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There was a similar story with Jason Trigg, an MIT graduate who went to work for a hedge fund just so he could give money away, also influenced by Peter Singer. See these discussions:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5800345

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5819762

Here's the top comment from the second link:

Quote from quanticle:

        If you choose a profession that doesn't arouse your everyday passion for
	the sake of serving instead some abstract faraway good, you might end up as a
	person who values the far over the near. You might become one of those people
	who loves humanity in general but not the particular humans immediately
	around. You might end up enlarging the faculties we use to perceive the far
	-- rationality -- and eclipsing the faculties we use to interact with
	those closest around -- affection, the capacity for vulnerability and
	dependence. Instead of seeing yourself as one person deeply embedded in a
	particular community, you may end up coolly looking across humanity as a
	detached god.
Brooks sees this as a disdvantage, but I do not. Frankly, given the levels of irrational thought and behavior we see in the world today, we should be doing everything we can to increase the amount of rationality and far-oriented thinking in the world. I would posit that a world in which people were more like Jason Trigg would be a far better world, on every measurable metric, than the present that David Brooks endeavors to defend. I mean, Trigg, at least, has a goal and a plan to achieve it. The goal is the old utilitarian one of achieving the greatest good for the greatest number. The means is to earn lots of money and spend it on that goal.

        Third, and most important, I would worry about turning yourself into a means
	rather than an end. If you go to Wall Street mostly to make money for charity,
	you may turn yourself into a machine for the redistribution of wealth. You may
	turn yourself into a fiscal policy.
And what's wrong with that? The problem with fiscal policy is not the goal of fiscal policy. It is the coercive means used to achieve it. There is no coercion here. No one is forcing Jason Trigg to give away his wealth. He is doing it of his own volition. Were he older and richer, he'd be lauded as another Carnegie, or another Gates.

        Making yourself is different than producing a product or an external outcome,
	requiring different logic and different means. I'd think you would be more
	likely to cultivate a deep soul if you put yourself in the middle of the
	things that engaged you most seriously. If your profoundest interest is dying
	children in Africa or Bangladesh, it's probably best to go to Africa or
	Bangladesh, not to Wall Street.
That's not true at all. Sure, if you have skills that are needed in Africa or Bangladesh, it's best to go there. But not everyone has such skills. If we all pitched in like Jason Trigg and managed to get a cheap malaria vaccine crafted, say, 3 years from now, we'll have done far more good than if we'd all gone to Bangladesh or Africa volunteering to hand out bed nets. It comes down to the old question: are you worried about doing good or feeling good? If you're worried about doing good, you coldly analyze all the alternatives, and pick the one with the highest impact, even if it has zero visibility whatsoever. If you're worried about feeling good, you do what David Brooks advocates. You go down to Africa, Asia, or where-ever and get warm fuzzies by hoisting the white man's burden.

Rationality is not a sin. Calculation is not a sin. Money is not inherently sinful. All of these things are means, and have the capability to do both great good or great harm, depending on the end to which they're applied. Jason Trigg understands this. David Brooks does not. And that's why I, personally, respect Jason Trigg a lot more than David Brooks.

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Here's a nice thread about Jonathan Blow's view on investing: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2198255

you are better off taking the mental energy you would have expended on "investing" and subsequently worrying about your money, and instead funneling it into your creative endeavors. You will make more money that way, especially when you take a long-term view.

...

If creative endeavors are profitable, you can use the resulting money to fuel more creative endeavors, thus making the world a better place. Keeping money in a bank account or publicly-traded stock does not particularly make the world a better place.

Once I got approximately into the f-you money level of income, it became crystal clear how fictitious money is in the first place. I wake up one morning, and bam, I am wealthy! Why? Because someone said so and typed a number into a computer. Okay... that's kind of weird.

Given that money is so fictitious and somewhat meaningless, it is a shame to give into primal hoarding impulses, just so one can see the number in one's bank account go up like a high score in a video game. It's much better to make like Elon Musk and use your money for what it is: a way to wield influence to make the world more like you would like it to be.

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Sure, money is fictitious and meaningless once you've moved into the f-you echelon. By definition. Perhaps for that segment piping it into creative endeavors is fulfilling and worthwhile.

For everyone else for whom money is a meal, rent, or essential good instead of an expletive, who cannot afford to take an ethereally long-term view, this advice is out of touch with reality if not plain dangerous.

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You and I read his advice quite differently. Once you quite your job to pursue your dream you have a finite runway determined by your savings and minimum expenses. He is suggesting you use that runway to build you dream instead of using it to try to get funding for a longer runway.

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But what if your dream isn't profitable?

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Then you had the wrong expectations.

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A dream that cannot pay for itself is not a business. Do not seek venture capital for your hobbies.

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Then it was just a bad dream

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This is a bad statement.

Without your "bad dreams" we wouldn't have the Red Cross, Kiva, Linux (or a majority of *nix releases), GPG (or lots of other OSS projects), One, Doctors Without Borders (or any number of other non-profit organizations), immense amounts of historically important art, music, documentaries, museums...

Some of the best, most important dreams in human history weren't profitable.

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One would argue that "social profit" (ie: where society profits) is where all those not-for-profit "bad dreams" go.

The Red Cross movement especially brought forward the Geneva Conventions (which improved the conditions of prisoners of war), successfully fought epidemics, and (in my opinion) began a tradition of humanism that combats extreme fundamentalism in a practical non-violent way (which is why the worst fundamentalists target Red Cross/Red Crescent workers.)

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All of those things are profitable in the sense that's relevant to this context. In this context, "profitable" is clearly being used to simply mean financially viable. Nonprofit organizations produce surplus revenue, they just happen to use that surplus to further invest in the official (and legally-approved) goal of the organization.

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The Red Cross was built with fck u money. Dun ant was already wealthy

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I agree with you in that I think Jonathan is speaking a bit too idealistically. But I agree with Jonathan in that I personally don't put a lot of 'value' on holding on to money. I would rather spend my (minimal amount of) money enriching others lives, doing small things like tipping well or picking up friends meals. I think ultimately it is up to the individual how they derive their happiness, and ultimately decide what value they assign to monetary wealth. Maybe rather than categorizing money as meaningless, it would be better to describe money as a tool whose utility is determined by its owner. And then the key is that we must avoid judging others when they place a different value on their money than we do.

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The point more is about how money isn't actually a thing. It's one of many ways to obtain something. Just one of them. For example if you are a high profile game developer, no matter what you release for a long time you will pay your basic bills, not because you have money now, but because you can get it relatively easily. It's not the money anymore since once you are enough in demand you can essentially print money by working so it really is meaningless in that context. It's very very different from someone who has no money and no real way to obtain it. It's not the money but the ability to get it easily that matters.

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that advice isn't meant for poor people. it's meant for rich people.

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No kidding. I could use some that Blow money right now ...

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This is good advice for a very narrow segment of creative people and not everyone at large. It's terrible advice for people with children, for example.

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I think reaching "Fuck you" levels of wealth has a very slightly different (3% higher?) definition for people with kids, but otherwise the advise is the same. Once you (or, you and your family, if you have one) are financially safe, don't hoard.

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It's also easier to say when you have a lot of money. Telling someone living in poverty that money is fictitious would be pretty tactless.

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I have to disagree. Someone in poverty already knows money is a proxy for what they actually want. They understand perfectly that barter work or a gift can provide the same things without the control and authority structures around money.

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Why do you feel it is bad advice for people with children?

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I imagine it's because you need to save for your kids to go to school, college, and to generally ensure their well being, and those things have a pretty set timeline. That being the case, taking the risks of pouring all your money into creative endeavors doesn't appear to be a particularly responsible thing to do as a parent.

Of course, there's a balance to be had.

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Lots of places have free education and healthcare. Even the US seems to be be slowly approaching the western median safety net level there with the path started by Obamacare and plummeting bang for buck of college education... Increased risk tolerance helps on many fronts.

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I'm from the US so I can only comment on the situation here, but the reality is that despite public education being free till college, it is for the most part terrible.

So, if you want your kids to get a proper education you'll either have to pay for a good school or get a house in a nice neighborhood; both things which require one to constantly be paying a substantial amount of money, whether it be for the mortgage, taxes, or tuition.

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Even with free education, food and healthcare, the parents who save more resources for their children will do better for them than those who don't.

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Your mindset is exactly why pg refuses to invest in anyone over 35; they've become unable to take risks due to commitments.

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I believe my co-founder and I were the oldest founders ever funded by YC at the time (in 2007) and I was 33 and my co-founder was, I think, 34 with a wife and two kids. The batch after ours had a couple of folks in their 40s, and I think the average age has crept up a bit over time, though the founders do tend to still be quite young.

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I don't think pg would behave like that, let alone say that. He was 29 when he started Viaweb, which is not far from 35. YC has funded people over 35 as well.

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I love that I'm being downvoted for quoting pg.

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It wasn't because you quoted pg; you didn't quote pg.

The downvotes were more likely because the comment was false (pg and YC invest in plenty of founders over 35) and unduly personal ("your mindset is exactly why...").

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I know what I read, and I accept that I'm being downvoted for not citing a source, but not for misquoting pg.

I am tempted to see if blind devotion to pg leads to downvotes, but I doubt HN would care. :-)

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You didn't exactly quote him, you stated his opinion and reasoning, without clarifying if it was your interpretation or his direct statement, and included no reference.

That said, I generally agree with the sentiment. People with commitments are less free to play with their resources, at least if they are responsible. An who wants to invest in someone who's not responsible. There are, of course, exceptions, and even times when the opposite holds true; commitments can force a level of responsibility and drive because the stakes may be higher.

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The closest thing that I can find that pg has said on the matter is that good hackers between about 23 and 38 should start a company. He said 38 was the upper bound because the simple reality is that the affordability of risk declines with age. But, even then he said that there was a lot of play in that number.

Source: http://www.paulgraham.com/start.html

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Perfectly fine by me. Running a business the way pg wants you to would probably make you a pretty lousy parent.

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Funny then that this whole discussion is about a 40+ years old guy risking his fortune on a single project.

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In general I agree with that, although having enough money "hoarded" such that you can collect a monthly stipend to cover basic necessities (like food, shelter, and utilities) makes spending all your time on investing your creative energies a lot less stressful :-)

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Though his point is not lost, the use of "primal" in "it is a shame to give into primal hoarding impulses" isn't fully accurate.

Would not primal hunter gatherers have spent it while they had it - resources being plentiful for those skilled to find and kill? Didn't hoarding only become necessary when humans transitioned to farming?

In fact it _is_ a primal urge to consume what you've earned, spending it on improving yourself/project.

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This is good advice for smart and creative people who have good taste.

I have friends that plowed their savings into their dream projects, but they lacked good taste. Nobody bought their shit.

Now they are back working a 9 to 5.

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You know why I want money? Why I always demand a lot of money as payment? Because money can replace everything - house, food, happiness, love - you can buy it all with money. Money is extremely important and yet, it is completely replaceable. I hate people who say "I cannot live with this or that". Your life is more important than any possession. All you need is money.

-- some guy I used to know

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f-you money to me is having $100 million or more. Did this guy get anywhere close to that figure?

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Some discussion from yesterday:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8957090

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Here is an editorial from Global Times (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Times, a government mouthpiece known for its ardent pro-Party slant): http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/899197.shtml

Some select quotes:

"The problems with Gmail access this time may be caused by the China side, by Google itself or a combination of the two. But Western media pointed the finger at Chinese authorities immediately, accusing them of strengthening its cyber censorship. This is far too simple a hypothesis. It should be noted that Google voluntarily quit the mainland market in 2010. The issue at heart is to what extent Google is willing to obey Chinese law, on which China's attitude is steadfast."

"In this sense, it's dubious that China "blocked" Gmail simply over security concerns. Since both Google and China haven't given an explanation and meanwhile Gmail is a technically complex system, there may be some puzzling reasons behind the incident.

"If the China side indeed blocked Gmail, the decision must have been prompted by newly emerged security reasons. If that is the case, Gmail users need to accept the reality of Gmail being suspended in China. But we hope it is not the case."

The article's original Chinese version can be found here: http://tech.huanqiu.com/internet/2014-12/5313893.html

Curiously, the English version is missing the following two paragraphs:

"中美围绕互联网既有合作,亦有摩擦,双方的相互适应过程仍在继续。由于中美关系庞大而复杂,互联网问题只是其中一部分,外部变数的影响也是存在的。"(Third to last paragraph)

My translation: In regards to the Internet, China and the US both cooperate and experience some frictions, so the mutual adaptation process of the two sides continues. Due to the complexity of the Sino-US relationship, Internet issues are only a part of it, and there also exist other external variables.

"因此无论Gmail“失联”是谷歌还是中方的原因,或者是复合原因,使用者们不妨顺其自然,做多手准备。中国发展有过多难以计数的磕绊和插曲,这个故事又算得了什么。"(Last paragraph)

My translation: Whether Gmail's "losing contact" is caused by Google or China, or a combination thereof, users should just go with the flow, and be prepared with other backup plans. China's development process has been met with countless stumbles and other interludes, so this story doesn't really matter in the end.

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To note: byuu is the author of bsnes, an emulator that seeks to be the most accurate representation of the original SNES hardware. Previously discussed here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3675123

Also an article from Ars Technica: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2011/08/accuracy-takes-power-o...

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You are still looking at it from a purely technical perspective. In the article, the photographer already mentioned that he's only using the iPhone for the "composition and the perfect photo opp".

The point of the parent, I think, is that in the hands of a competent photographer, any adequate camera can produce works of certain artistic merit. Those who are most up in arms about the technical aspects of a camera often ignore the artistic aspects of a photograph.

Here is a video of how an awarding-winning cinematographer (Phillip Bloom) films a short video using a low-resolution Barbie Doll camera: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VS3C183G8g

All technical aspects of the Barbie Doll camera are dismal, but the end product, when viewed as a whole, is not something that an Average Joe can produce, even if equipped with a RED ONE camera.

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Guitarists have the same arguments (like audiophiles) about warmness and tone of their work. But the fact of the matter is: if you don't practice enough to reliably produce a chord of your choice, does it really matter if you're plunking on a Squier Strat or one of Hendrix's original guitars? Not really. Equipment bragging rights don't mean anything without a modicum of practice and talent.

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Charles Schwab's mobile deposit limit varies depends on the user and probably a variation of factors. I know someone with a mobile deposit limit of $1,000. When I first opened my Schwab checking account, I had a deposit limit of $10,000, and has now fallen to $5,000, which, in comparison with the stats shown on this page:

http://www.mybanktracker.com/news/2014/03/19/comparing-mobil...

is still pretty good. Fidelity also offers a Money Management account that can essentially function as checking account, and has comparable features as Schwab (refund all ATM fees worldwide, for example), and according to the Fidelity site, their daily mobile deposit limit is $25,000.

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Email was one's passport and identity. Before Facebook became a true alternative for verifying one's identity on the web, the email address was how one accomplished serious things on the Internet. Want to verify a bank account? Email. Amazon? Email. Forums? Email. Even Facebook in the early days? Email.

Looking at Facebook's sign up page right now, and it seems that email is still required for registering a new account.

The thing is, almost every Internet service still requires an email address to sign up, and that ranges from mobile games to ecommerce shops. Some services provide the alternatives of allowing users to sign up via Facebook/Twitter/Google+; but in order for the users to get a Facebook/Twitter/Google+ account, they'll still need to sign up using an email address. Besides, almost all services that allow social network sign-in gives their users the option to sign up with email as well.

The services that do not allow email signups are few and far between -- like Medium.com, for example, but as said before, in order to get a Facebook or Twitter account, the user would still need an email address. Even mobile only apps like Whatsapp still appear to require an email address to sign up for their online support site.

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> Email was one's passport and identity.

Email is not an identity. Most people have multiple email addresses, and some people share some addresses.

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A person can have multiple identities, and not all identities are associated with specific people.

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Email is not a person's unique ID, although sometimes it's used to serve that purpose. The ID layer of internet is not established yet. I'm not sure if it's possible in a decentralized system. Centralized management may be necessary.

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Agree, but "identity" and "unique ID for a person" are two different concepts.

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Last I checked Gmail allowed me to create an account without providing an email address or phone number.

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When was this?

Currently, you need to provide a code that is texted to a mobile phone for some level of proof of identity.

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I have registered an account last week or so without any codes beyond captcha. It surprised me, too, because for quite a while you needed a mobile.

Maybe the requirement is based on some heuristics? IP address, country, other info provided by the user, and so on?

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Gmail IS email.

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A lot of services today uses the cellphone number as a more unique identifier.

Checkout Stripe.

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How are you currently depositing the US cheques? Both TD[1] and RBC[2] offer cross-border banking accounts, meaning that you can open a TD/RBC account in Canada and a TD/RBC account in the US and link them together, which should allow you to transfer funds between them at an optimum rate. You should be able to deposit US cheques with their smartphone apps. The issue with this approach is that you will have to maintain two bank accounts that you may have to pay monthly fees separately or maintain a minimum balance.

There should also be some banks in Canada (including TD and RBC) that offer US Dollar accounts, such as this one from Scotia[3] that seems to offer direct deposit, so maybe look those up as well.

Otherwise, foreign exchange sites like XE or Xoom may be an option as others have mentioned here, but I'm not too familiar with them.

[1]http://www.tdbank.com/personal/cross-border-banking.html [2]http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/cross-border-banking/index.html [3]http://www.scotiabank.com/ca/en/0,,59,00.html

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I loved this idea - until I got more involved with it. Ultimately, business accounts have a limit on cheque deposit (at least here in Canada) whereby deposits from camera can't be for more that $3k in one shot, or $5k/month. At the very least, those are the rules laid down by CIBC and Royal. Ultimately this makes it pretty useless unfortunately.

On the flip side, if you find a way around this - especially for Royal, please let me know. It'd make my life a better place :)

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I use RBC US (RBC Georgia) + XE Trade. Results in 1-2% more money. As long as you can wait 3 weeks to receive it, it's a good option. Transfers are free.

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I recommend XE as well. You can transfer using EFT, which saves you money in wire transfer fees a bank would normally charge you. You'll also get the best exchange rates from them.

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We've also had tremendous success with XE.

Cheaper (lower fees + better exchange rate) than the bank, I can do it all online.

I've blogged about our experience here: http://blog.preinheimer.com/index.php?/archives/418-Paying-a...

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It is possible. There is a technology called dynamic subsetting that only loads the necessary glyphs on a web page:

http://www.monotype.com/services/screen-imaging-solutions/dy...

http://en.justfont.com/

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