Pseudo Random News and Comment

Good piece on financial repression by Carmen Reinhart. The hidden tax of inflating the supply of money and credit deserves emphasis too but it’s a good summary of the downside of suppressing interest rates.

Skill versus luck in the markets. If you get to choose, go with luck every time. Not sure how they chose the headline since the issues affect the smart and stupid equally. The reason smart people lose money in the markets is because they can rationalize even the most idiotic ideas with a blizzard of facts and logic. The sole function of many people employed on Wall St is to provide the information and recommendations that will allow the average person to do the same.

Moving averages win again. At least if you measure results in certain ways. The problem is after getting whipsawed in and out of the market a few times in a row most people get fed up and don’t take the next signal that leads to the huge move. An argument for automating yourself out of the loop.

The math behind badly lagging leveraged ETFs. They can still be used effectively longer term by shorting them – short the long to go short, short the short to go long. I’ve never tested if there is any money to be made (after slippage, commissions, rebalancing) by doing both at the same time. In theory it should be profitable on average.

Joshua M Brown is sickened by the idea of homeless people as hotspots. I’m not. There are 2 willing parties to the transaction as near as I can tell. The returns would probably be superior to their usual begging, and the more enterprising can always do a man-in-the-middle attack to lift some high quality credit card numbers.

A nice criticism of Warren Buffett from Barbarian Capital. Also links to this piece which confirms my suspicion that Buffett was the world’s biggest bull market genius.

When Sony first came out with their robotic dog (Aibo) I had the idea to make something like this with it. There are also cheap robotic spiders with basic navigation programs that could be used. The Sony dog has been put to sleep but I may yet unleash my spiders on the world.

Relationship issues often cause female sexual dysfunction. What a shocker. But I’m sure it won’t stop the pharmaceutical companies from coming up with pills to fix women’s sexual responsiveness to that asshole next to them in bed.

Technological dependencies delayed the wheel. Without an MP3 connection why bother?

A discussion of the safety of US nuclear plants, some of which use the same faulty design as Fukushima. Actually worse because some US plants only require 2 hours of battery backup instead of 8 at the Japanese plant. What could go wrong?

How to make ethical robots. I think it’s just as important that they understand opportunity cost and the division of labor. Without that they will never realize exterminating humans will make their lives worse. Why would a super intelligent robot want to code Java? Many humans don’t even like that.

I have a perverse interest in rabies since it’s a great example of a virus changing human behavior to enhance its spread, ordinarily something nearly unimaginable. There’s a new variant in Tanzania.

This explains a great deal. Narcissism impairs ethical judgment.


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