Claims about Ukraine

There is a bank in Ukraine that is offering *21%* interest on a checking account.

But you must take 10,000 steps a day, tracked by their app, to qualify.

Miss one day and you get nothing.

I can’t decide if it’s insanity or brilliance.

That is from Kyle Trouble, via Samir Varma.


I would try it. The app, though...would need to know more.

Looks like Manafort is going to lose a lot of easy money being cooped up in the pen.

What are they offering on Savings accounts?

The checking / savings account distinction is an American thing, I've yet to see them in any other country. US savings accounts are mainly created by Federal Reserve regulation D.

This overwhelming social media whirlpool is starting to get extremely meta - now you have to take a small step from one twitter account to get information from another twitter account - without ever actually bothering to get a direct link that bypasses going through twitter in the first place.

Almost as if SEO is old fashioned, and the real game is to game twitter.

Not to worry, with the help of 100 terawatt-hours of electricity, blockchain will somehow make it all better (though even now, 50% of the time I try to follow a Twitter link, I get an inexplicable"you are rate limited" error; the other 50%, I'm left underwhelmed by the triviality of the median twitdiotic tweet)

Since I normally browse without javascript on, the latest iteration of twitter is worthless anyways - first you get the message saying twitter has detected that javascript is disabled, then when clicking on the legacy link, this amusing message appears - '403 Forbidden: The server understood the request, but is refusing to fulfill it.'

Look at "How I use the Internet"

Stallman would make for quite a fascinating "Conversation with Tyler"

Except for the fact that MR resolutely refuses to begin to consider one of the larger economic stories of the Internet Age - how the GPL spurred the creation of the Internet we know today, by demonstrating the immense amount of utility that can be created through people sharing.

The GPL is probably the most pragmatic demonstration that there are other models of economic activity which lead to a much better world without needing to bother about elites, banks, politicians, or really anything but the human love of solving problems and sharing solutions for the benefit of everyone.

Admittedly, the law is required to keep bad actors at bay - the GPL's terms are strictly defined under copyright, and anyone distributing GPL software has to follow the license terms.

I have, years ago.

Seems he has updated things a bit.

"A friend once asked me to watch a video with her that she was going to display on her computer using Netflix. I declined, saying that Netflix was such a threat to freedom that I could not treat it as anything but an enemy."

Overall, a very enjoyable read (is this guy for real?)

Very much - it is extremely likely that most of the software you use on the Internet derives from his vision of using copyright to ensure a better world though the concept of the General Public License/copyleft.

And he remains a man of quite strict principle, a fairly rare thing these days.

His Macarthur Fellowship is from 1990, by the way - 'Richard Stallman is a computer programmer and the founder of the Free Software Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting computer users' rights to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs.'

Thanks, I'm bad with names and I knew of FSF but didn't connect the dots.

Still, Netflix is the Antichrist? I just wanna watch some BoJack without it signalling the apocalypse.

Customers that will not queue up when there is a bank run.

One needs to mention the inflation rate of Ukrainian hryvnya (UAH) was 13.7% in 2017 so inflation-adjusted rates are not as insane. The deposits in USD have much lower rates. Also, this is not a checking account per-se, one can't take their money out before the end of the term. Ukrainian banks are also notoriously unstable and there were quite a lot of people who lost their deposits because of that

Well, I'm sure their app is going to work all the time and be totally trustworthy, then.

Aside from the questions about the reliability of the bank's app, I also wonder about the reliability of the customers' behavior. E.g. maybe each afternoon I go over to the local high school and hand my fitbit or whatever to somebody on the cross-country team who's about to do their daily training run.

I'm really here to ask a question: I get email notifications when there's a new MR post, early this morning there was a "Pareto Principles in Infinite Ethics" email but when I click on the comments link I get a blank page.

Maybe comments were turned off for that article? But the article itself doesn't appear on the website; the link for the disappeared article is

It was a fairly interesting post, I could copy-and-paste Tyler's text from the email but that might not be a good idea if Tyler has deliberately removed the post.

..."if Tyler has deliberately removed the post."

Yes, that would not be ethical.
On this subject , Google directs to this pdf:

The time stamp is 12:42am for the now appearing article - easy to speculate using infinite scenarios to determine what happened, but worrying about infinities “too much” ends up meaning you don’t have to worry about them at all.

Or something like that.

(Post-modernism was bad enough when it just dealt with actual fictional and human created situations - applying those concepts to physical reality is just laughable.)

In Ukraine, bank steps on YOU.

Note inflation has run at about 12% in Ukraine over the past year. It does appear to have declined over the past quarter though. So 21% is good but not as good as it seems.

Almost same deal in Argentina. Except, you must breadth once a day (not take steps) and the interest rate is 26% (not 21%).

There will be a market in people walking on your behalf, logged in with your fitness tracking app.
Next, there will be a market in detectives following bank customers around all day.

I think the Ukrainian bank, like Warren Buffet when he offered $1M to anybody who will pick the winner and all other winners in the NCAA college basketball bracket elimination tournament, figured out nobody will take 10k steps everyday, so they don't have to pay many, if any, people. Either that, or the bank will go out of business soon.

It was $1 billion, because it's about a 1 in a quadrillion chance you could pick the bracket perfectly.

Much more likely some Ukranians would walk for some money.

It's not that difficult to clock 10000 steps a day. Singapore's health authorities have an app and a challenge that rewards people for walking that much. It's already in its 4th season.

Some insurance companies (Manulife) even offer rebates on their premiums if their customers can walk that distance every day. Which makes some sense.

I can hit 10000 on weekdays easy, but find it more difficult on weekends unless I specifically do some cardio training.

The key is the "every day no exceptions" requirement. Making 10,000 steps could be a challenge if you've got a nasty case of flu.

Then again, if the app just uses motion sensors (and not GPS) it should be trivially easy to build a machine to game it.

The National Bank of Ukraine's website indicates that a 21% (over what period?) interest rate for local currency deposits is not that far off regardless of the walking part of the deal.

The most interesting part of that is that "nothing" applies to your deposit, not just the interest. In fact, even if you take 10,000 steps..

My daughters gave me such a step-watch… and my first effort was to convince 6 fellow neighbors on a plan in which each week one of us would take out seven watches for a walk one day. I guess scared of becoming the subject of extortion, they did not dare ☺

Have you tried taping/clipping it onto the pendulum of a fake-pendulum (quartz) clock?

Don't some folks just put it on the dog?

At 9 % real interest rate (someone mentioned that inflation in Ukraine is around 12%), there's definitely an incentive to buy a cheap phone for the app, and just tape it onto the side of a washing machine or similar vibrating product. Why gamble with your own unreliable willpower? :P

"How Much Land Does a Man Need" for the digital age

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