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A helpful han(d)bot

I am working on acquiring a few items in Costa Rica. My goal is to build an ergonomic battle station equipped with a computer I've personally put together. Acquiring the iron necessary for my desired machine is difficult given my location on the beach. So per the advice of diana_coman, I hopped into #trilema-hanbot to speak with a lord keen on becoming accessible to those within tmsr.

hanbot es una experta en las cosas costarricenses.1 Upon asking for advice, hanbot immediately shared a list of stores she had handy. For computer parts she recommended best computers sa as well as the more modestly named cococo. For office supplies2 hanbot sent me to muguisa. These tiendas appear to have what I need.

hanbot also gave some advice regarding couriers I may want to use, should I decide to import goods from the evil empire. She noted that items do arrive reliably, but the companies she has seen are either expensive or require a credit card. hanbot made it clear that she will under no circumstance use the magic plastic. I didn't respond to this point during our conversation,3 but her conviction made me think.4

Getting advice from hanbot saved me hours of searching that may have turned out fruitless. It's becoming obvious I should ignore my initial belief that I shouldn't burden those who know more than me with questions. It is just too expensive to redo work that is avoidable via a short conversation. That said, thank you hanbot!

  1. Whose knowledge goes beyond where to buy office supplies. She also had advice to give regarding purchasing a car. []
  2. I specifically need a proper chair; I hired a local handyman to build a desk tailored to the layout of my apartment. []
  3. How was I to respond? "Ah yes, totally agree with you there hanbot, credit cards are for idiots and its our moral obligation to separate them from their money. However, they happen to be just too convenient, so I use them anyways." []
  4. The first question I wondered was - how would hanbot's recommended stores charge for items they send out for delivery given they don't require card and are fiat based? I answered this myself by ordering a chair through Muguisa. Upon placing my order, Muguisa gave me a bank account number. They informed me that they will send me the chair when I deposit cash into their account at a local bank. Now I know how ordered goods are paid for in a cash based economy.

    The second question I still have is - would it be wise to cut my credit card in half? On a personal level, the credit card is a spiritually draining item. It whispers in your ear, don't worry about saving for a rainy day my friend, for I am always here to extend you credit shall you need it. On a systemic level, credit cards wreak havoc on the economy. They destroy capital allocation by burdening everyone with even more money. I would love to get rid of my card, perhaps in style., but I don't know if that would be prudent. []

7 Responses to “A helpful han(d)bot”

  1. hanbot says:

    There's little so pleasant to someone with experience to impart as someone else capable of making good use of it! Cheers.

    As for footnotes three and four, I'd say everyone's obliged to do the best they can in matching what they think is right with what they do. If you can commit to the idea, you can probably commit to the practice.

  2. > Now I know how ordered goods are paid for in a cash based economy.

    Alternatively there's such a thing as COD in the more sane/civilised environments. Such as you know, historical US.

  3. whaack says:


    Glad to hear. Regarding CCs - You're right and I should be thinking about what I need to do to remove my dependency on my credit card instead of whether I should get rid of it.

    @Mircea Popescu

    COD is the obvious answer but alas...

  4. Diana Coman says:

    "my initial belief that I shouldn't burden those who know more than me with questions" - questions in and by themselves are no burden, how could they be? Sure, asking (like anything else) needs to be done well so ask well-formed questions, at the right time and in the right place and so on. But other than that, asking questions is just pretty much ~being alive, what.

    Re cards, note that it's still just a piece of plastic that doesn't say anything at all. Why is it exactly that you hear that particular song?

  5. whaack says:

    Well I reflected on this, and those are not the exact lyrics the card sings to me. I do an okay job at saving my money. Those words would apply better to the large number of heathens that acquire copious credit card debt. A more fitting phrase for me would be don't worry about building a network and having cash at the ready, because I am always accepted throughout the world.

    The similarity between these two phrasings is the credit card is a backup plan available should one fall into trouble. But the trouble for me is being caught without cash on hand rather than having depleted all my savings. This happens frequently, I'm at the store and the cash section of my wallet is empty. So although I have the savings and I'd like to pay with cash, I have to swipe my card.

    A practical takeaway is I need to invest time into making location connections of people who do business with bitcoins / trade bitcoins for cash.

  6. Diana Coman says:

    That sounds more like a riff on the my environment has always taken care of me thing. It has and it does, pretty much in the same way that one takes care of pigs - until Christmas - or of lambs - until Easter.

  7. whaack says:

    @Diana Coman

    That is the problem upstream. And as it just so happens, I am already writing about that problem for my An Outpost of Progress article.

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