Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Or the market is never wrong.

The fancier the math one uses to justify an entrenched investment opinion, the more obscure and arcane the indicators employed, the more desperate and wrong that person is.
We don't resort to algebraic equations when we're on the winning side of a trade and confident that we have gotten the broad strokes right. It is only when our backs are against the wall and the core beliefs we've publicly held have proven to be ineffective or incorrect that we resort to mining for "new" data from decades ago to re-prove our original thesis. This is more about saving face and nursing a bruised ego than it is about making money.
Everyone has been there and done this, with market calls and with individual stocks. Note the daytrader who, when caught in a down stock, begins doing fundamental research on the company to make himself feel better. Or the market-timer who's got a shiny new measure each week by which he can show that the market is over-extended in one direction or the other.
But the worst exemplar of this sort of thing is the pedantic genius who has such high regard for his own superior intelligence that he actually believes that it is the market - and not himself - that is in error. He could not possibly have misjudged things and, by the way, here are nine forumlas and six charts by which this simple fact will become inescapable.
"Here's the mathematical proof, presented in as sophisticated a manner as possible, to show that even though I'm wrong and have been forever, I am really right after all."Do yourself a favor - check into a mental hospital and write your magic equations on the wall with your own blood and excrement. The nurses will be very impressed.

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Friday, April 26, 2013


LILACS&CHAMPAGNE -Battling the City



Oh God no.

I'm warning you, you really don't want to watch this video.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013


High frequency trading makes liquidity "fickle"

The fake AP story caused the Dow to drop 100 points and rebound that amount in 90 seconds. There are no more human market makers so when an event like this happens only the computers are reacting and they act very quickly, without thought, and that creates these mini-crashes. The danger is that this will cascade and bring the market down when it is already in a bear market. The will crash because of an event like this and then people, real humans, will reinforce the fall by selling themselves. We have been in a bull market since 2009 but that will end some day. Then we will find out how dangerous HFT is.        

Traders and analysts say that at the first sign of crisis (and sometimes in the absence of a crisis), high-frequency traders pull out of the market, leaving a void of buyers and sellers.
In fact, liquidity dried up even faster after the false tweet Tuesday than it had during the infamous Flash Crash of 2010. 
Eric Hunsader, the founder of Nanex, a firm that tracks trading behavior. said Tuesday's market reaction shows that trading has become even faster in recent years. 
"One tweet can do more damage to our market's liquidity than the flash crash," said Hunsader. Certain trading pools were overloaded, and trades weren't reported for four minutes, he added.
Within the past year and a half, disruptions in the market marred the IPOs of the BATS exchange and Facebook. 
Just Monday, Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) had an inexplicable flash crash. It only lasted a few seconds but still signals the fragility of markets in a high-speed trading world.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Battle of the Brains (BBC Horizon)


Sunday, April 21, 2013


PJTV: Reexamining the Bush Legacy


Saturday, April 20, 2013


Bill Maher: Comparing violence of Islam to Christianity ‘liberal bullsh*t’ [VIDEO]

I go to the Daily Caller website all excited to see this video and...no video.  But I did find it on Youtube.

So here you go:

 I will add one thing. Maher seems to be getting a little more miffed about liberal bullshit lately. Maybe he got his tax bill.

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Friday, April 19, 2013


New Hindenburg Omen

We had one signal on Monday, April 15th.  The more of these that appear the more likely this signal generates a market drop off.  Call the Hindenburg Omen a necessary but not sufficient reason to think we are going to have a correction (=drop of  >20%) in stocks.

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It Bites - The Last Escape

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Thursday, April 18, 2013


A Geyser On Ravenswood

This intersection is familiar to everyone here at Brain Droppings.

More here.

Believe it or not this isn't a first for this intersection.

Bill C
That's Lawrence and Ravenswood, I think.  We used to live a block east of there.  YUCK!


Multiplayer Game 'Eve Online' Cultivates a Most Devoted Following

To make purchases within Eve, players use a currency called ISK, also the acronym for the real-world Icelandic krona. The total value of goods produced by activity inside of Eve per month is about ISK135 trillion, or $5.2 million. Millions of items are traded—minerals, booster rockets, armor, warp drives, and spaceships that cost upwards of $10,000. In a first for a gaming company, CCP hired a proper economist to manage all of this activity. Eyjólfur Guðmundsson left his post as dean of the faculty of business and science at the University of Akureyri to work full time at CCP in 2007. Guðmundsson loves his job. He’s an economist who can monitor every sale of every good in a bustling market in real time. “Our mission statement is to make virtual worlds more meaningful than real life,” Guðmundsson says. “For me, real life has stopped being interesting. The economy of Eve is what I care about.”

If I can't trade in real life this might present a fun alternative.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013


How To Win At Chess (BBC Documentary)

Friday, April 12, 2013


MLB 2013

Big changes in the big leagues

Houston is now an AL city, both leagues are split evenly into three divisions and for the first time since interleague play began divisional rivals play nearly identical schedules.  On balance, I like these changes though I wish they didn't constitute an improvement.*

But the biggest change of all is that interleague play is now an everyday reality rather than a mid-season special event.  Many people think it portends an even bigger change, as Jayson Stark notes:
Daily interleague play is going to be part of the baseball experience for ever and ever. Kinda like watching games on your phone. And Darren Oliver.
"It's definitely different," said Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto last week, as he found himself and his team in Cincinnati, minus its DH, for the very first series of the year. "It made putting a roster together [this spring] a little unusual. That's for sure."
But roster construction is merely the tip of this interleague iceberg. The baseball world is just beginning to shake as the tremors of wire-to-wire interleague play are starting to ripple across its landscape.
But here's our prediction: One of these years, year-round interleague-a-palooza is going to be the development that finally pushes baseball over the edge -- and brings the designated hitter to the National League.
Though game results, economics, logistics and conventional wisdom currently lean heavily in this direction, I'm not so sure its inevitable. 

Though NL ballparks weren't built to accommodate the DH style of play and NL owners and their respective fan bases aren't favorably disposed (to put it mildly) toward its adoption these are things that can change over time.  Its the players themselves that I see as the biggest obstacle to the NL adopting the DH.  The players' union must give its assent for any rules changes and, though its not widely known, there exists among MLB players a sizable number who despise the DH. Many players have publicly acknowledged this.

Any quick comparison of box scores from the two leagues hints at why - invariably there are more names listed in those from the NL.  More players on NL rosters get more meaningful playing time in more games than their AL counterparts.  The existence of the DH eliminates the need to bat for generally weak hitting pitchers and places a premium on hitting such that it concentrates playing time among AL players accordingly, much to the professional and financial detriment of veteran players with versatile skill sets.  And these type of players greatly out number DH types.

However the existence of the DH does provide all players with certain benefits, chief among them a potential roster spot if/when they devolve into a one dimensional player.  Which means veteran players benefit from having the DH in only one league.

For these reasons I think the players will try to preserve the status quo for as long as possible.

* I would prefer MLB stop eradicating distinctions between the leagues and would instead eliminate playoff wild cards, all disparity in scheduling among division rivals, interleague play and the designated hitter.

Diego: I had always thought the DH issue might be settled if a pitcher was forced to make the last out of the World Series. And then it almost happened. In 2011 the Cardinals trailed the Rangers 3 games to 2 and were down 2 runs heading into the bottom of the 10th inning. There were no more position players left and the pitcher was scheduled to bat 3rd. A 1-2-3 inning would have the pitcher making the last out of the season and shown on replay over and over again, at least by the Rangers. I thought at the time that this could be a historic moment. A pathetic at-bat to end the Series would be a strong case for changing the rules.

But none of that happened. The first two batters reached base and the pitcher bunted them over where they later scored the tying runs. Then the Cards scored again and won. And then they won game 7. So maybe I was proven wrong?

I don't like the DH but I don't like the pitcher batting either. Not everyone pitches and pitchers don't play every day (the roster size accommodates this) so why should they have to bat? A compromise would be to just bat 8, no DH and no Pitcher in the lineup.

Something has to give. I think this is settled sooner rather than later. Now that interleague play is every day it will force the issue.

John O:  That was my initial reaction last year upon hearing about Houston's move.  But the more I thought about it the less sure I was.  I've heard many players over the years express their preference for the NL and its style of play.  I really don't know the breadth or depth of player disdain for the DH, but it exists.  The PA has never made a peep about extending it to the NL, even during contentious collective bargaining negotiations when owners threatened them with the loss of the DH and/or franchises.  So far as I know the PA has never mentioned the idea. Why not?

If players really do want to have two different sets of rules, perhaps try and integrate the DH into the NL by allowing, say, 5 NL clubs to adopt it for their home park while forcing 5 AL clubs to phase it out.  That would roughly triple each teams' exposure to playing games under the opposite rule set.  Something along those lines.  


Switchfoot - The Sound (John M. Perkins' Blues)


Tuesday, April 09, 2013


Don’t Be Fooled by Fake Housing Recovery

Video at link.

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Friday, April 05, 2013





Thee Oh Sees - "Lupine Dominus"


Tuesday, April 02, 2013


A Beginner’s Guide To Making Your First Video Game

Do you have an idea for a game you wish you could play rolling around in your head? And no one is making it? I've got good news for you: there are more tools and support than ever to help people who have no experience with coding or development start to learn how to create the games of their dreams. If no one is making what you want to play, why not learn how to make it yourself?

I think I might have a new hobby.  Definitely more productive than bitching about politics, my current hobby.


Monday, April 01, 2013


Hundreds of teens mob pedestrians on Chicago's Magnificent Mile

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