Thursday, February 28, 2013


Barack Obama: munchkin mini-maxer

Mini-maxing is when a player designs a character that is fantastically good at one thing, at the expense of everything else. So you could end up with a character who is, say, obscenely good at hitting things with a sword – but can’t convince a bunch of sailors to drink free beer. The mini-maxer doesn’t mind; he’ll just go around the game trying to resolve as many problems as he can by hitting them with a sword (tabletop gamers – err, “D&D players” – often call this The Gun is My Skill List, although obviously substitute a sword for a gun in the name). The problems that the mini-maxer can’t resolve that way he’ll either ignore until later, or else flail about on the screen while hitting the buttons quickly and/or at random (“button-mashing”), in the hopes that eventually the laws of probability will allow him to bull on through anyway. 
And that’s where we are now. Barack Obama knows how to do one thing: elect Barack Obama to public office. And that’s not ‘elect Democrats.’ Or ‘elect liberals.’ Or even ‘elect people that Barack Obama likes.’ It’s just him: his team is trying pretty hard right now to figure out how to use their over-specialized skill more generally, but they don’t have much time to figure it out and the system is actually rigged against them in this case. 

Read the whole thing at

It goes along with the idea that a popular president doesn't bestow his popularity on the rest of his party.

One other interesting point that Prechter made at the end of his talk was the popularity of an incumbent who is blessed with a bull market doesn't work during the off year elections.  2014 will reflect what the stock market/social mood says it should.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

I can say that money wasn't a prime motivator for my trading, at least when I was doing it well, after I had reached a point when I had enough to live on.  When money did become more important my trading suffered.  As almost any trader will say, when your mind turns to the money you could be making or losing on a particular trade you will make poorer decisions.  This is because taking a loss makes concrete a loss of money and closing a winning trade also makes concrete the gain.  This is the exact opposite of what is necessary for successful trading, cutting your losers fast and letting your winners run.

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Monday, February 25, 2013


Bearish pattern

Something to keep an eye on with the sequestration battle finished with the unthinkable, actually spending cuts.  Of course, that is being sold as Armageddon.  We have been in a rising wedge which is very bearish.   This is why I am paying attention to every little bearish sign.  A rising wedge which goes back for a year would resolve when the wedge is retraced to its starting point near Dow 10,000.  Minimum.  This little higher opening and lower close should be good for at least a few hundred points.  Bearish patterns and sentiment, which I have noted earlier, makes this market primed for a fall. I will keep an eagle eye on the market to see whether this looks to be turning into something bigger.

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How to: Visit Chicago Like a Chicagoan

[Ed. note: The below piece of writing is extremely funny. It is also extremely profane. The word irreverent does not go far enough. If you're offended by salty language and off-color humor, please just enjoy our photo today and I promise we'll be back to our usual family-friendly routine promptly tomorrow.]


Friday, February 22, 2013


Black Moth Super Rainbow ~ Gangs In The Garden


Wednesday, February 20, 2013


How I Meteored Your Motherland

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook


Clarence Thomas visits Harvard Law School

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


PS4: What Sony needs to win next-gen

I just can't stop.  I have a problem.  I know that.

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Saturday, February 16, 2013


A warning to college profs from a high school teacher

Further, most of the tests being used consist primarily or solely of multiple-choice items, which are cheaper to develop, administer, and score than are tests that include constructed responses such as essays. Even when a state has tests that include writing, the level of writing required for such tests often does not demand that higher-level thinking be demonstrated, nor does it require proper grammar, usage, syntax, and structure. Thus, students arriving in our high school lacked experience and knowledge about how to do the kinds of writing that are expected at higher levels of education.

Since I have started grad school in January there are a few new things I have had to get used to.  One is that so much of higher education takes place on computers and you are expected to take part in online as well as classroom discussions.  One thing I have noticed is that many of my classmates have really atrocious writing and critical thinking skills.  For one article we were to write our opinion, nearly every student mirrored back the author's point of view and then added a personal anecdote.  No consideration of other opinions.  I would put up an example of this but I rather not get kicked out of school.  Maybe after I am graduated.  

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Friday, February 15, 2013


Squackett - A Life Within A Day


Thursday, February 14, 2013


The War on Drugs, Overcriminalization, and the Rise of Militarized Police Raids

On July 13, 2010, a dozen St. Paul, Minn.–area policemen and a federal Drug Enforcement Agency officer assaulted Roberto Franco’s home. Clad in Army fatigues, they rousted all nine people there, including three children. “Each plaintiff was forced to the floor at gun and rifle point and handcuffed behind their backs,” states Franco’s $30 million federal lawsuit against these authorities. “Defendants shot and killed the family dog and forced the handcuffed children to sit next to the carcass of their dead and bloody pet for more than an hour while defendants continued to search the plaintiffs’ home.”
According to the complaint, one young girl who “was handcuffed and prevented by officer from obtaining and taking her medication thus induced a diabetic episode as a result of low blood-sugar levels.”


Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Obama, Romney, and GOP Technology: A Chilling Analysis

Please read the whole thing.

WHAT LESSONS CAN WE LEARN?There are so many things we can learn from all this.
Technology is no longer an add-on to a campaign. It drives all activities in a campaign.
Romney's people didn't pay attention to the lessons of the past (2008), when Obama's people struggled with GOTV technology and lots of data issues. (Obama's people were very surprised at this, as these lessons were public.) We must keep up with these things. We must study what Obama's people did in 2012 in great detail. (I have included all good public information at the bottom of this article.)
Outsourcing everything means you lose control and the ability to adapt to changing conditions. We need to hire technology guys into party operations and large campaigns and pay them well.
We need to build things in iterations, testing all along the way, using simple building blocks. No more building something big for a long while and then releasing it. Too risky.
We need to keep up with what the startups are doing in technology and translate those things into political uses.
We need to get involved with the online communities that are out there that share innovation, such as Github - used heavily by Obama's team and not Romney's. We also must get a feel for how these places operate so we can build our own Republican communities of technology.
We need to stop using so much commercial software and use a lot more free, open source software.
We need to embrace the new world of analytics and social science research in voter preferences and targeting. We need to cultivate a network of people who have these skills.
We need to discuss technology out in the open. Obama's people let a lot of what they were doing out into the community so they could get feedback and help.
CAN WE REPUBLICANS CATCH UP?The short answer is no. Getting to yes would be a long and hard road. Some of that journey actually has nothing to do with technology. Here is my prescription for Chairman Priebus:
Begin building the infrastructure for the 2016 GOP Presidential Nominee now. Start by commissioning some people to create a Republican version of Narwhal.
Elevate technologists to the most valuable of all Republican activists. Create nationwide programs to gather them together, share best practices, and produce components. Foster technology projects across state Republican parties. Invite in all kinds of groups on the right, including Ron Paul's supporters and the Tea Party. Nothing unites people like technology projects.
Create a nationwide repository for voter data tools that can link to and work with the data from GOP Data Center (the successor to Voter Vault).
Start supporting the voter information file from NationBuilder. I know that seems crazy. But the party should have a community of people who use that data and build apps on it. I predict that by 2014, the data and applications in there will be far more valuable than anything in GOP Data Center.
-  Technologists have policy needs that neither party is serving. If we had a platform that included them, they would have a strong reason to support the party. What are these desires? Copyright and patent reform, an open web (build on what Darrell Issa is doing), prevent things like SOPA and PIPA, and increase the amount of high-tech visas. These things - plus California's new high taxes - will help change the perception of Republicans.
Start to offer technology training to activists who want to learn computer programming. Do what Code for America does. (They are a non-profit that teaches people to code and then loans them to cities to build applications for better government.) Find people, train them with great free resources like Code Academy, do some in-person training and programming contests, and then put them to work on great projects. There are regular computer programmers who have boring jobs who would love to work on cool projects with the cool stuff that they know is used at Facebook, Twitter, Etsy, and Google. We should give them some opportunities.
Well, that is all I have to say about this for now. I didn't even cover the whole story or lots of other things they built. But I think this is enough for my fellow Republicans to start taking technology much more seriously.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Feminist, leftist propaganda in the public school classroom

My point, of course, is that, at all times, in all places, women have been objectified for men’s pleasure.  And when men strut around in uncomfortable suits of armor, or ride off to the battlefield, or get their body’s tattooed, they too are preening for the opposite sex.  That’s nature, not prejudice.



Quantum Mechanics, the embarrassment of physics


Monday, February 11, 2013


Explosive new book: Obama administration up to its neck in covert acts that caused Benghazi deaths

Last week, we learned that President Obama was completely AWOL during the Benghazi attack.  While Americans under his command were dying, he caught a few Zs.
 This week’s revelations are even uglier.  Typically, the Daily Mail is very excited about those parts of a new book that discuss General Petraeus’ downfall (it was a coup engineered by disgruntled CIA staff, including his personal security detail, who didn’t like his focus on paramilitary actions, rather than intelligence gathering).


Sunday, February 10, 2013


Sandy Hook father lectures on the constitution

Saturday, February 09, 2013


Dr. Benjamin Carson Addresses National Prayer Breakfast, Criticizes Obamacare


Friday, February 08, 2013


Passion Pit - Take A Walk


Thursday, February 07, 2013


Extreme Sentiment: Barron's Cover "Get Ready for Record Dow - We Told You So"

Supposedly we are only in "the first inning" of a rally. Hmm. Are stocks supposed to rise 900% more? This may not be "the top" but it's close enough for me. I'm calling it.
Mish is calling it.

Daneric has been chronicling a rising wedge (very bearish formation) for awhile.  

Something is going to give very soon.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2013


Robert Prechter at the 2012 Social Mood Conference: The Elections Paper

Here is Robert Prechter explaining why Barack Obama got re-elected.  In a nutshell, rising stock prices reflected rising social mood.   Bull markets are good for incumbents.  This is something that politicians have known for awhile hence the election cycle.

One other interesting point that Prechter made at the end of his talk was the popularity of an incumbent who is blessed with a bull market doesn't work during the off year elections.  2014 will reflect what the stock market/social mood says it should.

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Monday, February 04, 2013


How Iceland Overthrew The Banks

Via Zero Hedge.

Main message- let the market clear itself.  Don't try and save insolvent banks.

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Friday, February 01, 2013


Anything Can Happen...


Snowden - The Beat Comes



Sony to Unveil PS3 Successor

Playstation 4, woohoo. I can hardly...zzzzzzz.

The WSJ is confirming what we all saw inSony's slick video teaser for its upcoming February 20th event: Sony will be announcing the PlayStation 4. Citing the ol' reliable 'people familiar with the matter', the WSJ says that the PS4 will be announced on February 20th and be released later this year.

Ok, who am I kidding.  I am going to follow this and I can't wait for E3 even though I have no time for games other than solitaire and Angry Birds.

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Playstation 4 = Singularity

How "original."

The domain falls very much in line with past Quantic Dream and, and mirrors SCEE's general preference for domains thatindicate a game's platform. Given these domain trends and Quantic Dream's status as a valued second-party Sony developer that would presumably privy to the overall strategy of their publishing partner, "singularityps4" could perhaps indicate that Sony will opt for the name of PlayStation 4 for their next console (a surprise to probably no one)—and the current codename of Orbis will vanish.

This time around I am decidedly less excited, or rich, about a new Playstation.   No need to be an early adopter.  

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