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    My cofounder made a neat thing to address the first point, finding where the weather is nice, a little while ago when he was also traveling a lot: https://www.bestweather.in/map. It also lets you find when a particular place is nice and explains the rationale for what it considers “nice weather” here.

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      This is the part I found most interesting:

      A few months ago, I invested in setting up Cachix, Hercules CI, and a build machine on Hetzner. For €40 per month, I get a beefy machine to do my bidding. I’m renting a dedicated machine with 64 GB DDR4 RAM, and now compiling my Haskell projects is so much faster. This was a huge quality of life improvement, and now after Riskbook compiles in 8 minutes instead of about an hour, I can deploy it to our AWS EC2 machines in under 20 seconds with NixOps.

      I have since removed all traces of Docker from my machine.

      In the future I’d definitely try going this route, of renting a development machine. The only downside is the latency when developing web apps (for eg., jsaddle communication with reflex Haskell apps). However the prospect of being able to carry a portable and lightweight laptop and being able to access your high performant development machine is quite appealing.

      For the moment, I’m content with my beefy Thinkpad P71 with 64GB RAM. And yea, I write Haskell too, and use ghcjs as well - for which 32GB RAM is recommended (if not minimum).

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        I have been using AWS Workspaces with a client lately and it’s been really nice to leave stuff running on there, reconnect and everything is back to where I was. Bonus is that it’s already wired into their Intranet infrastructure and I don’t have to VPN in my own computer.

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        This is a great write-up: it’s incredible the opportunities for working on the road that have opened up for people not just in the tech industry, but other industries as well.

        In addition to the resources Jezen listed, a good reference to have in the back of your pocket are the travel advisories issued by the United States Department of State **.

        They recently (2018) migrated to a tool that places all of their travel advisories on a color-coded map: https://travelmaps.state.gov/TSGMap/

        ** or any similar resource, if offered, by the country to which you ascribe citizenship

        I, too, find the media’s reporting of events overblown and sensationalist, but supplementing that with with (yes, scientific data, +1 for the coronavirus stats example) but also publicly-available knowledge of state activity can also provide additional insurance.

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          If you are already using sshuttle, take a look at the –dns flag to route DNS through that tunnel.

          While I did some traveling I did set up a VPN server on a cheap cloud instance. Wireguard worked well, especially also on my phone as it is hard/inconvenient) to get sshuttle working there.

          Streisand is a nice ansible playbook to get different VPNs set up quickly on a machine.

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            One thing I didn’t understand about that section is why you would use a 3rd-party tool like sshuttle when ssh -D supports this already; is there some difference I’m overlooking?

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              https://sshuttle.readthedocs.io/en/stable/how-it-works.html summarises it well, I think: ssh -D results in tunnelling TCP connections through an SSH pipe, itself running over a TCP connection. The “inner” TCP connections are therefore badly inefficient, because TCP doesn’t expect to run over a completely reliable medium and hence (reportedly..) doesn’t perform well.

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                Gotcha; thanks! That’s interesting. I’d noticed some minor performance drops before but I always attributed it to introducing the extra hop for every connection.

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            Great article. As someone who traveled around the world for a few years, earning money from playing street music (then building my own company). We are lucky enough to live in a time where you can work from anywhere in the world.

            I can tell you that it doesn’t matter if you’re a programmer, designer, or a marketer. There are so many different sites like Upwork where you can build your rep and scale.

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              Thanks! And also, hey I also used to play street music!

              I played drums in orchestras, rock bands, pop groups, big bands, small jazz groups, latin groups, and also did quite a bit of stilt walking dressed as various kinds of giant animal or robot while also playing drums.

              Here’s a shot of me performing in Dunfermline when I was 16. I’m one of the black ones.


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                Brilliant haha. You should try Perth in Australia ;) Best place for street music

                I sometimes share my experience playing street music while building my company on Quora


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              Great to see that you travel by train when possible, but how do you justify the carbon footprint of the flying that you do? A single international flight can easily produce more emissions that a person’s annual emissions in a place like India or Bangladesh. And I’m not even talking about business class flight emissions.

              Here is another very useful tool, a flight emissions calculator: https://www.atmosfair.de/en/offset/flight (they sell carbon offsets too, but offsets do more harm than good so they are not a way out).

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                Why do offsets do more harm than good?

                I haven’t bought last year’s TerraPass yet so I’m interested in knowing.

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                  Essentially, it’s an issue of perverse incentives. This sums it up quite well, I think: https://kevinanderson.info/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/The-inconvenient-truth-of-carbon-offsets-Pre-edit-version-.pdf

                  As an example, here is an in-depth look at what happens with forestry offsets in practice: https://features.propublica.org/brazil-carbon-offsets/inconvenient-truth-carbon-credits-dont-work-deforestation-redd-acre-cambodia/

                  Besides, you have to consider that for a given level of warming (either 1.5C or 2C), we’ve got tiny remaining carbon budgets and very short timeframes. What we need is real, rapid emissions cuts, particularly in the developed countries. Offsets, however, encourage exactly the opposite, so they are harmful.

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                    Right, but those are fly-by-night operators. There are verifiable US offset projects that are definitely real.

                    The perverse incentive situation does sound credible. Fortunately, I live in a city where policy makers see increasing traffic as action to create increased public transit. Unfortunately, any such mechanism in America is hamstrung by the universal veto problem. In regions absent significant traffic problems, I suspect public transit simply will not take off. It’s possible the marginal car added to San Francisco’s streets actually makes it more likely public transit will happen.

                    The “hard to prove it sums to zero” problem applies to everything, though. For instance, will suppressing nuclear power lead to better long-term results through earlier achievements of renewable generation? Will encouraging fission result in wide-ranging mining operations that worsen our results? That’s not a productive line of reasoning. Considering third-order effects are not easy to detect, the rational strategy is to attempt to reduce emissions and buy yourself into carbon negation every year you can.

                    Looks like it’s sensible for me to buy TerraPass this year.

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                      Yes, I agree that some of the domestic offsets are real and more useful. However, the perverse incentive problem persists. Sure, if you’ve made all possible efforts to reduce emissions first and then bought offsets for the remainder, that’s positive. But mostly it works in a different way, I suspect: people may choose to fly around the world like the OP, or otherwise continue a high-carbon lifestyle, and justify it by buying offsets. Same thing applies to corporations. At best, it achieves nothing: the emissions do not go down.

                      I’m not sure I can agree with you that the effects of offsets are hard to assess. I think they are very clearly a tactic that allows corporations and individual people in the developed world, where reductions are most urgent, to continue doing nothing about their emissions.

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                        Hmm, interesting. Just observing my behaviour after realizing TerraPass exists, I have increased carbon emissions but offset it all. So long as I’m paying to be net carbon negative, and there are few demonstrable third-order effects, it would appear that my total actions are now superior to my previous car-free transit-oriented lifestyle where I didn’t buy a single offset. Would you mind sharing your model of behaviour that results in net emissions being positive (let alone equal to pre-offset behaviour)? It doesn’t seem congruent with what I’ve observed: people go carbon negative rather than have a carbon budget that they remain within by increasing emissions and increasing offsets.

                        Of course I do disagree with you on the second paragraph, but that’s a discussion for a different time. Economically, it would be optimal for me to emit more by driving to work rather than taking BART if I used the realized time to achieve sufficient value that I can outpace some number of people in developing nations. I suspect this is likely to be true, simply because my time is of sufficiently higher economic value than theirs (as is others than mine). This is the mechanism that we should hope to tap into by capping personal emissions and allowing trading of emissions. It is better for the world that I sell Bezos carbon units that he can use to fly somewhere that allows setting up a warehouse than that I use those personally.

                        Thank you for sharing what you did with me. I appreciate it.

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                          I don’t think it’s helpful to get into the weeds of offset arithmetic. It may be that somebody is actually planting enough trees to offset all of your emissions – but it’s not sustainable in the longer term anyway, they can’t keep planting forever, especially if your emissions are increasing at the same time!

                          We can instead look at the history and evaluate the evidence. Carbon markets (and consequently, offsets) were introduced along with the Kyoto protocol back in 1997. In the 23 years since, annual emissions have gone up 50%. About half of carbon emissions since the beginning of the industrial revolution have been produced in the last 30 years. Keeping in mind that we have finite (and small) budgets for cumulative carbon emissions, this is unequivocal evidence that carbon offsets and markets don’t work and cannot achieve their stated goal – and we’re out of time to keep fiddling with them.

                          Thank you for the discussion as well.

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                            I think I can accept that inherent implementation complexities (governments do not want to put their industries at relative risk, permits on historical generation reward polluters, etc.) make a worldwide cap-and-trade system not work. i.e. it’s one of those “if we could all work together” things which never works. Clearly it didn’t work and that’s pretty strong evidence on its own. I think the big difference with the SO2 thing is that the gains from cutting SO2 across the US helped the US itself whereas in the international space much of the costs are externalized.

                            On an individual level, though, I find it hard to believe that someone relying on offsets to be carbon negative is worse for climate change than someone who is carbon positive but has no offsets. That’s just arithmetic. Of course, there will come a time when achieving offsets will be prohibitively expensive. But it’s the instantaneous net emissions that count. The availability of offsets or the use of them wasn’t the problem with the Kyoto Protocol. It was the use of allowances.

                            tl;dr I buy that cap-and-trade can’t save the Earth. I don’t buy that an individual offsetting all their emissions is doing a worse thing than an individual not offsetting but reducing use.

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                              Well, there are a couple of things missing from your consideration: the second-order effects and the scenario of an individual who beats both of your tl;dr options handily by both reducing emissions and offsetting. But again, the number of such individuals is drastically constrained by human psychology (another second-order effect). It seems, however, that we disagree substantially on the magnitude of second-order effects ¯_(ツ)_/¯

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                  how do you justify the carbon footprint of the flying that you do?

                  I don’t.

                  I’m conscious of it being harmful to the environment, but I don’t think it would be constructive for me to try to justify it with “oh, but I recycle!” or any other attempt at negation. That would be a total cop out.

                  In truth, I’m not sure what more I can reasonably do to lessen my impact on the environment. It’s been years since I’ve had a commute, so that’s a good thing. As I understand it, having a pet is more harmful to the environment than running a family car, but I’m not going to kill my pets (who live with my girlfriend’s family in Russia). I suppose I could go and protest against hippies? From what I’ve read from economists, physicists, and climate scientists, the group of people who have historically caused the most climate change are misguided climate activists, because they are the ones pressuring governments (like in Germany) to back away from investment in nuclear power.

                  I’m hopeful for the future. I believe technological advancement will enable cleaner air travel. I don’t believe that everyone will just stop flying.

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                    From what I’ve read from economists, physicists, and climate scientists, the group of people who have historically caused the most climate change are misguided climate activists, because they are the ones pressuring governments (like in Germany) to back away from investment in nuclear power.

                    From my understanding, the issue with nuclear power is that we just don’t have a safe place to store nuclear waste. So even though nuclear power seems cleaner in the short term, the real problem is when nuclear waste starts poisoning the environment’s water and or just generally raising the radiation level of a area beyond what should be considered normal.

                    I too have heard this argument, but the people making them have been those, who just a few years ago, were denying climate change (for ideological, political, economical, … reasons), so I’m not sure how trustworthy they are.

                    But I’m interested in the pet argument, what’s the issue there?

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                      There are other ways of using nuclear fuel than storing it for 100k years after you’ve used 1% of the fuel. See e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TerraPower . But this is usually prevented because of fears of plutonium.

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                        the issue with nuclear power is that we just don’t have a safe place to store nuclear waste

                        That’s true for now, but I don’t believe it’ll be true indefinitely.

                        But I’m interested in the pet argument, what’s the issue there?


                        Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkIwX0hlPzs

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                          That’s true for now, but I don’t believe it’ll be true indefinitely.

                          So what’s the problem with opposing nuclear power until it actually is safe, like with what @ptman mentions?

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                            If you oppose anything until it’s perfectly safe, you’ll do nothing. The most important arguments for fission are a) that it’s massively more efficient than any other known form of fuel-consuming energy generation (except fusion), b) it isn’t beholden to luck of the draw factors (wind, hydro, and geothermal are all great, but only if you’re blessed with nearby wind, water, or magma), and c) its pollution footprint is relatively small, dense, and containable (even if it’s highly toxic and indescribably long lasting) … if you instantaneously replaced all petrochemical combustion power generation on the planet with even today’s “unsafe” fission you’d put a massive brake on human-driven climate change and, at worse, the power generation industry would kill over the next century a tiny fraction of the people it currently kills in any given year.

                            Fission, right now, is world’s safer than any known form of chemical energy generation … opposing it is, quite simply, illogical.

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                              Fission, right now, is world’s safer than any known form of chemical energy generation … opposing it is, quite simply, illogical.

                              That ties into the argument I mentioned about: right now, but the danger is that the waste it currently produces isn’t sustainable. And considering that a solution to this problem is currently just hypothetical, I find the position of the anti-nuclear people more reasonable.

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                                There are several long term sequestration solutions for the waste, but tragically there’s a lot of ill-informed opposition and fear-mongering about them that have little to nothing to do with with rationality or reasonableness. The only reason there’s any issue with current waste production levels is that its forced into short term, on-site storage by those same tragically short-sighted biases. Per megawatt of electricity the waste generated by petrochemical combustion must be measured in tonnes and the volume in cubic kilometers … the same amount of electricity from a modern nuclear reactor generates sub-gram levels of waste and the volume is in cubic millimeters, and reactor designs available today (but not yet in production) would generate even less. Yes, that waste will be impactful to human health for much longer, but only if you’re in close proximity to it … with the fossil fuel industry you just have to be anywhere downwind. The truly goofball thing is that there is no other viable alternative for taking humans off of petrochemical combustion en masse, but we keep delaying the inevitable due, my guess, to rent-seeking and lobbying by those same petrochemical suppliers.

                                nuclear waste starts poisoning the environment’s water and or just generally raising the radiation level of a area beyond what should be considered normal

                                That’s a good example of misplaced fears, BTW … high-level nuclear waste isn’t generally water soluble, and it doesn’t just start raising the radiation level in an area, except extremely close to it. Like over the lifetime of an average power generating reactor the fuel spilled from the trucks servicing the site will do much more damage to the local water supply than any of the fission products.

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                              Maybe I have this wrong, but typical anti-nuclear sentiment is against all kinds of nuclear technology regardless of age, isn’t it? I can understand demanding certain levels of safety and sustainability, but I don’t see that particular nuance in this area of public discourse.

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                                What do you mean by “regardless of age”?

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                                  I mean I don’t often see critics of nuclear power saying “the old technology is bad, and the newer technology is much better.”

                                  All I see is “nuclear bad!”

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                                    Unless I am mistaken, the “newer technologies”, such as TerraPower mentioned above aren’t ready yet. So it’s more like “current technology bad, hypothetical technologies could be better”.

                                    Also, if the argument of the people you disagree with seems to (just) be “nuclear bad!”, I would wonder how much you have really engaged with these people, beyond the “public discourse”, which is necessarily, for lack of a better phrase, “dumbed down”.

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                                      I’ll state my position on the topic whenever it comes up. I wonder where you’re finding all these people who are well-read in this topic. It sounds nice!

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                          I sort of get what you’re trying to say, carbon reductionism is problematic. But I also think your tone in this comment comes off a bit narcissistic and naive.

                          My anecdote: I’ve spent half my career working in my hometown with a commute, and half as a remote worker in another that traveled a few times a year (for work, family, and recreation). I’ve run the numbers going through my vehicle mileage and flights for the past 10+ years, and my carbon output was multiples higher than the years I had a daily commute. It’s been making me at the least think a bit more intentionally about what I’m actually travelling for, whether I can plan in advance to combine trips, etc. There’s also carbon offsets depending on how much you believe in them. The broader question may be asking what you really are doing as a world traveler - are you actually participating in the culture and inhabiting the places you visit? Or checking off items on a bucket list? Not saying there’s a right answer here but it’s at least a framing I’m trying to have.

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                            These type of comments come off as deranged.

                            Live your life and don’t avoid incredible opportunities to travel the world so you can microscopically impact the demand for air travel.

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                              microscopically impact the demand for air travel.

                              What you’re really pointing to here - correctly, I think - is that we have not globally figured out how to account for negative externalities in a meaningful way.

                              In the US, coal fired power plants have long been one of the cheapest ways to provide energy, but the air pollution from running them is estimated to kill tens of thousands every year. But we don’t account for those deaths, let alone for the illnesses suffered or the cost to clean the air, so coal remains cheap.

                              Until those externalities are priced into the cost of fuels, individual decisionmaking will not drive people away from flights or cars or anything else.

                              To play with: an interesting carbon tax calculator, which weighs the cost of a tax based on emissions from burning a unit of fuel.

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                              But I also think your tone in this comment comes off a bit narcissistic and naive.

                              That’s an unfortunate interpretation.

                              I struggle to see how my comment displays narcissism. In fact, I think the common behaviour that I am decidedly not engaging in, i.e., a whole load of self-admiration for not impacting the environment in other ways, is an example of narcissism.

                              And naïve? It was a totally loaded question. It wasn’t “have you thought about your impact?” It was “how can you justify this bad thing you are doing?” To me, the real naïveté here is believing that people will stop travelling. Climate change is of course a concern, but I don’t have tens of millions of dollars to afford a Greta Thunberg yacht to whisk me around the world to complain about people flying. The now infamous Greta line is “fantasies about infinite economic growth”, but try telling people in developing economies that they’re not allowed to have the modern conveniences most Westerners enjoy. Try telling parents in Africa that their kids should continue to die of diarrhoea. Trade (and by extension, travel) are necessary for economic growth.

                              The broader question may be asking what you really are doing as a world traveler - are you actually participating in the culture and inhabiting the places you visit?

                              I know what I am travelling for. No, it isn’t “bucket list” trips. And no, I don’t think “participating in the local culture” (although I do do that) has any difference in environmental impact. I certainly participate in the local economy, which is important for any country. I’m not riding elephants and “finding myself” in a pair of yoga pants. I’m renting normal apartments, living a fairly ordinary life, just in places with better weather.

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                                I think gp was spot on. You are thinking only of yourself and ignoring the reality that faces us all: our carbon allotment for having any chance of keeping warming below 1.5 degrees celsius is almost used up. Blowing past that marker spells disaster for everyone on the planet. This is not conjecture, it’s settled science. We(tech workers) have the ability to work remotely and we should use that ability for the good of humanity. Please, pick a place and stay there.

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                                  Please, pick a place and stay there.

                                  How do you suggest I evade immigration laws?

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                                    Lots of options there: return to your country of origin; pursue legal immigration options in the country of your choice; live in Europe and take the train between countries…

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                                      I have citizenship in the UK, Poland, and Australia. Sure, I could “return” to my countries of origin, but that would involve an awful lot of flying.

                                      I’m sorry, I’m not going to give you a serious, constructive answer. I am going to continue travelling. A random person on an Internet forum is not going to carbon-shame me out of that.

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                                        And this is what it comes down to, strawmen about pets aside, for you and billions of other people: self-interest, however non-essential, trumps any consideration for the collective good, or even the long-term survival of human civilisation. Kinda sad, when you think about it.

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                          Sshuttle sounds good. I will have to try it. For China and more aggressive governments, I will recommend Shadowsocks and Wireguard.

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                            and I need LinkedIn to mock recruiters who tell me I am “the first person who came to mind” for some crappy JavaScript job where I have to sit in an office in London.