Questions you want answered.

Robear wrote:

We would not be able to detect a rollback, so I don't worry about that.

Jonman, if the systems are both conducting the interactions of a real universe, and simulating one, then the simulator is by definition smaller than the actual universe, and can't sim it all.

Nonsense. As the fidelity of the sim approaches 100%, the difference in size approaches zero.

Jonman wrote:
Robear wrote:

We would not be able to detect a rollback, so I don't worry about that.

Jonman, if the systems are both conducting the interactions of a real universe, and simulating one, then the simulator is by definition smaller than the actual universe, and can't sim it all.

Nonsense. As the fidelity of the sim approaches 100%, the difference in size approaches zero.

"In the superclusters of the Perseus–Pegasus Filament, still today, there are Tattered Ruins of that Simulation…"

Yonder wrote:

Awhile back I was tooling around a similar idea actually: Imagining a research team trying to get more grant funding because the species they were simulating kept doing particle acceleration and quantum experiments that were requiring too much processing power.

On another note, a simulated universe is actually one potential explanation for the Fermi Paradox. Why hasn't some other species becoming space faring and spread throughout the galaxy over the last 14 billion years? Because the simulation started 500 million years ago with an empty 13.5 billion year old universe, and that simulation may or may not be "fully modelling" the entire universe.

Can you explain why "500 million years" ago? Just wondering why that number.

Also, I realize that this video game rendering hypothesis is anthropocentric in that it assumes I (and we humans) are special actors, instead of just part of the simulation. Technically speaking, the "player" is the Grand Gamer In The Sky that is playing our game, i.e. our Universe.

If we follow that line of thinking, the only reason we all are aware of anything is because the GGITS (Grand Gamer In The Sky) is paying attention to us. So yeah, we're "special" in that sense. But we're still just bits and bytes. We're being rendered. But we're still just part of a program.

Lastly: Yonder, I like your funding image. No matter how powerful, the gods have to justify their investment.

I think we may have just founded a new religion here everyone. Forgot the Flying Spaghetti Monster I am down with the Grand Gamer In The Sky now.

Rykin wrote:

I think we may have just founded a new religion here everyone. Forgot the Flying Spaghetti Monster I am down with the Grand Gamer In The Sky now.

"God is a Gamer" would make a great bumper sticker.

Jonman wrote:
Rykin wrote:

I think we may have just founded a new religion here everyone. Forgot the Flying Spaghetti Monster I am down with the Grand Gamer In The Sky now.

"God is a Gamer" would make a great bumper sticker.

So, would you say that god plays dice?

Wink_and_the_Gun wrote:
Jonman wrote:
Rykin wrote:

I think we may have just founded a new religion here everyone. Forgot the Flying Spaghetti Monster I am down with the Grand Gamer In The Sky now.

"God is a Gamer" would make a great bumper sticker.

So, would you say that god plays dice?

He rolled natural 20s when he created me, pal.

Jonman wrote:
Wink_and_the_Gun wrote:
Jonman wrote:
Rykin wrote:

I think we may have just founded a new religion here everyone. Forgot the Flying Spaghetti Monster I am down with the Grand Gamer In The Sky now.

"God is a Gamer" would make a great bumper sticker.

So, would you say that god plays dice?

He rolled natural 20s when he created me, pal. :)

Too bad it was a roll-under system...

Montalban wrote:

Can you explain why "500 million years" ago? Just wondering why that number.

Completely arbitrary.

Also, I realize that this video game rendering hypothesis is anthropocentric in that it assumes I (and we humans) are special actors, instead of just part of the simulation. Technically speaking, the "player" is the Grand Gamer In The Sky that is playing our game, i.e. our Universe.

Whether or not humans are special actors or not depends entirely on what sort of simulation it is. If it was a "let's simulate one solar system decently well and see what happens on the planet we put in the Goldilocks zone" then, yeah, we're special actors. If it is "lets simulate a Big Bang and watch what happens to the entire Universe in excruciating detail" then we are no more special actors in that simulation than we would be if our Universe was not simulated.

As an employer, what resources am I able to provide for an employee whose child was likely molested at day care?

Please keep it clinical as I'm having a hard time not falling apart at the moment.

oilypenguin wrote:

As an employer, what resources am I able to provide for an employee whose child was likely molested at day care?

Please keep it clinical as I'm having a hard time not falling apart at the moment.

Not an expert, but off the top of my head...

Paid time off to deal with the aftermath is probably a big one.
Pay for access to councillors/therapists?
Pay for legal representation (if that's a path that they're going down).

Many corporate insurance policies include access to life coaching and mental health services. Having your HR person (or just giving them the information directly) to get them connected may open up more information about professional services available.

Just awful. So sorry.

Thank you. I’ve got HR running down resources for him. Child services are involved already. PTO isn’t a problem for now.

I’m just trying to engage with him but he’s spiraling something fierce right now. Being both permitted and willing to help but not being able to is something I am particularly bad at.

Does anyone know how much each federal exemption/withholding is worth? Pretty much, I want to get my tax refund down to as close to $0 as possible. I currently got back about $1.2K this year, and I am sitting at one exemption each for state and federal.

I'd like my money now instead of back from a free loan to Uncle Sam, and I can only find old data about past years.

Vrikk wrote:

Does anyone know how much each federal exemption/withholding is worth? Pretty much, I want to get my tax refund down to as close to $0 as possible. I currently got back about $1.2K this year, and I am sitting at one exemption each for state and federal.

I'd like my money now instead of back from a free loan to Uncle Sam, and I can only find old data about past years.

Honest answer - no.

But what I've done in the past is dial my exemptions way up so that my employer would withhold way less than I actually needed to pay my taxes. Then split my paycheck such that the amount that would have been withheld (plus a bit of a buffer) is diverted into an interest-bearing account.

So from the point of view of my current account, it looks exactly the same as when my employer was witholding, but instead, I'm loaning myself the withheld money instead of the Fed, and earning interest on it.

As I'm putting a bit of a buffer in there too, I usually end up getting a "refund" come tax time anyway.

Vrikk wrote:

Does anyone know how much each federal exemption/withholding is worth? Pretty much, I want to get my tax refund down to as close to $0 as possible. I currently got back about $1.2K this year, and I am sitting at one exemption each for state and federal.

I'd like my money now instead of back from a free loan to Uncle Sam, and I can only find old data about past years.

It all depends on how much you make. I used to only claim 1 and then I had to pay one year and since then I have claimed 0. You would probably need to talk to a CPA. I kind of like getting the big check every year. Nice to be able to buy something expensive I need (like a full set of new tires a couple of years ago) or be able to pay something off without needing to live off of ramen for the rest of the month.

Vrikk wrote:

Does anyone know how much each federal exemption/withholding is worth? Pretty much, I want to get my tax refund down to as close to $0 as possible. I currently got back about $1.2K this year, and I am sitting at one exemption each for state and federal.

I'd like my money now instead of back from a free loan to Uncle Sam, and I can only find old data about past years.

IRS Pub 15 was updated a couple weeks ago. The tables start on page 40-something.

Jonman wrote:
Vrikk wrote:

Does anyone know how much each federal exemption/withholding is worth? Pretty much, I want to get my tax refund down to as close to $0 as possible. I currently got back about $1.2K this year, and I am sitting at one exemption each for state and federal.

I'd like my money now instead of back from a free loan to Uncle Sam, and I can only find old data about past years.

Honest answer - no.

But what I've done in the past is dial my exemptions way up so that my employer would withhold way less than I actually needed to pay my taxes. Then split my paycheck such that the amount that would have been withheld (plus a bit of a buffer) is diverted into an interest-bearing account.

So from the point of view of my current account, it looks exactly the same as when my employer was witholding, but instead, I'm loaning myself the withheld money instead of the Fed, and earning interest on it.

As I'm putting a bit of a buffer in there too, I usually end up getting a "refund" come tax time anyway.

Shortchanging withholding and then owing a big bill to the IRS come tax time is a good way to pay penalties. Do not recommend.

carrotpanic wrote:
Jonman wrote:
Vrikk wrote:

Does anyone know how much each federal exemption/withholding is worth? Pretty much, I want to get my tax refund down to as close to $0 as possible. I currently got back about $1.2K this year, and I am sitting at one exemption each for state and federal.

I'd like my money now instead of back from a free loan to Uncle Sam, and I can only find old data about past years.

Honest answer - no.

But what I've done in the past is dial my exemptions way up so that my employer would withhold way less than I actually needed to pay my taxes. Then split my paycheck such that the amount that would have been withheld (plus a bit of a buffer) is diverted into an interest-bearing account.

So from the point of view of my current account, it looks exactly the same as when my employer was witholding, but instead, I'm loaning myself the withheld money instead of the Fed, and earning interest on it.

As I'm putting a bit of a buffer in there too, I usually end up getting a "refund" come tax time anyway.

Shortchanging withholding and then owing a big bill to the IRS come tax time is a good way to pay penalties. Do not recommend.

The entire point is not to shortchange it. It's to take the money that would have been withheld by your employer, and withold it yourself. Yes, it requires some financial discipline to not spend it, but given the original question, that's a given.

If you don't have withholdings taken out and have a large enough balance due, you will have an underpayment penalty. The only way to do what you're suggesting and not have a penalty is to make estimated payments or have a lot of children to offset the balance due.

iaintgotnopants wrote:

If you don't have withholdings taken out and have a large enough balance due, you will have an underpayment penalty. The only way to do what you're suggesting and not have a penalty is to make estimated payments or have a lot of children to offset the balance due.

Yep, looks like if you don't withold/prepay at least 90% of your due amount, or 100% of last year's due amount, you can be penalized.

OK, my bad, I learned something today!

I will mention that for a few years, my wife was self-employed as a nanny. Her "employer" did zero withholding, so we socked away 20% of every one of her paychecks into a savings account, and used that to pay off the bill come tax day. Didn't get penalized, though that's potentially because we file jointly, and my salary is (a) three times the size of hers, and (b) subject to withholding by my employer.

Yep, things can balance out when there are lots of other factors.

I'm also terrible at filing on time.... I still have 2016 not done...

Don't judge me

In iOS, is there a way to ensure that certain apps require a passcode to open?

My use-case is handing my phone to my kid to play a game without having to worry about her going digging around in other apps.

And yes, I know about Guided Access - but rather than locking her out of everything, I'd rather lock the specific things I don't want her getting into.

Looks like parental controls gives you pretty fine-grained control.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT20...

I have only ever used it accidentally. Roscoe just wants to slobber on the phone.

BadKen wrote:

Looks like parental controls gives you pretty fine-grained control.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT20...

I have only ever used it accidentally. Roscoe just wants to slobber on the phone.

That's so close to what I want - it's only applicable to the apps that are baked into iOS. Doesn't let me gate off other apps on a case-by-case basis.

Until Apple adds the long rumored multiple user support to iOS you're stuck with all (guided access) or nothing I'm afraid.

I just want to point out that no one outside of professionals knows what you should be withholding yet. The IRS documents point to this site, but the calculator there is down until they succeed in changing it to fit the new law.

What's the deal with Kingdom Hearts?

Ok, let me clarify. I saw the trailer for the latest game and it's stirred up something inside of me, I love how it looks! I'm just so confused about this series. I didn't play them as they were released, so it looks like a complete mess of weird storylines and offshoots to me.

Of the lot, I've played:

  • Some of KH1 on PS2. I found it a bit too simple and easy, I stopped around Halloween world. I've heard I should have played the higher difficulty mode.
  • All of Birth By Sleep. I didn't understand the greater meaning, but enjoyed the 3 interwoven stories. Combat was so fun in this one!
  • Dream Drop Distance. It was all a dream? But it wasn't a dream because it was a dream within a dream? I thought it was ok but waaay too confusing.

So, say I wanted to catch up before KH3 releases. Is there any general advice you would give?