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Randomness thread, part two.

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  1. #24601
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    Why din't y'all warn me that I have no business taking linear algebra?
    Because you can do it better than most people who take it? If you have to work hard I don't think anyone has ever said otherwise. Stop looking for an excuse & ask your problems.
  2. #24602
    Sorry I had a fair amount to drink before posting that, obviously you can't do it & it was silly to attempt.
  3. #24603
    lol

    i'll probably be able to pass the class though i have learned that the material doesn't hold much meaning to me. maaaaaybe it would be more successful if it was application heavy, but i dont know. i *think* the material taught is probably super useful, it seems to me there is a tremendous amount of real world stuff that can be discovered using matrices, though i couldn't explain how.



    on a side note, i wonder how much of intelligence is intelligence and how much is learned. what im getting at derives from this observation about myself: math has always been the hardest intellectual activity i've done. but when it comes to other things, like things related to social theory and humanities, i do very well. one thing i was happy about when it happened was one of my literature/history professors told me that i solved some "problems" none of his other students ever have and that i found several things in the material we covered that he hasn't seen other academics discuss before.

    i say that to say this: i really like social theory and the humanities. i spend a bunch of my free time pondering that stuff. and i dont like math much and spend little of my free time on it. so i wonder, could THAT be why i do well in the former and not the latter, meaning, if i spent as much time on math as i did on social/humanities, would i actually develop a coherent understanding of math such that it would seem im good at it? i dont know the answer to the question.

    what do you think
  4. #24604
    People are limited by their intelligence but realistically practise is the important thing. Lots of kids who think they are good at things don't realise they aren't particularly talented but have just spent a lot of time doing something that most kids haven't.

    It's like when you see stories about 9 year olds passing exams like GCSE Maths. I'm sure some of the kids are intelligent but the reason they can do it is because they spend extra hours on the work every day compared to other kids.
  5. #24605
    OngBonga's Avatar
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    It's like when you see stories about 9 year olds passing exams like GCSE Maths. I'm sure some of the kids are intelligent but the reason they can do it is because they spend extra hours on the work every day compared to other kids.
    Nah. When I was a kid, I was brilliant at maths, capable of solving equations I woulnd't be able to solve now. I didn't spend any extra time studying maths, I just happened to be good at it, it came naturally to me. That all changed when I started smoking weed but who needs to solve fucking equations anyway? I'd rather be stoned. Anyway I digress. There's definitely a natural element to intelligence. I was born smart because I sure as hell didn't get good at maths by working hard.

    I didn't really study chess either, I just played it. I guess that's practise, and I guess it's arguable that I could have been inadvertantly practising maths by playing chess.

    Hmmm I might have to mull this one over for a bit.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  6. #24606
    I think we'll always enjoy doing things we're good at. That can start from a natural ability or something we develop really early on and then we improve with practice, enjoy it more, etc.

    I've always been good at mental arithmetic and logic puzzles as long as I can remember, so enjoy anything that has aspects of both.

    I suck at dancing and playing football, but would love to be good at both. I won't do either in public now after years of trying.

    The only exception to the rule is probably running. I suck at it but enjoy it, probably because I like competing with myself.
  7. #24607
    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    Nah. When I was a kid, I was brilliant at maths, capable of solving equations I woulnd't be able to solve now. I didn't spend any extra time studying maths, I just happened to be good at it, it came naturally to me. That all changed when I started smoking weed but who needs to solve fucking equations anyway? I'd rather be stoned. Anyway I digress. There's definitely a natural element to intelligence. I was born smart because I sure as hell didn't get good at maths by working hard.

    I didn't really study chess either, I just played it. I guess that's practise, and I guess it's arguable that I could have been inadvertantly practising maths by playing chess.

    Hmmm I might have to mull this one over for a bit.
    The thing is you were never that good at chess or maths. You may have been excellent at both given your age/time spent on them but when the cap is that low it's hardly impressive. I don't mean that nastily btw it's just what most people trick themselves into thinking hence they want to believe it's mostly talent.

    a good example is when you see kids who are pushing for titles in chess from ridiculously young. Then in another 15 years time they are nobodies in the world of chess. Doing exceptionally well for your age is one thing, being great at something is another. People have no intrinsic way of knowing how good people are going to be at something so it boils down to picking the person who is best for their age but in reality their cap may be much lower than the cap of others.

    You see it a lot in schools, kids who are top set will do great in their exams because they put the effort in and have good support networks at home but they're very unremarkable along with kids who are more capable than those kids who will finish school with pretty much nothing to show for it. Since I've been at school the most interesting mathematics to come out of someone was from a bottom set year 7 who won't be in mainstream education for long and that was only most likely interesting as he comes from a very different background where people may think about things differently.
    Last edited by Savy; 11-19-2017 at 10:01 AM.
  8. #24608
    OngBonga's Avatar
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    The thing is you were never that good at chess or maths.
    I was compared to others of my age, and I was probably better at maths when I was 7 than I am now. Certainly I was quicker.

    You're probably right when it comes to chess. I'm better than average because I have a higher than average interest in the game. Had I studied opening theory and been bothered with all the boring stuff, I'd probably be much stronger than I am.

    But maths is different. I had a natural understanding of the concepts being described to me, I was efficient at mental arithmetic. That's not to say I was interested in maths... I wasn't, I was just very easy to teach. It wasn't the same with other subjects.

    Some people's brains are just better wired for that kind of stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  9. #24609
    im good at mental arithmetic by now. took a ton of practice.

    my struggle with math could be because computation is emphasized and definitions/proofs are not, but then suddenly in upper division undergraduate math classes, definitions and proofs are emphasized instead of computations. it took me years of practicing computations to develop some proficiency. id probably have to redo all previous math through the definitions/proofs lens in order to have a clue about what's going on in linear algebra.

    the silly thing is that proofs is actually something i wanted to learn in college, but every proofs oriented class ive had ive been in way over my head.
  10. #24610
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    "id probably have to redo all previous math through the definitions/proofs lens in order to have a clue about what's going on in linear algebra."

    No. Linear algebra is a new language you haven't spoken. Or maybe, a new way of condensing language into compact nuggets which carry much more meaning than a "normal" word or idea.

    You almost certainly understand geometric proofs, like similar triangles are proportional, or scaled, versions of each-other, so they have the same angles, despite having different side length. Simple to visualize and kinda its own proof.

    Understanding Green's Theorem is not so simple. You have to understand vector fields, and the many ways to interpret and describe them. Then you have to learn about the "expansion of the flow" of the vector field (divergence), even when it may describe something that is not flowing. All of which is built up on other complicated ideas which are removed from our everyday lives and basic survival needs.

    In short: Linear Algebra is hard, because it is composed of information-dense words and ideas, not because proving those things is hard, but because the many, many properties and assumptions which go into the definitions need to be memorized, just like you once had to memorize multiplication tables.
  11. #24611
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    i spend a bunch of my free time pondering that stuff. and i dont like math much and spend little of my free time on it. so i wonder, could THAT be why i do well in the former and not the latter, meaning, if i spent as much time on math as i did on social/humanities, would i actually develop a coherent understanding of math such that it would seem im good at it? i dont know the answer to the question.

    what do you think[/FONT][/COLOR]
    I think the fact that you think this stuff, while smoking so little weed, is pretty un-fucking-believable.
  12. #24612
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    Most people either can't or wont make the time to ask themselves, "Why don't I feel more uncomfortable about the stability and coherence of my various world views?"

    For those people, a drug that emphasizes introspection may help them highlight what about themselves is genetic and what is chosen.

    For wuf, this is redundant.


    @wuf: correlation is not causation.
    If you like something, then you'll enjoy learning about it, and will "be better" at it than something you don't like, and aren't inspired to learn about.

    Would I be better at economics if I studied it more? Certainly.
    Would I be as good at economics as I am at physics if I studied both equally? Almost certainly not. Economics doesn't inspire me; physics does.
  13. #24613
    Ah, the Nature vs. Nurture debate has found a new home.

    Seems to me it's about 50/50. You can certainly be born with an aptitude for something, and practice will make you better at it. But, you can't just take any person and have them spend their days working on some skill and expect them to become world-class at it. If you could, there would about a zillion Gretzkys and Bolts and [insert name of currently top soccer player here] and Kasparovs and Einsteins around.

    Speaking of Gretzky (arguably the best ever ice hockey player who ever played for you Old Worlders), he was not exactly a physical specimen. He was not very big, quick but not blazing fast, and certainly not strong. But he played hockey every chance he had from when he was a kid and studied it as well. He said by the time he grew up playing the game was like being in slow motion. He felt like he had all the time in the world to decide what to do. If you have never seen a hockey game, "slow" is certainly not a word you'd use to describe it.

    Interesting read sometime: In a chapter of the Man who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Sacks talks about two autistic twins, both of which were severely retarded at some things like language, but were both savants at math. They're sitting together on a bench when one kid rambles off some huge number. The other kid nods and rambles off some other huge number. Sacks had no idea wtf they were talking about, but wrote the numbers down. He then went and asked a mathematician and it turned out these kids were coming with prime numbers off the tops of their heads.

    Gardner argued a long time ago that savants exist because certain kids start out as only really having one ability and sucking at everything else. Naturally, they prefer to spend their time doing the thing they're good at, and with so much practice they reach great heights.

    Ericson argued anyone could become a top level performer at any skill with the right amount and quality of practice; the only thing that could not be changed was their height. Not sure if anyone really bought it or not though. There are a lot of people who try very hard at things and never succeed (just look at the minor leagues of any sport).

    So it's a bit of this and a bit of that methinks.
    Last edited by Poopadoop; 11-20-2017 at 02:32 PM.
  14. #24614
    You know you've been an FTR member for too long when you're at a company meeting, presented with this clip and immediately think of the commune. Any wisdom and truth in here?

    https://youtu.be/6ksTO7fRIRs
  15. #24615
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    I think he's right about the market, but wrong that humans acquire and express their values in the market.

    The idea that the market promote greed and not responsibility is largely true, I mean.
    The mistake is in assuming that greed is created by markets and not that markets are an expression of human greed.
    The mistake is in assuming that markets not rewarding responsibility is somehow connected to how responsible people are.
  16. #24616
    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey
    I think he's right about the market, but wrong that humans acquire and express their values in the market.

    The idea that the market promote greed and not responsibility is largely true, I mean.
    The mistake is in assuming that greed is created by markets and not that markets are an expression of human greed.
    The mistake is in assuming that markets not rewarding responsibility is somehow connected to how responsible people are.
    Why do you not think markets reward responsibility?

    I can describe why I think markets reward responsibility, but I'm interested in what you think.

    BTW the first key observation that spawned the field of economics (by Adam Smith) involves a very strong implication that markets promote responsibility.
  17. #24617
    Your comments on linear algebra are very good btw
  18. #24618
    Quote Originally Posted by The Bean Counter
    You know you've been an FTR member for too long when you're at a company meeting, presented with this clip and immediately think of the commune. Any wisdom and truth in here?

    https://youtu.be/6ksTO7fRIRs
    To keep this short, I'll briefly comment on the first two components of the video that jump out:

    (1) There is no such thing as "trickle down economics." The idea doesn't exist among economists, and the theory from which it tangentially derives (essentially, the law of supply) is so strong that it's nearly unchallenged by economists today.

    (2) The claim that the free market has failed at self-regulation is false. I will spare you the details, but this is enough: since before macroeconomics became a thing, the market has never been free and instead has been heavily regulated. The government monopolizes law and regulation and money. These components are so important to how an economy functions that it is probably more accurate to say that the economy is mostly non-free. In addition, there is a wealth of scholarly work by economists that argues the government regulators actually CAUSED the economic calamities that popular opinion often thinks resulted from the "free market."
  19. #24619
    If you would like me to comment on the rest of the video, I certainly can.

    It's common for people like the video maker to get this stuff wrong, and I don't think it's best to characterize it as their fault. Economists have done a very bad job of communicating with the public and they even do a bad job of communicating with their students. Ideas like the "problems of fiscal austerity" permeate because of this, when economic consensus certainly is not that fiscal austerity is bad for an economy.
  20. #24620
    Quote Originally Posted by BananaStand
    I think the fact that you think this stuff, while smoking so little weed, is pretty un-fucking-believable.
    Weed doesn't make me more curious about why humans do what humans do; it just makes me more open about what I think about why humans do what humans do (and I'm already pretty open about it).
  21. #24621
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    You're joking, right? About markets and responsibility? 'Cause all I see around me are businesses trying to sell me less than what I think they are, by using clever wordplay and imagery to mislead me in my thinking.

    If this was not the case we'd see ads like:
    Budweiser: literally everyone in the world knows what it is, it's affordable, and gets you drunk, but calling it beer is offensive to every brewer of beer.
    Snapple: read the ingredients to find out if you paid full price for the cheap version 'cause that's the only difference in the packaging.
  22. #24622
    Those elements of irresponsibility arise normally regardless of market competition.

    Under what other conditions would a restauranteur acquire thousands of pounds of meat and vegetables and pay thousands of dollars in labor and capital to provide you a meal more preferred and with greater speed than the restauranteur next door?

    Like Adam Smith observed, freely competing self-interest effects agents acting in the interest of others because that is what best serves agents' self-interest. The free market is one of best tools I know of that incentivizes people to act responsibly towards people they otherwise might not.
  23. #24623
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    Pfft saying Kasparov's name in the same breath as Einstein.

    Kasparov is a world class dick. He cheated to avoid losing to a 15 y/o girl and then complained about her attitude when she had the nerve to protest.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  24. #24624
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    Next time you want to pull a chess player's name out, try Tal or Fischer. Or even Alekhine, but only in type because that name is a fucker to pronounce correctly.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  25. #24625
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    "
    Those elements of irresponsibility arise normally regardless of market competition.

    Under what other conditions would a restauranteur acquire thousands of pounds of meat and vegetables and pay thousands of dollars in labor and capital to provide you a meal more preferred and with greater speed than the restauranteur next door?

    Like Adam Smith observed, freely competing self-interest effects agents acting in the interest of others because that is what best serves agents' self-interest. The free market is one of best tools I know of that incentivizes people to act responsibly towards people they otherwise might not.


    "

    1) That's responding to something I didn't say, in response to a question you didn't ask.
    You asked me for evidence that markets don't reward responsibility, not whether I thought markets should reward it.


    2) What are the original conditions, so that I know what I'm contrasting against with "other" conditions?

    3) Adam Smith has no authority. If his ideas are worth knowing, then they must be so based on more than his name. If you're going to assert that a free market has never been tried, then you can't also assert that any of Smith's ideas have ever been tested and shown to be correct.

    "The free market is one of the best tools I know of ..."
    What are the other tools?
  26. #24626
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    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    Pfft saying Kasparov's name in the same breath as Einstein.

    Kasparov is a world class dick. He cheated to avoid losing to a 15 y/o girl and then complained about her attitude when she had the nerve to protest.
    - She was 17 and had been a grandmaster for two years at this point
    - She didn't protest. She should have, but she didn't. She only complained about the move after she lost the game
    - It's only cheating if he actually released the piece, and there's no proof that he did
    Congratulations, you've won your dick's weight in sweets! Decode the message in the above post to find out how to claim your tic-tac
  27. #24627
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    - She was 17 and had been a grandmaster for two years at this point
    pfft I remembered wrong. She was 15 when she became the world's youngest ever GM, replacing none other than Fischer. That's where I got 15 from. I bet you're correcting me after googling, not from memory.

    - She didn't protest. She should have, but she didn't. She only complained about the move after she lost the game
    She didn't at the time. However, Kasparov said of her... "... she just publicly said I was cheating. ... I think a girl of her age should be taught some good manners before making such statements." That's a patronising thing to say to a teenage girl who just nearly beat him, especially considering he knows he let go of the piece.

    - It's only cheating if he actually released the piece, and there's no proof that he did
    Nothing was made public, but it's said the video evidence showed he did indeed release the piece for approx 1/25 of a second. Ok maybe not enough time for an individual to know whether or not he let it go, but enough for me to think the girl has a right to complain.

    I am probably wrong about another thing though... had Kasparov been forced to play the bad move he nearly played, he wouldn't necessarily have lost. There was a forced draw there and it's Kasparov, he probably finds it, but his "nearly" move was certainly a blunder in that it turned his winning position into one where the best he can hope for is a lucky draw.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  28. #24628
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    Also Kasparov is a dick for a multitude of other reasons but that's the one that grinds me the most. Judit Polgar is the only woman who ever truly mixed it with the men in chess. Her sisters to a lesser extent of course, and there's a few others, but she was a legit top ten player. World class. It's a shame someone of Kasparov's stature didn't show her more respect.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  29. #24629
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    "I bet you're correcting me after googling, not from memory."

    ... as if doing a bit of research to have an informed opinion is a bad thing?

    What's your point, here?
  30. #24630
    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    "I bet you're correcting me after googling, not from memory."

    ... as if doing a bit of research to have an informed opinion is a bad thing?

    What's your point, here?
    I think the point is that he would only use google if he sought to refute Ong's statement. Otherwise, why not just use Ong's statement as the basis of an informed opinion?

    Reading something, then going google searching hoping it's wrong so you can split hairs over whether the grown man was picking on a 15 year old, or a 17 year old, is kind of a dick play.

    On the other hand, I think Ong likes that kinda stuff.
  31. #24631
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    On the other hand, I think Ong likes that kinda stuff.
    Kinda. I do enjoy arguing on the internet about utterly pointless shit.

    But yeah my point was I wasn't fact checking, just running from memory. I assume savy didn't know off hand that I was wrong and looked into it for the sake of arguing with me. If he already knew, well fair play, he knows stuff about the greatest female chess player that ever lived. I appreciate his interest in such a player.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  32. #24632
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    wait I'm arguing with luco not savy.

    Where the fuck did luco spring up from? I'm used to savy slapping me down.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  33. #24633
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    You know it only just occured to me that maybe luco and savy are the same guy.

    I'm onto you pair.

    I'm not ruining the paranoia by checking your IPs though.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  34. #24634
    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    Pfft saying Kasparov's name in the same breath as Einstein.
    I also mentioned soccer in the same breadth as real sports, so I don't see why you're singling the Kasparov bit out.

    Next you'll be complaining I didn't compare Einstein to your favourite darts player.
  35. #24635
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poopadoop View Post
    I also mentioned soccer in the same breadth as real sports, so I don't see why you're singling the Kasparov bit out.

    Next you'll be complaining I didn't compare Einstein to your favourite darts player.
    I simply took issue with the fact that your go-to chess player is a wanker.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  36. #24636
    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    I simply took issue with the fact that your go-to chess player is a wanker.
    it simply shows how much I know and care about chess.

    Fischer was quite the wanker too afaik.
  37. #24637
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poopadoop View Post
    it simply shows how much I know and care about chess.

    Fischer was quite the wanker too afaik.
    I mean obv I don't know, never met either of them. But from what I can tell, Fischer was a different kind of wanker. He was socially awkward and hated the politicial environment his battles with Russians players inevitably created. I'm unaware of examples of him being downright mean to gifted youngsters, although he might have been.

    Kasparov embraces politics. I'm all for people spouting off their opinions and whatnot, but celebs who virtue signal to the world while having a history of being a cunt, I find them loathesome. I don't give a fuck how good he is at chess. I'm happy to say I genuinely don't think he's the greatest player of all time, but then again it's notoriously difficult to compare players from different eras.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  38. #24638
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    I do have one Kasparov book though.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  39. #24639
    Freeing markets has been tried many times and the results are spectacular.

    Also, forgive me, for "free" and "market" put together is so ill-defined that it gets used for all sorts of different things. "The free market" might be macro only, something we don't have because of money and regulator monopolies, but that has happened before though the data on those times is really hard to find since it's usually interventionist governments that keep the data. It's better to look at changes in intervention. There's a wealth of data on that, we're seeing in real time increasing freedom in markets benefits the economy and the people (like in China). Or we saw this in the 90s in Germany. If I can quote Milton Friedman, every example of a society rising out of poverty that we have includes the society adopting significant freeing market reforms.

    I mention Adam Smith's observation because it is the probably the most credible observation considered by economists. Economics is far from a hard science. I don't know how to test what you want to test.
  40. #24640
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    @wuf: I can't continue if you're not going to read what I'm saying. Your last 2 posts have been complete non-sequiturs in the conversation.
    You're forgetting your own premises and bait-and-switching on your Q&A.

    Your appeal to authority is a logical fallacy.

    No matter how many facts you tell me about unicorns, that does nothing to change my opinion on horses.
    I.e. if you assert that free markets don't exist, then no matter what you tell me about free markets has no direct correlation to any real-world markets.
  41. #24641
    I'd be more likely to be Luco if I wasn't spoon.
  42. #24642
    OngBonga's Avatar
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    That's exactly what JKDS would say.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  43. #24643
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    My dream... is to fly... over the rainbow... so high...


    Cogito ergo sum

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    Hey, I'm in a movie!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYdwe3ArFWA
  44. #24644
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    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    You know it only just occured to me that maybe luco and savy are the same guy.

    I'm onto you pair.

    I'm not ruining the paranoia by checking your IPs though.
    I thought I was your alt account?
    Congratulations, you've won your dick's weight in sweets! Decode the message in the above post to find out how to claim your tic-tac
  45. #24645
    Thanks for the comments on the link I provided. All good stuff. I like the way the guy talks, but the content didn't sit that well with being an Econ major (albeit I'm not wholly anti-government intervention, but that debate doesn't need to be restarted).

    Also, I just read this on the BBC and it helped me understand the difference nicely. I much prefer the UK approach fwiw and find US news coverage both equally exciting and disgusting:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-42070575
  46. #24646
    If any from the US is reading this and has experience with SAFEs (simple agreement for equity - popular for raising capital for Silicon Valley start ups), could they reply in this thread pls and allow me to PM them?

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