Monthly Archives: April 2015

Is the ‘Red Pill’ Teaching Obsolete Skills?

It’s funny how Roosh, one of the main evangelizers of the masculinity/Red Pill movement, is being criticised for, well, not being ‘alpha’ enough. If Roosh can’t do it, what does that say about everyone else? What is means is that the Red Pill’s priorities could be misguided.

Probably my only criticism of the Red Pill movement is they put too much emphasis on being ‘alpha’. In the post-2008 economy it’s more important to be the smartest guy in the room than the most domineering or alpha guy in the room. A century ago perhaps social skills were important, but now not so much. Intellect, authenticity, and competence are valued more than ever. In our smartist economy, extroversion is seen as a crutch for the incompetent, while social awkwardness signals intelligence. The INTP/INTJ people rule, both economically and in contemporary culture, so for the red pill movement to put so much precedence on masculinity seems counterproductive. To emissaries of the Red Pill movement, if you want men to be fulfilled financially and socially (which are two things I imagine most men strive for), teach men INTP skills. Why be stuck in the 20th century. It’s like bringing a single-core processor computer to a LAN party when everyone else has quad-core. Or bringing a crappy calculator from Walgreens to a math test when everyone else has programmable graphing calculators. It puts you at a disadvantage, or at the very least is ineffective.

From my article, In Defense of MGTOW:

…in the post-2008 era, being a nerd is kinda cool, unlike as recently as ten years ago. And whether it’s through web 2.0, stocks, STEM, or expensive real estate, nerds are the ones making all the money in this hyper-competitive economy where intellect is more valued than ever. And women are increasingly preferring ‘beta‘ guys, not only because of the post-2008 rise of nerd culture, but because beta males tend earn more money.

I would rather be a beta male conservative with a lot of money and prestige than be the ‘toughest guy in the Starbucks line’ who has to go home to being just another nobody. The Red Pill and pick-up culture community is right about many things, such as being anti-feminist, but self-improvement is more than chasing an unrealistic alpha-male ideal – it’s also about being smart, or at least conveying intellect in an economy where intelligence is the ticket to social and economic upward mobility.

Wisdom of the Markets

spooky …how did it, the market, know so soon?

Of course, it may just be a coincidence and this particular company had problems beyond Challenger

more detail: Stock Market Reaction to the Challenger Disaster

This lends further credence to the EMH, which the left assumes is discredited because of the existence bubbles, crashes, and frauds. Analogous to monkeys inevitably composing Shakespeare by randomly hitting keys, the beauty of the EMH (efficient markets hypothesis) is that anything is possible, and anything that can happen will happen; it’s just that it doesn’t happen consistently enough for a typical trader to make an abnormally high profit from. Bubbles and crashes do happen, but they cannot be reliably predicted to allow consistent profit. There are dozens of situations of things that look like bubbles, but aren’t. So for every expert that makes money during a crash, there are perhaps hundreds who lose money being wrong (being too soon or too late), which is consistent with the EMH.

A unified theory of online discourse

There are an implicit set of rules and mores that governs online discussions; by implicit, one only learns them through trial and error because there is no guide, until now.

Avoid declarative statements – otherwise you risk appearing pigheaded – a cardinal sin – versus just mistaken. This is probably the most important rule. Unless you can quote directly from a trusted source, such as Wikipedia, use use hedging language. Even for statements that seem incontrovertible, such as the seemingly self-evident pronouncement of the earth being spherical, can still trip you up. Instead of saying ‘the world is round’, which can be countered by someone correctly pointing out it’s an oblate spheroid, write ‘the early is roughly spherical’. Instead of writing ‘vitimins are useless because they leave the body undigested’, replace with ‘there is some evidence vitamins may leave the body partially digested, reducing their possible effectiveness’. There, now the pro-vitamin people are less likely to get mad because you leave the possibility open of being wrong, which doesn’t occur if you only make declarative statements.

Another example, ‘Modern culture, science and arts originated from 17-18th cent. France and Germany’ should be ‘I (believe, think) (a lot, some, parts..etc) of the sciences, arts, and culture came from France and Germany, but other regions (may have, probably) contributed’. Someone can counter your declarative statement by saying it was the Scottish Enlightenment, which is technically correct because Scotland did give us Hume and Adam Smith – but anyway, the person who corrects you will be praised (karma, points, etc) and you will look like a buffoon even though you were mostly correct, but done in by making a declarative statement.

Tell stories. A reason why Obama, Clinton, and Reagan won is because their campaigns conveyed empathy and trust though personal narratives and stories, not just facts and figures, most of which are quickly forgotten.

Avoid rhetorical, lazy or loaded statements, also known as begging the question. Questions such as, ‘Have you stopped beating your wife?’ or ‘How did XYZ happen?’ (if the cause of XYZ is obvious enough that it immediately lends itself to an answer, suggesting intellectual laziness to pose the question) are examples.

‘No good deed goes unpunished’ While ignorance is bad, so to is coming across too helpful or too smart, to the extent of sounding pretentious and pedantic. If you try to pass yourself off an an expert and unwittingly give bad advice (falling victim to the Dunning–Kruger effect), may God have mercy on your soul.

Misunderstandings. Missing the author’s point (if the comment pertains to an article) or misconstruing the argument of someone else are both grave offences. Missing the point is possibly worse than making trolling, off-topic posts because people have little patience for ignorance that could lead the innocent astray, while trolling remarks can simply be ignored. Moderators will delete the obvious troll posts, but the misunderstandings tend to stay up because they are on-topic and not trolling, making it the community’s job to debunk the bald faced ignorance.

Seldom use superlatives. IF you are too confident you may fall victim to Dunning–Kruger, and rather than consider your point, people will immediately look for counterexamples to disprove your superlative. Instead of saying, ‘the best investment for XYZ’ say, ‘this investment may be a good idea for XYZ, your mileage may vary’.

Intellectual laziness, including but is not limited to: logical fallacies, any of the aforementioned items on this post, failure to read between the lines (misconstruing the author’s point), reductionism (oversimplification of something abstract), making a hasty judgement (shooting from the hip), and counter-exampling (giving a single, trite counter-example to try to refute a lengthy, complicated thesis – typically a sign of intellectual laziness in the more nuanced social sciences).

Liberal Narrative Collapse

In 2008 we were all Keynesians. No we’re all libertarians, scientists and ‘brogrammers’. Everyone is getting richer and smarter than ever as wealth and intelligence becomes more important in today’s competitive economy.

Some of the most up-voted posts on Imgur, a site that is the ‘zeitgeist’ of millenial thought, are photos of peaceful demonstrations in Baltimore – in stark contrast to the looters in Furgeson:

black kid hands water to riot police

black residents cleaning up their neighborhood

And the passage

Posted because this probably won’t get the same coverage as the riots on the news and media. After so many images and videos of violence and aggression, it’s easy to form a black and white view of the residents of Baltimore, so it was nice when images like this popped up here and there on my Twitter feed.

This post about anti-white racism got over 5,000 up-votes. According to the libs, only white males can be racist.

This is evidence that maybe the majority of millennials are not naive, brainwashed liberals, and former Obama voters are recuperating from their ignorance thanks to information being readily available online and the post-2008 smartist era that celebrates wealth creation, free market capitalism, and intellectualism. We’re seeing millions of young people , especially on sites like Reddit and 4chan, taking interest in economics, libertarianism, human biodiversity and other topics and point of views that are off-limits or quarantined by the MSM. There’s reason for hope. Obama’s polls keep falling as stocks keep going up.

The left wants things to get worse so that the most successful lose money when civilization fails, after which the left can rebuild society to their socialist image.

It’s a common misconception that Ivy League elite resent the rich. This is not true. The Ivy Ivy Leaguers, a subset of the cognitive elite, are much more frustrated at the dumbing down of society and insufferable stupidity of people of modest IQs and modest incomes than they are frustrated at the other elite, which includes rich and smart people who didn’t go to an Ivy League.

All these billionaires getting richer than ever and new ones being added to the list every year. Bill Gates’ net worth is up 100% since 2004. Isn’t America/capitalism supposed to be in decline, says the doom and gloomer left? So much for that. All these High-IQ people in math, computer science and physics who are making millions and even billions defy this alleged ‘economic weakness’ that left insists exists. America’s meritocracy, more so than any time in history, is showering great wealth and prestige among its best and brightest, and these Putnam winners, who are among the smartest people in the world, have a much better shot at success at life as measured by wealth and recognition than pretty much everyone else. But you don’t need to be a Putnam winner to succeed at life; an IQ of at least above 130 is good enough.

Whether it’s the fed’s forever low interest rates, to Washington running deficits to give loans and contracts to high-tech private companies such as Tesla, to free market capitalism and globalization, and the post-2008 rise of nerd culture, the cognitive elite have a convergence of economic, political, and social forces as a permanent tailwind. So if you’re among the cognitive and financial elite, not only do you have policy makers in your corner, but society looks up to you, too.

Micro Economics 101

W’re still in perhaps the slowest new cycle ever. What is the future of the news media in a world where everything is deterministic and better than expected? Take the 2016 election, for example. We know it’ going to be a toss-up of Walker or Jeb vs. Clinton. The post-2008 economic expansion and epic bull market keeps plugging along, seven years and counting – all thanks to Bernanke and Bush, and it will continue for many years to come. I was right about the web 2.0 valuations going up, was right about Putin not doing anything, right about stocks going up….so many things I was right about, and that’s because I am tuned into the world better than most people. My single bad call was about oil, in which I predicted prices would rebound but they fell another 40%. But that’s just one bad call one out of at least eight good ones.

So anyway, James Altucher has an article The Best Advice Ever To A Teenage Daughter Who Needs To Make Money, describing how young people can make more money as entrepreneurs than doing an ‘allegedly’ low-paying regular job, and I put quotes because James’ logic is questionable.

The relevant quote:

Say for $1000, plus $50 / month maintenance, you’ll make their blog or basic website for them and help them upkeep it. If they require a “shopping cart” then charge them $2500.

She frowned a little and said, “They will say No. They don’t need it.”

She doesn’t want anyone to say No to her. I can relate to that. I don’t like it when people say No to me either.

I said, “Ok, we have about 40 stores on this street. Let’s say only 2 say yes. That’s $2000. It will take you ten hours to do the work.

That’s $200 an hour instead of $8 an hour.

Yes, initially you make a lot of money, but then you exhausted the low-hanging fruit. And there is the additional work of communicating with the clients and setting up their pages, which I imagine will take a lot of time. You will need to find a new neighborhood, which presumably will be further away. That adds additional time (to get to those neighborhoods) constraints and financial constraints (transportation costs). Then you can hire people to go around asking stores if they want build a social media presence, but that further erodes profits. This is called diminishing returns to scale. Eventually, your profit falls to some equilibrium, possibly zero. This is a major reason why the small business failure rate is so high. Taking advantage of economies of scale, a large business can buy the input costs in bulk, therefore allowing them to keep prices low, and small businesses, which don’t have the credit and purchasing power of large businesses, must follow suit and keep their prices low enough to be competitive with the large businesses, often resulting in a loss for the small business. The small business must be nimble and ingenious enough to find some unique selling point to override the lower prices offered by large businesses. As for James’ example, a 5% success rate is way too optimistic when every business already has Facebook page. And Wikipedia is not a directory – they will not allow stores to put up personal pages unless that store is big enough to meet the Wikipedia notability requirements.

Meanwhile, the guy who works $8/hour keeps earning that over and over, and unless James’ daughter finds news customers, the $8/hour worker will surpass her in a couple months (assuming $8/hour for 5 hours a day for 20 days a month). That’s why going to work is underrated, because you get paid to show up until you quit or get fired. Few opportunities exist like that in life, and in the post-2008 economy where we’re all being forced to become entrepreneurs and American Idol-like contestants in the game of life, such opportunities will continue to become more scarce. People like James are spreading Marxist-inspired BS that workers are being exploited, but if that were true why are so many companies so eager to do away with traditional labor, replacing it with temp work or automation? Surely, if exploitation were so profitable they would want more workers to exploit for great profit, not fewer. $8/hour here, $8 there, and eventually the company goes bankrupt. From an outsider it may seem like a bad deal for the employee to make so little, but it’s much worse for the company, especially when the company has 1000′s of these workers that they cannot, even at $/8 hour, cannot turn a profit from.

My advice for James’ daughter is to avoid the door-to-door hustle and instead learn to code in one of the in-demand languages, and maybe one day she can get a job for $500k a year at Snapchat. For the first few years as you are learning the language you don’t make any money, but mastery brings in the big bucks. Setting up WordPress and Facebook pages is menial work that is saturated, doesn’t scale well, and doesn’t pay that well for the effort required to find clients, either.

Related: The Day That Died: The-Worst of Business Journalism

Peter Singer Conservatives

Peter Singer, Austrailian moral philosopher, recently did a Reddit AmA.

The most pertinent quote about Peter Singer’s views, from Wikipedia:

Ethical conduct is justifiable by reasons that go beyond prudence to “something bigger than the individual,” addressing a larger audience. Singer thinks this going-beyond identifies moral reasons as “somehow universal”, specifically in the injunction to ‘love thy neighbor as thyself’, interpreted by him as demanding that one give the same weight to the interests of others as one gives to one’s own interests. This universalising step, which Singer traces from Kant to Hare,[21] is crucial and sets him apart from those moral theorists, from Hobbes to David Gauthier, who tie morality to prudence. Universalisation leads directly to utilitarianism, Singer argues, on the strength of the thought that one’s own interests cannot count for more than the interests of others. Taking these into account, one must weigh them up and adopt the course of action that is most likely to maximize the interests of those affected; utilitarianism has been arrived at.

Even though I’m a libertarian/conservative, I find myself agreeing with Singer’s views on utilitarianism, which bears a similarity to consequentialism. Neoconservatives, of all the subsets of conservatism, seem the most aligned with this view, as evidenced with the post 911 response, war in Iraq, and 2008 bank bailouts. The Christian Right, Palo Right, and Jeffersonian Republicans tended to be more skeptical of all or some of these initiatives, believing that policy should be based on subjective, unscientific concepts such as ‘morality’ or ‘sanctity of life’, not the quantifiable data & risk/reward analysis preferred by the pragmatic right.

I never got on board the whole ‘sanctity of life’ thing shared by some on the right. There are people who are intrinsically better and worse than others; just look at the empirical evidence. I agree with the part about intervention against terror, low regulation and low taxes – but not that. Some people are born to be good at high-IQ stuff like STEM; they have the potential create technologies that advance civilization. Those who are less intelligent are born to do manual labor and less theoretical stuff – jobs that are important to some degree – but doesn’t advance civilization. Some people become murderers, and that whole sanctity of life concept flies out the window when we put some of them to death. So even if some on the right preach ‘sanctity of life’ or ‘equal under God’, policy and evidence doesn’t support it. To want to believe that a person with an IQ of 70 is as valuable as one with an IQ of 130 is a delusion and no different than being a liberal who thinks raising taxes on the most productive of sciety will grow the economy.

Related:
Atheist Conservatism and the Dark Enlightenment
Religion is Becoming Irrelevant

Winner-Take-All Nation

From Techcrunch We Are All Venture Capitalists Now

In Extremistan, we are all tournament players, investing our limited time and money in unpredictable ventures that may succeed or fail, quickly or slowly. Wins are fewer, but bigger; losses are more common; and, importantly, volatility is high.

The elephant in the room here is IQ, which Mr. Evans ignores. It’s the high-IQ people who, especially since since 2008, having been winning the ‘tournament’ of life, rising to the top as everyone else either stagnates or falls between the cracks. In our smartist era, smart people are getting rich with perpetually rising stocks & real estate, and wages that beat inflation, not lag it. In a winner-take-all world of Social Darwinism, being smart makes you the most fittest. Even obtaining connections, such as by getting into an elite school, requires high intelligence. An it’s more than money. As we’ve seen with the rise of the STEM celebrity, being smart garners adoration and attention, as intelligence itself has intrinsic value.

This ties into an article by Popular Psychology Why People Don’t Acknowledge You, in which this passage stood out:

In one way or another, virtually everybody dreams of standing out, being admired, acclaimed—even, well, applauded. To be viewed, and to view ourselves, as merely “average” or “adequate” really doesn’t do very much for us—or rather, our ego. And this may be all the more so because we live in a meritorious, American-Idol-type society that refuses to celebrate or lavish praise on individuals unless they’re judged exceptional. This circumstance explains why we may experience a certain envy when we hear drums banging for someone else. Secretly, we long to hear a drum roll beating for us.

That kinds describes the state of post-2008 America, where ‘salvation‘ is not through a traditional religion, but through internal factors (high-IQ) and external ones (recognition, wealth, celebrity), both of which are unobtainable for the vast majority of people. A high-IQ excludes 99% of the people who are average, as does wealth and fame. In the past, it was ‘good enough’ just being a decent person. Now people are expected, compelled to be exceptional, and individual exceptionalism is rewarded in the marketplace, more so than ever.

Related:

Autopilot Nation & The Winner Take all Economy

In Today’s Economy, It Seems Like IQ Is More Important Than Ever

Michael Lewis, Idiot

The inveterate whiner and liberal Michael Lewis it at it again, stirring a tempest in a teapot over ‘high frequency spoofing‘. He should stick to writing about baseball. It’s the only subject he is capable of writing about without sounding like a shrill ninny.

For brevity, I’m not going to discuss the ethics of trade spoofing. In reality, none of this really matters – a fact that comes to light up looking at the actual empirical evidence. The outrage over algorithmic trading, whether it be spoofing, penny jumping, ghosting – whatever, is predicated on the belief that such activity makes the market more volatile, and that the ‘little guy’ is being exploited in the process. But in reality thanks to increased trading volumes, spreads between the bid and ask are thinner than ever, meaning cheaper executions to enter and exit positions, as shown below:

As for crashes, why can’t the left accept that the May 2010 Flash Crash was such an extreme anomaly, and that it’s impossible to infer a ‘long standing’ trend from it. The ‘flash crash’ was not a symptom of anything, nor a sign of anything. It just happened, and was quickly over. That’s it. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Sometimes a crash is just a crash. People get scarred, they sell, prices go lower, more people get scared…repeat. The end. Consider the empirical evidence…if the markets are so vulnerable to this nefarious activity, to invoke the Fermi paradox, why aren’t there more flash crashes? Why has there only been a single event like this in over…five (and counting) years? You would think that if all this high-frequency stuff were a big deal the market would be gyrating 1-4% every day, but it’s not. In fact, since 2011 market volatility has been persistently low. A ‘big’ sell-off these days is half a percent. Whatever is going on behinds the scenes is so trivial in the grand scene of things that unless one pays very close attention to the market-microstructure, there is nothing aberrant. And then keep in mind similar crashes to the Flash Crash occurred in the 90′s, specifically in 1996, 1997, and 1998, and then there were similar crashes in 1987 and 1989, long before high frequency trading became a big deal. Markets have been ‘flash crashing’ ever since the existence of markets. Another problem is that crash-models fail to take into account fundamentals, which prevent the market from falling below a certain threshold. You cannot have a continual feedback loop if such a loop results in prices substantially deviating from the underlying fundamentals. Someone always steps in and ‘rights’ things.

Cassandras like Michael Lewis need to stir unnecessary outrage and fear to make a living and to bring attention to their leftist causes, and that’s why it’s important for bloggers such as myself to debunk the left’s nonsense since its easy for people to otherwise be mislead .

Related: Misconceptions About Algorithmic/High Frequency Trading

Grey’s Razor

Hanlon’s razor states:

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Today’s huge rally in tech stocks inspired my own version, Grey’s Razor:

Never attribute to luck that which is adequately explained by intelligence.

Yesterday, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft posted blowout earnings, with the Nasdaq surging 40 points in what is an unending high-IQ wealth creation orgy in Silicon Valley, a bacchanal celebration of individualism, capitalism, and the high-IQ mind – all intertwined ..

The left insists the market is rigged, a scam, a bubble, etc…and that the the only way people make money in the market is not through skill, IQ and talent, but due to conspiracies, collusion (between traders, the fed, and the government), plain dumb luck, or other environmental factors. People like myself and others are consistently making big money in stocks using proven, back-tested strategies, and they do it over and over – defying the libs who say the game is crooked or zero-sum. For example, I know which sectors to buy: Healthcare, Consumer Discretionary, and large-cap Tech. And I know the ones to avoid: Energy, Materials, and Emerging Markets. High-IQ companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Ali Baba, and Tesla are laying the digital infrastructure as the world transitions to type-1 civilization status. So just by choosing the best sectors you can beat the market with little effort. Due to a deep understanding of the global economy and macro factors, people like myself are right more times than not, and we we say stocks and bonds will keep going up – that is what usually happens.

So you can be one of those losers who waits for the crisis that will never come or for the decline of America; people like myself (in private) laugh at you.

Related:

What the Mohammad Islam Hoax Says About Trading and Liberalism
People Beat the Market Because of IQ, Not Conspiracies
Stock Strategies & ‘Fundamental Drift’

Embracing Modernity

It obvious Donavan is a luddite, of the same branch as primitivist anarchists John Zerzan and Kaczynski. He blames all of society’s ills on technology, as well as anticipating Americas decline, which is a liberal thing to do. Being ‘right-wing’ on some issues doesn’t change the fact he is ideologically aligned with the anti-technology left. But what about republicans who are skeptical of technology, modernity and free market capitalism? Yes, they are called paleocons or traditional cons, but if your message (anti-technology, anti-modernity, Americas is in decline, capitalism sucks… etc) is indistinguishable from what the left is preaching, you’re a liberal as far as I’m concerned. Yes, beyond the five-minute mark he is right about feminism but, as this blog shows, you don’t need to be anti-technology and anti-free markets to be anti-feminist and anti-welfare. Also, a lot of this video doesn’t agree with empirical reality. The overwhelming evidence is that America is not incline and that its economic power has only strengthened in recent years, especially since 2008. Look at how much the dollar, S&P 500, and bond market have surged – or how the Forbes 400 list keeps getting richer, or how foreign capital is pouring into America, or the recent breakthroughs in technology and physics, or how America’s most prestigious universities and tech companies have become the envy of the world, inundated with more applications than they can ever hope to fill. Then look at the rest of the world: the Euro down 30% in the past year alone. The Brazil Real and Turkish Lira are down 15%, just this year alone, against the all-mighty Greenback. If there is ‘decline’, it’s certainly not in America and it’s not in China; it’s in Europe, Russia, and elsewhere. If your ability to reason and perceive reality is occluded by personal biases and wishful thinking, then you will be wrong most of the time, as Mr. Donavan is. Why can’t we have a debate with actual evidence and data, and leave the fantasy at the door where it belongs. Finally, if you believe the The Way of Man is the superior way, wouldn’t you want man to succeed to his fullest cognitive potential, creating great technologies and empires, not languishing in caves in a post-apocalyptic world, vulnerable to the whims of nature? And don’t you have faith that men, being that they are responsible for the vast majority of innovations throughout history, would not let or want modern civilization to collapse and would take active measures to delay such a collapse, as humans are the only species capable of contemplating abstract concepts such as fate and mortality? Perhaps modernity is borne out of the innately human desire to avoid death and seek abundance, so humans are wired to invent? So even if everything does come crashing down, as Mr. Donovan wants, civilization would inevitably congeal because that is what humans are biologically programmed do, to reassemble the pieces and start anew, or quoted by author Robert M. Pirsig:

“But to tear down a factory or to revolt against a government or to avoid repair of a motorcycle because it is a system is to attack effects rather than causes; and as long as the attack is upon effects only, no change is possible. The true system, the real system, is our present construction of systematic thought itself, rationality itself, and if a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. If a revolution destroys a systematic government, but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves in the succeeding government. There’s so much talk about the system. And so little understanding.”