Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   profit factor of eighteen
Monday, December 27 2004
When I'm paying my bills or filling out needlessly-sadistic rebate forms, I detest the experience so much that I actually have to detach from my physical body in order to keep from throwing things. The homunculus on the good ship Gus Mueller goes into his room and draws the blinds while more mechanical, less emotional "agents" do the work. But those agents are idiots and can't be relied upon to do anything right. I've actually caught them concluding my parent's address with my Hurley ZIP code. Today I found out that those agents made an even bigger mistake: they'd paid my credit card bill with a check cut from my sad little personal checking account, not the healthy and tanned joint account where most household financial action takes place. When news arrived that this check had bounced, I had to run into town and undo the damage. This involved mailing a new check to my credit card company and transferring sufficient funds into my personal account in case the credit card company tried to exercise the check a second time (something they didn't do, probably in hopes that I'd miss this month's payment and could be billed whatever the resulting fine would be). I also had to beg my bank to not charge me the $18 bounced check fee.
One wonders why banks and credit cards don't charge much greater fines than they do for their customers' transgressions. Obviously it doesn't cost my bank $18 when I bounce a check; if anything it costs them about $1 in terms of postage and labor to deal with the situation. So why do they charge me only eighteen times that amount instead of, say, 400 times? They set the number, so why not set it high? Is a profit factor of eighteen all they can get away with in a system in which I could get upset and move my money elsewhere? I have no doubt that they've done their calculations and eighteen is the number from which they feel they can get maximum beneficial results.

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