Saturday, May 25, 2013

SF inequality, time overestimation, Soylent, sending money

"In California, there isn't a conflict between being a capitalist and a liberal." "The companies here are more than just playgrounds, they’re enclaves." I more or less agree with this.

How people spend their time. This is so interesting because we never get this data. The only data we get is data about how we feel like we're spending our time. "how we think we spend our time has little to do with reality. We wildly overestimate time devoted to housework. We underestimate time devoted to sleep."
"people who claimed their “usual” workweeks were longer than 75 hours were off, on average, by about 25 hours. You can guess in which direction. Those who claimed that a “usual” workweek was 65-74 hours were off by close to 20 hours. Those claiming a 55-64 hour workweek were still about 10 hours north of the truth. Subtracting these errors, you can see that most people top out at fewer than 60 work hours per week."
So, ignore the workaholics, reject stress culture, work 40 hours. 50 if you must.

Soylent discussions remain fun. (quick recap: guy makes smoothie full of vitamins, eats nothing else for 3 months, says it's awesome.) At first glance it sounds terrible, but hear him out; I think he reasons pretty well about all the weirdness involved. I tried to make it once, felt like I'd eaten a rock all morning, haven't tried again yet. But you can order some official Soylent from these folks on their kickstarter. Of course I did.

Send money with Gmail. Is Google finally bringing payments into the future? Where I can send you some money for free? I think so. (Also try Venmo, which works too.) If you want to get in on the gmail-send-money beta, let me know, I'll send you a penny.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ireland reminds me of New Zealand

It's beautiful and humble. I spent a couple days at a Buddhist center, thinking I'd get some sort of concentration or mental clarity; can't say for sure that I came away with either of those, but I had a relaxing couple of days. Nice folks.

Then I spent a little over a day in Dublin. Like Wellington, NZ, it's compact and walkable, doesn't have a ton of huge attractions, but has a lot of great places to drink liquid drugs. (infrequent readers of this blog: I mean coffee and beer.) It feels like it's really trying to redevelop itself as both a friendly place to visit and a new techy city. I mean this in a good way; to my eyes, as a humble visitor, it's working.

A real live panopticon!

Howth cliffs, nearby.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Small town and big city England

I've been in Oxford with my friends Daniel and Killian for the past week. It's been pretty low key. Yesterday, for example, I read a book in a coffeeshop and then we went to a pub for dinner. Earlier, I took a final exam for one of my classes on my laptop sitting in Radcliffe Camera. If you're looking for great adventures, perhaps you should look up past Dan. (or future Dan.) Present Dan is happy to take a bit of relaxation time with good friends.

We've had some small adventures. Oxford punting:

London bridging:

(Can I just point out that I'm still jealous of Londoners for getting to live in London? We got to hang out in Hoxton/Shoreditch a little bit, which was relatively rad, and hit up all the bookstores/comic shops/spots I've enjoyed before, which was also rad; a taste of cool neighborhoods that we immediately have to turn around and leave! Argh! I'd move there for the bikes/coffee/bikes and coffee culture alone.)

Pointing at potholes:

Hanging out in shady places:

Next week I'm staying at this retreat center in Ireland. I'll be out of contact Saturday night until Wednesday. (as if I need to head to rural Ireland to go a few days without internet!)

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Went to Paris.

I was there for the past week. Mostly for a conference (CHI 2013, which I will likely post about soon on my research blog), but also some sightseeing. Here are some thoughts.

Everything is six stories tall.

View from our AirBnB

This is nice. It gives you the density of a world capital, without imposing skyscraper districts where everything is lobbies.

The bakeries are generally all they're cracked up to be. I'm not sure on the over/under of what percent of food I ate was pastries. 50%?

I hadn't scoffed at this thing yet. Good thing I got a chance.

Found some good coffee. Coutume is a favorite. Black Market's also solid.

Exactly what it sounds like

Uh, it actually is a good place to go with an SO? Things are generally rather pretty, the restaurants we went to had good atmospheres, dudes played accordions in the subways, etc. We saw people making out in public more than in most places.

Okay, I'm in Oxford, England now, will be there a week, and then go somewhere else.