Ideas: Remotely hosted personal site with home data store that syncs as client

This idea is based on my Local + Proxy Remote Hosting for Personal Site idea, but attempts to mitigate some of its problems further.

In this setup, the website (most appropriate for personal indieweb type sites) will still have a remotely hosted and a home hosted component. The home server will be the single source of truth for data, but will not be remotely accessible. The remote server will have the full code and data to run the website and will handle all visitor request directly, using copies of the data from the home server. CUD changes can be done on the remote server, but they will be marked as ‘unverified’ or some-such. The home server can have a cron task or manually run script to make a request to the remote server, which will transfer changes between the two. The change request may also be run after each change is done on the home server, or after a certain interval following an update to batch send them. Some sort of key based system would be used to authenticate both ends.
Continue reading Ideas: Remotely hosted personal site with home data store that syncs as client

Idea: Single character TLDs for permashortlinks

I’ve been interested in Indieweb lately, and have been looking for a good domain for permashortlinks. The article goes into more detail, but advantages include:

  • easier to read and type, especially from print
  • fit better, especially in character limits of twitter, email line wraps, etc.

I have a domain that’s six characters total (SLD + dot + TLD), but I’m not sure I like it: It has a ‘0’ in place of an ‘o’ (might confuse people); is on a TLD that disallows whois privacy; and doesn’t feel as representative of me as some others I’ve thought of. It’s hard to find good short domains. One reason, of course, is that short domains are desirable and are taken more quickly when available. Another is that ICANN and predecessors traditionally seem to have been reluctant to allow short SLD‘s. One and two character SLD‘s are often reserved or “premium”.

Idea

ICANN could make available single character TLD‘s for URL shortening purposes, and make available on them SLD‘s of one or more characters. This would make available, using normal ASCII domain rules:
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Maximizing blindness in science

Organization created to separate out steps of scientific method to help prevent bias of knowledge. When submitting a step of the scientific method, it is handed off to an independent scientist unaware of who was involved with the previous step and of anything from steps other than the previous.

  1. Scientist asks question, submits.
  2. Scientist proposes theory for answering question, submits.
  3. Scientist makes prediction based on theory, submits.
  4. Scientist plots specific test to test prediction, submits.
  5. Scientist carries out test, submits results.
  6. Scientist examines results, attempts to draw conclusion(s), submits.
  7. All steps of process collected together, analyzed by scientist, submitted.
  8. Scientist attempts to replicate results, submitted.
  9. After certain number of runs through process, information released to scientist for meta-analysis, submitted.
  10. Scientist takes meta-analysis with knowledge of all steps contained within it, makes tweaks and submits back into pool, or considers final and submits on.
  11. Findings reviewed, results written up and released.

Note that submission of each step should go on to more than one independent scientist, thus making a tree that gets wider the further along the process it goes. Also note that, although it says ‘scientist’ at each step, that could mean a group of scientists.

Home Lighting: Sun-light, Moon-light

Every room has sun-light and moon-light. Hallways, stairwells, walkways, etc. probably just have moon-light. The sun-light would be the bright bulb(s) in the middle of the ceiling or by work areas to allow tasks to be performed. The moon-light is the much dimmer, low wattage option like a night-light, for moving about and other less visually precise activities. The moon-light would likely emanate from multiple locations in a room, possibly both low and high positions. It would ideally have a motion sensing, or even more advanced, setting by default, providing ample light to turn on the sun-light if it is needed. Off and on would also be provided for when the circumstances are appropriate, such as off when sleeping. The sun-lighting would likely just stick to the regular off/on switching, as the times when it is needed are somewhat more explicit. The moon-light might vary in intensity based on proximity. Sky-lights would ideally be used to provide free moon-light level lighting inside during the day.

Taxes: Income Tax Simplification of Forms

Usonian income taxes are crazy complicated and a pain to deal with. They shouldn’t be, especially for normal people: Only people performing complex income related activities should have any need for a tax accountant. There are so many modifiers to promote certain behavior and demote other, but it is very inconsistent and confusing and irrelevant stuff often has to be read through by people for whom it doesn’t apply. Promoting behaviors is good, but it needs to be simplified drastically.

One important step to both simplify income taxes for regular people and allow more accurate targeting for behavior modification is to fully separate out personal income from business income. Sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations will all have their income taxed in a completely different system than personal income. Business money must be kept in a separate account and transactions monitored separately. For all businesses, any money going into personal accounts for personal uses will be considered employee compensation and taxed in that system. A small sole proprietorship with no capital investment and no retained earnings might pay out all earnings as employee compensation, have no business taxes, and thus business income tax filing will be a simple filling out of a form showing revenues, payment to one employee, and 0 dollars income. For most small businesses with some capital investment, there will be a small business account and a small amount of retained earnings that is taxed. They will have a form similar to the 0 dollar income business, but will have some earnings and will thus go through more steps with deductions and credits and tax payed in to determine taxes owed. Larger, more complicated businesses will still have the same type of form, but will have more subforms that apply to them and will be able to afford accountants to deal with them.

The personal tax form will be like above, but instead of the line for business expenses there will be a line for number of dependents. Instead of a choice between standard deduction and itemized deduction, there will be a simple deduction of the poverty line of income based on the number of dependents. If this line deducted from income brings taxable dollars to zero or below, no taxes will be owed and that is all that is needed to be filled out, unless welfare is to be handled through the income tax, in which case the negative number will still need to be modified below with deductions and credits to calculate reimbursement. After this, the number will be modified by a simple list of deductions and credits and the taxes already payed in to find total taxes owed who owes who. All of these incentives will apply to all people. The form will be kept simple by having a single line for a collection of related incentives that are calculated on a subform. Subforms are small things, most of which can be grouped multiple per page and are supplied with the normal tax form. Only more complicated items or situations require larger, separate forms.

The forms should be simple enough that they can be filed quarterly by everyone, so people don’t have to remember or keep track of things from a long time ago and won’t have as large of an anxiety build up when tax time roles around. It will also provide more continuous feedback about financial situations, allowing for more frequent adjustments of behavior by the people and service provision by the government, and allow money to flow more freely between the government and people.

I had some other ideas when I began writing this but forget them at the moment.

Taxes: Sources Define Destinations

The destination of tax revenue should directly and rigidly define the destination of where it is spent. The destination should be related to the source as if the source was a customer buying services from the destination. As such, taxes on the source, and only the source, must be raised to raise spending in the related destination, and lowering taxes on the source requires lowering spending on the related destination. Some example sources with possible destinations:

  • personal income taxes –> “welfare” type programs, employee protections, job creation activities, education
  • corporate income taxes –> business promotion activities, education
  • residential property taxes –> protective services for residential areas, transportation improvements for residential areas, residential zoning
  • corporate property taxes –> protective services for businesses, transportation improvements for commercial and industrial purposes, business zoning
  • VAT/sales taxes –> business promotion activities, consumer protection and awareness activities, research/legislation/anything having to do with products of sold product category
  • transportation fuel taxes –> transportation maintenance, transportation alternative fuel research and grants, transportation efficiency research and grants
  • death taxes –> “welfare” type programs, cemetery and mortuary support, medical services (small amount, in cases of medically related death), protective services (small amount, in cases of criminally related death)

These should give a basic idea of what related means. It is important to note that amounts given to each destination from a given source should be rigidly defined based on the relatedness between the two, so that protective services is only slightly related to death taxes but much more related to property taxes.

Post-Suicide Q&A

It would be nice if you could field questions after killing yourself. Then maybe people could understand why and perhaps be better able to handle others in similar situations who might be considering offing themselves as well. You can write up all that you want before you off yourself, but you can never really know what people would actually ask or who would even be interested enough to ask. There are many nuances in conveying information, and you probably won’t be able to convey your messages in exactly the way that the people you are sending them to need them to be to truly understand what you are trying to say. There can be no follow up questions, which are usually very important for homing in on what the asker wants to know and the answerer wants to say. And of course there is no guarantee that the people who you are sending those messages to or who want to know some answers will actually read them. Reading can be quite tedious, especially the voluminous amounts that a suicidal has to convey and the great boringness it most likely has to most other people. It is, of course, also tedious to write, and you probably in the end just won’t right all you want to before you go through with it. Most people probably have some hope or feeling that it won’t actually happen, and the last bit where they are sure it will happen, they are in poor condition for writing profusely and well. There is, of course, no way to really implement this idea, just thinking.

Socialisms: Government Provision of Essentials

This is somewhat a revisit and modified version (probably a better one at that) of an idea I discussed earlier.  The revisit is in part because of the recent  health care legislation.  Some argue that health care is a “right” not afforded to some, something that everyone should be given regardless of income on ethical grounds.  I’m not sure why health care is considered more essential than food, water, shelter, etc, but it is certainly where a lot of money is spent and made.

The government will provide relatively bare essentials deemed required for survival.  These will include food, water, shelter, clothing, protection, education, occupation, health care, and probably some others that I can’t think of.  They will be provided in whole by the government, directly, no intermediaries such as with food stamps, medicare, etc and with no fees.  Provisions will be bare essential:  For instance, food provisions will be limited to calculated nutritional need, and there will in theory be no overuse possible.  The government services will be minimums, and will not place any limits on private provision of them that will favor the government provision.  Quality will range from mediocre to craptacular, not only to follow real world precedence but also for providing incentive for folks to work hard and obtain better services from the private sector.  Continue reading about a possibility for government provision of essentials »

Teacher spot reports for knowledge check

School administration would on occasion randomly choose some teachers to write a report. The report would be either a short (1-2 page) paper that must be written on the spot with little or no resources, or a longer (perhaps 10 pages) research paper which they will have a specified period to complete and can use any resources they want.

The topic of the paper would be randomly assigned, asking how they apply or could use certain educational principles in the classroom. Some possible topics might include how the teacher uses or could use Piaget’s or Vygotsky’s theories, positive reinforcement, levels-of-processing theory; how do they handle the different learning styles of students; what implications a recent educational news story might have for them; how do they apply technology in the classroom; or a more general question like how new educational theories have shaped their teaching styles.

The check would help ensure that teachers are paying attention to and using both well established and new educational theories to hopefully provide the best education they can to their children. Educational theories often are adopted slowly or aren’t translated well into teaching styles. There is a whole lot that can be done to improve the education system just by fully implementing the recommendations of the vast available knowledge pool of educational learning theory.