Politics Can’t Be Different

October 31, 2016

I wonder why countries like Hungary don’t request the EU to set up some anti-corruption commission that would supervise the government. It would consist of people appointed by Brussels (mainly foreigners) and would have the right to veto laws or put politicians to jail for their involvement in corruption. Or maybe every decision of the committee would need to be approved by a referendum too, just to make sure Hungary keeps its petty independence. We could also start with a referendum about the setting up of the committee. How come none of the political parties have every suggested this magnificent idea, what’s the catch?


Golden Ball algorithm

October 21, 2016

The way the Golden Ball award works (at least as far as I understand), is that some selected people cast their votes, then based on this, the three top voted players are invited to the ceremony, where the best gets the award. I’m fascinated by how they count the votes. Computer? Or does someone already know who will win before the ceremony? I expect that the case is the latter, but it wouldn’t be too hard to come up with an algorithm.

For example, everyone in the counting committee would look at only one vote. The first person reveals their vote. Then they go around, and everyone who has a player not yet named, reveals their vote. They keep on repeating this until only three players are left.

There are some issues with this algorithm. For example, it might happen that everyone voted for the same person, and then this turns out in the very first round, or, similarly, at a later round less than three people remain. These events have a small probability, and they anyhow cannot be solved, so let’s forget about them.

A more important issue is, that when they go around revealing their votes, then some information is revealed in which order they go in. For example, if the last person puts Neymar in the final three, then we know that he cannot be the final winner. This is not a special case, it’s enough that after the person who reveals Neymar, at most x people remain who didn’t reveal their votes (and thus might have a vote for Neymar), while before him there are more than 2x who didn’t reveal their votes (and thus have a vote for Messi or Ronaldo, obviously).

Is there a way to solve this?



Flyers against flyers

September 15, 2016

My approach to flyers is the same as to begging – I feel that some people have no other option but to take a self-humiliating job, and passersby can choose between supporting this system or let them starve. Of course, in a better organized society, these jobs would be replaced by some more meaningful activities. (And flyers in fact can be sometimes good, but most often they are misused, imo.) Anyhow, when I become king, or at least the campaign manager of the two-tailed dog party, I’ll definitely hire some people to distribute flyers that explain why it’s bad to take flyers.

Food waste and global famine

August 20, 2016

People are coming up with newer and newer solutions to stop food from being wasted and thus fight famine. Unfortunately, I’m not convinced at all that any of the “don’t throw way food” solutions help at all. When I’ll become dictator of the world, I would rather propose to stop feeling guilty when one throws away food, after all, we can produce as much as we want, and throwing away would probably increase production and lower prices. Of course, this is only a guess and I might be wrong, but I really don’t see how the current approach helps, except to make western society feel less guilty.

Password with year created

July 28, 2016

I, probably similarly to most people, use the same password for most sites, with the exception of a very few places that I think people might care to hack, like banks and email, for which I use a different one. I’m also forced to use a different password for some sites that require extra stupid rules, so I keep these extra additions in a text file, or I could never remember them. Same for the sites that require me to change my password every once in a while. In fact, I would be happy to change my password regularly for many more sites, but unless I want to go through hundreds of webpages, I would soon get confused by at which place which password I use.

But there is such a simple solution to this problem. When you type in your username, the site could give you the year your password was created, then it would be enough to remember which year you had which password, and update your password to the newer one when you first visit the site in a new year (if you want to). I think I’ve seen something similar on a few sites, but only if you go to “forgotten your password” and then you can see a hint set by yourself, which is more complicated than automatically displaying the year (but of course this should also be an option for those who want it). Many sites let you reset your password if you can answer some easy question about yourself, which I don’t find safe at all.

Conditional alarm app

June 22, 2016

It seems that all the apps that wake you up can be only conditioned to “local” events, like where you are, what happens around you (except, of course, the “global” time and date). Why not something that wakes me up if at halftime Argentina is not yet two goals ahead against USA? Or if a game goes to extra time? Probably you can come up with even better conditions…

Cheapest money transfer

May 23, 2016

Open two accounts on your favorite exchange site (like Betfair or Matchbook) and bet against yourself with some very crazy odds! (Just make sure you offer the safe bet first!) Also, you might be able to pay your employees this way tax-free in the UK???


May 22, 2016

It often happened to me that I’ve accidentally bought the wrong thing, like vinegar instead of oil etc, but I feel like this time I’ve hit rock bottom – I bought alcohol-free beer!

Betting on yourself to win

March 27, 2016

It seems that the rules about betting on yourself to win are pretty sloppy, in many cases allowed, or just prohibited by the sport body, but not by law. This is quite surprising as you could bet on yourself only on days when you feel in good shape. More details here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/16/magazine/what-if-an-athlete-wants-to-bet-on-himself.html

Anyhow, it seems really hard to investigate which bettors are related to you and thus many people can have insider information. This whole betting business and stock exchange is a mass.

National Betting Agency

March 18, 2016

I wonder why they don’t make in each country a national betting agency which would enjoy monopoly, i.e., it would be the only site where people can bet. Gambling companies could submit their offered odds to this agency and all the gamblers would see only the best odd when placing the bet (without seeing which company offers it). All ads and bonuses would be forbidden, just like for tobacco. And of course the agency would take some commission from the companies, and every local office would belong to a friend of the prime minister.