Move As Much As You Can

What are the best examples of people “cheating the system”?

Back in the day (summer of 2000ish) Paypal was X.com.  This was in the .com heyday and everyone was giving away free stuff.  Anyways, X.com was giving away $10.00 for opening an account.  Additionally, they gave away $10.00 to the account that referred that account.  The one catch was you had to register a credit card in order to qualify. 

As I mentioned, everyone was giving away free stuff and there was a site called webcertificate.com who basically gave you a free $5.00 temporary MasterCard number for signing up.  I had a free domain and free hosting and was able to create unlimited email addresses.  So, each day that summer, I’d get up in the morning, make 20 email addresses, create 20 web certificate accounts, refer myself to X.com, get the $10.00 signup bonus, the $10.00 referral bonus, and then I’d send the free $5.00 off the MasterCard to myself.  I did this all summer - I’d get up, spend 2 hours making my $500 a day, then go hangout and visit my friends with fast food jobs all day and get free Orange Julius, discounts on clothing, etc.

I think I cleared over 30k that summer referring myself to X.com.  To top it off, there was another site called GreenPoints where you could signup, they’d give you a bunch of free points, and you’d click a few things on the site and you’d qualify for coupon books for $5.00 from Wendy, Burger King, and Subway.  I ate free almost all summer.  Ah, the summer of 2000, I’ll remember it fondly.
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How can you overcome your envy of people who are your age but are far more successful than you?

Answer by Matthew Manning:

Emphatically stop giving a shit.

  1. You have ZERO idea what their personal lives are actually like, or if their outward appearance of success is total bullshit.
  2. Stop focusing outward, focus inward.  A preoccupation with the success of others is taking time away from tending your own internal garden.
  3. Believing in common measures of success (money, position, family) is believing in a ready-made lunch box of meaning that society is opening up and shoving down your throat.  WHO CARES.  Figure out what success is for yourself and then just focus on pursuing that.
  4. You are in your 20s, so be prepared to witness some epic personal collapses of those whom you are currently envious of. 
  5. You can’t do anything besides what you can do. If you’re giving it your all and staying focused on your values, then your life is progressing exactly as it should be.  Did you hear that?  EXACTLY AS IT SHOULD BE.
  6. When you have an episode of crippling self-doubt, picture each doubt as a single sheet of paper.  Then crunch all of them together and throw them into the toilet of your mind.  Now angrily kick-flush that toilet with your foot.
  7. Actively work to express gratitude for what you do have every morning.  The happiest people I know are full of gratitude, and they are profoundly in touch with their innate talents.
  8. Before you read number nine, think of at least one person who thinks you’re awesome.  Try to think of yourself as that person does.
  9. Isn’t the universe so vast, so deep, so incredibly amazing?  Who could possibly worry about a 3200 dollar difference in salary when there are stars supernova-ing right this very minute? 
  10. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.  Near the finish line, you’ll realize you’ve only been racing against yourself.
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What’s the best way to introduce yourself to a room of strangers?

Answer by Matt Schofield:

OK, it is really straightforward.

People STAND differently if they are “interruptable”. Look at their feet. Are they standing with both feet aligned with those of their single interlocutor? Probably they are deeply engaged and will resent interruption. If one of the two (or more of them) is standing with their feet open, and casting glances around the room, they WANT to be interrupted.

So, go up to the group with people standing with open stance. Say “Hi, can I join in too? I’m new here”. Two possibilities:

a) they say “sure, what do you do?” This is normal social behaviour in the US and works most parts of the emerging markets because people are used to moving around themselves, and know how hard it is to pluck up the courage to break in. These gals and guys came along to this session precisely to meet new people, instead of going to a sit down dinner with a few close friends. So you just tell them what you do, and figure out quickly whether you have any common interests. If you don’t, just thank them politely and go on to the next group. Your job is to meet folks and remember their names if they are relevant, not become a bored onlooker.

b) they all fix you with a glassy stare, mumble something unintelligible, and turn their backs to you. Bad luck. Maybe they hate you because you are the wrong colour, have the wrong accent, dress strangely, have bad breath, or are drunk. Great. Apologise for interrupting and walk on. No point wasting time.

Make sure to get names, Twitter addresses, or business cards and FOLLOW UP. Send them an e-mail, follow them on Twitter, introduce yourself on LinkedIn, and keep on connecting to them over time. That way, the next time you go into that particular crowd, you’ll have some friends. And maybe you can help them out with something.
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What are the must read books or papers for computer science student?

I am doing master in computer sciences and want to know which books or papers are must read for master students.
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What is vedic mathematics?

Answer by Dan Piponi:

The work that is commonly called “Vedic mathematics” is a fake ancient treatise on mathematics written by Jagadguru Swami Sri Bharati Krishna Tirthaji Maharaja around 1965.

Sadly so-called Vedic Mathematics gets quite a bit of attention these days despite being nothing more than a collection of nearly trivial tricks for basic arithmetic. I think it gets attention for nationalistic reasons because Indians want to feel pride in the work of their ancestors. But there was no need for anyone to fake a document for this reason. Indian history is full of amazing mathematical work going back 3000 years.
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What is something you believe that nearly no one agrees with you on?

Answer by Dianne Womersley:

I am actually from another planet and am just inhabiting this human body for a short time.
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How can I drive safely when I’m drunk and alone?

Answer by Diane Meriwether:

You can’t - there are other monkeys on the road.

Choice Reaction Time:
Any unexpected event while you drive will send you down a three branch decision tree.  Essentially you need to:
  1. Stop,
  2. Speed Up,
  3. Swerve. 

For example, you are driving along and suddenly there’s a monkey on a bicycle in your path.

The Sudden Monkey Problem

You decide to stop.  Thank you on behalf of PETA

But just because you decide to stop, the monkey is not yet safe.  The decision has to travel from your brain down your spine to the muscles that will move your foot to the brake.

So you travel a little while before you come to a complete stop.  If you’re sober, your experience as a driver has you performing risk assessment and varying your speed based on the traffic enforcement and the likelihood of unexpected monkey events. 

No monkey is harmed in the making of this sober stop

Alcohol is a depressant; not only will impairment delay the time it takes you to choose between stopping and swerving or speeding up (as your inner GTA avatar proposes) but whatever you decide, it’s going to take longer to do it.

Long story short (Long story 1, Long story 2, Long story 3), you can expect to lose about four tenths of a second if your BAC is .05 (Below the US legal limit)

Four tenths of a second is no big deal if you’re doing the dishes, or making out with someone else who’s mildly buzzed, or watching TV.

.4 seconds doesn’t matter for cartoons

But if you’re hurtling along inside one and a half tons of metal with a combustible fuel tank, point four seconds can get real bad, real quick.

Let’s say you’re going only 25 MPH.  Out pedals the monkey.  In those four tenths of a second you’re 15 feet closer than you expected you would be.  Your intoxicated brain simply can’t do the math.

Close enough for the monkey to smell the booze on your breath

What if you’re going faster than 25 MPH?  Now we begin to enter into the physics of nightmares.  If you’re going 50 MPH you come to your stop 30 feet further along, and that’s all too often too late.

The physics of nightmares

You see, if you get into a fender bender after a couple beers, if you bump a curb, you might say to yourself, "that could have happened if I were sober." But if you take out a mini van with a family, or smash your best friend into a wall, or end up in a wheelchair; at 3 AM you’re going to wake up and pace the skid marks in your mind.  

I know, I spent ten years listening to people who got in trouble drinking and driving. I’ve sat with parents who killed their own kids and young people who couldn’t attend their best friends funeral because they were in jail. The safe way to drive after drinking is to get a good quality breathalyzer and wait to blow 0.0.
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What are some mind blowing facts about the sun?

Answer by Robert Frost:

It rains helium on the sun.
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What are some good jokes that are difficult to get at the first time?

Answer by Durga Prasad:

Saw this image along with the following comment on SO

"This means that aliens have 10 fingers, just like us."
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How are memories stored and retrieved?

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How are memories stored in the human brain?

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How does the human brain decide which memories to store?

Answer by Paul King:

The brain uses a number of automatic mechanisms to determine what information to retain. Everything else naturally fades away.

The brain’s overriding principle, given to it from millions of years of evolution, is to retain whatever is likely to be useful later for long-term survival. Since the future utility of information is impossible to predict, the brain uses a number of heuristics that have been honed over the millenia.

Here are some of the most well studied:

repetition — Things that happen repeatedly are either highly significant or irrelevant. However even if they are irrelevant — like the background noise that you tune out — they must be identified so that they can be removed from perception. When studying for a test, students often use repetition to activate the brain’s importance circuits.

primacy and recency — Things that happened first are often more important because they predict what comes later. And things that happened most recently are often the most relevant because they are closest to the present. Things in the middle tend to get forgotten. This is why so many presentations start and end with an overview of the key points.

surprise — Anything that is unusual stands out. This can include an uncanny coincidence or an event that led to something unpredicted. An entertaining science teacher will ask students to guess what will happen and then show that the opposite happens. Setting up the experience of surprise increases retention. If you are thinking of calling someone and the phone rings and it’s them, you will remember that for a long time because the coincidence is so unusual, while forgetting all the times you thought of calling them and the phone didn’t ring.

emotional impact — Emotions are one of the ways the brain prioritizes perception and action. Emotions are a way of assessing and categorizing situations according to their role in our instinctual survival program. A moment correlated with a strong emotional state will be retained for a long time, which is why, for example leading up to a car accident, people have the memory of time slowing down and noticing every detail. Time didn’t actually slow down — it’s just that a lot of detail got recorded and so the event is remembered this way.

leads to positive or negative outcome — The systems in the brain that learn behaviors and habits are especially tuned to the eventual outcome of an action or perception. This is why addictive activities such as gambling can be so tenacious. With a slot machine, most of the time nothing happens, but sometimes the bells ring and the sign flashes “winner!”. Each dose of “reward” ensures that more quarters go into the machine. Addictive drugs like nicotine and cocaine activate reward circuits directly, causing everything that led up to taking the drug to be given automatic priority by the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter central to signaling reward and activating procedural memory formation. When something leads to a strongly unpleasant outcome, emotional circuits label the preceding events as fearful.

Related:
Human Memory: How are memories stored in the human brain?
How are memories stored and retrieved?
How are memory and forgetting related?
Why is forgetting different for driving and calculus?
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What are some English phrases and terms commonly heard in India but rarely used elsewhere?

Answer by Pushpendra Mohta:

Let me revert back to you on the same after I have done the needful. I will be out of station this weekend as my cousin niece is passing out from college. All her mugging and all the coaching classes paid off for her I guess. The ceremony is at a hill station. It will be good time pass.  It is also my native place so all our near and dears will be there. Definitely worth using up all my casual leaves.

Soon, her mother will be looking for a suitable boy as she is of marriageable age.  Unfortunately, her father expired recently. Her mother wants a foreign-returned or NRI bridegroom. Someone convent-educated from a status-family. Wheatish complexion highly desirable. Caste no bar. But, my niece says she will be going for a love marriage only. I think she likes her lecturer. Issueless, innocent divorcee. Sorry case. Long story. Her mother says that will be a big nose-cut for the family. She wants an arranged marriage. She refuses to discuss about it. She has already put in a matrimonial in the leading dailies.

But I am suggesting my niece to seriously give the GMAT and CAT papers instead. Because, see, there I am having no pull and we can not afford the capitation fees for the private colleges. And nil chance of paper leaking and the invigilators are very strict. But she says her chance of getting in is too less. But I say, always some chance is there, no?

My niece is having PG-accommodation only so I will be putting up at the Taj hotel. Although, the staff there acts very pricey. But more better to avoid dicey food and the loose motions, and the gentry there is good only.  Their mutton curry is majorly tender.  Fresh baby goats. Order with curd. Portion size is too huge so we always order one into two. Plus, never any load-shedding. Cent percent full value. Why take tension? It is bang opposite to the airport. One just has to cross the flyover. Ask anyone for directions if you are having your own conveyance, but the auto-wallahs and taxi-wallahs who ply there are knowing it very well. It is easier to find a parking slot if you enter from the backside. All the Page 3 type people go there. Last time I was staying there, I met a Bollywood starlet. Very tip-top. Her item numbers are heavenly. I had a good mind to.. ok,ok, no non-veg jokes.

As it turns out, the manager there is also my college batchmate. You can use my connection there. Just give your good name. We were both backbenchers but he was actually rusticated for ragging and bunking. The final straw was when he was caught eve-teasing the dean’s daughter. But, he did some jugaad and palm greasing, and got himself a license to manufacture Indian-made foreign liquor. Rags to riches story. Now he is a mover and shaker. For a while he was under the scanner of the IT authorities and they chargesheeted a disproportionate-asset case against him. I think he may have been doing some hawala transactions. The whole official machinery was after him.  He tried to file a grievance but there was no redressal mechanism for such cases. Ultimately, he went on an indefinite fast. Some local politicians and godmen came to his rescue as he is also from the same minority community. Vote bank politics. Soon the whole city was in a bandh. Hartaals every day. Even on gazetted holidays. Miscreants took advantage of the situation and it spiraled out of control. The police ordered a lathi charge. Then there was air firing. Many MLAs defected. The assembly was adjourned every session. President’s rule was imposed in the state after many ultimatums by the high command. Finally there was some seat-sharing agreement and the impasse was resolved. After that he was given a clean chit. The CM even held a felicitation function for him. Many many VVIPs. Of course, at the very same Taj.  Later that CM was caught up in the 2G telco scam. Too good, yes?

That reminds me, I should get my pre-paid converted to post-paid to make sure there is no hassle with roaming. The operator tells me that under the current scheme roaming is free but always the possibility for screwup is there. But the paperwork for updation is too great. Every time wanting same to same KYC. Limited timings, phones always engaged, very much difficult. They trouble you like anything but never answer any of your doubts. Tell me, what is one to do yaar? They are like that only.

I need to prepone some meetings to arrange for the trip so I need to rush due to the same, but not to worry,  I will keep you initimated of my progress. Will give you a missed call when I deplane upon returning back.

p.s.

Hope your head is not paining, I didn’t mean to eat your brains. I will offer a translation in a few days. Now it’s time to slow the volume, increase the AC, and off the light because sleep is coming. Kindly to stay in tune.
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A hot girl just spoke and offered me her spoon while I made coffee at work, should i take it as a pass?

Answer by Anon User:

She offered you her spoon. I think she wants your fork!
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How will Ricky Ponting’s career be remembered?

Answer by Joe Geronimo Martinez:

Ricky Who?

Still in England.
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