Geek, Memory

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10 Responses

  1. Vladimir says:

    I love your title!

  2. elbow says:

    Ahh. Early tax memories. 14 is age when you can get working papers. So, at 14, I had a job, and a legal income, and had to file taxes for the first time, all proud of myself. So, when my mom did her taxes, I sat on the couch next to her and did mine. And it was totally traumatizing. I have a very clear memory of crying to my mom about the injustice of it all. something along the lines of: “why do i have to write the number from line 16 on line 17? it’s the same number, and it’s right over there!! I already wrote that number! I shouldn’t have to write a number I already wrote! If they want to know what’s on line 16, why don’t they just look at line 16, why should I have to write it again? and can’t they tell whether the number is larger or smaller than 2500? what’s going on? how can they expect people to handle this torture?”
    I like doing my taxes, now.

  3. Orin Kerr says:

    This reminds me of my first experience with the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. (1L year, editing an article for the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology)

  4. Frank says:

    My father always dismissed Monopoly as “Monotony” and refused to play. Which, along with his generally left-wing viewpoint, may have shaped my views of contemporary antitrust doctrine.

  5. Lila says:

    Hi Sarah,

    I love monopoly and I think you misstated the income tax rule. First, total worth is not cash + total value of mortgaged property, rather cash + mortgage value of mortgaged property. So I you mortgage Vermont (worth $100) then your total worth is the $50 you got for the mortgage plus the $50 that Vermont’s mortgage is worth which equals $100. Second, I’ve never heard of this rule that you have to pick on the spot whether to pay the $200 or give 10%. Maybe those were just house rules?

  6. Peter says:

    Interesting, Frank. My dad would only play “Anti-Monopoly, the Bust the Trust Game.” (which I expect you can still find on eBay). This was just around the time of the breakup of Esso.

  7. Sarah Lawsky says:

    Hi Lila–the rule I quoted is from the official Monopoly rules, so the “pick on the spot” thing is actually how it’s supposed to be done (though I agree, it’s miserable). I like the interpretation that “printed price” of the mortgaged property equals mortgage value–because (and only because) Monopoly mortgage value is 50% of the printed price, it gives a better result every time.

  8. JDB says:

    Are you asking about first federal or state tax memory?

  9. Sarah Lawsky says:

    JDB–Doesn’t matter–I’m very flexible–heck, even county personal property tax memories will be accepted. I mean, that’s one of the things that’s so charming about kids, right? That they don’t know what’s important and what’s not? (Joking! Joking! No offense meant to those whose practice or study includes state and local taxes!)

  10. Kaimipono D. Wenger says:

    I remember being about 18, and all ready to file taxes and get back the, I don’t know, $200 or whatever that had been withheld. Hey, $200 is a pretty big deal for an 18 year old.

    Then my dad told me he was claiming me as a dependent. I complained that if he claimed me as a dependent, I’d get less back. I ran the numbers to show it.

    Dad pointed out that I was worth a lot more (three grand?) on his tax return. We calculated the difference on my own return ($100?), and he paid it to me. Then he claimed me as a dependent.