February 17, 2012

Kill the commies!

I'm actually a socialist. I believe in social ownership and state control of economy, and I also believe that the state should provide all of its citizens some free services like healthcare. I've lived in Finland my whole life and I'm pretty happy about the free services I've had during my life. I mean, my teeth are straight, I have no deadly diseases and althought I've been out of work for long periods, I have not starved to death. I've also never had to live under a bridge, so that's a bonus.

But the welfare states are crumbling all over the Europe. In my home country they are trying to save it with desperate measures, eg. raising taxes and reducing the number of municipalities. I also heard that there are people who have been waiting dental checkout or knee surgery for YEARS. So obviously the system is not working.

Below is a graph of how much people pay taxes in Finland. On the left is the tax-% and at the bottom is the yearly income. As you can see it only goes up to 200 000 but above that the division of tax-% is pretty much the same. Until 50 000 euro the taxing is progressive but after that you see something strange. There is a lot of variation and around 150 000 yearly income you see people who actually pay no taxes at all. This is because in Finland we have no progressive taxing for unearned income, which is money from investments, dividends, etc. We have constant tax rate of 30% for unearned income and after tax deductions it can actually go down to zero. So, just like we have freeriders among the poor (and most of the time, lazy) people, we also have those at the top end of the income graph. I suppose it's same thing in the States, all other countries of Europe, and basically every country except Cuba and North Korea.

Tax rate by income in Finland (2009)

My plan is to pay zero taxes when I'm 40 and use all the benefits of our welfare state. I want to be ultimate parasite!

February 16, 2012

Why self-help books are useless

I've read few self-help books in my life, mostly because I was bored and couldn't handle anymore the of classics. Then I have browsed a few, just so I could confirm how full of bullshit they are. I mean, look at some of the covers: The Science of Getting Rich, The Greatest Saleman in the World, 4-hour workweek... what the fuck?! Are people so stupid that they actually believe this bullshit? Mostly these books have the same
content and only one who's getting rich by following them is the author and the writer. And some faggot listed these as the greatest self-help books of all time.

Self-help faggot: "Now just do what I did!"
Stupid reader: "Om nom noooom OK!"

"Well, these guys got rich by following their rules", you might say. Yes, they sure did, but here's the biggest thing why they are rich and you are not: you are not them. These people are often ambitious, cunning, socially active, hard working and sometimes they even look good! They have a skillset that allows them to thrive in the writing business and they have hit their jackpot writing their crappy book and got it published. Someone could make research (I won't, I'm too lazy) how many self-help books did NOT get published. I can make a summary of all self-help books (except those written by Tolle, but they are more like religion thingy if you ask me):

* Set goal
* Do thing that help you achieve that goal
* Stop doing things that prevent you from achieving that goal

These books don't even include factors like luck and economy! And there's a reason for that too: when their books come out, the writers and authors are already kinda famous and they have no need for such thing. They already had their stroke of luck when they made millions of dollars with their shitty book. And good luck getting your shit running during the next recess (it's just around the corner...).

February 15, 2012

How do I manage with minimum working hours?

I think it's time to make a little update on this blog. The main reason why I haven't been writing for a while is because I still like my current job and my projects. I'm currently doing research at the University for around 10-20 hours a week and I do it just because I enjoy it. I wouldn't have to do it, since I have secured my income a while ago. How did I do it in under a year, you may ask.

I saved some money and invested it. I took huge risks and it paid off. I'm still investing into small startup companies that have a great, fresh idea that might change the Internet in some way. I'm also administrating few websites that bring me constant advertisement money. So I wouldn't have to work but I WANT to work because I enjoy what I do. As much as I hate free market and  capitalism, it has brought me the wealth and freedom to do anything I want. So how much do I earn? It varies between 500-6000 euros a month. Sometimes when I feel like I have more money than I need or can spend, I slow things down.

God I hate these pictures depicting startup companies. Fuck the suits!
Here's a little tip if you want to earn money investing: Check out small startup companies with unique ideas. Read Techcrunch, Slashdot, your local IT blogs, etc. to find good ideas for spending your money and try to contact these people through e-mail, phone... Cut the middleman, you don't really need them. You have to take risks and spend money to make money.

April 26, 2011

History of working hours

Back in the day, even the women were hotter.
Working time is the period of time that an individual spends at paid occupational labor. Many countries have regulations for a duration of work week, and for example in Finland the maximum hours of work week is 40. In 2008 Finnish people worked 40,3 hours a week which means that supposedly we love working overtime. Still we work less than Europeans in average (41,8 hours a week in 2008). Austrians work 44 hours a week and Irish for only 40 hours a week. Well, this seems decent, right? Let's look some figures outside Europe - Chinese work for 2200 hours a year, Japanese around 2000 hours. Now I'm going to make a guess how this will affect these countries. China will have (and probably already has) a lot of problems with depression and stress. Japanese already has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, and this is mainly because of depression and social pressure.

For long time anthropologists thought that hunter-gathering of our ancestors was a full day job. Actually these people worked less than five hours a day, while dividing the day to approximately 2 hour periods of gathering food or hunting game. "Nine-to-five" mindset wasn't invented until this fucker called George F. Johnson announced  that no American should have to work more than 40 hours per week. At the industrial age there was no regulation on work week and it could be anything from 2 hours to 16 hours per day. So why this system doesn't work anymore? Work has changed. Less and less people are working at mass industry, doing repetitive jobs at the assembly line. Today you have to be CREATIVE. This is so essential at the IT sector that it's sad when executives and managers don't realize this. You can't force creativity. 

I would like to see a person who writes good code 40 hours a week. These freaks probably exist, but I've never met anyone. I don't know how good point examples from movies make, but I'll use them anyway. In 'Social Network' by Fincher, Facebook was invented over time. It was not big fucking 'Eureka!' moment after tedious sitting at desk, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. All those ideas came from real life situations.

I really think that we should re-think the idea of work week and use hunter-gatherers as a good example. Work when you feel like it, have a break - be it long or short, and keep on working when you feel like it. Of course you must have some kind of deadlines but make them flexible. No one will die if your software is launched one week late. 

Check out docStout's blogs too, he writes a good (better!) blog about the same things. His blog can be found here.



April 23, 2011

My thoughts on the future

As someone mentioned, now that I actually enjoy my work the name of the blog has lost some of its power, but let's keep it that way since I believe there will once again be a day when I will hate my job! Here's why: future is gonna suck for the most of us. Since the Industrial revolution of the 18th century we have been building our society on one principle - growth. Everything must grow, be it productivity, salaries, personal wealth, etc. Capitalism is system where EVERYTHING is based on that. It is like a religion where talking about downshifting or slowing down is forbidden. If you're not contributing to this system, you are considered a parasite who sucks on capitalisms big titties and give nothing back.

So what would happen if we stopped buying new cars, toys, tv's, computers, gadgets, etc.? The system would collapse. We already saw a glimpse of this collapse few years back when Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy  - it affected the whole world. Many American citizens who didn't have the money wanted to buy a house and banks gave out crappy subprime loans to them just out of greed. Same thing would happen if people stopped buying stuff all of a sudden. Country's import/export would go stagnant and there would be no growth which is key element to success in capitalism. Of course this will happen eventually since resources on this planet are limited. Read this great comic by Stuart McMillen:

St. Matthew Island

'What's the solution then?' one might ask. I have no fucking clue. People have been advertising many solutions for me, one being the Zeitgeist Project, which is communism with technology sprinkled on top. I really don't believe that humans are capable of acting in large communist societies because of our greed and selfishness. We are also grasping too tightly for life of hedonism and NEVER want to give out the benefits we have. Some individuals can do this, but most of us can't. I'm very pessimistic about our future on this planet and therefore try not to take part of the rape of it that's happening at the moment. I've been giving out gained benefits and would eventually want to shift to simple life like this Finnish guy: Pentti Linkola.