posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I have to tell my boss that I am not going to renew my contract at Awful Inc. and am really nervous about the whole thing and never finding any (better) job ever again.I have been working at Awful Inc. for almost two years now and my contract only has five more weeks to go. It is generally expected that people's contracts are renewed, and I don't think they expect me to say no. However, I have had enough. While I have some nice co-workers, the general organisation is dysfunctional, and my department of six people consists of my spineless boss who lets my awful co-worker run rampant, a second boss who is nice, but doesn't help and I think at one point tried to manipulate me with tears, two nice women and me. The awful co-worker who I share an office with is generally disliked by most people, but since she schmoozes up to my bosses (and kicks down to me), problems like her giving me only half the information I need, giving me wrong information or taking my calls in my absence and pretending I don't work there are not taken care of, and when I complain get blamed on me. Just last week, my boss told me that we had a communication problem, and once during a "mediation" meeting between us, I aired legitimate complaints that weren't personal issues, but had negative consequences on my ability to do my job, and she countered with "well, but she always looks so busy, so I couldn't tell her X and Y!" and other bullsh*t complaints and my boss accepted those and weighed them as much or more than mine. Nothing has changed so far; the woman still withholds information from me (she was there before me), refuses to call me by my name unless bosses are around, and spends all day making noise or sleeping while I work and my boss tells me my communication skills need work. I have had it. As you may know from previous questions, I have decided to go back to grad school in Japan and get married. I am excited about that and about getting away from here, but I also worry I might not find anything after I graduate in two years, especially since we will be bound to locations my husband can work as well. (We have different nationalities, language skills and qualifications.) I think that with my skills, I will never be out of a job, but I might not get to pick locations or industries, and I worry about getting my master's just to end up as an administrative person/secretary again because those are the most common jobs for people with my skillset. (I speak Japanese at a very high level, but have no interpreter training because the market for German - Japanese interpretation (or non-native English thrown into the mix) is not big.) I have had recruiters after me before, so I know I will have work, but I would hate to end up in a situation like this again where I don't like my job and still have to be away from my husband for work... I would prefer not to be a housewife, but I guess I could always stay at home for a while and try a writing project I wanted to do for ages, work part-time or volunteer a but to stay employable and keep looking. I have never quit a professional office job, but when I quit my job as an au-pair (I also asked for advice here), and in the end got yelled at by my host father for the inconvenience I caused him. I fear my boss' reaction tomorrow as well, especially since he probably expected me to give longer notice. (People who quit within a contract period need to give two months' notice, but I checked with our lawyer and she said my contract ends automatically and my boss should have just asked sooner.) I also feel like not everything is terrible there, the pay is good and some co-workers are great, so shouldn't I be happy I have a job at all in this economy? I know most of this is my anxiety speaking, and I also know I have been complaining about work for months to my family, friends, fiancé, therapist etc. and they all think I should quit. Am I being irrational here? If I quit, how do I do it?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Having recently become aware of SOP 303, I'm trying to understand its origin and to what extent the Obama administration actively wanted it.I know fairly well how the Internet works, and that a true Internet-wide kill switch is not technologically possible, though disruption and partial shutdowns are possible. However, this question is not about that; it's about the government's rights and procedures in this area. Articles from Mother Jones, Cnet and others explain roughly what SOP 303 is, and that it (may have?) started in the Bush administration. A story in CBS News from 2011 states that senators introduced a (different?) bill regarding the matter. I'm looking for a clearer explanation of the current status of this SOP 303, or whatever has replaced it, as well as its history and the Obama administration's support for it. What drives this question is a claim I saw somewhere that Obama "asked for an internet kill switch". I suspect this may not be a fair characterization, particularly if this governmental rule predated Obama's term in office. But right now, I don't know enough either way. In any case, this topic has become even more relevant given the election results.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
My desktop computer hasn't been doing so hot lately and one of these days I'm worried it's going to refuse to boot up altogether. So I've begrudgingly accepted that I will, at some point soon, need a new computer. Unfortunately, even though I've moved computers before, I do it so rarely that it's as stressful to me as moving house.So I was hoping to get some collective wisdom on ways to make the transition easier. I know to back up the pictures, documents, etc. to an external hard drive that I can then transfer to the new computer. As far as programs go, those will just need to be reinstalled, right, and can't be backed up and transferred? Is there anything else I should consider doing? Thanks!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
My friend's brother is abusing heroin again and we're trying to figure out if Vivitrol would be a good/realistic option?A year ago, my friend flew her brother out to the West Coast to get him away from an unhealthy environment and easy access to drugs. He had been snorting heroin and using hydrocodone daily. Her brother went back home to the Midwest but relapsed within 3 months. My friend lives far away, so she was unable to see/know for many months. Just recently everything has been falling apart and his debt is getting insane. Her brother has been abusing prescription painkillers since he was 17. He is now 27. The past 2.5 years he has been using heroin. (Snorting, not injecting.) About a month ago when everything was falling apart, he detoxed with suboxone and was relatively functional. He made it 3 weeks on just suboxone before he started "cheating" with dosages and amounts and just using the suboxone to manage withdrawal symptoms and scoring heroin when he could. He voluntarily allowed his long-term girlfriend and my friend to track him via GPS because he felt it would keep him in check. It did work for a while, but then he left his phone at work once and left early to get heroin. Now he's back to nodding off at random times whenever he's home and finally admitted he was using again. (This past week, any time someone confronted him about dozing off, he would get very upset and insist he was still just on suboxone.) My friend's parents are heartbroken. (They just found out he was using heroin a month ago, but they suspected he was on something because of his weird behavior and reluctance to come around.) In addition to us tracking him via GPS, his girlfriend manages all of their money and doesn't give him any physical access to cash. However, she did this last time and he still managed a way to run drugs to earn enough money to get his habit going. Since he is out of control again, my friend's parents confronted him. He agreed to go see them to talk over treatment plans. He refuses to do NA, because he hated the meetings and having so many heart-to-hearts with his sponsor. He's not much of a talker. We are hoping we can get him to commit to a consultation and to try Vivitrol. (Suboxone just isn't working, since it's so easy to play with the dosage and still do drugs.) Do you think Vivitrol is worth a shot? Do any of you have treatment plans you felt were really effective? I realize getting off of opiates completely is ideal, but we really don't think he'd be able to resist the temptation. My only worry about Vivitrol is that he will need to get 7-14 days completely clean before he is able to take it. We're not sure how we'll manage that. We wish we could send him off to rehab, but even intensive outpatient programs in our area are upwards of 6k a month, and we just can't afford that. Any comments/suggestions/advice/encouraging experiences are welcome. Thanks so much to everyone that took the time to read this.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
It's time for the depositions to come to an end. Married MeFi lawyers and spouses of lawyers, how have you learned to communicate & conflict resolve with one another as husband/wife first and attorney second?My spouse is a wonderful human being and a great attorney. We have a happy life together and love one another deeply. But we argue like children. Or rather, I argue like a child; he argues like someone who spent years studying & practicing the art of debate. Our conflict resolution typically goes something like this: Me: I'm upset; when I ___, you ___ and I feel ___. Can we figure out a solution? Him: 3-4 rapid-fire questions about specific, factual details. Now I'm suddenly debating the factual merits and/or semantics of my answers to one or more of these questions, rather than the original issue. If I attempt to steer back to that issue, we rinse & repeat until eventually I feel so unheard that I end the conversation. If, when we are both calmer, I try to express that I feel unheard or that the issue is still unresolved, he will usually respond with, "I'm sorry you feel that way." (Note: not I'm sorry for the original issue.) When he's frustrated about something I've said or done, we don't have a conversation so much as a deposition. He asks innocuous questions, establishing base facts, then goes for the 'Aha! Gotcha!'. He never experiences resolution because my hurt at being pounced upon (and his joy at 'winning') becomes what we discuss, rather than the original issue. I've tried to address communicating together in a more healthy, non-legal way with humor, seriousness, gently suggesting couples counseling, and even trying out different methods of engagement on my own. Nothing sticks. I've casually asked other attorney wives over the years and the general consensus is to simply roll over in the moment, "let them win", and buy something expensive a few days later. Which, barf. How do I convince him that compromise and resolution at home is so much more awesome than winning? That Socrates didn't know diddley squat about being married? Are there any interpersonal communication resources (besides the Should You Marry a Lawyer book) for conflict-prone professions? Alternatively, are there any resources that teach a left-brained person how to debate with a righty in a way that doesn't feel like nails on a chalkboard? Or do I just need to throw in the towel and start hiring expert witnesses on dirty dishes & driving directions?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Years ago someone gave me one package of carbon transfer 'paper' acquired from a thrift store, but rather than being paper it was on a plasticy backing. If I had to guess, the backing was mylar. The backside of the sheet was green with a pattern of gold stylized leaves. The carbon side was also shiny, and if I had to guess the carbon was suspended in wax. My google skills have failed me. Do you know what this stuff was, and better yet whether this exact product or something quite similar still exists?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
What are your solutions for sharing calendars with multiple people? The issue that I am encountering is that I have specific events that are relevant to share with more than one person, but those people would not/should not share the same calendar. So on my end that looks like multiple copies of the same event cluttering up MY calendar. HELP.In my ideal world, I could create an event and then tick off boxes of people that event gets shared with. Does any system like that exist (and I also get that I'm probably asking something that requires everyone to be using the SAME system, which is unlikely). And this is purely for personal calendaring and not work, btw. Any thoughts about alternate best practices are welcome (especially for those of you who may have shared calendars with your mom, ex-spouse, current partner, etc!). Thanks!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
The HD in my Macbook Pro from 2011 currently has Lion and Yosemite installed. I need Lion for old Creative Suite apps and Yosemite for current Creative Cloud apps. I need to install Windows to use Livecycle. I need to install it now now now. What has worked for you?Because nothing, nothing nothing has worked for me. I can't tell you how many different methods I've tried. Have I used gdisk to make a protected MBR? Yeah, I have. Unetbootin? Didn't work. (Yeah, I used an older version.) Did I boot with the Win7 DVD to delete the FAT32 partition and create an NTFS partition? Yeah, but I still got the error message about how it's a GPT partition style and Windows can't boot to it. I read that I needed to EFI boot the Win7 DVD in order to create the NTFS partition that would work - but the keyboard doesn't work during EFI boot so I can't "Press any key to boot from CD." I chased a red herring for a while, trying to make a bootable OS X thumbdrive so I could use Disk Utility to partition when I wasn't booted into any OS on my HD, but I failed eight different ways on that one, too. The one thing I've not tried that looked promising was a method that I read and failed to bookmark - the idea was that you start with one partition, run Bootcamp, let it partition the drive, and then reboot back into OS X before WIndows install to add a partition with Disk Utility, then resuming the Boot Camp installation. Any ideas? Both Lion and Yosemite are backed up to dmg, I'm ready to flat the drive if I have to. I don't have any OS X install media, though. I have an empty 16 gig thumb drive and a Windows 7 DVD. What next?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
"The tail of a 99-million year old dinosaur has been found entombed in amber, an unprecedented discovery that has blown away scientists....The amber adds to fossil evidence that many dinosaurs sported feathers rather than scales. " No extended description, I just thought this was really neat.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
House offer is welcome but at the lower end of the guide price. Should I try to negotiate for more in these freaky Brexit-y times? Or should I take the money and run?Thanks for your wisdom in advance! Please note, this is the UK housing market and estate agents *supposedly* work for the sellers here. I own a 4-bed house in a very popular area of the UK. Housing market has been steady despite the downturn. Back at the beginning of October, crappy estate agent advised me to put the house on at OEIO £450k - a sum I thought was pushing it considering there were nicer houses on for a similar price. Thirty viewings and eight weeks later, one solitary opening offer of £440k from a couple who'd yet to sell their house near London. Last week, I switched to jolly estate agent, nicer photos, better customer service - house now more realistically priced at £425k-£450k guide. The day we went live on the house sales portals, Mr and Mrs X called and asked to see the house and we managed to squeeze in the viewing that evening. On Monday, they offered £415k on the basis that they were putting their flat up for sale that day with jolly estate agent. As they were not proceedable, I didn't respond to their offer, except to say that it was low. On Tuesday, they offered £425k on the same basis, saying that they were putting their flat on for £10k under the recommended price to sell quickly. Again, I didn't respond as they were still unproceedable. Today they've come back with the same offer of £425k, but apparently have been able to raise finance to be able to buy the house without selling their current property by raising money against their BTL portfolio and with funds from family. I spoke to the estate agent (unfortunately not the person who took the offer) and he seemed to think that the chap had the air of final offer about him. However, I'm keenly aware that this jolly EA has very little on the books at the moment and would love to wrap this up quickly. Bearing the above and the following in mind, what would you do? * Estate agent and Zoopla both estimate the house to be worth £435k. * Four viewings are booked in on Saturday coming. * The previous estate agent is sending someone round for a second viewing on 17th December. * The offer of £440k is still on the table. * I can't see anything on the house sales portals that I'm wild about and the houses I liked back in October have been sold. * £10k would make a big difference to me in terms of the next place I can get, e.g. the difference between a house and a flat. I'm planning to downsize and pay off my mortgage and I don't have anything in savings currently. Thanks very much! Do ask any questions if there's anything I've missed out.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Many of my friendships are driven by me — I'll be the one to suggest the next date. In some of my relationships I do this 100% of the time, according to my calendar. (I'm married, mid-30s.) I realized that people I like often describe themselves as very shy, or introverted, or mention that they have trouble making friends or are "not good at email". I'm a little insecure so I tend to interpret this as rejection. I'd like to understand my friends a bit better so I don't do that.These are usually good friendships, we have a great time together, I'll get an occasional invite back. But I find myself driving them. If I don't follow up with the next idea, I might not hear back... ever. I've had that happen a couple times. I'm chalking it up to relationship-passivity right now, as opposed to my friends just not liking me very much. I'm a little insecure so it's a struggle to remind myself of that, sometimes! I'm also extremely good at keeping up with people, calendaring, responding to email etc. So it's hard for me to understand people who aren't. If you are someone who "isn't good at email" or are introverted or are otherwise passive in your relationships — can you tell me more about why? It is it about dislike, or something else? Does it bother you if a friendship kind of "goes away" for that reason, or do you not think about it that way? What else should I know about you? Thanks!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
"It's true that states and corporations often desire privacy, they just as often desire that I myself have less privacy. What does it mean, in an ostensible democracy, for the state to keep secrets from its citizens? ... In the short term, the span of a lifetime, many of us would argue for privacy, and therefore against transparency. But history, the long term, is transparency; it is the absence of secrets." - William Gibson Check out Distrust That Particular Flavor for more William Gibson essays.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I've lived abroad for three years, now I'm wondering where to settle down.I'm originally from southern California. I came to Ghana for a change of pace for me and my kid (ten years old), and we've certainly found that. But now I feel like it's time for us to move on. I've considered going back to Cali, but I have mixed feelings about that in light of the presidential election results. I'm a black American who considers herself a progressive liberal. Cali is home, but having the Donald as my president is an overwhelming thought even at a distance. However, I don't doubt that I could grow my career as a marketing manager there. My other idea is to complete my degree in a French-speaking country, refining my language skills, then getting a position with a multinational marketing agency after I graduate. I'd also love to get a job in the UK if the pay package is good enough. I was hoping to hear from people who have made a similar decision, or know someone who has.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Taste in anything (music, movies, coffee, you name it) has long been a source of anxiety and stress for me. I don't know how to determine quality and I worried that I'm getting it wrong and, worse, that my preferences reflect negatively on me somehow. Details within.I don't know what is good or bad in movies or music or food or anything, to put it short. Worse, I worry that I like the wrong things and that it indicates a lack of intelligence or something negative on my part. I'm pretty sure I don't like what I *should* be liking and that I like what I *shouldn't* like. I find no shortage of discussions/reviews about quality/taste that work under the assumption that anything even remotely well known is only so because it can only possibly be liked by those derisively termed as "the masses". This group is nebulously defined (no one seems to claim to be part of "the masses", and it is always a group that people seem to describe themselves in opposition to), but it is implied that this apparently vast group of people is stupid and, as such, lacks the ability to discern quality as a result. My own preferences in whatever are not necessarily the most sophisticated or unknown (nor are they necessarily super mainstream either), and I worry that this may indicate something negative about myself. I worry, additionally, that this possible lack of intelligence would only be confirmed if I revealed anything about what I like to others. As such, I go out of my way to prevent others from finding out what things I like. I always listen to music with headphones (even when I'm by myself), and I am vague when it comes to describing my interests when I am asked. To put this all in the form of a set of questions: 1. Does "quality" exist as some free-floating, objective thing independent of one's perception, as is sometimes implied? 2. If yes, is there a method or set of criteria that can be used to determine quality? 3. Does taste in movies/music/whatever have some sort of intellectual or moral dimension to it? That is, are smart people drawn to "good" things and those who aren't smart drawn to "bad" things? 4. Is any sort of cultural consumption a duty? Is there indeed a list of "shoulds"? 5. When making a judgment on the quality of something (good or bad), is that also, in any way, a judgment of those who like/dislike that thing? TL;DR -- I worry constantly that I like the "wrong" things and that what I prefer reflects negatively on me somehow (i.e., I worry that I'm part of a vaguely defined, yet perennially complained about majority of stupid people).

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I was born in 1959. In the late sixties or early seventies (so I would have been 10-12) I read a book about a family who lived on a remote island (which I think was off the coast of Canada). They had a farm. They could only get to the mainland by ferry--which they never did. At one point the boy hero of the book (aged about 12) has to go to the mainland (I'm pretty sure his father has disappeared and the boy goes looking for him). What I remember most clearly is the boy trying to navigate around a town that had cars and shops and a lot of people. He is almost hit by a car while trying to cross a road. The driver shouts at him "Don't you know what a red light is?!" But of course, the boy does not know what a red light is. He has never seen one before (this blew me away as a child). I think it was a book with chapters and it had watercolour illustrations. Anyone remember this?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I need your favorite latke topping/sauce ideas/recipes for an early latkes/vodka buffet.We're having 25+ people over for an early latkes and vodkas party. I'm in charge of the latkes, guests are bringing the booze. Most of these people will be experiencing latkes for the first time, so I'm going classic in latke prep. And I'll obviously have apple sauce and sour cream. But I'm thinking a few more toppings/sauces are necessary. Obvious ones are things to mix into sour cream, so I'm thinking a chipotle peppers sour cream and and a horseradish one. But do you have any other ideas? This is a no meat experience, and I'm not buying caviar or lox. Otherwise.....ideas? Best ideas are things I can make the night before and can sit in a buffet table without heat/cooling during the event itself.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I have gum recession, pretty clearly - which is weird! I use a soft tooth brush and take it easy brushing. It's at the point that I can't drink coffee or eat like tomatoes. Does this sound familiar to anyone?It was going on for a couple years - relatedly, I completely delayed on getting my wisdom teeth out. It actually really hurt before and after the surgery. The dentist explained that happens due to the arch of the teeth being pushed back by the erupting teeth and inflaming the rest of the gums. Of course he said minor infections can cause that kind of pain. Which they were, it turned out. And antibiotics addressed that temporarily... but it was hurting for a long time before and now it still hurts pretty much all the time. Maybe I just have a shitty diet that's killing my gums? Or like could there be an overall mouth architecture reason for this? Could this be a-low level infection? As in worth trying another round of antibiotics? What could this be? Would love to hear any suggestions!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I don't want to put a spoiler on the front page, but if you've seen this film you probably can guess the question. SPOILER INSIDE.After lots of processing, Caul, and we, are able to hear the couple say, "He'll KILL us if he gets the chance." After the couple kills the Director, he listens again and now he hears, "He'll kill US if he gets the chance." How is this not cheating on Coppola's part? I've read online that this is merely showing Caul's inability to parse humans, that he didn't pick up on the emphasis the first time, but with the knowledge of what actually happened, he then hears it differently. But the emphasis is not subtle, either in how FFC portrays it or even in real life. To me this is the retcon of all retcons and it really got in the way of the film for me. Can anybody make me feel better about this otherwise fantastic movie?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
A popular franchise restaurant has opened in the past few weeks. It is very large and located within a mall. Based on the reviews in Google and Yelp, the staff needs more practice with efficiency.I like the food from other locations I've travelled to out of state. How many weeks should I wait to sit down to have a meal at this new location?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Black hood=dubious parentage

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm a 24-year-old gay man. I have recently gone through a bitter break up with whom the other half is a work colleague, and I have started seeing a cognitive-behavioural therapist who has diagnosed me with severe social anxiety disorder. My life has gotten on top of me and my self-esteem has been shattered. How can I pick up the pieces? What steps can I take to find the happiness that I know I deserve?It all began with the relationship I developed with a work colleague. We dated for 6 weeks before he asked me to be in an exclusive relationship, which may sound very high-school to someone older and wiser, but when you're wrapped up in the feelings of butterflies and honeymoon, it was the best feeling ever. The relationship was short-lived and he broke up with me very quickly. "It's not you, it's me" he told me. 2 weeks later, he grovelled and like a fool, I took him back. Only for him to do the same thing, prompting me to end it and tell him I deserved better. It didn't take long for the rumour mill at work to spin its web and plant a bitter seed into me. One of the rumours was that he had actually kissed another colleague in the staff room during our brief time together. He denies this, but a trusted friend at work assured me it was true as she had obtained the confession from the man he had kissed. 2 nights ago, at the work Christmas party, it all came to a head. Alcohol and exes don't mix, but he cornered me and wanted to know why I was so angry. He told me I was the nicest guy he had ever dated, but he was not right for me at a time in his life where he had so much more to worry about. He also confessed to still being in love with his ex. I told him with tears in my eyes that he never should have asked me into a relationship, for which he didn't answer. A slightly side fact, later that night he fell over and broke his leg. He's now in hospital. I sent him a message wishing him a speedy recovery and that we should both just drop our issues and move on in life. I did this for the sake of my own sanity, and for the sake of work. The problem is, I am so deeply cut up over what happened and struggling to let it go. I can't work out why, and this is something I will go through with my therapist. I know it is over, I know we are not right for each other, but I have so many regrets and so many feelings lingering towards him. How can I let this go? Sometime after the initial break up, before things started to get bitter, I began seeing a cognitive-behavioural therapist who felt the root of my issues are embedded in an issue I had when I came out where my mum initially rejected me. I scored top marks for social anxiety, so with my blessing she is happy to move forward with the sessions using that has the focus. I feel like the cause of this entire situation is low self-esteem and self-confidence, both of which have always been things I have struggled with since I was a child: the sensitive one. A therapist in the past has called me hyper-sensitive. I think this is true. I have become so drained over what happened and it has piled me into a depression. Friends tell me to let go, that I'm better off without him, that he never deserved me anyway, that I am a lovely handsome guy who could have anyone he chose, but I just don't believe what they are telling me. Is this something that will improve over time with my CBT sessions, as I am due to have my second one tomorrow? I want so desperately to be happy, but now I feel I am undeserving of a relationship because I have nothing to offer other than my own desperation and neediness. To sum up the post in the form of questions... How can I let this failed relationship go and move on with my life? How can I start to feel better about my self? Should I take a break from dating and focus on these issues? Is this a normal part of life, or are normal problems effecting me on a much more intense scale due to my hyper-sensitivity?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS) is the largest survey examining the experiences of transgender people in the United States, with 27,715 respondents from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and U.S. military bases overseas. (Full report. Executive Summary) The USTS was for all trans-identified people, including genderqueer and non-binary people, at any stage of their lives, journey, or transition. Participants had to be currently living in the United States or a U.S. territory, or be living abroad on a U.S. military base.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
The design and packaging are beautiful at Chocolate Deities, but I haven't found reviews of the chocolate itself, and it's a little expensive to buy on spec. Has anyone tried it, and if so, what did you think?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Recently I resolved to look for alternatives to Amazon when possible--especially local or independent shops. I also started upping my donations to progressive causes. Now, let's say someone on my gift list wants a book. I can buy it from a local bookstore for the $28 list price, or I can order it from Amazon for $18 and donate the $10 savings to charity. Which has more impact?I don't really have a well-articulated reason to avoid Amazon. I'm just tired of helping the rich get richer, and I know they are ruthless about efficiency at the expense of their workers. I have no idea about the politics or spending habits of the owner(s) of the local bookstore, or how well they treat their employees, or anything like that. Let's also stipulate that the $10 difference would actually get donated to a good cause, not just spent at Starbucks. I stick closely to a budget, and presents for people and charitable donations all come out of the same category, so less money spent on gifts means more money available for contributions. What to do? (And note, I've brought up a specific example because I think it makes the question more concrete, but I'm not just agonizing over one $30 purchase--I'm trying to work out more generally when it makes sense to buy from an indie and when it makes sense to support the big corporation, if ever.)

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