Bennett Green

April 14, 2021

B5L #019 -- Nora's Solution, Stoicism, FU Money, and a Cure to the Imposter Syndrome


A more palatable solution to the Trolley Problem

Back in B5L007 I described the Trolley Problem, and linked to young Nicholas' creative solution to that moral quandary. Well, three years after that video was filmed, the same parent recorded the crafty solution presented by Nicholas' sister, Nora. It's not quite as funny but still cute.

Two-Year-old sister's solution to the trolley problem


Stoicism and Fuck-You Money

I enjoyed reading this two-part piece by Richard Meadows on the utility of Fuck-You Money. He makes the distinction between FU Money and financial independence, and draws a connection between the freedom that comes with a solid emergency fund and the freedom that comes with stoic thinking generally.
If you ever need a refresher on the importance of fuck-you money, go peel off a $100 bill, and subject yourself to the silent, brooding judgment of Benjamin Franklin.

The side-eye is so doleful it traverses time and space. It’s almost as if Franklin knows his face is about to be a) rolled into a tube and stuck up some degenerate’s nostril, or b) used to purchase another superfluous piece of junk that will, in short order, be discarded upon a mountain of previously purchased superfluous junk.

Franklin’s not mad; he’s just disappointed. He wants us to be better. One of the most revealing stories about his character is the time he was offered a lucrative sum to print a defamatory hatchet-job. Here’s the process he went through to decide whether or not he should publish it:

“I went home in the evening, purchased a twopenny loaf at the baker’s, and with water from the pump made my supper; I then wrapped myself up in my great-coat, and laid down on the floor and slept until morning, when, on another loaf and a mug of water, I made my breakfast. From this regimen I feel no inconvenience whatsoever. Finding I can live in this manner, I have formed a determination never to prostitute my press to the purposes of corruption and abuse of this kind for the sake of gaining a more comfortable existence.”

The Joy of Fuck-You Money - Part One

The Joy of Fuck-You Money - Part Two

(via The Curious Bunch)


I Stuck

There has been a lot of memes and general funniness regarding the big container ship stuck in the Suez Canal.  You might like to read this informative summary of the original 1956 Suez Crisis to give you some high-brow context.

Or you might like to chuckle at this funny tweet about it


I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member

Have you heard of Clubhouse?  Are you using it?  If so...  ugh, gross! 

I've tried it a few times and it seems dumb to me. Maybe I've transitioned into the 'old-grouch' phase of my life, but it really seems like an emperor with no clothes. And I enjoyed reading this Wired article, which shared my view. 

The nonsense is so endless, so thorough, so diverse, and, through the audio format, more resounding than on any other platform. A hydra of bullshit that has had a net positive effect on my psyche.

For one, I’ve now learned to better appreciate my real-world friendship circle, as the world of strangers and avatars is full of people who are at least delusional and perhaps more likely psychopaths. That I can dial up dozens of actual people who are decent, generous, kind, and smart in hundreds of ways is something that I appreciate more with every Theranos-y Clubhouse experience.

Most selfishly, the app’s nonsense has made me feel more confident in my own ideas than ever before. I now know that the only thing between me and a successful company is the right nest of connections. Because unlike what I’ve come across on Clubhouse, I know the ins and outs of the technologies that I would like to produce and would only surround myself with colleagues who could say the same. 

Sure, great science can often be conquered by elaborate lies, but it’s been comforting to know just how full of shit everyone else is. No longer will I doubt my ideas as reflexively as I used to.


Hide the Remote

How's this bloke who every morning would wake up and switch on his TV to watch his morning news or cartoons or whatever and in so doing break the internet for his entire village.  

Engineers walked around the village with a monitor called a spectrum analyser to try to find any "electrical noise" to help pinpoint the problem.

"At 7am, like clockwork, it happened," said Mr Jones.

"Our device picked up a large burst of electrical interference in the village.

"It turned out that at 7am every morning the occupant would switch on their old TV which would, in turn, knock out broadband for the entire village."

I'm now not feeling so bad about all the times I hogged the phone line with dial-up interwebs as a kid.

Old TV caused village broadband outages for 18 months

(via Abandoned Jerks)


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- Bennett Green

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash