Twitter Digest: 2011-10-26

  • Dirty money: Canadians mistake a strand of DNA on new $100 bill for a sex toy. #
  • Madrick/Partnoy: Should Some Bankers Be Prosecuted? #
  • Technology & the evolution of tennis: Trading aces – /via @EddyElfenbein #
  • Rumors that I am in talks to acquire RIMM are completely untrue. [There, now there is no-one left unrumored about.] #
  • I was thinking of calling it "Kedroxter". RT @ReformedBroker: @pkedrosky Kedrosky in Motion $KIMM #
  • Someone emailed yesterday to say he just saw a quote from me running onscreen in an NYC elevator. #ImBiginElevators #
  • Zulauf: Alea jecta est, morituri te salutamus, the game is afoot. Or something. #
  • .@jbminn I am currently Bloomberg's special correspondent for both jello and nuclear fusion. #
  • For we Asterix & Obelix geeks only, but … Asterix Latin jokes explained – #
  • BBC documentary: The British establishment: Who for? How it stumbles from crisis to crisis – #
  • RT @TechCrunch: Wikinvest Brings Its Investment Portfolio Tracker To The iPad #
  • The moral case for NGDP targeting, by @interfluidity #
  • Must we do this again? RT @peHUB: France’s “Silicon Sentier” Thrives as Web Hotbed #
  • Whoa, Walken and Bourdain together, like a street-style supergroup – #
  • Today in we are _so_ screwed RT @mashable: Leonardo DiCaprio Dives Into the Startup Scene – #
  • Amazon getting Netflix-ed afterhours. I genuinely thought I bought enough books there this quarter to drive an earnings beat. #
  • I feel I should point out that I am the cause of tomorrow's snowstorm in Colorado. #
  • I apparently now now get all emails from @herbgreenberg intended for his mechanic. #
  • Salomon Freeski TV takes a look at Norwegian ski culture. Gorgeous footage. /via @jeffbrines #
  • Opensignalmaps is a nifty idea. Too bad its data seems even spottier than cell coverage. #
  • It's so cute that humans think a few decades is a long time. #
  • Wrote a review of the new Steve Jobs biography. Should be posted shortly, and I'll tweet the link when it's up. #
  • Provocative: Why Goldman Sachs is being tarred unfairly – #
  • The perceived absurdity of Bayesian inference #
  • Today in strange Bloomberg headlines: BofC Beats HSBC as Dim Sum Market Opened #
  • When/how did "I'm/you're/they're doing it wrong" become a meme? #
  • More early "Doing it wrong" spotting RT @hedgefundinvest: @pkedrosky January 21, 2004 #
  • Like Brent, and conceding that RSS readers are passé, I still wish I could find one that synced outside Google Reader – #
  • El Hierro Submarine Eruption : Image of the Day #
  • Good overview: New Technologies Redraw the World’s Energy Picture – #
  • Almost perfect edge-of-apocalypse photo from the ongoing Thai floods – /via @GreatDismal #
  • We need Dungeon Masters for the real world #
  • What Is It About "Simpler Taxes" That Politicians Don't Understand? – #
  • New paper: Inattention to rare events – #

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Rick Perry’s H&R Block Plan

From Cassidy in NY-er:

Let’s do the politics first. Whatever you think of Cain’s “9-9-9” plan—and as I’ve said repeatedly, I don’t think it bears inspection—it is simple and snappy. Tear up the tax code. Tax workers, businesses, and consumers at nine per cent. That’s it. (Actually, in response to criticisms, it’s become a bit more complicated recently—but that was how it started out.)

Perry’s plan, by contrast, keeps the current tax code in place but gives people the option of opting out of it and paying a flat tax of twenty per cent. This means that under President Perry—say it to yourself a few times and see how it sounds—there would be two tax systems, not one. Perhaps in Texas, that counts as simplifying the tax code and cutting out the army of accountants, tax experts, and other leeches who feed on the current system. Elsewhere, it would mean hiring an accountant to figure out what is the best deal for you. Perhaps it should be called the “H&R Block Plan.”

via Rational Irrationality: Rick Perry’s Ugly Tax Hybrid: Not Flat, Not Fair, Not Credible : The New Yorker.

New Technologies Redraw the World’s Energy Picture

Good NYT piece on our ongoing energy shift. A little optimistic for my skeptical taste, but these are important changes:

This striking shift in energy started in the 1990s with the first deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico and Brazil, but it has taken off in the last decade as a result of declining conventional fields, climbing energy prices and swift technological change.

The United States may now have the means to reduce its half century of dependence on the Middle East. China and India may have the means to fuel the development of their growing middle classes. Japan and much of Europe may have the chance to reduce dependence on nuclear power. And, at least theoretically, poor African countries might be able to lift themselves out of poverty.

For consumers around the world, the new fuels should moderate future price increases.

But giving new life to fossil fuels is a devil’s bargain, probably making solutions to climate change, and the development of renewable energy, even more difficult. “Not only are you extending the fossil fuels era,” said Daniel Lashof, director of the climate program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, “but you are moving into fossil fuels that are dirtier and release more carbon pollution in the process of extracting and using them.”

via New Technologies Redraw the World’s Energy Picture –

racking Traders’ Understanding of the Market

New paper. Initially looked interesting, but on further reading I’m less convinced. Anyway:

Tracking Traders’ Understanding of the Market Using e-Communication Data


Tracking the volume of keywords in Internet searches, message boards, or Tweets has provided an alternative for following or predicting associations between popular interest or disease incidences. Here, we extend that research by examining the role of e-communications among day traders and their collective understanding of the market. Our study introduces a general method that focuses on bundles of words that behave differently from daily communication routines, and uses original data covering the content of instant messages among all day traders at a trading firm over a 40-month period. Analyses show that two word bundles convey traders’ understanding of same day market events and potential next day market events. We find that when market volatility is high, traders’ communications are dominated by same day events, and when volatility is low, communications are dominated by next day events. We show that the stronger the traders’ attention to either same day or next day events, the higher their collective trading performance. We conclude that e-communication among traders is a product of mass collaboration over diverse viewpoints that embodies unique information about their weak or strong understanding of the market.

via PLoS ONE: Tracking Traders’ Understanding of the Market Using e-Communication Data.

Twitter Digest: 2011-10-25

  • Doing spot on @BloombergTV today at 3pm pst. Subject is the resurgent tin industry. Or was that Apple. I forget. #
  • At tonight's bombed-out price Netflix has, on average, lost $150m in mkt cap cap every trading day since its 7/13/11 peak. Impressive. #
  • Made complex analogy on @BloombergTV involving Bill Gates, Nelson's Column and Canadian tourists. Sorry. I blame hyponatremia. #
  • First full ski descent of Manaslu, world's eighth-tallest mountain – #
  • When is the last time you gave someone a business card? I'll start: Sometime in 2009. #
  • Feeling huge peer pressure to have my own Seven-Point Plan to Save the Eurozone. I mean, all the cool kids have one. #
  • Hello, Spain? I'm coming back in a couple of weeks. And Portugal? You too. Try to pick up first. #
  • My CIO friend reminds me that he thinks we could see a 20-30% year-end rally, not a mere 10% one. I stand bullishly corrected. #
  • I'll shut up now about business card practices, but the tweets on "last business card" suggest platykurtic with positive skewness. #
  • The most dangerous intersection for pedestrians in New York City is the corner of Park & 33rd #
  • Gmail hotkeys are going nuts on me, constantly muting/deleting/archiving emails when I am in mid response. Driving me barking mad. #
  • When Soybeans is Money, Part XXIV RT @MarkThoma: The Future of Cash – FRBSF Economic Letter #
  • Tablet externalities, or how iPads are killing hotel wifi – #
  • Speaking of slow hotel wifi, have repeatedly had Skype audio/video fail recently in hotels for bandwidth reasons. #
  • Congrats @bowman. Huge news. /cc @lesamitchell #

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Twitter Digest: 2011-10-24

  • Cross innumeracy & scientific illiteracy & you get this: Measles cases highest since 1996 in Canada/U.S. – #
  • Good roundup of information on Turkey's 7.2 earthquake early this morning – #
  • Are we reaching ‘peak car’? – /via @rhh #
  • From the continuing Atlantic photo series — World War II: The Fall of Imperial Japan – #
  • Original iPod was released 10 (!) years ago today – #
  • Why can't you tickle yourself? #
  • Ouch RT @lesamitchell: Meet today's most innovative entrepreneurs. no women #
  • .@RobTyrie It was the "no women" part I was highlighting. #
  • Secretive Seth Klarman's gotten bullish – #
  • Good discussion about why risk management systems don't, you know, manage risk – #
  • #nowplaying #279: Auto Show on This American Life with @TuneIn #
  • WSJ: Only three of 1,213 U.S. IPOs since 1998 that raised over $100m offered 5.4% or less of their shares. #HelloGroupon #
  • Humble post from @fredwilson on how VCs learn from entrepreneurs. Too bad the people who need the lesson won't get it. #
  • Great question. Anyone name the three low-float firms? RT @GregCook2011: @pkedrosky FTW name the 3 firms? #
  • Evans-Pritchard: World economic power is swinging back to America – #
  • I haven't read it, but …. The American Phoenix: And why China and Europe will struggle after the coming slump #
  • "Steve used to say to me,“Hey Jonny, here’s a dopey idea"": Apple to post video from Steve Jobs celebration – #
  • Halfway thu Steve Jobs bio. Tally: Six splutters, five "wha?!"s, four snorts, and two guffaws. More later. #
  • I need to read more books like this, reminding me that, while an asshole, I could be much more of an asshole. #

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Video of Jobs Memorial Event at Apple

Worth watching all the way thru, but the Jonny Ives comments steal the show. Watch it.

Today in Not Being Bullish Enough

I have a regular conversation with a hedge fund friend wherein I try to convince him (and me) that, bears that we usually are, we aren’t nearly bullish enough. While Evans-Pritchard is often off the mark, these are more or less my arguments for the bullish side.

World power swings back to America.

The American phoenix is slowly rising again. Within five years or so, the US will be well on its way to self-sufficiency in fuel and energy. Manufacturing will have closed the labour gap with China in a clutch of key industries. The current account might even be in surplus.

via World power swings back to America – Telegraph.

Twitter Digest: 2011-10-23

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Tickling. Can’t. Why?

Interesting new paper on … our self-tickling troubles:

Why can’t you tickle yourself?

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, Daniel Wolpert and Chris Frith

It is well known that you cannot tickle yourself. Here, we discuss the proposal that such attenuation of self-produced tactile stimulation is due to the sensory predictions made by an internal forward model of the motor system. A forward model predicts the sensory consequences of a movement based on the motor command. When a movement is self-produced, its sensory consequences can be accurately predicted, and this prediction can be used to attenuate the sensory effects of the movement. Studies are reviewed that demonstrate that as the discrepancy between predicted and actual sensory feedback increases during self-produced tactile stimulation there is a concomitant decrease in the level of sensory attenuation and an increase in tickliness. Functional neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that this sensory attenuation might be mediated by somato-sensory cortex and anterior cingulate cortex: these areas are activated less by a self-produced tactile stimulus than by the same stimulus when it is externally produced. Further-more, evidence suggests that the cerebellum might be involved in generating the prediction of the sensory consequences of movement. Finally, recent evidence suggests that this predictive mechanism is abnormal in patients with auditory hallucinations and/or passivity experiences.