Object Lessons: Money Diary Edition

Xin recently posted a Man Repeller style money diary on her blog which I loved. I really appreciate the format, especially the emoji summaries for the daily expenses (were my emoji game that strong)! Also I feel like the general tenor of the comments section for MR is a lot less judgmental than the Refinery 29 money diaries (although I must admit R29’s salary negotiation series is pretty great). Along the same lines, I’ve really been enjoying The Guardian’s How I Spend It posts, the UK diarists seem to be from a lot of different financial backgrounds and have incomes/lives which seem much closer to “average” than I what I’ve seen on the American outlets. Also Kitchn’s food budget diaries, which has basically underscored for me that I still spend way too much.

Trying to remember this as I go into the next few months:


This Twitter bot which spits out demographic data of vote-eligible Americans is super trippy. It really goes to show how disparate our views on a number of issues are, how little they align with the dipolar narrative espoused on major media outlets, and– most strikingly– how many people just don’t vote.

I know the media is in a tizzy right now about Facebook’s politics-related scandals, but can we take a moment to reflect that they are still actively allowing landlords to post discriminatorily targeted ads in violation of the Fair Housing Act? Like, I know the motto has long been “move fast and break things” but this is not some deeply complicated technical issue, guys. Come on.

Speaking of tech companies creating their own unregulated surveillance state, did you know that Slack now has a feature where your boss can export your private messages. Neat, huh!?

Given how much interest there has been in tech regulation, I am kind of surprised-unsurprised that there’s been no mainstream coverage of either GDPR or FOSTA, which are going to have a huge effect on internet content in the very immediate future.

For FOSTA in particular: On the one hand, human trafficking is an under-addressed problem in the US and more tech-savvy trafficking rings have long used sites like BackPage to bulk-advertise forced sex work for underage girls (average age of entry into prostitution is fourteen). On the other hand, losing access to online ad agencies are forcing independent sex workers to go back to working with pimps or on the streets– making a currently un-trafficked population become trafficked. Plus, the likelihood of overly aggressive moderation is going to cause spaces where consensual sex connections are currently being formed online to be pushed further to the fringes or go underground. For instance, Craigslist personals has already shut down. One can readily imagine dating sites– OK Cupid, Tinder, Grinder, etc.– to face massive legal difficulties as it becomes increasingly difficult to connect strangers online without an in-depth and costly background check process to ensure they are complying with FOSTA.

In the long-term, though, it seems like what’s most likely is that sex-oriented sites and/or dating sites will end up going off-shore, a la Mastadon (now “Switter”). So the BackPages of the world will crop again, just with servers outside the Untied States. And then we’ll be back to square one, but with a lot of upended lives as collateral damage.

The Atlantic: The Myth of ‘Learning Styles’:

Another study published last year in the British Journal of Psychology found that students who preferred learning visually thought they would remember pictures better, and those who preferred learning verbally thought they’d remember words better. But those preferences had no correlation to which they actually remembered better later on—words or pictures. Essentially, all the “learning style” meant, in this case, was that the subjects liked words or pictures better, not that words or pictures worked better for their memories.
I’ve really been enjoying listening to the FIRE Drill Podcast lately. The hosts, Gwen of Fiery Millennials and J of Millennial Boss make it really clear that they are committed to putting on a diverse array of guests on their show. In a recent episode with ESI Money (now owner of Rockstar Finance), they push him to consider his own biases in selecting content that may not serve the diverse array of the personal finance community.

J also recently posted on her blog a post for girl’s coding boot camp Kode With Klossy— which is offering free scholarships to its camp, getting more young women into the tech pipeline. Definitely something I’d like to see if I can sign Little Sis up for when she’s the appropriate age.

I’ve been thoroughly obsessed with this song since watching Thoroughbreds:

How have I never heard of Lizzo before!? All her music videos are amazing.


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