Friday, January 29th, 2021

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Working from home has certainly made dealing with repair people and home appointments simultaneously more and less convenient. More convenient, because yes of course I'll be home. Less convenient because I still try to get work done while on the laptop while they are working, whereas when I was full time in the office it was easier to knock off working under the excuse of being home.

1/29/2021 9:35 am | | Tags: work from home, musing

George Takei with the stone cold take and reminder that the GOP lives "Rules for thee, not for me"

1/29/2021 9:36 am | | Tags: us politics, covid 19

An actual bank memo about hiding money offshore

Mother Jones is highlighting a memo from a bank in Jersey (Isle of Jersey, not the US state) that discusses 11 ways that rich people can hide money offshore, some more legal than others. Mostly an interesting read, I don't have the finances to take advantage of these.

1/29/2021 11:35 am | | Tags: finances, money, rich people

The number of spam and "your car's warranty" and "your social security number" calls my phone gets is astronomical.

1/29/2021 12:29 pm | | Tags: junk mail, spam, criminal

Elizabeth Warren is being mischaracterized by people not reading what she's writing

Sen. Warren's (gods I wish I was saying President Warren's) sent a letter to the SEC around the Gamestop events of the week. I am definitely guilty of sharing or only reading the minimum required to think I understand something, but if the last few months have taught us anything it is critical we stop and actually read and understand. To be fair, her tweet on it didn't do her any favors, but she is so sharp and what she is asking is so pointed, I just admire her so much.

1/29/2021 12:36 pm | | Tags: us politics, finance, gamestop

Game Theory on The Chase - Keddy Chose Poorly

I really do enjoy the new game show, "The Chase" - we're watching episode 4 right now which features James Holzauer as the Chaser. A simplifed explanation for the show's structure: Three competitors answer trivia questions to bank an initial amount. There is a very short deal-making offer, and then they go head to head with the chaser, if they survive that... chase, they add their total into the team's total. The team then faces the chaser as a group to answer more questions in the final round, if they win, they split the prize pool evenly. There's a bit more to it, but that's the main structure.

This episode is one where I have a major gripe with one of the competitor's metagame strategy.

The middle competitor is a woman named Keddy. She had a fairly weak initial round of accruing money and only barely earned $75,000. Her first teammate had already doubled her money in his earning, and the remaining team member has a very respectable Jeopardy pedigree (having won 8 games of Jeopardy.)

Keddy should have played from a position of weakness and out of selfishness, and prioritized making it to the end round to try and win her share of the prize money off the strength of her two team members. I think her mistake, and granted even if she followed my strategy she still might have gotten knocked out, was in the deal making phase of the game.

When it comes time to face the Chaser directly, he offers you a deal: You can either compete for the earned amount with a 3-question lead in the head to head questions. They offer you a lower amount for a 4-question lead. Or they offer you a higher amount (usually at least 2x your amount) to shorten your lead to 2-question. Keddy should have taken the 4-question lead.

She would have only contributed $25,000 to the overall total but she would have had that extra step of lead and given herself that extra bit of life to be part of the end of the game.

Had she made it to the final round, her team mates had earned $325,000. She would have brought the total to $350,000, and earned herself $116,667 all because she opted for the safe route.

1/29/2021 8:00 pm | | Tags: game theory, game show, the chaser

Penn and Teller show the power of rehearsal

Don't try this at home kids. In fact, don't show it to your kids. But just sit back and watch Penn Jillette spin his yarn while operating a nail gun.

1/29/2021 11:50 pm | | Tags: magic, memorization
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