Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2006:May:09 Tuesday <Monday, Wednesday>
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2006/5/9-10 [Politics/Foreign/Asia/China, Finance/Shopping] UID:42989 Activity:low
5/9     Dear motd. Suppose a friend wants to maximize his wedding plans and
        would like to get the biggest bang for the bucks. He would like to
        invite as many people to the banquet as possible without
        losing too much money and without pissing people off. The only way
        to do so is by having the wedding back in Asia, which is not an
        option for him since most of his friends are in California. He's
        thinking about inviting as many close friends as possible so that
        red envelopes would recoup some of the costs, while minimizing
        the number of non-Asian people since they rarely give red envelopes.
        By the way I don't want to get into the whole topic of why many
        Americans we've met are so culturally insensitive, ignorant,
        careless, and rude that they give gifts instead of traditional
        auspicious red envelopes with amounts that at least recoup the
        cost of the wedding banquet. We especially want to avoid inviting
        non-Asians people who may unknowingly give really really cursed
        items like clocks, knives, and things that end up with the number
        four, or uneven number of things-- one more reason to not invite
        non-Asians. Anyways, depending on the quality of food and where he
        holds the banquet, each table is ~$500 for 10 people, and if he
        invites too many non-Asians he'll end up losing a lot of money and
        have bad luck. What's the best way to go about this? Is it ok to
        invite everyone to the vow thing and then exclude non-Asians to the
        banquet as to decrease bad luck and increase overall fortune of
        the year? Thanks so much for any advice.
        the year? Thanks so much for any advice.
        \_ This is clearly a simple optimization problem with several variables
           and a few unknown constants.  We who study this problems cannot help
           because your unknown constants cannot be determined without the a
           certain about uncertainty (how odd), and perhaps a cultural anthropoligist.
           If offending your non-Asian friends costs you more money in terms of lost
           gifts than would be recouped by Red Envelopes, then you must avoid
           inviting Asians at all.  Don't forget you could always sell the gifts
           on E-bay.  The tricky part comes when analyzing the bad-luck gifts.
           Just how much income will you lose from dieing early if given a small clock
           vs. a large clock. This we cannot know.  Now to be serious.
           Weddings are for your family and friends, not yourself you selfish bastard.
           certain about uncertainty (how odd), and perhaps a cultural
           anthropoligist.  If offending your non-Asian friends costs you more
           money in terms of lost gifts than would be recouped by Red
           Envelopes, then you must avoid inviting Asians at all.  Don't
           forget you could always sell the gifts on E-bay.  The tricky part
           comes when analyzing the bad-luck gifts.  Just how much income will
           you lose from dieing early if given a small clock vs. a large clock.
           This we cannot know.  Now to be serious.  Weddings are for your
           family and friends, not yourself you selfish bastard.
           \_ 80 column your ass, you inconsiderate bastard.
        \_ Your friend's mentality is completely fucked up and completely
           misinterperate the tradition.
           The way it suppose to work is actually rather simple.  At the
           front of the benquet, there is typically a team of three or four
           that acted as account receivable.  As soon as the guest give out
           the envelope, the account receivable will 1. OPEN THE ENVELOPE,
           COUNT THE MONEY HE/SHE GAVE, and 2. write down how much he/she gave
           out in the "income statement."
           Why keep such record?  because when it's his/her turn to get
           married,  you typically give the same amount back as SOCIAL NORM
           dictates.
           In other word.  The tradition is designed to, effectively, lend
           the money to the new couples, when they need the money the most,
           and return the money to him/her when it's their turn to get married.
           The only exception to the rule is that you happened to have some
           rich friends and you happens to be poor.  The tradition allow
           the wealthy to channel the funds to those in needs without having
           the recipein losing face.
           The social norm dictates that if you are out of town and have little
           chance to attend other's wedding, then, don't have such banquet.
           or says flat out in the invitation that red envelopes will NOT be
           accepted.   and Yes, having such statement in the invitation is not
           as uncommon as you think.
           In short, stop being a cheap bastard in the name of tradition.
                                                kngharv

           \_ Hang on--this doesn't make sense.  So let's say I'm single and
              I "lend" $100 to my newlywed friend in his time of greatest
              financial need as a wedding "gift".  If I ever get married,
              according to your setup, he would simply be "repaying" me if
              he gave me $100 as a gift, not "lending" to me in my time of
              greatest financial need.  How about, if you're going to give
              a cash gift, just look at it as just that, a gift?  -John
              \_ You are right.  It is cash gift.  But there is an unspoken
                 rule that when it's your turn to get married, he/she will
                 also gives you the money in return.  How he determine
                 how much he is going to give you?  he digs out the income
                 statement and look at how much you gave the last time and
                 start from there.  There are a lot of factors involved and
                 I was simplifying it to make a point.  What are other factors?
                 the place where he/she held banquet, for example.  Normally
                 we try to rough guess how much each head cost in a particular
                 place and try to make sure the margin I made on my wedding
                 is roughly the same margin he is going to make.  There is no
                 hard rule here.  People is not going to hold anything against
                 you if you forgot to factor in, for example, inflations.
                 Because a wedding invitation == money.  There is a phenomenon
                 which you may find interesting.  It is typically for a bride/
                 groom to have couple extra tables, and there will be people
                 come to the banquet uninvited.   The logic behind such
                 uninvited guest is following:"you may think you and I don't
                 know each other well enough for you to ask money for me, but
                 I felt I am good enough friend for you and thus I will attend
                 your banquet, give you my blessing and of course cash gift."
                 fun?                                   kngharv
              \_ Ok let's say I give $100 to my friend and 10 years passed
                 and it's my turn to get married. Should he give me $100 plus
                 inflation rate? Also what if I get married 10 times, is that
                 fair?
                 \_ If you get married 10 times, you need all the help you
                    can get...
        \_ Don't invite these people to the wedding at all.  Instead,
           hold a party for all your friends a few weeks afterwards (or
           whenever you're recovered from the wedding).  It'll be much
           cheaper, they won't feel obligated to give you gifts you don't
           want, and everyone will probably have more fun anyway.
           \_ Yes but in the Chinese tradition, the more the merrier.
        \_ There are really two things at work here: a) you're a cheapass
           bastard, and b) you're a superstitious bastard.  Why should the
           motd work for you if you're not going to do anything for the motd
           in return?
        \_ You should have listened to your mom:  Study more and stop hanging
           around with those white folk.  Bad for grades!
           \_ Now that I'm older, I know better :( Mommy says the whities
              I hang around with blow all their incomes on pleasure instead
              of real estate, do drugs, and don't study. I'm a bad son. -op
        \_ True (sad) story:
           I gave a set of really expensive knives as a wedding gift to
           one of my best friends. Within a year his wife had filed for
           divorce and shortly after that (before the divorce even went
           through) she died in a car accident. I am not superstitious,
           but lots of people told me knives are 'bad' gifts. I won't try
           that again. By the way, your post is a poor attempt at a troll.
           \_ Is your friend Chinese? Whether it's your fault or not, one
              thing is certain: the Chinese community gossips a lot, and
              most of them by now think that you're an yang chi idiot and
              will not invite you to their weddings.
           \_ Jesus H. Christ are really such an egotist that you think
              any of this bad luck had anything to do with what YOU bought
              as a wedding gift?
              \_ "I am not superstitious". No, I don't. However, when
                 there are so many other gifts to give, I won't chance it.
                 \_ "I'm not superstitious, I just won't step on cracks in
                    the sidewalk."  -tom
                    \_ I did once and my mother's back broke. Why chance it?
                 \_ The only reason I wouldn't give someone a knife as a
                    wedding gift is think how bad I'd feel if there was
                    a really bad fight and a spouse stabbed the other
                    with the knife I bought.  Don't give weapons as gifts.
        \_ Ditto above about the troll, but generally, a lot of us hairy
           barbarian gwailo gaijin types don't know about these superstitions,
           and I find it pretty interesting to learn this sort of stuff.
           Maybe include a little primer or something?  Or would people find
           that condescending?  And not to sound insensitive, but do you (pp)
           really blame the knives?  -John
           \_ Red envelopes are very auspicious. But you can't just put in
              ANY money, you have to put in nice clean bills, as a sign of
              purity. The amount must be even number, and the term
              "double happiness" should be reflected. $22, $222, $2222 are
              extremely good. Also ba, the number 8 is VERY VERY good. $88,
              $888 are very good. Never, ever, give things that have 4 in
              them, because it is just one tone away from the word death.
              Wedding registry gifts-- they're ok if the Chinese guy is a
              total ignorant banana in which case anything goes, so better
              ask if the groom/bride are ABC bananas. NEVER, EVER give knives
              and clocks unless you want the gossipy Chinese community
              to hate you for the rest of your life. Clock is the same tone
              as "your demise", or "RIP". And BTW it's not uncommon to not
              invite whities to Chinese banquets because often they have
              exotic food that piss off foreigners, or that the foreigners
              start to become annoying and authoritative and ask silly
              questions about the food (you just don't question their
              culture, just accept it at the wedding ok?). So if you're a
              whitie and you're invited, you should feel proud of yourself
              for making it in the inner circle. Lastly the Chinese culture
              says if you have a vacation home in Santiago Chile you are
              obligated to offer them to use it any time they want. Ok
              that's all I've got for now.      -Motd Culture Consultant #2
              \_ Haha this is actually pretty good, thanks.  As for "not
                 inviting whiteys", I turned the "let's gross out the gaijin
                 for fun" around on a whole Japanese restaurant in Tokyo
                 once, where they all somehow felt honor-bound to choke down
                 the live-fish-in-sake they served us just because I chugged
                 them instead of making a face and sending them back.  That'll
                 show 'em, HAH.  Anyway, I thought not inviting gwailos was
                 just because we're funny looking and weird.  So what would
                 be kosher non-monetary gifts then?  -John
              \_ So what if you give them four knives?  Do they run away
                 screaming? ;-)
              \_ This is very helpful. I kind of knew this stuff but my
                 Chinese friends never actually explained it. Those assholes.
                 They just let me infer it. So I'm gonna give them a set of
                 4 knives which each have a little digital clock in the handle.
                 Actually, they probably wouldn't give a shit. So I'll send
                 them to their mothers ;)
                 \_ Yes. Most ABC bananas today don't give a shit. But
                    their parents will probably have a heart attack.
                    So, be nice.
           \_ I think John's hit this one on the nose. Turn this into an
              educational experience. If some westerners consider giving
              money too crass, then they shouldn't come. The point of a
              wedding is to celebrate your love, not their cultural comfort
              zone. Also, those red (or, in Japan, white) envelopes really
              help with the cost. --erikred
           \_ FYI, Japanese gives out red envelopes on weddings too.
        \_ have a wedding you can afford.  Your guests aren't there to pay
           for your wedding you cheapass asian.  -frugal asian
        \_ why don't you have two banquets, Eastern and Western style
           invite each guest to the appropriate one.
           \_ Best idea I've seen so far. Invite friends and family to
              the nice exclusive banquet with exotic gourmet shark fins,
              dog meat, intestines, liver, and bobas while excluding
              foreigners who may feel offended or grossed out. Then invite
              the white people over to your backyard for BBQ, cheap beer,
              and football. Great idea!
              \_ Gwailo not appreciate gourmet shark fin.  All gwailo eat
                 roast cow.  And treat black people bad.  -John
        \_ I had a Vietnamese/white wedding and my wife's family all gave
           red envelopes and my family all gave gifts from the registry.
           But we returned almost all the gifts and got store credit, which
           is almost as good. In white culture you are supposed to give a
           gift which is approximately the same value as the cost of your
           seat at the banquet plus wedding costs, so it is the same tradition,
           almost. -ausman
           \_ What the hell is "white culture"?  Is that like yoghurt?  -John
           \_ why the heck are you registering for items you don't want?  I
              find these fundraising weddings to be really, rather crass.
              \_ I agree, and I think Miss Manners would dispute any
                 inference that you are "supposed" to give any certain
                 value of gift.  If you attend the wedding, you're supposed
                 to send a gift (not *bring* a gift, *send* a gift to
                 the couple afterwards), and as with all gifts, the giver
                 gets to decide how much to spend.  -tom
                 \_ http://tinyurl.com/z8t6t
                    How are these numbers determined. I'm afraid that, as
                    romantic as weddings may be, arriving at the appropriate
                    value for a wedding gift tends to be based on cold, hard
                    economics. If you are attending the wedding, you want to
                    ensure that the value of your gift will cover the cost the
                    hosts will incur by having you in attendance. Think in
                    terms of the type and style of wedding, and where it will
                    be held. What amount do you think will be required to cover
                    the cost of your meal? Obviously, a cake and punch
                    reception in the couple's back yard will cost less than a
                    formal sit down meal in the city's swankiest skyline
                    restaurant. Once you've estimated what it will cost to
                    cover your meal, you'll want to add another "bonus" amount
                    so they actually get a gift in the end, and don't simply
                    recoup the cost of hosting you. Etiquette queens of days
                    gone by would claim that guests should never have to
                    consider the cost's of their host in determining what to
                    give as a gift. True enough, you don't have to run these
                    calculations, but a truly gracious guest is naturally
                    inclined to do so, out of their genuine desire to treat
                    the bride and groom, and to be generous on, what is to the
                    couple a very special occasion.
                 But there is also:
                 http://tinyurl.com/zwcxs
                 "Guests will choose a gift based on their budget and on how
                 well they know you. They are not obligated to cover the cost
                 of their meal and they should not even know how much you paid
                 for your reception. To give out that information is considered
                 bragging and has no bearing on what your guests will give."
                 So I guess there are various schools of thought on this one.
                 \_ I would not truest a website's advice on gift giving,
                    especially one from a industry that profits from such.
              \_ We already have a house we had bought three years before,
                 but lots of people coming to the wedding wanted to buy
                 us gifts anyway. We had to come up with something. We found
                 a few that we actually wanted, but mostly we wanted gift
                 cards, but almost no one in my family gave that, because
                 they have that save attitude as the anonymous flamer that
                 it is really, rather crass. Is it better to have an attic
                 full of stuff you don't want? I really don't see what the
                 point of that is. But yeah, I didn't tell anyone I returned
                 their gift. No point in that. The truth is, there is no
                 "one size fits all cultures" answer to the question. -ausman
                 \_ Until they come over to your house for Thanksgiving and
                    wonder why you are dining on Ikeaware instead of the
                    Limoges china you returned for a big screen TV.
                    \_ If someone gives you Limoges china, why would you
                       not use it?  Unless it's butt-ugly, of course.  -John
                       \_ I know a lot of people who would say that the
                          china is nice, but that they need x and that
                          they can buy x (and probably y and z, too) if
                          they return the china that they will use only
                          twice per year. I think it's low class and
                          tacky (plus, I *like* to break out the china
                          unlike a lot of people) to return expensive
                          gifts in favor of gift cards and that, I suppose,
                          is my point.
2006/5/9-10 [Transportation/Bicycle] UID:42990 Activity:nil
5/8     We are the cyclists, and we are many.  our prime directive is to
        protect the environment. Everything we purchase is eco friendly
        apart from our  lycra clothes which are made in a sweat shop in
        china.  Leader, we must return to the hive!
        \_ Real cyclist wear wool!
2006/5/9 [Computer/SW/Apps/Media, Academia/Berkeley/CSUA/Troll] UID:42991 Activity:nil
5/9     motd boob guy apprentice wonders if ax got his account
        turned on.
        http://tinyurl.com/orrby
        \_ Broken link.
           \_ works for me, might be filtered at your office
              \_ From TinyURL: Error: Unable to find site's URL to redirect to.
2006/5/9-10 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:42992 Activity:nil
5/9     Froomkin admits error in saying Hayden was wrong about 4th Amendment
        http://csua.org/u/frw (Wash Post)
        He should have taken the motd approach:  Say probable cause applies to
        warrants, and you can search without a warrant as long as it's
        reasonable:  like when cops do a pat-down without a warrant, or when
        Dubya says so.
        \_ "So I guess it's conceivable that Hayden's view is not an
            out-and-out misinterpretation of the Fourth Amendment. But at the
            very least, it's certainly an activist way of looking at things."
           Calling this admitting error is not an out-and-out misinterpretation
           of it, but it's certainly a wishful way of looking at it.
           \_ my main beef was that Froomkin didn't get it right the first
              time.  instead he follows with a clarification and loses impact.
              i do acknowledge Froomkin didn't exactly fess up to a mistake.
              \- boy initially i thought you were talking about the law
                 prof [who works with EFF] MICHAEL FROOMKIN and it would
                 have been kinda interesting to see him back down. oh it looks
                 like that columnist maybe the BROTHER of MFROOMKIN.
2006/5/9 [Computer/SW/Languages/Misc, Computer/SW/WWW/Server, Computer/SW/Unix] UID:42993 Activity:nil
5/9     Running httpd as nobody isn't that secure. If one asshole decides to
        do a DoS (fork script) as nobody, there's no way to track down the
        perpetrator. This is why "suexec" is highly recommended, plus
        users don't need to chmod a+rx script.cgi.
        \_ Uh, it's totally trivial to track down the perpetrator with or
           without suexec.  httpd should run as something other than nobody,
           but that's only because nobody is over-used, and whether httpd
           runs as nobody is orthogonal to the question of whether suexec
           should be on.  -tom
           \_ Ok fine. I gave a bad example, but we both agree that nobody
              is good.
2006/5/9-10 [Reference/Tax] UID:42994 Activity:nil
5/9     http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/05/09/MNGSVIO7NG1.DTL
        "The top 3 percent of the returns, those with incomes exceeding
         $200,000, paid about 60 percent of all state taxes."
        It must be cool to be a minority and own so much wealth.
        \_ You realize that with the progressive tax structure, those 3% likely
           own _less_ than 60% of the wealth, right?  And having N% own N% of
           the wealth isn't actually an achievable _or_ desirable ideal, btw.
           \_ We don't need a progressive tax structure. An all
              digital HDMI tax structure is much better! -troll
        \_ in theory, those with the highest income may not have the highest
           total wealth... however, it is indeed more or less the case.  In
           2001, the top 5% had about 60% of the net worth, and about 68% of
           the financial wealth
        \_ It must be cool to be the majority and not work hard in school and
           just sort of coast by in life. They probably have more fun anyway.
2006/5/9 [Politics/Domestic/Gay] UID:42995 Activity:nil
5/9     Attack on gay Americans vacationing in St. Martin (April 6, 2006)
        http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1629399/posts
        "a small group chased them down, yelled gay slurs and smashed Smith's
        skull with a tire iron."
        \_ God Bless.                           -jblack #1 fan
        \_ The typical freeper seems to think something bad should have
           happened to the preverts, but not as bad as getting your skull
           bashed in.
2006/5/9-14 [Finance/Investment] UID:42996 Activity:nil
5/9     Explanation of the recent I-bond rate change
        http://csua.org/u/fs6 (sfgate.com)
2006/5/9-10 [Computer/SW/SpamAssassin] UID:42997 Activity:nil
5/9     Today I got a huge bunch of "mailer-daemon" failure messages due to someone
        sending spam with my email in the from:. What's the best way to deal with
        that? If I procmail them all to /dev/null then I'd miss real delivery
        notifications that are occasionally useful.
        \_ I got that too last week for one or two days.  Bounce was from
           some Italian server, I think.  I thought it was just virus spam
           (infected .gif attachment) pretending to be bounce notifications.
2006/5/9-10 [Academia/Berkeley/CSUA/Motd] UID:42998 Activity:nil
5/9     Formatted most flagrant 80 column violations back to sanity.  The
        motd formatting god grows angry.  We should all fear its wrath.
        \_ Can't computers do this automatically these days?
           \_ Yeah, but this is the CSUA.  Lots of alumni love circa 1980
              approaches to problems.
              \_ Because we know the students will come up with some
                 incredibly brilliant technical solution just to spite us
                 curmudgeons.  We wouldn't want to deprive you of the
                 learning opportunity.  -John
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2006:May:09 Tuesday <Monday, Wednesday>