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Decoupling property values and rents

By and large people want higher propery values and lower rents. If you're a homeowner you want your highly leveraged investment to appreciate and don't particularly care about other people being able to buy. If you're a renter you don't want your rent to go up, and ideally it would go down. Some renters are trying to buy [1] and they want property values to fall, but because most people spend much longer owning than trying to become owners this is a much smaller group.

Unfortunately, higher property values go with higher rents, and lower property values with lower rents, so people are in opposition. How can we decouple them? more...

What Do You Do Where?

You can ask Android "what is this phone doing?" and it will classify your recent movements as:
inVehicleThe device is in a vehicle, such as a car.
onBicycleThe device is on a bicycle.
onFootThe device is on a user who is walking or running.
runningThe device is on a user who is running.
stillThe device is still (not moving).
tiltingThe device angle relative to gravity changed significantly.
unknownUnable to detect the current activity.
walkingThe device is on a user who is walking.
I have location history enabled on my phone, and it's been telling Google my location and activity classification more or less continuously since 2012-09-20. This is now included in Google Takeout, so we can map it. What do I tend to do where?


zoomable map

Colors are:
inVehiclered
onBicyclepink
onFootpurple
stillblue
tiltinggreen
unknownyellow
exitingVehicleorange


zoomable map

You can see roads, because they're red (inVehicle), and home/work have a lot of blue (still), but overall this doesn't seem super useful. Maybe there would be something more interesting if I weighted by frequency? (Where do I tilt the most?)

Code is on github

full post...

Lyme Disease By County

Yesterday people were excited about a map that was supposed to show risk of catching Lyme by county. Unfortunately, it actually measured something complext but correlated, the year in which the county was first designated "high risk". This is interesting, but I wanted the map I'd hoped to find: annual per-capita cases of Lyme per. So I made it:

more...

Pro-drop English

In some languages pronouns are often optional. For example, in Spanish you might say "estoy feliz" for "I'm happy" though it literally translates to "am happy". In both Spanish and English the implied pronoun is clear—'estoy' and 'am' are first person singular conjugations—but in Spanish it's grammatical to leave out the pronoun while in English it's not. Languages vary in whether they allow you to leave it out, and those that do are called pro-drop. [1]

Because pronouns in English are traditionally gendered and we haven't finished switching over to singular 'they' yet, sometimes you're in a position where the sentence in your mind calls for a pronoun but you don't know what pronouns the person in question prefers. In some of these cases speaking as if English were pro-drop can be helpful. more...

Cosleeper

Before Lily was born I made a cosleeper:

It goes on the side of the bed like a little annex, so the baby has their own place to sleep but is still easily accessible for nursing and doesn't feel abandoned. We used it until Lily was maybe 4 months old before transitioning her to a crib.

The cosleeper isn't being used at the moment; does anyone want to borrow it for a few years? At some point my sister wants to use it, but her first is still several years out.

(It's 35" x 18", walls are 7.5", and the top of the mattress is 27" off the floor.)

full post...

Playing after losing

In a good game anyone can win up until the last moment, at which point the game ends and there's a winner. But even some very good games can have a point at which you're still playing and making decisions but there's definitely no way you can win. How should you play when you're in that situation?

For example, consider PowerGrid. The winner is the player who powers the most cities on the turn someone builds to 17 cities. So say it's your turn to build and a player before you just built to 17. The game is definitely ending this turn, and you can see that they can power 16 while you can only power 15. There's nothing you can do to win. The game isn't over, though, because we don't yet know if someone after you will power more cities. Your options include passing, building as many cities as possible, or building cities that make it hard for one of the remaining players to win. How do you decide?

Provisional answer: if you can't win, you should figure out which of the players who might still win is most to blame for your not winning and play to disadvantage them.

full post...

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