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bolt. last won the day on July 7 2013

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  1. I'm just trying to differentiate declining on the basis of thinking it's a bad *financial* decision -vs- declining on the basis of thinking it's a bad decision in terms of personal taste, priorities, or lifestyle. (I TOTALLY support and AGREE with you that we don't lend our money or credit towards decision that are bad for *financial* reasons.) If it's a hypothetical house was a fine *financial* decision, but didn't suit the parents' idea of life-wisdom or personal preferences... that would be crummy to me. Of course, people don't have to give gifts for any reason at any time. Of course well-off parents can use conditional gifts to incentivize adult kids in all sorts of ways. Knowing that we can use conditional gifts to incentivize adult kids is something that we need to recognize as a tool parents have been using for years to push kids into places they would rather not be in. It's powerful to dangle a carrot over some options and not over other options. Recognizing that power should invite us into the nuances of when we should and shouldn't apply that kind of pressure. It matters what *exactly* is making the decision 'imprudent'. Not assisting our kids into obvious financial risks is really normal. But where is that line? When do we assist them if the finances are fine, but we have 'other concerns'? Which other concerns rise to the level of withholding support that we might otherwise be considering? How many things will we incentivize/deincentivize this way? (Do we pick their school? Their major? Their city of residence? Their spouse? Their number of children? -- Hopefully this list makes all of us a little uncomfortable with the power of money to pressure the types of decisions adult kids should be making as adults.) To me, not wanting to cosign a mortgage because cosigning is a big risk that you don't want to take -- is really normal. Not wanting to cosign because the house they like has flaws-of-living-there that you recognize but they don't seem to mind -- is slightly over that line for me. Not wanting to cosign because the house they like has potential *financial* risks that maybe the couple doesn't see -- to me that's right on the line. Which is what makes this an interesting example. The OP is gone, and the details would matter, but it is interesting that most of the 'problems' with the house struck me as nonfinancial in nature. The main theme didn't seem to be 'they wouldn't be able to make the payments' -- the main theme seemed to be that they might not like living there, and they seem to be in too much of a hurry. As an adult child of wealthy parents, I have been subject to dozens of "we will pay for xyz, if it fits abc criteria" types of arrangements. (The first of which was, "We will give you $100 to start investing if you read 'The Wealthy Barber'." -- as a teenager.) I feel like I know which ones felt pushy and which ones felt like respectful partnerships. To me, even this situation could work if the parents just say, "We are willing to give you $xyz towards your down payment on a home, but only after month/year (or 'only after your other debts are below $xyz'), subject to us approving the house you have in mind and being closely involved with the selection process." -- but you get there by first saying "no" to cosigning, with the *financial* reason why not. And second, you do it well by laying out the terms in advance: if you want approval veto, you say so. Then the kids know there's a deal there, and they can take it or leave it, but they aren't being manipulated or obliquely pressured.
  2. So, I like the data in that article, but I think it is conflating some things that could use differentiation. First: Yes, there are vaguely defined 'bot' that do nothing but create and interact with content for clicks, followers, and advertising revenue. This generates a lot of action and interaction that is essentially meaningless bulk on social media platforms. Some high-follower accounts might be bot-run. I don't love that, but I do think it's probably true. It's got a motive (advertising profits) and it has a methodology that is easily within the capacity of AI running 'on its own'. Second: Yes, people do get their 'news' from social media -- but not indiscriminately, and not as a sole source. If you count WTM and YouTube as 'social media' then I certainly might be accused of getting much of my news from social media. But usually that means that those sources, as well as Facebook, are able to alert me that news has arisen. Often, yes, that satisfies me that I know something is happening. If I want to know more, I don't just look to whoever around me has the most followers for trustworthy information. I look to social sources that seem legitimate (intelligent folks that I have 'known' for a while, accounts from news outlets) or I go to a news site, or a I google for it. Third: Yes, there are bad actors, propagandists, and people with serious agendas operating on social media as well. However, these people would have a hard time convincing people they were a *good* source of news or opinion. The most they could hope for would be brief mass exposure of a simple headline -- which is not something that has no impact, but it's not going to brainwash a whole country. Even if, as seems to be the main point of this article, the bad actors purchased or pushed their agenda through high-follower bot-run accounts, it would still not raise to the threat level suggested here. Mostly because people don't rank the value of the information they are reading based on the popularity of an account. I think even the most foolish of internet users surely don't think that the most entertaining accounts are also the most likely to tell the truth about world events? Also because the bot-run accounts already have their own owners and agenda (clicks and cash) and while they can change hands, they can't actually be both things at once. Either an account is focused on click and follower generation, or it's focused on propaganda distribution, and it depends who owns it and what their goals are. So this is one of those articles that suggests three true things -- but I don't think they add up to quite the doomsday suggested here.
  3. If this is one of the ways my posts are coming across, I hope I can apologize and clarify. My main focus is that if people are being asked to become cosigners, they should focus on whether they are willing or able to become cosigners in terms of the financial position they are willing to put themselves into, and in terms of the impact becoming a cosigner might have on their own lives. If the parents feel that the kids are taking a financial risk, that interest rates are bad, that their actions are "dumb" financially because the payments could predictably become difficult to meet, if they seem likely to divorce before the loan is repaid, if it seems like the asset is overvalued at its current price -- all of those are all very good reasons to refuse to become cosigners. There are lots of very good reasons to refuse to become cosigners -- including simply the desire to never cosign for anyone for any reason. If the OP has good reasons to refuse to cosign, they should definitely refuse to cosign. (As they have stated now, they intend not to.) To me, though, there are also "bad reasons" to refuse to become cosigners. Among "bad reasons" to refuse to become cosigners is that the people who won't be living there think the house is too small, too old fashioned, too difficult to live in, or the imminence of optional renovations. It really isn't for people who won't be living in the house to be allowed to 'call' things like: whether the small size is worth a shorter commute, or vice versa. Other "bad reasons" to refuse to cosign are that you have ideas about the future of their family, or how they spend their money, or what they like to do with excess money that they currently have, or what you think they might or might not do if their budget got tighter (unless you think 'not paying the mortgage' is one of the things they might do). Considerations like these are not considerations of *your* financial risk. They are considerations of what kind of life the potential home buyers want to enjoy and why. The original post was full of all kinds of info on these topics, which seemed really beside the point of whether or not they wanted to take on a financial risk, and more focused on whether the couple was making an acceptable decision just generally. To me, these are "bad reasons" to refuse to cosign because they are intrusive into the personal lives of other people, who really should be trusted to understand their own business and know their own tastes and priorities (and be able to ask for and receive advice if they want it). It would be a bit controlling to make 'strings' like these attached to the possibility of cosigning. Having made the decision not to cosign, obviously the OP is not doing this "strings attached" thing, but the way they wrote made it sound like they were muddying the waters around a significant decision with irrelevant and overstepping types of concerns, primarily about the house itself. If the thought was "If it was a better house, if it was a wise decision in our eyes, we might agree to cosign." -- that wasn't a well-boundaried thought to have and it wouldn't have promoted either family harmony or good financial reasoning. And yet: It's not out of bounds to give a heads-up about potential 'lifestyle' issues. Even if you aren't asked for advice in a situation like this, it is possible to politely volunteer a fun fact or two. The unhealthy bit would be tying the advice up together with the money.
  4. Thanks! That has really helped me see the OP's motives for redirection of the conversation (away from credit risk, and towards the housing decision itself) more clearly and more charitably. While I was seeing this as coming from a desire to meddle too close to other people's life choices -- I wasn't seeing it as a way of tactfully distracting them instead of having to openly insult them. You're right that it can be really insulting to try to find a way even the most tactfully way to say, essentially, "I think you are a bad credit risk, and I don't want to be left with the consequences of your debts." It's much warmer to say, "I don't think it's a good time to buy or a good house to choose." -- it's a bit on the side of over-involvement in other people's business, but it definitely makes the whole thing the house's fault, and not any of the people's fault. There may be wisdom there. On the other hand, there might be tactful options for telling the truth about the personal risks of becoming a cosigner. One is maybe that you have a moral objection to taking on a debt that is not your own. Another is maybe something like, "I really wish the bank considered you qualified to borrow this independently, but since they have run the numbers, I don't feel comfortable taking on a risk that the bank won't take on as a business risk." It may be that the couple is only mildly hopeful for a cosigner, and is feeling like there's no harm in asking. Maybe they will take a 'no' really easily. I still don't think it's wise to serve up the 'no' with a side of unsupportive second-guessing about the virtues of the house or timing.
  5. That's fair: which is why I started with "if" -- because none of the OP's comments seemed focused on doubts around the couple's ability to make the payments. In fact, earlier I mentioned that "if" they thought it was a bad credit risk, they should refuse outright... for reasons of it being a bad credit risk. I don't think cosigning is an insignificant risk. Cosigning is often a huge risk. That's why I'm trying to focus the OP on asking herself how she assesses the credit risk (instead of asking herself if she likes the house). I think it's the cross-over reasoning that I'm responding negatively to. Refusing to take a credit risk because it's risky and you don't want to do it -- that's perfectly normal. But *if* you were to believe the credit risk is negligible, *but* you were to refuse anyways, just because you don't care for the house in question or approve of the exact timing -- that feels off. Edited to add: People are notoriosly bad at assessing credit risk, and banks are actually spectacular at it -- so the fact that the couple has been asked to seek a cosigner is actually quite a big red flag. It's just that the OP might need to work her way towards that conclusion.
  6. I find it a bit "off" that you seem to be using this request for cosigning as an opportunity to join in the process of wise decision making about housing. You seem to be positioning yourself as a guide to making the best possible financial and housing decision, with the implication that your cosigning would be contingent on them making the choice you see as most likely to have the best outcome. That's all really much closer to the decision than you need to be. It's a form of meddling through incentivization. Here's the thing about cosigning. If they need a cosigner, they need one, and it's because they don't qualify for a loan. If you are not considering cosigning at all, then your role in this decision is over. Without a cosigner, they can not have this house, nor is it likely that they could get any house at all. A gift of money is unlikely to help. (Unless you are considering a gift of more than 25% of the value of a property, which might change their qualification status.) If, in your opinion, a mortgage at this time would be too much for them, and you are unwilling to take that risk of default onto your own financial shoulders -- that's really just fine. if that's the case, that's the case. In fact, the bank has done the math, and they agree with that assessment. The decision you are being asked to make is whether you will stand behind them in case they default. However, you are *not* being asked to decide whether the house is the right size for them, with the right yard, the right, commute, the right wiring, or anything else. Unless they ask you what you think of those factors, those are not your factors. *Their* priorities and perspectives are the correct things to have in the drivers' seat when *they* are selecting a home to purchase. Your wisdom may be asked (and you can answer questions) but it should never feel to you like you are more likely to make the right call about this key feature of the life they are building together. If you think their ability to carry the debt is just fine, and are, theoretically, willing to say so to a bank -- but you just choose not to do that -- as a method for steering them away from the path they think is best (and onto the path you think is best). Well, to me, that would be a crummy thing to do. While it's true that nothing requires you to help people do things that you don't think are wise to do... it's just a little "off" to withhold help that costs you nothing and you think of as no risk at all, openly acknowledging that you are doing it simply because you don't think the timing and size of this house is ideal in your eyes. On the other hand, your money is your own. I suggest that if what you want is to give them a cash gift towards housing, with strings attached, then tell them so, write it down, and let them take or leave the deal. Otherwise I suggest it might be a good time to back away from the details of other people's business.
  7. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask adult kids to pitch in during a home stay -- but if the situation is really that serious, I'm not sure it helps Garga as much as it might seem to. After all, he'll be gone in a few months or weeks, and Garga will go back to really needing someone's help. I was mostly responding to, "How long would you let a non-chore-sharing adult kid live with you?" -- my answer being, if you figure out how to let them stay at all, it's probably possible to do it indefinitely. If Garga is struggling to handle the cat box, dishes, and laundry situation in her home, the people who live there and love one another should definitely help... but with or without her son, she will still have dishes, laundry, and cat boxes. The suggestion of 'never allowing' such things (and/or making the son leave if he won't contribute) doesn't solve any problem whatsoever. Lots of people would rather keep the son and the chores, rather than losing the son and keeping the chores anyways. (Hopefully, not many of us will face that decision, but some of us probably will.) The solutions of using some diplomacy, tact, patience, and leadership skills are a much stronger set of suggestions.
  8. That's interesting. It suggests, maybe, that we might all feel a little less frustrated about adult kids at home if they were guided to focus primarily on lessening their negative impact on shared spaces as a first step. It probably also has something to do with privilege in the first place, because it's easier to ignore other people's messes 'in their own space' if there's lots of space to go around. It definitely helps (a ton!) me that my pair of teen and adult kids each have a solo bathroom, and also each have some living space that I think of as theirs (in addition to a bedroom each). I don't occupy myself with thinking about or cleaning those spaces myself. The only impact on my chore routine with the return of my adult daughter has been a slightly more frequent need to empty/fill the dishwasher, and a few extra items on the kitchen counters sometimes, for me to clear up when I'm already clearing counters, and a few extra items at the grocery store that I'm already shopping at. That's a change of maybe 2 to 5 minutes of work per day for me. The floors have been really normal, their laundry is their own, and their clutter is confined to their own space, or boxed if it's left in shared spaces.
  9. For me, if having my young adult living in my home is about the same amount of work for me as having them live elsewhere -- once I get over the initial sense that I wish I could work less due to their presence, I don't think I'd set a time limit for them to move out just so I could work the same amount without the pleasure of having them nearby. Now, if they were *also* not a pleasure to have nearby, then I might be more inclined to limit their time. Also, if they were making noticably more work for me with their presence, I'd be thinking different thoughts. But not just because they weren't doing their share of domestic labour. What I mean by this is: say if two adults share a home, and they magically both do exactly the same amount of domestic labour in shared spaces, then "I" do "x" (the total amount of shared-space housekeeping that exists) divided by two. Similarly if three adults share the same home, which, in spite of being extra-inhabited still has the same amount of shared space and generally the same cleaning schedule for those spaces, if it was mathematically fair, then "I" would be doing "x" divided by three. x/3 is less work than x/2. Therefore sharing space with an additional adult, in a fair world, should lead to a decrease in "my" responsibilities. In an unfair world, if the third adult does no shared work, my workload remains x/2. Which is exactly what it was before they moved in, and exactly what it will be when they move out. I don't like that it's not fair, because one of us isn't sharing in the work, but I am not actually working harder. Therefore my decision is emotional and relational in nature: would I rather do x/2 work with the company of an adult child at home, or would I rather do x/2 work without the company of my adult child in the home. Does my sense of the pleasure of their company decrease when I feel that I am being bearing an unfair portion of the chores? For sure it does. Does that mean I would prefer the same workload without the kid there to make me feel bad about it? Maybe! That's definitely a crummy feeling. But if them leaving or staying has no actual impact on my chore load... I'll need to analyze what impacts it actually has, and base my decision on those factors: not the chore factors.
  10. I think that, if it's a family business, and multiple adults (spouses, adult children) regularly and reliably work for it -- either they should each/all have a job title and a salary, or they should both be legal co-owners either 50/50 (most spouses) or maybe with defined percentages of ownership. Sometimes, like a farm, everybody works and everybody lives off the 'profits' as well as they can: and that's fine if everybody is a legal co-owner. It's not fine if everybody works, but only one person owns things. In that case any non-owners should get wages. I can't imagine working for a 'family business' for free if it was really a sole proprietorship of my spouse and I had no legally defensible stake in the fruit of my own labour. In my jurisdiction, even the money that results from the paid labour of an employed spouse is considered 50/50 co-owned by an at-home supporting spouse (unless it was not consentual). This is because the at-home contribution to the earning potential of the employed spouse is acknowledged under the law.
  11. And yet, an alcohol swab is a flat rectangle. Funny language we have!
  12. I think some of the confusion might be around the definition of "talent". In the original setting, "a talent" was simply an amount of money. It was never a personal attribute of any kind. It was people/cultures that decided that the 'talent' in the parable must stand for some kind of naturally occurring personal attribute, skill, or affinity -- that we started using a money word from the ancient word as if it actually held the cultural meaning that we ourselves assigned it. In reality none of our human 'talents' are at all related to Biblical 'talents' -- except under a certain very humanistic interpretive lens. Coming from Jesus, the talent story is very similar to other 'harvest' stories: a thing is planted and it multiples. Therefore it's probably a kingdom story, and it's the kingdom that multiples. Therefore we ought to ask ourselves what 'deposit of the kingdom' is growing and multiplying in our lives right now. And, maybe, in what ways might our fears hinder this natural function (seeds grow naturally, and deposits grow naturally -- unless they are stopped). And no, God is probably not the master either. The master stands as the 'reasonable observer' who knows that money tends to grow proportionally unless it is stopped from doing so. (And so he is surprised and angered in a human manner that the normal growth of money was disrupted in one case.) You are being encouraged to also be a 'reasonable observer' who knows that the kingdom is a thing that tends to grow and spread, and to be the kind of observer who can see and appreciate the fruit of the kingdom. (By "grow and spread" I mean that it has an increasing influence within people's lives, making them more virtuous and Christlike, and within their sphere in the way they treat others and help goodness flourish in the world, and also by holding space for others to enter the kingdom -- not just by 'ministries' having larger attendance numbers.) I don't think Jesus really cares if everybody who has a musical sense goes ahead to develop that to a performance level. I don't think he cares at all about 'talented' athletes. I don't even think he cares about our designation of certain 'talents' of intellect and IQ -- except that he would want them are able to grow in virtue and contribute actual good works. In my interpretation, those things aren't the 'talents' he's talking about.
  13. That's the author I was thinking of too. She did Blackout and All Clear (WW2 time travel) too, with not insignificant mentions of the challenges of the costume department.
  14. How could it possibly do that? It can only generate output. No matter how good the output is, people are still actual beings in the actual universe. We live, we learn, we have relationships. People can't be replaced. Plus it only generates output based on data it collects. The data has to be generated by people first, before AI can do anything with it.
  15. bolt.

    Mica Miller

    This whole thing seems sketchy -- but I don't love the part where people are cast as guilty based on the ability to smile and laugh after the death of a loved one. I think enough of us have been through the life experience of losing a loved one to know that it's really normal to be able to smile warmly and share a laugh even during grief. Lots of what's going on here *is* problematic. But chatting and laughing after a loss is by no means part of the problem.
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