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Altherion's Achievements

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  1. There's a fairly amusing comment in the replies to the article: Elon Musk is well on his way to making Twitter a billion dollar company. "Reverse startup" indeed... That said, it's hard to say what the valuation is based on and it might be that the people at Fidelity simply needed to come up with some number and this was their best guess. It's not at all obvious why it would be worth $15B given that it's saddled with a debt of nearly the same size and as far as anyone can tell, its revenue is continuing to drop as more and more advertisers leave. Furthermore, it's a pretty safe bet that most of its best employees have either been fired or left and it's also a safe bet that eventually its regulatory violations and non-payment of contracts will catch up to it.
  2. I also just finished Lords of Uncreation. I thought the second book was not quite as good as the first, but this one is really good -- I don't think I've seen the idea at the heart of the story anywhere before and the ending is very well done.
  3. What do you mean by "real south" though? Nobody knows what will happen to the economy, but a recession in the next year or two seems to be more likely than not.
  4. That one I did know about, but it's not a meaningful change in terms of inequality (though it might make some money for the government). The top rate has to be much higher (probably above 90%) to discourage pay packages that are a over a thousand times what the lowest paid (or sometimes even the median) employees make.
  5. The second link is about a wealth tax, but thank you for the first one -- I did not realize AOC actually said something of the sort (although her plan is much more modest). It's good that at least the left-most politicians are for this.
  6. It seems that unlike the CEO of Apple (who at least took a pay cut), the CEO of Google will be getting $226M this year despite mass layoffs and cost cutting at Google. This got me thinking: why have the more liberal politicians not said anything about creating more tax brackets? Unlike with the wealth tax, there are no constitutional issues here: as recently as the 1960s, we had a tax table with many gradations where the top rate was 91%. The numbers in that link are not adjusted for inflation so they'd need to be multiplied by 10 to 20, but we could totally do something like this. Obviously, this idea would not go anywhere in today's Congress, but why does Sen. Sanders or Rep. Ocasio-Cortez at least bring up very high (90%+) marginal tax rates on people making, say, more than $10M per year?
  7. OK, what exactly was that? I guess they're both really tired and nervous and playing mind games with each other, but chess is not poker -- it should not be possible to bluff and get away with it against players at this level. It's exciting and unpredictable, but this is not grandmaster level chess. If Magnus Carlsen was playing either of them and they played like this, he would be at +4 or +5 by now.
  8. The trouble is that the depositors appear to be mainly corporations (which tend to hold more than $250K per account) so it's not clear how much of the money was FDIC insured:
  9. Many (but not all!) corporations pay dividends which are indeed part of the profits that are being returned to the shareholders. So if you invest in those companies, you will indeed get paid either every year or half year or quarter depending on how their dividend is structured. There is a school of investing (the "value" investors) wherein this stream of future payments should be considered the main reason to buy a stock and they avoid the companies that don't pay anything. Note that in the US (and possibly some other countries; I do not know international tax law) the dividends for stock that you've held for longer than a year are taxed at a lower rate so it's better than getting interest from a savings account (which is taxed as regular income).
  10. At the rate this is going, the EU is just going to take all of Twitter's revenue as fines. Government bureaucracies rarely move on the time scales of a couple of months, but they'll surely get around to it on the order of a year -- and this is so blatant that they might do it sooner. Twitter also appears to be not paying at least one vendor with a long-term contract: It's not clear what exactly the plan there is either -- again, it will take time, but eventually the courts will stomp on this hard.
  11. I think it was a fair statement. Croatia plays in a very specific style which allows them to sometimes defeat much stronger teams (almost always on penalties), but is not very fun to watch. Here are the match reports for their knockout games against Japan, Brazil and Argentina. Note that in 120 minutes (plus stoppage time), they had a grand total of 4 shots on target against Japan and exactly one (!) against Brazil. The Brazilians screwed up and that one shot went in, but it's pretty clear that Croatia is set up to play for penalties: they defend well and usually limit their attacking to shots from afar (hence the small number of shots on target).
  12. It might already be too late to save it in its current form. Twitter had a set of agreements regarding moderation with the European Union and the firings and resignations have effectively removed the people who were responsible for complying with these agreements. If offensive content comes up, the EU will almost certainly sue and they don't play around (i.e. it will not be a token fine). Similarly, the advertisers are already leaving for pretty much the same reason. And even if the leadership changes, nobody is going to work for Twitter after this unless they're desperate or they're given amazingly high short term incentives. There just isn't enough money to deal with everything.
  13. I feel bad for the ordinary people who put money into cryptocurrency. This is why it is important to study at least some history: the crypto world is effectively reproducing the scams of ages gone by with the only difference being these online "currencies" (which are actually more commodities than currencies). On a different note, what do people think about investing in funds that have dual purposes: to make money and also to move the world in a specific direction? Most of the big investment platforms have these now (here's an environmental one from Vanguard as an example). The good part of this is that if it works as intended, the investors would make the world a better. The bad parts is that these funds have much higher fees (because they need active management) and they're also riskier than an ordinary broad index fund (because they invest in a specific sector rather than in the economy as a whole and possibly not even the whole sector). Does anyone have an opinion on this sort of investment?
  14. I guess the thing I am questioning is this definition of effectiveness. Yes, they got international media attention, but what does that actually do for their cause? Did the protest result in anyone in power acting differently with respect to climate change? I very much doubt it. Similarly, I don't think it caused the masses to change their behavior -- the reaction of most people was to inquire about the state of the painting, not to buy an electric car or insulate their house or any of the things individuals can do to slow greenhouse gas emissions.
  15. I wonder if instead of the silly and mildly destructive stunts they could do something constructive like cleaning up a polluted area or planting trees or something of the sort. I think the main problem is not even so much that it's a lot more work, but way fewer people would pay attention than do to spilling soup on a famous painting or whatever.
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