Friday, January 14, 2011

How to get men to message you more on dating sites

According to the geniuses at OKCupid. You must play up your flaws that is designed to cause maximum disagreement among men's opinion of you. If some guys think you're totally hot and some think you're totally not, you will get more messages than merely being cute by everyone's standards.

More juicy analysis at OKCupid

Monday, January 10, 2011

The internet and facebook, how can you not agree?

The internet is a little slice of serendipity cast off when great men dared to think about heavier things. Facebook is the Dark Matter of the universe.

-Kevin Ferry

Saturday, January 8, 2011

1st draft recommendation letter

(Insert letterhead here)

January 8, 2011

Dear Graduate Admissions Committee:

I am writing this letter in support of Mouta Chiang’s application for graduate admission to the Master of Science in Renewable Technology Management. Mouta and I discussed his recent decision to pursue graduate studies through your university. I applaud his decision and strong desire to take his dedication and skill to the next level.

As regional director of CTDI, I oversee operations in British Columbia and supervise Mouta’s work during his time at the company. I have worked with him for a year. The thing that impresses me the most is his calmness and fortitude under stress and his curiosity for learning. his calmness and fortitude under stress and his curiosity for learning. He is able to quickly master new equipment with the help of the company’s engineering staff. He constantly looks for new challenges and quickly develops a resourceful network of colleagues that respect and admire him. His English skill is excellent; he communicates effectively and trains new recruits in a multi-ethnic setting. I believe he is an ideal fit for a program involving both academia and industry. I would highly recommend his acceptance into the Master of Science program in Renewable Technology Management.

Kind regards,

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Why I think buying a house is a bad idea

Many of my friends are getting married and buying houses. While I am extraordinarily happy they're moving forward with their lives, I cannot bring myself to view home ownership as a good idea, especially in Vancouver.

As you may or may not know, Vancouver housing prices has doubled over the past decade. This is substantial, and may not end anytime soon. I feel that this price increase is not sustainable, and I am going to lay out why.

The increase in prices in Vancouver is due to a lack of build-able space, thanks to geographically constraints in the shape of beautiful mountains and ridges and water. One other reason is the influx of wealthy immigrants. These immigrants are usually financially well off in their home countries and can afford to bid up the prices on properties in the Fraser Valley. This has the effect of buoying the housing market, making everyone feel richer and masking the underlying problem of a lack of real industry and job creation. A second reason is asian industrial economies appetite for resources. This also allows BC to live better than the underlying economic fundamentals will allow.

Here is where we run into a problem: China cannot grow at the current pace indefinitely. One reason is Peak Oil. There is just no way current growth rates are sustainable. Secondly, with the ongoing financial paralysis and the subsequent economic uncertainty means that companies are not paying people very much. This leads to consumers not able to buy more, which means exporting countries like China cannot grow their exports. Now China is countering this with rising investments. However, investing only make sense if you can make use of the investment. A lot of what I've seen suggests that China is already awash in overcapacity. At some point the factories builders will not able to find companies still wanting to build factories. Road and bridge builders will run out of projects that generates a positive return. You can not prosper by wasting money, and building things that are not going to be used feels like waste.

When the inevitable slowdown happens, the gravy train will stop and the money will stop flowing and the wealthy Chinese officials and businessmen will feel less wealthy and less willing to spend money on expensive Vancouver real estate. This will mean more selling than buying, which leads to prices coming down. My friends who all gone out to buy houses will find that their houses are worth less than what they paid for. Some of them will default, some of them will not. Unfortunately the CHMC has guaranteed the loans so I'll be stuck paying for their decisions through my taxes if they go bad. Heads they win, tails I lose.