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Thomas Themel
Works at Google
Attended Vienna University of Technology
Lived in Vienna
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Thomas Themel

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Somewhat counterintuitively, corporate concentration seems to serve as a redistribution device and decrease income equality. Also a good story of why the much-beloved 1960 status quo is not efficient anymore.
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TIS-100, a game for people whose idea of fun is programming a primitive multicore system in assembly language.
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I wrote a book review. I should really do this more, or at least tell myself that I am going to do it because I get the impression that the expectation of having to write about it improves my engagement with the book and the act of going over it afterwards improves retention, but ultimately what drove me to do it here is that I felt it would be useful because there wasn't yet the usual sea of reviews that expressed what I wanted to write much better than I could have done it.
Billed as "A Biologist's Guide to the Rat Race", this book lays out the quest for a financially sound retirement plan by working through a hypothetical (though quite autobiogr...
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Thomas Themel

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I still don't get it after I have been here for five years. Salaries are almost double of neighboring countries, taxes are lower and yet public administration is extremely well run and public transport works like a charm.

Of course asset prices have adjusted and your median square meter of Zurich apartment space will set you back about 10000 CHF, but it is notable that you can rent it for about 2-3% of that annually and still provide returns to your landlords who pay 1.5% on their mortgage and bear the price risk for you.

Overall, it still seems like a fantastic deal for professionals to consider at least spending a few lucrative years here. Once you look at the cost of raising children and buying real estate it looks slightly less like you're drowning in money, but if that's not an immediate concern you can enjoy the disposable income faucet for a while, at least until you find yourself actually wondering whether you are going to stay around.
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A lot of that is due to the weak Euro, but still you are right. It is a great deal for young professionals.
I was considering moving to Zurich for a while, but i'm to old and to lazy to do it ...
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There is a fundamental contradiction at the heart of housing capitalism. We encourage people to take on highly leveraged, undiversified exposure in homes with promises that they are good “investments”, meaning they will increase or at least retain their values over time. We also claim that housing is a consumption good that should be efficiently provided, a good for which competitive markets should expand supply to drive prices down to a technologically declining marginal cost of production. Housing cannot be both of those things at once. Much of the work we have to do if we wish to increase housing supply is to deemphasize the housing-as-investment narrative in favor of housing-as-consumption-good.
Housing is a bitch. A case can be made that divisive hot-button issues like inequality and immigration ultimately derive from housing dysfunction. Kevin Erdmann eloquently tells the tale. Matt Rognlie has famously argued that the increase in capital's share of income, often blamed for inequality ...
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Thomas Themel

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I flew a lot in 2015. A quick calculation shows that carbon emissions from my flights amount to 22.5t, in addition to whatever I get for living in a first world country (though one that cares a lot about sustainable energy use). When I fly for business, Google actually tries to compensate (propaganda: https://www.google.com/green/bigpicture), but something like a third of that is private travel.

I was thinking about compensating via donations, but when I checked myclimate, the local provider, I got the impression that they were more optimized for making the donor feel good than for being cost efficient carbon reducers.

The linked article pointed me to Cool Earth, which claims much better efficiency, on the order of about a dollar per ton of CO2 reduction. 

Note that the linked analysis also goes on to expect that giving all your money to the Against Malaria Foundation is probably going to do more to reduce human suffering than climate change, but I suspect that has a lot of variance like all things climate. 

Related "you should donate to animal liberation charity instead of going vegan if you like meat": http://slatestarcodex.com/2015/09/23/vegetarianism-for-meat-eaters/
Epistemic status of this post: I am not an expert, but I am reading people who are. There is every chance that I have messed up somewhere so if you know about this area I welcome correction, but in the absence of that the numbers seem relatively robust. General disclaimer: This is UK centric.
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The latest Hardcore History is great as usual. In particular, it was fascinating to consider the historical voices from Assyria and Babylon in the context of my favourite unscientific grand theory - Julian Jaynes's idea that this period contains the birth of modern consciousness. For example, hearing how statues were not representatives of gods but actually were the gods and could be taken away by conquerors or held hostage by overlords (which, fascinatingly enough, seems to not have worked but instead caused social breakdown) seems really puzzling from a modern perspective. Jaynes's theory of the origin of these religions as a remainder of a previous mode of mental and social organization centered around auditory hallucinations is fascinating and adds another layer to the already fascinating beginnings of history in Mesopotamia, so I encourage everyone with too much time on their hands to read The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind and then enjoy the three and a half hours of audio below to the fullest!
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I tried to make it into work early today, but the view from home was just too pretty leave. 
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Thomas Themel

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For the blue screen enthusiasts. It seems like the self-scanning thing at the local supermarket runs Windows CE, with unsurprising results. 
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Depressing graph of the week. Z-Scores are jargon for standard deviations here, so a point is worth about 15 Stanford-Binet IQ points or 24 Cattell IQ points.
A compendium of DNB, WM, IQ information
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It's interesting to note that "The Middle Class Is Losing Ground" is actually more about people moving out upwards than downwards, which is not exactly the story you'd get from public discourse. 
After more than four decades of serving as the nation's economic majority, the U.S. middle class is now matched in size by those in the economic tiers above and below it.
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Truly, 2015 will be the year of Linux on the desktop.
 
“CloudReady” Turns Your Old Computers Into Chromebooks #chromiumOS
"CloudReady" Turns Your Old Computers Into Chromebooks #chromiumOS. Easily turn your old computer into a Chromebook with this free operating system.
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:-D (Irony.)
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Thomas's Collections
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Have him in circles
182 people
Liliane Rime's profile photo
Mike Springer's profile photo
Hugo van der Merwe's profile photo
Sascha Schick's profile photo
christina st's profile photo
Ernst Oberortner's profile photo
Matthew Cook's profile photo
Laurence Livermore's profile photo
Daniel Walter (bigfr0g)'s profile photo
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5 communities
Education
  • Vienna University of Technology
    Physics, 2005 - 2010
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Male
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Computer Nerd
Employment
  • Google
    Software Engineer, 2013 - present
  • Mirai Solutions GmbH
    Solutions Architect, 2011 - 2013
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Previously
Vienna - Villach - Wolfsberg - Zurich
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Other profiles
Very satisfied with the service. Cleaners didn't speak English, but that's probably to be expected in San Francisco.
Public - 2 weeks ago
reviewed 2 weeks ago
Excellent Sushi, well worth the wait!
Public - 5 months ago
reviewed 5 months ago
Nice ambiance, good food, slow service. They also refused some of my more exotic picks (too spicy!) and insisted on giving us Western cutlery along with our chopsticks.
Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago
The newly opened Zurich branch of Switzerland's finest craft beer establishment offers 24 beers on tap (see website for current menu), two ale pumps and a few fridges of bottles for those with even more need for variety. Service can be a little slow and good beer is often expensive, though the free samples and reduced takeaway prices help blunt the impact a little.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
10 reviews
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I found the food consistently excellent on multiple occasions. Service is very friendly, but things take a lot of time, we usually plan for about an hour from sitting down to the start of the main course at dinner.
Public - 7 months ago
reviewed 7 months ago
Excellent restaurant tucked away in a small alley very close to Cuihu park. Ordering is easy for the ignorant Western tourist due to the pictorial iPad ordering system.
Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago
Truly the most excellent of B&Bs. Beautiful house, incredibly nice owners, great surroundings.
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago