Loans, life lessons, & a little bit more

Unlucky 7s

From the We Should All Know Better Department comes this story about how 7-year new car loans are both a really bad idea and the fastest growing segment of the industry. Economics of being upside-down aside, there’s probably something to be said about how we think about car payments.

Once we pay off a car, the thought of taking on a new car payment is enough to keep most of us from stepping foot on a dealer lot, right? Much as we know we’d all like a brand new, 100% reliable daily driver, we just don’t want that burden.

Which is to say that, even for gearheads like us who know better, we still think about new cars in terms of the monthly payment—just like the people signing the 7- and 8-year notes. Funny, that.

Don’t miss out.

Here’s a neat story written by a young dude reflecting on all the adventures he’s had, the people he’s met along the way, and all the ways his life is better because he plays with cars. Oh wait. Actually, he’s been sailing around the world with his family.

But you already know how this all feels—because you’re a gearhead like us.

Everything’s a remix. We’re all standing on the shoulders of giants. Sometimes it’s easier to see yourself in others, ya know? This one’s worth sharing because, if you can see so much in common with someone who lives in a completely different world from you once, you know you can see it elsewhere.

And that’s something everyone should get to experience.

They’ve got your fingerprints.

Just even you thought having an ad blocker installed was probably good enough, it turns out it’s not. Now they’re tracking you based on your hardware and system settings.

It’s called fingerprinting, and it’s the latest development in surveillance capitalism. Even if you’re someone savvy enough to mark yourself Do Not Track, they’re still tracking you. They say it’s anonymous since multiple people can share a single device—but how often do you let other people surf the web on your phone?

Some good news.

There are plugins that can help mitigate and block fingerprinting—uBlock Origin, Disconnect, for example—but there’s also a pretty slick new browser out called Brave that you might want to check out.

This article explains what fingerprinting is—and names several popular websites found using it—but doesn’t mention the Brave browser, which has an easy toggle to block fingerprinting data by default.

Brian’s been using it on his PC, MacBook Pro, and Android all summer and he LOVES it. The only website it’s “broken” is Facebook on mobile, which gets forced to a very basic view. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe not—but Brian tells us he can use Facebook messages on mobile (without installing Messenger) and Brave works just like Chrome—with an ad blocker.

How many ads has YOUR browser blocked?

Bonus: Like it or not…

this is how it will likely go down. When it will happen is the big question, then, isn’t it? Better yet, the million dollar question might be, if we’re pretty sure this is what’s going to happen—what are we doing about it?

And counterpoint: The bigger picture…

we probably use more oil in all the plastic shit we buy than in our fuel tanks. See also: commercial shipping and aviation. Maybe the oil industry will do just fine—albeit without the multi-billion dollar quarterly profit numbers.

Regardless, these are both thoughtful, second or third order thinking looks at the future. We could all use a bit of practice thinking things through. Kinda helps us get a better idea where we’re going.

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