Monthly Archives: May 2008

links for 2008-05-31

Mind Uploading & The Singularity

I watched a BBC video documentary on the Singularity last week. I found this via Ugly’s Del.icio.us links. I know that Ugly is a huge Singularity fan and can’t wait for the day it will happen. Supposedly, all of mankind will make a huge leap forward in development and all kinds of societal ills will go away.

I must say that I’m a big skeptic about the outcomes of the Singularity. Its quite possible that it will happen but I wager that it won’t be used for the benefit of all mankind. Chances are the powerful and elite will use it to control the masses and make them do their bidding. I guess you can say that I’m cynical about my fellow brothers and sisters; time and time again we’ve proven that we’re scumbags!

How Would You Build A US Dollar Model?

Its an understatement that the US Dollar is in a downtrend.  Its pretty obvious which direction the greenback is going from the chart below.

My question to readers is this: if you were building a neural net model to tell you when to go LONG for a sustained rally and rebound in the US Dollar, what kind of data inputs would you use for your model and why?

Economics For Real People

I finished reading Gene Callahan’s, Economics for Real People, a while ago but never had the chance to write a blog post about it. I can sum up the book in three words, I loved it!

This book lays out the basic building blocks, in layman’s terms, to what Austrian school of economics is and how it should be the preferred method of organizing an economy at both the macro and micro levels.

What I really liked about this book was how simply any reader can grasp the Austrian school of economic theory and apply it to real life. Callahan uses many examples in the beginning by creating a hypothetical society, beginning with one man on an island and then applying the principles of the theory as the population expands.

After reading this book, the reader will understand the argument and relevance for the Austrian school of economics and be a convert for sure.

Capitalists That Care

My wife and I are Capitalists that Care(tm) and we both sponsor children in Sri Lanka and Cambodia through World Vision. Unless you live under a rock, I’m sure you heard about the devastation in cyclone stricken Myanmar and earthquake rocked China.

My wife and I are donating some money to these relief efforts and I’m happy to say that we’re not alone. Trader Gav has made a donation, to Oxfam, as well. I’m writing to ask my successful readers to consider making a donation to your favorite charity to aid in the relief efforts.

I would be great if you could both help Myanmar Cyclone Survivors and China Quake Survivors! Thanks!

Undocumented Workers & Inflation

About a week ago I met up with the MarketDoctor for drinks. We do this from time to time to lament on the sad state of the economy and all that’s wrong with this country, while downing a few beers. Our usual topic of discussion is about the rampant inflation rate that’s been hidden in our economy and reported as part of the “volatile” food and energy portion of the CPI.

That particular night we talked about how the undocumented worker actually helps keep inflation lower than what it should be. With an estimated workforce of about 12 million undocumented workers doing the jobs you don’t want to anymore, imagine what the true price would be for apples and oranges in the supermarket if they had been picked by American workers? The volatile food part of the misaligned and outdated CPI index would probably shoot off the charts!!!

Remember kids, there’s no inflation as long as you don’t eat or drive to work! What a crock of BS that we’re fed from Bernanke and our Government. We should be ashamed to believe those monkeys.

Old Businesses Close, New Ones Open

I drive down a very crowded NJ highway everyday to work and for the past 9 months I’ve been noticing a lot of local businesses closing their doors on both sides of the highway.  What’s scary is that its at a rate that I’ve never seen before.  Within in two weeks I saw 2 coffee/deli’s close, 1 nail place, and 1 pool store. 

Interestingly enough, a lot of people I talk too are “starting their own thing” because they feel that they can no longer provide a reasonable life for their families or because they’re in a financial pinch.

Being entrepreneurial is a good thing but when your being forced to do it, it can be a recipe for disaster.  I think we’ll see a flood of new shops and new businesses on my highway but I wonder how many are doing this as a “last ditch effort?”