I have a problem with some kinds of tax. I'm not going to go as far as saying that all taxation is theft (though sometimes it wouldn't be too hard to convince me) or suggest better ways to tax people to make the bulk of government funds (though I wouldn't mind talking about wealth taxes as an alternative to income taxes). This is specifically about taxes used as a deterrent against something that is bad, or deemed to be bad.
First, I should say: by "spend", I mean spending of all three core resources: time, energy, and money.
While this video is specifically directed at the Catholic Church, it's relevant to all Christian churches in my opinion. Because of Western society's focus on always picking the cheapest option, we've got to the point where church websites and branding are frequently done by unprofessional volunteers. Sure, this can keep the costs down at a new church, and sometimes the volunteers are actually skilled in the relevant areas, but that isn't frequently the case.
I always find it odd when a well-known public figure, such as a film star, author, or celebrity, goes out of their way to "announce" which political figure or side they are casting their vote for. Voting is usually set up in a way that gives the voter complete privacy, so their decision is theirs alone. It's weird that some people have to go and make a big fuss about it. Why not just say why one should or shouldn't vote for certain sides and not make some big announcement?
What's even worse is when the person picks a side they know they will get hate for, and also don't agree with as much as some of the other options, and then go on to try to justify their choice.
The value-for-value business model, as described by Adam Curry and John C. Dvorak on their podcast, No Agenda, seems to be the only truly viable business model for digital media.
The stumbling block that many people seem to have when it comes to content in digital form is that it is very difficult to force people to pay a set price for something that can be perfectly replicated ad infinitum.
If someone is a craftsman and makes eight doohickeys in a normal work day, and two doohickeys are stolen, it's easy to see how someone stole two hours of their time (not to mention supplies, wear on his tools, and a portion of the time developing the concept of the product). But what if the doohickey is a digital file?
When I was younger, I remember asking (maybe not out loud, but at least introspectively) who was the best team at the Olympic Games. Of course, the Olympics is supposed to be more of a feel-good, everyone-wins-something kind of event, and doesn't have a true structure for an actual winner, but we subconsciously want that.
Every sports page in the newspaper and online seems to show the top three nations, along with Canada, sorted by their total medal count, and we seem to be happy with that. But what about the fact that the several nations have over 100 athletes while many nations have less than 10% of that? And don't forget that nations with more money and resources can probably train better athletes! I thought we could do better, and these are my suggestions.
No Agenda is a great show, but it's biggest downside is the fact that so many of the stories discussed are long and ongoing, making it hard for a first-time listener to jump in. That's why Adam and John did episode 200.5. It was meant to be an introduction to how the show works and all the little peculiarities.
This is my first attempt at writing my thoughts while doing a play-through of an album. Colors by House of Heroes easily sits in my top 10 favourite albums (though I still need to write that listicle).
Leading up to the album coming out, they posted these clips on social media, and they help make the narrative more obvious.
Update: I should update this.
These are mostly just vague ideas of changes I would make if I were in charge of things. My preferred type of national government would be one that is decentralized and put in to the hands of local governments as much as possible, especially for a nation as large as Canada (that's thing #1), so some of these would be more relevant if I were in charge of provincial or municipal government, and not on a national level.
I was looking at various services that send you the ingredients and recipes for meals, so one doesn't have to think, and I realized what kind of service I really want. I don't mind shopping, and I would rather buy in bulk than pay for individual meal's ingredients, and the tough part is picking out what to make. My dream service would basically be a meal-planning service.
I've been using Let's Encrypt since it was early in beta to get an certificate, but the process was a bit painful (not for me, but painful enough to not recommend to "average people") as one had to install and run a bunch of command line stuff to do it.
Thankfully, someone used their API to build this lovely site to generate them all in-browser. It's a bit more work than going through one's web host, and the certificates last only 3 months, so you have to do it four times a year, but it's free.
I made a shortlist of my favourite movies.
It was difficult to quantify what makes a movie my favourite. At first, I started out with movies that I wouldn't mind watching again at a moment's notice, but some of these require the right mood, and some I haven't seen for a long time, and don't want to ruin what I enjoyed then.
Here they are, in alphabetical order: