31 October 2015

Avoid the Apple Cult

A co-worker at work today was shopping for an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s. He was browsing the internet, looking for prices. He was upset by the cost of an iPhone, especially when looking at an iPhone 6s with reasonable internal storage (over 32 GB) and finding it costs more than A$1000.

Of course, there is the option to go on a phone plan, but he pays about $15 per month on calls and data using a pre-paid SIM (I pay around $10 to $15). It's cheaper to simply buy a phone outright rather than go on a phone plan, which locks you in and effectively puts you into debt. A phone plan also obscures you from the true cost of the phone. Rather than see the $1000 cost, you see a $80 per month cost, and you are tempted to think to yourself "I can afford $80 per month!" when really you are just spreading out the cost over time, allowing marketers to take advantage of a human psychological weakness called hyperbolic discounting.

What was interesting was that my friend already had an old iPhone 4 (which was quite slow by now) and he was automatically looking for new iPhones. He didn't even think about other brands. This shows how strong the Apple brand is in people's mind. He was mainly keen on getting a faster phone with a bigger screen.

I hovered over his shoulder and asked him if he was wedded to the Apple brand or whether he was willing to look at other brands. He said that he was certainly not wedded to iPhones and was willing to switch, but he had some uncertainty about transferring data from one operating system to another. In particular he asked about transferring his photos. I told him that if he purchased an Android phone, he'd be using Google Photos. I showed him the website and he seemed reassured.

I also recommended that he buy the Nexus 5X because it is a new phone with fairly good specs but only costs about A$700 or so, which will save him a few hundred dollars. I already have the Nexus 5 (2013) and believe it is a great phone. It is two years old now, but it's still running well. I'm sure the Nexus 5X will be great.

17 October 2015

My Experience Trying to Date a Prostitute

On Monday, after work, I felt tired and lonely again, so I succumbed to temptation and visited a brothel. Three girls were presented to me, and I selected a young girl from Korea named Sarah. She was very pretty, and I fell in love with her when I saw her. She told me she was visiting for one year on a working holiday visa. She asked me if I had a girlfriend or wife, and I told her I didn’t. She asked me why I was single, so I told her I was still looking for the right girl. I then asked her if she wanted to be my girlfriend and she actually said yes.

Anyway, because I felt like we both loved each other, the sex seemed more special and enjoyable. It was like she was my girlfriend. After it was over, we exchanged numbers, and I told her I would message her.

Two days later, I messaged her while I was at work, but she didn’t seem too keen. I asked her if she wanted to see me over the weekend, but she told me she was busy working. I asked about any other days, but she effectively said she was too busy working, so I told her I’d message her later. This kind of bummed me because I figure if she really wanted to see me she would make time for me.

Giving all these excuses suggests she doesn’t really care about me, which I suppose makes sense now that I think about it. She was probably pretending to like me when she was with me because that was part of the service. If this is indeed the case, I don’t have anything against her.

When I speak to people about the topic of intimate relationships with prostitutes, they always say it’s a bad idea because the prostitute only pretends to like you. She doesn’t genuinely care about you. But is this really a bad thing? If I go to a bakery and buy bread, is it a problem that the baker doesn’t love me? No, I just care about the bread.

Some people may say that they want others to love them, which is fine, but I don’t really think it matters that much what others think of you. Many people say that they don't care what others think, and they say this with pride. However, even though many people say they don't care about what others believe, in the context of marriage they typically say they want their wives or girlfriends to love them, and they care greatly about what members of the opposite sex think.

Nine-to-Five Workers Are Free-Range Slaves

Man, I hate my job. It really is painful. The main problem is that I am just bored. I also hate the idea of being tied down to something for the rest of my life. I feel like my whole life is being taken away from me. I thought at first maybe I need to get a new job. Maybe I need to do extra study and start applying for another job, but the more I think about it the more I realize that doing this will only push me deeper into the nine-to-five world that I hate. I need to escape. I know for sure now that my dream is to become a digital nomad. I am happy to work but I want to work from my laptop, and I want to be able to work from anywhere where there is internet connection.

The pain I’ve been suffering at work seems to be ramping up. I seem to be getting more work, but for some reason I just feel really unmotivated. People I work with are also just plain annoying, and the fact that I’m stuck with them makes my life even more difficult.

At work today I was thinking about financial ratios. For example, there is the price-earnings ratio, which is the price of, say, a business divide by its earnings. If someone wants to buy this business, they can quickly assess whether the price it is selling for is worth it.

Another ratio or index I thought about was what I call the “freedom index,” which is the ratio of passive or semi-passive income to "active income." I'm not too sure if "active income" is a real term, but it is the opposite of "passive income," that is, you have to work for active income whereas passive income is income you don't have to work for e.g. a savings account pays you interest without you doing any work.

Suppose currently I earn about $10,000 per year in passive income and I earn $75,000 per year from my job. This means the ratio of passive income to active income is 13% The higher the number, the freer you are. The lower the number, the more you are subject to wage slavery.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that we are not free. At least, most of us are not. Many slaves in the past were confined and exploited like today's cows, chicken, and pigs in CAFOs. However, slaves revolted. As a result of this slave rebellion, most of us think we are free when in fact we are merely free-range slaves. We think we are free, but with the mortgage, car payments, and other debt, we have little room to move.

I need to replace my active income with passive income or at least semi-passive income that can be earned on a laptop so that I can become location independent.

I don't know exactly how I will become a digital nomad, but I know I will need to move gradually. I don't think I can just quit my job tomorrow. I am currently doing further study, but I am thinking of just quitting. I have an exam soon. I'll finish that off and rethink. I feel now that studying is really just a waste of time, so after this exam I might just put further study on hold. I will continue to save up and invest, but I will focus on build up my knowledge of ecommerce. I will slowly transition so that I move away from my nine-to-five and towards a location independent lifestyle.

02 October 2015

High Protein Vegan Hot Chocolate

If you ask the average person on the street about the vegan diet, they will likely believe a vegan or vegetarian diet is deficient in protein. This is not true. Protein deficiency is very low, even among vegans or vegetarians. We require a minimum of 42 grams of protein per day, and vegans and vegetarians on average get 70% more protein than required (1). There should not be too much fuss about protein deficiency when 97% of Americans are deficient in fiber (2) and 98% of Americans are deficient in potassium (3).

That being said, although I don't worry too much about death from protein deficiency, I go to the gym about two or three times a week to lift weights, build muscle, stretch, and cycle. I am keen on preserving my muscles by drinking vegan protein shakes. On a day I go to the gym, I drink protein shakes three times: in the morning, after a workout, and before going to bed. Each serving of protein shake contains about 20 grams of protein.

From what I've read, the need to drink protein at certain times during the day is a myth because the body can efficiently store protein throughout the day (4). If you have enough protein for the day in one sitting, you are fine. You don't need to eat protein in every single meal (although just about all food contains some protein).

That being said, often when I have not gone without food for some time (e.g. in the morning) I can feel a slight ache in my muscles, which I am wildly guessing is my body craving protein after being deprived of food for so long. This is when a protein shake can help.

I don't have too much time to spend on cooking, so I like to keep my food and drinks simple. For a quick dose of protein, I normally just mix protein powder in water and drink it. I often do this in place of breakfast when I need to rush out.

When I am home and have slightly more time on my hands, I have lately been making vegan hot chocolate with protein powder mixed in.


Vegan drinking chocolate powder (I use Du Chocolat or 100% pure cocoa)

Vegan protein powder (I use chocolate-flavoured Earth Protein)

Coconut milk (e.g. Pureharvest Coco Quench Coconut Milk)


Mix half a cup of boiling water and drinking chocolate powder (or pure cocoa) into a mug.

Fill the remaining half of the mug with coconut milk.

Add two teaspoons of protein powder and mix.


It is important that the protein is added after the milk to ensure that protein is added to a warm solution rather than a boiling solution. This helps to mitigate any denaturation of protein due to extreme heat.

The commercial drinking chocolate brand I use contains natural sweeteners including stevia. However, if pure cocoa is used, the hot chocolate will not taste sweet. This is why I recommend using coconut milk rather than rice milk, oat milk, or almond milk. Coconut has a natural sweetness that complements with the cocoa powder to give the hot chocolate a sweet taste.


(1) http://nutritionfacts.org/2015/09/29/where-do-you-get-your-fiber/

(2) http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/Place/12355000/pdf/0102/usualintaketables2001-02.pdf

(3) http://nutritionfacts.org/video/98-of-american-diets-potassium-deficient/

(4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10867039