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Everything posted by Benpercent

  1. I've made quite a bit of progress, both materialistically and intellectually, but I don't feel like exhaustively detailing it unless anyone is curious. Anyhow, after doing some price estimates on the cost of my living alone (not with roommates) -- taking into account utilities, internet, rent, and whatnot -- using "high-price" scenarios, I have determined that I can pull this project off in 1-3 months, 1 month if I cannot bear my living situation anymore and 3 months as a safety net. I just need to up my income, which I am working on, and I'll be able to initiate the "waiting period." This pleases me greatly, because at minimum wage I'd still be able to afford safe living areas, seemingly satisfactory apartments, and healthy food. Nothing like the nightmare scenarios projected; I just need to be prepared. However, another question occurred to me while driving: Will I be subject to *new* taxes when I move out? Right now I'm aiming to simply rent my living space and to be the employee of another person, so I doubt it but want to be certain.
  2. Sorry. I'm interested in general comments. Most financial writing I have read is based on the assumption that the market is inherently healthy and that the government won't destroy it, so I would like to read some comments that take into account a *hostile* government. My career is definitely one of my highest concerns right now, but when you say "save" do you mean pure saving? That is, just accumulating funds?
  3. As has been stated earlier, I have finally managed to land myself a job and can now start on my project of establishing my independence from my family. Of all the considerations I have to take into account I consider finances to be the most important and vital. To that end, I have already read two Motley Fool books, and am currently reading The Wealthy Barber. I believe these sources provide sound financial advice that would indeed make one wealthy in the long run. However, I fear they don't take the government into account very well. While I am optimistic for the future, it is still a possibility that America could choose statism over freedom, and thus never enjoy economic health again. Therefore, I'd like to start a finance thread that provides advice and resources for managing your finances under the assumptions that 1.) one is living under temporarily hostile economic conditions (meaning the government is the source of economic problems, rather than the market itself) and that 2.) during such hostility no end-all economic phenomenons occur (e.g. hyperinflation destroying your savings). I want to put my financial knowledge into action, but I'm extremely hesitant since I fear the principles I hold might be destructive under these governmental conditions. For instance, I'm afraid of getting into the stock market because I'm afraid the government could tamper with it or cause the businesses I invest in to fail. So what say you?
  4. Okay, so would a simple internet search inform me about that law? Anyhow, I'm making progress. I have identified all the things I need to take into consideration (expenses, lifestyle, living location, etc.), established what it is I need to do in regards to them, and have little else to do except carry them out. To start with, I think I'll compare car insurance companies (I mindlessly allowed my parent to pick out my car insurance for me, so I doubt it's the best deal) and document dates for neighborhood garage sales so I can buy some necessities on the cheap (cups, plates, towels, etc.). However, my plans have run into a bit of a delay. The restaurant I work for has decided that I'm not yet fit to be a replacement cook for any of the current cooks, so they just have me about washing dishes. I find this arrangement perfectly acceptable given my lack of experience -- it's just that they're giving me extremely few hours: my next shift isn't until this Friday, and at that it's about five hours long. With these hours I might have to figure out some other way to make money, or even get another job. I'll wait until the middle of June to see what my employers' long-term plans are, and then act accordingly. Another restaurant a town away from me has shown interest in me, but won't know of their hiring needs until June. Until then, I'll work to establish some basics, answer my questions, and so on.
  5. Thank you for your responses, though I would like to admit that I plan on saving to at least the extent that I don't have to worry about "ghetto" housing or food. Food (good food) is an extremely important value I do not want to neglect. I'm fine with depending on a radio for entertainment or the library for all my reading, but I'll wait a bit on the food since I don't want to depend on pasta, especially since it would make me sick and interfere greatly with my ability to be productive. Wouldn't that be dangerous? What if I became unemployed? I've written on this at length to other person and have spent hours and hours and hours doing thinking on this, so I must admit I'm not tempted to repeat myself, so I'll just give this summary: I've spent a long time giving consideration why I feel the way I do about my family, and why I think it's necessary to cut them off. I'm not "irritated" with them, but disgusted. My childhood was miserable because of my mother's bipolar and self-destructive way of living, and I planned years in advance on cutting her out from my life before she finally decided to kick me out while in one of her mood swings. My life has never been better, and her absence is required in that. In fact, I consider her to be literally the worst, most immoral person I have ever met in my life. She had a nearly unlimited amount of chances to change her character, but instead she chose to continue indulging in her raw emotions. My grandmother and family, on the other hand, did not lose my respect until recent years. I was elated when I got away from my mother and thought it would be self-evident to other people why I wanted her out of my life, but they thought I needed a "cooling-off" period of a few days before resuming my relationship with her, so they didn't take me seriously when I said I planned on never speaking to her again. When I started doing exactly what I said I would do, they acted surprised and started encouraging me heavily to start dealing with her again, because she was miserable without me. In response I laid out my case and gave them a long argument detailing my misery, how it was connected to my mother, and how these traits were a part of my mother's fundamental character (as opposed to being isolated, freak incidents), and they in response ignored me, distorted my arguments, yelled at me, mocked me, sent me nasty internet messages, called me names, and so on. I KNOW I've been ignored because when I asked my grandmother to recite my argument to me she could not. I also know I've been ignored in that my grandmother has turned on the answering machine to drown out my voice, turned her head away from me and stared out the window behind her, and even on multiple occasions walked away from me when I was talking to her (and I knew she could hear me). My mother was of great harm to me, so I needed her *out*. When I got her out, my family then proved they also weren't valuable relationships by refusing to acknowledge my intellectual stance, stating their conclusions over and over again while refusing to support or prove them, getting nasty when they failed to convince me with their "arguments," and so on. On top of that, by living with my grandmother I have seen much more of her irrational traits, such as how she blindly obeys authorities and gets upset at me when I reach opposing conclusions, acts dishonestly in front of other people since she's second-handed and terrified of other people, and so on. If I didn't cut her off, then she would be constantly calling my phone, dropping things off on my porch, begging me to move back with her since she feels "so bad" about my living conditions (and wouldn't change her emotions no matter how much I told her I felt otherwise), and so on. I've never been happy dealing with these people. I'm not making the decision from the seat of my pants, but rather from the observations I've accumulated over more than a decade and the thinking I've done the past several years. I'm definitely burning this bridge. How did you survive? Why so hastily? I don't understand what you mean. I'm not acting dishonestly towards them (e.g. pretending to love them), but I don't plan on doing some "eff you" when I leave. My current plan is to pack up and get ready to leave in my grandmother's absence, leave a short, polite note to let her know I'm not dead in a ditch (and so will not need to call the authorities), and then departing, simply never contacting them again. See above. I've written more exhaustively on this in other places and have done endless amounts of thinking on the hundreds of observations I've made over the years, so this problem is neither petty nor recent, but rather a matter of moral characters and life-long problems. Is that safe? I worry since I live near particularly bad parts of Michigan, though I would be knowledgeable enough to avoid ghettos. In what ways could a landlord be terrible? This is something I'm curious about. * * * * * Again, thank you for your input.
  6. As noted recently, after several months of searching (and a few weeks of *hard* searching) I finally managed to get myself a job. I'm enjoying it, and they're starting to give me more hours it seems. I must exert myself to become as competent as possible. Consequently, I think this would be a good time to start planning the next major phase of my life, moving out and living on my own. The difficulty -- which has prompted the necessity of my moving out -- is that I cannot consult my family in this endeavor. After breaking off my relationship with my mother, my closest family members (though not my whole family) has proven themselves to be of despicable characters by ignoring the harm that came from my living with my mother, refusing to acknowledge my intellectual stance, and encouraging me to do some arbitrary duty. The irrationality they have exhibited in doing this is detestable (and documented in the link), and as such I would like to cut them from my life so I can get on with being productive and pursuing my happiness. I want to keep this a secret from them since I'd probably get harangued about if found out. Worse yet, they might continue bothering me at my new address; they're so saturated in emotionalism that they cannot recognize the world of ideas, so even if I told them I never wanted to see them again they would get angry and try to continue dealing with me, believing me to be in a simple bad mood. So what do I need to know about living on my own, legally and responsibility-wise? I mean, I know I could certainly handle my finances, laundry, food preparation (I am trying to become a chef after all), and whatnot, but I know little about searching for good apartments, dealing with landlords, knowing how to properly maintain furnaces and washing machines, laws I need to obey, and so forth. Could you guys assist me in this informational endeavor, or at least point me out to some good resources? I'd appreciate it. My moving out is a long ways away yet, but I'm saving and working my way there. Thank you for your time.
  7. Oh, I'm not working for free. They're paying me minimum wage, but I believe making explicit my (honest) willingness to work for free is a good indication how seriously I take my work, as opposed to those teenagers who simply fill out applications looking for a source of summer income. And about the illegality: Shush! If I were working for free, I won't tell if you don't.
  8. Hey hey! I got a job. I went to a good buffet one town over and submitted my information, noting I was willing to work for free and all, and when I came home from dinner there was a message for me about a job offer. My first shift is tonight and I'm looking forward to it definitely and obviously. Great thanks to the contributors in this thread, as I might not have been able to do it without your intellectual guidance. I'm entertaining the possibility of blogging on the subject of what I've learned in my job hunt and offering suggestions based on my experience. This, I think, will be a good start to my career. After I develop experience it should be quite easy for me to move around, and I'm honestly not all that concerned about money so long as I can live. Now I can stop focusing so much on producing cover letters and resumes, and start focusing on actually doing a good job. I'm going to keep walking forwards, and I have a plan for my next big project of personal importance, though I won't speak about it right now. I'll tell you guys later in a different thread, in a day or so. Again, great thanks to all.
  9. Thanks. Say, what are your guys' thoughts on interviewing? That's another weakness I've just now noticed I have. (It took a bit to notice since, well, I'm not getting interviews. :-P) I just got off the phone from a screening, and not only did I show my nervousness, I also had trouble finding things to say. Perhaps I should do more preparation in this regards. Thanks to this thread my resume and cover letters have improved vastly in quality, but I need to do more to advertise myself when in person.
  10. Still no luck. A few weeks ago I managed to get but a single callback and an interview, but no dice. After rethinking my goals I have made a shift in my daily activities towards either applying for jobs, doing relevant career research, or studying/practicing. I have identified recently that the culinary field is a huge value to me, so I have been trying to make an entry into the restaurant industry, but am having an extremely hard time since I have no professional kitchen experience. In regards to hunting methodology, I have started constructing cover letters for nearly every job; diligently keeping track in my records of when I applied to certain companies, when I need to reapply, and when to do cold calls; and I have been actively honing my cooking skills and knowledge. I am also thinking about documenting my journey in my cooking practice. Just in the last few days, however, I got yet another idea: When applying to restaurants I've noticed that the most consistent question I get asked is whether or not I have prior kitchen experience. I think this may be the single most hindering weakness I have, and may need to overcome it all else. So I ask: What are some good ways to get unpaid kitchen experience, like volunteering in a soup kitchen? I don't know how to find such opportunities. Overall, I find that my motivation to keep at it in the job hunt has improved since I've established a higher priority on getting a job. Before I think my lack of motivation was due to my treating job hunting as a side-activity, which lead me to believe that I was wasting my time. Dedicating more time, effort, and focus, however, has made clear to me how personally important this particular issue is, and so has motivated me. Thank you once again for your input.
  11. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll keep them in mind. After a bit of research, I have decided that it would perhaps be best if I got a general understanding first, so, unless one can convince me that this is an irrational resource otherwise, I have decided to pick up a copy of How Computers Work by Ron White and Timothy Downs, which seems to be pretty exhaustive. Before I do that, however, I'm going to be reading Cookwise: The Secrets of Cooking Revealed by Shirley Corriher since it has immediate importance for my employment prospects.
  12. As I noted in a previous thread I'm currently (still) in the job market: http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.p...c=17887&hl= . So far there's little luck. I had an interview at a hardware store on Tuesday, but it turns out that they didn't want me after all, and it took months to arrive at that interview. As such, I'm looking to boost up my skills in order to beef up my resume. I've already decided to start taking harder routes in cooking (e.g. cutting things with a knife rather than putting them in the food processor) so that I may add it as experience to my resume when I submit it to restaurants (I value cooking), but I think I also need to boost up my technological competence, not only for my resume but for my own personal benefit. Simply put, I'm looking for recommendations for good educational resources on technology, mainly with computers. I know this is vague, but that's where things are difficult for me: I don't know where specifically I ought to direct my efforts. Concrete computer programs? Computer language? Computer science in general? There's just so many options that I would like to seek assistance in narrowing down my focus and then picking out the appropriate educational resources. I'm wondering perhaps if there are any *general* resources that can give me a taste of everything or the like, such as a book that explains how computers work, that would give me the first few threads to focus on. So anyone got any suggestions?
  13. To be clear, Grames, I was not necessarily insinuating that absence of political variety is a bad thing; only that in my thinking I mistakenly thought that political variety would part of a healthy government and was concerned with the fact I could not reconcile this with the view of a rational culture. Thank you all for your input; you have advanced my thinking significantly. I find Jennifer's theory to be the most persuasive: Political variety would cease, but there would still be plenty of methodologies to choose from.
  14. That sounds like a GREAT idea. I think that will help significantly with my scientific reading. I know, but I don't know what else to call it. In this context I mean that my memory is being selective based on my subconscious, rather than conscious, workings. Another great idea! Thank you all for your input!
  15. A thing that has been concerning me as of late is whether or not the practice of Objectivism automatically leads to the establishment of a single political party in government. Now mind you I don't mean whether or not Objectivism leads to a one-party dictatorship, but rather whether or not it leads to the elimination of political variety. My reasoning is this: since all political parties are based on a worldview, they will attract people who share that worldview. Also, given a dominant enough philosophy cultural homogeneity results, meaning aside from minor quarrels the vast majority of a people share a single worldview. So if Objectivism won the battle for the culture and managed to establish itself within a philosophically homogeneous society wouldn't variety amongst political parties disappear since everyone would be generally united by one worldview? Is this correct? Or might it possibly be the case that party-identification would disintegrate altogether? Or am I wrong altogether?
  16. Given my success here in remedying my speech impediment I would like to ask for further imput on another nearly life-long problem of mine, what I call a "selective memory." I have noted it here before in my topic about studying, about how I would read something and my memory would omit specific names, such as names of countries or people. To simplify the writing of this topic and to prevent a massive block of text right within the first post the documentation of my problem and planned course of action can be found here. What do you guys think? Thank you for your time.
  17. I think I just need to do one more restart and I'll be set! Everything's working dandy as candy. I'm plugged into a DSL modem. Of what significance is it?
  18. Oh boy, I don't know if I really did it, but I think I may have cured it. I was trying different things while the computer was booting up and I thought I'd give "Recovery Mode" a shot, and to my surprise it reset my entire computer to its factory settings. (Don't worry, I e-mailed myself the files I simply would not stand to lose.) Everything is working fine now, but you guys are more experted: is factory-rollback sufficient?
  19. Again, thank you for the assistance everyone. I tried pulling up the system restore menu, but the first did I did it it glitched up and had to be shut down via task manager and the second time I selected it -- a few minutes ago -- it refused to come up. My computer is either glitching on that area (which is typical; I cannot do system updates since my computer would search for them infinitely without finding them) or the viruses have that base covered. Would installing a new operating system help? I think I'm up the creek without a paddle in regards to Windows XP since I'm not too well acquainted with anyone to know what kind of OS they run and stores, of course, now carry Windows 7. If I sniff around I'm might be able to get a copy of W7 for cheap on my campus.
  20. Still at war. Just noticed a new symptom: I can't use search engines, at least not Google. When I search for something any link I click, regardless of whatever it is, directs me to something *completely* unrelated, and perhaps harmful. I was just looking up my local health food store for instance -- a store website I have been to before and know is not malicious, but could not remember the URL -- and when I clicked the link it sent me to some place called "Superpages." When I clicked for a cached version of the address it sent me to a site that had an IP address as its URL.
  21. The adventures continue! I did what you said Brian and ran Sophos in the special startup settings and it managed to come up with over 130 suspected files! Most of them appear innocent, so I suspect that the rootkit virus is framing them somehow. I wanted to send a sample of the log files to the makers of Sophos, but they only allow an upload limit of 50 MB while my log file is 119 MB. I'm awaiting a response from customer service. In the meanwhile I'll download some of the programs you suggested Brian. I should be near-invincible after this attack given all the protection I'm downloading. I don't think I'll ever look up my username again. Edit: Misspelled product name
  22. Just finished a little bit ago scanning with the first rootkit remover you suggested Software Nerd, and it found four or so "hidden files" and removed them. I restarted my computer and regretfully all the problems are still here, including the disappearing taskbar. I still cannot get into Safe Mode either, the mode that would most likely be the cure all. Blast! Aside from the danger it poses to the computer, does a rootkit present any danger to my being, such as logging passwords or sending identifying information?
  23. And this is why I regret my technological incompetence. I got this computer when I was still a teenager, say about 17 or so (I'm 21 now), and I threw away the PC box, which probably had the OS disk in it and whatnot. As far as backing things up go, I could easily do it on a really big flash drive. All I desire to keep are my episode of Monk and my writing files. My single PC game can easily be reinstalled, and there's nothing else I want to save. Could you list a few brands? I looked at Download.com and all they seem to list are *general* anti-virus programs, not special rootkit detection software.
  24. Oh it's days like this I feel ashamed of myself for not being more technologically competent. I was searching my username (Benpercent) on Google to see which sites show me as associated with them (despite my never going there) or showcase my content (as was once the case with a site copying and pasting my Amazon.com reviews), and I foolishly clicked on a couple and got some nasty viruses. It feels like I've gone and scrambled the brains of my computer, though it isn't so inoperable that I can't use it to get myself here. I have run my anti-virus + adware programs multiple times, both in smart and and full scan mode, but as evident from the problems I seem to be missing something. To give a list, here are my problems: 1.) Google Chrome either cannot display any pages whatsoever -- instead it instantaneously gives me the "Aw snap!" error message every time I tried to get it to navigate -- or it stays on the completely white page that indicates it's loading something (but it never finishes). I have tried clearing my cache and whatnot, but the problems still persist. Chrome is my primary browser. 2.) Firefox stalls somewhat. Unlike Chrome I can actually access a few websites, but after just a couple pages it runs into the latter problem Chrome faces and stays stuck on one page infinitely loading something. Right now I'm using Safari, which, aside from being veeeery slow, is actually working perfectly fine. 3.) Last night my taskbar disappeared after I restarted my computer. Just magically. I thought maybe it was unlocked and I accidentally lowered the bar below the screen, but it wasn't until I ran a virus scan and restarted that it reappeared. The problem *seems* to be resolved, but I have no idea what happened there or if I permanently fixed the problem. 4.) Just this morning a fake anti-virus scanner (pro-virus implanter?) installed itself and kept telling me I had dozens and dozens of infections and that I needed to activate it. It kept sending me messages every forty seconds or so, and it claimed to be of the Windows brand. During that period Internet Explorer, the browser I never use, sent me a pornographic and viagra-related advertisement. I was also denied access to several of my files, files I know are clean, because the faux scanner would cancel the action and tell me the file was infected. I did a virus scan and seem to have destroyed the scanner and its cohorts, and I do have access to my files, but again I'm not so sure given that some of the other problem are persisting and the possibility that I could only be treating surface symptoms while the underlying causes multiply. 5.) As par my usual virus procedure I tried to go into Safe Mode in order to be able to scan a greater number of my computer files, but upon the reboot the computer would tell me that an error had occurred and would send me back to the boot menu, telling me the choose the previous settings that were last known to work. The fact that I cannot get into Safe Mode is what frightens me the most. Additional information: I'm on a HP computer that is running the OS Windows XP Media Center Edition (year 2005 I think). My main anti-virus system is AVG Anti-virus free edition, though I also have Malwarebytes' Anti-malware. For adware I use Ad-Aware. I have managed to fix problems 3 and 4, but all the rest are still present. I fear another outbreak. What should I do? Thank you for your time, and thank you much more so if you should choose to help.
  25. I would like to add another question: What new considerations would be added if one wanted to learn a new language for the purpose of improving one's thinking and/or writing? Several months ago, perhaps even a year, I read a statement by Ayn Rand to the tune that she was glad that she knew multiple languages since it helped her with her writing; because it helped her gain a better grasp on the essence of language in whole, and I have been thinking about it ever since. On these grounds I am considering learning a new language. I have heard that modern day English is derived from Latin, so I have been giving that one in particular in consideration, but I'm not entirely sure.
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