Pseudo Random News and Comment

Nurse Ratched isn’t going to like this - U.S. program targets antipsychotic drug use in nursing homes

Zhang Ziyi hits back at claims she slept with Bo Xilai for money  In related news, Heidi Fleiss renounces her citizenship and is moving to China. The numbers in this rumor mill piece are stunning but perhaps not unreasonable, all things considered.

Thiel on Unique Investing  I have no problem understanding the unique, where I fall down is understanding the commonplace. Facebook still mystifies me.

If this holds up on appeal(s) it could make software development much less of a lawsuit minefield. Judge Delivers Thorough And Complete Smackdown Of Oracle’s Copyright Claims

Michael Crimmins: Jamie Dimon’s Illegal “Cookie Jar”  Smells a bit like MF Global.

Uncle Sam Admits Monitoring You For These 377 Words  The false positive rate must be vanishingly close to 100% (even without people deliberately adding more chaff after reading the list), which is why they’re working on more intelligent, context-sensitive AI to filter the flood.

Rolling Stone Highlights FBI’s Fascination With Staging Its Own Terrorist Plots… While Ignoring Real Threats  You don’t expect a [security] theater troupe to actually try to stop a real criminal do you? They’re only actors for christsake.

Interesting point about restricting the supply of housing. Housing bottlenecks do not support prices

Giving the government free use of your money for the year is a terrible trade, but if you need more motivation here’s another reason it’s better to owe the IRS in April.  Tax Return Identity Theft

Mentalizing Deficits Constrain Belief in a Personal God  Atheists are autistic!!!  Have to beat the fundamentalists to the sensational headline.

An Individual-Oriented Model on the Emergence of Support in Fights, Its Reciprocation and Exchange  I always like things that provide simple explanations for apparently complex behavior.

A fabulously funny list of all the housing bottom calls, year by year. Yeah! The Housing Bottom Is Here! (PWBC™)  But someday they will be right.

Can an adult be held responsible for a parent’s nursing home costs?  Society has already conceded this point on forcing total strangers to pay for it, so how is forcing relatives to pay any more intrusive or burdensome? Unless a lot of politicians have parents living under bridges this has wings, if only as a cost cutting measure for cash strapped governments.

Eating faces, mailing body parts and now this – Lady Gaga hits 25 million follower mark on Twitter  Forget the latest Mayan calendar discoveries, the world is ending. Most likely in a zombie apocalypse.

Fantasizing about your dream vacation could lead to poor decision-making  …and fantasizing about the great trade you are going to make to allow the dream vacation will be equally problematic.

Do Dogs Feel Guilty?  No, but they definitely should.

Feds Want Warrantless Spying Loss Overturned, Saying the Law Can’t Touch Them  Why? Because they said so.

Beware Of The Obvious Trade  Too good, too easy, too obvious. Greed blinds us to them all.

Good news for us exercise addicts. High levels of activity aid arterial functioning, might help women more than men

Adverse Metabolic Response to Regular Exercise: Is It a Rare or Common Occurrence?  Hadn’t heard of this response before. Seems rather maladaptive in primitive society so may be on the rise now.

Intravenous kidney cell transplant experiments raise hope for future human kidney failure treatments  Interesting the cells found their way to the kidneys. Now I’m curious how they did that.

Rebranding Group Selection

Nice post over on Falkenblog, Evolutionary Self Interest is Relative, which links to an excellent video on misunderstandings about the current iteration of group selection.

The video make it quite clear that much of the debate over group selection, like many other arguments, boils down to semantics. Both sides are essentially in agreement but due to terminology are unable to recognize it. Obviously some rebranding is in order. Multilevel selection is a far less loaded term, even if it sounds too much like multilevel marketing to be appealing to me.

The discussion of isolation and the success of psychopathic males among water striders leads to an obvious parallel with closed and restricted borders in human society. The option to flee is limited so the success of antisocial behaviors is enhanced. It’s hard not to think of N. Korea in that regard, but any border restrictions will have similar effects. The rising xenophobia in China is a very worrisome sign, as well as the increasing US measures against expatriation and immigration.

There is also an excellent point made about the size of the pie when talking about relative fitness that applies equally well to economics and economic policy. People prefer to be a destitute king of shit mountain rather than a wealthy poor person just because they have more than the next guy. Redistribution is based on the idea that the pie won’t change size, yet there is no basis for this assumption, and unfortunately, absent inter-group competition, little evolutionary reason for it to matter until extinction.

The video is about an hour long but worth the time for the human implications alone.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Dumb, dumber…DMCA Notices So Stupid It Hurts

I had assumed all the PIIGS had to go but had assumed Greece would be the first. This makes a good case for Spain crossing the line first. Spexit Before Grexit? Six Reasons Spain Will Leave the Euro First

Even non-sexual social contact can raise body temperature  So the next time a guy approaches you and says how hot you look cut him some slack, he may be speaking literally.

The Smell of Age: Perception and Discrimination of Body Odors of Different Ages  That old people smell is real and readily detected. Even if this could be used as a diagnostic tool I don’t think it would catch on since it would be too much like the unglamorous days of urine tasting and getting paid with chickens.

Another way of looking under the hood. Variance and Autocorrelation of the Spontaneous Slow Brain Activity  Hope it works better than in the stock market.

Exercise and a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables extends life expectancy in women in their 70s  Doesn’t really address cause and effect so it could mean it’s never to late or that it’s always too late.

Nice chart showing why Spain is too big to bail out (and Italy). How Big Are the PIIGS? (Bigger than your may realize!)

I was never good at this level of hypocrisy. Apple CEO: When Others Violate Our Patents, They’re Copying Our Hard Work; When We Violate Patents, The System Is Broken  Far more important than a degree for CEO success.

Quite a surprising result, even in the same state that keeps electing Ron Paul. Drug Warrior and Pro-Drone Democratic Congressman Silvestres Reyes Goes Down Hard

Medical profession must open doors to poor students, says Alan Milburn  The minute “poor” expands to include incoming grades, as it does here, it’s a very dangerous precedent. Next grades in med school will be similarly adjusted. It’s extremely difficult for most patients to determine the quality of care they receive so decreasing the quality of the graduates is especially dangerous.

Citrulline a More Suitable Substrate than Arginine to Restore NO Production and the Microcirculation during Endotoxemia

Pseudo Random News and Comment

True Out-of-Sample Test of “Best” Technical Trading Rules  Seems like a strategy mean reversion is in order. It’s probably headed back for the unprofitable middle ground where the signals aren’t much use in either direction.

Computer worm that hit Iran oil terminals ‘is most complex yet’  And apparently been out there for a few years already.

China links  A lot of crime and punishment today.

Facebook and the sad case of ethical investment bankers  Great reminder of the long-lost concept of fiduciary duty.

Number of Cities with Increasing House Prices I haven’t presented enough of the bullish case on housing prices so here is an antidote.

Gold vs Bonds: At What Point Should Gold Believers Lose Faith?  Very good points about how gold and bonds are behaving. It’s rather striking that the former reserve currency in waiting is teetering on the edge of the dustbin of history and the best gold can do is basically nothing.

Blueberries hasten muscle recovery: study  All the hallmarks of sloppy science but what the hell, it’s a great excuse for some blueberry scones.

Antidepressants — not depression — increase risk of preterm birth, study shows  How many nails have to be put in this coffin?

Antiretroviral treatment for preventing HIV infection: an evidence review for physicians  This seems to be a repeat of the antibiotic experience. Overuse promotes resistance. Pre-exposure prophylaxis seems a bit over the top in that regard.

‘Vatileaks’ scandal widens as pope’s butler vows to help investigators

Bleaching away what ails you  I don’t think appalling is quite strong enough for this.

Focus on China, not Europe  Great analysis and charts on the elephant in the room. China is one place the Domino Theory would actually apply.

Top U.S. Government Officials Admit that Our Government Has Repeatedly Protected Drug Smugglers  Old news to me but there may be kids in the room who haven’t heard.

Statistical Methods Used to Test for Agreement of Medical Instruments Measuring Continuous Variables in Method Comparison Studies: A Systematic Review  Interesting. Always wondered how they handled this issue but never read much about it because thinking about the inherent circularity of it makes my head hurt.

Robert Mugabe asked to be UN ‘leader for tourism’  An absolute travesty. I had to check the calendar to make sure it wasn’t April 1st. Things are bad when the “real” news is more outlandish than The Onion or Sasha Baron Cohen.

Tuna contaminated with Fukushima radiation found in California  Now you can have your mercury sandwich with cesium too.

Very interesting. How memories disappear. Why Is Memory So Good and So Bad?

Occupy the Neolithic: Social Immobility in the Stone Age  With all the downsides I always wonder why people ever started farming. This may be the answer: “…males tended to stay put in one place while females moved in from other areas to mate with them.”

Mate-Finding as an Overlooked Critical Determinant of Dispersal Variation in Sexually-Reproducing Animals  Certainly has had a lot to do with my movements over time.

I Will Kill Myself If Apple Doesn’t Go Up Tomorrow – Tales From A Margin Clerk.  Some good rules for avoiding an unhappy end.

Real House Prices and Price-to-Rent Ratio at late ’90s Levels  Whether it’s a bottom or not depends on how far it overshoots and how much of the housing gimmickry is unwound.

50-year cholera mystery solved: Answers may help clear the way for a new class of antibiotics Rather than directly killing the bacteria, convincing them to drop their defenses.

Meet ‘Flame,’ The Massive Spy Malware Infiltrating Iranian Computers  More detail on the flame virus.

NSA Teams Up With Colleges to Train Students for Secret Cyber-Ops Jobs  May be time to resurrect Nancy Reagan’s Just Say No campaign.

Backdoor Found in Chinese-Made Military Silicon Chips  I’m guessing sales may fall off a bit after this.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Ireland’s small-town solution to euro uncertainty: bringing back the punt  Nice marketing ploy by the merchants but hold on to those punts! Without a central bank continually creating more they are very likely to increase in value.

T cells ‘hunt’ parasites like animal predators seek prey, study shows  Is this convergent evolution or scaling up of a good method (from cells to animals)?

15 Great Investor Quotes  I’ve never paid much any attention to the net worth of these guys. Templeton really hit the sweet spot in when he was born and what he did with the opportunities that presented.

Manufacturing genes to attack flu virus This won’t be a magic bullet. Targeting sites specifically for their critical role in viral function makes it much more difficult to evolve a defense, but not impossible, and there’s always the risk that the target will also be critical in some part of human physiology too.

Analytical Framework for Identifying and Differentiating Recent Hitchhiking and Severe Bottleneck Effects from Multi-Locus DNA Sequence Data Interesting results. I still have doubts about regions of low or high recombination being stable over longer periods of time. Currently non-coding regions could be thought of as a library and when things change a previously ignored shelf might move to the best seller section, or vice versa.

Paradoxical Effects of Rapamycin on Experimental House Dust Mite-Induced Asthma  I need to take a closer look at this. Seems to explain the early vs late conversion results with Rapa in organ transplant.

It’s official: China will miss lending targets  As I understand it, owing money in the shadow banking system in China is similar to owing money to a loan shark. People are lining up to repay debts because they fear for their lives, not because they fear a late night phone call.

Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian And Activists Aim To Build A ‘Bat-Signal For The Internet’ Sign me up. Who gets to be the dark knight?

Damn, It Feels Good To Be A…Loser

There is a good post on Abnormal Returns, Rapidly learning the lessons of risk and return, on bear markets as learning opportunities. The subject of learning opportunities got me thinking about all the interviews with traders I’ve read over the years. A theme with many is the often disastrous consequences of starting out early in your trading career with a string of winners. Beginning with a series of winning trades makes it all too easy to conclude you’re a born trading genius because it’s so clearly easy for you. Naturally, rationality then demands you lever up and start making trading history.

The inevitable soon happens and your account is blown up, and maybe even your house and marriage are gone. But if your initial success was long and large enough even that might not stop you. Armed with a Teflon-coated brain from your early success, new knowledge is prevented from intruding on your fantasy and in short order only a few minor tweaks are deemed sufficient to guarantee success. Then the second blow up happens.

I long ago concluded the absolute worst thing that can happen to a trader starting out is an unbroken string of success. In that regard I was very lucky. The first mutual fund I ever bought ended up a $5000 loss. The first individual stock trade I made was a loser. The second futures trade was a loser. Seven of the first eight options trades I ever made were losers. In fact as I see it now the single best trade I ever made was a loss. The largest loss I’ve ever had in fact.

It happened not long after I started trading stock index futures, in the good old days before pint-sized e-mini contracts. Though I would have been horrified to think so, I was executing my version of the forex trading ads, “When properly positioned, $1.57 can become $27,000,000,000 – in two weeks!”  For reasons which now elude me I decided to make a big increase from my usual position size, to roughly $2 million in S&P contracts – on a very modest account…on a Fed day. Of course the market immediately went against me, blew right past my mental stop, and then briefly paused at an inflection point. I felt 90% sure it would turn around and blast off, but then I thought of that 10% chance it could go the other way. The losses would be huge and very hard to come back from, both financially and mentally. After 3 seconds I got on the phone and pulled the plug – right at the low of the day. I lost 20% of my account in 10 minutes, but strangely enough I felt pretty good about it. Despite being blinded by greed and my near certainty it would end up a winning trade, I had done the most important thing: I prevented disaster.

Many are probably thinking how horrible it was that I missed out on such a great trade. If only I had stuck with it! But if I had stayed in that trade I shudder to think how things would have turned out later. That one trade would have been monstrously profitable on my small account, but I also would have been richly rewarded for doing nearly everything wrong [1]. Being over-leveraged, having a hazy trading business plan, not having stop orders in place, ignoring a high risk situation, and best of all really having no f-ing clue what I was doing. At some not too distant point in the future there would have been a blow-up for the ages patiently waiting for me to stumble through the door. Because of that painful loss I was spared that fate, so to me it remains my best trade ever.

The next time you take a loss thank your lucky stars it happened. Celebrate it. You did what you needed to do. Smile, secure in the knowledge that you have been spared the curse of the Teflon brain and been given the chance to learn something very valuable before it’s too late. Over time the returns could well be enormous.


[1] Insert unflattering comparison to Wall St here.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Parsimonious, Big Picture Behavioral Bias  If you look at the list of 107 cognitive biases linked to in the post, the most obvious explanation is they are being taken out of context to make a mountain out of a molehill. In the situations in which humans evolved they weren’t a problem or conferred a benefit, otherwise we’d be extinct. An argument I always think of when someone starts talking about needing salt tablets or electrolyte replacements when running a marathon.

Harsh Language from Lagarde: “IMF Has No Intention of Softening Terms”; From Head of Deutsche Bank: “Greece is a Failed Corrupt State”; Purposely Inflammatory Statements to Force Greece Exit  Maybe this useless debate will finally be over, but after all this time and all the nonsense being spouted it’s hard to believe they won’t manage of few more rounds of the charade.

Germany Walks Away From Greece  Another view of the Greek thingy. The most interesting bit in this is that many Greeks have stopped paying taxes, hoping to be able to pay them in plummeting drachma rather than Euros and come out enough ahead to cover any penalties. I think it’s a good bet. Penalties are likely to be waived or reduced to encourage payment if enough keep holding out post conversion and the government gets more desperate for cash.

Illegal File-Sharing Chips Away At North Korean Propaganda  What don’t they understand the West’s demonstration that it’s better to allow enough latitude to give the illusion of freedom?

JPMorgan’s debacle, and its parallels to AIG Not too surprising since they are in fact doing what they are paid to do, with a bailout waiting when the inevitable occurs (except in Iceland).

Old and New Neurons Trade Roles to Aid Memory Another way to jam more complexity into a small space. I think the biggest problem with the Connectome project isn’t the huge number of connections involved but that in the brain they are analog, not digital, and vary on multiple parameters in a single neuron – not to mention the discoveries of more active roles for glial cells and others previously assumed to be only structural.

SkyNet Wars: Presenting The Rogue Algo Responsible For FaceBook’s Downfall  Always fascinating to see the details of bots in action in the stock market. Still surprises me how dull-witted they remain. Speed and simplicity have their niche but when so much of the market is dominated by essentially a single strategy the outcome eventually isn’t going to be good.

I have a fetish for complex outcomes from simple processes. Host Plant Use by Competing Acacia-Ants: Mutualists Monopolize While Parasites Share Hosts  Ants are pretty simple but so far they’re still much more complex than the HFT bots.

Presenting The Greatest ROI Opportunity Ever  I think The Big Picture had a piece on this a few months ago but it’s still incredible what a great investment lobbying is. I think the only reason there isn’t even more investment in lobbying is that not everyone can win in the process so there are sharply diminishing returns.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

What Will Make Facebook’s Eduardo Saverin Happier: U.S. Citizenship or $67 Million?  Congress wants to ban expatriates from entering the US. Damn right, why would any country want a tourist with a few billion $$ to burn crossing their borders?

Are medical schools squashing creativity? Part 2: Lighten up on mandates, and take advantage of the informal curriculum  Schooling in general crushes creativity. Bismark was hoping for just that result from public schooling.

Time to depreciate the Yuan  I’m still not convinced that the Yuan wouldn’t ultimately fall on its own without central bank intervention.

China links  China banks are missing 2012 loan targets.

Is the Self Always Better than a Friend? Self-Face Recognition in Christians and Atheists  Atheists apparently feel better about themselves.

Beyond the occasional bout of wisdom there is at least one other benefit of aging: Aging Eyes Hinder Biometric Scans

Computers excel at identifying smiles of frustration (w/ Video)  They are making this far too difficult. Smiles of frustration in the modern era are most often triggering by interaction with a computer so a simple accelerometer should do the trick. A few false positives when it’s rage on the face of the user pounding on the computer but otherwise far more efficient and no need for fancy AI.

Copylaundering: Jay Leno Airs Campaign Video From YouTube, NBC Claims Ownership Of Original  Mind-numbingly brilliant use of the legal system.

Would You Like a Side of Dirt with That?  Eating dirt is potentially adaptive. I’ll stick with chocolate and the occasional insect accidentally ingested in a bike ride.

I really hope the quack-fest of psychology isn’t representative of the numbers in the medical field overall, but I’m not optimistic. Questionable research practices surprisingly common

Aliens don’t want to eat us, says former SETI director  Since there hasn’t been any contact this is based entirely on inferences. Many humans would certainly yield very well-marbled cuts of meat. I’ll be OK as long as the alien arrivals are like humans and prefer the taste of vegetarian critters.

MIT researchers devise new means to synchronize a group of robots (w/ Video)  More progress on the human extinction front.

First study to suggest that the immune system may protect against Alzheimer’s changes in humans  So do immunocompromised patients show a higher incidence?

Mercenary Protestors  This is pervasive and has been for many years. Paid protestors, picketers, testimony in front of congress, signature gathering….

Copyright Holders Punish Themselves With Crazy DMCA Takedowns What a bunch of clowns. I wish they’d hurry up and go out of business.

Make that evil clowns – Did Hollywood Not Use Available DMCA Tools Just To Pretend It Needed SOPA?  No matter how cynical I get over time, it’s just never quite enough to keep up.

More evil clowns (so I guess my life long fear of clowns has been justified)…Network Analysis Reveals Apparent (And Legally Questionable) Attack On Torrent Networks  I don’t think there is any question it violates current laws. Not sure I’d bet much on enforcement though.

US Gov’t Tells Developing Nations That Patents & High Prices Are Good For The Health Of Their Citizens  A nice synopsis of what is really being promoted.

Crowdsource THIS  Wonderfully accurate and hilarious cartoon.

Inside Information

If you’re one of the tormented souls upset that you didn’t get any information from a Facebook insider, consider yourself lucky. As any short seller can tell you, corporate insiders are the last place you should be getting your information. They are often either lying or have downed so much Kool-Aid they wouldn’t know the company is in trouble until bankruptcy attorneys are fighting in the lobby to get a meeting. Even if the information provided is correct there is still no certainty about the extent to which it’s already reflected in the stock price, and it only takes a rumor or big player’s hunch to move prices enough to dash your dreams of underhanded fortune.

But whatever the advantages of inside information, focusing on the unfairness of access to inside information ignores the obvious. Every trade has a buyer and a seller, each thinking they’re going to come out ahead. If you want to make a trade and you don’t think you know something the person on the other side of the trade doesn’t, you shouldn’t be making the trade. The essence of having an edge is possessing some information, insight, experience, or methodological superiority that allows you to know when buying what the other guy is selling is a good idea, despite him being equally convinced of the opposite.

Information is inherently asymmetric in every transaction and we all try damned hard to keep it that way. When you buy a house do you really think the disclosure statement is telling you every problem the seller knows about the property? Do you tell the seller area rents show he could make 8% a year after tax by renting the place out? Hell no, because it’s your inside information. We all use what we have, and all want to get whatever edge we can while still being able to sleep at night.

We can all hope Josh Brown’s war on the Wall St status quo succeeds, but fair or unfair, right or wrong, love it or hate it, you have to deal with the market as it is right now. Blaming others for your losses leaves no solution other than avoiding the markets entirely. The brutal truth is if you lose money it’s your fault. Period. But this is also the best possible news because your choices are one thing you can change today, all by yourself. So stop worrying about how Wall St is screwing you and work on creating an edge of your own. Just don’t forget to keep it to yourself.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

BAILOUT: Former Bailout Watchdog Neil Barofsky to Release Tell-All Account Of Bush/Obama Administration Banking Policies  Sounds promising but thinking about prior authors in similar situations, it seems the cognitive dissonance of being a part of evil, yet not wanting to think evil of themselves, invariably leads to the author presenting the situation as less twisted than it was. Prepare to be disappointed.

Not enough panic?  The market is faking it. Going through the motions without emotion. That’s scary after a decline has been underway for some time.

Think about this too much and it gets confusing. Study finds humble people are the most helpful to others  If they are humble for good reason what good is their help? If their help is useful then it’s false humility. The mind holds so many conflicting elements.

Spatial configuration can spark deja vu, psychology study reveals  A further elaboration on the conditions that can trigger it. I just triggered it in myself by thinking about a previous study and then thinking of a familiar element in an unfamiliar environment. The meta version felt no different from the usual ones.

The Brain May Disassemble Itself in Sleep (preview)  My brain may need a better housekeeper.

Data, Drugs, and Deception: a True Story  LDL drops aren’t strictly predictable but some statins are more effective than others in lowering LDL…so some manufacturers should still be able to make something of this.

China’s Antiquated Financial System: The Creaking Grows Louder  Good analysis, but the big problem with liberalization near the top of a huge bubble is that the inevitable collapse will be blamed on the reduction in central planning so the result is likely to be complete totalitarianism. Wait until after the collapse and take the credit instead.

Feeling strong emotions makes peoples’ brains ‘tick together’  Potential mob behavior/contagion explanation

You will love our alien overlords. Guaranteed. No doubt coming soon thanks to big pharma. Researchers identify protein necessary for behavioral flexibility

This is definitely too good to be true. Key gene found responsible for chronic inflammation, accelerated aging and cancer

The seeds of a new secular bull market are being sown  I have to admit the worse it gets the more I like it too.

Relatively speaking: Researchers identify principles that shape kinship categories across languages  Simplicity vs informativeness

‘Ronald Reagan’s blood’ auction cancelled after complaints  !

China links Another TV scandal and the rest of recent China news.

Who cares?  The soon to be infamous jihad announcement

The Little Guide to Contentedness  Worth a read. It’s swimming upstream against human nature to be content, regardless of your circumstances, but still worth trying.

Chinese bank lending crashes  Throw some more money on that blaze! That’s what BB brain does.

Happy People Make Terrible Traders  If you are suffering from a surplus of happiness let me know. I think I can cure you.

Google Lifts The Veil On Copyright Takedowns: Reveals Detailed Data On Who Requests Link Removals  Maybe embarrassment will cool their jets a little.

Google Trends Shows Why The Status Quo “Powers That Be” Should Be Scared. Very Scared  Singapore traffic is a little puzzling. I wonder if it’s Chinese VPN traffic.

It’s crunch time at the Giro d’Italia, the most beautiful bike race in the world. Two more mountain stages, finishing on Alpe di Pampeago and the Stelvio, and the final TT on Sunday. (CN)

I would have loved this place when I was a kid, and it’s still pretty cool. Periscope House / C+arquitectos

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Saw this the other day but didn’t link to it. For the 1st Time Ever, a Majority of the Unemployed Have Attended College  Now I understand the significance. There has been a 40 year inflation in requirements for jobs at every level, I think mostly due to the Vietnam War increasing college attendance to avoid the draft, HR departments started requiring college degrees for jobs that in no way required them, simply as a way to weed out more applicants. The trend has fed on itself since, to the point where even an accounting clerk position will mandate a masters degree. We have now reached the pinnacle of this cycle of stupidity: being unemployed now requires a degree.

Facebook – Cry Me a River. Expands on the moron investor theme.

A Prescription for Improving Drug Formulary Decision Making  I have very mixed feelings about this. On one hand it is good to inject some rationality into what has largely been an exercise in cost-cutting and rationing; on the other hand it continues the practice of ignoring the need for individualized medicine, which the last decade of human genome research has – I thought – made so bleeding obvious.

Neil Heywood death investigation reopened by Chinese authorities  …and asking an American forensics expert for assistance. Curiouser and curiouser.

Study shows that fever during pregnancy more than doubles the risk of autism or developmental delay  Interesting after the recent flu shot prevents still birth story.

Lessons in Trust from Web Hoaxes

Make no mistake – male bosses’ errors matter Sexism!

Wearing two different hats: Moral decisions may depend on the situation  You aren’t who you think you are. In the right situation you will surprise yourself.

Reading all the housing headlines and punditry you’d think housing had recouped two-thirds of the losses. It hasn’t. Housing: Permits, Starts, Completions

Crowdfunding for Research Dollars: A Cure for Science’s Ills? It would probably more align the interests of researchers and consumers. But I suspect that would mean a lot of cosmetic surgery funding, which is the last place that needs it.

Dollars and sense: Why are some people morally against tax?  Rationality?

How the Facebook Fiasco May Escape the Reg FD Noose  Anyone surprised? I could argue it’s good news that this time a big deal was made of what has been standard operating procedure. As I keep saying, regulation isn’t going to do what you think. Ever.

Well-connected brains make you smarter in older age  Refers to your own brain, not a collection of others.

Texting made possible for the illiterate  Who else was using it?

Exercising in your 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond  A use it or lose it reminder for us old farts.

Dementia patients reveal how we construct a picture of the future A flawed picture since it largely extrapolates the past.

Study finds voter genetics may predict election outcomes  Now we know what all the political sex scandals are about. They’re just trying to sway the mix of the gene pool more in their favor. Who said they can’t engage in long-term thinking?

Assessment and Implication of Prognostic Imbalance in Randomized Controlled Trials with a Binary Outcome – A Simulation Study  Fun with statistics. I really don’t think any statistical manipulations, bootstrapping, etc can significantly alter the unfortunate fact that statistics are used when you don’t know what the causal factors are or what results to expect. No matter how many ways such ignorance is sliced and diced it’s still ignorance. Good study design, multiple trials, simple statistics and the bulk of evidence are far more meaningful and robust…but not at all useful to a pharmaceutical company cherry picking small studies to gain approval.

Tinnitus Severity Is Reduced with Reduction of Depressive Mood – a Prospective Population Study in Sweden  Just plain odd. If you look at depression as an attempt to induce change and restore homeostasis, maybe the tinnitus is a way of nagging a little.

Over 99% of Federal Reserve Bank Enforcement Actions Are Resolved Without Admission of Guilt  This seems to miss the obvious. At some point continual regulatory failure needs to be taken as a sign to try something else. Public choice theory has some good points.

Some more bullish views this time. China links

Maybe I’m not reading this carefully but it seems to consider gold sitting in a vault as “gold backed.”  It’s only gold backed if you can redeem the currency for gold on demand, any time, at any financial institution. Otherwise it’s just a symbolic marketing ploy. Will China Make the Yuan a Gold-Backed Currency?

The World’s Biggest Hedge Fund Hotel Just Got Bigger – 226 Hedge Funds Owned Apple As Of March 31  And the funniest thing is all 226 of them think they will be able to get out before the other guy. Very slow learners.

Common Scents: Plants Constantly Catch a Whiff of Their Neighbors’ Perfume  Plants are doing things all around you, behind your back. So much for vegetarian moral superiority.

For monogamous sparrows, it doesn’t pay to stray (but they do it anyway)  I’m not sure this is the appropriate conclusion. I don’t think any evolutionary theorist would argue the benefits of good genes need be immediately apparent or even at all useful in the current environment. Mixing things up more would likely only be a large benefit when the environment changes significantly. The penalty this shows declines over time so it would be revealing to see what the situation is after a few more decades have passed. An isolated island overrun with researchers is probably not the most challenging environment.

Calcium supplements linked to significantly increased heart attack risk  Great! I get to choose between broken bones or a heart attack.

Exclusive: G-8 Special Report

Thanks to an unnamed source we are privileged to present the first known photo of one of our alien overlords, snapped with a hidden camera during a secret G-8 special session during which world leaders received their latest orders. No telling how long this will stay online.

And The Ruling Is…

OK, I admit I felt a twinge of doubt when writing the “honesty” sentence at the end of the That Damn Zuckerberg piece, which I ignored because it read well and I wasn’t going to let some semantic debate over what part of the festering corpse of honesty still prevails in society get in the way of that. However, despite the developing IPO selective information release scandal, I’ve decided not to rescind Zuckerberg’s knighthood, regardless of the outcome of the investigations. Instead, the final paragraph is amended as follows:

There have been a few issues with user numbers and other minutiae but so far this has really been about the most honest, WYSIWYG IPO I can remember. Maybe that’s a very low hurdle but, particularly in an era of rampant fraud, Despite clumsier than usual handling of the wink-wink, nudge-nudge asymmetric IPO information release process, it’s hard for me to find fault with that…no matter how much I want to. So I reluctantly knight you, Sir Mark of Immaturity. Godspeed.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

The real fun begins tomorrow at the Giro d’Italia with a stage over 4 passes in the Dolomites, finishing in Cortina d’Ampezza. (Cyclingnews)

Wissioming2 / Robert M. Gurney Architect  Nothing special about any particular element but all fits together well, and I like how the Mondrian inspired windows tie in with the surrounding trees in both interior and exterior views.

Do bald men face higher risk of prostate cancer?  Maybe so. The androgen theory makes sense so it wouldn’t be surprising.

How It feels to Blog sometimes. The existential angst of blogging (or, on the bright side, a concise template for composing posts).

Born to run barefoot? Some end up getting injured  The lead off anecdote is priceless. From zero to 6 miles in 3 weeks. He got injured. No kidding.

The Right Way to Try to Buy Happiness  More reasons not to waste your life on stupid stuff. Once you’re “wealthy” what have you really gotten? Guest Post: What Is Wealth?

Cycling may negatively affect male reproductive health, study finds  From the headline I thought this was going to be another stupid impotence story but it’s actually about hormonal imbalances – even from chamois creme.

How Facebook Fucked Up Its Own IPO  I think the biggest mistake was waiting too long. They missed the point of maximum insanity and waited until growth was showing signs of slowing. Once doubts start almost any screw up can have serious effects.

Influence of maternal sexual communication on adolescent risky sexual behaviors  In other words, don’t just talk about the juicy bits.

Antibiotics boost risk of infection with antifungal-resistant candida  More trouble from indiscriminate antibiotic use. Competition keeps a lot of critters in check.

The least surprising result ever – assholes prefer mean dogs. Study finds low agreeableness linked to a preference for aggressive dogs

Flu shot during pregnancy shows unexpected benefits in large study What’s an anti-vaccine dimwit to do with this?

Indian women turn to firearms against threat of violence  I don’t think a .22 is the best gang rape defense choice but it’s good to see they’re doing something in the land of setting women on fire over dowry disappointments.

Researchers present new findings for novel pancreatic cancer vaccine

Researchers spearhead groundbreaking research into treatment of brain swelling  Of course it’s patented to prevent life saving rapid technological dispersion.

The heart rules the head when we make financial decisions  All the more reason to learn how to do it right….maybe read my Quantitative Approach to Intuitive Trading series (Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Type of viral infection of eye associated with disease causing blindness in the elderly  CMV strikes again.

$74 PC on a USB Stick Sold Out (for Now)  If everyone has one of these the WiFi could b used for a truly distributed network.

Body building, diet supplements linked to liver damage: study

Hey Protester!

Give it up. The battle and war are already over, and in reality never really started. You’ve lost. Protests, riots, videos, tweets, Occupy whatever, and other attempts to change the course of events are doomed to failure. You may even get yourself on a list that you don’t want to be on and a good chance of winning the desaparecido lottery.

Read some ancient history. The 60’s protestors didn’t achieve any lasting change and they had a far more coherent message than your education and attention span will allow. 40 years later their most lasting achievements are some good music and creating an environment that fostered more rapid evolution in STDs. Look at who is in power now: They’re making Nixon look benign by comparison and many came from the generation that was to change the world. The radical protesters were sitting right next to these future members of the elite when they were young and impressionable and did nothing to sway them from a life of crime politics/banking/finance. Face it, the biggest contribution to politics you’re likely to make is the next time someone claims they never inhaled you might be able to provide video evidence to the contrary, thanks to having a smartphone glued to the side of your face.

While the majority of humanity is fundamentally good, they aren’t in charge nor will they ever be [1]. Expecting voting and democracy to improve your life is like expecting to come out ahead picking pockets at a pickpocket convention, because that’s literally what modern democracy is. As Ambrose Bierce said long ago, “an election is nothing more than the advanced auction of stolen goods.” Competing groups of people using the government to steal from each other. That is a zero sum game at best and to the extent a group can gain a temporary advantage, it’s never going to be you.

Beseeching the government to do something and granting more power to do it is always the prescription offered, with people blindly accepting the unstated premise that only good people will ever gain power. Even in your short lives all evidence points to the opposite. Real change will happen when the current ruling elite, through their own short-sighted ignorance, kill the goose that laid the golden egg and cause the entire system to collapse around them. In case you haven’t noticed, they’re doing a frighteningly good job of driving toward the cliff with their feet on the gas without your help.

Don’t waste your time trying to change things through politics and protests. Occupy your own life. It’s the only thing over which you have any control. Don’t rely on the government for anything, keep your head down; take care of yourself, your family and friends. Make a difference in your own small corner of the world and maybe at the end of it all you will have done some real good and lived a rich, full life despite it all.

…Oh, and take all of your money out of the too big to fail banks. TBTF is an excuse for a course of action, not a description of reality.


[1] See Hayek’s chapter on why the worst get on top in The Road to Serfdom

Pseudo Random News and Comment

China links.  Money quote from a WaPo article it mentions, “What part of China is communist, and what part of Harvard is against elitist authoritarianism?”

Wildly radical idea of human beings as an explanation of the results of human behavior. Why are Volatility and Bad News Positively Correlated?

Via TBP,  Four Ways Happiness Can Hurt You  Don’t tell the pharmaceutical companies.

The truth always hurts. Techdirt Threatened With Defamation Suit Over Story On Feds Getting Royalty In Movie From Mexican Drug Cartel Money Launderer

Wonderful confusion of cause and effect. Internet porn bad for adolescent health

Study finds moderate weight loss reduces levels of sex hormones linked to breast cancer risk

Vigorous physical activity associated with reduced risk of psoriasis  High volumes of exercise suppresses the immune system so this makes sense.

Social status promotes faster wound healing in wild baboons  The rich get richer, even in baboons.

Allowing the Mind to Wander Aids Creativity

Today’s environment influences behavior generations later: research  Some epigenetic worry.

Study reports increasing incidence of Clostridium difficile infection  Be nice to your microbiome.

Doctors who dictate their notes have worse quality of care than those who use other documentation methods: study  Maybe taking structured notes leads to more structured thinking.

Study finds sigmoidoscopy reduces colorectal cancer rates  Actually removing polyps is what does the magic so this is rather misleading.

Oxytocin improves brain function in children with autism  Not sure it’s worth the abuse risks.

More informed citizens have a more positive perception of politicians  Very surprising to me since it has the opposite effect when I read more.

Anxiety May Hinder Your Sense of Danger  The way I see it this is really about multitasking – anxiety is about non-specific, diffuse threats, danger is quite specific. Can’t do both at the same time.

Watch the Bounce  Very much what I would’ve said.

More “bait and switch” acupuncture studies

Emergence and Prevalence of Human Vector-Borne Diseases in Sink Vector Populations  Interesting look at getting by in sub-optimal environments.

Kinship Shapes Affiliative Social Networks but Not Aggression in Ring-Tailed Coatis I’m guessing concern for collateral damage when non-kin juveniles are attacked is the reason for intervention. It would be interesting to see what would happen in conditions where the aggression was certain to be contained.

Final word: Task force recommends against PSA-based screening for prostate cancer  So you’ll have to keep getting the finger.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Statins prevent cancer in heart transplant recipients  Not a large study but the numbers are almost stunningly good.

The Social Media Vortex  The possible death of VC interest in biotech, among other things, which doesn’t sound too good to me.

Wen changes his tune  It really pains me to see governments and central banks repeating every mistake of the last 100 years with even greater determination, as though that will change the results.

Italy and the Great Tax Revolt  I think this puts an overly philosophical spin on things but eventually the view will become more prevalent. When you promise a free, just and prosperous society and delivery on none of the three, sooner or later people will figure out the scam.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

What Jamie Dimon Really Said: The CIA’s Take  On unknown subjects the methods used in this have fared poorly in controlled experiments. However, when there are a number of interactions and the motivations of the subject are reasonably well-known it can be quite illuminating.

Paper Tigers  Lengthy piece about the fate of the kids of Tiger Moms. Moderation in everything is probably a better choice. Except for exercise and sex of course.

Do We Really Know What Makes Us Healthy? Not really. The fault lies with our genes for the most part. Hormone replacement therapy could never address that.

Become A Safer Investor – Get Married  …and then lose the enhanced returns in a future divorce, because for other biological reasons you couldn’t keep it in your pants.

The Neuroscience of Effort  Fortunately it’s a short and easy read.

A quick summary of diffusion. I agree that adopting Facebook constitutes a hazard. How Things Get Popular

Chen Guangcheng has left China for US, say officials

Hollywood Talent Turns To Kickstarter To Escape ‘Institutional Censorship’  Another nail in the monolithic media coffin – and there are already a great many, though some have yet to notice.

PeakBook?  Speaking of diffusion, a very interesting graphs of Myspace vs Facebook

London Police To Extract Data From Suspects’ Mobile Phones — And Keep It Even If No Charges Are Brought

Cervical, Anal and Oral HPV in an Adolescent Inner-City Health Clinic Providing Free Vaccinations Should be enough to scare the pants back on any young man, though it probably won’t (more insidious genetic influence). STDs tend to come in combo platters too.

Images of Eyes Enhance Investments in a Real-Life Public Good  All sorts of real world applications possible with this, not just for the public good either.

Is This Time Different?

Going over the post-game wrap ups this chart from a TBP post, Graphic: Comparing FB with other Tech IPOS  got my attention. Check out the timing of the most recent IPO spikes. Especially if you hedge the way JPM does, it may be time to think about something other than just Facebook.

Is this time different?

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Very sad news, and a deserving appeal, from Mish. My Wife Joanne Has Passed Away; Stop and Smell the Lilacs

In case you hadn’t noticed – 2 Out Of 3 Countries Are In A Bear Market

Guest Post: The Face of Genocidal Eco-Fascism  People like this wingnut really don’t worry me. The dangerous ones present a polished image and say things you can believe in.

China’s April property prices  I hear a cracking noise…

China’s new housing starts turn negative

Why China’s RMB exodus IS the story  The mechanics of collapse in a distorted economy.

10 Life-Changing Decisions We Make Without Thinking  James Altucher on the big stuff.

Will the FHA require a bailout? – 12,000,000 underwater mortgages 3,000,000 are FHA insured loans  The alphabet soup of government mortgage intervention is going to result in a bailout of unbelievable proportions at some point. The rules have barely changed since the golden age of the housing bubble and they are >90% of the residential mortgage market. That’s big, and very stupid.

Science finally catches up. I knew this 45 years ago. Diabetes can take a toll on your emotions

The quality control at god’s factory is worse than previously realized. ‘Rare’ genetic variants are surprisingly common, life scientists report  When dealing with uncertainty it’s good to hedge your bets. Really hedge them, not taking more risk disguised as a hedge.

Reputation-Based Conditional Interaction Supports Cooperation in Well-Mixed Prisoner’s Dilemmas

Stuxnet-Like Viruses Remain a Top U.S. Security Risk  Most sentient analysts pointed out the risks of starting this sort of government sponsored attack when the Stuxnet virus was first discovered and the finger of blame was moving toward the US and Israel. It soon is in the wild and being used against you, intentionally or accidentally. Just like bioweapons.

Astrophysics retraction trail includes paper that plagiarized another already retracted for…plagiarism  As I mentioned in my post on cheating, doing it well requires some skill. These guys apparently didn’t have any.

To Enjoy Free Time, Forget Your Hourly Wage

Traveling Salesman: A Seemingly Unsolvable Problem Offers a Glimpse of the Limits of Computation

Even The Copyright Office Won’t Obey Rules That Don’t Make Sense In Reality  When laws diverge from the intuitive human sense of justice and morality there are going to be problems. IP and copyright laws clearly don’t match our sense of right and wrong because nobody has lost use of anything.

Brian Lund comes out of the closet. He’s an intuitive trader. How You’ll Know When A Tradable Bottom Is In Place

Expanding the Hygiene Hypothesis: Early Exposure to Infectious Agents Predicts Delayed-Type Hypersensitivity to Candida among Children in Kilimanjaro  field testing the hygiene hypothesis. Glad I played in the dirt a lot in the dawn of time before computers took over the world.

Oh yeah, Facebook went public today. Hopefully some people learned that using market orders can be a very bad thing, and that if everybody knows about something it’s probably not a good investment.

Don’t forget to have fun and enjoy life while you still can. Maybe cheer yourself up with a sandwich too.

A Daily Chart Review

I’m breaking down and doing a stereotypical trading post today. Since I brought up the necessity of keeping market information simple and consistent in the intuitive trading series I thought I’d give an example, and yesterday’s chart is more interesting than most. This is what I look at each day (along with an equivalent chart for the NYSE):

Top to bottom the indicators are: volume, a breadth oscillator, cumulative breadth – based on the same formula, AD indecision (similar to the Fosback Absolute Breadth Index), and breadth efficiency (similar to McGinley’s AD Power). There are also a handful of the hundreds of systems I mentioned in the intuitive trading series shown, though I truly have no idea what they are on this chart.

What’s notable about the chart at the moment is the bottom two indicators. Indecision is typically very low at a bottom as breadth becomes more lopsided, and breadth efficiency is typically very high as buyers retreat and cause large percentage moves. Neither is the case here, which could mean the fat lady will only stick her head out to clear her throat before turning around and heading backstage for a drink.


For a very comprehensive guide to breadth indicators, see The Complete Guide to Market Breadth Indicators: How to Analyze and Evaluate market Direction and Strength


Disclaimer: Nothing in this post or blog is intended as specific investment advice, recommendation, or inducement to buy or sell anything. It is my opinion only, and as such is something not intended for any particular individual and something even I rarely give any credence. If, despite this, you or your attorney believe this constitutes investment advice or any other actionable category, immediately stop reading this blog, read my About page, review the idea of a reasonable man standard, and reconsider. If the notion persists reduce your intake of recreational drugs until it passes and you can resume acting like a responsible adult.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Holy pragmatism Batman! Baseboards! S. Roque House I / Bruno Armando Gomes Marques  Surprising given the exterior style.

When you eat matters: Study offers drug-free intervention to prevent obesity, diabetes  Confined to eating during an 8 hour period each day. Probably harder than it sounds.

Research shows how to increase mental wellbeing and feel happy  Jumping up and down, irritating the more sullen with your ebullience, apparently makes you even happier.

Another reason group selection is an answer in search of a question, as well as a good tie in with deception detection/arms race theories for human brain size. Evolution of Cooperation Driven by Reputation-Based Migration

Proof that voters are relatively mindless, as they’d have to be to think it would make any real difference. Election Turnout Statistics in Many Countries: Similarities, Differences, and a Diffusive Field Model for Decision-Making

Mapping Connectivity Damage in the Case of Phineas Gage  Many people view movies, books, blogs, or children as a means of achieving some measure of immortality but Mr. Gage continues to demonstrate that alternative means can be quite effective. But I’m still going to hold off on blowing a metal rod through my head until all other paths have been exhausted.

Your China news summary – China links  It’s not looking good.

A bearish bear’s bear view - China real estate unravels

Money is fleeing China

Is misconduct more likely in drug trials than in other biomedical research?  Money talks, even when compensation isn’t necessarily directly based on the results.

DOJ Argues Forcefully For Your Right To Photograph And Videotape Law Enforcement  This must be an election year stunt since it’s so completely out of character.  They apparently want people to be able to film their own extralegal executions.

Research Shows Little Relationship Between Stricter IP Laws And Innovation Or Economic Growth Duh. China’s growth numbers haven’t been entirely garbage.

Facebook Takes Aim at Cross-Browser ‘LilyJade’ Worm  An odd, yet pretty inventive business plan. The creator may in fact not be doing anything wrong, though many customers undoubtedly are.

Higher pain tolerance in athletes may hold clues for pain management  I’ve always felt it was a matter of definition. What’s defined as pain starts at a greater level of intensity.

Brett Scott: The Safe Deposit Box – Creating a Financial Wikileaks  I think uncurated is the way to go for leaks. Use a crowd-sourced review/rating system to float the higher quality releases up to the top. Avoids the issue of having to trust a pre-publication reviewer not to sell you out.

New HTC Phones Stopped At Customs Due To Apple Patent Fight  I’m not the only one to think they are acting like scared little punks.

AIA: Architecture Billings Index indicates contraction in April

Take it easy with those supplements! Resveratrol Exerts Dosage and Duration Dependent Effect on Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Development

Mechanics Regulates Fate Decisions of Human Embryonic Stem Cells  Very interesting.

Regardless Of What The Propaganda Says, This Is Not How A Free Society Treats People  Defense of Eduardo Saverin.

Unhurtful Thoughts: A Preoccupied Brain Produces Pain-Killing Compounds  Don’t bother me with the small stuff, I’m busy.

Global Payments Breach Now Dates Back to Jan. 2011  I can believe to some extent that ignorance is behind some corporate non-disclosure, but how many companies even consider telling the truth before issuing statements that are almost guaranteed to be proven false later?

The Importance of Mindset

Brian Lund has a good post up, 5 Mistakes I Made In Trading Yesterday.  I want to expand on something he said: “…go back through your trades with the mindset you had contemporaneously to try and figure out what you did wrong.”

In my opinion the mindset, more than the specifics of a mistake, is most often the real problem when mistakes are made. Correcting the mechanics of an error is important in minimizing losses but unless the mindset that led to the error is addressed, the next time around you’ll simply find ways to make new mistakes. The number of potential errors you can make is practically infinite so a rule based response to prior mistakes quickly becomes unworkable (and insulting to your creativity). Finding out the why of your mistakes is more important than the what. For example, is poor stop placement more an issue of number crunching or a fear of losses that leads to avoiding the subject?. Failing to find the answer will come back to haunt you.

The motivations, beliefs and attitudes that lead to mistakes are where lasting changes in the process are made. Think of it this way: If you aren’t hungry, taking a big bite of delicious, mistake-filled apple pie is easier to avoid.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Wow, the cognitive mechanics of gaydar – The Roles of Featural and Configural Face Processing in Snap Judgments of Sexual Orientation  Interesting the gaydar was more accurate about women.

Crows found able to distinguish between human voices  Time to remake the old “The Birds” horror film based on the latest research.

Crabs will fake it to avoid a fight, research finds  Cheating and deception more common when you can get away with it. Like on Wall St.

More bad news for Facebook - Why do consumers dislike corporate brands that get too familiar?

How do consumers achieve self-affirmation when purchasing products?  From this we could infer that Apple wants everyone to feel bad about themselves.

Wenzou’s debt deflation The end is nigh.

Musician Wonders What It Would Take To Become An Open Source Musician  NIN did something bordering on open source by publicly releasing all tracks from Year Zero so anyone could remix and share.

Japan’s WTF Chart  Keynesians like to say Japan’s problem is that they didn’t do enough soon enough. It’s kind of hard to justify that view looking at this.

You are what you eat: Why do male consumers avoid vegetarian options? Meat = manly. But why?

Genes make for a life of success  Nature makes a comeback on the research front. A lot of nurture research in the last few years so it’s time for a rebalancing again.

Death risk for marathoners remains low during or soon after race  There goes another excuse.

Small-Molecule Synthetic Compound Norcantharidin Reverses Multi-Drug Resistance by Regulating Sonic Hedgehog Signaling in Human Breast Cancer Cells  A small victory in the war against drug resistance.

Concurrent Word Generation and Motor Performance: Further Evidence for Language-Motor Interaction Just plain cool.

Beijing Olympics study reveals biological link between air pollution, cardiovascular disease  I hate wearing masks but may have to on the next China trip.

HTC smartphones blocked by US customs Patent war fallout. Time to go to direct distribution through eBay.

OMG! Texting ups truthfulness, new study suggests

I’ve been wondering about this ever since answering machines started being used in homes 30 years ago – Assessing the Representativeness of Public Opinion Surveys

The UK kids’ show “Blue Peter” is being moved due to ratings. Maybe it could be run after an adaptation of the movie “James and the Giant Peach”, which sounds like a great slot.

Cheating with Partial Hedges  Good summary of insuring your positions. Exiting, completely or partially, is always an option too.

Factors Institutional Investors Are Favoring  This is what the “smart” money is doing? Beta is #2. That’s not going to exacerbate volatility is it.

How a US soldier finally got his Pastafarian dogtags

7 Reasons I Don’t Mind Sitting in Cash  Five are variations on picking your spots. Any time you are in the market you are taking a risk. #7 is very often overlooked as well.

Editorial note: My recent tilt toward more science news suggests the current market decline will be bigger than I was expecting.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Seth Klarman On The Absurd Short-Termism Of The Exuberant Rally  Always a good read (and the book is available in pdf form online if you search so save your $1000).

This is just too odd – Colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy may be used to predict Parkinson’s  A good excuse for having your head up your ass.

Do Psychedelics Expand the Mind by Reducing Brain Activity?  so it’s really expanding your mind via contraction.

A public service announcement. Binge drinking increases risk of later sexual assault for first-year female college students

Nice overview. Hedging and Proprietary Trading

More bad news from the gray-hair indicator – It’s Not a Frenzy Until the Old People Lose Their F***ing Minds

RISUG: Birth Control for Men  Since you can bribe your way to approval in India I’m guessing this will be approved there regardless.

Nigerian state sees mass weddings as solution to soaring divorce rate  I don’t mean to pick on any particular set of beliefs (there’s only so much time in the day), but this set is pretty rich. I see it as a general critique of regulations too.

If You Meet A Censor, Ask Why They Haven’t Become Moral Degenerates Themselves  Good question, but the answer is obviously moral superiority.

Empowering the Body to Fix Its Parts  Excellent summary of current stem cell research.

Is Cash the New Black?  The top 1% love cash. Me too, at least until something better comes along.

Disturbing how effective the propaganda effort has been.Fearmongering About Cyberwar And Cybersecurity Is Working: American Public Very, Very Afraid

Not-So-Quick Fix: ADHD Behavioral Therapy May Be More Effective Than Drugs in Long Run  Curiously, behavioral therapy doesn’t work for cancer so which is really a disease?

Very Few Companies Fight Back Against Patriot Act Gag Orders

.Pirate Domains Now Available Through OpenNic  See the last paragraph for the interesting bit.

US Government Gets 10% Royalty On ‘Passion Of The Christ’ Prequel In Plea Deal With Mexican Drug Smuggler  Hard to tell which actors in this drama are the “real” gangsters.

Very cool. Tracking down communications channels between bugs and body. Microbiota/Host Crosstalk Biomarkers: Regulatory Response of Human Intestinal Dendritic Cells Exposed to Lactobacillus Extracellular Encrypted Peptide

For the Venn Geeks out there – VENNTURE–A Novel Venn Diagram Investigational Tool for Multiple Pharmacological Dataset Analysis

Plasticity of Adult Human Pancreatic Duct Cells by Neurogenin3-Mediated Reprogramming

What Are Science’s Ugliest Experiments?  Barely scratched the surface but it’s a start.

Methylating Your Muscle DNA  Interesting possible explanation of altered physiology for hours and even days after intensive exercise.

The Trouble with Airport Profiling  Excellent reminder of what’s actually effective.

Attention Frustrated Chartists: It ain’t HFT – it’s the Macro!  I totally agree with this. None of the sharp moves have been against the trend or character of the market (at least as I identify it).

Facebook’s worst idea yet: Paid post promotion  If this is what Zuckerberg means about focusing on the product I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

Is China entering a debt deflation?   After blowing a bubble any decrease in the rate of money/credit creation means a bust is on the way. They currently qualify.

Drugs from lizard saliva reduces the cravings for food  Of course it does, because otherwise they’ll make you eat more lizard saliva.