Tag Archives: poor

luxury, cars

16 Apr


Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

the colourful pens that i have in my flat that i use. i just love these fat pens and their colours.

london 4.28am 7.8C cloudy saturday 2016

i slept last night at 10.30pm and so woke up around now and usually i will browse the internet for about an hour and then go back to sleep. so i happen to come across a post by mr money moustache about his test drive of a tesla which he used to cross country.

i have heard of that car of course, an all electric car, and of its founder, elon musk (the name itself is an attention getter)but did not know it is also self drive as well, nor that the company have installed a lot of charging stations all over america, and they are all free to charge as they use solar energy. it is a very interesting post that makes me aware that the era of the electric car may come quicker than i thought possible. 

but what make me take note is something he said in another post, which he linked to , and it is this

Lower-income people can lose their envy of the rich by learning that a life of constant luxury is not any better than a life of simplicity punctuated by the plentiful novelty that Life automatically invents for us. And rich people can lose their slavery to their own wealth by learning that seeking out constant luxury is like listening to a radio where someone flips from one station to the next every few seconds. Listen to the whole damned song! Then listen to the whole album, and if you can handle it, try making some of your own music! link

what he said about luxury is very true. it is only fun right at the beginning. 

though his analogy to listening to the whole music may not be all that accurate. haha. it is more fun to just listen to one song in the album, rather than the whole album, it is that novelty again… it is fun only at the beginning and for that one time.

listening continuously to a album by the same band or singer is only great if it is a best of compilation of his songs. 

though, i had a look at my picture of the pens, and realise that i get a lot of joy when i use them, though i have to admit i get even more joy when i chose a different one to write with and thus ring the changes. and it is correct that the rush is just for the first initial short period each time… so his thesis that the big rush of pleasure is only at the beginning holds true. 

eating well has nothing to do with if u are rich or poor

6 Dec

london 12.31pm,13.9C cloudy sunday 2015

i saw the heading of her article saying it is hard to eat well when you are poor, and did not read further as i thought that is not true. i did not bother to comment on it as i thought i shall not harp on it.

i dont know where we get this belief that eating well is hard when you are poor.

in the past, poor people have never considered only the rich eat well. people who dont have much money know how to cook and use everything around them to make great meals and lack of money have never been a barrier to having great meals. do u know that oysters, eels were  poor man’s food? i can still remember eating eels and mash with liquor  (its really mashed peas) and so cheaply too. it was in the 80s. now there are no such food anymore. 

also in the past it is true poor people dont eat a lot of sweet things, because those were luxuries that only the rich can afford. now everyone and his mother eat too much sweet things.

just yesterday i was at a shop in oxford st that shows free films as part of their promotion. they are a soap shop that makes the soap looks like sweets. and they were giving away popcorn and lots of sweets of all types. even i was tempted to ask for it, until i realise i dont really eat them.

i have not bothered to eat sweets for a long time now. dont know when it began but it is easy for me as when i was a kid i never was given any sweets so i never did get into the habit of putting sweet things in my mouth.

it is a tragedy , to my way of thinking, to give children sweets.  but i bet no one else thinks so. so much so that children now are given sweets as a treat. it is giving them a lot of trouble in their future. if u want to kill someone with kindness, give them sweets. 

 but now people have lost that skill of cooking from scratch and with anything to hand;  and rely on manufactured foodstuffs for their meals. that is why this reporter can say such a thing and not be laughed out of court. however this morning i read in the letters column of some people who deign to reply to her



social problems.

27 Sep

london 8.52am cloudy 12.4C sunday 2015

today i got this in my email box from the londonist, and it contains some interesting london news.

London news

there is this constant conflict of interest between those who want to make money out of property and those who just want an affordable place to live in. and people will be kicked out if the land they sit on is more valuable than the buildings that are there.

i was recently in ampthill, a small village but with a large mostly empty cemetary, on a hill. so the dead have a nice view haha. and there are fields round it with cows and horses but right next door to it a developer has built a small village of new houses. my friend told me the church was just over the hill, in the valley, and this is its church grounds.

so even in this small village the hand of the property developer lies heavy. ampthill is about 40miles from london and coming back we saw the other lane going out of london chock a block with traffic , not moving at all. it was a friday but i think this jam occurs every working day.  i see in future poor people will be pushed out , and this willhappen more and more. the dead seem to have more rights than the poor. at least in ampthill, where they occupy a nice site on a hill.

it has a huge waitrose right by the village. unusual that this village welcomes such a big supermarket. but i think it is now a dormitory town and not so much a village anymore. its high street has not many shops lining it anymore. they have all been turned into houses.

what to do about  all the poor being pushed out? i dont know. a socialist type of govt might help but once u have all your social housing full, those living there will block other poor people from accessing it, and you are back to square one. and building more social housing in out of the way places where the land is cheap wont find any of the poor wanting to go there where there are no jobs, no schools, etc to be had.

tiger mom tax

7 Sep

london 6.29am monday 2015

quote: Last year, a White House report on “Big Data” cautioned that the “algorithmic decisions raise the specter of ‘redlining’ in the digital economy – the potential to discriminate against the most vulnerable classes of our society under the guise of neutral algorithms.”unquote.

this is in context to an article called the tiger mom tax. interesting read, which says even in poor areas, the asians there are quoted higher prices for the princeton review’s online SAT tutoring.

i first heard of it via this link propublica.org which gives more examples of discrimination pricing. worth clicking on it.

we are all aware that pricing is different if u shop in poor neighbourhoods than in rich ones. that is why i go across the river to vauxhall to shop in the tesco there, rather than in pimlico. there is an added factor, where smaller express convenience tesco shops are more expensive than the big tesco supermarkets. or why i go to brixton and shop there for my garlic and ginger and chilli. we all know that if we shop in kensington , or knightsbridge, prices will be higher.  but we dont expect that to happen in an online store… but this article suggests dont be too sure of it. haha.

even now we are used to ryanair pricing, where prices are adjusted to how often you visit that site, or how many people are buying at that time. so looks like the trend is there, to use algorithms to change the prices according to many factors ,including sex, race, etc. even if they say they dont discriminate according to race, sex etc. it is just that their behaviour can influence the algorithm, and more men may do something that females dont, and the algorithm will use that to determine the price to charge. or in this case of tiger mom, asians are more likely to use the tutoring services and willing to pay more too.

how to combat that? no one is saying, because maybe there is no answer. this thing just cannot be won, and we just have to suck it up. it looks like you just cannot beat that algorithm. just by typing in your name will pick you out for discrimination. it seems if u type in an asian name, you get the asian prices. its gone beyond just your ZIP code showing wealthy areas that determine the prices. some wealthy areas got low pricing. it is the individuals there acting by buying, that skews the algorithm.

at least in brixton, i would like to think that i am not charged extra for looking chinese, but maybe that is because i have been shopping there for ages and i know the prices. maybe if i were a chinese tourists things might be different. who knows right? perhaps after all, there is this discrimination happening all the time in this world. it is subtle and maynot be noticed…

i got all this from a wordpress reader feed. in it, it gives some way of fighting back, via the law, fight it in court.

quote; Because disparate impact theory is results-oriented, it would seem to be a good way to challenge algorithmic bias in court. A plaintiff would only need to demonstrate bias in the results, without having to prove that a program was conceived with bias as its goal. But there is little legal precedent. Barocas and Selbst argue in their article that expanding disparate impact theory to challenge discriminatory data-mining in court “will be difficult technically, difficult legally, and difficult politically.” unquote.

The Most Efficient Way to Save a Life – The Atlantic

18 Jun

The Most Efficient Way to Save a Life – The Atlantic.

if ever u have wanted to give to charity but not sure which charity to give to, nor how effective that charity is, or even whether that charity might be the victim of ‘doing good and unintended consequences’, this article might answer you.

the author has to decide whether to give to save lives, or to improve lives. he decided to save lives. i myself would prefer to improve lives. like that deworming charity he mentioned which deworms children and improves their school attendance. rather than a charity that gives textbooks…

there is a charity called givewell, that evaluates other charities to see how effective they are.

They have four broad criteria, in Hassenfeld’s words: “effectiveness” (does the charity make a difference?), “cost-effectiveness” (how much difference does the charity make per dollar received?), “room for funding” (can the charity use your donation in the near future?), and “transparency” (is the charity forthcoming about its spending and its results?). Its top-ranked charities for this year include GiveDirectly, a radically simple approach to sending no-strings-attached cash to extremely poor households, and the Against Malaria Foundation, which distributes insecticide-treated malaria nets in sub-Saharan Africa.

the givedirectly is the one that appeals to me, sending no strings cash to extremely poor households. u might say that can be abused, and it might be ‘giving a person a fish , instead of teaching him to fish scenario’… but i feel money directly to a very poor household can be 1000% effective for that household. the potential for fraud is there, but the charity has rated them very highly so they are keeping on top of it.

What’s The Cereal Killer Café Actually Like? | Londonist

14 Dec

What’s The Cereal Killer Café Actually Like? | Londonist.

they received a lot of publicity when a channel 4 video went viral showing the owner abruptly stopping the interview when he was asked how can he justify charging £3.20 when there are so many poor people in the area.

it was a provocative question, and of course quite illogical, otherwise every shop will have to close if they can only price their goods to cater to the lowest earners.

the owner wasn’t trained in public relations, and why should he after all he is busy trying to set up a business , not answer provocative questions from tv interviewers.

from this article it seems to have been good publicity, because the public knows that shops are never catering to the poor.

it seems it is £2.50 for a small bowl, £3 for a medium bowl, and 20p extra if u ask for premium milk. from the picture the medium bowl looks quite large.

personally i think cereals are the devils food, so full of suger, but even i am tempted sometimes to eat them. and they are very expensive for what they are even if u buy the box from the supermarkets.

i eat porridge for breakfast and porridge is very cheap, which was pointed out by a lady who wrote a report on poverty, where she mentioned one of the causes of the poor being poor is because they do not know how to cook. she got a lot of criticism for it, but she is correct.of course. but nowadays we are so politically correct we cannot say such a common sense thing without someone scolding her for mentioning it.

i read somewhere someone saying one charity visited a poor family, with the children malnourished and found loads of pasta on the shelves given to the mother. when questioned the mother  said she had no idea they can be made into food, as she gets her spaghetti from cans.

more ruminations

11 Dec

london thursday 2014

i got 2 letters from premium bonds containing a cheque each for £25. each month there is a draw for prizes ranging from £1million downwards to £25. so this month i got £50. rather a nice surprise. £295, that is the total amount i got from dec2013 to now. is that a good return for £15,000 of bonds? 1.97% rate of returns.

well i dont know where to put the money anyway so it has been sitting in there for years. i must say i dont really care about making my money get the best interests or invest in the best returns. too lazy.

i enjoy the thrifty life. i was reading an article which tells of the billionaire estrange wife of the founder of google about how she would drink the free company -provided carrot juice till she turned orange. anything which is free she must have it and use it uncontrollably. that i thought was a bit extreme. just because it is free does not mean you have to over do it. that is being greedy. so even rich people can be like so greedy too. in fact, i would say that is quite prevalent amongst the rich. it is amazing how stingy rich people can be. perhaps that explains why they are still so rich. haha.

just look at this case of this lawyer who threatened all kinds of legal consequences on this chinese take away in boston. all for a miserable $4. 

but anyway, i enjoy not being rich. i can understand her when she said in the interview in the times newspaper that she missed those times when they were not that rich.