simplify's recent activity

  1. Comment on What did you do this week? in ~talk

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    I got a job. After 7 years working for myself, I'm returning to the regular working world as a web developer. I'm simultaneously excited and scared. Excited for the new adventure and the change,...

    I got a job. After 7 years working for myself, I'm returning to the regular working world as a web developer. I'm simultaneously excited and scared. Excited for the new adventure and the change, and scared because... well, I've never been a professional web developer before and I have a lot to learn. I'm going to be cramming PHP into my brain for weeks. That's also part of the excitement, getting to expand my knowledge and learn. I just don't want to disappoint my new team and my new boss who is taking a chance on me.

    4 votes
  2. Comment on Let’s please not make “the slap” more than what it is in ~life

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    I haven't seen a fight in... I really don't know. Maybe two decades or more? I honestly can't even remember the last time I saw a fight. And I lived in Chicago for over 12 years. Where I live now...

    I haven't seen a fight in... I really don't know. Maybe two decades or more? I honestly can't even remember the last time I saw a fight. And I lived in Chicago for over 12 years. Where I live now the biggest crimes are domestic violence and drunk driving, but I don't really see any of it. The last time I saw a cop, he was called because a guy was stuck in the snow and the worry was he might be drunk or in danger, but he was sober and okay.

    2 votes
  3. Comment on Let’s please not make “the slap” more than what it is in ~life

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    Sure, perhaps. But I would still maintain that Will Smith should have been booted out of the ceremony when he did this. I don't share your acceptance of a fight at a wedding. If someone fought at...

    Sure, perhaps. But I would still maintain that Will Smith should have been booted out of the ceremony when he did this. I don't share your acceptance of a fight at a wedding. If someone fought at my wedding, no matter who it was, they would be asked to leave. So my original thought was coming from a place of... how can this person get away with violence so publicly and still be allowed to be there? It's his station of being an A-List celebrity that prevented him from being booted.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on Let’s please not make “the slap” more than what it is in ~life

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    I can definitely see your point of view, but I don't think the comparison of your family to famous celebrities is apt. Many people put famous people on a pedestal. Whether a person cares about...

    I can definitely see your point of view, but I don't think the comparison of your family to famous celebrities is apt. Many people put famous people on a pedestal. Whether a person cares about celebrity culture or not, most people in America know who Will Smith and Chris Rock are. We don't care about your family in the same sense (though I hope they're all well). When we see famous people behave like this on live television, it's jarring. If your drunk cousin starts a fight, well, you probably have some easy personal explanations for why it happened. A fight at the Oscars is something else entirely.

    My comment was in response to the idea that this event has captured the interest of people who claim to be disinterested in celebrity culture. I'm pretty disinterested in celebrity culture myself but I'm still trying to parse why I'm interested in this. My comment was an attempt to figure it out.

    3 votes
  5. Comment on Let’s please not make “the slap” more than what it is in ~life

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    I think it's because it truly shows how disconnected we are from them. A celebrity went on stage with millions of people watching, literally physically assaulted another celebrity, did not get...

    For some reason this has captured the imagination of even the people who I know who claim disinterest in celebrity culture.

    I think it's because it truly shows how disconnected we are from them. A celebrity went on stage with millions of people watching, literally physically assaulted another celebrity, did not get arrested or even kicked out of the event, and then later went on to win a major award and received a standing ovation. It's both fascinating and infuriating. It's a lot to process.

    8 votes
  6. Comment on 74% of Arizona households are priced out of AZ homes in ~finance

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    I'm not trying to start anything. I hope your friends are able to better their lives where they want to be.

    I'm not trying to start anything. I hope your friends are able to better their lives where they want to be.

    1 vote
  7. Comment on 74% of Arizona households are priced out of AZ homes in ~finance

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    Yes, I am implying #2. But I understand that people want to stay where they are familiar for emotional reasons. At the same time, I've been dealing with some people close to me who often talk...

    Yes, I am implying #2. But I understand that people want to stay where they are familiar for emotional reasons. At the same time, I've been dealing with some people close to me who often talk about much they hate where they live, complain about it constantly, but don't do anything about it. It gets frustrating as someone who has moved around a lot, leaving when a place no longer suits me. So perhaps I'm a little emotional about it. People are going do what they do.

    1 vote
  8. Comment on 74% of Arizona households are priced out of AZ homes in ~finance

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    Human beings have been leaving their support networks for greener pastures for as long as we've existed. Everybody's got a breaking point and, honestly, life in the Midwest is pretty good. This...

    That said, their support networks are here and they don't have as much money, and so they've mostly hunkered down, cut other expenses, live in communal situations, or accept hour+ commutes.

    Human beings have been leaving their support networks for greener pastures for as long as we've existed. Everybody's got a breaking point and, honestly, life in the Midwest is pretty good. This runaway inflation might kick some people in the pants hard enough to prompt them to try something different. You can't keep living a life in which it's impossible to get ahead. It gets too painful after a while.

    2 votes
  9. Comment on 74% of Arizona households are priced out of AZ homes in ~finance

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    The issue this time around, as far as I understand it, isn't that tons of people are getting ARMs based off of fabricated income (as was the case in 2008). This time is more multifaceted. We have...

    The issue this time around, as far as I understand it, isn't that tons of people are getting ARMs based off of fabricated income (as was the case in 2008). This time is more multifaceted. We have people who are massively overleveraging themselves, bidding prices up way over asking, waving all contingencies, just to get into a house. Waving contingencies is not smart nor normal. Neither is bidding $50K, $100K, or more over asking.

    Next, we have iBuyers like Zillow who have tried to get into the real estate game, essentially flipping houses. They're using algorithms to buy houses sight-unseen, doing little or no work on them, and listing them at a higher price. It's not working out for Zillow. As it turns out, computers may not understand everything that goes into the valuation of a house. Zillow isn't alone in doing this. I've read stories about iBuyers buying up neighborhoods, paying over-asking, as a way to drive up prices. But if a place is too expensive and not as desirable as they thought, it's not a good bet.

    There's also the trend of YouTubers and TikTokkers pushing investment schemes about becoming a landlord for the passive income. Go on YouTube and search about it. Its puts dollar signs in many peoples' eyes, prompting them to overleverage themselves, buy a bunch of houses, and try to live that dream. It's so pervasive, there are even ponzi schemes popping up catering to the exuberance. What happened with the story I linked, the grifters bought tons of blighted houses that were worth very little, sold them for way more than they were worth to new investors, managed them for the investors, collected rent from the tenants, and then paid the investors that rent. Except... the houses were empty and the rent being paid to the investors came from the sale of new houses. If this sounds interesting, I recommend reading this Reddit thread.

    This all stems from the basically free money that the Fed has been handing out for years. But now inflation is really taking off, the Fed needs to get a handle on it by raising interest rates, and that's going to put massive pressure on the housing market. Even just a couple years ago, when the Fed tried to raise the rate, the stock market took a dump and Trump pressured Powell to back off. Now we're seeing the effects. Coupled with the continued supply chain issues, inflation is looking like it's going to continue to climb. The government is even talking about more stimulus checks because of the rising gas prices. I also believe they will have to do something about student loans. They were supposed to be turned back on May 1st, but that's not going to happen. They know it would suck so much money out of an economy that's running on fumes and cause many people to default.

    This is all to say... things are too expensive, most people are broke (or massively indebted), and it's only a matter of time before it all comes crashing down. If you're in a good financial situation right now, stay the course, don't succumb to FOMO, and be smart.

    6 votes
  10. Comment on 74% of Arizona households are priced out of AZ homes in ~finance

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    The interesting thing about the Bay Area, and places like it, is that it's gotten so unaffordable for lower and middle income earners, there may eventually be no one to staff the lower and middle...

    The interesting thing about the Bay Area, and places like it, is that it's gotten so unaffordable for lower and middle income earners, there may eventually be no one to staff the lower and middle income jobs. I know it's a desirable location with plenty of amenities, but people who earn those kind of wages may soon have no recourse but to leave. Mountain towns have been experiencing this already, and I've seen several articles about various ski towns where local workers can't find any place affordable to live even an hour out of town. So for these areas with massively expensive housing, the issue could be more of a dearth of service industry workers which would result in a hollowing out of certain amenities. I would be interested in the take of any Bay Area residents concerning this.

    3 votes
  11. Comment on 74% of Arizona households are priced out of AZ homes in ~finance

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    I believe in 2008, if I remember correctly, Arizona was one of the places that was hit the hardest. Perhaps they're the canary in the coal mine? If 74% of Arizonans couldn't afford a house in...

    I believe in 2008, if I remember correctly, Arizona was one of the places that was hit the hardest. Perhaps they're the canary in the coal mine? If 74% of Arizonans couldn't afford a house in Arizona, that's not a good sign. Of course, as you say, people who aren't overextended and keep their jobs will be okay if they don't need to sell. But I don't think it would be fun to be underwater on your mortgage. Last time around, we saw people strategically defaulting in some cases, walking away from their home even though they could pay. And with so many foreclosures for banks to get through, this could mean continuing to live in your house for a year or more without paying. The amount of money you could save doing something like that is certainly tantalizing to some. This has all happened before. The 'why' is just a little different this time.

    5 votes
  12. Comment on 74% of Arizona households are priced out of AZ homes in ~finance

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    I posted this article because I believe we're in a massive housing bubble that is on its way to popping, so if you're a well-paid software engineer I think you just need to be patient, save your...

    I posted this article because I believe we're in a massive housing bubble that is on its way to popping, so if you're a well-paid software engineer I think you just need to be patient, save your money, and do not succumb to FOMO. The housing market is unsustainable as cheap money is coming to an end. A lot of "investors" are about to lose their shirts and people who've been overzealous in their home buying will be underwater. Back in 2006-2007, people were saying the same thing as we're hearing now... "buy now or be priced out forever."

    Here's an article about California basically talking about the same thing, but trying to frame it in a more positive light. Essentially, 75% of Californians cannot afford a home in California. This is just not normal or sustainable. Save your money, wait, take a deep breath, rent a little longer. "Priced out forever" is meant to play on your emotions. Nothing is forever.

    8 votes
  13. Comment on 74% of Arizona households are priced out of AZ homes in ~finance

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    New data from the National Association of Home Builders finds that about three in four households in Arizona would struggle financially to purchase a median priced home in the state.

    The study looks at median home prices across the country along with interest rates and incomes to determine what share of households are priced out of the market. National numbers are telling. Almost 70%, 87 million households across the US would be over-extended if purchasing a home at the median price of $412,505. Today, only 2.9 million US households are above the income threshold recommended to purchase a house valued over $1.55 million. On the other end of the spectrum, 36 million, more than 10 times the number, 36 million households take home enough to comfortably purchase a house valued at under $150,000.

    Data for Arizona paints a similar story.

    At the time of the study in February 2022, a median-valued home in the state was priced at $464,413. An Arizona household would need an annual income of $102,987 to afford that. Nearly three-quarters of households are under that annual income, estimated to be 738,906 households out of 2,846,208.

    4 votes
  14. Comment on What are your thoughts on using a website/blog as a resume? in ~life

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    I'm a privacy enthusiast, so I would never do anything like this because it exposes far too much of my life to the entire world. I begrudgingly created a LinkedIn on the advice of a recruiter, but...

    I'm a privacy enthusiast, so I would never do anything like this because it exposes far too much of my life to the entire world. I begrudgingly created a LinkedIn on the advice of a recruiter, but I regretted it and soon deleted it. I didn't have to submit a resume for the web dev job I'm about to (hopefully!) get, but that's because I've got a connection. However, I do have a normal resume (written in markdown, which I highly recommend) and a GitHub profile. Perhaps consider GitHub for your scientific research. If you wanted to go the GitHub route, you could also upload a markdown resume there. GitHub also allows for you to create a static site with Jekyll, if you did indeed wanted to do that.

    8 votes
  15. Comment on What did you do this week? in ~talk

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    After 7 years of being self-employed, I had an informal interview (with the lead developer/director) for a web development job this week. I've got a quick call today and then probably a more...

    After 7 years of being self-employed, I had an informal interview (with the lead developer/director) for a web development job this week. I've got a quick call today and then probably a more formal interview next week. If the call and interview go well, I imagine I'll be starting the job quickly as they really need the help. I feel a whole bunch of feelings about this. I feel saddened that I'm leaving behind the business I created (though it'll still run on fumes for some time), I feel disappointed that I'll be giving up full control over my time, I feel excited to get back into tech and be creative in new ways, I feel relieved that it would mean a steady and reliable paycheck, and I feel placated that I would have a job that I could more easily explain to people.

    I'm trying to figure out what kind of salary to ask for. In my previous tech career years back, with bonuses and benefits, I was certainly earning into six figures. But I have some gaps in my development knowledge and my old career was in a much bigger market than I'm in currently. I'm thinking $60K. Truth be told, this is probably just a stepping stone job (but hey, who knows) so I'm most concerned about getting the job first. Indeed estimates the jobs salary in our market is $57K-$72K, so maybe I need to ask for higher. I do have a ton of beneficial technical skills that line up with this job. I've just been out of the game for so long, I want to be realistic.

    6 votes
  16. Comment on Alex Melton - "Mmmbop (Hanson)" (2022) in ~music

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    This guy is legitimately talented, and I enjoyed his lyrical breakdown of the song at the end. I also got a kick out of his Blink 182 does Wonderwall video. I'd never heard of him before, so...

    This guy is legitimately talented, and I enjoyed his lyrical breakdown of the song at the end. I also got a kick out of his Blink 182 does Wonderwall video. I'd never heard of him before, so thanks for posting the link.

    Oh, and I didn't know that I needed the drum set he plays. But I guess I know now.

    3 votes
  17. Comment on A forever student loan pause? Why Biden is likely to continue freezing payments in ~finance

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    It’s been two years since student loan forbearance began in March 2020—which marked a freeze for borrowers to make debt payments. Forbearance has been extended several times but was set to expire on May 1. But Education Department officials told federal student loan servicing companies to “hold off” on sending notices to borrowers about those payments restarting, Politico reported this week.

    That’s the second hint in two weeks that the freeze on student loan payments could get extended again. Last week, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain told Pod Save America that “the president is going to look at what we should do on student debt before the pause expires, or he’ll extend the pause.”

    4 votes
  18. Comment on Inflation rose 7.9% in February from a year ago, as food and energy costs push prices to highest in more than forty years in ~finance

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    The consumer price index, which measures a wide-ranging basket of goods and services, increased 7.9% over the past 12 months, a fresh 40-year high for the closely followed gauge, according to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    The February acceleration was the fastest pace since January 1982, back when the U.S. economy confronted the twin threat of higher inflation and reduced economic growth.

    2 votes