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Tony Vahl
25 followers -
An author finding his place in the universe.
An author finding his place in the universe.

25 followers
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Having experienced a government shutdown first-hand, I just wanted to share some impressions I had:

- When the President says go back to work immediately, he means it.

- The banks were very quick to offer deferments for payments due on loans.

- I was very busy during the shutdown, working a 2nd job, as well as catching up on projects and errands that I did not have time for previously. I saw how much time and effort I devote to my government job, as opposed to my personal life. Quite frankly, things are out of balance for me, personally.

- I am grateful to my wife for all the she does.

- I told everyone that we’d be back to work by October 17th, and I was right.

- It’s amazing how the Republicans refused to vote for a clean Continuing Resolution on September 30th, and essentially voted for the same deal on October 17th. I guess that will be put in the Memory Hole, so to speak.

- It’s also amazing how clear the talking points were, depending on the Media outlet. Rush Limbaugh conservatives believe Ted Cruz will benefit from this shutdown. Laura Ingraham conservatives believe that if you’re going to shutdown the government, you better have an endgame that benefits Republicans, and that Ted Cruz failed to provide that endgame: nothing was gained, and much was lost. MSNBC liberals admitted that both parties were unpopular due to the shutdown and debt ceiling crisis, but focused on how the Republicans were more unpopular.

- At the very nadir of this crisis, when it seemed like neither side could get along, the polling data proved there are more people on Team Democrat than on Team Republican in the United States.

- We now know for a fact that Boehner never had the votes to prevent a clean CR from passing. One has to wonder what the point of this exercise was. How do the Republicans benefit from this?

- Democrats come off as innocent bystanders in all this.

- I’m grateful we are receiving back pay.

- The Government Shutdown, to me, felt very unprofessional. Much is expected from Federal employees, and the politicians in Washington did not match that level of expectation.

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In the past, I’ve written about my experiences with BlackBerry and Android phones like it was a relationship. After all, phones are very personal devices, so I made light of it when my device would crash or whatever. Well, my ownership of the Nexus S no longer feels like a relationship. It feels like hospice care. The power button no longer works, and it is locking up or crashing regularly.

Then there is the issue of storage space. I’m constantly getting insufficient space errors when trying to update apps. When I look, there is plenty of room. Apparently, app updates on Android require a buffer of 150mb or more, even though the update is less than 10mb.

I’ve started uninstalling apps, just trying to make space. I recently uninstalled Facebook because it was taking up 50mb, for some reason. I only used it to keep up on feeds. The bloated app size was not worth it.

As bad as Facebook was, in terms of being a storage hog, Twitter was worse. Before I uninstalled it today, it was taking up 139mb on my phone. That’s 139mb of tweets, plus whatever space the app itself was taking up.

Talk about bloat.

So, I’ve opted to use Twitter and Facebook through my phone’s web browser. My phone is much snappier since I got rid of the apps for the two social media behemoths. Zero lag.

Another useful app is Disk Space, which allows me to delete old cached stuff that is not being used. For example, I found several old Tunein Radio streams that were taking up 3gb on my phone. It’s amazing how items that should automatically get deleted when not in use just pile up and sit there, taking up precious storage space.

Anyway, if you have an old Nexus S like me, I highly recommend keeping your phone lean and using the browser to access social media. I’d rather have performance than a bunch of slow apps that can’t update.

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Recently, I was listening to the DH Unplugged Show when Horowitz said something I had been thinking for awhile but had not put into words: markets are extremely inefficient.

Having gone to high school and college in the 1990′s and 2000′s, I was taught differently. I was taught that there was an equilibrium between supply and demand that markets naturally tended towards, and that this was efficient.

I have long suspected that this was actually baloney.

Look at Amazon. I love shopping at their website. I’m an Amazon Prime member. My wife has a Kindle. I occasionally sell old video games through their FBA program. I’m totalling plugged in to their ecosystem, yet when I hear that their stock is trading at over 100x their earnings on Bloomberg, I don’t get it. That sounds like a speculation bubble, not market efficiency.

Speculation bubbles are proof that markets are inefficient.

I also now believe that this inefficiency is inherit in other things, like medical research. Why does it take so long to find a cure for certain diseases? Or how about using space technology to prevent asteroids from slamming into the earth. Why is this threat, which we know has happened before, low on our global priority list?

The answer is we humans are incredibly inefficient.

There is inefficiency everywhere. Sports teams in big markets tend to be inefficient in how they spend in players. Heck, the sports draft process is inefficient, where a future Hall of Famer like Tom Brady is drafted late and a Sam Bowie is drafted ahead of Michael Jordan.

I would love to explore this idea of inefficiency more. It would be great to write a book about this whole topic, exploring problems and potential solutions. Unfortunately, I have no time. My life is filled with work/life activities, and makes inefficient use of my creative ideas.

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A pigeon missing two toes.
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33 is a magic number in Miami. #NoAgenda #ITM
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Storm clouds over Brickell.
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Low phone.
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