about the Google Voice scam.

Sun 9:36 PM • Sure, send me a code.

no code received

Sun 10:28 PM • Thanks for sending the code. Is 7pm good?

No answer; scammer was probably foiled because I was using a Google Voice number already.

Anybody have any good scam stories?

johnnyFive  ·  57 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Not personally, but Kitboga is great fun to watch.

wasoxygen  ·  94 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: LOL no.

Why do you believe websitetasker is Stella and not negative SEO?

mk  ·  93 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Interesting. If so, they'd have a difficult time measuring success.

wasoxygen  ·  93 days ago  ·  link  ·  

True, but the spamming kind are not known for following best practices.

I think the simplest explanation is that websitetasker is promoting their eponymous website. StudyPool, like Hubski, allows non-authenticated random people to create accounts, then gives them a customizable profile page with a unique URL. This free welcome mat is generous and subject to abuse.

websitetasker has similar profile pages crammed with links at,,, and elsewhere.

Some of these sites, perhaps in response to friendly, apologetic requests from other people trying to make the web a nicer place, have removed the spammer's profile since Google's last crawl.

When you see "For a good time call..." scrawled on a bathroom wall, it's possible that the phone number belongs to the vandal. But the best response is probably just to paint over it.

wasoxygen  ·  318 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 5, 2018

bike of the week

bike wreck of the week

am_Unition  ·  318 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Something in my backyard for you. I hope you're well, amigo!

wasoxygen  ·  367 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 18, 2018

Traffic slowed suddenly on Walker Road at 7:50 a.m. on the way to Cars & Coffee. At that time on a Saturday, most of the vehicles on that road are interesting, the serious go-getters leaving the show to attend to business, late-sleeping slackers like me driving north to check out the cars before enjoying the day, in my case with a run in Great Falls Park.

The cause of the slowdown was soon apparent. A McLaren was wedged against a tree, a man sitting nearby with blood on his face. Police were waving traffic past, and I was too worried about rear-ending the Shelby Mustang ahead to get a good look at the scene.

An ambulance went by as I continued on my way, driving more carefully than usual on the beautiful winding road. I sent my photo to the car guy at work, and he mentioned "250+" as the value and pointed out the paper tags.

At the show, the sound of sirens was constant but most people didn't seem to know what was going on. A police helicopter circled overhead, then landed in an open field behind Katie's while we admired exotics.

I didn't expect the police would medevac the driver, but sure enough the ambulance arrived and they loaded the guy on. Everyone livestreamed as the chopper took off.

I talked to an EMT in the line for coffee. He said that the McLaren driver had been forced off the road by someone who crossed the center line, then he fishtailed and hit the tree. Social media would report that the driver broke his arm, "doesn't remember anything" but is "in good spirits."

The show went on. It was a pretty good turnout, with more Alfas than usual and some kid-pleasing time machines.

FCPD put out a finger-wagging tweet, pointing out that the $300,000 car had been purchased the day before and crashed "because of speed." The papers picked it up and manufactured a story out of the tweet, making every word into a sentence. Jalopnik made a better effort including a police photo from another angle.

Be safe out there.

ButterflyEffect  ·  367 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Being "in good spirits" after wrecking a McLaren...that's something I refuse to believe. Is Katie's a regular stop for you? It seems very cool!

wasoxygen  ·  367 days ago  ·  link  ·  

When the weather is nice, Cars & Coffee followed by a run is the best way to start a weekend.

I used to lug the camera over there and take pictures.

wasoxygen  ·  405 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 2018 Seattle Rock 'N' Roll Marathon

It was looking close at the half, but you delivered quite the kick in the final miles. I don’t think I’ve ever finished a long race and wanted to do it again, not for at least a week anyway. Congratulations on a great run!

veen  ·  450 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I did that actually! Wait, lemme see if I took a pic of that.

Edit: never mind, I forgot my charger on my trip in 2010 so my camera battery was dead at that time. But I did wonder why the drawing looked so familiar, and it's because of that climb. Really cemented the magic of that place... I remember finding it incredibly hard to comprehend the sheer size of the St. Peter.

wasoxygen  ·  472 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 4, 2018

March 14 is some kind of party day in elementary school math class. The kid came home talking about it and was not terribly impressed that I was able to rattle off 15 digits from memory. He repeated a half-dozen back to me then added a few more while I watched. He still had them the next day and had soon caught up with me, so I looked up my old practice tool and we have been working on it over breakfast.

I changed my phone lock screen to an image of the first 100 digits and have gotten up to 60 pretty reliably, but I think he's ahead. I said I would match him up to 100, then I'm going to change the image to some poetry or something useful.

The year MDCLXVI was crazy. People were expecting the end of the world in 1666, and the world delivered.

London burned, the Messiah converted to Islam, and the plague ragaved Europe; "citizens walked on the street with a mask shaped as a bird beak, filled with spices and aromatic herbs to alleviate the stench."

Meanwhile Newton invented the calculus. Annus horribilis, annus mirabilis.

wasoxygen  ·  597 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What will the price of Bitcoin be one year from today?

About one-quarter of the world's adults, 1.3 billion in number, have over US$10,000 each and collectively $280 trillion in wealth, which Credit Suisse defines as "the value of financial assets plus real assets (principally housing) owned by households, minus their debts."

Much of this wealth is tied up in illiquid assets like housing, leaving about $90 trillion in easily-invested broad money. How much might end up in bitcoin?

Value investors like Warren Buffett scorn a strange new asset that is hard to understand. This probably reduces potential investor interest by three-quarters to 90%. People are naturally skittish when the word "bubble" is mentioned so often. Call it $10 trillion in liquid wealth that does not dismiss bitcoin on principle.

Probably most of that wealth is held by people who have at least heard of bitcoin. Say half of them are discouraged by barriers to entry, either government censure or immature infrastructure. Access is improving rapidly: Coinbase reportedly added a million new accounts in one month, and bitcoin ATMs are present in most wealthy countries, but we might imagine $5 trillion held by people who are curious and not immediately blocked.

Many of them will do some casual research and get quickly overwhelmed by the complexity of the technology and the intensity of the hype and snake oil. Then they will notice that the price went up by $1000 while they weren't paying attention, and promise themselves to get in when the price drops again.

I reckon (very casually) that leaves about a thousand billion dollars held by people who are interested, risk-tolerant, and willing to make the effort to buy. It's quite a lot compared to bitcoin's current "market cap" of about $160 billion, though I'm not sure if that number means much for an asset at an all-time-high. If the yet-unreached bitcoin demographic invests 5% of their play money, well, it's hard to imagine what it would do to the order book, with some previous owners selling to take profits, but there is plenty of room in the Up direction. $50 billion invested at today's price would buy about a third of the existing supply of 16.7 million units, making a doubling or tripling of price at least plausible.

The most important factors are hard to gauge. At this point speculation interest far outweighs any perceived utility of the technology (which could be provided as well or better by existing alternative cryptocurrencies). The bitcoin brand and the hype are the main drivers.

It's a Keynesian beauty contest, where investors decide to buy mainly by asking if there will be a greater fool to sell to later. So the "bubble" language is appropriate, but not very helpful in making predictions without any insight into when a crash might occur.

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of J.P. Morgan, called bitcoin a "fraud" and threatened to fire employees found speculating, but did not exactly predict imminent disaster.

    I’m not saying go short… Bitcoin can go $100,000 a bitcoin before it goes down, so this is not advice on what to do, ” the chief executive said Tuesday. “I refer to it like the tulip bulb crisis.”

I reread the chapter of Tulipomania to see if there were any warnings before the bust. If there were, they were hard to spot. In the winter of 1636-37 the tulip trade was "positively booming in Holland." A contemporary made a shopping list of what you could buy with 3,000 guilders, the price of a single flower:

    Eight fat pigs, four fat oxen, twelve fat sheep, twenty-four tons of wheat, forty-eight tons of rye, two hogsheads of wine, four barrels of eight-guilder beer, two tons of butter, a thousand pounds of cheese, a silver drinking cup, a pack of clothes, a bed with mattress and bedding, a ship.

Not only prize flowers, but previously worthless bulbs that had been sold by the pound were commanding "astonishing prices" by the beginning of 1637.

    The great crash in tulip prices began in Haarlem on the first Tuesday of that February, when a group of florists gathered to buy and sell as usual in one of the city's tavern colleges. As was customary, an established member of the college began the day's trading by testing the state of the market; he offered a pound of Witte Croonen or Switsers for sale. The florist asked a fair price — 1,250 guilders — for the bulbs, and in the normal course of events he would have found several eager buyers. Slates and chalk would have been distributed, the tulips would have been knocked down to the highest bidder, and the rest of the day's trading would have continued in its usual frenzied way. On this day, however, there were no bidders for the bulbs at 1,250 guilders. The auctioneer offered them again, this time cutting the price to 1,100 guilders. Still there was no interest. Desperately now, he offered his bulbs for a third time, dropping his price to a risible thousand guilders the pound. Once again there were no bids.

There's no telling when the bottom might fall out from bitcoin. If BTC is mainly a meme for "effortless money" it seems likely to grow until demand is sated, which I think could take more than another year.

Hopeless to guess what might happen, I got some help from a nearby elementary school student. I asked him to plot a continuation of the price chart for the next year.

This looks as plausible as anything else, so I am going to copy mk (never a bad strategy, I think) and put my non-competitive guess at $35K.

(I should add, I also requested a plot on a log chart, providing some justification for the Dimon Max.)

b_b  ·  597 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Are you aware of any research on what makes bubbles pop, generally? Is there a tie that binds, or does each have its own circumstances that makes generalizing difficult?

wasoxygen  ·  597 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Today must be bubblenalysis day!

The Grumpy Economist opines on Bitcoin and Bubbles, with a jaw-dropping WSJ chart comparing 2017's 1000% rise in bitcoin to other "historically huge market moves." It seems unfair because all the other assets were decades old where the chart starts; bitcoin is not yet 10.

    The first equation of asset pricing is that price = expected present value of dividends. Bitcoin has no cash dividends, and never will. So right off the bat we have a problem...

    In sum, what's going on with Bitcoin seems to me like a perfectly "normal" phenomenon. Intersect a convenience yield and speculative demand with a temporarily limited supply, plus temporarily limited supply of substitutes, and you get a price surge.

Marginal Revolution asks Is Bitcoin just a bubble? with a hypothesis, similar but briefer than mine, starting with $241 trillion in wealth in the world.

    think of Bitcoin as competing for some of the asset space held by gold and also to some extent art. Gold, too, in its hedging functions is a “bubble,” though not a bubble. It is hard to ship, but has some extra value because it is perceived as a focal asset and one that does not covary positively in a simple way with the market portfolio. The same is true of Bitcoin, yet that kind of focality-based “bubbliness” can persist for centuries.

A comment mentions Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, which may be a good answer to your request for research on bubbles. Gutenberg link

    Another story is told of an English traveller, which is scarcely less ludicrous. This gentleman, an amateur botanist, happened to see a tulip-root lying in the conservatory of a wealthy Dutchman. Being ignorant of its quality, he took out his penknife, and peeled off its coats, with the view of making experiments upon it. When it was by this means reduced to half its size, he cut it into two equal sections, making all the time many learned remarks on the singular appearances of the unknown bulb. Suddenly, the owner pounced upon him, and, with fury in his eyes, asked him if he knew what he had been doing? “Peeling a most extraordinary onion,” replied the philosopher. “Hundert tausend duyvel!” said the Dutchman; “it’s an Admiral Van der Eyck.” “Thank you,” replied the traveller, taking out his note-book to make a memorandum of the same; “are these admirals common in your country?” “Death and the devil!” said the Dutchman, seizing the astonished man of science by the collar; “come before the syndic, and you shall see.” In spite of his remonstrances, the traveller was led through the streets followed by a mob of persons. When brought into the presence of the magistrate, he learned, to his consternation, that the root upon which he had been experimentalising was worth four thousand florins; and, notwithstanding all he could urge in extenuation, he was lodged in prison until he found securities for the payment of this sum.
mk  ·  597 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Here is a novel economic rabbit hole:

Apologies for the time that you are likely to spend.

wasoxygen  ·  993 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Capitalism Creates Pointless Jobs

    There’s a lot of questions one could ask here, starting with, what does it say about our society that it seems to generate an extremely limited demand for talented poet-musicians, but an apparently infinite demand for specialists in corporate law?

My bullshit detectors light up when I see weasel words like “extremely limited” and “apparently infinite.”

The music industry in the United States is valued at about $15 billion.

There are about 1.3 million lawyers in the U.S.

Let’s say the average salary of a corporate lawyer is $120,000.

I can’t find good information on how many lawyers are “corporate.” Some statistics from a California city suggest that real estate and family law are the biggest areas of practice. Criminal law, accidents and motor vehicle practices are also large.

If ten percent of lawyers are “corporate” by Graeber’s unspecified standard, I calculate a total value of about $15 billion, the same as for music.

An important difference, I think, is that people buy (or steal) just as much music as they want, and nobody forces them to get more than they enjoy. Lawyers, in contrast, are needed to comply with a growing mountain of laws that apply to most every aspect of modern life. One group claims that compliance with federal regulations costs $1.8 trillion, about as much as is collected in income taxes. This is probably exaggerated, but I think it's absurd to suggest that corporate lawyers have it good because the 1% really like them.

Graeber has a habit of "arguing" by posing questions.

wasoxygen  ·  1074 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 10, 2016

The double-or-nothing Big Mac / Oil wager is looking about as bad as the original bet did in the first year. The new agreement compares petroleum to a Big Mac Index two-thirds lower than before. Shale gas may have saved me last time, maybe this time it will be electric cars.

After tracking down London Stone last month, I might have a chance to visit Ankara soon. I intend to maintain a low profile.

wasoxygen  ·  1089 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What Happened to The London Stone?

I was late; the alcove is empty.

A document found at the scene is being examined for further leads.

flagamuffin  ·  1089 days ago  ·  link  ·  


wasoxygen  ·  1088 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I haven't been able to decrypt the QR code.

flagamuffin  ·  1088 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Perhaps ask a bobby of some sort.

wasoxygen  ·  1086 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That QR code resolved to City of London planning application summary 16/00192/LBC, with links to 14 documents detailing the planned relocation of London Stone, including anticipated injury risks associated with loading the 150 kg beating heart of London onto a pallet and transporting it to temporary quarters at the Museum of London while 111 Cannon Street is rebuilt.

At the museum, one may examine the original 1559 copperplate map on which "London Stonne" is depicted.

Nearby, the stone rests, for now, in a dignified display case — dignified, that is, save for the caption pointing out that the stone now tweets.

An informative video looping alongside languishes in YouTube obscurity as profound as that which once surrounded the stone: 348 views (pending the Hubski Effect).

Thanks for following along on this #askhubski adventure!

flagamuffin  ·  1085 days ago  ·  link  ·  

wasoxygen  ·  1119 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Urban Exploration: Kayaking the Maunsell Seaforts

While checking on places to rent a canoe today, I spotted a place marked The Mole on the map.

Looking this up led me to an article about a disused subway station, part of a system that opened in 1870 and "included stops near the Capitol, the White House, each of the city’s markets and an adults-only nude beach near the Tidal Basin."

I made a mental note to do further research in support of a future visit. I am a Friend of Outrageously Obscure Locations!

wasoxygen  ·  1150 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Robots didn't take our jobs

    I imagine trying to get the world to a condition where some unemployed person can offer to drive you to work for 20 minutes, be paid five dollars, and then nothing else bad happens to them. They don't have their unemployment insurance phased out, have to register for a business license, lose their Medicare, be audited, have their lawyer certify compliance with OSHA rules, or whatever. They just have an added $5.

Eliezer Yudkowsky

katakowsj  ·  1150 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Isn't India such a place where you can bust your butt for that $5 over and over because there is not a safety net that will supply you with the needs to survive?

Doesn't OSHA also make sure that desperate individuals aren't required to unreasonably trade their safety for that extra $5 as they may need to work for an unlicensed employer that chooses to operate outside of legal business boundaries?

Isn't Uber a version of the $5 situation?

wasoxygen  ·  1150 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's an interesting approach. The "needs to survive" are not very expensive.

OftenBen  ·  1150 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Who does your maid hire to clean her house?

rob05c  ·  1149 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's maids all the way down.

user-inactivated  ·  1150 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Eliezer "Harry Potter fanfiction" Yudkowsky is famous enough to get interviewed by a magazine?

That's about as agreeable as can be.

The only issue on my mind while reading was the claim that "nearly everyone" is so reasonable. Is it possible that it only seems otherwise because the voice of reason is relatively calm and quiet?

    But you don’t hear from these people very often. Because they don’t make good headlines. They don’t win votes. And Facebook’s algorithm doesn’t recognize them, either.

    But they’re out there.

Okay. Thanks for sharing this.

wasoxygen  ·  1214 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 23, 2016

A tall glass of soy milk for me, please, and an ice water with a pinch of salt on the side for my friend.

I couldn't keep up with TNG's fast, but 48 hours without eating was a new and interesting experience for me. The big surprise was how much time passed before I really felt it. I felt hungry a few times, with borborygmi, but nothing more intense than I occasionally feel anyway.

Walking home from the metro station last night I hit the wall. This was the feeling, familiar from long runs, that I thought would arrive sooner. I felt lethargic and out of sorts. I made it home and stretched out on the bed to rest, but didn't feel better and my heart was still laboring. I had decided in advance to quit if there were any symptoms besides hunger, so I quit after 48 hours, finally indulging the fantasy of eating warm bread that had been frequently on my mind.

_refugee_ gave the wise advice to get medical advice before experimenting with an unusual and unproven nutritional habit, which I didn't do. I rationalized that I was starting out in good health, would not be driving, and would never be far from medical services if needed. I also reasoned that we should get a doctor's advice before eating half a pizza, but nobody does because we know what the advice would be. If we accept doing things we know are harmful sometimes, we should be willing to try things that might be harmful, or might be beneficial.

I didn't notice any big difference, besides the loss of 4-5 pounds which I expect to return soon. I did some reading and learned a lot, mostly from two articles on a site that promotes what I would describe as a fad diet, though it was much more informative, objective and less ad-ridden than WebMD.

goobster  ·  1214 days ago  ·  link  ·  

When I fast, I do the Master Cleanse. Basically you reduce your intake to nothing but this water, cayenne pepper, and honey mixture. It's weird, but you get used to it quickly.

The key thing is that the honey gives your body some sugars to run on, the cayenne tricks your body into thinking it is getting food, and the copious amount of water cleans ter tubes right out.

The longest I have done it was close to 2 weeks - maybe 10 or 11 days? - and it is amazing. Your body goes through several distinct phases, where it is working on different stuff.

The results? Well, weight loss is an obvious one, of course. But portion control is a big one, too. We don't realize (in America) how ridiculously huge our portions are, and how little of that we really need to eat to be healthy and well fed.

There's also a lot of stuff that happens with your colon when you are basically just drinking fancy water, and your body starts searching in all the dark corners for more nutrients. Things come out of you that you are REALLY GLAD are not still inside of you. If you get the book on the Master Cleanse there are whole sections on poop and ... well ... the less said about that, the better.

I'm gonna be launching into a new Master Cleanse possibly next week. (Gotta plan ahead for these things, ya know.) I really need to kick start my body to drop a few pounds before the wedding.

WanderingEng  ·  1214 days ago  ·  link  ·  

On the topic of long runs and nutrition, what are your opinions and practices around energy gels on long (say, more than ten mile) runs? Hitting the wall was new to me last weekend, so I'm going to give them a shot this Saturday. My practice hiking is to take gummi bears or jelly beans, so I think my body will handle the sugary gels ok.

wasoxygen  ·  1214 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I don't have any great solutions, but wouldn't attempt anything longer than a half marathon without carrying supplemental fuel. Sports drinks have plenty of sugar, but there's only so much liquid you can keep down.

Clif Bars are energy dense, and the varieties are not equally nasty. White Chocolate Macadamia Nut is the one I find most tolerable, but I carried two of them for 30 miles and never ate them at the 2014 50M.

Gels are about as good as it gets. I recommend trying a few flavors and only carrying something you know you don't hate on a run you care about. I have to plan a schedule and keep an eye on the clock or I will postpone them. If there are no aid stations, I would aim for a gel every half hour or so, followed by fluid. The Clif Shot package has a strip to keep the tear-off tab connected to the packet, which makes them a little less annoying.

I keep some gels spiked with caffeine in reserve for late in the run. Like with Advil, I never feel sure that the drug makes much difference, but sometimes it really seems to help and that is good enough. If it's a warm day or a very long run, electrolyte capsules are also essential. Succeed S!Caps are popular and have worked well for me.

WanderingEng  ·  1214 days ago  ·  link  ·  

A schedule makes a lot of sense. I felt good with nothing beyond water for 14 miles Saturday, then bam, hit a wall. That's too late to do something about it. I'll have to work out some plans.

I have a couple Gu gels I'm going to try this weekend. They have sodium, but it's way less than an S!Cap (a product new to me).

I read some Gu reviews yesterday saying they feel the caffeine helps. One more thing for me to experiment with.