After two months below the radar, my article on Vickrey auctions and luxury mechanical keyboards made two of my favorite outlets, the one glamorizing vampire squids wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming blood funnels into anything that smells like money, and the one about investment banking:
So welcome new readers!
When 50k people land on your website, some find your list of open ideas and email you highly specific technical advice about 3d reconstruction and numerical optimization, which really makes having a personal website worth it. (Thanks y'all!)
However, such things do come at a cost:
I recently bought an $85 drawing tablet, but shockingly can’t find any Mac apps for drawing on your screen. There are a gazillion sketchbook apps, but nothing that lets you doodle onscreen like a TV sports announcer. (If you know of an app — besides the Zoom video call feature that multiple people told me was terrible — please let me know!)
Anyway, I made an app and would love for you to try it out (especially if you have a drawing tablet)! Seriously, it’s less than 1 MB, works with mice/trackpad/drawing tablet, and is completely free until I can be bothered to code up a payment flow (so, potentially forever).
After several weeks of yak shaving computer vision I remembered that the CNC router can also be used to make furniture, so I made a side table:
Check out my design notes for cabinet hardware and finishing details (turns out that with enough glossy finish, even OSB looks presentable!).
Building that side table with a sawzall and CNC router underscored how much I should just:
Quite reasonably, I’ve decided to forgo both options in favor of designing and building a CNC track saw.
Please get in touch if you have extra:
I recently stumbled on finance/retirement Reddit, which mentioned many things my ex-CPA never did. Maybe Google and/or talk to your fiducary peeps about the following:
If you make more than $130k-ish, you can’t contribute to a Roth IRA. (FYI: in a Roth IRA, the growth of your money isn’t taxed.) But you can make after-tax contributions to a regular IRA, then convert that into a Roth. This is the “backdoor Roth”.
If you are self-employed, you can open a solo 401k (for which the contribution limit is $50k-ish) and then play the same trick for the mega backdoor Roth IRA. The 401k must be opened during the tax year, though, so hurry up!
If you have an HSA, you’ve probably been using it to reimburse yourself for qualified medical expenses. However, since there’s no time limit, it might be better to wait 40 years for your money to grow tax-free, then reimburse yourself (which effectively means your HSA is a…bonus Roth IRA!)
Anyway, none of this is financial advice. (Though I’m in the market for that, so email me if you know a CPA who’s great with single-shareholder tech consultant S-Corps or, honestly, if you’re just one of the new readers here from Money Stuff and have opinions.)
Move the needle on progress, an overview of directions in which to improve human welfare. I love the numeracy and boldness of simply posing these questions. Sure it’s tone-deaf in a few places and inevitably casts problems in a simplified framing, but in general I wish more people (myself included) would err on the side of informed, numerate optimism rather than fatalistic cynicism.
“Hermès owns an alligator farm in the Gulf region of the United States” — Managing an iconic old luxury brand in a new luxury economy: Hermès handbags in the US market, Lewis & Haas 2014
Longtime readers will remember my relational database exploration GUI Reltron; if you liked that (or if you just like relational databases, Excel, Fieldbook, Airtable, etc.), check out this demo video from a longtime researcher in this field who’s now making a proper product.
My luxury mechanical keyboard friends tell me that no one does mice because they’re too complex for artisans to design and manufacture. After reading this detailed teardown of a Logitech mouse, I see what they mean.
Starlink is a very big deal, on SpaceX becoming its own biggest customer and the communication possibilities enabled by thousands of satellites that are very cheap to build and launch. (Fun physics fact: Starlink latency could be quite low, since not only are there fewer interconnects, but also that the speed of light in vacuum is about 2/3 of that in optical cable.)