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> That's years of salary in those countries

But not in the US, which is what makes migrating so attractive (and the price so high) in the first place.

> and no you can't even save that in a decade there

There are many ways around that (loans, pooling family income/assets), as other have pointed out. (It's not entirely unlike the cost of US college, which the average US student probably can't save in a decade either.)

Indeed pooling, loans and I've also selling off the most fertile pieces of land to a wealthy neighbour - in (vain) hope of quickly being able to return wealth accumulated once arriving in the US.

I believe most articles about smartphone addiction are missing the more important half of the issue: the addictive substance is the internet, rather than the enabling device. Certainly the phone allows more opportunities, but the actual substance is the internet. Most people will do fine for a month with a dumbphone and an internet connected laptop. Now try to live a month with any fancy phone and laptop, but without any internet connection whatsoever. The smartphone without internet is barely more addictive as a dumbphone.

I agree, for me youtube is incredibly addictive, I'm even working with a psychiatrist about it (and other addictions of course). She was mentioning "the youth on tiktok" and I told her, youtube is the exact same thing for 30+ YOs. Her "key" is to be busy with some other activity.

> youtube is the exact same thing for 30+ YOs

Subjective. I can't stand using it for some reason, and when I have to, I hate the experience. There's something I can't grasp that makes me want to stay away from it.

I salute those who have the stomach to sit in front of it for hours.

Yes same here. I just really dislike video content.

I much prefer a long read / deep dive written article because it's much more accessible. I can read at my own speed of comprehension (generally much faster than a video) and I can easily jump around without losing context.

But I'm not very typical I guess.

You can very "effectively" waste time reading articles daily, literally no different from the time wasted on YT. The only difference is reputation of "printed letters" is higher than of "video". But the mechanism is the same - wasting time on some quick entertainment (yes, reading longform articles is also a quick entertainment) for a dopamine hit, then switch to the next one. I do it for years now.

I don't think this is a waste. When I read articles linked here from HN I actually learn something.

On Youtube it's mostly vacuous showmen like Linus tech tips and Mr Beast crap. I don't think there is much worth watching there except perhaps EEVBlog.

I feel the same way but I'm still hopelessly addicted to the internet.

I thought I was addicted to the internet too yet it turns out I'm addicted to information whether that be short, long, audio or video content.

The insatiable desire to be up to date with current news, happenings in my fields of interest or social circles became unmanageable. Furthermore, the teams of people with doctorates employed by tech companies to make their product even stickier with each iteration made my battle all the more challenging.

By creating hard boundaries that were non-negotiable such as limiting time on the top (n) sites, banning certain apps on the phone and deleting accounts helped me immensely.

Being online is hard to avoid such as banking, portfolio management, booking medical appointments and acquiring entertainment to consume are now ingrained in modern society yet learning the skill (or art of) disconnecting to enjoy non-online or 'outside' activities and controlling my compulsion to surf aimlessly (laptop or mobile) from one site to the next took weeks to get under control.

Training my family and friends to not expect an instant reply to messages also took a long time and surprisingly difficult.

Today was a public holiday where I live and I'm happy to say I spent it offline. I did however listen to the news and the footy on the wireless. Only now in the late evening for 20 minutes am I replying to my messages and 'online'.

> Her "key" is to be busy with some other activity.

That's also the issue, isn't it? YouTube addiction feeds in the vacuum of not knowing what other activities one wants to do.

Doing nothing and don't know what you want to do? Maybe you open YouTube to fill the void. I know I do (even though much less nowadays).

She explained that some activities (active ones, social ones, etc), once you are used to planning them and doing them, actually reward the brain a lot more than scrolling, and eventually you don't go back to the addictive behavior anymore. It's a form of CBT. I'm going to try it because I have nothing more than her word for it.

YouTube is insufferable for me to browse without the DFTube extension hiding all recommended and sidebar content.

I think we can be more specific than "the internet". It's the ad-funded web: drive engagement at all costs, utility be damned.

I have spent ridiculous amount of time in HN with 0 ads, pictures, notifications or anything related to engagement driving.

When I need to take a break I just read random posts. Some of these posts are interesting to me and I might spend too much time drilling into them.

I am pretty sure that I would do the same in the absence of smartphones, but with a newspaper instead.

Me too, but is it an addiction? Typically one would classify it as an addiction when it stops serving your interests.

Ads are the tip of the iceberg. There's a lot of content out there that doesn't look like an ad that has ulterior motives. Not all of it is nefarious, but there are way too many smart people working on such things to believe that not seeing an ad is equivalent to not being influenced by marketers.

And while they may differ on many topics, one thing marketing agrees on is that you should be engaging with as much marketing-influenced content as possible.

So returning to my "is it an addiction" question... Broadly speaking it's fairly obvious whose interests would be served, if not yours, by spending an unhealthy amount of time on HN. I'm sure it was a conversation at one time, back when someone was deciding whether or not to build HN. It serves ycombinator's interests to have us here.

I'm not saying it's necessarily problematic, especially in HN's case, but one does feel like a rat in a maze at times. You gotta wonder if there's a different way, one with fewer maze designers and more cheese.

So my point is that we could still have engaging information available without it being engineered for engagement. We could design instead with dopamine hygiene in mind. And that's a situation with less addiction potential.

Yeah me too. When I started using Internet, I spent hours and hours on usenet. Text only, not an ad in sight.

Sme here, usenet, Slashdot, Digg, Ars forums, HN.

Video sites/apps never did anything for me, but I'd read text-only forums for hours and hours.

Let’s call them by names, Google, Meta, Netflix, Tik Tok.

Clickbait articles on other sites are mostly because of Google driving it anyways.

Well, reading blogs without any incentive to earn money is quite addictive too. Same for HN

HN is pretty addictive for me - no ads on here!

There are plenty of posts here pushing a product aka advertising, even if the way they get to the front page isn't directly by the company giving money to YC.

Read their privacy policy. It makes sense not to have ads when you are incentivizing user's data

if we go one layer deeper, perhaps we can attribute that to the fact that people just aren't willing to pay for stuff, which leads companies to have to figure out how to monetize their services. that road inevitably leads to ads as the simplest, easiest and most obvious solution.

I agree but I'd go a tad further: Why do Ads even work as a monetization strategy? Either we've collectively been convinced that paying for ads is valuable in some way, or that on some level they work at convincing people to spend. I'm worried about the latter, because it means people are highly impressionable.

Perhaps we need to ban ads targeting children for starters, like we did smoking. Unfortunately with "ads", there is no easy "here look at this cancer-ridden black lung that was directly caused by smoking"-equivalent.

> I'm worried about the latter, because it means people are highly impressionable.

Better be extra worried then…

Just say cancer or AIDS, no need to use that much words

Sounds right but since we can't get rid of internet there's only one option left right?

Edit: I love how the sentence above turned out without punctuation, especially the "left right" ending lol.

Completely cutoff from the internet is probably not feasible for most of us, but many cases of access are probably far less urgent than we pretend them to be. Barring work, for me the vast majority of necessary access (such as financial administration) could probably be batch processed once a week.

I'm in vacation in a remote area and only get data in some places around the house (an less than 1mbps). I often reach for my phone, put it up to my face, see "no signal" before even know why I reached for the phone in the first place

Addiction is not the internet alone, it’s having internet in the pocket and always available. Setting up times in the day to access it through a computer is way different.

The same rule applies to phone apps as to work email and meetings: the usefulness to you is likely proportional to the time/effort spent by the sender devoted specifically to you. Heuristically, it's inversely proportional to the number of recipients/participants.

So in messaging apps like Whatsapp I silence all notifications to groups (but not 1 on 1), and for email I read the contents of those addressed to me personally, but for dept/company wide email usually just the subject line.

Many countries especially in continental Europe have strong pro-tenant rights. Often the rent contract cannot be terminated by the landlord, only by the tenant, which can make it more profitable to leave property empty vs renting it out. (When a tenant-occupied property is sold, the new owner in some countries cannot terminate an existing rent contract, which makes the property less valuable on the market vs empty properties.)

Yes, I understand that selling a rented property can be less profitable than selling a property without a rent contract. But holding on to a property that generates no income is even less profitable.

On an abandoned property, the land may appreciate faster than the improvements depreciate. As long as that pace exceeds the mortgage interest (if any) and property tax (ibid), it's profitable. There are other possible complications too which might swing it, like income tax deductions.

Sometimes seemingly abandoned buildings are used for one-off occasions which generate income: downtown LA is full of "historic" buildings which the owners allow to dilapidate outside of a few areas they can rent out once or twice a year to a film crew.

edit: another thing -- rich people procrastinate too, in fact many of them can afford to procrastinate on matters like this, and they may rather take a loss than confront the anxiety and work of selling or renting out the property

Sorry, but I fail to see how owning an abandoned building is MORE profitable than having people living there and collecting rent on it, even if that means that you have to spend part of that income on maintenance costs.

How are they stretched for resources? Mozilla's revenue is around a half billion USD per year.

It's important to note here that Mozilla spends the majority of that money on non-Firefox projects (something that has pissed off people who have wanted to donate to Firefox specifically for ages). Firefox itself gets a sliver of that.

Like many you are likely confused by the Foundation (MoFo) vs. Corp (MoCo) finances.

You can only donate to MoFo, and indeed it doesn't spend much (if anything) paying Firefox staff. This is because Firefox staff is on the MoCo payroll, which gets its revenue mostly from their search engine deal with Google. MoCo actually pays MoFo to use the trademarks that are owned by MoFo.

Specifically Mozilla Corporation paid Mozilla Foundation in 2022 under $20 million from over $585 million in revenue.

The relationship between Mozilla Foundation and Mozilla Corporation can make some details confusing. But most people who claim what they did never looked at Mozilla finances in my experience.

>something that has pissed off people who have wanted to donate to Firefox specifically for ages

Get pissed at tax law, not Mozilla. Mozilla Foundation cannot legally funnel tax-exempt donations into the development of products for a for-profit entity (Mozilla Corporation). That would be a crime.

Wow, if only there was a separate corporate entity which could accept donations but which wasn't the Foundation. I wonder what Mozilla would call such a Corporation.

IANAL - I kinda thought a company can't take donations? So obviously the answer is a Firefox Pro that is 99% the same but lets us give them money. Maybe give it crazy features like a compact layout and the ability to run extensions locally.

For profit companies can take donations. Most Thunderbird funding is donations to MZLA Technologies Corporation for example.

MoCo could start an OnlyFans for "donations", it's a pretty hot fox after all, what with being, y'know, on fire.

For economic (as opposed to business) data you're usually better off with FRED https://fred.stlouisfed.org/

Tradingeconomics is better for comparative work IMO.

I think your experience is far outside the norm for age 6 or younger (Kindergarten age). I don't know about specifics in Germany, but in the Netherlands, the fraction of children going to school unaccompanied between age 4-12 was as follows: 4(2%), 5(3%), 6(8%), 7(25%), 8(36%), 9(59%), 10(73%), 11(85%), 12(91%), according to research from 20 years ago. Anecdotally that age have been creeping upwards in recent decades.

The default in Estonia is that when a kid starts school they go to school and come home on their own. School usually starts at 7 years old, but some kids start at 6 or 8.

These days they might be taken to school by their parents, but they pretty much all get home on their own or go into extra curricular activities on their own. School ends way earlier than any parents could conceivably pick them up.

But kids roaming around on their own isn't that unusual. I remember being a bit sad when I turned 8 years old because riding the bus was no longer free at that age. (Or maybe it was 7?)

My experience is almost 50 years ago. Back then almost nobody had two cars so once dad was at work, there was no way to drive the kids to school.

The Netherlands has a segmented rental market. The social/rent controlled sector has a price ceiling of €880/month and is only accessible with annual income below €48k/€53k (single/multi-person household). These norms apply nation wide, but as demand / free market prices in the large cities like Amsterdam is much higher than elsewhere in the country, waiting times for social rent there is around 15 years (vs maybe 3 to 5 outside the big cities). Free market rents (anything over €880/month) in Amsterdam is probably around €1500 for a 1br or €2500-€3500 for a 3br. Around 3/4 of the total rental housing stock is social/rent-controlled units. It can be pretty nice if you manage to get one, but it's almost inaccessible to newcomers/outsiders due to the income caps and waiting times. Which is pretty much the expected outcome for price control affordability policies.

Numbeo already includes (among other factors) CoL in their QoL index calculation, see: qhttps://www.numbeo.com/quality-of-life/indices_explained.jsp

You can of course use alternative calculations / weights, but without a principled way to do so, you can choose weights to come up with pretty much any outcome that you like.

Also worth mentioning that the QoL index considers "climate index" which is almost meaningless, and apparently doesn't account for factors like "suffers from tropical cyclones".

Quantitative finance interviews are pretty much all probability and stats questions.

Yeah there's a famous but outdated book called A Practical Guide to Quantitative Finance Interviews by Xinfeng Zhou that gives you some idea of what questions they like to ask.

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