Episode-2042- Listener Calls for 7-13-17 — 28 Comments

    • Doesn’t seem to be as bad as it sounds. It appears that this provides a standard for how to do DRM but most people that want to DRM content already do so.

      • From what I understand is that making DRM easier will make more companies do it. And there are special laws around DRM that don’t allow for fair use. So, if you break into content that is DRMed you can’t by law, break into it and use the content as fair use. Maybe if someone else breaks it and then you use it for fair use then it would be OK. So, what would normally be OK and legal would be breaking the law with DRM.

        And since DRM doesn’t actually work there doesn’t seem to be any other reason to do DRM besides having the law that says you aren’t allowed to break into it.

        I guess we’ll see how it shakes out.

  1. Thanks for answering my question. It is the answer I suspected I was going to get, but had to ask anyway.

    I am very glad someone else shares my opinion on net neutrality. A lot of my friends want it and want it for noble reasons. I don’t because of what you said. It cracks the door open a bit more for the government to help themselves on regulation.

    It is why I am against federally mandated reciprocity of concealed carry. I like the idea, but I want the fed to have as little to do with guns as possible.

  2. Some funny timing on today’s plant questions: I was listening to that segment on the way to meet a friend for dinner. She is a botanist, PhD with over 40 yrs experience, now has a large (100+) sheep flock. I told her about the questions. How much time will it take to learn what these gentlemen asked? More than a lifetime!
    I’m probably older than your average listener (if there is such a thing), and I’m so often thankful that I learned in the era of BOOKS. That has made my Internet use so much more focused. I agree with all that Jack said, but would add a point or two. One is, get some field guides. Field guides for trees and plants are organized exactly the way Jack described, by families. Also, field guides use line drawings, which are much easier than photos. Libraries have field guides, ditto most book sales. Anyone who feels really overwhelmed can start with “Golden Books” field guides. Don’t be put off because they might be in the kids’ section; they are really clear and good, and are geared just the way Jack described: learn the most common plants/trees in your area and then the less common ones are easier. I still use the Golden Guides I had as a child, they are that good.
    The other shortcut is to look for plant walks in your area. Check out your state & county Cooperative Extension, parks, open farm days, permaculture events, etc. It is much easier to learn from someone with experience.
    Thanks, lots of interesting variety today!

  3. We have a particular cat that has over time honed a begging call which sounds sort of like a baby both in tone and modulation, it works great on my wife, she doesn’t spot the manipulation and can,t resist feeding her when she hears it, and me trying to lean down the cat to go mousing.

  4. Someone once told me that a cat is by nature on the look out for prey most of the time, not necessarily to hunt at that moment but to build up knowledge of the preys patterns for futute knowledge when needed. The cat does not want to distrupt those patterns of its future prey, therefore it tries to keep a low profile, so it keeps its tail low.
    When it greets its owner with its tail in the air it is realy saying, look I scrafficed my hunting stealth to greet you, therefore you owe me a meal bigtime.

  5. To the caller asking about homesteading abroad-

    Jack’s got it right. Particularly with the things you “can do” vs. “can’t do” vs. “can’t officially do but everyone does anyway”. A LOT of countries have official restrictions on what foreigners can do, and even in the absence of those there can be social/cultural barriers or biases that get in the way. Here in Mongolia, the principle of “better to ask forgiveness than permission” seems to be the dominant mindset, and bending/breaking the rules seems to be a national past-time (sometimes nice; sometimes not, like when it comes to driving). But as a foreigner here, I have to be more cautious… there’s no particular bias against (most) foreigners, but we are “much easier to notice” and complaints/grievances against foreigners are likely to get more attention than those against locals.

    Some miscellaneous things to consider: 1) I would generally not recommend relocating abroad unless there’s something special (preferably more than one thing) drawing you TO the location in question; 2) A lot of the little things you take for granted are often much harder, even if you speak the local language but especially if you don’t (it can still be worth it, as long as you’re willing to put in the extra effort required); 3) Making a plan and reserving resources for a reasonable ‘Exit Strategy’ to relocate back to your home country or elsewhere is essential; 4) If you go for it, don’t hold too many expectations as to what it will be like or what we think it ‘should’ be like… the foreign residents here that seem to have the most problems adjusting tend to share the quality of having a lot of expectations (typically of the “this isn’t how it is at home” or the “overly romantic ideal of the local culture” variety) going in. Setting aside notions of “how things should be” and being open and adaptable are extremely helpful when living abroad.

  6. Your description on how to learn with the example on plants is spot on. When I was in college doing Electrical Engineering I was doing really well. But then I started taking too many classes and got behind. After that it was down hill. I still did OK, but not nearly as well if I had just slowed down on the number of classes and spent more time studying those. And now that I’m doing computer programming the actual application of the knowledge I’m learning really helps cement what I’m learning.

    So, basically, how to learn comes down to this learn what you need to at the moment and apply that knowledge and actually take the proper amount of time to actually learn it. That’s not to say you shouldn’t learn things that you don’t actually need to learn, it just means the things you learn but don’t apply might not stick with you quite as well.

    My daughter was asking why she needed to do narration. Well, it is to cement what she is learning. Because you actually need to do things to learn. Charlotte Mason was definitely right in that respect.

  7. Regarding Net Neutrality.
    I agree 100% if not for the fact the the majority of people in the US do NOT have a choice in their high speed provider. Most people live in towns, and at least where I have lived my whole life you had a franchise agreement from the town with a single cable provider. Therefore sure you could get 50gb cable but only from the guy that the city agreed was ok, and that contract is 10-20 years. Sure you could get DSL at MAYBE 6gb or “wireless” at, something awful and high latency but you couldn’t get the other cable company. If Franchise agreements would get thrown out and true open market competition was allowed Net Neutrality would not be necessary.

    • Bub, If it is the case that only one provider is allowed by the city (which is true in many new developments) then if the provider starts charging too much (or doesn “unfair practices) you will get people complaining to the city which will open up to other providers. If the cost is too high people will start looking for alternatives. In Utah a coworker was in that situation and he ended up using a wireless provider that could get around the cities agreement.

      I understand why a provider would want to make an agreement like that since it is expensive to lay the cable. But I would think there would be a stipulation that once you get your investment back you will allow competition. (Although that still doesn’t justify the city making the monopoly).

      • Not to mention that

        1. So the argument is government is the problem (granting a monopoly) so we need more government.

        2. Net neutrality doesn’t say what amount a provider can charge only that all traffic must be treated the same, this would raise costs even with more then one provider.

        3. There are other options even in a place were say AT&T is the only provider because they are not the only provider. There are very often wireless options and there are always satellite options. While satellite options are not good for someone like me uploading huge files when we had it in our home in Arkansas it was fine for typical home user use. But more and more WiMax is being rolled out, companies are putting fricken transmitters in air planes, etc. This problem is a short term think if you allow it the market is gonna market.

  8. Jack, Would it be possible for you to clip out your “net neutrality” part of this as a stand alone on youtube? I’d like to share it with some John Oliver fans I know.

  9. Excellent explanation on net neutrality. I was a networking expert at the bit and byte level working for Dell Computers. However, when I wanted to set up a working network, I called an expert like you, Jack.

    Net neutrality is the equivalent of passing a law making pi equal to 3. Yes, it will simplify things, but don’t be surprised when things don’t fit.

    I received an email from my Congressman, a guy I like, telling me how important it is to pass net neutrality. I replied that his law was going to break the Internet, and added…

    “You guys passed a law eliminating spam in my email box, but I still get spam in my email box.”

    I’m simplifying the exchange here. My Congressman (or his aide) and I went back and forth a bit, but when I told him he was going to break the Internet he didn’t reply.

    Alex Shrugged

  10. If you are in the pacific northwest, there is a great book called Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast for identifying lots of plants in the area. There might be books for other areas of the country. Jack is right Genius goes a long way to speeding up the process. Also, check with your local master gardeners association and colleges they might have an online listing. Also USDA has a good plant database.

  11. Jack, I have eaten fermented sweet potatoes as a side dish at a few Sichuan restaurants in the China town area in Houston. Great stuff. Daikon is another great root vegetable to ferment as well.

  12. IT/Network professional here…I saw the banners you described on several sites. The young folks are losing their minds over this and have completely drunk the kool-aid, thanks to the misleading name (net neutrality) this thing has. Thanks for setting the record straight

  13. Hi Jack! I heard this episode today, and have a larger comment for the “Should I move to South America?” question. Thanks for the reference about our attempts to move to Panama. (Kelly and her family in Panama). ! I have wanted to write the reasons as to why to NOT migrate to Central America, or to do the homework required (which we thought we did) and beyond what the bloggers on “best places to retire” will tell you. The “shark attack” is strong if you state too many reasons why NOT to consider central America to move to, so no one writes about it honestly. Here at TSP, people will want real facts… and Observations for other places too: I Loved Cuenca when i visited, and lived 2 years in Chile, loving many things about it, I traveled the beaches of Ecuador, Peru, so this story is of my experience of Panama should give questions one might ask before going anywhere in Latin America. Its very difficult to get a residential or working visa at any of these countries.

    Here is what I found In Panama:

    1) Can you be there and WORK there legally. Most places this is the deal breaker. Living and making an earning with the need for marketing is impossible illegally. My partner is a chiropractor and no “doctors” are allowed to practice without being Panamanian. Even though chiropractic is not medicine, the rules applies by association, kind of.

    2) Medicine. Most Doctors were trained in Mexico City, a world and decade from American training. They told us we needed to manage my son’s type 1 diabetes with a 50% carbohydrate diet (we were paleo). Archaic! that is a fast way to get their feet cut off and go blind. but the pens were new and pumps were only available in the capital. The bill was nice, $250 for a week in the hospital and 24 hrs in the ICU, but, the info was terrible, He still has pain 2 years later in the place of the TB shot when they scared us into giving him that ONE vaccine.

    3)Visas: First of all, your marriage does not count in Panama. Even when you go through the FBI, finger printed back ground check, and the int’l notorization of your marriage and kids, etc. it only counts for immigration, not for the local govt. So you have to get married in Panama to have survivor rights to any co-owned property. and the gov’t takes %25 off of EVERYTHING with an 8 year probate process. To get married, you have to have a full blood test, take an oath ceremony that you are single, and then go to 3 offices to pay and get photo copies of all documents to then on another 3rd day married, pledging to the code of family conduct, then in 2 weeks you can get your official stamp, then proceed with your $4000 family residency visa only if you have a reputable lawyer, which are hard to find. We did the blood test twice because our lawyer went on vacation and our 1 week results needed to be done again when she cam back a week later. In the end, we weren’t married because his signature didn’t EXACTLY match is passport, and instead of dealing with it, we decided to bail and go home.

    5)Bank accounts. To have a bank account, you need a letter of recommendation from your bank, a year of banking records, and a ton of other papers all taking money to VET you. Then 5 trips back to the bank Because your signature didn’t match the one in your passport. Oh and your spouse is not on the account unless she has the same documents, and there are no survivor rights unless MARRIED in Panama, otherwise the STATE gets it all, even the car, which can only be put in one name.

    6)Protection?? OMG, this was the most unnerving. There is a UN treaty that minors “cannot be prosecuted for violent crimes” so…. The gangs hire minors to do the stealing. When I was there men were shot in front of wives, (oops robbing the wrong Canadian house) and a woman followed from her ATM withdrawal in mid day home to be all stabbed up and robbed. The minor was released 4 days later to his family. Robberies were weekly. Old and young. There is a saying that Americans are just walking $ signs. We had voice activated alarms telling us someone was not he porch or in the driveway and we locked the doors behind the person that left the house with only a samurai sword to protect us. Paranoia was really intense after every American or Canadian Break in.

    7) They don’t want you here. Americans started going to Panama about 20 years ago buying up the beautiful lands and making land too expensive for locals. The resentment is palpable to the point of always watching your back just because you look gringo. The Natives are treated soooooo much worse by Panamanians (latinos) than anyone. and you will be in trouble if you offer them more than 14$ a day for ag labor. The Latinos don’t want you to upset the labor deal. Latinos look at you like “why are you here, what do you want to take our land, and please go away”. I felt like if I moved into their beautiful lands, I would be a target.

    8) Be careful who you hire, they own you. Socialism 101. Story after story of workers stealing and not working, unable to be fired. Like a good labor union driven country, once you hire someone for over a few months, you have to pay them 12 months while they work 11, insurance, and leave. You cannot fire them if they are inept or unlawful. You have no rights as an employer. Don’t try to pay them fir wages or the local neighbors will harass you for making it harder on them.

    9) you can’t start just any business. If your business (hotel restaurant, real estate, etc) competes with Panamanians you cannot do it. No permit. I wanted to open a massage school but that is seen as a brothel so it is not legal yet. and Of course, if you try to work under the table, other Americans will turn you in or police you because they want you to go through the same hoops as they did taking at least 4-6 months and 4-6$k to do it. Americans will make sure you behave.

    10) Lawyers are notoriously corrupt, and you need a lawyer to turn on your water and electric. Don’t think you can go there and just rent a place easily. Rentals usually have no appliances, so you have to buy a stove, washer and dryer, etc. just to get up and running, let alone furniture. There is a gringo price and a native price. You need a lawyer to turn on your electric and water which could take a month.

    11) Spanish?? If you do not speak spanish you have no business living there. Unfortunately you are in part the people who give Americans a bad name going there with no access to the community through communication. You can get by, but they will dislike you and you will feel it. You will have more compassion for the Mexicans who speak no english in this country.

    12) Poo in the water anyone? After my youngest got giardia, I requested a report from anyone about water quality in Boquete, the town everyone flocks to ( and flees from). I got almost 24 letters of personal experiences with water accessibility or cleanliness. When I posted them of the FB page, of course I got the “haters” (mostly liberal Americans) that accused me of causing problems and that I should go home. The rest were grateful. We took our Berkey water filter and went no where without using our own water. Most all water systems in that area (according to a study published and shared) are contaminated by coliform. Giardia, according to the doctor in David, is affecting about 5 kids a day. The water system is spotty, mostly unreliable especially notoriously in some neighborhoods, and black water in others in certain seasons. A split white PVC pipe , exposed to light like many are, will remain spewing water for months unattended.

    Water management? New subdivisions are going up all the time uphill from the next (better climate for foreigners). These people don’t know about slow, sink and store for the 4 months dry/fire season. They only see the rain as a waste, and a danger as it comes down torrentialy ever day for months from Sept to Nov. Flooding is the result downstream.

    13) Montsanto is alive and well in Panama. The ‘bread basket’ is a bastion of fungicides, herbicides and pesticides. The hospital is full of workers and their children, mostly native, that tame the greenery with bare hands and no protective equipment. Walking my dog every day through an new housing development, I endured the stench of dead jungle in Round-up areas used in place of the machete. That kind of death leaves a smell so bad and strong and for indefinite time, the machete is the only way to tame the growth but is seasonally applied. Round up forever changes the forest to a smelly wasteland, barren for floods and new homes with sod, no trees for the mid day intense heat and sun. They need permaculture!! There is almost NO ORGANIC FOOD! except for the root vegetables and some fruits. If you want to be more grateful for the organic movement in the USA, Just go there, and you will see how advanced we really are.

    14) THEY DONT WANT YOUR HELP. Panamanians are very prideful and nationalistic. If you offer your help they are offended for the most part. I tried to translate the mayoral weekly video for our American community on FB and was sent a prompt legal letter to cease and desist because I was not their hired official translator and that they did not currently have one so no translations could be done. Rumor had it that when Columbia wanted to help that have safer water systems, that they refused any outside help. This is seen to be common…. even missionaries have a hard time finding out where help is welcomed. If you set up electrical or solar systems, your copper wire will be stolen in short order, if you are not there to guard it.

    15) No guns allowed!!! Even the police with machine guns on motor cycles are not allowed to carry bullets. So even though you might read that guns are going to be allowed, they are not.

    16) don’t bring in precious metals, How will you get them back out if you don’t declare them when you want to leave?? There are no banks to take them, you are screwed if that is your wealth, this is a case for bit coin maybe.

    17) There is no mail, no addresses, no street signs. If you need to receive a card from the US or a package, there are Amazon postal shops you pay a huge fee to receive from an address in Florida that sends to your name in that city. We are SO lucky with Amazon prime.

    18) No political statements nor even bumper stickers on your car are allowed by foreigners. You are not allowed a voice. SLANDER laws are very strict so you cannot speak out against anyone.

    19) Customer service is not their thing. I love that we pride ourselves on that here.

    I didn’t want to believe the episode 1464 with Fernando AGUIRRE ON STRATEGIC RELOCATION AND BUGGING OUT but once there I realized he was 100% right. There are places in the states that are worth relocating to. I was so excited to leave this country. Mad at all the regulations (against organic farming, water capturing, and free trade on farm products), mad at our government’s corruptions and Monsanto. Then I left to find a government with 10x the amount of fingers into your every life and lack of basic rights being a foreigner. I knew of many Americans serving 6 months to 3 years for being caught with pot. We do not understand their systems, we don’t know what we don’t know.

    If you find a place you want to maybe move. Go there for a year, don’t sell it all at home and go on a hope and a prayer. You will spend up all the money you have/had. That 4 months cost us almost 40k in moving fees, legal fees, furniture, leases, and travel even for the dog. Luckilly we got the silver back out!!! it was an expensive lesson and many others did the same thing, selling all, packing a shipping container and having no room to put it all after the nightmare of getting it there and to the remote towns that Americans like. Things are so different than we are used to, we cannot foresee the intense risked posed by unknown laws, litigation staked to take all you have.

    Of the 200 families that moved to Boquete at the same time we did, most have returned, having lost it all. There are beautiful people and places there, but it is not a place for kids as there are almost no schools that you would want to send your gringo kids to. (if they aren’t fluent in Spanish). And homeschooling is dependent on good internet access. Books are hard to find, and Amazon services are not affordable for books. (pages rot in the humidity).
    At this point in time I would not do Costa Rica either. It has become so expensive that crimes very high. I heard too many bad stories of beatings and robberies. Central America at this moment is in great strife from drugs running up and down and from economic hard times in Columbia and Venezuela with economic refugees. To me it felt like Central America is already approaching the hard times we fearing this country.

    As Jack and others stress, when times get tough you really need your local community, people who know and love you that can pull together. In other countries you are an outsider, an invader and a target. It is palpable. People are actually hungry and homeless and there are not the social services for them like here. You are always at risk of theft of self and property, Who wants to live that way, always feeling at odds with your surroundings. I never thought I had a ‘Montana’ culture, until I couldn’t wait to get back here and finally feel at home again.

    I would go back for a visit to some wonderful people I met that are still there, but i would know it would be a risk to go. The roads/drivers alone are a huge risk. There is some good there, but you pay high costs to get it. The nature is pretty but the “chitra” (“coffee flies) bites make it not as fun to go visit.

    The I experienced and ran from the intense sun, poisonous snakes, and draining heat is as Bill Mollison states so skillfully in the tropics chapter of the Designers manual: “Romantic literature on the “easy” tropical life leaves out the skin cancers, rodent ulcers, dengue fever, filaria, malaria, chronic bowel and skin disease and the constant battle with rampant growth that is an everyday experience at Latitudes 0-25°. That, and the pythons, ticks, termites, rain, mould and lethargy caused by heat exhaustion. With the increasing loss of atmospheric ozone, it is folly for fair or red-haired Europeans to expose bare skin to the tropical sun – a cause of skin cancer in Australia and “haole rot” (a form of fungal bleaching of the skin) in Hawaii. Humid heat induces a lethargy compounded by chronic illness in many populations. Waterborne and mosquito-transmitted diseases are almost impossible to totally control, given the aerial reservoirs of water developed by palms and bromeliads.

    Just go visit and don’t plan to move there until you have all the legalities figured out. Because its is ablsoutely true that next to a mountain, Jack says the mountain of laws and bureaucracy are enough to send you running home where you can find almost all climates here and be left in peace to do as you are born with all rights of being in your own country to do. Take advantage of what we have here before dragging spouses or kids abroad with the idea of ‘for good”.

    For my TSP community
    Yours truly
    -Kelly Ware

    • Thanks for your comment Kelly. It was very insightful. Please don’t get offended by the below comment but it is something that I really don’t understand.

      Yeah, I always wonder why people buy a home without actually living in an area first, even here in the states. It seems really strange to me why people would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home and not even know the area very well. Let alone leave the country without living in the foreign country as a long-term tourist for a while first.

      It’s bad enough to rent in a location without talking to what will be your new neighbors.

    • @Kelly: Holy cow… your experience in Panama really makes me appreciate the (relatively speaking) easier situation my family has. What you experienced with the medical situation, relative weakness in customer service, and to a partial extent getting along without the local language holds true here in Mongolia as well, but just about everything else barely holds a candle to what you experienced. Thank you for sharing… I’ll try to remember all this on those occasions when I get frustrated about how some things operate here, just to remind myself things could always be worse 🙂

      • This is all starting to make me wonder, what is it like to immigrate to the US, assuming the following.

        1. You are not in some refugee program, given some free place to live.
        2. You are not wealthy like my partner Neil is and just brought you business here.
        3. You don’t speak English well.
        4. You are here legally.

        One can really begin to see why there are things like “Chinatowns” and “Little Koreas” can’t you?

        We think of America as an easy place to live, not perfect but fairly easy. Buying land isn’t hard you just need money but what if you don’t even understand the process and don’t speak English yet?

        My grandparents on my dad’s side came to the US from Romania (though they were Ukrainian and spoke that language and THANKS to the new unabomber series that now finally makes sense by the way). They came to NY like everyone at the time, but they went strait to central PA no one could remember exactly why, because almost everyone on their road came together, but someone had to come first. My guess is that person was the connection. They worked in the early coal mines, my Grandfather was just a kid when WWI started but ended up drafted into WWII, in between he worked the mines too, when he returned from the war he had been with the Navy and become a Seabee, so he had really gained that skill.

        I sort of just took for granted that my family just sort of came here and started doing what ever was needing done, and I guess they did so.

        But now thinking back things like the Ukrainian Catholic Church they all went to takes on a new meaning. It was a hub, it was where others spoke the language they knew, etc. I do know this, they all learned English as swiftly as they could.

        • My wife, her brother, and her sister’s family for the most part fell in the category you describe. They all had basic English proficiency and were able to communicate, but certainly not what you’d call ‘fluent’ at that time.

          They came over as students in the late 90’s/early 00’s (her brother came first) with relatively little money, in my wife’s case I think less than $1000. They initially went to Kansas as that’s where her brother first settled, then soon moved to Denver along with some other Mongolian immigrants. There definitely appeared to be a ‘clumping effect’ in their immigrant community, with newer immigrants/students tending to gravitate to the few areas where the first ones immigrated to (Denver, Chicago, LA, Bay Area). Given the relatively tiny number involved, remaining isolated amongst themselves and not improving their English probably wasn’t an option.

          This is just my opinion based off of the Mongolian immigrants I met in Denver, but I think this is part of why most of them seem to have been relatively successful in getting jobs or creating businesses that are able to support their families and in some cases prosper quite well. This ‘success’ also seems to apply to the ones who are there illegally (usually overstaying their student visas), not just the ones like my wife and her siblings who worked to obtain permanent residency.

          Regardless, the Mongolian community (in Denver anyway) still seems pretty tight-knit… no matter how well you acclimate, having that sense of cultural community I guess remains important. It’s easier for me to see that now that I’M the foreigner…. while I don’t associate/hobnob regularly with many of the Americans here, I DO make liberal use of the Internet, Skype, and other technologies to keep in regular touch with friends and family and current happenings on the other side of the world.