26 July 2014
13 July 2014
As far as sending money to friends or family is concerned, I could use bitcoin and encourage others to use bitcoin, but I found myself having to pay my father back some money and I offered to pay him in bitcoin. He was perplexed by the idea and instead gave me his bank account details. I simply transferred the money from my bank account to his. It happened instantly and it didn't cost anything. A bitcoin transaction, however, has a 1% fee to provide an incentive for miners to process the transaction.
So then why would anyone use bitcoin if there is a 1% fee and bank transfers achieve the same thing but is free? I don't fully understand.
An interesting question has been submitted. If he wanted sex so much, why didn't Elliot Rodgers buy the services of a prostitute?
Here’s the thing. Rodger did have “sexual options.” Sex workers in San Diego, not far from where Rodger lived, participate in a market that generated some $97 million dollars in 2007 alone. Had he been willing to make a day trip to Nevada, only a five-to-six-hour drive from Santa Barbara, Rodger could have paid for sex quite legally. Bracketing the immensely complicated question of how sex work should be considered as a legal matter (for a compendium of excellent articles on sex workers and the sex trade, try this Slate Long Form Collection), and stressing that I believe that sex workers, like all other workers and human beings, deserve respect and legal protection, the question arises: if Rodger, a self-professed virgin who had “never even kissed a girl,” was so incredibly driven by the need to have sex, and if our society, for better and for worse, makes it possible for men to purchase sexual encounters, then why didn’t he pay for it?When I read My Twisted Life, I couldn't help but feel sorry for Elliot. I think the answer is that you go to a prostitute for sex, but prostitutes are not substitutes for girlfriends. You cannot hire a prostitute to watch a movie with you. There is also a social problem with hiring a prostitute. If you hire a prostitute, it is a secret transaction due to social stigma. It is something you do to satiate your sexual desires, but Rodgers talks often about his desire to have a hot blonde by his side to make his father proud or to show others that he was superior. Having a girlfriend then is a public statement of your worth, much like driving a nice car or wearing nice clothing is.
12 July 2014
Back to the topic of roadside assistance. I've been with RACV for a few years now. I have recently received a bill from them to renew my roadside assistance. They are charging $95! Seems a little expensive. I did a quick internet search and found that Budget Direct charges $70. However, digging around a little more I have noticed one feature of Budget Direct's roadside assistance package that worried me: they only offer towing of up to 40km in the country. The biggest fear I have with this is, if my car broke down in the country, would the tow truck only haul my car 40km and that is it? What if 40kms is not enough? According to RACV's website, they offer the following if you breakdown 100km from your home: "$750, Taxi (1@$50), Rental vehicle, Alternative transport, Accommodation." The RACV benefit sounds much more reassuring.
Insurance is difficult because no insurance is the same. We are talking about highly differentiated products. It is not like petrol. Petrol is approximately the same and so you can easily compare petrol prices of different service stations according to price per litre. Insurance is not so easy. The key to comparing insurance, I think, is to look at what benefits you really think you need and then trying to find insurance that provides those benefits for the lowest cost.
09 July 2014
I just purchased an eBook online from America. I needed to use American dollars and I had Australian dollars. I decided to use PayPal because I had just installed it on my phone and set up an account. I went through the motions, purchased the book, and then afterwards realized that PayPal charged an exchange rate of 0.90 when a simple Google search revealed the exchange rate to be 0.94. PayPal ripped me off! I will see if I can change PayPal setting so that it charges my credit card in US dollars and supposedly the rate charged by the card is not so bad, but if this turns out to be too hard then I will just uninstall PayPal and in rage will never use it again. Credit card is already quite safe anyway. PayPal charges absolutely outrageous fees. Not only are their foreign exchange rates a rip off but supposedly if you transfer money to a friend who also has PayPal, you must pay a 2.3% fee. What a rip off! Bank transfers are free. If you don't feel comfortable giving away your bank account number (research what happened to Jeremy Clarkson when he gave out his bank account number on TV) then bitcoin fees are less than 1%.