Picobusiness http://www.picobusiness.com In the future, everyone will be CEO for 15 minutes Tue, 13 Sep 2016 12:12:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.16 What to do after you win the lottery http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/09/13/what-to-do-after-you-win-the-lottery/ http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/09/13/what-to-do-after-you-win-the-lottery/#respond Tue, 13 Sep 2016 12:12:06 +0000 http://www.picobusiness.com/?p=1205 Read moreWhat to do after you win the lottery]]> So you’ve won a multi-million dollar jackpot, and you want to know how to avoid end up miserable from having all that money.

First: Don’t tell anyone.  If you don’t have enough willpower for that, tell people that a distant relative died and left you a few thousand dollars.  If people ask you how much exactly, say you’re not sure because of taxes.

Second: Work with a law firm and an accountant to set up a blind trust.   You want the law firm to be reputable, because they’ll be watchdogging the accountant.   The blind trust should be set up to make it deliberately difficult for you to get at your money, except from the rules below.   If you do decide to get money out of the trust ahead of schedule, it should come with extremely high penalties, in the form of matching donations to charities that you absolutely despise (for example: NAMBLA, or an evangelist church.. or in my case, both!)

The Rules:

  • Divide your current monthly income by 6.   We’ll call that X.
  • The first month, the blind trust pays you X
  • The second month, the blind trust pays you 2X, the third month 3X, the fourth month 4X, etc.   By the 6th month, you’ll certainly be able to quit working (if you so desire) because you’ll be making the same as your current salary.  By the end of the first year, you’ll be receiving twice your normal monthly salary.
  • In the second year, this continues – by the end of the second year, you’ll be receiving four times your former salary.
  • Have your accountant do some analysis with you at this point – how long will this strategy work before you run out of money?  If it will last until you are certainly dead, keep at it.   Otherwise, you’ll want to decide on what age you’ll switch to a more modest “retirement style” payout schedule

Why this works:

People who have things to look forward to are happier than people who don’t.   When you receive all your money at once, you are happy for a few months, but then your mental state adjusts, and you no longer have the future income to look forward to.  Typically, you start buying expensive things because you can, and they make you happy for a few days, but then that wears off, and you get into a cycle of spending, just to feel happy until *poof*, all the money is gone.

Instead, we’re going to slowly increase your income over time.   Every month, you’ll get a little more, and you can plan on using that extra money to pay for things that you want.   By slowly growing, you have something to look forward to, but not enough to use up your winnings quickly.   You’ll be able to enjoy luxuries, but you’ll have to plan for them, months in advance, and looking forward to something in the future makes people happy too.

And if someone (a relative) finds out about your winnings, and starts pressuring you, you have a nice safety valve – if you withdraw early from the trust, you’ll be funding charities you despise.  It gives you a strong moral argument to stick with the program.

http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/09/13/what-to-do-after-you-win-the-lottery/feed/ 0
Reluctant dislike for Benioff & Weiss’s post-book work http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/06/22/reluctant-dislike-for-benioff-weisss-post-book-work/ http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/06/22/reluctant-dislike-for-benioff-weisss-post-book-work/#respond Wed, 22 Jun 2016 15:48:24 +0000 http://www.picobusiness.com/?p=1193 Read moreReluctant dislike for Benioff & Weiss’s post-book work]]> I want to like Game of Thrones.  And often I do.  But I’m disliking enough of it that it’s starting to wear on me.

I think Benioff & Weiss are quality adapters of existing work.  I haven’t always agreed with what they leave out and what they put into their adaptations of the 5 books, but generally I could live with it.

But their original material is far more often disappointing than not.   For example: Dorne.

To be clear – it isn’t always disappointing – Arya + Tywin, Arya + The Hound, Hold The Door, Hardholme are all excellent interactions that aren’t in the books, or at least not as fully fleshed out.

But on the other hand….  Dorne was just a catastrophe, from start to finish…   Arya’s ridiculous escape from the Faceless Men… Tommen’s sudden conversion to the Faith, supported by an incomprehensible plan of Margaery’s… Sansa’s inexplicable interactions with Jon before the Battle of the Bastards.    These are just layers upon layers of evidence of a lack of creative vision that beguile this whole post-book process.

None of these things feel natural, or flow logically from the stuff that came before.   Over and over again, these feel like the creative process has boiled down to: “How do we get X to do Y?”… 60 seconds later… “Well, screw it, we’re out of ideas, let’s just force it to happen”

It’s appalling.

I made excuses for Lucas in the prequel trilogy, until I couldn’t anymore.   And unfortunately, I can’t make excuses for Benioff & Weiss for season 6 either.   Maybe it’s part of the complexities of a 10 show format – maybe 7 longer shows will give them room to breathe, and the stories will be more elegant.   Maybe this was all the forcing they had to do, and everything from this point on will flow naturally.   I’m not going to be a pessimist, partly because it’s not my nature, and mostly because I find most pessimists to be the most uninteresting people on the planet.

fingers crossed.



http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/06/22/reluctant-dislike-for-benioff-weisss-post-book-work/feed/ 0
Courage http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/05/24/courage/ http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/05/24/courage/#respond Tue, 24 May 2016 12:50:09 +0000 http://www.picobusiness.com/?p=1186

http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/05/24/courage/feed/ 0
Oddsmaking on Game of Thrones http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/05/09/oddsmaking-on-game-of-thrones/ http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/05/09/oddsmaking-on-game-of-thrones/#respond Mon, 09 May 2016 17:10:41 +0000 http://www.picobusiness.com/?p=1181 Read moreOddsmaking on Game of Thrones]]> Spoilers from S06E03, obviously:







Spoilers incoming!   Don’t read beyond this if you don’t want to be spoiled!








  • Odds Smalljon Umber is playing Ramsay for a fool
    • 1:1
  • Odds Osha gets tortured or beaten
    • 3:1  (i.e. 75% chance)
  • Odds that the wolf head is actually Shaggydog
    • 1:1
      • This is essentially a conjoined estimate with the Smalljon – I find it unlikely that the Smalljon would kill Shaggydog and be part of the Great Northern Conspiracy.   And I find it unlikely that he wouldn’t kill Shaggydog but yet be loyal to Ramsay.
  • Odds that we find Lyanna in the ToJ in episode 4:
    • 1:3  (25% chance)
  • Odds that Drogon makes a flyby of the Dosh Khaleen
    • 3:2 (60% chance)
  • Odds that Sansa meets Jon in Epsiode 4
    • 1:2 (33% chance)
  • Odds of Cleganebowl at any point this season
    • 1:9 (11% chance)
  • Odds Rhaegal and Viserion break out of their prison in Episode 4
    • 1:3


http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/05/09/oddsmaking-on-game-of-thrones/feed/ 0
Game of Thrones: The Two Towers http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/04/25/game-of-thrones-the-two-towers/ http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/04/25/game-of-thrones-the-two-towers/#respond Mon, 25 Apr 2016 16:43:56 +0000 http://www.picobusiness.com/?p=1178 Read moreGame of Thrones: The Two Towers]]> Reddit is killing it this morning

“Not idly do the rings of Valyria fall”

“She may yet be alive”


“The great grass sea, home of the horse lords…… DAARIO!, what do your sell-sword eyes see!?”

“They’re taking the queen to Isengard


http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/04/25/game-of-thrones-the-two-towers/feed/ 0
Monty Python and the Imprisoned Khaleesi http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/04/25/monty-python-and-the-imprisoned-khaleesi/ http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/04/25/monty-python-and-the-imprisoned-khaleesi/#comments Mon, 25 Apr 2016 16:35:40 +0000 http://www.picobusiness.com/?p=1176 Read moreMonty Python and the Imprisoned Khaleesi]]> The greatest joy in life is seeing a beautiful woman naked for the first time and killing an enemy Khal.
The two, two greatest joys in life are seeing a beautiful woman naked for the first time, killing an enemy Khal and breaking a horse.
The three, three greatest joys in life are seeing a beautiful woman naked for the first time, killing an enemy Khal, breaking a horse and sacking a city.
Amongst the greatest joys in life are such diverse elements as:
* sacking a city
* breaking a horse
* killing an enemy Khal
* Crushing your enemies
* Seeing them driven before you.
* Hearing the lamentation of the women
* Seeing a beautiful woman naked for the first time
Yes, but apart from those things, what have the Romans ever done for us?
http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/04/25/monty-python-and-the-imprisoned-khaleesi/feed/ 1
Tying Rogue One to the prequels, Star Wars and The Force Awakens http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/04/20/tying-rogue-one-to-the-prequels-star-wars-and-the-force-awakens/ http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/04/20/tying-rogue-one-to-the-prequels-star-wars-and-the-force-awakens/#respond Wed, 20 Apr 2016 13:11:24 +0000 http://www.picobusiness.com/?p=1173 Read moreTying Rogue One to the prequels, Star Wars and The Force Awakens]]> What if Padme Amidala had an otherwise unmentioned younger sister?

She would naturally hate the Empire, since the second in command of the Empire killed her sister.   So she would quite reasonably want to help the Rebels fight against the Empire.  In other words, she could be Jyn Erso in Rogue One.

Maybe she fades into the background after that, and after the events of Star Wars – RotJ she settles down, has a daughter, and then gets her cover blown and has to abandon her daughter to protect her.   In other words, she could be Rey’s mother.

This would explain why the characters played by Natalie Portman, Daisy Ridley and Felicity Jones all look alike.   It would also explain why there seems to be some sort of family connection between Rey and the Skywalker/Solo clan – she’s Luke and Leia’s first cousin, once removed, and Ben/Kylo’s second cousin.




http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/04/20/tying-rogue-one-to-the-prequels-star-wars-and-the-force-awakens/feed/ 0
Batman Vs Superman http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/03/28/batman-vs-superman/ http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/03/28/batman-vs-superman/#respond Mon, 28 Mar 2016 15:02:20 +0000 http://www.picobusiness.com/?p=1164 Read moreBatman Vs Superman]]> I loved this movie, because I thought it explored several of the key challenges and ideas in superhero ethics and morality.    It borrows heavily from concepts and imagery discussed in The Dark Knight Returns (the comic book), and I loved the connection it established between Bruce and Clark.

Having said that, I thought it was overstuffed with plotlines – there’s so much going on that it becomes a confusing, muddled mess of a story.   Which is a shame, because each plotline individually is useful and interesting, but I usually like to enjoy my appetizers and desserts as separate elements from the main course, not all poured into a bowl together.

Spoilers below









Turn back now if you don’t want to be spoiled!






I think introducing Doomsday this early was a massive mistake.    It totally ruined the potency of that enemy.    Even using Zod to create Bizarro would have been too much, too soon.  Lex should have used something else, something technological, perhaps laced with kryptonite.    He should have taken Zod’s body and hid it, leaving it to future movies to figure out what’s going on.   Build up a storyline here, like the Infinity Gems.

I think the introduction of Wonder Woman was incredibly forced.   She’s just shoehorned in with essentially no character development at all.

I think the death of Superman was a mistake – again, leave that for future movies.  Let the ongoing debate about the implications of his power continue to be explored, instead of tied up in a neat bow of self-sacrifice, which frankly doesn’t really work.   If people think he’s a threat, killing a monster who was born minutes earlier will not make them trust him more.

I think the movie fumbles on the loss of Clark’s secret identity.   Lois and Martha are in mortal peril at every moment from this day forward, which sucks for them, sucks for the storyline and generally doesn’t help with this movie.  It was sloppy and annoying.

I think adding a dead Robin was a waste of everyone’s time.

One of the most epic elements of The Dark Knight is the way you realized in the end that The Joker has been playing the town like a fiddle the entire time.  Every step has a purpose, every action leads him closer and closer to his end-goal – revealing to The Batman that the city of Gotham is not worth saving.      Lex should have been just as clever, just as devious in manipulating Batman and Superman into fighting, instead of the hamfisted “kill him or else” bullshit.   It was beneath his legacy of brilliant evil, beneath Jessie’s acting ability and just generally shitting storytelling.    Ultimately what I get from this situation is that Zach Snyder, while quite talented, is not as clever as Christopher Nolan.


Ok, enough bitching.  Here’s what I liked

  • I agree completely that Superman’s existence on Earth brings lots of trouble.   It is a worthwhile debate whether the planet is better off without him or not.
  • I also agree completely that putting yourself in a position where you “just have to trust him” is not an answer.   You need to have a contingency plan.   Both Lex and Bruce have the right idea here.
  • I like how the powered armor and the desiccated post-nuke Superman are imagery borrowed from The Dark Knight Returns.
  • I like the idea that Lex is trying to manipulate the world into hating Superman.   That should have been explored more.
  • I like that Bruce’s frustration with/ire towards Superman was deeply personal.  It should also have been explored more.
  • I like the epitaph – “if you would see his monument, look around you”.  Very nice.  It should have been the formal inscription, not a spray painted tag

In another post, I will write up my own concept of a script which borrows from this one, but holds together more nicely.

http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/03/28/batman-vs-superman/feed/ 0
Thought Experiment http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/03/16/thought-experiment-2/ http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/03/16/thought-experiment-2/#comments Wed, 16 Mar 2016 21:48:02 +0000 http://www.picobusiness.com/?p=1160 Read moreThought Experiment]]> Let’s say I was the FBI, and I found a fantastic back door into the iPhone.

What would I do with that information?

Well, I might very well pick a very public fight with Apple, demanding that they open their phones’ firmware.  And ensure that the disagreement with Apple was well-covered in the media.

“Apple won’t open their phones for the FBI.” Terrorists would muse.  “We can use iPhones, and the FBI won’t be able to get to our information.”

Like I said, just a thought experiment.

http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/03/16/thought-experiment-2/feed/ 1
and we’re back http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/03/15/and-were-back/ http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/03/15/and-were-back/#respond Tue, 15 Mar 2016 20:52:55 +0000 http://www.picobusiness.com/?p=1157 Read moreand we’re back]]> Another hack, another takeover of my wordpress blog.  This one was more insidious – they left the main page alone, and I only discovered the problem when I happened to want to write an article, and couldn’t.

I had to do some fun stuff with the database to support the upgrade to 4.x – I’m fairly proud of how I was able to recover all my posts


http://www.picobusiness.com/2016/03/15/and-were-back/feed/ 0