It's like Mardi Gras meets the bombing of Dresden...
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Cogito Ergo Sum
Ok, I promised something interesting so hopefully this will count.

A number of recent posts among us (we should come up with some sort of cool name for our group) have dealt with either philosophy, religion, or evolution. I'm going to attempt to combine the three by posing a question I don't have a good answer for. First, I'm going to make a couple of assumptions and then ask my question.

#1) The evolutionary model is largely correct, i.e. at one point in time modern man existed as pre-modern (Neanderthal and the like).

#2) Language limits thinking in regards to the abstract, i.e. humanity as a whole cannot conceptualize something that cannot be expressed or experienced.

#3) God exists, it was not necessary for Man to invent him.

A little background on where this comes from and then the question. I've been reading Kant and the Platypus: Essays on Language and Cognition by Umberto Eco, CBA (certified bad-ass). The first essay, On Being, concerns itself with Eco's assorted thoughts on being. Section 1:4, How We Talk About Being starts off like this-
"Being is even before it is talked about. But we can take it from irrepressible evidence and transform it into a problem (which awaits an answer) only insofar as we can talk about it. The first opening to being is a sort of ecstatic experience, albeit in the most materialistic sense of the term, but as long as we remain in this initial, mute evidence, being is not a philosophical problem, and more than water is a philosophical problem for fish. The moment we talk about being, we are still not talking about it in its all-embracing form, because, as we have said, the problem of being (the most immediate and natural of experiences) is the least natural of our problem, the one that common sense never poses: we being to grope our way through being by carving entities out of it and gradually constructing ourselves a world."
Based on the assumptions stipulated above- it would seem to me that for most of history humanity has been fundamentally unable to reconcile itself with God. Man possessed neither the cognitive capacity to recognize revelation from God, nor the ability to question the purpose of existence or recognize the inherent weirdness of existence, which to me appears to be an elemental step on the path to discovering God.

Would this imply that there is a specific point in human history where God suddenly became accessible? Is there some kind of evolutionary "age of accountability" for mankind, where God extended a grace period until his redemption became necessary? Could this be heading towards an arbitrary when did humans become fully human defintion a la the abortion debate? I wish I could wrap this up neatly and succinctly but I can't- plus I'm willing to leave it deliberately open to see where it goes...

If you don't feel you have anything to say on the topic, you could go ahead and leave a sweet name for our group!
I'm Sorry
This is the first and last time I will ever post something from an IM conversation- but it's totally sweet. This girl was talking to me about some guy she knows and apparently I made fun of him. She pasted what I said over to him, and he checked my profile and ended up reading my blog.

CaramelAppl17: he happened to find out and got pissed...of sorts, and read your blog, etc and was like, that guy would be really cool if he wasn't such an asshole

That's totally accurate- I would be really cool if I wasn't such an asshole.

Anyway, I'm going to go read some more Kant and the Platypus- so hopefully soon I'll post something interesting instead of the recent crap I've been throwing up.
Monday, November 28, 2005
The Downfall of Christian Art
First, I'd like to thanks Hans-Georg for sending me the link that inspired this post.

An art critic I'm not, but I think you'll see what I'm getting at. We'll start with Christian art in the Dark Ages-

I'd hang this in my living room...

a hundred years later-


A few years later-

Still sweet...
... now fifty years later-

Good, but does Jesus need to rub his nipple over a nice meal of sheep head?

17th century-
A bit less ridiculous, but it lacks vitality...

19th Century-

Looks like Nikolay Gay forgot half the disciples here...

then in the last hundred years, everything falls apart-

Get off Jesus! Make yourself a dang quesadilla!

One Jesus painting, hold the quality...

Ok, I'll stop pretending to know something about art and just show you some of the stupid pictures Hans sent me (see the rest here)-
"I'm all out of Jesus power, we'll have to put him down."
Not even Jesus is immune to the down syndrome pandemic...

Want more Christian stupidity? Check out ULTIMATE CHRISTIAN WRESTLING! I recommend checking out the Ultimate Talent and the Ultimate Prayer Board!
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Apple Martinis
Since I'm leaving in a month to go home for Christmas and then back to school, one of our cooler members took Carolyn (a co-worker) and I out to dinner last night. The restaurant du jour was the Bonefish Grill, which is a lot like Lenin's Sexual Utopia, only real.

Waiter! Excuse me, but can I have some more red squiggle?

Besides making disparaging comments about the proletariat between mouthfuls of shrimp and Ahi Tuna Sashimi (which is actually the bottom plate in the picture) , we took the time to run up a three hundred dollar tab, which included 23+ martinis (they gave us a few free ones), four beers, and numerous shots of Patron. A short list of the martinis I can remember:

Sour Apple
Key Lime
Insomniac (I think it contained gasoline and Redbull, only without the Redbull)
Lemon Drop
and a tequila one, which kicked me in the face, and then the stomach, and I'm assuming later today, the colon.

Sensing that somebody would have to drive, I cut out about halfway through to sober up a bit. This turned out to be a better decision than crossing the Rubicon, the Louisiana Purchase, and evacuating before Katrina- combined. Rather than argue about stopping, I pulled the "Holy crap! Is that (insert name)?" and then dumped my drink into theirs before quaffing (yes, quaffing) the last little bit. This worked for an hour and a half, if you need an overall indicator of the level of inebriation at our table. We finally paid our tab and left, and Carolyn and I had to carry our host out to my truck. To make matters worse, I don't know where he lives or how to get there.

Finally, after about an hour of driving around in circles on worthless directions and stopping every few minutes for some pukage, I just drive back to my house and let him pass out on our couch. He sleeps for about an hour and sobers up enough to give me directions back to his house (finally!). We pull up to his garage-

"Harry, are you sure this is the right one?"
"Yeah, listen, as soon as I get out you gotta drive as fast as you can away, my wife is going to fucking kill me."

He opens the door, steps out, and just collapses in the yard. I have to half carry him up to the door before I jump back in my truck, and take off to go home and sleep before being back at work at seven this morning.

Anyway, I still think my last post is totally sweet.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Dances of Hysteron Proteron
It's Thanksgiving, which has the possibility to be totally sweet except for the fact I have to work a double shift. Why the hell does a golf course need to be open on Thanksgiving anyway? We're about the most non-essential business in America, period.

Anyway, I'm spending this 12 hours re-reading Foucault's Pendulum, wikipedia-ing the esoterica and dictionary-ing the words I don't know. Tedious-yes. Enjoyable-yes. It's almost a requirement though, how else am I to understand this sentence?
"To each memorable image you attach a thought, a label, a category, a piece of the cosmic funiture, syllogisms, an enormous sorites, chains of apothegms, strings of hypallages, rosters of zeugmas, dances of hysteron proteron, apophatic logoi, hierarchic stoichea, processions of equinoxes and parallaxes, heraria, genealogies of gymnosophists- and so on, to infinity."
Ok, I still skipped over that one, because knowing what constitutes a sorites argument has nothing to do with the story and even less to do with life. However, the gymnosophists were totally sweet because seriously, the only thing cooler than asceticism is doing it naked.

Anyway, I was hanging out with my dog last night and watching The Incredibles on Cinemax when I started wondering if Dash can think proportionally fast to his footspeed. I'm assuming he can, because running a thousand miles an hour is a crappy superpower if you can no longer dodge trees once you hit 50 mph. Now that I've proved that, would I be wrong in assuming that time would feel quite a bit slower to him?

I'd flesh that out a bit more, but everyone who reads this blog regularly is intelligent enough to follow the jump I just took. Basically, I'm attempting to prove that it is unfair to punish Dash for placing tacks on the teacher's chair. I'm taking this way farther than any sane person would, because I'm bored and this idea has reached critical mass in my head.

First, let's try to establish a base speed for Dash. The teacher was unable to identify Dash's movement on the video and I'm assuming the video was shooting at 32 FPS. Thus, Dash accomplished the task in 1/32 of a second or less to escape detection. For the purpose of this argument, I'll say it took him 1/40 of a second. He sits in the back of the class, so I'm putting the round trip distance at fifty feet. Assuming acceleration is negligible-
50*40*60*60/5280=1,363 MPH
The fastest humans, Michael Johnson and Donovan Bailey, can reach speeds of 27 mph. Dash, by comparison, is fifty times faster. If my earlier assumptions holds true (that faster reaction time creates an apparent slowness of time and that Dash can think as fast as he can run) Dash can accomplish in a single lifetime what an average person can do in fifty, or conversely, time moves at 1/50 the speed for Dash. This would easily explain Dash's frustration at school, as a boring class period that takes one hour for me, would take over 2 days in Dash time.

What I can't figure out, is how no one in the class notices the sonic boom created by Dash while placing the tacks...
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
InFocus (INFS) rose $0.28 (8.81%) today. I own 1500 shares. Mmmm... it must be the end of the year when everybody jumps on a stock as crappy as this...
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
$5 Gas is Good for America
A great article on more expensive gas can be found here. It follows along the lines of some things I've been saying for a while, only it's way more eloquent and substantiated. Just kidding, but seriously, it's like something I'd write if I cared enough to research things before posting them on my blog, where they get at least one pity comment, while posts about nothing get tons.

... also, I just read somewhere that Celine Dion was one of the Sony artists with the rootkit on the cd's- it is my personal opinion that if you buy a Celine Dion cd, you deserve to have your computer and ears, hacked and hacked off, respectively.

Am I the only person who thinks this looks like the Jewish Stalin?
Monday, November 21, 2005
Bigger and Better
Since there is nothing to do on a rainy Monday, I spent an hour trying to top Redhurt and J. Morgan. I succeeded, but it seriously took me like forty minutes.


What's left of the famous cherry brandy...

Article Sampling
Lots of good articles around today-

Mackubin Thomas Owens rips Jack Murtha to shreds on Iraq here- Our school system must be failing when Al-Queda has a better grasp on US military history than US Senators...

Mark Steyn on French unrest- "No need to worry about his getting any wacky ideas down at the madrassah, he's an impeccably secular pluralist Peugeot-torcher." He sounds like Charles...

and finally something good to come out of Canada- an article on music copyright protection.
"It's backwards thinking. It's protectionism," said Terri McBride, president of Vancouver-based Nettwerk, whose roster includes the Be Good Tanyas (who?). "The average consumer who's not tech-savvy is going to buy the CD, thinking that they can load it onto their IPod . . . They're going to be royally pissed off." He added: "Why do you want to piss off the people who buy?"
Apparently, that logic is just way too obvious for major US music execs- "Hmmm... people who don't buy cd's download our music, so let's make our music a giant pain in the ass for the people who do buy them! Brilliant!"

Want more sales? Instead of spending a billion dollars promoting pop culture crap like Gwen Stefani or the ugly Simpson sister, find a new Dispatch...

Speaking of music, do you think I can buy this t-shirt without jeopardizing my soul?

Tenacious D rocks!
Friday, November 18, 2005
I have Confidence in Sunshine!
A couple of random work stories-

1) There is a Jamaican janitor here at work whose name is- I'm not kidding- Rohan, spelled R-O-H-A-N. Seriously. He's a cool guy, but everytime I see him I can't help saying things like "Fool! I can be killed by no man", "Ride for ruin and the world's ending", and my personal favorite, yelling "Riders of the Mark!" I think he thought I was just weird at first, but now I think he hates me. Oh well, I'll be gone before I run out of Theoden quotes...

2) I've been extremely bored, and started playing Motherload again. It is quite possible, the longest flash game I've ever seen. It's taken me half the week, playing a good three hours a day (you can save) and I finally got to the end where you end up battling Satan. At this point, the game no longer lets you pause- so of course I get three phone calls and a line of people in the shop right when I get there. Since I couldn't play and couldn't stop it, I died, and I hadn't saved in a while and I'm not going to do it again. I'm so pissed.

3) I won't go into detail here, but every single stereotype regarding the sexual prowess of Latinas (why Latin America? I don't remember the Romans landing there...) is 100% completely, verifiably true. Even the ones who aren't really hot enough to ever date, but are way hot enough to hook up with when you've been drinking a few beers after [most] everyone else leaves work on the bar and a couple tables, which is what I've been doing. If you are worried about this affecting my job security, the first person I told was my boss (whom I live with) and he gave me a high five and said, "I knew that girl was a freak." Boo-yah!

4) It's Friday, and most likely no one will read this until Monday, so I'm not going to waste my time a substantial post that will be largely ignored.

5) A quick poll, which would you rather go watch?


It appears the Redness has already voted...
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
How to Argue with J. Morgan
For anyone who may have stumbled across the threads discussing modernity and the dissolution of the West, it is quite possible they might have witnessed the incredible intellect of J. Morgan, disagreed with one of his points, and found themselves at a complete loss for how to respond. If this is you, I've put together a quick guide for arguing points that you may not even understand...

Tools: A computer
Websites: Wikipedia, Google

1) Read J. Morgan's latest comment
2) Find a word you've never heard before that sounds philosophical
3) Search for word on Wikipedia
4) Write sentence using said word, click on link to another esoteric word
5) Tie sentences with both words together
6) Repeat
7) When in doubt, Google "postmodern quotes" , quote liberally from the most obscure (Not recommended for beginners)
8) If all else fails, name drop.

Example: I'll start with the word "modernity"- [First sentence] Are people cognizant of modernity's effect on their lives? [Quote] "One can only 'know' it within the socially constructed (or species-constructed) 'mediative-habits' of one's particular society/species/whatever. (Taborsky)" According to Taborsky, apparently not. Regardless of the effects of globalization [Wikipedia link], I think we all know what the pragmaticists [Wikipedia] were really after. And I for one side with St. Francis of Asissi [namedrop], in completely rejecting the views of the Platonists [wikipedia] and their influence on urbanization [wikipedia].

*Warning* This post is satirical in nature, attempting to argue with J. Morgan in real life is dangerous.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Poetry and Scotch Begins
Look, I know RJ posted a Batman Begins thread a long time ago, but I don't even care. I watched it last night, and I haven't done a movie post in a while, and goddam it, its my blog, and seeing how this is the first post under the new name- I'll title it accordingly.

I'll preface this by saying that earlier Batman movies have been about as enjoyable as a coffee enema, and only the fact that Christian Bale was starring allowed me to offset my trepidation enough to start watching the movie in a perfectly neutral, objective state. That state lasted about five minutes until I got so excited that I kicked my roommate's dog in the face, and being about 150 pounds heavier, knocked him clear across the room.

I'll first go through a couple of problems I had with the movie, and then move on to the good.
Bad things:
  • Katie Holmes- I got the feeling during the entire movie that she was thinking, "Man, I hate being the token helpless female. I wish I could have a cool role where I actually got to do something instead of sitting around here trying to make my nipples stick out through my shirt. I'm so pissed off I could marry a cultist midget..."
  • Batman's ability to summon bats- What is this Aquaman? C'mon, this would only work if Batman is somehow half-vampire.
  • A complete lack of completely arbitrary, gratuitous female nudity.
That finished, I'll move on to the redeeming aspects of the movie.
  • Christian Bale- is the coolest person alive. Personally, I think Christian Bale is fast approaching Brad Pitt (plus you can throw in a Slyvester Stallone style lisp) status where even really, really gay movies seem enjoyable because you just can't bring yourself to hate them. (One notable exception- Little Women/A Midsummer Night's Dream is Christian Bale's Thelma and Louise- an exquisitely horrible movie in his past that he can never really shake, the real actor's version of doing a gay porn to get a start in the business.) Christian Bale has also managed to build an entire career without mastering an acting staple- emotion. American Psycho, Equilibrium, Batman Begins,- he's turned a handicap into an asset, I respect that. He is by far the best Batman since Adam West, and a whole lot more intimidating in the Batsuit.
  • Ninjas- Batman Begins features the coolest ninjas since the Footclan, even featuring the awesome Shredder style armbands, without seeming the least bit cartoony or gay. The ninjas Batman fights before the climactic ending with Liam Nelson were so sweet that I may even have been visibly aroused, but I forgot to look since I was too busy watching the movie.
  • Dialogue- While not stellar by any stretch, for the most part it avoided a lot of the typical Hollywood cliches and didn't feel the need to whore itself out for a cheap laugh. Basically, the movie didn't sabatoge itself, which sometimes is all you can ask for.
  • Scarecrow- Great villian, and one without a lot of "it's been done" baggage. No comparing him to Danny Devito, Aahnold, or Jim Carey. Plus, the mask and fear animation was sweet.
I can't wait for the sequel to come out in 2008, I'm just hoping it doesn't have a "Holy rusted metal, Batman!" gay-ass Robin, unless they actually treat him as an object of derision, in which case the role should be filled by the Bono, who will demand the script be rewritten so that his glasses will be the source of his ambiguously gay power.

One last thing, every character played by Morgan Freeman should be named "Morgan Freeman." Seriously, they're all the same, everyone knows it's Morgan Freeman, and you could blend a whole bunch of non-related titles in one sweet package combined under the generic Morgan Freeman character in one swift move of marketing genius. I mean, who wouldn't buy the Batman Begins, Bone Collecter, Bruce Almighty, Amistad collecter pack with bonus special edition Shawshank Redemption?

A Morgan Freeman value pack? Brilliant!
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Poetry and Scotch- The Vision
Basically, this is what the Redhurt has suggested. I like it.

"so, for your template, I'm thinking of a picture of an old fashioned with scotch in it, obviously, and either a book or a piece of paper with some stuff written on it. Maybe do the whole thing in black and white with only the scotch in color....maybe the writing on the poem is written in some color red..for blood...because you've written it in your own blood...your passion.....the blood of the martyrs.....and then the scotch turns into blood too..because it's the life you're drinking back into you, despite their curses and tears....and the endless years....and you write out your pain in poetry and drink the blood back in through the pleasure of scotch and then you become some sort of weird poetry writing vampire who drinks his own blood once it's fermented into the alcohol you need to put fire in your veins and hair on your vampire chest.
And also maybe we'll have a black and white picture of walt whitman."
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Poetry and Scotch
I'm pretty sure I'm going to rename my blog, and move it to a different address and make it even sweeter than it already is. Redhurt has signed on to help with the technical aspect, and the new format will rock your face harder than my post on Diversification. I had the name narrowed down to Lenin's Sexual Utopia and Poetry and Scotch, and Poetry and Scotch got the nod- unless everyone thinks it is a retarded name and tells me in the comments on this post, in which case the name will still be Poetry and Scotch and you just won't be linked. Just kidding, I'll still link to you.

Anyway, I have a new hobby. A lot of salesman call the shop asking to be connected to the person in charge of purchasing, and since we are unilaterally opposed to getting any new merchandise (we can't sell the shit we've got) I tell them that it's me. After they make their pitch (I'm this bored at work) I try to fanagle some free product for myself as a demo "to see what the members think of it." I've so far been unsuccessful in scoring anything of worth, but I've gotten a hat and have a three-pack of socks coming my way, MSRP $30. They better be some kickass socks, well not really, because I'm not going to order any even if they can wipe my ass for me.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Windfall Profits and Braindead Senators
What happens when liberal idiocy filters down to the masses (or up, I am unsure of where such idiocy starts)? Spineless Republican senators look to sell their souls for a few votes and some positive media coverage. Seeing that Exxon-Mobile posted a record profit, politicians now want a "probe" into the oil industry to determine why oil companies make more money when the price of oil jumps. Bill Frist, if you are reading this take notes- I'm giving you the economics background you missed in med school.

As Rich Lowry says,
"This shouldn'’t be a mystery for anyone with a high-school-level knowledge of economics, but that exalted category apparently doesn'’t include much of the Democratic caucus nor Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, all of whom favor a probe. The twin villains of the oil-profits story are easy to identify: One is called "supply,"” and the other "“demand.""
I've expressed my distaste for such economic incompetence in an earlier post, but the idea of taxing a "windfall profit" should make every person involved in some sort of business uneasy. To start with, "windfall profits" are very difficult to define. It requires an arbitrary definition established by the government as to the exact level of profitability a company can achieve before it is deemed to be exploitive. (J. Morgan- read "exploitive to a degree beyond that of normal, socially acceptable, corporate exploitation" or "exploitive squared").

Furthermore, windfall profits are short term in nature, generally occuring once. Windfall profits occur when the price of a product (most likely a commodity) is bid up rapidly in the market, allowing a company to charge substantially more for a product bought earlier at a cheaper price. Basically, Oil Company A filled their inventories with oil at $60 a barrel. Traders, seeing a category 5 heading for 25% of US production, rightly expected a drop in supply tomorrow, and started buying up oil futures today, driving the price up over $70 a barrel. Oil Company A then sold their previously bought oil at a price reflecting the expected cost of refilling their inventories- $70 a barrel. In order to refill their inventories, the oil companies must now pay this higher cost per barrel (eating up their profits), unless the price falls back to its original level. In this case, oil did drop back once the supply issue was resolved, allowing the companies to pocket some extra cash. Investigating this now, after the issue has been resolved in the market, is like evacuating poor people from New Orleans two weeks after Katrina rolled through.

However, windfall profits are not the only thing that can happen. Windfall losses also exist. For example, if vast oil reserves were found in, let's say in BFE tomorrow, the glut of supply would drive cost down on the futures market causing oil companies to sell existing inventories at a loss. It's a two way street. As Herb, an economist from Rider College says,
"Windfall profit just happens to mean you're in the right place when the demand shifts and you can have windfall losses in the same way. You're in the wrong place when the demand curve shifts. "
It's strange, I don't remember any goverment pushes to help out the oil industry when gas dropped to $10 a barrel back in 1998...

Finally, the idea of taxing profits to help the poor makes as much sense as George Takei showing up at a meeting of the Aryan Nations. (Besides being Asian, he's openly gay now, if you missed that joke.)

"Beam me up... the butt"

I know politicians don't understand this, but CORPORATIONS DON'T PAY TAXES! The price of the tax is reflected in the price of the product or service, so applying extra taxes to gas will just drive the price up higher, hurting poor people more. Just look at the plethora of gas taxes now, who do they disproportionately penalize? You guessed it, the poor. Besides, taxing the rich doesn't make poor people any less poor. Anyone remember the luxury tax on yachts? The way to achieve social equity shouldn't be to make the rich poorer, it should be to make the poor wealthier. The entire concept is just wrong. Freakin' Idiots!

If they want more money to give to poor people, how about we start reducing the subsidies to farmers to grow crops that we don't want? Besides freeing up tons of cash, it would greatly improve our standing in Latin America...
Thursday, November 03, 2005
On Diversification
Get your helmets, because I'm about to rock your face off. Unless you believe in the efficient market hypothesis, in which case you should quit reading and try to find a high paying job, because you won't make it in the market. (For the record, anything quoted will be from Warren Buffett or Benjamin Graham, I see no need for diversification of sources.)

It is next to impossible to watch or read any investment advice aimed at the mass market that doesn't include meaningless buzzwords, specifically, the word diversification. Diversification is meant to be the logical extension of the old adage, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket." This makes sense, provided you know nothing about the market and are trying to do nothing other than match the averages of the major indices over the years.
"A situation requiring wide diversification occurs when an investor who does not understand the economics of specific businesses nevertheless believes it in his interest to be a long-term owner of American industry. That investor should own a large number of equities and space out his purchases. By periodically investing in an index fund, for example, the know-nothing investor can actually outperform most investment professionals. Paradoxically, when 'dumb' money acknowledges its limitations, it ceases to be dumb."
However, if you were trying to pick an investment firm (for the reason that you think they should be able to beat the market consistently, because any idiot can buy an ETF or mutual fund of the market on his own) the more diversification they push, the harder it will be for them to provide a rate of return that differs significantly from the market averages. If you are perfectly diversified (owning everything) then your return will match the market exactly- I do not want this.

Most people rely on diversification because it seems safe, or less risky. However, I say that risk is relative, and is directly related to skill, knowledge, and experience. Since I love market/poker parallels (read this for an explanation the zero-sum nature of both), I'll draw on that. In the movie Rounders, Mike McDermott (Matt Damon) narrates the comment, "there is no risk in this room" while walking into a game. This doesn't mean that the game isn't inherently risky, it means that he is so much better than the other players that his chances of losing over the long run is negated. This is the same in the market, the market is incredibly risky for Johnny Speculator coming off his efficient market hypothesis education at Podunk community college, a bit less so for me, and much, MUCH less for Warren Buffett. So logically, if beating the market averages consistently is your goal, less and less diversification is needed to maintain a margin of safety as your ability (the sum of skill, knowledge, and experience) increases.
"If you are a know-something investor, able to understand business economics and to find five to ten sensibly-priced companies that possess important long-term competitive advantages, conventional diversification makes no sense to you. It is apt simply to hurt your results and increase your risk. I cannot understand why an investor of that sort elects to put money into a business that is his 20th favorite rather than simply adding the money to his top choices- the business he understands best and that present the least risk, along with the greatest profit potential. In the words of Mae West: "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful."
Now for some real life application- over the past six weeks, all the major indices have suffered significant erosion of value until recently, when they have rallied back to near previous levels. A perfectly diversified investor would have experienced significant unrealized losses while eventually breaking close to even , while a non-diversified, "intelligent investor" has the possibility to beat the market averages. Fortunately, I am one of the latter. My limited portfolio (containing two stocks) returned around $600 on a $7200 investment, or roughly 8.3%- I rock.

Future posts will include an explanation of why the stocks I own are less risky than average, and an adequate definition of value investing (as opposed to price speculating, which is what a majority of "investors" do). Questions?
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
On Cursive
I think it is time for cursive handwriting to go the way of the dodo, Romance languages, chivalry, biplanes, and 1970's pubic hair. However great it was back in 1495 AD when Aldus Manutius grew tired of simple block printing that everyone could read, and decided to hamper the efforts of newly literary peasants, it is of no use to anyone any longer. Anything long enough to tire your hand of writing is now typed, and everything shorter requires printing for clarification (application forms, bank deposit slips, etc...) so let's let it die already! I remember back in elementary school when every year my teacher would say, "when you get to sixth grade/junior high/high school/college everything will have to be in cursive" and it NEVER happened.

If you are wondering what motivated this post, I was just faxed a list of 128 player names for a tournament here tomorrow in cursive, and it is about as readable as the birthday cards I get from my grandma every year... so I hope half the field doesn't mind having their name spelled wrong on the alpha list, pairings sheet, scorecards, and scoreboard...

I also found this over at National Review on the Alito nomination... remember, I said it here first! Also, Katharine Harris is going to be out at my golf course doing a radio interview on Friday, anyone remember hanging and pregnant chads?