Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Campus Crusade for Chaos and Confusion: iteration 001

UC-Davis, Kemper Hall: The Campus Crusade for Chaos and Confusion, iteration001 (more info):


The text:
100101101101111110001010011101110
001011101001000001111001011100110
100100001111000110100001101000110
101001110100100110010100011011010
011110010010111001111110001000100
010011100101001000000111100101010
100101011101110101110100101011001
010101001101110010101011101001011
101011010101010011010100010001010
101001100100010100100100010001001
000111000000101001011110001110111
101000001001001010101001010100101
001010100101010101010010101010010
100101001001010101010010101011100
100000101000101010001001010101011
011101101010100100010010101011010
101110110101110101010101010101001
101010100000010101110100101011011
100110010101010101010100101011001
111110001000001011111010110110101
100110010010010010000100010010100
101001101011010110101110000101000
110100110011010110101101011110012
Brought to you by the Campus Crusade for Chaos and Confusion iteration001
Hmmm.....

Converting the first  from binary (?) to ASCII results in the following confusion:
�ß�w H<¹¤<hhÔé2�§�çâ"r�<ªWuÒ²©¹WK­TÔES"�"G ��ô U*R¥U*�¤ª�r
*%VíR%Z»]UTÕ ºVæUU+? _[Y�HD¥5­p£LÖµ9


Another one, over by the Silo:


Text: 
Avoid reality at all costs.
brought to you by the Campus Crusade for Chaos and Confusion iteration001
Font: Apple Sand (via)


Monday, February 24, 2014

Josh Ritter - A Certain Light

A simple, pleasant tune:

"A Certain Light"

My new lover, sweet and kind
The kind of lover that one rarely finds
And I'm happy for the first time, in a long time

Came along and opened up the door
And though I know I've been in love before
Oh I feel it, so much more, than the last time

And she only looks like you
In a certain kind of light
When she holds her head just right

Its been winter, for a while
The north winds wail cut like a baby child
It was hard to think or smile
That brings springtime

But it did and now it is
The green green grass
Is come up green and its
Feeling just the way it did
The very first time

And she only looks like you
In a certain kind of light
When she holds her head just right

And anymore, it'd stretch the rhyme
So let me leave this where I started, I'm
Just happy for the first time
In a long time

In a long time

Homeless no more - How much would it cost to house the homeless in America?

In reaction to this article (via), remembered myself thinking big on the way home a week or two ago--how much money would it cost overall and per-person to house all the homeless people in America?

The article asserts some facts:
  • 3.5 million people without homes each year in America
  • $10,000 per unit, on average, for the structures at Second Wind Cottages, a tiny-house village for the chronically homeless in the town of Newfield, NY, outside of Ithaca
  • $200,000 per unit for a typical development for extremely low-income housing
  • $10 million per year in costs of homelessness to taxpayers, in Austin, Texas
So, doing the math, to house everyone in America would cost (at a minimum): 
$10,000 (10 * 10^3) per unit * 3.5 million (3.5 * 10^6) people 
= $35 billion (35,000,000,000, or 35 * 10^9)
How much does that amount to, per-person, in America? As of this post, the Census population clock reports 317,592,620 Americans:
$35 billion / 317,592,620 Americans
= $110.20 / American
That seems to represent a ballpark figure of housing all the homeless in America...a one-time sunk cost for building out the infrastructure.

Some huge caveats:
  • $10,000 gets you the cost of building materials
  • All construction labor donated by volunteers (hundreds? thousands?)
  • In other locations:
    • Costs, in some cases, offset with grants, government funding, and individual donations
    • Architecture and design firms might need to contribute design services pro bono
    • Supportive governments lease land to the housing for $1/year
  • General concerns:
    • Must work together with businesses and landowners to address impact on local businesses and homeowners
    • "Unique legal zoning limitations and barriers that limit where tiny houses can be stationed."
It costs 9x as much (as it does in Quixote Village, in Olympia, Washington, where units cost $88,000): $308 billion, instead--that leads to $308 billion / 317,592,620 Americans = $969.80 / American

It costs 20x as much (as the average case): $700 billion, instead--that leads to $700 billion / 317,592,620 Americans = $2204.08 / American

So, it seems like a one-time cost to house the 3.5 million homeless Americans would amount to somewhere between $110--$2,204 per American.

But--let's say not everyone wants to pay. What then?

Note: I use the following rough and arbitrary labels to gauge American participation rates (fill in left-wing, center-left, center-right, and right wing assignments to the percentages as you prefer)
  • 100% participation
  • 75% participation
  • 50% participation
  • 25% participation
My rough guesstimates:
  1. $10,000 units: $110-$441 per American (3.5 million homeless * $10,000 = $35 billion)
    • 100% participation = $35 billion / 317,592,620 Americans = $110.20 / American
    • 75% participation = $35 billion / 238,194,465 Americans = $146.94 / American
    • 50% participation = $35 billion / 158,796,310 Americans = $220.41 / American
    • 25% participation = $35 billion / 79,398,155 Americans = $440.82 / American
  2. $90,000 units: $970-$3879 per American (3.5 million homeless * $90,000 = $308 billion)
    • 100% participation = $308 billion / 317,592,620 Americans = $969.80 / American
    • 75% participation = $308 billion / 238,194,465 Americans = $1293.06 / American
    • 50% participation = $308 billion / 158,796,310 Americans = $1939.59 / American
    • 25% participation = $308 billion / 79,398,155 Americans = $3879.18 / American
  3. $200,000 units: $2204-$8816 per American (3.5 million homeless * $200,000 = $700 billion)
    • 100% participation = $700 billion / 317,592,620 Americans = $2204.08 / American
    • 75% participation = $700 billion / 238,194,465 Americans = $2938.78 / American
    • 50% participation = $700 billion / 158,796,310 Americans = $4408.16 / American
    • 25% participation = $700 billion / 79,398,155 Americans = $8816.33 / American
My opinion: when it comes down to brass tacks, the statistics in the table above show why homeless people still go without--I am guessing the number of people willing to actually contribute falls somewhere in the 25-50% range (if that), and, at an average cost of $200,000 per unit of housing, it would--at a minimum--cost the 25%-50% of Americans who care ~$4408-$8816 to accomplish. It is too much. Add in a 1% annual maintenance cost after the initial outlay, or $44.08-$88.16...worth it?

However--what if it only cost those Americans who care a one-time cost of $220-$441, plus a 1% annual maintenance cost of $2.20-$4.40? Now that represents an exciting, tractable change--almost NPR-contribution territory! Imagine this coupled with a united consensus to treat the problem.

Anyway, my question, answered. : o )

UPDATE: some additional notes, from comments at the article:

  • "The majority of homeless people in the United States are disabled veterans and children and their mothers fleeing domestic violence" (they provide the following source)
  • "minimum square footage laws"--apparently these limit housing options
  • Frequent inspections? At least at first?
  • The Hacker News post also has a ton of intelligent insights from various angles

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Ivory Silo

"The Ivory Silo"

Seen on a license plate frame in the staff parking lot at UC-Davis.

The Benjamin Franklin Effect

"Having heard that he had in his library a certain very scarce and curious book, I wrote a note to him, expressing my desire of perusing that book, and requesting he would do me the favour of lending it to me for a few days. He sent it immediately, and I return'd it in about a week with another note, expressing strongly my sense of the favour. When we next met in the House, he spoke to me (which he had never done before), and with great civility; and he ever after manifested a readiness to serve me on all occasions, so that we became great friends, and our friendship continued to his death."
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Franklin_effect

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Breakup

Sitting inside Kemper Hall at UC-Davis watching a couple sitting outside on a picnic table in the public patio breaking up, presumably.

She's looking down, head bowed; he stares at her, alternates between holding his head in his hands and attempting to convince her to change her mind. She does not make eye contact, wipes away tears, stares away from him, turning away so they face each other perpendicularly. Both gesticulate, not wildly, with their hands as they talk. He seems in shock, trying to understand.

Above them, almond blossoms and blue skies.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Taxes

Game on.

And finished. Some notes for next year:

  • No need to submit Schedule 540 CA 
  • Student loan interest deduction
  • Tuition fee credit
  • 1099-B contains all the basis info for Schedule D and such
  • (?)

Ailouro

The Greek word for cat.

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