Cool Tools – How to Be Invisible

Suppose you wish to send $25,000 from Vancouver, British Columbia, to a friend in Helsinki, Finland. You would hand $25,000 cash to a Vancouver money changer (Hawaladar) in Vancouver, and receive code words (or an agreed signal such as a secret handshake) and a contact address in Helsinki. No actual cash moves out of Canada. Instead, when your friend gives the code to the correspondent hawaladar in helsinki, he will receive the equivalent in euros (less a commission) from money that is already there. To review: -There are no written documents. The exchanges are based on mutual trust (perhaps for that reason unpopular in the United States?). -Only local currencies are used. Thus, if you are sending money from the UK to Mexico, you pay in pounds and the receiver in Mexico collects in pesos. -This exchange cannot be traced because no money crosses a border.

Has this been done in a movie yet?

Cool Tools – How to Be Invisible

The Top Idea in Your Mind

I’ve found there are two types of thoughts especially worth avoiding—thoughts like the Nile Perch in the way they push out more interesting ideas. One I’ve already mentioned: thoughts about money. Getting money is almost by definition an attention sink. The other is disputes. These too are engaging in the wrong way: they have the same velcro-like shape as genuinely interesting ideas, but without the substance. So avoid disputes if you want to get real work done. Corollary: Avoid becoming an administrator, or your job will consist of dealing with money and disputes.

The Top Idea in Your Mind

Don’t Be A Free User – Pinboard Blog. (via)

Avoid mom-and-pop projects that don’t take your money! You might call this the anti-free-software movement. […]

So stop getting caught off guard when your favorite project sells out! “They were getting so popular, why did they have to shut it down?” Because it’s hard to resist a big payday when you are rapidly heading into debt. And because it’s culturally acceptable to leave your user base high and dry if you get a good offer, citing self-inflicted financial hardship.

I don’t give a fuck if you’re doin’ petty shit or big shit. […] Get your motherfuckin’ money and make other people’s lives better.

Young Jeezy in “Jeezy Talks to the People”.

Since money always promises something other than itself–it is only, as we say, worth what it can buy–it seems to protect us, as promises do, from the fear of there being nothing and no one that we want.

Adam Phillips. I think I’ll post a couple more from his very good Going Sane later.

If you are dependent on borrowed money, you have to wake up every day worried about what the world thinks of you.

Warren Buffett. The context for this was the Bear Stearns meltdown, but it applies to so much more.

The Tyranny of Things by Edward Sandford Martin – The Oxford Book of American Essays

[$10,000] wouldn’t go so far now, and yet most of the reasonable necessaries of life cost less to-day than they did two generations ago. The difference is that we need so very many comforts that were not invented in our grandfather’s time.

And also:

It is man’s peculiarity that nature has filled him with impulses to do things, and left it to his discretion when to stop. She never tells him when he has finished. And perhaps we ought not to be surprised that in so many cases it happens that he doesn’t know, but just goes ahead as long as the materials last.

The Tyranny of Things by Edward Sandford Martin – The Oxford Book of American Essays