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Ojan Vafai
Works at Google Inc.
Attended UC-Berkeley
Lives in San Francisco, CA
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Ojan Vafai

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Ojan Vafai

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I had seen this before, but the scene starting at 3:10 was pretty lols.
 
This is awesome and hilarious.
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Dimitri Glazkov's profile photoWilfried Kopp's profile photo
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Put skates on their feet! 
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This is way better than the modern theme song!
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Exterminate!
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Prop 13 strikes again.
 
Q: So, why is Silicon Valley studded with an implausibly large number of abandoned barns, shacks, and other things that don't look like they belong here?

A: Because this all used to be orchards. This all made sense, fifty years ago.

Q: Right, but shouldn't they have, like, torn them down by now?

A: No. Abandoned barns in Silicon Valley are a better investment than historical stock market returns.

Q: Wouldn't they be an even better investment if there were, like, usable buildings on the land?

A: No.

Q: You have got to be shitting me.

A: Proposition 13 makes abandoned barns an enormously lucrative investment. You see, the assessed value of a piece of property is capped at a rate well below the rate of increase in property values out here. So you can just get the price of the land reevaluated every year and take tax-free loans against the increase in equity. This is a huge amount of untaxable money. Especially if you're an abandoned shed that's worth seven figures, right smack dab in the middle of the Google campus.

Q: Right, but that's just about low taxes, right?

A: Yeah. Well. Uh. I was going to get to the "except" part.

Q: And what's that? 

A: The increase is capped except upon the sale or the completion of new improvements. Like an apartment building, for instance, to partially solve the housing crisis out here. Or a new building on the Google campus. This means that if the value of the improvement is less than the compounded increase in the value of the property absent the improvement, then it doesn't make any sense to actually build anything.

Q: That's horrible. Why aren't people, like, vandalizing abandoned buildings to get rid of them?

A: The only way you can vandalize anything in California that solves the problem is to literally build a new improvement on the property without the landowner finding out. That resets the tax basis and gives them an incentive to stop holding the land off the market.

Q: That's... double horrible.

A: Yeeeeeeah.
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Toi Sin Arvidsson's profile photoOjan Vafai's profile photo
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I actually am very confused about Prop 13 still. On the face, I don't see that it's bad for a person living in a home to not have to pay taxes on the market value that they are not necessary benefiting if they are living there. But then it seems very strange that people who don't live in the place but have them as investment to be benefiting. And then the strangest of all. While should education funding be tied to property tax. If that wasn't the case, prop 13 might be much less detrimental. And of course here are these little loopholes about Prop 13 like what's shared here that makes things even crazier.
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Are you a boy whose name ends in "n"? Congratulations, you are contributing to one of the weirdest naming trends in American history.
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I like the motion effect created by the tiny differences between prints.

+Brett Slatkin next project? :)
 
This is really cool, a 3D-printed stop motion animation.

I could imagine a 3D-animation movie that uses these for the characters in front of real-life backgrounds, that would be pretty cool. And you'd have tons of unique props you could sell!
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Yeah it's rad.
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Ojan Vafai

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Some of these are surprisingly cute!

+Tessa MacDuff Pupius...this one's for you.
Ukrainian photographer Vyacheslav Mishchenko documents tiny creatures in nature who often go unseen. In particular, he captures portraits of snails that are both magical and adorable. The photographer gets in close to snap macro shots of precious, surreal moments. I never thought I'd find the slimy mollusk so cute!
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I love it!
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Ojan Vafai

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That song was my favorite!
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Amazing.
 
Mind. Blown.
On our street, all the lettering is done with big strips of sticky tape stuck to the road.

(via Swiss Miss)
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Ardan Arac's profile photoDaniel Erat's profile photoAlexandra Kenin's profile photoBrett Lider's profile photo
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Very cool! 
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Software Engineer
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  • Google Inc.
    Software Engineer, present
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Boston, MA - Changchun, China - Berkeley, CA - Mountain View, CA
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