Saturday, June 29, 2019

A link to an article from Nautilus by Noson S. Yanofsky

I found the following worth a read -- or two.

Kolmogorov Complexity and Our Search for Meaning

From the last two paragraphs of the linked article:

While we travel through the seemingly random events in our life, we are searching for patterns, and structure. Life is full of “ups and downs.” There are the joys of falling in love, giggling with your child, and feeling a sense of great accomplishment when a hard job is completed. There is also the pain of a crumbling relationship, or the agony of failing at a task after great effort, or the tragedy of the death of a loved one. We try to make sense of all this. We abhor the feeling of total randomness and the idea that we are just following chaotic, habitual laws of physics. We want to know that there is some meaning, purpose, and significance in the world around us. We want a magical story of a life, so we tell ourselves stories. 

Sometimes the stories are simply false. Sometimes we lie to ourselves and those around us. And sometimes the patterns we identify are correct. But even if the story is correct, it is not necessarily the best one. We can never know if there is a deeper story that is more exact. As we age and suffer from ennui, we gain certain insights about the universe that we did not see before. We find better patterns. Maybe we get to see things more clearly. Or maybe not. We will never know. But we do know that the search is guaranteed to never end.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Total Operating Expenses: 2017 VW Jetta Wolfsburg Edition


Important Numbers: 2017 VW Jetta TSI Wolfsburg Edition as of Dec. 20, 2019

  • Fuel cost per km: $0.09 (Canada, southwestern Ontario)
  • Total cost to run car per km: $0.50*
  • Fuel consumption: 8.05 litres/100 kms (This climbs during the winter months as I do more in-city driving at that time.)
Present distance traveled: 30641 kms
Fuel used: 2465.82 litres
Fuel cost: $2721.17
Total out-of-pocket expenses: $15,426.54**

(** The above includes car payments, fuel costs, all maintenance charges, car washes, parking, etc.)
* Will change over time as distance traveled increases.

I had a 2011 VW Jetta TDI. Because of the diesel scandal, VW bought the car back at fair market value. VW Canada also paid a bonus to make full amends for their TDI lies. All in all, I got $16,700. I put it all into the purchase of a 2017 VW Jetta Wolfsburg Edition TSI.

I have a spreadsheet tracking all costs. The numbers above are from that spreadsheet.