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Channel: Jeff Kaufman's Writing
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Shed Wall Plans

Last week I wrote about estimating whether insulation was worth it for our shed if we're going to use it as a home office. While I'm waiting for the carpenter to put a new roof on it, I'm thinking...

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Escalation Outside the System

Transcript of a discussion on a friend's wall on the merits of responding "guillotines" to union text-bankers when asked what the country needs more of: Me: When you respond "guillotines" what do you...

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EA Relationship Status

A friend observed that fewer people in the effective altruism movement are married than you might expect. I was curious: what are marriage rates like within the EA community? The 2018 EA Survey asked...

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I'm Voting For Ranked Choice, But I Don't Like It

This fall, Ranked Choice / Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) will be on the ballot in Massachusetts. I'm voting for it, but only because it's better than the status quo, not because I think it's a very good...

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Three car seats?

I recently was linked to Car Seats as Contraception, which argues that car seat laws have led to parents choosing to have fewer children because "physical limitations of many cars precludes the use of...

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Estimating the ROI of Insulation

A few months ago I wrote about trying to decide what to do with our shed. It turns out that not only is our property too small for a tiny house ("backyard cottage"), the only reason we're able to have...

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WebBundles and URL Randomization

Disclosure: I work on ads at Google; this is a personal post. Peter Snyder of Brave recently wrote a post on the proposed WebBundle specification arguing that it makes URL randomization easier and so...

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The Best Toy In The Park

One of the playgrounds near our house has an angled ring shaped merry-go-round: There are lots of different toys at the park, but this one is different. It has depth. It's a freely spinning ring, with...

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How to set up foot pedals

Let's say you would like to control your computer partly with your feet: how do you go about it? This wasn't something that I was especially interested in before my wrists started hurting, but now I...

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Exposure or Contacts?

When I talk to people about the coronavirus, they're often using one of two models of infection risk: Minimize exposure: risk is proportional to how risky your activity is, multiplied by how long you...

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The US Already Has A Wealth Tax

In Modeling A Wealth Tax, Paul Graham writes: Even a 0.5% wealth tax would start to keep founders away from a state or country that imposed it. The US, however, effectively already has a ~0.3%-0.4%...

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Coronavirus and Rents II

When I looked into how Boston apartment listings have changed year-over-year in June I saw that rents had been falling, and wrote: I think we're probably not done, though. Many landlords are small,...

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Effect of Numpy

In the bucket brigade singing project I talked about yesterday, the server is Python. We wrote it in a very straightforward "it won't be fast but at least it's correct" style. In simple stress...

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Setting Up a Green Screen

I do a lot of video calls at work, and since I work in our bedroom my background is pretty cluttered. I don't really mind people seeing my messy room, but it's a bit chaotic. I decided to make a...

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Spending Update 2020

It's been a bit over two years since our last spending update (2018, 2016, 2014). We're no longer tracking our expenses to the dollar in most cases, except where that's required for taxes, but since...

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Restocking

The pandemic has illustrated the resiliency benefits of keeping extras on hand. During the grocery panic, when everyone was trying to stock up on weeks' worth of groceries at the same time, people who...

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Photos Before Drywall

Houses are strange: customarily, there's no documentation. Want to know where the plumbing is? Where the wires are? Where the structure is sturdy enough to support something heavy? Sorry, the walls...

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Jam is obsolete

Jam is a very natural way to preserve fruit. The fruit is ripe only a small fraction of the year, you'd like to be able to eat it all year long, so you cook it with enough sugar that it won't go bad...

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Food Spending During Covid

Our house has shared groceries, and in my most recent reconcile I saw that our spending is up quite a bit relative to this time last year. In 2019, April through July, our monthly spending per person...

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Burley Bee kids bike trailer review

With the coronavirus we haven't been taking buses or taxis, which had mostly limited us to walking distance with our kids. [1] Expanding to bicycling distance would help a lot, so we decided to get a...

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