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402 days. 402 (plus or minus… mostly minus) posts.

Tag: taxes

Day 101: Good Design

Thank goodness for good F/A’s (friend/accountants). I had a tax appointment with mine today and I left it impressed by his efficiency and depth of knowledge, and baffled by the fact that he seems to really enjoy accounting.

Towards the end of the appointment, I asked for some advice about a couple of my dormant retirement accounts from previous employment. Our conversation confirms why good graphic design is so important to each and every business (especially investment firms). As a relatively intelligent person and admittedly undereducated consumer, I must represent at least some part of the desired investment population.

Here’s how the conversation went:

Me: “So is there any benefit to combining those two 401(k)s into one account?”
F/A: “Probably not right now, unless one is performing better than the other.”
Me: “Well, one of them has nicer-looking graphs in their materials.”
F/A: “Like, the line goes up?”
Me: “Hm. There’s no line. I think I mean that the pie charts look nicer. They’re really clean.”
F/A: “That’s good, but you might want to look at the graphs.”
Me: “Yeah, ok. I’m sure the graphs look nicer too.”

Day 100: Borrowed from Bertrand

To celebrate 100 days of blogging, I’m taking a little blogging break tonight to figure out my taxes (Step 1. Look at pile of receipts. Step 2. Watch The Bachelor. Step 3. Look at pile of receipts again.). It’s going to be a long night.

While I shuffle paper and create the same spreadsheet five times over, I’m borrowing some content from philosopher, mathematician, historian and social critic Bertrand Russell.

Bertrand Russell

These are his 10 Commandments of Teaching. I love them and originally found them on my absolute favorite blog, Brain Pickings.

From Mr. Russell:

Perhaps the essence of the Liberal outlook could be summed up in a new decalogue, not intended to replace the old one but only to supplement it. The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows:

  1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
  2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
  3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
  4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
  5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
  6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
  7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
  8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
  9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
  10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.