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John Opie
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Hi - Back in the day when I studied pyschology, we mapped perceptual vision as part of a course. For me it was 18mm/28mm/60mm/105mm. We all have slightly different physiologoies and perceptual fields based largely of visual acuity (i.e. how bad your eyes are). Mine are pretty bad... Best, John
This is why PayPal exists. There is nothing more tedious and annoying than watching those banks which can be bothered by dealing with this eat up whatever you take in with fees. The reason? Without large volume of transactions, the checks have to be collected, sent to the originating country and bank, where the issuing bank then checks account balances, reconciles these, then converts locally to USD and then transfers that to your bank. If there were large volumes, it would be part and parcel of the normal business and would appear in due time, but without that you're going to have to pay to access your money. I know. Outrageous. Like I said, this is why PayPal exists. You can circumvent this by requiring a Bank Draft (where the other party basically buys a service of their local bank to withdraw funds immediately and send you a piece of paper that your bank can then immediately credit to your account (since the process is initiated by the bank, rather than by a private person). Alternatively, the other party needs to not send you a check, but use a SWIFT transfer to get the money to you (basically the same as wiring you the money). This means, however, exposing your account information (Bank codes and account codes). The sender can send the money in other ways: most countries use direct transfers rather than checking, which is increasingly a US-only thing. I haven't written a check in here Germany since around 1993 or so...
Toggle Commented Sep 12, 2015 on Finance 101 (OT) at The Online Photographer
+1 on the EM1. I bought one this summer and was flabbergasted by the quality of build, coupled with those lovely lenses. Hard to beat and there's really no other option for really high-quality, durable travel work...
Oh my... Where to begin? First, I have two daughters in college. Both business students, one on her BS in the US, the other on her MSc in Sweden. It's not so much that business is in cahoots with education, but much more that education has become business. The key to understanding how rigged the game has become is FAFSA: virtually all universities require you as parent to fill out the FAFSA forms online, as part of the application process, telling you they need to know that information to see what sort of student aid you might get. However, that skews the information flow and distorts the market for education. What do I mean? Simple: the business side of universities know what you earn, how many kids you have, what your net income after taxes is, if you have savings and own a business, etc. You are transparent to them: they can then calculate your "pain" thresholds for paying. If you don't earn much, grants and loans get your kid into school, you co-sign the loans. Good lord, why? Education is such a highly-considered good that most see it as being necessary, and that gives the business side of the universities enormous leverage over you. Since they know how much you can reasonably be expected to cough up, they can then calculate the "affordable" price, custom-tailored to your income and life style. In economic terms, it's called rent maximization. The universities know you want your kids to have a college education and that you chose the college because your child really wants to go there. They have you over a barrel: they know that there is a price level that you're willing to pay and adjust their student aid accordingly: they are extracting, effectively, the maximum amount of money that keeps you with that college and not abandoning it for somewhere else with lower prices. This happened with my younger daughter. One university, where she really wanted to go, came in with a late offer after she had been accepted elsewhere. The offer was attractive: they dropped the tuition price by some 60% via a mixture of grants and her working: it came exactly at a price point where I could have said: doable. However, my daughter at that point realized that it would have left her severely in debt, and went with the program that gave her a 50% tuition scholarship and let her graduate with less than a third of the debt of the other school. Universities are in the business of extracting as much of an income stream as is possible with the given income of parents and students. This is then either realized directly when the income stream is largely tuition and grants (there is no waiting time for the income stream) or turns to commercial entities, backed by a US government guarantee, for loans, whereby the cash stream for the loan is invariably packaged in a structured finance product that is sold to investors so that the university immediately gets a discounted cash flow, transferring the risk to third parties (who earn their returns for the risk). Fundamentally it's a scam and has been for decades. The image of higher learning as an ultimate ticket to good jobs and success is exactly that: an image that is heavily sold and marketed. This goes especially for fields where the rewards are at best immaterial, such as a BFA or MFA. Going into debt for the indulgence of such degrees is sheer madness. How to change this? Hah! Seriously: FAFSA must be eliminated so that universities can't know how much of a cash flow you have that they can exploit. They need to learn to price their services competitively without knowing how to maximize their prices: right now, they know exactly your pain threshold. Secondly, make student loans removable in bankruptcy. Right now they are not: go bankrupt and you still owe on your student loans. In other words, the universities as businesses have no down sides to maximizing their profit. If the universities don't know how much they can take out of your pockets and they have skin in the game (high risk of nonpayment of loans means either very high interest rates or fewer loans), the price of a college education will then change to reflect the risks of being paid back for that education. If enough find the education useless and default by going bankrupt, that university will lose its privileged income stream...and will have to adjust themselves to the reality of consumers having to make hard choices.
Two comments: 1) Color choice is misleading. While you say what the colors imply, the color choices are the inverse of what most people expect. Green should mean things are getting better, rather than worse; red should mean things are getting worse, rather than better. The way things are, they are counterintuitive. 2) Not sure if the bins for the statistics on the right side are fixed or variable, and the use of a truly overzealous number of digits after the decimal is severaly distracting. The bins should be fixed and they should be limited to the smallest number of significant digits after the decimal (and converted to percentages as well: is that number .nnnnnnnnnnn percentages or is that .nnnnnnnnnnn of 1, i.e. percentages? Shortening the number of decimals also gives you more room for the map. Otherwise, great approach to data visualization! :-)
Toggle Commented Sep 19, 2013 on State Inequality Visualizations at Economist's View
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Sep 1, 2013