Blabberbox:Random blog-like posts by pftq and his related selves.Share on Twitter

Conversation with a Doctor

May 24th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Society | #
One of the more frustrating experiences I've had in a while... part of what makes the healthcare here feel pretty worthless.  Obviously not reflective of all doctors... just many my own experiences.
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Doctor: Here's a prescription drug that will relieve the symptom.  Just take it everyday from now on, and you won't feel it anymore.
Me: Is there a test or something we can do to check why it's happening? Or if it might be more serious?
Doctor: Like what?
Me: Maybe it's...[More]
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Bitcoin Markets Leveraged

May 16th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Was watching USD borrow rates at exchanges go as high as 0.15%/day with traders not seeming to care as they kept leveraging.  Looks like this (flash?) crash in $BTC right now is the result of that.

The weirdest part is these are being loaned at 30-day periods and not the default 1-2 day rolling, which means the traders went out of their way to "lock in" such a high borrow rate for a month out.  For perspective, this is paying 5% per month and about 75% per year just on borrow fees.



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If People Talked About Internet Like They Do Blockchain

May 10th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Society | #
Person B: Have you heard of this thing called the Internet? It's the future. You should buy as many dial-up modems as you can before the price goes up.  Once the Internet becomes mainstream, we'll all be rich.
Person A: Why would the price go up?
Person B: Because adoption.  Everyone will start using the Internet.  You could use it to store information, transact, compute things... everything will be on the Internet.
Person A: Isn't that just computers in general?
Person B: No, unlike just your home computer, anything that is on the Internet stays there forever.  It's also decentralized, meaning no one can shut it down or control it.  And most importantly, it's global.  Everything has to be global nowadays.  That's the future.  Personal computing was the first revolution.  This is the next one.  Imagine if you could go back in time to the 80's before personal computing was mainstream.  This is that...[More]
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Prions and Synthesized Foods

April 23rd, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
More an open-ended question here.  Prions, or misfolded proteins, are the cause of mad-cow disease when eating meat.  The animal itself is more likely to be produce misfolded proteins when eating brain tissue, but sometimes it's also just luck (or perhaps environmental, stress, etc).  The prions themselves cannot be destroyed by heating or other means once created, as it's more a mutation than a "disease." Once in the body, it causes other proteins to be misfolded as well in a tumor-like fashion.  With regards to new synthesized foods like vegan or fake meats,  I wonder what ways (if any) are there to unintentionally create misfolded proteins in the process as well.  Right now, it seems that they try to mess with the vegetable ingredients as little as possible when creating the meat flavor and texture.  Some of these opt for a non-GMO label to make it distinct.  It would probably be more a concern if in the future companies become more aggressive with manipulating or modifying the proteins themselves as they refine the meat.
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Net Prices

April 7th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Ideas | #
Prices should be shown net of cost. Then everything would be clearly shown relative to each other as they actually are, and people would see when things are getting more expensive vs the illusion of everyone having more money.  It would also make clear who is overcharging with unnecessary premium, creating a stigma that socially discourages excessive spending or pricing.  For example, if every house on sale was at a net price of $1K but yours was randomly at $1M, it would reveal you are charging way more than what it cost you, making yourself look a little shameful but also making buyers think twice before blindly handing over money, driving prices up higher, and rewarding the greed. Since all businesses have to track expenses for audit by the IRS and most even already calculate cost of goods sold, it actually is practical in real life with all the pieces ready to go if a law passed for it.

Other side benefits indirectly permeate throughout the economy. It would conversely reveal...[More]
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A Wish for a Life

April 2nd, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Imagine if you could make any wish come true but would cause the death of one random person.

A man, known as the Baron, lives in a castle atop a hill and is suspected of having a supernatural artifact that does this, causing many mysterious deaths in the nearby town for his own gain.  Each death is similar, with each person becoming suddenly frail and ghostly pale before dying within days.  The story initially seems one of despair, as no one can really prove this to authorities and people at random just keep dying.  Many supporting and likeable characters have their arc abruptly ended in this manner.

An investigator tries to solve this mystery but doesn't believe in superstition.  He's an outsider to the town and tries to bring science and reason he believes the townspeople lack.  He suspects more likely the Baron created this rumor to hide something more nefarious.  A friend of the investigator gets frustrated with the investigator's calm...[More]
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Racist Mentality

March 29th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Society | #
There seems to be a general shift away from why racism is bad in the first place and more towards just any mention of race is bad or that any difference in advantage is bad (aka "privilege").

What makes racism bad at its core is that you are ignoring a person's individuality and making an assumption about that person based on association to a category.  In other words, you are not seeing the person in front of you but treating that person as just one of many belonging to some arbitrary label.  That person is no longer a person with their own agency and ability to cause change in the world but just a thing, an object, something that is not you.  That's the real problem that leads to all other acts the person may commit, which everyone then reacts to as racism or other crimes.

You see this immediately in any situation you normally associate with racism.  The reason slavery was able to make sense in people's minds was the ability to ignore the...[More]
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Four Notes of Us, Annihilation, Dark City

March 24th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Had these four notes from the Us trailer stuck in my head for the longest time and couldn't quite place why it sounded like I heard them in orchestral form before, then realized I heard them in Annihilation, and before that, Dark City.


Music obviously isn't mine but is meshed together just for fun to show how similar the pieces are from each respective movie.  Ironically, Dark City is the most uplifting variation of the melody and most thoroughly explores it.
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