28 June 2020

Can a Man be Attractive Living with Parents? (Plus Tech Lead Videos)

I am in my mid-thirties and live with my mother. I feel it is not the best way to seduce women but I save so much money especially since I earn a six-figure salary and spend almost nothing, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic when many people are working from home.

In a previous post, I spoke about a YouTuber named "The Tech Lead" who provides many seemingly good arguments for living with parents. I have provided more videos from the Tech Lead further below.

Having watched these videos, I feel they back up my need to believe that what I am doing is right, and they definitely make me feel less insecure about living with parents. I contribute a small amount to the family (about $300 per month) and enjoy having my meals cooked, my ironing done, etc. I have unsuccessfully dated some women in the past who have asked me if I expect a future girlfriend or wife to cook and do domestic duties for me, and I tell them I don't want that. I am happy to split responsibilities equally. I just have a very generous mother who almost forces me to not do any domestic duties. I do admit I have grown very attached to this relaxed lifestyle, which makes it harder for me to move out.

In the video below, Tech Lead is in his apartment and announces he is going to move back in with his parents.

Tech Lead below talks about the benefits of living with parents, but this is an older video when he was married, had a family, and moved into a new place. In the video, the gives many reasons why it is better to live with parents (mostly due to the money saved) but then at the end of the video he gives a non-satisfactory reason why he has moved out (some vague explanation about doing things at the right time).

In the video below, Tech Lead talks about his worst money mistakes. There is a theme because a lot of money is wasted by trying to impress women by moving out into an apartment or buying diamonds and jewellery. The key is to not care about what others think of you. This helps to save money.

Investing in an Emerging Market Index Fund to Help the Poor

I've been thinking about BLM and helping black people. I've seen many black people be victims of discrimination. It has happened throughout history and while I think racism has gone down over time (eg since the eighteenth century) there are still many people who hate blacks and want to hurt them.

The George Floyd incident had highlighted the racism against blacks in the world. Many have called for defunding of the police or donation to black charities or buying from black businesses, but many do not seem to be focused on investments.

Most groups have been empowered by attracting capital. This is how many Asian countries have developed quickly, improving the lives of many Asians very quickly.

So a simple way to help blacks in a sustainable way is to invest in them and to invest where most blacks are ie Africa. Unfortunately where I live, there is no investment fund that invests in Africa. The closest I can find is an ETF that tracks the MSCI Emerging Markets Index (MSCI EM) . This fund invests mostly in China, India, Brazil, Russia etc. The index is maintained by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) who add countries in there depending on whether they consider these countries "emerging markets." For example, recently Saudi Arabia was added to the MSCI EM Index and after this happened there was a large amount of capital that suddenly flowed into the country. South Africa and Egypt are the two most developed African countries and are already part of the index.

Over time, more and more African countries are likely to be added to the index as they develop and as they do they will have capital flooded in. Furthermore, many African countries not in the index may already do business with countries on the index eg with South African, Egyptian and especially Chinese businesses.

Basically what I am saying is that even though the MSCI EM Index is not a perfect way of investing in blacks, it is probably the closest we have, and the money goes to the world's poor and helps them develop. It is probably the best way we can help the poor.

14 June 2020

Remote Relationships to Reduce Risk of Divorce

As a result of the pandemic, many are working remotely and find that it works well. They do not need to commute, they get to sleep in, they don't need to wear work attire, etc. There are many benefits.

Many argued that working face-to-face is essential and that working remotely does not match it. This may be somewhat true, but even if face-to-face work is better, the additional benefits may not outweigh the costs. The convenience of working remotely may be so great that it outweighs any additional benefit of working face-to-face.

It is interesting to look at working remotely and relationships. For a long time the belief has been that face-to-face interaction with people for socialising and intimate relationships was sacred and cannot be replicated online. However, over time that has been challenged by various social media as well as pornography.

If you cohabitate with someone, after two years you are open to the risk of divorce and division of assets. However if you never cohabitate with them and maintain a relationship with them online and only meet with them when necessary, then you eliminate cohabitation risk, which saves a considerable amount in expected future divorce costs. 

07 June 2020

Why Don't Cows Just Escape the Abbatoir?

I've been thinking about the Black Lives Matter movement as well as veganism. Many people are offended if you compare black people to animals, but there are undenable parallels, and the reason why they are offended by this is because they view animals as inferior, which proves the point of widespread speciesism. Imagine you lived in the eighteenth century when slavery against blacks was rife and you saw a poor white person who is being oppressed by his king. You suggest to him that the monarchy is oppressing him in a similar way to the way black slaves are being oppressed. Maybe this white peasant is offended by being compared to a black man, yet this offence is the product of racism. The white peasant views blacks are inferior and so does not want to be compared to blacks. It is the same idea today except rather than having widespread racism (which we still do have) we have even more widespread speciesism.

Something else I've been thinking of is the widespread belief people have that we have equality of opportunity when in fact we don't. There are three groups I'd like to talk about: first home buyers, black people, and livestock animals. First let's look at livestock animals such as a cow. Imagine a cow in an abbatoir or CAFO who is about to be slaughtered with a captive bolt gun put to its head. Now imagine this cow can talk and speak to you. You go up to this cow as it is about to be slaughtered and you hear the cow complaining about being killed. You then say, "Why don't you just escape the abbatoir?" The cow might say, "How can I? There are walls all around me. What can I do? I am trapped." Then you say, "Why don't you just organise with your fellow cows and kill all the CAFO workers and then escape?"

It is clear that this is ludicrus. You cannot expect a cow in a CAFO to escape because there are huge barriers to escaping, and the cow may simply not be able to escape. A cow is just a cow, not a well-connected billionaire military general. The cow cannot escape. This highlights the idea of "privilege" and shows that for many groups of creatures there are significant barriers in place preventing them from exercising freedom and personal autonomy.

Another example of this is first home buyers. There is widespread concern that many young people today are priced out from buying or even renting a home. A free market would indeed fix this problem. If there is a high demand for homes, then companies will build more houses and apartments to meet this demand, but the problem is that there are regulations put in place to cap the supply of homes e.g. there are restrictions on height of buildings and so forth. In order to make housing cheaper, prices actually need to go down, yet whenever there is a housing downturn (which is needed to make housing cheaper), there is quantititative easing, which inflates the cost of housing. This is done because home owners and investors are a powerful voting bloc. So young first home buyers face huge barriers, just the cow in the CAFO. There are institutions in place that prop up the property market to enrich investors so that they can get rich off people renting or paying interest to the bank. To say that there is equality of opportunity for the first home buyer or the cow is just not correct. The two face barriers that are inherent in the system, with the cow facing even more barriers than the first home buyer.

Black people face a similar problem. A billionaire military general could probably escape from a CAFO or human concentration camp but a cow cannot. Likewise, many black people do not have too much resources or wealth, so they are disadvantaged from birth and when you add discrimination due to racism, it is only worse. There are policies that can help e.g. government policies that educate children for free or even employment quotas for black people. It is analogous to the problems of the first home buyer and the cow. The only difference is the degree of oppression. The cow is clearly the most oppressed being with other beings facing less severe oppression.

03 June 2020

Comparing Hiroshima and Antinatalism

Many years ago, the US government dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The ethics of this is controversial with some saying it is murder of many innocent lives. Others claim that the dropping of the bomb forced the Japanese government to surrender thereby stopping the war early and preventing more lives from being killed.

Regardless of whether the dropping of the atom bomb is justified or not, there are interesting similarities and differences to antinatalism.

When a human (or life in general) is born, it causes suffering to others. To life is to cause suffering. We only need to look at eg meat eating. When a human eats meat, it imposes suffering on an animal. However, there is more. When a human drives a car, it causes pollution, which causes global warming and therefore imposes suffering on future generations. Not only does life cause suffering but life can experience suffering. More life means more suffering.

Similar to the logic of stopping the Japanese government from continuing the war and therefore causing more suffering, antinatalism stops life from existing therefore preventing more humans from being born and causing more suffering.

There are important differences between Hiroshima and antinatalism. Antinatalism is painless. When you do not procreate, your child does not suffer because it never exists. It is impossible to suffer if you don't exist. However, when an atom bomb is dropped on people, there is suffering. Those at the centre of the blast may be incinerated instantly and their pain may not be great, but the radioactivity causes illness and deformities even in babies. There are many pictures of Japanese babies being born deformed in the aftermath of Hiroshima.

To justify Hiroshima is to justify murder as a preventative tool to end suffering whereas antinatalism achieves the same outcome but is painless.

Furthmore, the Japanese people and the Japanese government are separate entities. To punish the Japanese people for the actions of the Japanese government is ethically analogous to raping a serial killer's daughter and threatening to kill her if the serial killer does not stop murdering others. The daughter and serial killer are two different individuals even though they belong to the same family and threat of harm on one influences the behaviour of another. If Hiroshima is ethically justified then it logically follows that rape and death threats of a child is justified if it influences another person to not cause more suffering.

As mentioned before, antinatalism has the same positive outcome but none of the negative effects. If the serial killer is never born, he cannot murder others