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Startup Equity

The standard way to compensate startup employees is to pay a below market salary, and then make up for it with stock options. If the company succeeds the employee can exercise the options, turning them into liquid stock, while if the company fails they're not worth anything.

Consider a different model: companies sell the stock they would have been granting options for, raising more cash, and then use that to pay employees market rates. It seems to me that either I'm missing something (quite possible; leave comments!) this is a much better model and employees should push for it.

Possible reasons for the current system: more...

Forked Brass

I was playing around with some PVC with my kids, and made something I can't figure out the physics of:

more...

"Hashrate" is Currency-Specific

Sometimes people will compare Bitcoin and Ethereum by saying things like:

BTC uses 11 exahash/second, while ETH uses just a millionth of that at 10 terahash/second.

In cryptocurrency "hashrate" means "how many nonces can you try in a second", but this depends dramatically on how much work it is to try a nonce. With Bitcoin you hash a small amount of data while the developers of Ethereum intentionally chose to require much larger inputs. The Ethereum white paper describes this as: more...

Contra Caller Gender II

Dance weekends with two callers try to book ones of different genders. When the majority of callers were male this meant avoiding booking two men, but now that the majority is female it means avoiding booking two women.

How can we know this? more...

Festival Stats 2017

Another year, another set of gig stats. For more details, see what I wrote the first time I compiled these. Here's my raw data if you'd like to see what went into these numbers.

Corrections welcome! I'm especially interested in whether there are events I'm not tracking, since I have used this for various other posts. more...

Thinking About Disasters

There are a lot of things that could go wrong that aren't very likely but would be pretty bad, and where planning ahead seems like it could be helpful. These are things that are either so sudden that you wouldn't have time to deal with things then (house fire, volcano) or so widespread that demand for the sort of things that let you adapt skyrockets (flooding, heat wave).

For preparing for these there are kind of two categories: predictable and unpredictable. Hurricanes or tornados are good examples of the former: there are enough of them that we know what these look like, we know what regions are most affected, we know how much warning you tend to get, we can look at how the responses to past ones have gone well or poorly. Then there are things like pandemics, succession crises, or nuclear attacks where it's much less clear what to go on.

For the predictable risks, I think it's worth thinking over the general categories and considering how applicable each one is to your situation. Something like: more...

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