Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tyler Stone's Global Awareness Exploration

The speech that meant the most to me was the Dali Lama's speech. this kind of thing always reminds me of what I should be trying to follow,  and how I should be trying to act and make a difference. Sometimes I can get a little heated when it comes to some topics, and I can let my mind wander and get a little too hyped up and irrational with my mindset. But when I hear people talk like in this way, it really calms me down and gets me to refocus on how I really want to act and think. The two main parts I took from the speech was the first part where he talks about equality, and near the end where he talks about human problems, and religion. He say "No matter what part of the world we come from, we are all basically the same human beings. We all seek happiness and try to avoid suffering. We have the same basic human needs and concerns. All of us human beings want freedom and the right to determine our own destiny as individuals and as peoples. That is human nature." I 100% agree with this. If more people could swallow their pride, and realise how the same we all really are, and put themselves in other people's shoes, the world would be a much better place. Near the end, he says "The problems we face today, violent conflicts, destruction of nature, poverty, hunger, and so on, are human-created problems which can be resolved through human effort, understanding and the development of a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood." Another thing I completely agree on. My only question is: When are these problems going to stop? Obviously there are always going to be these problems no matter what, but the levels they are in this current day and age is horrible. I also found it extremely interesting the part about religion. He says "Although I have found my own Buddhist religion helpful in generating love and compassion, even for those we consider our enemies, I am convinced that everyone can develop a good heart and a sense of universal responsibility with or without religion.
With the ever-growing impact of science on our lives, religion and spirituality have a greater role to play by reminding us of our humanity. There is no contradiction between the two. Each gives us valuable insights into the other. Both science and the teachings of the Buddha tell us of the fundamental unity of all things. This understanding is crucial if we are to take positive and decisive action on the pressing global concern with the environment. I believe all religions pursue the same goals, that of cultivating human goodness and bringing happiness to all human beings. Though the means might appear different the ends are the same." Now, I'm an atheist, I'm not a fan of religion, and in most cases I actively oppose it, but Buddhism... I absolutely LOVE buddhism. Buddhists have my utmost respect, and honestly I think are one of my favourite groups of people on this planet.

One country in the world I'm concerned about now is China. China has a horrible smog/air pollution problem, with a few recent stories i've seen recently, one about smog being so bad in one place that they started broadcasting the sunrise on a giant television, and another about people in another place getting "bags of fresh air" from the mountains hundreds of miles away, and how they sell cans of air in places in china. When you look at the map and AQI (air quality index) in china, the numbers are extremely high, and in the warning to dangerous levels literally all across the country. In some places visibility due to the smog is only a few meters, in many pictures you see people wearing masks to keep from breathing the air. Recent news of these drastic levels of pollution is causing people around then world to start taking notice, with experts, citizens, organisations, and the Chinese and other governments starting to take steps to combat this problem. I hope it isn't beyond repair, and although there's a very large footprint that has been made as a result of this pollution, I'm hoping that science can find a way to reverse and/or make a significant impact on this problem, and people in china can do enough to turn this around as quickly and significantly as possible.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tyler Hedge's last exploration

This post is pretty much a generalization about how saving money and having money is how you get happiness when compared to buying things. It almost feels like it is a summary for his entire blog but it really does give great points. I thought a great quote is when he says "The best way to get to the root of all this spending is to realize what we are all really trying to buy. In fact, it is the reason for every single action we take in our lives. It’s happiness." What this shows is how it really is not buying things that makes us happy when compared to having security. What I liked about this post is that he did not directly say "sell that expensive car" or something like that but rather he says that those types of things are not necessary and that youre better off and happier with a secure future. What I did not like was that there did not seem to be middle ground for someone that wants some of those luxury things but wants to cut back. This is defiantly doable with effort. I have spent a ton of money this year and not working during school has put me in a situation where I wish i would not have and am now more concerned and would be happier than i am from buying all those luxuries and spending on those things.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Julia Dettore - MMM Get Rich With: Scooters

1)This essay explains the practical usefulness a scooter or moped can offer it's owner. It shows us the importance of only using what we need, yet doing it in a practical manor. Mr. P. discusses how scooters more efficient than cars yet more realistic than cycling. He goes on to show that they don't necessarily deserve their girly and wimpy rap sheet. Though even if some aren't very macho they will help you save money in the long haul by reducing your insurance and gas bills, among other benefits.

Not only can riding a scooter be fun but it can save you a lot of money

2) I think Mr. P shows a couple examples of the benefits of a scooter best in the following statement "How much can you save? Well, I’m not a numbers guy, but it doesn’t take too many brain cells to realize that a gas-powered vehicle with an annual fuel cost of about $300/year is going to save a lot of money over a second car. Even a car rated at 30MPG in city driving is using 3x more gas per mile than a scooter. Repairs? Almost nil. Change the spark plug on a 50cc scooter and you’ve done a tune-up." People don't realize quite how much money you can save until you have one. Motorcycles and scooters can help save a lot of gas, reducing your carbon footprint, and they also save you a lot on repairs and gas. 

3)I really liked this post because it made a point to address the prejudice against scooters. So many people think they're wimpy and that they would never want to be seen on one. Though it made valid points about scooters I would have liked more facts about riding them than his various stories. In general I think people need to consider the many options in life and how they can help the world around them, this includes adjusting their ideas on transportation. I think riding a scooter or motorcycle is completely doable and good idea, if people got on board with this it could help us in a variety of ways. This includes everything from reducing the space set apart for parking to the amount of pollution our vehicles produce. The only downside I see to this is the potential dangers associated with riding. Recently I got my motorcycle temporary license and one of my biggest concerns is other drivers. Drivers don't look around thoroughly and can easily miss a rider and thus hit us. Before riding can become wide spread safety of riders on the roadway has to be improved.  

Ben Kim's Last Post

The topic "Your Money or Your Life", is based off of a book written by Joe Dominguez.  His purpose was to inform us about how corrupt society is and how we spend our money.  We work and earn it but we blindly spend it all and eventually "trash it" as Mr. Money Mustache says.  Joe Dominguez wants us to stay away from that habit and use money efficiently so that we can all live a optimum lifestyle.  "Americans kept working more so they could borrow more and buy more, we grew much fatter and less happy, and generally continue to live our lives in the most blind and inefficient way possible on average." This quote is pretty accurate because Americans, as consumers, are an easy target to get.  They are hard-working people but they spend their money inefficiently, for example eating out, upgrading cars, etc.  People need to invest their money and use it when the situation is important.  The thing I liked the most about this blog is that he is telling us the truth.  As consumers, we use our money inefficiently and it's a bad habit of spending money on things we practically wouldn't need.  I work as a waiter for my parents' restaurant and when I get paid, I would instantly spend all of it on food and clothes.  The things I want has constantly blinded me and it bruised my wallet quite a bit.  The only thing I disliked about this blog is that it was sort of biased.  It should have featured some opinions about why people spend their money.  In other words, I liked this blog and how it connected to my own life.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The 4% Rule: The Easy Answer to “How Much Do I Need for Retirement?”

1) This article set a basic and easy way to put a number on how much you would need to be able to retire. basically it said: Take your total yearly expenses, Multiply it by somewhere between 20 and 50 (he liked 25), and that's the amount needed. This pretty much says the amount you need to retire is the amount you spend per year, for X number of years after you plan on retiring. He suggests the best way to get this number to a small, manageable number is to reduce your spending per year.

3) This makes sense, and is doable, but I think is also sort of common sense at the same time. The purpose of retirement is to be able to have enough money to survive between the time you stop working, and the time you die. If you're able to spend less per year, you're going to need less money to get through that year. I like this viewpoint as it changes the view from the common "I need to get as much money as possible" to "I need to spend less than [#] in order to retire when I'm X years old." Definitely doable as far as consciously cutting back on expenses, and a good idea in practice. However, I personally think both viewpoints here are morally wrong. You shouldn't live your life trying to get as much money as possible, but at the same time you shouldn't try to squeeze yourself in order to retire.

On a personal and somewhat unrelated note, I'm very anti-money in the first place, so I think savings and things like retirement and investing and other things are morally wrong, and a waste of time and effort. people should be doing what they like to do, Period. And they should like doing things that can help people/society in some way. So I think it's sort of wrong that people "want" to retire, like working is somehow bad in some way, and retirement is some sort of reward people get once they've worked enough to be able to not work anymore. That mentality just seems so negative to me. you should get a job doing what you like to do, and not even think about retirement. Just do what you do, and want you want to do. I've put a considerable amount of thought into this problem specifically and although there may be things that could be done to make this better, It's generally not possible to create the ideal situation in regard to this in our country with our government, or with our economy. Unfortunately.

Mr. Money Mustache Why Should I be Frugal, When I’m So Rich?

Live Like a Minimalist Step 2.jpg
Life is complex enough as it is without having to add more objects to repair and maintain. Enough time is taken up by daily activities and entertainment that there is no reason to add more to deal with. Mr. Money Mustache is saying that even if you are making a seven figure income, why not try to decrease your spending from when you had a 6 figure income for fun, see how low you can go. Try to make your life as efficient as possible, "Another factor in happiness for me is the satisfaction that comes from efficiency. I love seeing things that are efficient, elegant, well-designed. And of course you’ve probably noticed my corresponding boiling rage for things that are not." He is obviously annoyed with things that make no sense for people to do due to their inefficiency. Other people have commented on the blog saying they miss how they tried to be efficient in college and miss it. one person said he lived off the equivalent of $5000(today's money) for a year and said that was the best year of his life because life itself became a game, rather than a challenge, he could have afforded more, but didn't. Instead of making life a challenge by getting more objects that would require more maintenance and repair, he chose to minimize any inefficiencies and make a game out of it by seeing just how efficient he could be.

This post basically says that you should try to be as efficient as possible with your spending regardless of income. People should always try to cut their spending even more if they can so that they can reduce their expenses, have more money freed up for retirement, and have more money to do projects and things to improve themselves and their community.

Overall I like the idea of this blog post, the idea that if an object has a possibility of inconveniencing your life, get rid of it. Once all of those inconveniences are gone, adjust your life to see just how much more efficient you can make it. The only thing that I would change or add to this post is that I think that once you make your life extremely efficient, try to make that efficiency more luxurious. I believe that at least, if you have a smaller dwelling, why not at least make it as nice as possible. When you look at homes and you see a 10,000sqft house with some decent landscaping and a decent interior, then you look at a 2,000sqft house with really intricate landscaping and a beautiful interior with all sorts of storage and efficient features you almost feel like the smaller house is more luxurious because the luxury is more concentrated. This lifestyle is totally doable and can be very entertaining when you try at it constantly, as soon as you stop, you start to feel depressed. I know this sounds weird but its true, even if it doesn't make sense.

Annie Stevens Mr Mustahe

A Side Dish of Free Data for your Cheap iPhone Plan

1.) I choose to read the article on $10.00 wireless plans because my family and I spend a ton of money on our cell phones. He takes the time to switch his cell phone to a plan through a unknown company called AirVoice Wireless. He also bought a device called a Freedom Pop which he hooks to his phone and it creates wireless hotspots pretty much anywhere. It cost $90.00 and you get 500 megabits of use per month.

2.) "When the expensive Airport Hilton tried to charge us $9.95 per night for internet access there, I simply powered up my middle finger, which I aimed at the Hilton logo before redirecting it affectionately to the FreedomPop’s power button – problem solved again." My husband and I have payed this fee time and time again. I never knew about any of this.

3.) Liked: I like the idea of the cheaper plan and the money it would save us.
Disliked: I don't really understand the terms and megabit usage. I would need to read up on that before I would switch. I tend to be forgetful so switching my phone to "cell data off" would worry me.