(3.5) Lots of the basics, helpful for first time buyers
Some of this I could have saved time if I'd read before buying our house. Wanted to see if ther(3.5) Lots of the basics, helpful for first time buyers
Some of this I could have saved time if I'd read before buying our house. Wanted to see if there was anything I missed (and there were a couple things). Seems a bit wordy and repetitive at times, but might be best used as a reference when you're at each stage of the process. Didn't look at the CD, but maybe there's something helpful in there for collecting comparable sales and guides you to the price home you're envisioning? There's some generally good financial advice in there too, but hope it's not the first place you see/hear/read those advice.
Some things that were good tips that I didn't think through during our buying process: * tips on how much to let yourself spend on improvements: don't make the place stick out (too well maintained, style out of sync with neighborhood, too big), be the most expensive house in neighborhood etc. * how to interview prospective agents (with specific--good--questions) - p. 204 * be sure to use a property inspection contingency (and duh use your own inspector that you hire, ASHI certified) - p. 262 * questions to interview property inspector - p. 283 * be AT the property inspection - p. 284 * insurance: get guaranteed replacement cost insurance - p. 289 * personal property replacement guarantee - p. 290 * ask for a refinance rate on the title insurance if you're refinancing (much cheaper) - p. 294 * joint tenancy with right of survivorship vs community property (as in the book, we made this decision last minute when we were asked in escrow officer's office) - pp. 307-8 * save all receipts for improvements to the property/house for cost basis purposes at sale - p. 322 - earlier in the book discussed what is maintenance vs improvements * if buying rental property, to assess cash flow, ask for current owner's Schedule E from tax return (expenses on the rental) - p.330 * rental losses may not be deductible (depending on income), so make sure it's cash flow positive! - p. 330 * selling: selling agent tips, e.g. 3 month max contract - p. 333 * do a practice walkthrough before selling (friends, prospective agents)...figure out what's wrong with the place before you list! * really helpful property inspection report example so you know what to look for. - appendix - above, reminded us to ask for sample report from prospective property inspectors to see if they're worth anything (or pure boilerplate)
So, overall, pretty good. Could be more concise. Again, I recommend for people heading into first home purchase!...more
Love, never realized or acted upon, except well after the fact. Kind of touching that the narrative of Ántonia's life is an expression of th(4.0) Love
Love, never realized or acted upon, except well after the fact. Kind of touching that the narrative of Ántonia's life is an expression of the love that is never acted upon. (view spoiler)[Couldn't tell for sure: why didn't they end up together after all? Was it purely Jim's cowardice or insurmountable class boundaries? (hide spoiler)]
Liked this (not that it's representative of the novel, but kind of a "don't let school get in the way of your education" spirit):
"Suddenly put down among boys of my own age, I found that I had a great deal to learn. Before the spring term of school was over, I could fight, play "keeps," tease the little girls, and use forbidden words as well as any boy in my class."["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I was really impressed by the creative writing of an engineer. :) I noticed that this was lighter on dialogue than most(4.0) Loved his narrative style
I was really impressed by the creative writing of an engineer. :) I noticed that this was lighter on dialogue than most literature I read, but the narrative was really well-written. I'm not sure how much of this is creative history (did McKay head West before making his shoe-making machine fortune?), but I enjoyed it more when I didn't concern myself with it.
I was surprised by the novel's prurient elements. There is frequent seemingly unnecessary mention of genitalia. Just seemed out of place at times, not offensive.
Also felt a bit like the novel wasn't finished. The adventure surely could've continued in Kansas, or as the Germans and Sewall returned to Boston? We kind of rush to the end and have a nice epilogue to hear how McKay does back in Boston.
Full disclosure: Tom was my academic/thesis advisor in college. He was a great guy....more
Characters and certainly mathematics are thin. We get the highlights of the quirks and personalities of Gödel, Turing and friends but feels arti(3.0)
Characters and certainly mathematics are thin. We get the highlights of the quirks and personalities of Gödel, Turing and friends but feels artificial, like a stage play or something. Somewhat entertaining. Did not like the two or three pages by the 'narrator' in modern-day New York. Gimmicky, unnecessary. Also not entirely sure I see how the two narratives integrate together.
The one exchange that I really liked in this is when Turing's friend (and secret fiancee, later to be snubbed), Joan, is trying to use Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem to prove Turing's dream of artificial intelligence to be impossible. This may have bumped me up a whole star:
""" "So if a machine is programmed to be perfectly logical, if it can only follow one logical step after another, how could it ever recognize one of these true but unprovable statements? And if it can't see a truth as plainly as you or I can because it blindly follows a series of instructions, then how can we call it intelligent? I guess I'm trying to ask if Gödel's theorems, and indeed your own, imply that machines can never think?"
Alan smiles uncontrollably as he nods rapidly and fidgets about on his knees. He loves Joan when she is like this. He really loves her in his way. "I would say that fair play must be given to the machine. It is not an infallible machine we want but an intelligent machine. If a machine is expected to be infallible, it cannot also be intelligent. Gödel's theorem implies almost exactly this. When we program a machine, we only want to get I started. What we really want, I suppose, is to build a machine that can adapt so that it is like any living thing that starts from a simple program and evolves a complex intelligence. Then we will have them--machines that are alive as we are. As free or as not free as us." """...more
(3.5) Interesting, though reminds me of concerns about accuracy
These forensic anthropologists (much like many coroners) become experts and then assume(3.5) Interesting, though reminds me of concerns about accuracy
These forensic anthropologists (much like many coroners) become experts and then assume they can determine facts with near certainty when they can't possibly consistently. I do appreciate Bass making as much of a science out of this field as possible, so he may be among the best, but there's danger in accepting the data they return.
I appreciate Bass' frankness about his mistakes. He really owns up to them, at times pokes a bit of fun at himself. It's all the more impressive because these regularly get thrown back in his face when he testifies. It's good for his humility that he's gone through these experiences (view spoiler)[(e.g. when he mistook a Civil War casualty as a recently murder corpse) (hide spoiler)]. But just goes to show how wrong these techniques can be, and how much is up to speculation, bias, old fashioned detective work.
I also had quite a problem with his approach to some of these cases. At least in retrospect, he is very clearly trying to come to the 'right' conclusion on some of the cases. It should make us all feel uneasy that he has a conclusion that he wants to come to and searches for the evidence to support. The cases he brings up appear to be iron-clad, but still, I'm sure there are far more close calls...and I'm sure the local law enforcement get all sorts of benefit of the doubt when Bass strolls in. It was good that in one case at least he told the detectives not to tell him the timeline they suspected before he was able to do his analysis. I could see great opportunity for detectives to influence results (in fact, even if they do take this precaution). There's huge risk of bias here, lots of room for defense lawyers to assail the credibility I'd think.
Anyway, glad I read.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
(3.0) 'Raunch' is the new feminism, but is it really?
Read for f-word book club.
Short version: many women have taken control of their sexuality by defi(3.0) 'Raunch' is the new feminism, but is it really?
Read for f-word book club.
Short version: many women have taken control of their sexuality by defining their image by it. Is that progress? I agree with the skeptical view on this.
A) Being more openly sexual, getting rich and famous as a result doesn't necessarily feel like a huge step forward. Okay, better than being ostracized for premarital sex/pregnancy, but are Paris Hilton, porn stars and Playboy Bunnies really role models?
B) Playing along to men's traditional views of women as sexual objects to better one's career is certainly a strategy, it can work, but it seems to cement the subordinate role rather than destroy it. Just because a woman can now choose to take that path and define herself in such a way, doesn't necessarily mean that (all/many) men feel any differently about her.
A few quotes from the book with some responses:
"I think we can safely assume that many more women appear in Playboy for the simple reason that they are paid to. Which is fine. But 'because I was paid to' is not the same thing as 'I’m taking control of my sexuality.'" bp: I totally agree.
"We have simply adopted a new norm, a new role to play: lusty, busty exhibitionist." bp: But that's it: is it a new role or have women just convinced themselves it's different because they were able to choose it? What about roles women haven't played but now can? Religious leader, surgeon, president, CEO? Why would be empowering to adopt the role that many men have wanted for women for millennia? Would it be more or less empowering if men took no interest? Booed the stripper, turned down the aggressive barroom proposition, declined the offer to repair to the 'titty bar' (reference to text)? I think too much hinges on the male response.
“But I would be happier if my daughter and her friends were crashing through the glass ceiling instead of the sexual ceiling,” Jong continued. “Being able to have an orgasm with a man you don’t love or having Sex and the City on television, that is not liberation. If you start to think about women as if we’re all Carrie on Sex and the City, well, the problem is: You’re not going to elect Carrie to the Senate or to run your company. Let’s see the Senate fifty percent female; let’s see women in decision-making positions—that’s power. Sexual freedom can be a smoke-screen for how far we haven’t come.” bp: Yes....more