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The Weird, Random and Interesting Things That Fit Nowhere Else Thread


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#1
TrueNeutral

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The thread for anything you find interesting that doesn't really fit in another thread or category but you don't think warrants it's own topic.

 

Quote system screwed up for me. Last posts were a discussion about upward mobility:

 

Hurlshot: Now you are just being silly. Your default seems to be "**** you're not below the poverty line, what the **** do you know?"

Orogun: I wouldn't say it so rudely to you, after all we are all friends here. But you're right, I will say that I'm aware that is not impossible for low class to start a business but I always draw a blank when I try to think how they did it. My guess is that they had the connections beforehand and wasn't as big of a risk for them to take loans.

Hurlshot: I would agree with you there, connections are important. However most communities have those types of connections available to those with the drive and personality to pursue them. Clearly there are more risks and obstacles the farther down the ladder you are, but it does happen. I would say it is very possible to at least climb into that middle class you were dismissive of.

 

Eh, I grew up seriously straddling that poverty line and I'm kinda with Orogun. It's possible to get out, but even hard work and smart thinking is sometimes not enough to do that. People who get out generally have help from a connection and otherwise it's an uphill struggle.



#2
Guard Dog

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Thanks for sharing, I'm always curious about these types of things. It just seems to me that either you had to rely on angel investors or you had some money saved, the latter not being viable for someone whose job doesn't generate enough capital to provide for their need and start a business. OTOH I see a lot of people whose jobs are so demanding that have little time and little will to embark on a business venture specially when it can mean that they lose their job in a very hostile job market.

Oh you are completely correct there. I was working a pretty high paying job when we started the project. I left to pursue that opportunity. It was a risk. A big risk because they job would not have been waiting for me if it failed.  Plus I was 40 then. I'd been working for 23 years. I did have some money saved up but that was all used to support myself during the first 16 months of the business. We did not see a penny of return for almost that long. I knew what we were getting into.

 

You are an educated man Orogun but you are young still. If you are careful with your money now, stay out of debt as much as possible, don't buy what you don't need, you'll start to save over the long term. That will open up opportunities later on you might not have now. Your life and the success you enjoy in it will be defined by the choices you make all along. That's advice from a rich guy.

 

I started my first business at age 22. I was still living in Ft. Lauderdale back then. I invested in a PMEL & ISO certification for myself then leased equipment and started a test equipment calibration business. I aggressively pursued business, offered services under cost to build up a client base, hell I even worked for free for West Marine in Hollywood & Aventura just so they could see what I could do and maybe consider a contract with me. In three years it was over and I was dead broke. I lost everything including my wife who had no patience for what I was going through. But the lessons I learned form that made my next attempt a success. I chose to save money and invest it in my first business. I chose to save more and invest it in my second. The opportunites did not fall into my lap, I went out and found them. That is how 90% of business are built.

 

Sam Walton started out from nothing. The son of a depression era life insurance salesmen. He started out delivering papers and milking cows for money to go to school on. He worked his way through college doing odd jobs and waiting tables. He served in the army then got a job with JC Penney for $75 a month. All along he saved his money until he opened his first department store in the late 40's with the $5k he'd saved and a loan from his father in law. That store became Wal Mart. He died a billionaire. Stories like that are common in this country like nowhere else. Sure it can happen anywhere but it does happen here all the time and it more the rule than the inherited wealth story. The whole idea of discounting what someone says because they are rich is just closing your mind to potentially wise advice.


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#3
Guard Dog

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Eh, I grew up seriously straddling that poverty line and I'm kinda with Orogun. It's possible to get out, but even hard work and smart thinking is sometimes not enough to do that. People who get out generally have help from a connection and otherwise it's an uphill struggle.

 

Even then it's an uphill struggle. success is not a guarantee. But someone wise once told me "Don't be afraid to go out on a limb. That's where the fruit is"



#4
Gromnir

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three of the SCOTUS Justices were born into humble means, far short of middle-class.

 

at least a dozen o' the top fifty billionaires in the world is self-made americans, including jeff bezos, carl icahn and sergey brin.  michael bloomberg put himself through university w/o help o' his middle/lower-middle-class family.  whatever investment capital he acquired to begin his financial services/media empire were through personal rather than family connections. +$50 BILLION.

 

our own beginnings were void o' economic advantage

 

http://www.aaronhuey...Press_NG_cover/

 

spent one particular hard january/february subsisting on ketchup "soup" and jiffy pop... 'til the jiffy pop were gone. 

 

we current own real property in three different states including an apartment complex and a christmas tree farm. (technical we own property in 4 states, but am not including the beachfront home in hawaii the deed for which has Gromnir and two business associates as joint tenants.)  'ccording to the irs we is rich, but truth-to-tell, we got little more income than expenses.  however, once we decide to quit making money, we will sell our excess properties and be able to live comfortably while also providing substantial philanthropic gifts to various organizations we feel strong 'bout aiding. 

 

it is indeed tougher these days to move from lower to middle class, though is arguable easier to go from lower to upper-middle than were the case 100 years removed. regardless, income inequality is problematic and is becoming a greater problem daily.  however, the suggestion one cannot change their stars in 21stt century America through hard work (and a bit o' luck) is ludicrous.  the suggestion a middle-class or wealthy person's pov is inherent handicapped by privilege is even more silly.  our biggest problems nowadays is not with white privilege or wealth privilege but American privilege.  try and convince an immigrant from nigeria or other sub-saharan african nations 'bout how impossible it is to succeed in the US and most will stare at you with a mixture o' disbelief and pity.

 

am having no patience for those who wanna legitimize personal mediocrity or individual failure with tales o' societal inequity.  am sympathizing with class struggle, but we got no remorse for those persons who has willed themselves to their fate w/o genuine trying to improve their situation. 

 

end sermon.

 

HA! Good Fun!


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#5
TrueNeutral

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You're right to an extent. A lot of people I grew up with still look at how much harder it is to get a better lot in life compared to others, and use that as justification to not even try. Personally, I must resign to a life of poverty, since I'm a crazy starving artist. :lol:



#6
Ben No.3

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Thanks for sharing, I'm always curious about these types of things. It just seems to me that either you had to rely on angel investors or you had some money saved, the latter not being viable for someone whose job doesn't generate enough capital to provide for their need and start a business. OTOH I see a lot of people whose jobs are so demanding that have little time and little will to embark on a business venture specially when it can mean that they lose their job in a very hostile job market.

Oh you are completely correct there. I was working a pretty high paying job when we started the project. I left to pursue that opportunity. It was a risk. A big risk because they job would not have been waiting for me if it failed. Plus I was 40 then. I'd been working for 23 years. I did have some money saved up but that was all used to support myself during the first 16 months of the business. We did not see a penny of return for almost that long. I knew what we were getting into.

You are an educated man Orogun but you are young still. If you are careful with your money now, stay out of debt as much as possible, don't buy what you don't need, you'll start to save over the long term. That will open up opportunities later on you might not have now. Your life and the success you enjoy in it will be defined by the choices you make all along. That's advice from a rich guy.

I started my first business at age 22. I was still living in Ft. Lauderdale back then. I invested in a PMEL & ISO certification for myself then leased equipment and started a test equipment calibration business. I aggressively pursued business, offered services under cost to build up a client base, hell I even worked for free for West Marine in Hollywood & Aventura just so they could see what I could do and maybe consider a contract with me. In three years it was over and I was dead broke. I lost everything including my wife who had no patience for what I was going through. But the lessons I learned form that made my next attempt a success. I chose to save money and invest it in my first business. I chose to save more and invest it in my second. The opportunites did not fall into my lap, I went out and found them. That is how 90% of business are built.

Sam Walton started out from nothing. The son of a depression era life insurance salesmen. He started out delivering papers and milking cows for money to go to school on. He worked his way through college doing odd jobs and waiting tables. He served in the army then got a job with JC Penney for $75 a month. All along he saved his money until he opened his first department store in the late 40's with the $5k he'd saved and a loan from his father in law. That store became Wal Mart. He died a billionaire. Stories like that are common in this country like nowhere else. Sure it can happen anywhere but it does happen here all the time and it more the rule than the inherited wealth story. The whole idea of discounting what someone says because they are rich is just closing your mind to potentially wise advice.
then again, for every good story there are probably 1000 bad ones at least. I am impressed by your stamina, but I wouldn't take you as a standardised example. This American myth that hard work will get you out of poverty isn't just wrong, it is straight our dangerous.

https://www.quora.co...bd9d&srid=3O6OI

It's an interesting example as to how far this goes.

Another interesting thing is that poor people often deny their poverty and blame "the poor". I recently read a study surrounding this. It was conducted in several poor towns in southern England, and it was mainly done through interviews.

England has social welfare. All of the participants received that. Now, there often exists the imagine of the welfare recipient who lives of tax money and does not work. If I recall correctly, there was no such example among participants. Much rather, they worked extremely hard and took great personal sacrifice to afford such things as... clothes from big labels for their children. What? You see, the stigmatisation of "the poor" as these lazy people only living of welfare leads to

1. Poor people denying their poverty
2. Poor people doing a lot to not make them seem poor to the outside world
3. Poor people downplaying their poverty ("many others live like me", "we manage", etc)
And, furthermore
4. poor people blaming "the poor" (who only live if welfare) for their own situation.

Now this obviously was a rather opinionated work, but interesting anyway, no?

#7
TrueNeutral

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Oh yes, poor people can be absolutely obsessed with not looking poor.

 

Another factor is that poorer people are often not very well educated (my mum never went to school at all) and don't know their options, as well as there's also a lot of contradictory laws and behaviours that come from some forms of social welfare - at least in the Netherlands. I have an aunt whose husband became unemployed at a late age and they had to go on welfare to supplement their income. My aunt still worked part-time, but ended up quitting that job because not her net income but her gross income was deducted from his welfare, and they ended up in a situation where they'd get a better income if both of them were unemployed than they'd get if one of them kept working. -_- I mean, the hell is the logic in that?



#8
Ben No.3

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Oh yes, poor people can be absolutely obsessed with not looking poor.

Another factor is that poorer people are often not very well educated (my mum never went to school at all) and don't know their options, as well as there's also a lot of contradictory laws and behaviours that come from some forms of social welfare - at least in the Netherlands. I have an aunt whose husband became unemployed at a late age and they had to go on welfare to supplement their income. My aunt still worked part-time, but ended up quitting that job because not her net income but her gross income was deducted from his welfare, and they ended up in a situation where they'd get a better income if both of them were unemployed than they'd get if one of them kept working. -_- I mean, the hell is the logic in that?

At lest within Germany, the existence of welfare also makes people deny the existence of social classes... kinda in a "downwards classlessness" fashion. One of the things you'll hear often around here is "there is no poverty, we are all middle class". How's that in the Netherlands?

#9
Guard Dog

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@TN: You just hit on the biggest bummer of all. Even in the US where social welfare is less than it is elsewhere there are many and more public and private aids to help people that they just do not know about. But we are big on people taking responsibility for themselves here. Part of that means finding out what opportunities are out there for them. Living in the US is like living in a big library. There are lots and lots of lots and lots of books. Most won't help you, some can. There are people who will help you find the books but they are not going to read them to you.

 

@Ben: No one chooses to be poor. But some folks do choose to stay that way by making bad choices. Let's do an exercise here:

 

You have a young married couple. They both work at minimum wage jobs, rent an apartment, and combined barely cover the basic expenses. They want to improve their situation but how?

 

  1. Don't have a baby. Big time. The mother will have to leave her job and the public assistance won't cover everything.
  2. Don't buy anything you do not need to live on. That means booze, drugs, anything like that. Don't buy more food than you need Plan your meals.
  3. Don't go out to eat more than say once a month. Make that a treat not a regular thing.  
  4. Don't use more utility power/water than you need to. No dishwasher, etc.
  5. Can they use public transportation? If yes then no car. If no buy the lowest cost but newest car they can. You can buy a brand new base model Ford Fiesta for $10k. Financed over 60 months that less than $90 a month.
  6. Don't pay for cable, use an antenna.
  7. Don't pay for internet use public access.

The first step is to get your expense to a bare minimum to save as much of what they make as possible. The second step is to increase income:

 

  1. Do either have a skill that qualifies them for a better paying job? If not then one or both of them needs to be in school at night. Many trade schools and vocational schools have free tuition for low income students. There are many, many educational opportunities for people in this hypothetical couple's predicament. 
  2. If possible they should explore an after hours work from home opportunity like baking and selling cookies to local stores for example. An unemployed housewife named Debbi Fields baked cookies and sold them in hand wrapped 3 cookie bags to gas stations in Palo Alto California in the 1970's. She called her business Mrs. Fields Original Cookies and today it is a large company with over 4k employees, over 300 stores in the US and 100 more in 33 different countries around the earth.
  3. Consider working a second job. John Paul Dejoria was living in his car while selling a shampoo he made with a $700 loan from his uncle door to door by day and working in a small print shop making cheap Christmas cards at night. That shampoo is now the John Paul Mitchell System that is used in high end salons all over the world. He sold that and founded the Patron Tequila distillery. It's a huge business.
  4. Get out in the community. Volunteer, or go to church, or other things like that. They are not only free they allow people to network, shake hands, make friends. That opens up opportunities.

Being poor isn't a choice. Staying that way isn't necessarily a choice. Not doing something about it definitely is. 


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#10
Gromnir

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Being poor isn't a choice. Staying that way isn't necessarily a choice. Not doing something about it definitely is. 

 

many folks face functional hurdles to upward economic mobility, hurdles which is gonna seem insurmountable.

 

assume you is a child in a large, poor, single-parent family. at least one of your siblings has health problems.

 

...

 

well f*** me.

 

such a situation ain't specific to any race, but is far more common to a few backgrounds, and such a beginning is almost a dead end before one can even get started in life.  your mom is already working herself to death at multiple jobs to support her family, and your sister has a treatable, but costly, medical condition. you study at school, but you likely gave up on the notion o' college/university before you even had a chance to think 'bout it.  you are gonna need get a job asap to help support the family when you ain't helping take care o' your brothers and sisters. etc. large, single-parent families and health care concerns is not rare and has doomed more than one young person.  even if you avoid pitfalls o' alcohol, drugs and fathering/mothering a child while still in your teens, your chances o' bettering your situation is poor.

 

most economic intelligent thing for the youth in the situation we describe above is rid self of family.  they is a weight 'bout your throat, constant dragging you down and behind your less encumbered peers.  so quit your family and join the military.  take advantage o' the gi bill and get an education.  wait to raise your own family 'til your financial situation improves and never look back.  smart route is also kinda heartless, eh?  chances are our youth takes same path as did his/her parents, working himself to death supporting his family through medical and economic hardships.  likely marries too young and repeats the cycle for another generation.   

 

*shrug*

 

Gromnir is not blind to realities.

 

even so, is ways to better your situation.  as gd mentions, is actual many opportunities available to young Americans, but they require individual motivation and effort.  is not easy, but claims o' impossibility o' improvement for an entire class is a lie many is far to willing to accept.

 

HA! Good Fun!


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#11
Gfted1

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You know 911, but here’s what the other *11 numbers will get you.



#12
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http://www.kansascit...e159682299.html

Hard to tell if people joking or just more proof that Twitter is an ocean of idiocy
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#13
Guard Dog

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http://www.kansascit...e159682299.html

Hard to tell if people joking or just more proof that Twitter is an ocean of idiocy

 

:lol:  So that's what that was all about. I heard something about this on the radio this morning. Is this funny or sad? I really can't tell the difference anymore. I'm laughing so it must be funny.

 

Remember all the tweets about Kanye West "discovering" Paul McCartney? The problem with Twitter is it's broken our illusions about the intelligence of our fellow humans.



#14
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https://blogs.msdn.m...d-works-part-1/

How the Clipboard works

#15
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Some traditional Cossack swordsmanship. The idea that if you get knocked off your horse, you'll be trying to clear a space around you in a crowd.

 


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#16
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#17
Guard Dog

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The city of Hollywood Florida is renaming streets that were named after Confederate Generals: http://www.sun-senti...0703-story.html

 

OK, as much as I abhor this erasing of history that's going on, why were streets of a city that did not exist in a region that played no part in the conflict named for CSA Generals? The closest the Civil War got to South Florida was Ft. Jefferson in the Keys and Ft. Myers on the Gulf Coast. Neither was close or notable. And I have to admit, considering his post war... activities... naming a street that runs through a black neighborhood after Nathan Bedford Forrest is a big middle finger. There is a monument to him not far from me in Jackson. They have been crying to take it down and it has been vandalized a few times. But whatever else he did he was a key figure in the western theater of the war and it would do a disservice to remove it from there.


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#18
Hurlshot

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Slightly related, here is an interesting account of a Muslim Civil War soldier: https://narations.bl...il-war-soldier/


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#19
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Slightly related, here is an interesting account of a Muslim Civil War soldier: https://narations.bl...il-war-soldier/

Now that is cool! I've got to spend some time reading what else they have digitized,



#20
Guard Dog

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I'd like to congratulate the McDonalds workers on their successful "Strike for $15" movement. Enjoy it while it lasts:

 

kiosk_feat.jpg


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