Pluralistic: 31 May 2022

Today's links

Continue reading "Pluralistic: 31 May 2022"

Pluralistic: 30 May 2022

Today's links

Continue reading "Pluralistic: 30 May 2022"

Against Cozy Catastrophies

Cowering in a luxury bunker is a lousy retirement plan.

A lush lawn and garden hedge wall; through the gate and over the hedge, we see a smouldering, apocalyptic landscape. Desperate hands reach over the wall. In the foreground is a No Trespassing sign.
Djuradj Vujcic/CC BY 2.0; Gerald England/CC BY-SA 2.0; modified

In 1978, Jimmy Carter’s IRS created the 401(k) retirement program. Prior to this, most Americans had two ways to enjoy a dignified retirement: Social Security, and employer-provided defined-benefits pensions, which guaranteed you a proportion of your final salary every month from your retirement until your death.

The 401(k) was a third way to plan for retirement: you could gamble in the stock-market, and hope that you weren’t the sucker at the table. At first, this was a great deal: between the tax-breaks for 401(k) bets and generous employer-matching funds, many workers and unions were convinced to trade their sure-thing defined-benefits pensions for market-based alternatives.

Continue reading "Against Cozy Catastrophies"

Pluralistic: 27 May 2022

Today's links

Continue reading "Pluralistic: 27 May 2022"

Pluralistic: 26 May 2022

Today's links

Continue reading "Pluralistic: 26 May 2022"

Pluralistic: 25 May 2022

Today's links

Continue reading "Pluralistic: 25 May 2022"

Pluralistic: 24 May 2022

Today's links

Continue reading "Pluralistic: 24 May 2022"

Pluralistic: 23 May 2022

Today's links

Continue reading "Pluralistic: 23 May 2022"

Apple’s Cement Overshoes

80 pounds’ worth of malicious compliance in two Pelican cases.

A polluted, plastic-strewn ocean-bottom; prominent in the foreground is a smashed iPhone; overhead is Apple’s Think Different wordmark.
Conall/CC BY 2.0, modified

A Feature, Not a Bug

Apple CEO Tim Cook rang in 2019 with his annual shareholder letter, fulfilling his legal requirement to warn his investors about the risks the company saw on its horizon. One of Apple’s leading risks for 2019? Repair.

Apple makes a lot of money from the absence of repair. The transition from desktop PCs to laptops and then tablets and phones was a fantastic opportunity for hardware companies. A desktop PC might go obsolete, but it’s rare for your iMac to suffer a broken screen, fall into the toilet, get run over by a city bus, or fall down a sewer-grate.

Continue reading "Apple’s Cement Overshoes"

Pluralistic: 20 May 2022

Today's links

Continue reading "Pluralistic: 20 May 2022"