Taking A Stance

As is always the case, I got a lot of feedback on yesterday’s predictions post. Most of it was constructive. Some of it was fawning (yuck). And some of it was snickering.

That’s how it goes when you stick your neck out and take a stance, make a bet. I am used to it.

I am surprised at how few people are willing to do this sort of thing. They have opinions, for sure, but they don’t put them out there and get the reactions that help shape those views going forward.

I would encourage everyone to share your views, opinions, and predictions publicly. It is a practice that produces great value for me and I think would produce similar value for others.

Speaking of predictions, this one on crypto from Arjun Balaji is quite good (and quotes me too 🙂

Today is a back to work day, so I am going end this now and do that.

#life lessons

Comments (Archived):

  1. Adam Sher

    What I like about your predictions is that you have skin in the game for many of them. Ultimately, you, and others who put their money where their mouths, are worth listening to. There are many people who contribute to this blog who also speak based on their commitments (financial and social). You, and they, are credible and valuable, and the people who only provide snark are not.This is a public forum for me. I appreciate those of you who dissent and force me to more deeply consider the underpinnings of my positions.

  2. Tereza

    Timely advice (AND I’M NOT FAWNING).New Years Res is to get my voice out there more. I’ve found great things happen over the long run. Been focused on other things, though. Trying to think through how it should take form and where it’s most valued. Perhaps y’all can help me. I reciprocate.

    1. JamesHRH

      Do it like JLM is going to bring the hell fire analysis and you will never look back.

      1. Susan Rubinsky

        Man, THAT is good advice.

    2. Susan Rubinsky

      Start with a daily blog post. Doesn’t have to be long. If you feel like daily is too much, try weekly.

    3. Donna Brewington White

      Hey T — Any particular reason for this resolution?

  3. LE

    The guy in the twitter thread (Bobby Goodlatte) is the son of the former House Judiciary Committe Chairman Republican Bob Goodlatte (R-VA).https://www.politico.com/st…I love the ‘public will demand’. Such wet behind the ears thinking. But such a realistic observation that the press driving the public ‘demand’ is what actually happens in fact.You’d think that when something happens people en masse are actually protesting in the streets and rioting as if they are about to get drafted. Modern day version of that is blowhards on twitter saying things and the press using it as fodder.I think it’s disgusting how the son is in the face of his father and donated in a very public way to replace him. He must be so proud of himself and his little corner of fame in the world to go against his dad like that.The first ‘you’re a tool’ award of the year goes to Bobby for disrespecting his father (despite their differences and political views)…. https://uploads.disquscdn.c

  4. David C. Baker

    Amen. This newer world of “content marketing” has left us flooded in ignorable content that’s just “meh” at best. I too urge people to have a POV, and do it publicly. The best test of that is this: after someone reads what you write, are they nudged toward an opinion of their own because of your insight? In other words, they should agree or disagree and not just move on.Some folks are just controversial for controversy’s sake, but ideally there’s a reason for something that you write. If you don’t come right out and state the reason behind your POV, I should be able to ask you why you believe that and–without hesitation–you’d be able to explain it.The most commented on piece I ever wrote for LInkedin was titled: “Quit Posting Crap on Linkedin.” 🙂 This was the graphic that went with it.https://uploads.disquscdn.c

  5. LE

    I would encourage everyone to share your views, opinions, and predictions publicly. It is a practice that produces great value for me and I think would produce similar value for others.So my ‘view’ is that that is not a good or safe idea unless you have what is known as ‘fuck you money’. Otherwise it is risky and could derail your career or hurt your chances in business or life. Actually take a look at what has happened with even those with the FU money when they have gone against the grain of public consensus.Exhibit A might be a Facebook exec who caused ‘outrage’ just for sitting in camera view at the Kavanaugh hearings.Facebook employees are reportedly outraged at exec appearing at Kavanaugh hearinghttps://www.cnbc.com/2018/1…People are wimps for a reason. It’s self preservation. It makes more sense to lay low than it does to come out of the closet. I am thinking I might catch flack for even using that expression.More ways to express yourself also means more ways for others to call you out for your views.I definitely already say to much on this blog but even then I am probably only saying 50% of what I want to say (no assumptions about the other 50% please..)

    1. Richard

      See canarymission.org

    2. JLM

      .SV applauds diversity in everything except thought or politics.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. sigmaalgebra

          Let’s check that: Just from your URL, I see motherboard. Now is that “sexist”? Just happened to notice that! 🙂 /teasing

          1. SFG

            Whiteboard is another story. lol

          2. Twain Twain

            Being able to trace the evolution of languages through time is one of the great things about AI tools.There are some words which would be considered sexist/racist/something-ist today but were common vernacular in their day and age.There are also words that have no sexism/racism/whatever-ism yet people (men and women and different cultures, alike) can be overly sensitive and interpret it as offensive when no offense was intended.Whiteboard/blackboard is simply a surface on which to educate and share ideas and solve problems.It would help if we had a global database of objects (words, images etc) and the different cultural perceptions of those objects because then, eventually, we all might understand each other better (even if we don’t agree). This is what I’m working on.

          3. Twain Twain

            In Nature, the motherboard is mitochondria.* https://uploads.disquscdn.c…* https://www.nytimes.com/201…Well, of course, in Natural Intelligence male and female code play equally vital roles in different and complementary functions.It’s only in Artificial Intelligence where the legacy mathematical logic from Aristotle has little ability to model culture on a like-for-like basis with nature. Plus it didn’t help that Aristotle’s logic was sexist+racist+sociopathic from the start.This is at the roots of the narrow brittleness of the AI’s “intelligence” and why it isn’t strong. Some male code is missing and definitely most (if not all) of the female code is missing.

          4. sigmaalgebra

            So far AI is all or nearly all just some nonlinear curve fitting. The more impressive results are from massive quantities of data, far beyond what humans use to learn, do, think, or be intelligent and, really, far beyond what has been common in computing so far; also for the FLOPS per problem, far, far beyond what has been at all common in computing so far.It is not clear what if any connection current AI has to do with natural intelligence — maybe it has some rough connection with the nervous system of a worm or maybe some low level parts of the eye of an insect.Net, so far AI is nothing like natural intelligence or learning,It is not at all clear that some computer version of intelligence should be based on nonlinear curve fitting with “neurons” based on thresholds via sigmoid functions.So comparing AI with classic logic or the differences between human male and female intelligence is far fetched, like asking if a roller skate is closer to a Cadillac or a Mercedes.Soon the AI/ML hype will flop, and we will be back to a long AI winter.I’ve seen hype stuff before: One case was optimization — linear, linear integer, non-linear, dynamic, …, etc. Some Economics Nobel prizes were based on optimization. There was a LOT of interest.There are some important, real world, valuable applications for the optimization applied math — it’s really just some applied math, at times with some high cleverness.At the time I actually had some real, practical, important problems where even rough solutions would amount to big bucks.But now the optimization hype is dead.During the hype there was too much faith in optimization. Now there is too little.Part of what killed the hype was the question P versus NP. So, people could not find an algorithm that would run in time a polynomial in the size of the input data and guarantee optimal solutions, that is, down to the last tiny fraction of the last penny exact;y. And people could not prove that no such algorithm could exist. And that is still the case. So, so far, P versus NP is a curious and interesting question and some fine day associated research may make some useful contribution.But that question is a grand, universe sized strain over gnats while forgetting elephants: With that question the goal is to save the last tiny fraction of the last penny exactly and guarantee to have done so. That’s a very false goal. It’d be a nice to have if could do it easily — for sorting, finding a minimum spanning tree, finding network shortest path, finding least cost network flows, even for linear programming, can do that. Okay.The real goal is not that last tiny fraction of a penny but saving money, commonly thousands, millions, tens of millions of dollars. And with the screaming about the difficulty of the question of P versus NP and, thus, at the loss of the hype, people have given up on saving the big bucks — straining over the gnat of the last penny people are neglecting the elephant of the millions.Why? People in effect want the hype, want to believe that they are doing some grand, leading edge, best possible, etc. project. It’s like can’t sell laundry detergent, couldn’t even give it away, without a big, splashy label in several saturated colors, screaming about “All New”, “Super powerful’, ‘blasts the dirt away”, makes you proud, saves your marriage, etc.So, there’s an opportunity: Find a good optimization problem and write the code for free. Show the savings in $$$$ and then sell the RESULTS, not the project, not the code, but only the RESULTS that can trivially see save big bucks. E.g., don’t be an employee but be an entrepreneur.Actually so far optimization is much better applied math (the field is quite careful about theorems and proofs) than AI/ML, with many more applications, much more valuable in money to be saved, and, net, nearly always much more intelligent.

        2. JamesHRH

          Sociopathic is a given Twain,Racist needs some unpacking.Sexist seems likely but…. vast majority of social media users are?You are one of my fave AVC persons TT – best wishes for Health, happiness & Prosperity in 2019z

          1. Twain Twain

            Thanks, Happy 2019 to you too, James.Well, the sociopathy is from Descartes’ mind-body-emotions separation policy.The racism+sexism is a legacy from Aristotle’s approach to scientific classifications.* https://aeon.co/essays/on-t…The problem with those code SDKs is that it means the machines can’t understand anyone’s language. That includes yours (white, male, upper middle class) alongside Donna’s, mine and AVC readers from around the world.

      1. SFG

        Of all the folks who stick their neck out with predictions regularly (as wells as followup analysis), well, that would be you… You are a leader in this regard.Also, you do it with some humor and somehow avoid having your main prediction be the utter demise (will settle for nothing less, mind you) of the politician on the other side.

      2. Twain Twain

        Remember you and @philipsugar:disqus were asking about China not allowing for majority ownership?My career alma mater, UBS, announced this:* https://www.reuters.com/art…Now, bear in mind, that UBS laid the groundwork for this in a very culturally respectful way AND China had already been working on capital reform structures of its own initiatives for over a decade. I know this because I wrote some papers whilst in the bank.It may be helpful to watch this interview with the American economist Dr Yukon Huang, former Director of World Bank, China.It will put into perspective how the US caused its own trade deficit problems.https://www.youtube.com/wat

        1. JLM

          .UBS has been in China since the early 1980s. It has taken a long time.The issue of ownership does not address the big issues of currency manipulation, the theft of IP, industrial espionage, the pilferage of IP through ownership, and a host of other criminal activities.What it does highlight is the need of China for more sophisticated service deliverers.I am very skeptical of a country which contends to welcome foreign investment — without which they simply cannot live — which also espouses the reunification of Taiwan through force.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Twain Twain

            Force?* https://www.smithsonianmag….Criminal activities? Astor smuggled opium to China via his American Fur Company ships — even though China banned the drug about two decades earlier.https://www.businessinsider…Currency manipulation? Let’s ask the Indians:* https://economictimes.india…* https://blogs.wsj.com/econo…Theft of IP and property?* https://www.nytimes.com/201…The tech community shares solutions widely and freely across the Web whether on GitHub, Stackoverflow, Hacker News, Coursera, YouTube etc. The US’s Big Tech companies distribute their software development kits and methods widely online BECAUSE THAT’S HOW THEY INCREASE THEIR GLOBAL MARKET ADOPTION.

          2. JLM

            .If your point is some faux moral equivalence tale comparing pre-Colonial behavior in the Americas v current Chinese behavior — no sale.If your point is that American robber barons existed, again no justification for current Chinese behavior. No sale.Clearly the USA evolved from that base. It is worth noting that American robber barons were also enormous builders of infrastructure with no exemplar to follow. They rarely exported their vices.China does not enjoy that excuse.This is exactly who China is today — a country that threatens its peaceful neighbors with armed violence because of words they do not like while pretending to be a worthy member of civilized society. They are not.https://www.nytimes.com/201…The Chinese are committed Communists in as low and horrific way as that word can be taken.Xi is just a thug in a Brooks Brother suit.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. Twain Twain

            If Americans are civilized, they can start by not shipping sexist+racist code SDKs around the world.They can sort out their own deep-rooted race and gender problems:* https://www.buzzfeednews.co…They can do things not to cause genocide in other countries:https://www.nytimes.com/201

          4. JLM

            .Has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the subject at hand.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          5. Twain Twain

            Has plenty to do with it. You keep insisting that Americans are, somehow, morally superior and “civilized” whilst the Chinese President is a “thug in a Brooks Brothers’ suit.”Well, the US has people in hoodies TODAY shipping tools that foment hate and facilitate genocide.The US has a President who’s said to incite this type of behavior:* https://nypost.com/2018/10/…What type of suit does President Trump wear?

          6. JLM

            .You continue with faux moral equivalence thrusts as if Chinese thuggish behavior can be explained away if it can be proven that someone else engages in that behavior.China is a trade cheat. China is a criminal enterprise stealing the world’s tech. China is a currency manipulator.China is a country that killed more than 200 people at Tiananmen Square.It a country that subjugates its people to a “President for Life” and makes no bones about telling Hong Kong is can have a different system than the mainland if they behave themselves while simultaneously threatening the Republic of China (Taiwan) with invasion.It is an unabashed Communist country that flaunts the world’s laws and conducts its foreign policy with no regard for civilized norms.President Trump has his suits made in Hong Kong. JKJLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          7. Twain Twain

            Ray Dalio shared this very interesting graphic on Linkedin. Notice that China enjoyed a prosperous and peaceful period right up until 1820s. What happened then? The country opened up to Western trade in Canton.The Westerners pushed opium into the country to turn people into drug addicts. Let’s not talk about how “civilized” the West is when it set out to destroy an entire country and bullied it into what is commonly called in English as “Unequal Treaties.”https://uploads.disquscdn.c…

          8. JLM

            .Not an ounce of doubt that your story is correct, but it has nothing to do with the US – China relationship in 2019 — two hundred years later.That happened in 1820. This is 2019. That is a 199 year difference. The world is different.I think the big opium guys were the Brits by the way, not the Americans.Today, China is a trade cheat. Period.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          9. Twain Twain

            Actually, you’d find that in the 1820s four American trading companies had BULLIED the Canton officials and weakened them with opium.It has plenty to do with 2019. The US thinks it can bully, destroy and setback a country again just as that country has spent 180 years to pull itself back together.That’s wrong.What does it say about the US and its values when it uses these underhand and bullying tactics?

          10. JLM

            .It says you need to find a better rant than some tired 1820s baloney. China is a despotic country pretending to be civilized. Deal with it.Look, nobody makes a decision to smoke opium than the person with the pipe in their hand.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          11. Twain Twain

            Whatever. The US is so civilized it’s shipping sexist+racist code SDKs around the world in 2019.

          12. JLM

            .Not fair to recycle stuff you’ve already used. It’s like low grade re-gifting.Not to be rude, but I am taking the rest of the afternoon off.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          13. Twain Twain

            LOL! You just recycled your unfounded rants “China is a trade cheat. China is a criminal enterprise stealing the world’s tech. China is a currency manipulator” several times.So that makes us about even.What I’ll say is this: I read Chinese tech research and Western research.The Chinese have their own innovations that are based on scientific ideas and tools that were developed INDEPENDENTLY of Western traditions. The Chinese had developed their own maths and science methods all the way up to 19th century.Have a good afternoon.

          14. JLM

            .Nothing even remotely unfounded about those rather common allegations.The Chinese don’t need to cheat which is why when they do it is so troubling.Nobody doubts the richness and depth of the Chinese culture or intelligentsia. Not all Chinese are cheats.Some, however, are and that besmirchs the rest who are not.I wrote this after our earlier chat.http://themusingsofthebigre…Be well.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          15. Twain Twain

            Likewise, when we read about President Trump’s untruths and misleading statements:* https://www.washingtonpost….We’ll remember not to tar all Americans with the same brush.My point is that the nonsensical trade war hurts US companies. In Yukong Huang’s analysis he made it clear that for an $800 iPhone, $25 goes to the Chinese manufacturer, $350 goes to S Korea and Japan for electronics parts and $400 is PROFIT FOR APPLE.Moreover, the Chinese worker does it for $2/hr whilst US wages are $25/hr.So the trade war doesn’t solve the US’s trade deficit problems or how the US actually gets to full employment for the people who are in the manufacturing heartlands rather than the 1% tech, media, politics and medical elite.https://www.cnbc.com/2019/0…China isn’t a communist country. It’s a capitalist country with central coordination. BIG difference.The West got to democracy after 2300+ years of stealing, killing, raping, pillaging, Reformation, witch hunts, civil wars, world wars, genocides etc.So for anyone to expect China to become democratic like the West (and especially the US) in the space of 30-40 years is unrealistic. Credit should be given where it’s due. The Chinese’s “many hands make light work” approach is commendable.Now, seriously, the US created its own problems. If, “Nobody makes a decision to smoke opium than the person with the pipe in their hand,” then “Nobody makes a decision to ship manufacturing out of the US other than US business executives and politicians.”Look, the US’s two main engines for growth have all kinds of self-inflicted issues. Wall Street caused 2008 financial crisis. SV caused issues about 2016 US elections, Russian interference, abuse of user privacy, damage to democracy etc.Instead of the US-China trade war, the US would be better investing in domestic policies to help its working and middle classes.

          16. JLM

            .”China isn’t a communist country. It’s a capitalist country with central coordination. BIG difference.”Haha, what are you a CCP bot?You may want to take that up with Xi Jinping whose official authority is conveyed upon him by the every 5 year meeting of the National Congress of the COMMUNIST Party of China.His official offices include being the General Secretary of the COMMUNIST Party of China, the Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the COMMUNIST Party, and the State President.The consolidation of these three offices makes him the “paramount” leader of the COMMUNIST Party of China and the nation.He is a member of the Politboro, the Central Committee, and the Standing Committee of the COMMUNIST Party of China which is the ruling entity between every 5 year meeting of the COMMUNIST Party of China.Let’s be clear — this is a one party system.What you are referring to — democratic socialism — was a philosophy authored by Vladimir Lenin, fairly well known Commie back in 1917. It was the basis of Russian Communism and every other offshoot in the world, including China. It is the Holy Grail of Communism.Officially, the COMMUNIST Party of China, in its Constitution and included by reference, rules in accordance with:Marxist-LeninismMao Zedong Thought,Socialism with Chinese characteristics,Den Xiaoping Theory,The Three Represents,The Scientific Outlook on Development, and,The Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese characteristics for a New Era.These are the equivalent of the US Bill of Rights and the Amendments to the US Constitution.On their best days, the Chinese admit to abandoning the Mao Zedong “command economy” and adhering to something they call “socialist market economy.”In reality, China is a despotic regime that has anointed Xi Jinping as President for Life. Under his leadership they imprison and kill critics, run re-education camps, use torture as a means of law enforcement, engage in ethnic cleansing, and, generally, act like a Communist country.They attend, and often sponsor, the annual International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties — the Super Bowl of Communism.Please, never say anything that ridiculous again.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          17. Twain Twain

            They’re not a democracy but definitely a capitalist country with central coordination. There’s a difference.Capitalism meaning for-profit companies that list on stock exchanges, external trade with other countries and where people find their own employment rather than get assigned a job by the government. Central coordination meaning that for big strategic projects it’s overseen by the Politburo.

          18. JLM

            .Stop, you’re making it worse.Capitalism is an economic system in which private individuals — not the government — control capital, the allocation of capital, and are free to make decisions on prices, production, and distribution with an eye toward taking risk and creating wealth in a competitive, free market.That description does not apply to China. Sorry.Democracy is a political system as is Communism. One looks to the people to determine their form of government thereby empowering the dreams of their people while the other steals the power of the people, perverts it, and rules with an authoritarian strong arm thereby imprisoning the dreams of the people.When you have tanks in your public squares, when you imprison and kill your critics, when you re-educate your people — guess what? You are not a free country. You are a gulag.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          19. Twain Twain

            Did you not read the memo that Alibaba, Baidu, Didi, Tencent, DJI etc are owned by private individuals, control the capital, the allocation of capital, and are free to make decisions on prices, production, and distribution with an eye toward taking risk and creating wealth in a competitive, free market.That’s capitalism.You need to read the history books on how many people were killed in democracy. And who do you suppose sanctioned slavery? The father of democracy himself, Aristotle.

          20. JLM

            .Did you read where Jack Ma revealed he was a member of the Communist Party of China?Very weak arguments, TT.China is not capitalism. China is not a democracy. It is a controlling thugocracy that threatens its neighbors and imprisons its people.Tell Hong Kong about how capitalistic China is — one country, two systems?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          21. Twain Twain

            China is capitalist. It created 338 $$$ billionaires in 30 years. The US has 680 billionaires after 240 years.Your hatred of the country and its leader doesn’t change the FACT it’s capitalist.

          22. JLM

            .Hatred? I am hopeful that when China does awake to the possibilities of freeing and empowering their people that we will have a great trading partner.I think Xi looks great in a western cut suit. He is, however, a man who authorizes ethnic cleansing, re-education camps, murder as a means of dealing with critics — I judge his actions and they are universally of great concern.This is a country that censors the Internet, that prevents its citizens from becoming conversant on the ideas of the world because those ideas are dangerous to a despotism.I also don’t attack you personally as I deal in facts and ideas.BTW — I had Chinese food last night and drank two Tsingtao. Wonderful, lovely Chinese beer (originally a German brewery).JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          23. Twain Twain

            On the issue of US politics and businesses, you bring the context of knowing the history of processes and events that happened.On China, you don’t deal in facts and ideas in the same way at all.I give you the facts of China having privately owned companies that are stock exchange listed AND having created 338 billionaires to show it is a capitalist system.You have no interest in acknowledging those facts whatsoever.So I’m not making an ad hominem about you. I’m simply respecting your opinion and understanding that China isn’t something I can look to you for guidance on.

          24. Twain Twain

            You will laugh at this. Ray Dalio posted this Principle today.https://uploads.disquscdn.c…Obviously, I’m a fan of democracy. I’m simply also mindful of all the stealing, killing, raping, pillaging, civil wars, bloody revolutions, slavery, world wars etc that happened en route to where we are in 2019.I’m also a fan of capitalism. If there’s private equity, private capital and people can use those things to create employment for other private individuals to generate wealth, value and good for themselves and the wider community then that’s capitalist.It doesn’t matter. It simply taught me you’re close-minded about China and already have a dogmatic position on it.So, in the future, we won’t discuss it.

          25. JLM

            .Why the ad hominem?China is a Communist country. By their own admission and intent.I am woke to who China is by their own words, their own leadership, informed by their re-education camps, their ethnic cleansing, their threats to their neighbors, their unfair and illegal trade practices.My mind is open and informed.I take them at their word.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          26. Twain Twain

            Watch Dr Huang’s talk carefully. He’s an American and an economics expert.He makes it clear that China is NOT causing America’s trade problems. The US is doing that all by itself.Just like the US caused its own 2008 mortgage crisis problems. Just like the Valley caused its own technical problems.

    3. DJL

      Could not agree more. From another person who also says too much on this blog. Besides, nobody cares if I take a stand on an issue. (Except my kids, maybe.) People actually care about what Fred says. I am just here because I learn a lot and enjoy the political nonsense.

      1. scottythebody

        I like your stands. Don’t agree with them very often, but I like that you take them.

        1. DJL

          Same to you. I know you don’t post much any more. So its fun when you do. (Seriously, I take these hard stances for the sake of argument.) One of my few diversions.

    4. creative group

      LE:we can agree with your generalization in principal.We don’t have FU money and care less the reaction or mood of what people think on any logical (We view as logical) viewpoint that doesn’t support Leftwing or Rightwing propaganda. Our only position is we will not lie, cheat, knowingly engage in deceit.Captain Obvious!#UNEQUIVOCALLYUNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT

      1. LE

        I am curious why you always use ‘we’? [1][1] That is something that Physicians use when you ask them a medical question and they don’t have an answer for you. They say ‘well we just don’t know at this point why the medicine works or why your back pain is ephemeral’. Otoh if you ask Falicon why certain code does not work or ask Arnold why CBD works and helps with [ insert something that CBD is good for here ] neither will say ‘we don’t know’.

        1. cavepainting

          I asked the same question some time back. There is always a story behind a person using “We”. It mostly has to do with cya, affected humility, genuine humility, or habits emanating from one of the three.

    5. Rob Larson

      Totally agree there is a cost to sharing your views publicly, and bad things can happen. Besides the “getting fired” risk, it creates a paper trail of views that anyone conducting due diligence on you in advance of doing a deal with you can discover and then decide maybe they don’t want to do a deal with you after all. This risk will be ever-present going forward, to be born by your future self. And many other bad things can happen.However, there is also a cost to NOT sharing your views. It’s in the people you never connect with because they weren’t impressed by the post you didn’t write. The opportunities that never come your way, that you never find out about. It’s also in the mental overhead of maintaining a public face and a private face, and the mental energy spent on that instead of on other things. And it’s in the missed opportunities to refine and improve your views via debate with others. These costs are easy to overlook because they remain unseen.Optimally each person should decide which of these two sets of costs are more relevant to their situation and adopt a public or private face accordingly.

    6. JamesHRH

      Fred’s point is quite sound if you strictly limit it to professional opinions. It helps develop a discipline around building up your opinions if you put them to the fire of the public record.You are 1000% right on non-business professional opinions. My 13yo just said he is never saying anything online. Waaaaaay too risky – you’d like him. Actually, we should arrange for him to have lunch with you!Its pretty evident that Fred does not put the same work into his political opinions, which is why they are so emotional. He has nothing riding on them, they make him feel good, he has enough money that he does not know what to do with it all so if things he said cam true he would still be a 0.1%er.So there is no rigorous analysis, no systemic consideration and no fear of reprisal. It is lightweight 101 liberal politics at its worst. 1/4 b/c I can; 1/4 b/c the lightweights in my life praise me for it; 1/4 b/c its a power rush; 1/4 b/c its an ego rush.So, fuck it, reparations for marijuana dealers who have done time in the last 50 years but only if they are black.Let it rip.I wish it embarrassed him and the 1000’s of other pubic figures who run small but wildly financially beneficial careers. When it comes to abusing democracy for personal jollies, your podium finishers are:- actors, writers, show running pundits (Patton Oswalt has the answers everybody!)- athletes (today’s LeBron James makes me long for “republicans buy sneakers too” Michael Jordan although the King has a 50/50 shot at figuring it out)- fund managers ( Shervin Pishevar anyone? although Draper is on to something with splitting up Cali ).The worst abusers have no experience or ability leading large operations, but feel the need to exercise their immature ideas because they have a platform.Perhaps what they should consider that they owe a responsibility to the society that allowed them to be unimaginably wealthy and that there might also be consequences worth considering when you are able to reach 100,000’s or M’s of people?Ever notice Bill Gates never pops off?The world would be a waaaaaay better place if all these amateur hour poseurs took a cue from his NFA approach to his public life.

      1. DJL

        Amen, brother. Its easy to be Liberal when you have (1) so much money that policies do not matter, and (2) never had to live on the edge of not making payroll. Hollywood is the worst. .

        1. LE

          I think it’s more than that. I think it’s to what degree you see what you have as a result of primarily hard work vs. primarily luck. Luck does not mean you don’t deserve it either. It simply means you realize that the luck played a role which put you leagues above similar people of similar talent, education and motivation. If people are worshiping you and what you have luck probably played an oversize role in that behavior.At a certain point I theorize that to much luck means you feel guilt. And if you feel guilty you then will do things to negate that guilty feeling. Look at Angelina Jolie and where her heart is. You don’t see that in struggling actresses do you? She feels guilty. She must assage that guilt.I feel lucky but am in no way so super successful that I feel guilty at all about what I have. Now if I had 1000 times as much my guess is that I would and therefore be more likely to be liberal. I feel that I have worked really really really hard for what I have. Luck played a role but that luck did not result in some super sized gain that I have to feel guilty about.Yourself?

    7. Adam Sher

      One of the beautiful things about working for yourself and being the boss is that you earned the freedom to speak your mind. Say, I’m a potential customer and I’m researching you online. I may stumble across something you said here that I think is abhorrent. What can I do with this information? (1) share it with my FB group and “blacklist” you. (2) write you a bad yelp review. (3) if I’m an influencer, tweet about your terrible view and that my followers should not do business with you. Maybe 1-3 result in a lost sale from me. Maybe you don’t get 1 or 2 other jobs.You know what I can’t do? (1) Write to your boss and get you fired. (2) DOX your place of employment and create such a nuisance that your superiors may find you too much of a hassle to deal with. (3) Take legal action against you since we haven’t actually interacted or done business together.So, I can harass you. Even if you don’t have FU money, your means of income inoculated yourself from the tyranny of whiners.This freedom extends beyond public writing/speaking. It affects how you spend your time during the day, what projects you work on, and how you prioritize your life. You may be able to throw the bowling ball how you think best but you didn’t get to choose to bowl, or what lane you’re bowling in.

      1. cavepainting

        If you are a zoo animal, learn that to be free, you need to enjoy surviving in the wild.Too many people want to be free but the desire is not strong enough for them to deal with the downsides.

        1. Adam Sher

          You gotta fllyyy like an eagle.Well, the ethical debate with zoos is that animals born into captivity fare poorly when released in the wild.

    8. Matt Zagaja

      When I worked in politics a bunch of people tried to get me fired from my job for supporting the wrong candidate in a primary. That’s to say nothing of how stalled that career path went due to the fact that I was not afraid to have a point of view. Eventually learned a point of view is useless if you cannot sell it. A point of view isn’t super useful unless its the product of good judgement and backed by good salesmanship. Otherwise…ouch.

      1. JLM

        .Nothing more vicious than the behind the scenes machinations of a party primary.The county of which I was on the Exec Committee was in the bag for Ted Cruz the last time around.When I spoke up for the viability of DJT — saying only the he “could” win, suddenly I wasn’t getting invites in a timely manner.This created a problem because they were having issues with attaining a quorum and could count on me.Party politics at the grassroots level is pretty ugly.When it turned out that DJT won, suddenly I was a visionary. Not any better received.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. PhilipSugar

          Nothing more petty than a petty politican. Small town politics is the worst.

          1. JLM

            .Austin Tx is a pretty good size city with more than 1.5MM in the SMSA — all of Travis County and a part of Williamson County plus it is the capital.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. PhilipSugar

            Still small

          3. JLM

            .Huh?11th largest city in USA and Travis County is most of it but a sliver in Williamson.Travis – 38th largest county in the USAJLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    9. cavepainting

      As much as I dislike being not open and not free to express my POV, the truth is you are right.The world fundamentally is driven by human nature and everything gets interpreted through the filter of the human mind. At its primitive core, the mind is solving for self. It seeks to identify and eliminate threats while increasing association with people who seem to be boosting its ego or confirming its current opinions.Not being aware of how your words can be interpreted is lack of wisdom and awareness in its own right. You can afford to do that only when you have Fuck You money or a deep source of power that is hard to take away.But I am conflicted about this often. Not being open about how you actually feel brings its own sources of troubles and anxieties. It is a great skill to learn to thread the needle in each situation without overextending or underplaying.

  6. William Mougayar

    I’m not a big fan of year-end predictions. It feels like a rush to crunch them just because of the calendar year, like Arun’s post that felt like he was throwing them up. (In contrast, yours were short and sweet, and more palatable)Predictions don’t need to wait for Dec 31st to be called. I make blockchain predictions in almost each of my blog posts, all year long. As I see things, I call them.

  7. Pete Griffiths

    You’re right. The question however is HOW you do your forecasting. Tetlock is interesting on this.SuperforecastingTHE ART AND SCIENCE OF PREDICTIONBy PHILIP E. TETLOCK and DAN GARDNERHis key point is that forecasts have to be specific, most especially in quantification and timing, without which it is impossible to truly assess one’s successes and failures.He conducted massive experiments on forecasting. Highly recommended.

    1. Girish Mehta

      +1. A very good book.Have you seen the Taleb-Tetlock arguments on twitter ?

      1. Pete Griffiths

        I haven’t. I’m pretty familiar with Taleb’s work. What’s the gist of the argument?

    2. creative group

      Pete Griffiths:Thanks for the book recommendation. Ordered it from the local library. (Tax dollars at work). They didn’t stock it so the Librarian ordered it.Captain Obvious!#UNEQUIVOCALLYUNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT

      1. Pete Griffiths

        He has a couple of books – both interesting.And a website to promote what has become a business :)It is interesting stuff and some of his conclusions after what I believe to be the biggest study, and the most rigorous, ever undertaken on the topic are few but very interesting.

  8. iggyfanlo

    I’m not as courageous, but my one prediction for 2019: Launch of offline/online business that give entrepreneurs real access, and beyond gig economy. Gig 2.0?

  9. Christopher Spiller

    In terms of places for us to stick our necks out… The Good Judgement Project is a great place to make predictions and learn from the predictions of others. Run by Philip Tetlock who wrote Super-forecasting. https://www.gjopen.com/

  10. Richard

    but let’s check our agenda and cognitive bias at the door.

  11. Pointsandfigures

    Athletics and trading taught me that lesson. Have an opinion. If it doesn’t work-admit your mistake, retool, and start again. People are so much herd thinkers. They don’t step out. I used to love stepping out in the pit and I like doing that with seed investments.

  12. Adam Parish

    A 32 minute Medium post on Crypto. Buckle up.

  13. awaldstein

    I’ve never been shy with mine.My beliefs and opinions are honestly who we all are.

  14. JLM

    .”Stick your neck out…” Really?Pretty tame, predictable stuff. A lot of fun really. It was a nice diversion. And, you made some interesting predictions. Genteel crowd.As Churchill said, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”When ideas wrestle, the result is better ideas. The key is to let them wrestle.Churchill also said, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”My favorite Churchill utterance. A combination of words that dissuaded the Germans from invading England when all Churchill had was words:”We shall go on to the end,we shall fight in France,we shall fight on the seas and oceans,we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air,we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be,we shall fight on the beaches,we shall fight on the landing grounds,we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”Imagine saying that when your army just escaped from France in a flotilla of pleasure boats leaving most of their weapons on the departing beach.The power of words.I have a scratchy record of it. When I remember, I like to listen to it a dozen times. Never fails to inspire.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. sigmaalgebra

      I long didn’t like that statement: I thought that taken literally as British policy and military strategy it was so poorly written as to be silly. But now I can see something else maybe more important: The statement showed high, unflinching, total determination, and maybe for a British PM that was more important than literal statements about policy and strategy.I would have wondered why it was necessary or even helpful to be so clear about determination, would assume that such determination should be taken for granted.Or too commonly we are in a fox hole with enemy bullets going 6″ over our head: We don’t cry, scream, stand up and complain, give up, try to get away, etc. Instead we keep our head down, think a little, see that night is coming with a lot of rain and fog that might let us move, look for a path where we could crawl, get out of the foxhole, bring our weapon and ammo, keep quiet, get to a spot with a better view, take inventory of our resources, colleagues, and the enemy, hopefully have an idea, maybe wire up a remotely detonated pile of explosives, move away, ignite the charges, and when the enemy gets up to see what the explosion was shoot a few dozen in the back.Then better yet, see if can get colleagues QUIETLY also moving. Gather and make a coordinated plan for several such explosions and attacks. Say, time the explosions one each 30 seconds. Also, see if can get some artillery and/or air support, coordinated in time.Take high determination for granted — then think how to WIN. Remember, we’re not dead yet.But in practice, even as important as WWII just after Dunkirk, I was mostly wrong: Actually, in practice, usually we can’t take high determination for granted, and a big part of the job of the British PM was to be totally clear on determination.This is especially clear given the closely preceding statement, waving a paper, that at Munich “peace in our time” had been achieved. Ha. The poor PM had too little determination to insist on something much more solid and important than that piece of paper. Neville Chamberlain was too low on determination, skepticism, caution, defense, insight, etc. To Hitler, he was a wimp, weakling, pushover.For a while, Hitler was correct about Chamberlain, but, wait, there’s still more: Hitler had determination, but that was NOT enough. Hitler’s determination was not nearly smart enough, and in the end it was England, the US, and Russia that totally defeated Hitler. Whatever about Chamberlain, England itself was still no pushover.England had the Merlin engine, the Spitfire fighter, radar, their navy, and their island and the English Channel. Hitler’s planes did not have range enough to do well with an air attack on England. And too soon for Hitler, England had the US, its blood, treasure, iron, technology, nearly totally beyond any attack from Hitler, and the B-17 on England as an unsinkable aircraft carrier, tanks and artillery that Monty used to defeat Rommel in Egypt, etc.And Hitler was fooled by what looked like something really impregnable, the battleship Bismarck. Nope: It was sunk by essentially just one torpedo from a little biplane out of spruce and cloth. But that little biplane had several times the range and accuracy of the big guns on the Bismarck. One torpedo disabled the rudder on the Bismarck, and that left it essentially dead in the water and easy pickings.Net, Hitler was a fool, a highly determined fool, and especially foolish due to his high determination that really became reckless and fatal.But how Hitler, Mainstein defeated the French so quickly maybe says that the French were long on Beaujolais and short on determination.So, determination, and even working hard, are not enough: Also need to work smart.

      1. JLM

        .The Brits didn’t fight well in France. The French didn’t fight well. The Germans fought well.The French had a much bigger army than the Germans, but the Germans had a more mobile army.I think Churchill was putting steel in the backbone of what was, essentially, a whipped army. He was sending a message to Herr Hitler that if he invaded England, they would go to the mattresses.It was effective as the Germans pulled back from an invasion.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. JamesHRH

          It worked because it spoke to what British people actually believed about themselves.The recent Gary Oldham pic on the speech has a scene that would be neat, if true (Churchill rides the tube for first time ever and asks Londoners what they would do if Hitler invaded….and gets his inspiration).

          1. JLM

            .The Brits lost an entire generation in WWI and it was still a fresh wound. Churchill who had fought in WWI knew this. He found a way to get through to them.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. Morgan Warstler

      What would be really great from Fred is:Assume Trump STAYS, whats more, ends 2019 coasting into 2020.What else of Fred’s predictions would he change?Does he still think the S&P is still crashing? Or would he assume, that the Economy MUST HAVE IMPROVED, if Trump is doing well 1/1/20.Does he still think US / China relations are in the toilet? Or would he assume that China must have opened its markets (Trump won!) and it instead IMPROVED China’s outlook.Because I found this from Fred to be REALLY WEIRD:”Any significant trade concessions from China could impact its growth prospects in 2019 and beyond, which will take the most powerful engine of global growth off the table this year.”WTF?If China’s got a sweet deal now stealing IP and closing its markets, then FRED AGREES WITH TRUMP we are suckers, and he should be cheering for America First!Free traders think China will BENEFIT from opening up its markets.Anyway, this would be a far bolder blog post Fred IMO.

      1. JamesHRH

        Great angles on the post.

    3. JamesHRH

      Single greatest speech in the history of Western Europe and its successors in the ‘Western’ world.If there is a speech so powerful from another cultural history, I would love an AVC lurker to educate me on it.

      1. JLM

        .There is a scene in a history book I read in which it describes Gen Geo Catlett Marshall’s death at Walter Reed Hospital in DC in 1957. [I have stood in this room at WRH.]Churchill, age 82 and in poor health, stood in the door and openly wept at the passing of the man he called his partner and “The Architect of Victory” in World War II.His words at that instant were lost to history, but it is said that he recounted how he and Marshall had defeated evil in the world. He gave all of the credit to Marshall.Marshall kept a copy of every letter he ever wrote and they are available in an enormous collection of some 3-6 books depending on how many are in each book.One summer at the beach, I waded through them and came away with an appreciation of the greatness of this man. [I refused to leave the beach until I finished them. It was an excellent ruse.]Marshall never gave any memorable speeches because he wasn’t a show pony.In 1940, Marshall hosted a dinner at the Army Navy Club in DC for every Senator and Congressman who was not in support of what became the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 which was passed in September 1940.Very controversial as it was the first peacetime draft in the history of the US.Marshall made the sale — Roosevelt could not — famously because the Congress trusted him.It passed the Senate by 47-25 with a lot of abstentions.It provided for 12 months service which Roosevelt had extended to 30 months.This single act was the only prep the USA had for the Pearl Harbor attack.It gave the USA a year’s head start in mobilizing what would be a military force that went from 175,000 men to 13,000,000 men with all of their equipment and clothing.The greatest startup in the history of the world.Churchill had an outside game. Marshall had an inside game. Probably why they worked together so well.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. JamesHRH

          Love it.

    4. cavepainting

      Brought tears to my eyes when I saw it in Dunkirk the movie.Well Played.

      1. JLM


  15. Cyrus Adkisson

    Impeachment and removal/resignation is currently 25% at best according to prediction markets, so Fred has made a very bold prediction here. I happen to agree based on what we know about Mitch McConnell…What does Mitch want more than anything else? A conservative SCOTUS. Anything or anyone who stands in the way of benching as many solid conservative justices as he can is his enemy. A corollary to that is McConnell needs a republican to win the presidency in 2020 to replace Ginsberg and maybe others.At the moment, it looks highly unlikely Trump could win a second term. With peacetime and an amazing economy, Trump got shellacked by the biggest midterm wave since Watergate, 8.5% to the democrats. Tack on a Mueller report and 2 more years of old white population dwindling and it’ll be even worse in 2020. Thus, McConnell now sees Trump as a liability standing in the way of his conservative court dreams.The state of play for McConnell is such that, without a catalyst, he can’t turn on Trump and would not be able to get his caucus to turn on Trump. Rank and file GOP voters aren’t ready for that. Thus, something has to change and I believe there is no one else on planet earth that wants the Mueller report to be unambiguously damning than McConnell himself. At that point, he can rally the GOP and Fox to turn on Trump and get a new candidate for 2020 who may have at least a shot of winning.In general, people overestimate the GOP’s willingness to stick with Trump if he’s going to cost them the presidency and more SCOTUS seats. I think Fred will be proven right on this point.

    1. DJL

      “Trump got shellacked by the biggest midterm wave since Watergate” Huh? If it were not for an unprecedented number of Republicans retiring (90% re-election rate), the Dems would have lost both the House and Senate.Trump will win a second term. The people that love him have not abandoned him despite the efforts of the media and tech elite.

    2. JLM

      .I love a good discussion, but by definition that means there are some facts upon which to base an opinion.The Republicans increased their majority in the Senate so, by definition, it isn’t even close to being a shellacking.The Republicans increased their Senate presence by 9 seats in 2014, lost 2 in 2016, and won 2 more in 2018. They have been holding serve nicely.More importantly, they got rid of McCain, Flake, Corker though they did seat Romney who looks to be a big league pain in the ass.The Senate map in 2020 has two vulnerable Dems — Jones (Ala) and Peters (Michigan). I think Jones loses.If John James decides to run, there is a very real chance for a Republican victory in Michigan. He is a very attractive candidate. He lost to Stabenow by 52.3 – 45.8%. She was an incumbent and a very attractive candidate.The Reps have two vulnerable seats Gardner in Colo and Susan Collins in Maine. I think Collins wins handily and Gardner will depend on who the Dems put up.Your notion of the Dems picking up seats in the Senate is a fantasy devoid of any structural support.The Reps could put Aquaman on the SCOTUS the next time around. They have the votes. Period.Trump won the last Presidential election with a low 30s approval rating. Now, he’s in the low to mid-40s. Approval doesn’t correlate perfectly with voting. Trump has managed to put the black and hispanic populations in play — not win a majority, just in play.Take a look at FiveThirtyEight — I use them because they are leftward leaning and thus when they show a higher rating, the reality is substantially higher.The Old White Population dwindling? People are living longer than ever. I am the Election Judge in a very affluent neighborhood and these Old White folks are going to live forever. They all vote.I suppose you know that Mitch McConnell is one of Senators up for re-election in 2020. You see him saying, “Let’s dump the incumbent President, but re-elect me.”?You do know that McConnell’s wife is the current Sec of Transportation, right? Elaine Chao has been Sec of labor under GWB and headed the Peace Corps under Geo HW Bush.You actually think that happens? Not a chance in Hell.Trump took Kentucky by 30% in 2016. He continues to be very popular in coal country.Pres Trump has delivered like a big dog on conservative Judges and will likely get two more shots — maybe before the Presidential election.RBG (85) doesn’t see next Christmas and Breyer (80) is going to go if RBG goes.Next oldest Justice is Thomas at 70. The SCOTUS is going to be conservative — maybe as much as 7-2 for a long time.The wild card in 2020 is going to be a third party candidacy that is well funded from the left that will have the same impact as Perot did in 1992.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Rick Mason

        John James was badly outspent and never got the President to Michigan to support him because of poor poll numbers. But when the election results came in he punched way above his weight. If he runs against Peters I think he should have both the money and the President’s campaign support which makes the race very winnable.

        1. JLM

          .I think he is an extraordinarily attractive candidate.West Pointer, Airborne Ranger aviator, combat vet, MBA, successful entrepreneur, job creator, articulate, black, smart as Hell.I would go all in on this guy. He is exactly who the GOP should be backing.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Rick Mason

            He got bashed for a couple of months by his primary opponent and then by Sen. Stabenow. In the Lansing area he never ran any ads until the last week of the campaign. The last week is only fine if you’re a judge and aiming solely at name recognition.If he’s got a well funded campaign next time and more people are exposed to his extraordinary record of achievement he will win.

    3. JamesHRH

      Mitch has 22 months to watch the economy stay solid, jobs come back, China play ball, borders get fixed and soldiers come home. There is no way he wants Mueller to have the goods on the President.Trump just turfed MadDog and Kelly because he’s taking the training wheels off and calling the shots himself now.Trump’s going to get bolder and move faster this year. If it goes well, he’s a lock.

      1. JLM

        .Training wheels comment — brilliant bit of lit.Well played.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  16. Jeffrey Warshauer

    Prediction: Spotify will buy UMG, Sirius acquires Live Nation and the number of musicians able to earn a living from their art declines. Fans will begin to reject corporate curation and find new, more organic, avenues for music discovery…like 5:30am Twitter posts.

  17. DJL

    One of the things I like most about the President – not afraid to take a stand – despite the relentless criticism. Like him or not – he does not back down. Most politicians take a “stand” to get elected and then cower back into their money pits.

    1. JamesHRH

      People get on the MAGA blinders for this reason alone. Hard too blame them, as it is so rare in politics in the last 70 years.

      1. DJL

        It’s very rare and underestimated by his haters. You can only get away with that if you don’t owe a bunch of lobbyists and backslappers from 20 years in politics.

    2. cavepainting

      On this, I agree. He has a unique brand of politics and as unscrupulous as it might be, he is different from everyone else. And the fact that it is so unlike anything we have seen makes it refreshing and attractive to a lot of people. In spite of all the lying and ignorance, this is Trump’s biggest advantage. Democrats ignore at their own peril.

  18. WA

    Fawning: the act of someone – trying to walk in exspensive high heels after many drinks, thinking they look classy – not unlike a new born deer struggling to take its first steps.Gawd – I love the urban dictionary…Happy New Year all.

  19. Josh Jackson

    This is a great post.There will always be “fawning” and “snickering” from those who are either not true-believers or from those that do not understand your perspective, narrative, and worldview. This all is a product of the culture in which people live and interact.This post makes me think about Seth Godin’s short book “Stop Stealing Dreams.” (see https://sethgodin.typepad.c… School, American culture, has told us to not take risks and to follow instructions. The only time change happens is when people take a risk. When people like you do take a risk and make an assertion, then there will be some who “fawn” and “snicker” because that is the easy way and they have a neophobia — it isn’t for them and totally understandable when you understand the culture.

    1. DJL

      K-12 school. Perhaps. But there are more entrepreneurship classes and related support at the college level than ever, and it keeps growing. Kids are being encouraged to start something on their own. American culture is DEFINED by risk takers. That is why so many people take huge risks just to get here.

      1. LE

        That is why so many people take huge risks just to get here.I’ve always loved how in this country we celebrate people who leave their countries (gut them of their own potential) so they can come here. Because it just shows what I always try to say. People predictably say one thing but in the end they do what is in their best interest en masse at least. Both the people who leave where they were born for the US and people here who have no issue with those people coming here (either manual labor; illegal) or high level (professionals) because it’s better for us. We encourage it with all sorts of incentives. What is left in the ‘shithole’ countries? The people who don’t have the motivation or intelligence to change that country. And we think that’s great.On a smaller scale that happens with kids in this country moving to the coasts (NYC, SV, LA) and getting out of the boring land with no opportunity that they grew up in.Like the tax cab driver put out of a job because of Uber nobody cares about those migration patterns.

        1. DJL

          “The people who don’t have the motivation or intelligence to change that country. And we think that’s great.” I do not agree. I wish more people would stay in their own counties and make those countries great again. But they don’t have a democracy to make it happen. They have mullahs or tyrants or socialists. So the pattern keeps going. This is the place that is changing because this is only place where change can happen.

          1. LE

            By ‘we’ I don’t mean ‘me’. I mean (per the gist of my comment) our media and culture celebrates that.Another example of ‘celebrate’ is when one lucky poor kid from nowhereville gets into Harvard and there is an article about how he is (or implying) set for life. It’s worthy enough for a news article because other colleges (if not notable) are chump change in the view of popular opinion and the media. So we celebrate it ‘isn’t that great!!!’. Ever happen when someone gets into Temple University? Nope. [1]Here’s a video it’s a lottery win:https://www.youtube.com/wat…But they don’t have a democracy to make it happen. They have mullahs or tyrants or socialists. Core reason they have that? No economy and no prospects because the good brains are leaving. Why is NYC so great and has so much shit going on? High concentration (as I have said) of motivated high achievers make it possible for great things to happen and to attack others. Gut NYC of those people and see what results. (Look to the 70’s a vastly different place).[1] Why this is bad and shouldn’t be celebrated? There are only so many slots in a beauty contest. It becomes a positive to a person and a negative to a group that will never even come close to that. An no it doesn’t by and large inspire and motivate others to follow and try to do the same (and once again the point should be a lesser goal that is attainable not a big disappointment and ‘I have failed to achieve the dream’.

    2. LE

      School, American culture, has told us to not take risks and to follow instructions. The only time change happens is when people take a riskI don’t think that is the case. Maybe with school but not with culture. Risk taking is actually espoused everywhere now as the path to shorten the line to fame and fortune. Take that guy who crossed the Antartica alone recently.https://www.popularmechanic…We celebrate things like this because we have no skin in the game. And it’s entertaining and it drives a small group of people to take likewise risks. But in the end it’s plain stupid to do period. But nobody ever says that. Stupid to risk your life and impact your family for your vanity. Same world that wants people at their kids soccer games instead of focusing on their jobs. Funny world.My best call out the last week goes to Louis CK. I was never a fan let alone even interested in him that much. But I loved how he stood out there and made the joke about the Parkland students. I suspect from what I hear is the audience laughter many others did as well. Comedy or speech should not have to lay down for anyone. SNL doesn’t do it but they are on a pedestal and people think it’s cool to laugh at ‘dick in the box videos’ with Justin Timberlake.(How am I doing today, Fred?)You should never try to stunt creativity or opinion. I make a living by having weird and outrageous thoughts and mostly not caring.

  20. PhilipSugar

    I would add give people perspective on your point of view. Now if you can’t figure out Fred’s point of view you are a moron.His discipline gives you that. Now mine maybe not so much.But the biggest thing I find different with social media is that people don’t take into account what people’s point of view/perspective is or respect it.I am in Mexico right now. You have to think about what is that point of view of that person that you are talking to?The one thing I am good at is that anybody is willing to talk to me, and me them. I have no idea why. People literally come up and talk to me. They laugh and literally say I am joining their team (I tan very well). In DR they call me Big Poppy and rub my stomach. We laugh.But I want to hear them and understand their point of view.I’ll say something controversial you know when that cop pulls me over (in Maryland) I know he is shit scared. When I just give the honest answer “when did you think that was a good idea?” “right until I saw your lights” My hands are on the wheel in plain sight. I am not putting them anywhere near the big pockets on my Cabella’s camo jacket. He knows when I say let’s just get through this together he just says, “don’t do that again” and I am on my way.

    1. Salt Shaker

      Last winter while vacationing in Mexico (Zihautenejo) I found myself apologizing to resort staff, who I got to know a bit, for some of the things our leadership has said about their beautiful people and country, as if you can paint w/ such a wide brush. Heading back there again next month and presume I’ll have somewhat similar conversations at some point.

      1. LE

        Have you watched any of those documentaries regarding the drug trade and the impact of drugs in that ‘beautiful’ country? Of course you know about that.Not taking a side on what has been said or saying it’s right. And sure no issue with what you have done why not spread the love. No cost or effort to doing so. (Low skin damage..)But honestly it is third world and the violence and poverty is unimaginable by the way most of us live.Obviously there are good people everywhere. But there are so many places in Mexico that are dangerous to the point where the State Department says Americans and their own staff can’t travel.https://travel.state.gov/co…And I believe that it has been well documented how corrupt and complicit the government of Mexico has been in the past with the drug trade so to keep it as a source of revenue for the country.There are close to 20 Porsche dealers in Mexico my assumption is most of this is driven by drug money either directly or filtered through the economy by drugs:https://www.google.com/sear

        1. JLM

          .Mexico used to be an idyllic place to go to the beach. I used to go to Huatulco before the first big resorts were built. Heavenly.Stay at the Quinta Royale.https://www.quintareal.com/Now, there were 547 murders in Cancun in 2018 and the Mexican gov’t has moved in 2,850 military Federales into a base on the north side of Cancun.Mexico is a cesspool. The only safe way to go is to a big resort like Vidanta.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. LE

            Vidanta is on one of the reality tv shows I watch with my wife can’t remember which one.Interesting thing though. What killed Atlantic City is they didn’t move the poor people out when legalizing casinos. As such it’s considered a buzz kill if you go to the casinos where you pass poor areas and it does not add to the ‘resort feel’.However that is in the US. In a foreign country people don’t care if they pass even greater poverty to get to Vidanta or otherwise. (Same in Puerto Rico viewed as different even though the US).Same goes with all sorts of things. In West Philly Penn had a master plan where they completely took over all area real estate and pushed away the poor people or controlled the use. In same city North Philly Temple did not do the same. And suffered as a result. Not motivating to go to college on “North Broad Street”.

        2. Salt Shaker

          Don’t disagree, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t share my travel concerns, but though there’s a wide underbelly, the majority of the people there are not part of it and are victims of the cartels and gov’t corruption.

      2. PhilipSugar

        I just got back and I will go again. But I do not feel the need to apologize? No. The hotel staff is great. My way home today? Through a locked gate a the resort, through a locked gate in the general area, since I was in a private car (Suburban) we were stopped again on the road and since it was 4am, I was sleeping had to get up and explain what was in my bags, as we were searched. If the saying fences make good neighbors well, I encountered three, in a one hour span.I think there are so many beautiful people there. The people than ran our boat, the people that had real feelings for the old lady that fell and broke her nose, There are also people with skull head tattoos that have the absolute nastiness to offer me and my son drugs or a “two for one” prostitute. I can take that if it is just me, but with my boy? I took it as a learning moment, we talked. But damn that pissed me off. Hawk me, no issue. Grab me and say mister, mister, I’ll say don’t put your hands on me. But put an explicit offer out there and a boy has to hear that? No…….

        1. Salt Shaker

          Wow, that’s something. Where in MX were you vacationing? Somehow I think it was Tulum or Playa Del Carmen? Been to both areas a few times. (I once spent New Years in Merida, the capital of the Yucatán.) MX is def a bit of the wild west. I would not stay anywhere but in an all inclusive resort. A fair amount of discretion and common sense is a smart way to travel in MX. My wife’s nephew used really poor judgment and ended up in a really bad situation where a couple of guys pulled a gun on him in Zihautenejo. He thought it would be fun to go bar hopping. There are very few safety nets in MX. Too much poverty and lawlessness, mixed in w/ truly wonderful people (as you note).

          1. PhilipSugar

            I was at the Iberostar Tucan so Riviera Maya. We would go fishing north at Coco beach. So between the two is a town with ferry stop for Cozumel.The second time we went through I thought it would be nice to stop just to buy some trinkets for my wife and daughter (we were on a man vacation). I mean there are tons of tourists taking the two ferries, etc.Mind you this is at noon after fishing, at the ferry stop, with a boy in the street. We were not off the beaten path just buying trinkets. It was not a booze soaked dive bar at Midnight. Was not prepared to hear that.The two gates is because there are a ton of resorts, so you go through a main resort gate and then your own hotel gate.I was also stunned to see some guards with body armor (not bullet proof vests, armor) and M4’s

          2. Salt Shaker

            I’ve stayed at the Mayakoba resort maybe 5+ years ago, which is also on the main strip outside of Playa Del Carmen. Things have gotten much worse in that area from what I’ve read. A San Diego lawyer friend of mine is dating a woman who lives in Playa Del Carmen and travels there every other month or so. He feels perfectly safe, perhaps w/ his gf’s guidance. We’re going in Feb to Zihautenejo, in the province of Querrero, which is one of the worst regions in all of MX (mostly limited to Alcapulco). They’ll be 17 family members in our entourage. We won’t leave the resort and the airport is about a 20 minute drive (prob where we’re most vulnerable). Am I concerned? Yes, but we’re all committed and most, including me and my wife, have vacationed there before.

          3. PhilipSugar

            I didn’t feel unsafe. I travel to unsafe places. I would have preferred not having a stretched Suburban just a van. Upon serious reflection I think that the Ferry area is where tons of people from the 6 major cruise ships in Cozumel go to “get wild”. My boy, is 5’10” 200lbs and he shaves, you might not think he is 14. I can tell you I had some amazing fishing, and there were three related boats that went out together, they fish as a team. I’ll shout them out: http://therustyhook.com/ Private boat our two guys: Jovanny and Robert literally felt so bad my son got sick 3 1/2 hours into a 4 hour trip and I called it when I saw him getting green (he got sick on the way back) they didn’t want to take my tip. The owner apologized. We caught tons of fish. I told them there was only one type of person that hasn’t chummed on a deep sea fishing trip…..one who never goes. He only did a mouthful but they rushed to get him Gatorade, they worried, but he was totally fine. We probably should have gotten to bed earlier not eaten at the buffet at 9pm and got something before leaving. He also had Al Pastor which I love and was great, but I guess it didn’t sit.

          4. Salt Shaker

            Ha, I can relate. I’m not good on boats. My company did a half day charter (3 boats) out of Montalk with a prize for the biggest catch. I was green but I nailed the biggest catch of the day. Fortunately, the seas weren’t too rough that day. I avoid boats! Sounds like your son looks older than 14, and maybe that’s why they felt it was okay to approach you both, but obv it isn’t.

          5. PhilipSugar

            He is great on boats we have one, but I’ll give you a hint, if the wind is blowing fast from the stern but you have to fish into the current, you get a station wagon effect the exhaust makes many people sick. Also if the seas are “confused” you get a lot of side to side which is worse than up and down especially if you decide to anchor on a reef because the seas are to rough to troll. You don’t control wind or seas.They called one trip because it was too rough. We went out the day before and I think they thought, well those guys are fine. Hey no problem I loved it so much better that the ride wasn’t far and since they were smaller boats it was rough BUT I could call it since it was private (and cheaper than a “head” boat for us)

          6. PhilipSugar

            Key is private car lined up from hotel. If you end up in First, they can target you really quick as you clear customs first. I prefer non descript. My son said we were flying in the Suburban, and from the time of the ride we must have been. (40min instead of 1hr)

          7. PhilipSugar

            And I told my boy the best he could hope for is that is d..k falls off doesn’t just painfully rot away. And for the drugs best case is that he ends up somewhere in a gutter with no clothes and wallet after passing out, which could happen in the first case too.I mean look I go to Vegas for business a ton. In any tourist town there will supply for the idiots who go nuts demand for those things.Upon further reflection maybe there are some sicko Dad’s who want to show their teenage son (he looks older) what “manhood” is like, we had gotten off a 4 hour rough seas fishing trip so I probably did look somewhat dragged out.

    2. JamesHRH

      Second last sentence explains why people talk to you Phil.

    3. LE

      1) People fear rejection2) Heavy people are less threatening (men and women) therefore they are more likely to be approached.To get all scientific and support my point we could go with a biological basis as to why. If you were a predator (human) early on and you were heavy and I am not two things would be likely:a) You would kill me if you caught me.b) You’d have to catch me. If you were heavy (and I am not) I would feel as if I could outrun or out maneuver you. Hence I would feel less threatened around you.Remember the bear has to catch either you or your friend.

      1. PhilipSugar

        I’d say look at this video of a man that held the world bench pressing title.https://www.youtube.com/wat

  21. Dan Epstein

    Here’s another annual prediction list I enjoy:https://realinvestmentadvic…I also like Byron Wien’s, but it hasn’t been published yet.

    1. Richard

      Shocker, Doug Kass has been a perma bear for a decade.

  22. aminTorres

    A few years ago, you posed your predictions as questions. I remember liking that approach.

  23. Eric

    Public predictions are great, but what would be even better is if the forecaster supplied the probability with which she is making the prediction. The obvious benefit is that it conveys how sure she is in her opinion or her model. The other benefit is that we can later check if she is a well-calibrated forecaster.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      probability is numerical, that is, quantitative. So, need to work with some data.Then for your “how sure”, that is basically looking for confidence intervals which are a special case of hypothesis testing.There are lots of classic tests that ask for a lot of assumptions but also some newer tests that ask for fewer assumptions and often can get some confidence intervals with common data.

      1. Eric

        To check calibration you essentially count the number of times the person forecasted say rain with p=0.60 and of the say 100 forecasts, it should have rained about 60 times. See this for reference: https://www.stat.washington… (no need for confidence intervals, which are usually misunderstood)

  24. iggyfanlo

    Thanks for sharing Arjun’s post. IMHO, the least biased, most thorough post on crypto in a long while

  25. LE

    Here is a guy (Anthony Pratt, ever hear of him?) who is not afraid of voicing his opinion. And he is in business. Private business. Non consumer. His ads I have seen perhaps a dozen times. Maybe more. Full Page in the WSJ. Cost has to be between $50k and $100k per ad depending on where it runs (which editions). Rack rate. I am sure he is paying less.For some reason it wouldn’t surprise me that he is making out very good with business from Amazon who buys a boatload of boxes. Keep in mind that with Amazon more corrugated boxes are being used than previous. Items shipped to stores are not using individual corrugated boxes.Pratt doesn’t come up on any lists of Amazon suppliers but it’s not a public company. Very possible that even if they don’t sell directly to Amazon the rising tide of corrugated usage is driving their success. Items shipped individually use more boxes than picked up at stores. I am overflowing with corrugated at the office.Once again this ad runs a great deal not a one off and it always mentions the President.Here is why:https://www.afr.com/brand/a…Regardless of whether anyone agrees with Pratt you have to be envious of how he doesn’t have to bow down to the press or public opinion like Zuck, Google Guys, Gates and so on. … https://uploads.disquscdn.c

    1. JLM

      .Strong performance. Well played.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  26. Mauricio Macedo

    “SMTP” is a protocol to send a message to anyone on the world using the internet. Maybe “Bitcoin” will be the protocol to send money to anyone. Or “blockchain”. Or “Ethereum”. We don’t know yet.Bitcoin folk found a way to get traction/adoption with price flotations. I don’t know how much of that is natural and how much is manipulation. Anyway, Bitcoin seems to play with some psychological behavior, whereas something is considered more and more valuable until it is not. Maybe our brain isn’t designed to deal with 1000x growth. Like when Bitcoin raised from $0.001 to $1, the next month it declined 50% to $0.5 and when it raised from $1 to $100 it then “crashed” to $5.I think it reaches a point where our brain tell us “this isn’t right, this isn’t so valuable” and then it starts to plummet with mass selling. After a while, comparing the last top price with the now discounted price after a 50%, 70% or even 90% decline, our brain tell us “this look cheap”, and the process resets. Even if the bottom price is higher than the price before the price rally.So Bitcoin:raised from 0.001 to 1, then plummeted 50% to 0.5raised from 1 to 100, then plummeted 95% to 5raised from 5 to 1,000, then plummeted 85% to 150raised from 150 to 18,000, then plummeted 80% to 3,600Eventually it may reach mass adoption, with a billion users and each Bitcoin be priced at $1,000,000. Or plummet to a major death spiral. Its been a wild ride.My prediction it that in late 2019 it’ll reach $2,000 and our brain will tell us that it is very cheap compared to 18,000 and it’ll raise to 200,000 before plummeting again.