Locations in three words

by Anonymous

Have you heard of what3words? It’s a new addressing system to help people communicate specific locations. One can currently do that with coordinates, but those are prone to error – telling the pizza guy you want your order to come to 34.057905°N 118.208899°W may get you to the entrance of USC’s hospital but giving the guy 31.057905°N 118.208899°W will get you a few hundred miles off of the Mexican Coast.

In order to have accuracy, you have to have a lot of numbers. In order to use traditional addresses, you need an agreed upon system of words and numbers – which much of the world doesn’t have. Enter what3words – a set of word-based coordinates that identify a 3×3 meter square.

I think it is the most interesting thing. My college’s art gallery is matrons.defend.smokers, which is awesome. Given the size of the gallery (or your house) there are 10s or 100s of choices. Some of them are brilliant. The whole ideas is a combination of nerdy, whimsical and social justice – being able to provide ambulance or mail delivery to the slums changes people’s lives.  [link updated]

what3words keeps Olympics visitors on track in Rio

This is probably not the discussion where people disclose the coordinates of their front door – but perhaps their favorite beach. What do you use to find your way without addresses? How can that be improved? Is everyone else as in love with this as I am?

 

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124 thoughts on “Locations in three words

  1. I really hope this catches on it’s so easy to use and memorable. I looked up the Boston Public Library which is monday.ending.zips. The W in SF is drums.waddled.behind. The Capitol Building in DC is gosh.casual.stale.

  2. try putting in your own address. pretty impressive I’d say. I wonder if our pizza place is onto this?

  3. I love this! What’s cool is that each little 3m x 3m square has its own label. So, the capitol building has hundreds of choices – it can also be hiding.civil.keys – which is even more descriptive. Other good ones (for the capitol) : silver.oiled.calm woke.goats.cabin direct.decay.think stored.goat.faces

  4. @ Ada – thanks for the This Won’t Hurt a Bit podcast recommendation, but I’m not exaggerating when I say I almost had to pull the car over and vomit during the maggot discussion.

  5. I think I heard a NPR story about this – it was about the use of this technology for Mongolia – a place with few conventional fixed addresses.

    From the story: “It is tough to be a postman in Mongolia. The country is among the world’s most sparsely populated — twice the size of Texas with about one-tenth the state’s population of about 27 million. Its roads, even in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, often lack well-known names, making navigation difficult and street addresses unreliable. To make matters even more complicated, about a quarter of the country’s residents are nomadic, with no permanent homes. All of that means it can often be incredibly challenging for the Mongol Post to locate people.”

    http://www.npr.org/2016/06/19/482514949/welcome-to-mongolias-new-postal-system-an-atlas-of-random-words

  6. What may be slightly confusing is that you have to be precise with the words.

    Wink.dote.thrives is one place but winks.dote.thrives is another.

    I know this is an issue with the current location system, but for some reason the three word issue bothers me more. Maybe it’s because of autocorrect or my inability to hear properly all the time.

  7. Wtf? Is there any rhyme or reason to the assignment of words, or is it just completely random?

    I think this is a fun toy. But I’m struggling to see how this is an improvement over what we already have. In terms of human, on-the-ground navigation, there’s no rhyme or reason, no way a person can learn the system to learn to navigate or to give directions, the way you can with street names or landmarks. And when you talk about device-assisted navigation, how does this improve on street names/numbers/GPS with Google Maps? Sure, you can mistype a GPS number — but it’s just as easy to mistype “hyphens.justifies.waiters.” Especially as (a) many people are crappy spellers, (b) you need to remember not just the words but the specific order, and (c) for this to be universal, you need to program everything in all human languages.

    It just seems like most of the world has already developed “an agreed upon system of words and numbers” that works for the people who live there and is learnable for visitors. And the parts of the world that don’t have such a system probably also don’t know how to write/spell accurately in one of the captured languages, which just seems like a pretty high bar to overcome to use the system. I’d imagine GPS would be more translatable, because math is the universal language, so the numerals 0-9 have the same meaning in all cultures, even where people use different symbols.

    So what am I missing? How is this better?

  8. But I’m struggling to see how this is an improvement over what we already have.

    It’s easier to remember than an address and easier to tell to a computer. You can remember and then tell you car’s GPS to go to 600 Chief Justice Cushing Highway, Scituate, Massachusetts 02066 or you can tell it to go to hugged.poets.flute.

  9. Sure, you can mistype a GPS number — but it’s just as easy to mistype “hyphens.justifies.waiters.”

    It’s much easier on the voice recognition system and your memory.

  10. @LFB – imagine you and I are going to a professional sporting event (could happen, I hear that people do that all time) – and I want you to tailgate with me (do they do that at professional games? or is it just college?). I can direct you to my parking spot – pork.beer.balls. However, you don’t want to tailgate, you just want to meet me at the correct entrance so I can give you tickets ludicrous.prices.barbarians . You can tell me where your car is parked and we can meet there afterwards flee.bread.circuses .

    These things are very clearly communicated with three words – and if you get them wrong, you will not be anywhere near the arena (is that what they call the sports-place?). There are a lot more applications in parts of the world where there are not reliable addresses. However, there are lots of non-addressed places this could work with here, if it were widely adopted (entrances to gigantic buildings like hospitals, locations on college campuses or outdoor markets/malls, music or other festivals).

    Also, if you download the app from the internets, it can translate words into locations without internet connectivity. It is more functional than google maps, if you don’t have wifi or other data connection.

  11. Good point ADA. If I invite you to join us at the beach I might say meet us as snack.enhancement.detectible vs. meet us at Crane’s beach, then take the third stairs to the right then take a right and keep walking until you see the red sign and then text us and we’ll wave.

  12. Just spent an hour looking at land court records online for a client (which of course only works with explorer) and one of the lots seems to have disappeared off the tax maps, although it was deeded separately. And most (but not all) the properties are in Land Court, which has a different database and numbering system than the normal book and page. Sigh. Accurately describing property is hard!

  13. I have to b picked up by a car service later this week since I have to fly to TX for a conference. The car services ALWAYS end up in Yonkers instead of my town, even though I carefully type my town name into the app when I make the reservation. Evidently, long before we moved here, our zip was used in Yonkers. For the first 3 years that we lived here, our mail would sometimes end up in Yonkers. The car services all use some kind of ancient mapping software that still has the mistaken information in it. Maybe I should give them one of these addresses instead

  14. For one of our weekend trips to NYC a couple years ago, we were staying in a midtown hotel booked through Priceline, and DW entered something like (making this up) 500 East 21st St., New York, NY.

    I thought something was weird based on whatever bridge it selected for us, but, not surprisingly, we ended up at that address in Brooklyn, not Manhattan. Difference in zip code that she somehow thought would be of no consequence.

    I can see the appeal, but I still agree with LfB’s objections. I think a combination of numerals and the phonetic alphabet (62 Tango 93 Whiskey 57 Alpha) might offer a sufficient number of permutations without requiring easily confused and possibly unfamiliar words and spellings.

  15. Really, one of the biggest problems with GPS coordinates is that it can be in either decimals or degrees and minutes. An obvious advantage is that there’s some order to the whole thing, not just what some random word generator assigns.

    So my system would probably incorporate a logical ordering, as well.

  16. I think a combination of numerals and the phonetic alphabet (62 Tango 93 Whiskey 57 Alpha) might offer a sufficient number of permutations without requiring easily confused and possibly unfamiliar words and spellings.

    Your plan would offer 21,952,000,000 possibilities. The Earth’s surface is 510.2 trillion square meters. That would allow you to address each 152m^2 patch of the earth’s surface.

    Keeping in mind:”The wordlists go through multiple automated and human processes before being sorted by an algorithm that takes into account word length, distinctiveness, frequency, and ease of spelling and pronunciation. Homophones and variant spellings are treated to minimise any potential for confusion, and offensive words are removed.

  17. “and offensive words are removed.”

    Well there goes the unique name I wanted to give my 3 square meters of the earth… :)

  18. The problem with logical ordering is the 62 Tango 93 Whiskey 57 Alpha is close, but not the same as 62 Tango 94 Whiskey 57 Alpha. It’s like zip codes – off by one digit puts you in Brooklyn. When I typed in RMS’s beach, I was initially in Arkansas and realized that I hadn’t made “dandelions” plural – but the mistake was obvious.

  19. 62 Tango 93 Whiskey 57 Alpha

    Also, if you pulled 100 people off the sidewalk and said, “If you can recite this code in 10 minutes we’ll give you $100.” vastly more people would be able to remember hugged.poets.flute than 62 Tango 93 Whiskey 57 Alpha.

  20. “That would allow you to address each 152m^2 patch of the earth’s surface. ”

    I think a 12*12 meter box is good enough, or you could add another letter.

    But how did you get 21 billion? I keep coming up with 17 billion. (10*10*26*10*10*26*10*10*26)

  21. I think a 12*12 meter box is good enough, or you could add another letter.

    Sorry, it’s 23 241k square meters. I meant a square 152m on a side.

  22. A 12×12 meter box does not differentiate between my front door and my back door (and I would like my packages left at the back door, please). Also, for people in slums (or at some muddy music festival), that may be 10-12 families, which doesn’t create enough specificity.

    “What3words has been providing 3 word addresses to Rio’s largest favela, Rocinha; just an empty space according to many normal maps. This means more than 3,000 streets and the homes of more than 70,000 residents are invisible. But where the Brazilian post office does not deliver in favelas, local delivery service Carteiro Amigo has been using the three-word address system to safely deliver letters and parcels.”

    Or you could just add another letter.

  23. Milo,

    Using your 17 billion number I get 510.2 trillion divided by 17 billion = 30,011 sq meters. So a square 173m on a side.

  24. I can see it being a great benefit to DH’s job. He frequently works at job sites that do not yet have a 911 address. So, instead of a homeowner telling him to “go north on Plank Road, continue past the alpaca farm on the right, and go to the third red gate on the left,” DH could just be told that he needs to go to cow.farm.hamburger.

  25. “When I typed in RMS’s beach, I was initially in Arkansas and realized that I hadn’t made “dandelions” plural – but the mistake was obvious.”

    Ada – that’s if you know you’re looking for a beach.

    I re-tried mine and misspelled it ending up in the middle of the Virginia. My cryptic clue (popovers) could apply to Virginia as well… I know I mean Maine, but if you don’t know that, you’ll think I’m directing you to Virginia, and go there.

    I do like this system – it’s fun and I think very useful for crowded areas. But, I see pitfalls. All systems have pitfalls though.

  26. Milo – I’d think you’d at least need to do a set distance from the coastline and all islands. How else would you identify prime fishing spots?

  27. “I’d think you’d at least need to do a set distance from the coastline and all islands.”

    12 nm.

  28. Milo,

    The whole surface of the Earth at 3x3m seems better than your system of only the land and 12nm at a resolution of ~93x93m.

  29. Off topic, but related to houses. 10, almost 11, years ago is when DH and I were house shopping. We looked within a wide, wide price range, because we really weren’t sure what we wanted or what $$ would buy here (we were living in another state at the time). There was one house that was at the very top of our price range, and we absolutely loved it. Great layout, gorgeous Marsh view, everything we thought we wanted. I mentally moved in as soon as we walked through it. It was a brand new house, but in our established neighborhood, and that was really appealing. BUT, at the end of the day we just couldn’t bring ourselves to buy at the top of our price range. We bought a house for much less of the cost of that one that I didn’t love as much but it was still perfectly fine and left us plenty of breathing room.

    We do not routinely drive by the other house, because it’s in a completely different part of the neighborhood, but we went for a long bike ride over the weekend and rode by it. It looks terrible. Whoever bought it didn’t keep it up at all, and now it is apparently for sale (for less than it was 10 years ago). The yard was significantly smaller than I remembered, and it’s on a much, much busier street than we are (something that would have been hard to gauge as an out-of-towner). I am SO GLAD we didn’t get it.

    Also, I am so glad that over the years we’ve made it a priority to keep updating our house. Staying on top of landscaping (snooze, but I do it), swapping out shutters as the old ones showed too much wear & tear, keeping it pressure washed and having paint/trim touched up as needed — what a difference between our house and that one, although 10 years ago that house was the nicer one.

    Back to regular programming.

  30. Milo – I think more like 30-50 nm out… 12 is too close to shore.

    Plus, if this is used by commercial fisherman, they will want EEZ’s…

  31. I must be getting old because it just feels like another thing for me to figure out and adapt to.

  32. LfB’s already done the main curmudgeonly bit, with pragmatic support from Rhode (because theory is always primary ;) ) so I’m free to be playful in my promotion of another way to give location (above). As far as three words being easier to remember than the number/word combo that’s already standard in most places that have a standard, I disagree, but suppose that’s down to how individual people’s synapses are lined up. I do recall that when I visited my ex’s family in DireDawa, the second largest city in Ethiopia and long a regional Capitol, they told me that their addres, should I wish to write to them, was “[family name], District 1, Dire Dawa, and then a postal code. There was no street sign on the corner or number on the building. But sometimes the informal way is just easier. When I visited a friend in Costa Rica, I noticed that arriving mail had a house number and street name, but his instructions on how to get there from Germany were to get on a bus to Limon from the international airport, and tell the driver I wanted to visit him, using his first name only. It worked. Passengers told me his place was coming up before the driver did. When we stopped, they pointed to the house, and there I was! Not something I’d do with a small child in tow, but it worked out fine. One word for the bus’s final destination, one word for my friend.

  33. A question for people who’ve traveled: what improvements on the street name + number system have you seen? I hate the German way of assigning street names, because they can change every couple kilometers or can be the same from one city to the next, but within that, the ways house numbers work is pretty slick. Their argument for each segment having a different name is that the street name alone pinpoints a pretty specific place. They always start with single digits and increase consecutively, one number at a time. Some streets have odds on one side, evens on the other, and some go in a loop, so the highest number is across the street from #1. You have to know how it’s done where you are. Once you get used to it, you can figure out where an address is pretty easily.

  34. So to use it you have to register? I’m not a fan. From what people have commented here, I gather that the three words for my address will have nothing to do with the words for the house next door. So whereas remembering just the three words “Prairie Do Drive” might get me to a friend’s suburban street, there doesn’t seem to be any way to be in the neighborhood but not right on the mark. That’s not impressive. But maybe if I’d register I’d see that there is some connection. I wonder why they don’t make it strings of varying length, say one word for the 3×3 m square, two words for that square within a 3kmx3km square, three words for those embedded in a 3000kmx3000km square, and so on. Most of the time you have an idea of where something is–its on the N coast of France or the Nile Valley or whatever. So then you’d only use as many words as you needed. Just a thought. OP, did you read more about how they came up with this system?

  35. “Prairie Do” haha! I was thinking a suburban street might be called “Prairie Dog”, but what do I know?

  36. I wonder why they don’t make it strings of varying length, say one word for the 3×3 m square, two words for that square within a 3kmx3km square, three words for those embedded in a 3000kmx3000km square

    It would be too many words to remember and too much text to enter into your GPS.

  37. Saac,

    Ah, I think I understand. You couldn’t do that because there are 1 million 3km x 3km squares within a 3000km x 3000kmx square and there are only about 20,000 words you can use.

  38. Apropos of nothing but somewhat related to tiny piece of land, DH told me that we get about an inch square of land in Scotland (I think), for each bottle of Laphroaig he purchases (He was jokingly trying to impress me with his “wise” decision of purchasing the said bottles again and again). We had a good laugh about it. So now we own couple inches of land somewhere else in the world.

    Back to the original topic, that is interesting but silly. Or maybe one day that is how we will identify addresses on gps.

  39. “I gather that the three words for my address will have nothing to do with the words for the house next door.”

    Perfectly stated.

    Also, I agree that it could easily incorporate an optionally increasing level of specificity.

    This whole thing seems far more gimmicky than well thought out.

  40. This whole thing seems far more gimmicky than well thought out.

    That seems to be a recent trend with your opinions on things. Is there a reason for that?

  41. S&M – I’m not sure why you think you have to register to use it. You might like it more if you tried it.

  42. Milo,

    With what3words and a non-hierarchical system, if you make a mistake then the device you enter the words into will:

    a) detect a word that is incorrect (a wrong word is wrong, whereas a wrong numeric or alphanumeric string can still look valid).

    b) be able to suggest possible corrections (because there is a much smaller set of correct words)

    c) be able to (help a human) eliminate most possible alternatives as all possible corrections will be spread a long way around the world.”

    https://support.what3words.com/hc/en-us/articles/207768985-Wouldn-t-it-be-easier-if-all-the-3-word-addresses-in-an-area-were-similar-

  43. You’ll have to give me another example.

    The issues you had with the 22 suicides number from the other day.

  44. Well, I tend to be skeptical of a lot of statistics, just like I took apart the ones declaring half of all Americans “racist.” The veteran suicide one turned out to be about accurate, but the initial study on which many of the early pronouncements were based was not reliable, as its own authors cautioned.

    I think that the flaws in the what three words model have been pointed out pretty well by people like me who prefer a certain order to such things.

  45. I think that the flaws in the what three words model have been pointed out pretty well by people like me who prefer a certain order to such things.

    Then why disparage them with your “poorly thought out gimmick” comment when they made perfectly well thought out design decisions you don’t happen to agree with.

  46. And I’m still not entirely clear on the benefits here. Let’s say I annually visit New York City and there is a particular restaurant that I want to go back to. If I can’t remember it’s address, I don’t think I’m going to remember three random words associated with it like”lollipop doorknob bicycle.”

    So I’m going to have to look it up by some combination of what I remember of the name and perhaps mid town or near Central Park. But if I have to look it up anyway why can’t I just cut-and-paste GPS coordinates to an Uber app, for example? Or, in what situation will I be ordering a pizza but cannot send a cut-and-paste or other transmission method of GPS coordinates?

  47. Because I thought the purpose of this thread was to discuss our thoughts on it, and to me it seems gimmicky.

  48. I think the central difference between current schemes (lat and long, addresses, or what Milo proposes) and this is that one describes a locations and one names them. The name is not descriptive, it is just a name – 57 trillion of them. A good name is memorable and somewhat unique – you don’t want to go to school with “27 Jennifers.”

  49. Ada – three random words are hardly more memorable than a series of numbers. A bunch of posters gave examples of word locations above, and I can’t remember a single one of them.

    Now, if you start getting into memory aides like “every good boy deserves fudge,” 1-877KARS4KIDS that’s a little bit different. But this is not doing anything like that.

  50. can’t I just cut-and-paste GPS coordinates to an Uber app, for example? Or, in what situation will I be ordering a pizza but cannot send a cut-and-paste or other transmission method of GPS coordinates?

    Sure, but it’s easier for a person to speak, write, communicate and remember three words vs. a long strings of numbers. There is also better error identification and correction available with a three word system.

  51. Ada – three random words are hardly more memorable than a series of numbers

    You think my random people experiment is going to have people remember long strings of numbers the same or better than three words?

  52. Why do I need to remember them at all? If I look up my restaurant, I should just be able to click on a location icon and either transmit or paste that.

    Conversely, if we use lat and long, it’s not an entirely random string of numbers. In a certain city, you tend to get used to the first couple digits being exactly the same, and it carries the added benefit of at least some instant recognition of how far something might be from you based on its numerical difference.

  53. Ada, I figured that out after that lost. Oops! Still wish the word strings l had something to do with others nearby.

  54. Milo,

    I assume you’re trained to navigate at sea so the GPS coordinates make sense. If you were tasked with developing a system for addressing places without address, what system do you think the public would most likely adopt?

  55. Rhett, 1000 rows of 1000 cubes each = 1 million cubes.
    http://www.languagemonitor.com/category/number-of-words/
    Why only use such a small portion of them? The more unique words could be more memorable.
    Or make it some other sized bigger blocks, I don’t care. Just looking for some systematic way of making the word strings so that there is a way to figure them out when you don’t happen to have an Internet-connected device in your hands.

    I don’t know as there were 27 Jennifers in my school, but there were a lot of Nashes, connected to the Dosches, and there was a cluster of Langs…. Families (used to) have the same last name as a way to show that they were connected. A bunch of Jennifers would make no sense, unless there were a connection between them all.

  56. Why only use such a small portion of them?

    large.moist.vagina… Not to mention homonyms, words that are hard to spell, words that are hard to say. They explain their thinking pretty well.

  57. Zip codes start with the same two letters for all the peripheral places connected to a hub. The next hub over has a stem similar to the one next door. People sometimes prompt for a zip code around here by starting it “33….” because there is a reliable system. You can tell that my parents’ place is a little ways away, but not far, because the first number is the same but the second one is one digit higher. When things make sense like that, it’s just easier.

  58. “The name is not descriptive, it is just a name – 57 trillion of them.”
    I have a hard time remembering 100 names each semester. 57 trillion with no rhyme or reason makes me hyperventilate. How many names of patients you saw on your last shift do you remember?

    Rhett, so make it 120×120 cells in each larger box. Whatever. Just a system that makes names that make some sense.

  59. I think the naysayers, for lack of a better word, are missing a key point: the people here are mostly in the top 5% or so of intelligence and tend to be like Milo and “prefer a certain order to things”. This system is designed to be useful to “the masses”, a simple address that is easy to communicate and clearly shows when there is a mistake.

    While I am satisfied with the current addressing system in the US, I can see the appeal of this. Using my address, if I simply plural each of the words, I get locations in England, Australia, and Belarus, so anyone will know immediately they entered something wrong.

    I re-tried mine and misspelled it ending up in the middle of the Virginia. My cryptic clue (popovers) could apply to Virginia as well… I know I mean Maine, but if you don’t know that, you’ll think I’m directing you to Virginia, and go there.

    Seriously, how many people will actually think that? You invite a coworker over for dinner, give him your three words, he enters it wrong and gets a location in Virginia. Do you think he’ll actually drive there? It’s worse if you get an incorrect location that is close because then you think it’s the right place and you go there.

    A lot of the reason people don’t like it is because we have such a good adressing system in the U.S. so we don’t see the value. When we were in Iceland, we had trouble finding a couple of AirBNB places because the addressing system isn’t as precise. One host did give me GPS coordinates, but I think most people would prefer to work with a location of shirts.nobles.birdman than two long strings of seemingly random numbers.

  60. Zip code 89049 is 10,000 square miles

    So what?
    I’m giving the zip code system of setting up an orderly system that catalogues thousands of unique strings and ties them to places in a way that helps one remember a zip code, or recall one that’s forgotten. The third digit rarely goes above 3, because it tells how far away from the center a location is. Zip codes are based on human settlements, not spatial units.

  61. Lurker, the people in Ethipopia and Costa Rica I mentioned earlier are capable of understanding order. “The masses” aren’t as dumb as you seem to think.

  62. If you got shirts.noble.birdman, how would you know what to do with it without the web access? Wouldn’t you prefer to go to the birdman area, find the noble section of it, and then look for the shirts house?

  63. What system would you suggest that describes where a booth is in a large art festival? Or a shack in a slum? Or a specific tent in a homeless encampment? There is no solution (that I am aware of) other than lat and long – and that is not feasible for many situations.

    Milo’s ability to find a very special restaurant in New York City is not a problem that is looking for a solution. There are already many good solutions (like reading MMM on how ridiculous it is to waste money on restaurants).

  64. Ada, any festival booth system I’ve ever seen gives the booths consecutive numbers, so when you find one that matches the first part of the booth’s “address”, you can easily locate the appropriate booth. Do you know booth holders who are assigned their spot in some other way?

  65. what to do with it without the web access.

    The system is destined for humans interacting with web enables devices. If you don’t have web access you’d use GPS coordinates.

  66. Rhett, so the whole thing is a secondary system for people with cell phones? They are spreading thhrough Africa rapidly, but still nowhere near universal.

  67. “A lot of the reason people don’t like it is because we have such a good adressing system in the U.S. so we don’t see the value.”

    IMO, this could be a good complement to our addressing addressing systems. As Ada pointed out, it gives a granularity that our current addressing system does not always do.

    E.g., you could use existing addressing systems, google maps, etc, to get to 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802. But once you’re there, the current addressing system is useless for further granularity, and that’s when this system can be useful if combined with an mapping app.

  68. Totally and completely unrelated, this snippet from the always-compelling “What’s Your Workout?” feature in today’s WSJ caught my eye.

    “Ms. Micallef starts her day with a cup of organic ginger-green tea. Her breakfast concoction is a combination of goat-milk yogurt, berries, cucumbers, chia, hemp and flax seeds, shredded coconut, spices like cinnamon, cayenne and turmeric, fish oil and a touch of maple syrup. “It’s a challenge to get all of my ingredients into my yogurt when I travel, but I try,” she says. Lunch and dinner are protein- and vegetable-focused; pasta with capers, artichokes, spinach and kale is a go-to meal. She snacks on raw vegetables or apples throughout the day, and cuts out all sugar leading up to a bodybuilding competition. “Luckily, I don’t have a sweet tooth,” she says.”

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/boxing-bicycling-and-bikinis-the-three-bs-of-fitness-1473691707

    This lady is asking for a Golden Totebag.

  69. In the home country letters with addresses like Mrs. Louise, XYZ building, Facing Green Park, Babson Town…would get there. It was a combination of name, city but then if you did not recall the street or the proper zip code no worries.
    I am thinking a sort of system that allows you to put in as much info as you can and then guesses the rest.
    Even today I write relatives’ addresses from memory but sometimes I can’t recall their exact street name, so I will put near XYZ landmark.

  70. Her breakfast concoction is a combination of goat-milk yogurt, berries, cucumbers, chia, hemp and flax seeds, shredded coconut, spices like cinnamon, cayenne and turmeric, fish oil and a touch of maple syrup.

    That must take 20 minutes or so to put together every morning. And the taste you end up with — the fish oil is quite the crowning touch — makes it all worth while, I’m sure.

  71. My breakfast was a chocolate Enterman’s donut.

    I think there’s a possibility here for the system that uses fewer words (and I really like my idea of the tried-and-true phonetic alphabet — to be stupid, on watch we would sometimes try to create the anti-phonetic alphabet like Aura, Huron, Pseudo, Knicker), and we could easily double or triple the words, and then some numbers.

    And I think it would have a far greater chance of success if it were laid out in some order.

  72. “And the taste you end up with — the fish oil is quite the crowning touch — makes it all worth while, I’m sure.”

    Surely the touch of maple syrup nicely balances the fish oil.
    And no doubt the fish oil and maple syrup fit neatlyinto a 3 oz container for air travel. God forbid she be forced to make do with the offerings at the Hilton Garden Inn free breakfast buffet.

  73. That breakfast sounds horrible. It might be almost edible if she skipped the cayenne, turmeric and fish oil.

    Maybe.

  74. Surely the touch of maple syrup nicely balances the fish oil.

    Milo has brought up the concept of hyper palatable food and it’s contribution to obesity. There is an argument to be made for it to be gross to reduce the temptation to overeat.

  75. My Mom told me of a man at the hospital she goes to for check ups in the home country who became seriously ill from eating excessive curry leaves. She mentioned that in the home country there was a fad to eat wheat germ, cinnamon. As soon as people read a newspaper article touting the benefits of this natural substance or that, tons of people consumed the new fad of the day.

  76. [quote] anti-phonetic alphabet like Aura, Huron, Pseudo, Knicker [/quote]

    Name that tune…

    “A is for aisle, B is for bdellium, C is for czar
    And if you see him would you mind telling him?

    Okay, hang on a second, yeah aisle, bdellium?
    Yeah, aisle like a, like a theater, alright, okay and bdellium?
    Bdellium, it’s a gum like tree resin, it starts with a silent B
    And then czar? Yeah, it’s uh like a Russian czar

    You know everybody knows apple, ball and cat
    I wanted to get into some, you know some stranger words
    Right, I see what you’re doing

    D is for djinn, E for Euphrates
    F is for fohn, but not like when I call the ladies”

  77. How do you people pronounce Huron? I can’t think of a word that’s more phonetic than that. And fohn? Is that a kind of wind?

  78. I pronounce the H in Lake Huron. Never heard it without. Where would that be the accent?

    I think this has great applications in rural areas all over the world, including the US. I see fewer applications in cities where there is already an orderly system and also less applications in cities that are very vertical. I do though think it could be a cool way to give a more exact location in a large area like a stadium/beach/park as mentioned.

    I love grid systems. I find it exceptionally easy to get around here because of the grid system. Manhattan confuses me slightly because the address numbers have nothing to do with the cross street. (E.g. 2000 Madison Avenue is nowhere near 20th street) But if you know the cross streets, you are fine, so it’s okay.

    @Rhett – He will be gone. But he’ll get a crazy generous golden parachute, so does t even matter?

  79. That breakfast is every “healthy” trend of the past 5 years rolled into one disgusting blob. But yeah – if you want to make it so disgusting that you don’t overeat, I guess it would do the trick.

    Who decided goat’s milk was better than cow’s milk anyhow? Why is that a trend? And eating tumeric pills. I shudder.

  80. “Who decided goat’s milk was better than cow’s milk anyhow?”

    The same cows that decided it’s better to eat chicken than beef?

  81. Rhett & Ivy, is this the same exec who already got a massive bonus, like maybe $12 mil? I’m terrible with remembering numbers or how many zeros/decimals, but I think that’s what I saw.

    Finn, Hahahahahaha I often don’t know if your really flat comments are jokes or just cluelessness, but that one is funny.

    Idk about drinking goats milk, but I like cheese from it cause I think it tastes good. I never realized how many kinds there were til I hit the Turkish market in Berlin where stands will each have a bunch of barrels of other containers with the cheese in the water. It was really not appetizing. I had to consciously avoid thinking of that when I ate it later.

  82. WCE, the map was interesting. Because I have never considered geography to have a big impact on my life, it didn’t really dawn on me that it does for some people. My sister invited a good friend and her family to go on a long weekend trip with my sister’s family to Silver Dollar City in the Ozarks. The friend is part of an inter-racial gay family, and had to explain to my sister that families like hers can’t really vacation at places like Silver Dollar City. In general they stick to major cities. That was eye opening for me. (And to be clear, she is not saying everyone who is not urban and “sophisticated” will treat them poorly, but rather that when they’re out with their kids they try not to put them in a position where they stand out.)

    I didn’t interpret the original article to be a suggestion to replace the US system, but rather as a system to be used in places where a robust system does not already exist. I also liked the suggestions here that it could be useful to meet up with friends in a crowded a place. That seems very useful to me.

  83. “I have never considered geography to have a big impact on my life, it didn’t really dawn on me that it does for some people.”

    It probably has a bigger impact on my family than on yours, good and bad.

  84. Off topic, back to a previous topic of mine, I just read a suggestion that when your kids turn 18, you get copies of their credit reports. Apparently the credit bureaus will not run checks on people less than 18yo.

  85. Point 3 here will certainly be seen in a different light. At the time this was written, it seems like he was a hard-working golden boy. I don’t understand how he can throw employees under the bus. Isn’t it his job to oversee operations in a way that prevents a huge chunk of the bank being “bad employees”? Even if it was too far into the weeds for him to surprise it personally, how does the buck stop anywhere but with him? http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/03/22/3-charts-about-wells-fargo-ceo-john-stumpfs-2015-c.aspx

  86. MBT, I’ve thought a lot about how geography and culture interact and I love maps. Your comment reminded me of this article on religions by state/county and I was able to find it. Oregon is religiously diverse and not particularly religious. Similarly, the western states have lots of Asian and Hispanic people and relatively few African American people.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/12/12/religion-in-americas-states-and-counties-in-6-maps/

  87. The one lesson I came away with after the Great Recession and corporate scandals is to sell company stock periodically, if you have stock as part of your 401k.
    Rank and file employees are badly hurt if they have lots of company stock, should anything happen to their company. All the articles focus on the top executives but forget that lots of employees have shares in their retirement accounts.
    DH was awarded shares at one workplace. It didn’t seem like a ton of shares but he sold them because we were moving and wanted additional cash for our house. About four months later the Great Recession hit and the shares were worthless. We got what I consider a significant amount from the shares, glad he sold.

  88. Scarlett – I can’t imagine spending that much time to make a breakfast that sounds that gross.

    A guy in my law school class was from Harrisburg, PA, and I think he’d say Lake Yoo-ron. He said yoo-man for “human.” The nurses on Call the Midwife, who say “haych” for the letter h, would be appalled by this guy (as would Lemon).

    The 3-word thing is cool and I can really see the benefit for the situations L mentioned — meeting at a certain spot at a huge stadium, etc. Would be really fun to have younger kids do a scavenger hunt based on this, especially if the final clue is a big prize — like tickets to a game at silks.part.motor. (Cue Lemon to be appalled again).

  89. “I think the naysayers, for lack of a better word, are missing a key point: the people here are mostly in the top 5% or so of intelligence and tend to be like Milo and “prefer a certain order to things”. This system is designed to be useful to “the masses”, a simple address that is easy to communicate and clearly shows when there is a mistake.”

    Yeah, I see it the other way around — most of the benefits cited have been definite 5% benefits (e.g. where to meet up at a festival). This system provides no learnability — it works only if you have a functioning device with the app, which is still a significant barrier for many of those in the un-mapped areas that this is supposed to serve.

    I think my fundamental negativity on this is because it is, at heart, anti-human. Humans are awesome at imposing order on chaos; we will find patterns even when there are none. So a system that is inherently non-pattern-based, with arbitrary names imposed by computer, rub me the wrong way. I do agree that words are more memorable than numbers, but that is because we learn to associate words with certain meanings (e.g., the word “tree” has meaning because it defines an object, so we all share a common association when we see that word). When you arbitrarily assign words to locations, you sever that meaning and so lose the memorability.

    In short, it feels like a computer tried to generate a system to help humans function, took what it knew about humans (humans like words more than numbers!), and then applied it in a very computer-think way (let’s do a random word generator! then the humans will get it!) that is oblivious to all of the reasons why and how language and navigation abilities developed as they did.

  90. it works only if you have a functioning device with the app, which is still a significant barrier for many of those in the un-mapped areas that this is supposed to serve.

    As I posted, even in East Africa cell phone penetration is nearly universal. India, with 1.25 billion people, now has 1 billion cell phone subscribers.

  91. “Similarly, the western states have lots of Asian and Hispanic people and relatively few African American people.”

    DH & I were surprised by how few AA people there were in Denver. It was really strange to me to walk around a major city & see so few non-white people.

    (Of course…not making any judgement on the people of Denver – just that I am not used to that demographic split never having lived out West.)

  92. Cell phone use in India – you guys should watch this movie called “Parched” about modern village life in India and the use of cell phones.

  93. Cell phones are indeed becomng available in more places, but we all know what that means. Having a device and a number does not mean you have service right this second. Also, here are many phone apps in Africa that do not use the web. Is this system available on any of them.
    LfB, you’re exactly right about the gap in semiotics being the thing that makes this system anti-intuitive.

  94. SM, good point– I wonder how many of the phones in use in places like Africa are dumb phones. This system would seem to require smart phones with GPS.

    BTW, my guess is that the 3m x 3m granularity is based on GPS limitations.

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