Don’t Be A Sucker!

What’s inflation? The first answer is: when Apple dongles cost more today than yesterday.

The second answer: Venmo dollars that are worth less today than yesterday.

The third answer: when more money is chasing cream puffs than yesterday.

The forth answer: when you need more money today…to buy the same boring cup of coffee you bought yesterday.

(If you’re still reading this you need to get a life.)

Answer Five. When you were warned not to go buying tons of stupid shit, with FREE money from the GoVERrnMeNT who, by the way, you were warned not to elect because they’d…


Fiat currencies are based on nothing but trust and the desire to produce. If everyone decides to live on chickens, beans and veggies from their yard tomorrow, one couldn't use their money to go out and buy a car because no one is making them.

The bigger question for UBI isn't where the money will come from, it's what effects will it have on who does what for whom.

Anyway, as it is, people do want to hunt, gather and produce so money is an efficient way exchange value. BTW, I encourage anyone to read David Graeber's "Debt: The First…


Robotic Dog Battery Check

Here’s an interesting story on the history of Universal Basic Income (UBI). “If you have more money in your paycheck every month, then you are less likely to be focused on money all day long, you are less stressed about how to pay your bills and you have more money to go to the doctor if you need to, which creates a healthier, happier population.”

I have never read a Medium story from anyone needing UBI.

Most UBI plans seem to originate from the fantasies of the well-off (at least mine do). The logic is something like this: yeah, I…


Nice job!!! I need to say I was a bit put off by your judgement of Jewish Right (not that I disagree) because of what others have said about the history of Jewish persecution.

I loved your story until the end, where you say you support BDS. My question is, why do you support any political group? You're obviously a very independent thinker. What do you believe would happen if BDS was completely successful? Whatever that is, I believe you need to explain it in your story. Otherwise, you're just carrying someone else's flag.

No one really wanted that land…


Photographing flowers is an exploration of beauty with one’s collection of lenses

$30 brand new! 35mm / f1.7 CCTV Lens

Instead of using a cell phone, I recommended my cousin get a “real” camera to shoot flowers. She said it was too technical for her.

Below is the same shot above taken with my Samsung Note8 phone camera. This photograph is the BEST in that it would more easily locate this flower and park in my neighborhood.

But does this photo express what I felt looking at the flower?


Pulling data from PDFs is this developers’ challenge and nightmare. Here is an approach using Microsoft Excel and “Data Query” (or is it “Power Query”?)

This is a piece for advanced VBA coders. You can find the workbook here.

The first trick is to get a list of the “pages” or tables in the PDF. That’s important because we’ll need to code custom parsing routines. They’ll only work with specific PDF pages or tables.

To explain my techniques I’ve created a project around extracting data from the U.S. Department of Labor weekly unemployment reports.

They look like this


Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Do you find this joke funny?

Classifying mathematical problems as linear or nonlinear is like classifying the Universe into bananas and non-bananas.

I laughed. But would most people?

How about this?

Mathematics is made of 50 percent formulas, 50 percent proofs, and 50 percent imagination.

Not only would non-mathematicians stare at you blankly, they might think you’re a dimwit. Most people believe math is about universal truths, not some squishy imagination.

How about these jokes?

Why do they lock gas station bathrooms? Are they afraid someone will clean them?

Or this?

A car hit an elderly man. The paramedic says…


Through Python and Excel, We Get Real With The Data

For most people, photography starts with a JPG, a computer file of compressed pixel data, or, for video, an MP4 file.

The Internet is awash with experts who explain how to make cinema-quality movies from cameras or phones purchased at BestBuy. They don’t explain that these image files are simplifications, degraded versions, of what the camera saw. Many of them imply that one can get the same results from these compressed files that one could get from the original sensor data, which is called RAW. In some cases, this is true. In others, false.

When it comes to video, our computers remain woefully weak

In this story, I hope to…


I’ve done videos with 20K+ views, but those the exception, this the rule.

If “How To With John Wilson” Can’t Solve The Limitations of Personal Documentaries, How Can I?

A good friend, cheering on my YouTube endeavors, told me to watch How To With John Wilson on HBO.

I’m trying to get this YouTube thing out of my system. I wouldn’t bother reading this unless you, too, are similarly afflicted.

In his third episode, How to Improve Your Memory, he begins to interview a winner of memory contests. She mentions the memory palace technique. I would have let the camera roll for 10 hours; it’s a deep subject. Instead, he moves onto a small group of oddballs focused on mistaken memories.

Problem #1: The deeper into my subject I…

Max Rottersman

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