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Showing posts from January, 2014

Construction issues resolution in Sydney - Part 8

With the New Year resolutions came new wave of communication with the vendor and builder regarding unresolved defects from last year.

Vendor has been contacted by the owner, because:
- In the contract of sale there is a clause which states that all defects should be reported within 3 months after settlement and should be repaired by the vendor (and at the vendor's expense) within 6 months after settlement
- The vendor and their relevant contacts were notified numerous times about those defects and their response has been always "all issues will be resolved" which changed to "the building came with 12 months warranty and the responsibility passed on to all owners"
- The owner didn't have any direct agreements or contracts with the builder. Therefore it has been decided to work with the vendor.
An email correspondence with the vendor looked like this:
Owner (O): Hi, it's been two years since the defects were reported, but not fixed yet. What's your o…

Economy Lessons - National Debt

From time to time an opinion comes up regarding state deficits, national debts etc. Here's the insight on how it is relevant and whether it does influence wealth of the country or not:

"The balance of produce and consumption may be constantly in favour of a nation, though what is called the balance of trade be generally against it. A nation may import to a greater value than it exports for half a century, perhaps, together; the gold and silver which comes into it during all this time, may be all immediately sent out of it; its circulating coin may gradually decay, different sorts of paper money being substituted in its place, and even the debts, too, which it contracts in the principal nations with whom it deals, may be gradually increasing; and yet its real wealth, the exchangeable value of the annual produce of its lands and labour, may, during the same period, have been increasing in a much greater proportion. The state of our North American colonies, and of the trade whi…

Economy Lessons - Consumers and Merchants

We have not long ago discussed some aspects of sociology. There is an opinion that theories of 17-19th centuries are not applicable today - in the 21st century.

However as I am reading Adam Smith at the moment, here's quite an interesting quote:

"In every country it always is, and must be, the interest of the great body of the people, to buy whatever they want of those who sell it cheapest. The proposition is so very manifest, that it seems ridiculous to take any pains to prove it; nor could it ever have been called in question, had not the interested sophistry of merchants and manufacturers confounded the common sense of mankind. Their interest is, in this respect, directly opposite to that of the great body of the people. As it is the interest of the freemen of a corporation to hinder the rest of the inhabitants from employing any workmen but themselves; so it is the interest of the merchants and manufacturers of every country to secure to themselves the monopoly of the ho…

Economy Lessons - Invisible Hand

Now here's where "Invisible Hand" comes into play:

 "As every individual, therefore, endeavours as much as he can, both to employ his capital in the support of domestic industry, and so to direct that industry that its produce maybe of the greatest value; every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain; and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest, he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than wh…

Economy Lessons - Money

From time to time the question of money comes up in conversation. Many people tend to think that money can increase wealth or to help to resolve many issues relating to health, starvation and education.

However, there is an interesting quote from the 17th century: "It would be too ridiculous to go about seriously to prove, that wealth does not consist in money, or in gold and silver; but in what money purchases, and is valuable only for purchasing. Money, no doubt, makes always a part of the national capital; but it has already been shown that it generally makes but a small part, and always the most unprofitable part of it. It is not because wealth consists more essentially in money than in goods, that the merchant finds it generally more easy to buy goods with money, than to buy money with goods; but because money is the known and established instrument of commerce, for which every thing is readily given in exchange, but which is not always with equal readiness to be got in ex…

Economic Lessons - Consumer Influence on Price

Have been reflecting on some economy principles and rules for a while and here's what still doesn't came through to me in regard to Supply and Demand equilibrium and price results:

How do consumers influence the price? Say when we come to the grocery store or a super market we don't bargain, right?
Also with big purchases like furniture, expensive electronics, cars or real-estate we don't do many of those frequently enough to influence the price. There is another part of economy - B2B where "consumer" or one side of the relationship sometimes can influence the price and sometimes can't. Very often in case of businesses the procurement decisions are not made by one person and not always fair or economically efficient.  Or I am missing something here?

I just thought the Demand part of this system should "belong" to the consumer, hence the idea that the buyer should influence the equilibrium somehow. However, to me usually the consumer has only go…

Politics Lessons

"Such as they were, however, those arguments convinced the people to whom they were addressed. They were addressed by merchants to parliaments and to the councils of princes, to nobles, and to country gentlemen; by those who were supposed to understand trade, to those who were conscious to them selves that they knew nothing about the matter. That foreign trade enriched the country, experience demonstrated to the nobles and country gentlemen, as well as to the merchants; but how, or in what manner, none of them well knew. The merchants knew perfectly in what manner it enriched themselves, it was their business to know it. But to know in what manner it enriched the country, was no part of their business." - Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

Economy Lessons - Value

Interesting indeed:

"A rich country, in the same manner as a rich man, is supposed to be a country abounding in money; and to heap up gold and silver in any country is supposed to be the readiest way to enrich it. For some time after the discovery of America, the first inquiry of the Spaniards, when they arrived upon any unknown coast, used to be, if there was any gold or silver to be found in the neighbourhood? By the information which they received, they judged whether it was worth while to make a settlement there, or if the country was worth the conquering. Plano Carpino, a monk sent ambassador from the king of France to one of the sons of the famous Gengis Khan, says, that the Tartars used frequently to ask him, if there was plenty of sheep and oxen in the kingdom of France? Their inquiry had the same object with that of the Spaniards. They wanted to know if the country was rich enough to be worth the conquering. Among the Tartars, as among all other nations of shepherds, wh…

Politics Lessons

Getting closer to the core:

"All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind. As soon, therefore, as they could find a method of consuming the whole value of their rents themselves, they had no disposition to share them with any other persons. For a pair of diamond buckles, perhaps, or for something as frivolous and useless, they exchanged the maintenance, or, what is the same thing, the price of the maintenance of 1000 men for a year, and with it the whole weight and authority which it could give them. The buckles, however, were to be all their own, and no other human creature was to have any share of them; whereas, in the more ancient method of expense, they must have shared with at least 1000 people. With the judges that were to determine the preference, this difference was perfectly decisive; and thus, for the gratification of the most childish, the meanest, and the most sordid of all van…

Law Lessons

Here's some interesting passage regarding law and justice:

"Upon the authority which the great proprietors necessarily had, in such a state of things, over their tenants and retainers, was founded the power of the ancient barons. They necessarily became the judges in peace, and the leaders in war, of all who dwelt upon their estates. They could maintain order, and execute the law, within their respective demesnes, because each of them could there turn the whole force of all the inhabitants against the injustice of anyone. No other person had sufficient authority to do this. The king, in particular, had not. In those ancient times, he was little more than the greatest proprietor in his dominions, to whom, for the sake of common defence against their common enemies, the other great proprietors paid certain respects. To have enforced payment of a small debt within the lands of a great proprietor, where all the inhabitants were armed, and accustomed to stand by one another, woul…

Economy Lessons

Stumbled upon some words that I couldn't translate from the passage below:

"The ancient policy of Europe was, over and above all this, unfavourable to the improvement and cultivation of land, whether carried on by the proprietor or by the farmer; first, by the general prohibition of the exportation of corn, without a special licence, which seems to have been a very universal regulation; and, secondly, by the restraints which were laid upon the inland commerce, not only of corn, but of almost every other part of the produce of the farm, by the absurd laws against engrossers, regraters, and forestallers, and by the privileges of fairs and markets." - Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations.

"Engrosser" - one who takes the whole; a purchaser of such quantities in a market as to raise the price; a forestaller.
"Forestaller" - A person who forestalls, especially one who buys goods before they can be sold on the open market in anticipation of rising prices.

Staying fit in 2014

The year start:

Sunday 05/01 - 3 miles (4.8 km) run
Monday 06/01 - 10.7 miles (17.2 km) run
Tuesday 07/01 - 1.5 miles (2.5 km) run + 500 m swim
Wednesday 08/01 - 3 miles (4.8 km) run

Feel alright.

Frozen (2013)

Watched Frozen in cinema today. Really enjoyed it. All evil guys were punished properly this time. I was happy! Though as usual there was a couple of scenario glitches, but in general very positive and interesting story.

The only thing that disappointed - 30 minutes of ads with addition of some irrelevant Disney short cartoon before the movie. 30 fucking minutes! However it's not related to the movie itself.

I have read some reviews and opinions about the movie so far and some of the quite interesting. One of them in particular is that it is the first movie that teaches girls they don't need to be dependent on a male to resolve the problems. Well, this is not very accurate to say the least. Though indeed in the movie girls try to resolve the issues themselves, but it doesn't go very well without extra help no matter whether it comes from a male or a female.
What has truly amazed me was the idea that Disney explicitly portrayed true love in this movie not just as a path to …