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Official BBO Hijacked Thread Thread No, it's not about that

#3721 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-February-21, 08:23

From Texas and California Blackouts: A Song of Ice and Fire by Liam Denning at Bloomberg

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Both emergencies have a lot in common, including a lack of cheap or easy solutions.

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The last thing Texas wants to hear even at the best of times — and these are not those — is that it shares something in common with California.

The causes of the enormous failure of the Texas power system during the long weekend’s arctic blast are, like the grid itself, bound to be complex and wide-ranging. We can expect a volley of jeremiads against wind power, as perhaps half that fleet stopped spinning. But with perhaps more than 30 gigawatts of thermal generating capacity tripping offline, and wind power producing about five gigawatts less than planned, this disaster clearly stretches, as Texas’ grid operator said, “across fuel types.”

That shouldn’t come as a surprise. Texas has been here before. Almost a fifth of the capacity in the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas’ area failed in February 2011, during another unexpectedly ferocious winter snap. Apart from nuclear plants, all types of units went offline. Wind barely figured in the mix then. That was the state’s coldest winter weather since the freeze of Christmas 1989 — which was also the first time in history ERCOT implemented shutoffs to cope. Wind turbines were conspicuous by their utter absence back then.

Yet there is a common theme linking these blackouts over the past 30 years or so: harsh weather in a state unprepared for it.

Ice certainly can play havoc with the blades on wind turbines. It can also play havoc with thermal power plants, freeze coal piles and interrupt gas supplies in all sorts of ways, ranging from freezing gas wells to power shutoffs to compressors and, most of all, diverting fuel away from generating plants to home heating.

It is possible to mitigate these impacts. Winterization packages keep wind turbines running, and heat tracers keep fluid lines and gauges functioning in thermal plants, for example. Gas plants can also pay extra for committed, or “firm,” supply that prioritizes them in a pinch.

Such forms of insurance are found across power systems. Indeed, a well-functioning grid is one large exercise in redundancy. Apart from heating equipment and fuel-supply contracts, we build generating capacity that sits idle for large parts of the year to cushion spikes in demand. We often also have incentives in place to encourage large power users such as factories and office blocks to dim or switch off the lights when supply is tight. And insurance, as always, comes at a premium.

This is why the desire to blame a disaster like the current one on this or that type of power plant is simplistic and distracts from the real issue.

Texas is experiencing what will be called “unprecedented” conditions, as is a large swath of the Midwest, which is also suffering blackouts. Moving further afield, and across time, the same nomenclature was used to describe the polar vortex conditions that hit the PJM grid across the mid-Atlantic states in January 2014. Similarly, California suffered blackouts during a heatwave last August and multiple wildfires in recent years linked to its power grids, especially PG&E Corp.’s in the northern part of the state. These are all, it should be emphasized, very different power systems employing different technologies and market structures.

The disruptions or outright disasters of these events are often characterized as “perfect storms” overwhelming our infrastructure. In Texas’ case, ERCOT had planned for winter peak demand of about 58 gigawatts versus available capacity of almost 83 gigawatts. In an extreme scenario, it expected demand to peak at 67 gigawatts and maybe 14 gigawatts of its spare capacity to be offline. Even then, the grid would in theory just scrape through with a margin of just over a gigawatt.

Clearly, demand spiked higher and outages were much more widespread, leading to a wholesale collapse in power supply. But the inescapable conclusion is that a grid built and operated primarily to meet spiking summer demand to run air conditioning failed in the face of a winter storm.

This isn’t just a question of making sure components on turbines — whether they run on wind or gas — are adequately heated or have the proper antifreeze lubricants or whatever. It extends far beyond that.

After the 2011 freeze, Texas raised its cap on wholesale power prices to entice more generation to be built. Does that figure need to be raised now? Or does Texas need an outright capacity market to be instituted? Should the state rethink its island status and build more interconnections with neighboring grids? Similarly, many Texan homes are built with the idea of shedding heat rather than conserving it. Does that need to change now?

There are no easy answers because each one comes with trade-offs. When I wrote about the implications of the wildfires in northern California for the state’s grid, the question that kept coming up was “who pays for what?” Energy grids, especially the power network, are exercises in socialized costs; the billpayer in that city apartment subsidizes the otherwise uneconomic line running to that farm 200 miles away, for example. That’s the compact that electrified America.

We now face a situation in the form of extreme weather events and natural disasters that will increase in frequency and ferocity due to climate change. This will test our 20th century infrastructure built primarily with the goal — backed by price incentives — of expansion rather than conservation.

California’s wildfires naturally raised questions about undergrounding cables and replacing wooden poles for power lines with steel ones. Those are already complex questions with costly answers. But the ramifications of a changed climate raise even thornier ones. Should we break up or agglomerate grids? Who will insure homes in fire zones? Where should people live in a state with high housing costs and restrictive planning in less fire-prone areas? Should people living in safer areas subsidize the risk of those housed in relative tinderboxes hundreds of miles away?

These are the sorts of questions Texas now faces. Even as the costs of renewable power fall, they require energy storage systems that remain expensive for now and, as this disaster demonstrates, require extra investment in winterization. Thermal generation may be more reliable, but clearly not reliable enough in its current configuration — and, lest we forget, much of it also contributes to the climate change making these unprecedented events all too precedented.

Nuclear power offers an alternative solution, but one that is very costly and high-risk from a capital-markets perspective. Looking further out, having a million electric vehicles with a 70 kilowatt-hour battery in each parked off Texas’ snowy roads could offer a big resource to draw on in an emergency — but only with the right price incentives and technology in place.

When a system fails, whether it be a state-wide power grid or just a bathroom tap that worked yesterday but suddenly doesn’t today, we yearn for the simple fix. That loose screw or one component that, if tightened or replaced, will set everything right again. It’s harder to admit that what we built worked fine for generations but just isn’t made for these times. Increasingly, though, that’s where we are.

It's hard to build reliable, interdependent systems when people in positions of responsibility can't agree on what the greatest threats to reliability are or on the benefits of a more efficient and resilient grid. Managing by train wreck feels like it isn't cutting it.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#3722 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-February-22, 21:28

From Alexandra Alter's review of "The Committed" by Viet Than Nguyen

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https://www.nytimes....pgtype=Homepage

In one of Viet Thanh Nguyen’s earliest memories, he is on a boat leaving Saigon.

It was 1975, and he and his family had been turned away from the airport and the American embassy but eventually got on a barge, then a ship. He can’t remember anything about the escape, other than soldiers on their ship firing at refugees who were approaching in a smaller boat.

It is Nguyen’s only childhood memory from Vietnam, and he isn’t sure if it really happened or if it came from something he read in a history book. To him, whether he personally witnessed the shooting doesn’t matter.

“I have a memory that I can’t rely on, but all the historical information points to the fact that all this stuff happened, if not to us, then to other people,” he said in a video interview earlier this month.

Real or imagined, the image and feeling stayed with him and shaped his new novel, “The Committed,” a sequel to his Pulitzer Prize-winning debut, “The Sympathizer.”

Like “The Sympathizer,” “The Committed,” which Grove Press will publish on March 2, hinges on questions about individual and collective identity and memory, how wars are memorialized, whose war stories get told and what happens when abstract political ideologies are clumsily deployed in the real world. It is packed with gunfights, kidnappings, sex and drugs but delivered in dense prose that refers to obscure scholarly texts and name-checks philosophers like Sartre, Voltaire, de Beauvoir, Fanon and Rousseau.

“The Committed” opens with a scene that feels Homeric, as a group of refugees make a treacherous journey in the belly of a fishing boat. As a refugee — and as someone who often points out that he is a refugee, not an immigrant — Nguyen wanted to use epic imagery to describe the voyage, to counter the stereotype of refugees as pitiful and weak.

“From the perspective of the West and people who are not refugees, boat people — people who flee by the sea — are pathetic. They’re desperate, they’re frightened, and they’re just objects of pity. I wanted to refute that,” he said. “You’ve got to think of them as heroic.”

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In “The Committed,” the narrator — who calls himself Vo Danh, or “Nameless” — has escaped his Communist interrogators. He heads to Paris and joins a gang of drug dealers, the ultimate act of capitalist rebellion. He’s no longer sure who he is or what he believes in. His identity, mission and even his consciousness — he sometimes refers to himself in the second person — have been fractured by displacement, disillusionment and torture.

To the French natives he meets, he is among “les boat-people,” a label he rejects. “I was not a boat person unless the English Pilgrims who fled religious persecution to come to America on the Mayflower were also boat people,” the narrator thinks.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#3723 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-February-23, 08:33

Tyler Cowen said:

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Over the summer of 2020, as coronavirus cases fell and life in Britain felt briefly normal, something very abnormal was happening to the country’s electricity supply. No coal was burned to generate any portion of it for a period of more than two months, something that had not happened since 1882. Britain’s four remaining coal-burning power plants are zombies, all but dead. Within a couple of years they will be closed and Britain will probably never burn coal for electricity again.

The elimination of power stations that burn coal has helped Britain cut its carbon emissions faster than any other rich country since 1990 (see charts). They are down by 44%, according to data collected by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) during a period when the economy grew by two-thirds. Germany’s emissions, in contrast, are down by 29%; coal is still burned to generate some 24% of its electricity. Britain has made cuts to its emissions 1.8 times larger than the EU average since 1990. In America, emissions over the same period are up slightly.

Here is the full article from The Economist. I’ll say it again, whether it is AI, the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine, the speed of the current vaccination program, this switch to greener energy, the reemergence of Oxbridge, the new Dominic Cummings-inspired DARPA-like science funding plan, or London being the world’s best city — current Great Britain remains grossly underrated.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#3724 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2021-February-24, 02:57

View Postkenberg, on 2021-February-18, 08:42, said:


This inner link gives a quick explanation for those of us who have no idea of what this is all about. I read it, now I understand a little. Very little. I did not know what reddit was before reading this. I had never heard of GameStop.



I was getting a little anxious about this thing for a while. I actually vaguely knew what Reddit was but had hardly ever used it. So I joined the group. My anxiety subsided very quickly

The dominant style of post seemed to be along the lines of "tell the whole world what you plan to be buying tomorrow" etc
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#3725 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-March-05, 09:50

Michael Harriot said:

I think I may know why white people are so upset about this Dr. Seuss/cancel culture thing. I was reminded of this story today.

It goes back to the second-most devastating day of my life:

The day I found out the Hardy Boys were white.

A thread

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#3726 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-March-07, 09:12

Tyler Cowen appears to be working on his biography. So far he has posted about his formative years in which he taught chess at age 14 and how to use economics to improve arguments to high school debate teams at age 19. Interesting fellow.

https://marginalrevo...minars-job.html
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#3727 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-March-20, 20:24

Stumbled on this today while reading about Richard Hamming:

With World War II still ongoing, Hamming left Louisville in April 1945 to work on the Manhattan Project at the Los Alamos Laboratory, in Hans Bethe's division, programming the IBM calculating machines that computed the solution to equations provided by the project's physicists. His wife Wanda soon followed, taking a job at Los Alamos as a human computer, working for Bethe and Edward Teller. Hamming later recalled that:

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Shortly before the first field test (you realize that no small scale experiment can be done—either you have a critical mass or you do not), a man asked me to check some arithmetic he had done, and I agreed, thinking to fob it off on some subordinate. When I asked what it was, he said, "It is the probability that the test bomb will ignite the whole atmosphere." I decided I would check it myself! The next day when he came for the answers I remarked to him, "The arithmetic was apparently correct but I do not know about the formulas for the capture cross sections for oxygen and nitrogen—after all, there could be no experiments at the needed energy levels." He replied, like a physicist talking to a mathematician, that he wanted me to check the arithmetic not the physics, and left. I said to myself, "What have you done, Hamming, you are involved in risking all of life that is known in the Universe, and you do not know much of an essential part?" I was pacing up and down the corridor when a friend asked me what was bothering me. I told him. His reply was, "Never mind, Hamming, no one will ever blame you."

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#3728 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-March-20, 22:08

View Posty66, on 2021-March-20, 20:24, said:

Stumbled on this today while reading about Richard Hamming:

With World War II still ongoing, Hamming left Louisville in April 1945 to work on the Manhattan Project at the Los Alamos Laboratory, in Hans Bethe's division, programming the IBM calculating machines that computed the solution to equations provided by the project's physicists. His wife Wanda soon followed, taking a job at Los Alamos as a human computer, working for Bethe and Edward Teller. Hamming later recalled that:




So, does this mean that sometimes, if you lose all hope, you can't find it again?
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#3729 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-March-21, 13:23

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-March-20, 22:08, said:

So, does this mean that sometimes, if you lose all hope, you can't find it again?

I suspect Ford assumed certain boundary conditions apply.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#3730 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2021-March-21, 14:48

View Posty66, on 2021-March-20, 20:24, said:

With World War II still ongoing, Hamming left Louisville in April 1945 to work on the Manhattan Project at the Los Alamos Laboratory, in Hans Bethe's division, programming the IBM calculating machines that computed the solution to equations provided by the project's physicists. His wife Wanda soon followed, taking a job at Los Alamos as a human computer, working for Bethe and Edward Teller.


For a contract bridge angle, Hans Bethe's son, Henry Bethe, was a well known bridge expert in NYC who was an ACBL Grand Life Master.
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#3731 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-March-21, 17:56

View Postjohnu, on 2021-March-21, 14:48, said:

For a contract bridge angle, Hans Bethe's son, Henry Bethe, was a well known bridge expert in NYC who was an ACBL Grand Life Master.

I enjoyed Henry's comments on bridgewinners over the years. I've used his son Paul's lin2pbn.py python program for reading lin files. From the looks of it, he is a very talented programmer.
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#3732 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-March-21, 20:24

View Posty66, on 2021-March-21, 17:56, said:

I enjoyed Henry's comments on bridgewinners over the years. I've used his son Paul's lin2pbn.py python program for reading lin files. From the looks of it, he is a very talented programmer.


Speaking of six degrees of separation - he said hijacking the hijacked thread - I just learned that Anderson Cooper is a descendant of Cornelius Vanderbilt.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#3733 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-March-22, 17:41

Matt Levine at Bloomberg said:

Let’s say that you are on the dark web looking for material nonpublic information about public companies, as one does on the dark web. You encounter a guy. He tells you that his name is “MillionaireMike” and he has a hot tip about a company. “This is from my buddy on the inside,” he tells you. You are intrigued. You arrange a small test trade. It works; things look promising. “Okay,” you say, “I will trade on your inside information, and we’ll split the profits.” MillionaireMike comes to you with a can’t-miss tip. “This is totally 100% illegal inside information,” he assures you. You make the trade. It pays off handsomely. You are rich. You send him his share of the profits (in Bitcoin, because this is the dark web and you are doing crimes). You are a satisfied customer.

Later, the Federal Bureau of Investigation contacts you. “Uh-oh,” you think, because you are sure you have been doing big crimes on the dark web. But what the FBI says surprises you. “We believe you have been the victim of a crime,” they say. “You see,” they explain, “when you thought you were getting illegal material nonpublic information on the dark web, you weren’t. The guy who gave you that information didn’t have a secret illegal source inside the company, and his name wasn’t really MillionaireMike. Instead he was an engineer at SpaceX, and he was doing good fundamental research based on public information, becoming informed enough about companies that he was able to predict their stock-price moves without illegal tips. When he shared his predictions with you, sure, you were getting correct stock predictions that made you rich, but you were nonetheless defrauded, because you were hoping to get illegally rich, and you only got legally rich. You had a right not just to correct stock tips based on good research, but also to real, illegal, material nonpublic information. So we’ve arrested him.”

I don’t know, man. I don’t know. Here is a truly hilarious Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice case against James Roland Jones. From the SEC:

The Securities and Exchange Commission [Thursday] charged James Roland Jones of Redondo Beach, California, with perpetrating a fraudulent scheme to sell what he called “insider tips” on the dark web. The dark web allows users to access the internet anonymously and, as such, has often been used to host websites and marketplaces that support or promote illegal activity. This is the SEC’s first enforcement action involving alleged securities violations on the dark web.

The SEC’s complaint alleges that, in late 2016 and 2017, Jones accessed various dark web marketplaces, including a website claiming to be an insider trading forum, in search of material, nonpublic information to use for his own securities trading. According to the complaint, in order to gain access to the insider trading forum, Jones lied about possessing material, nonpublic information. By doing so, Jones allegedly gained access to the insider trading forum for a short period, but was unsuccessful in obtaining valuable material, nonpublic information. The complaint further alleges that Jones subsequently devised a scheme to sell purported insider tips to others on the dark web. The SEC alleges that, in the spring of 2017, Jones offered and sold on one of the dark web marketplaces various purported “insider tips” that he falsely described as material, nonpublic information from the insider trading forum or corporate insiders. According to the complaint, several users paying in bitcoin purchased these tips and ultimately traded based on the information Jones provided.

The Justice Department press release says “Spacex Engineer Pleads Guilty To Insider Trading.” Did he? He “pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud,” which is in fact the crime you would plead guilty to if you were pleading guilty to insider trading. But that’s because “insider trading” is not its own crime; it is analyzed as a species of securities fraud. This is also a species of securities fraud. But it surely is not insider trading? He … had no … inside information? Like, that is the whole point?

It’s a weird species of securities fraud. Here is how the SEC complaint explains it:

Jones’s false claims were material. The dark web marketplace users found Jones’s misrepresentations significant enough to pay a fixed amount for the tips or to share their trading profits with Jones. A reasonable investor would also consider the fact that the Jones was not actually providing them with MNPI [material nonpublic information] important in deciding whether to invest in the securities that were the subject of Jones’s purported tips.

Yes! A reasonable insider trader would consider it important, in planning his crime, to know whether he was in fact getting material nonpublic information! The SEC sticks up for reasonable insider traders! It is important for the integrity of the market that people who buy inside information on the dark web actually receive their inside information! I don’t know!

I sort of assume that what happened here is that the FBI was trawling the dark web for insider traders, and they found this guy, and they saw him bragging about all his insider trading, and they were like “aha, an insider trader, let’s arrest him,” and they did, and he was like “actually I was making it up, I had no inside information, I’m innocent.” They were momentarily stymied, but they had already filled out all the paperwork; what were they going to do, not arrest him? Then they realized that fake insider trading is just as illegal — is in fact the exact same crime — as real insider trading. It is (so the theory goes) a “scheme to defraud” innocent traders to trade on inside information, and it is certainly a scheme to defraud insider traders to give them fake inside information. The FBI’s work was not wasted. They didn’t even need to change the paperwork.

I am perhaps being too generous to Jones. Sometimes he did what I said at the beginning: He made good stock recommendations based on public research and just pretended that they were based on illegal tips:

For example, in early 2017, Jones made contact with an individual on the dark web marketplace who had expressed interest in Jones’s purported insider information. After an initial feeling-out process, and a small “test” trade, Jones offered the individual a “tip” that paid off handsomely for both Jones and the individual. Jones had researched a publicly-traded clothing company, and believed that the stock would not follow the overall dip in retail sales in early 2017, because of the overwhelming popularity of the company’s products. In March 2017, Jones then lied to the individual about having MNPI related to the company, accessed the individual’s brokerage account (with the individual’s permission), and purchased shares of the company. Jones’s gamble paid off, and he received approximately $20,000 in Bitcoin from the individual for his purported MNPI.

Sometimes he did more obvious fraud though:

In the spring of 2017, Jones listed “insider tips” for sale on one of the dark web marketplaces. Given that Jones did not have access to MNPI, his tips were merely guesses based upon Jones’s own research and speculation. Jones recognized that people would not pay him for his own stock tips, so he falsely described them as MNPI obtained from the ITF and/or corporate insiders.

Jones’s “tips” were typically general predictions that a stock would go up or down, and Jones would sometimes sell tips for the same stock in both directions. In the event his false tips did not pan out, Jones offered to give the next tip for free if the disappointed purchaser would leave a good review for Jones on the dark web site.

He definitely swindled people, but they definitely deserved to be swindled. Or here is this:

In late 2016, Jones came across a wiki-page in one of the dark web marketplaces that listed various website addresses on the dark web, including a website for an insider trading forum (“ITF”). The listing described the ITF as an anonymous forum where participants exchanged MNPI about various publicly-traded companies. The ITF’s subtitle was: “The community for exchanging Insider Information about the (sic) Publicly Traded Companies.”

The ITF rules state that its main goal is to create “a long-term and well-selected community of gentlemen who confidently exchange insider information about publicly-traded companies.” The ITF rules further state that in the U.S. and many other countries insider trading is illegal, and that the security and the anonymity of its members is the highest priority.

To gain access to the ITF, users were required to demonstrate that they possessed MNPI. The ITF’s moderators would determine if the insider information was genuine and, if so, grant access to the forum.

Jones attempted to gain access to the ITF by lying to ITF moderators and members by guessing certain earnings metrics on various issuers before earnings releases. The first few times he guessed, Jones’s predictions were incorrect. After each incorrect guess, Jones created a new email account and tried again. On his third attempt, Jones correctly guessed the upcoming earnings per share for a home building company. Jones misrepresented to ITF’s moderators that his information came from a friend who worked at the company, and the moderators granted Jones access to the ITF.

He pleaded guilty, but if I were him I would have vigorously protested my innocence.[1] “No no no, you’ve got it all wrong,” I’d say. “I am a hero. I infiltrated the dark web insider trading forum to reform it, to turn it into a law-abiding stock picks website. My dream was for the ITF to become a long-term and well-selected community of gentlemen who confidently exchange ideas and due diligence about publicly traded companies to hone their research skills and make money without ever violating the law. I knew that I’d face resistance if I just came in saying that, so I started with a little white lie. But I made the insider trading forum better, in the sense that it did a bit less insider trading after I came along. Where’s the harm in that?”

[1] It goes without saying that this is not legal advice! In general it is not a defense to criminal charges to say “well sure I did a crime, but I only did it to criminals, so that doesn’t count.”

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#3734 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-April-08, 08:04

In U.S. politics, the horror risk right now is not Joe Manchin and his resistance to filibuster reform and workarounds - the true horror would be Joe Manchin switching parties.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#3735 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-April-14, 08:26

What can we learn from cats?

https://www.nytimes....896ed87b2d9c72a
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#3736 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-April-14, 10:52

View Posty66, on 2021-April-14, 08:26, said:

What can we learn from cats?

https://www.nytimes....896ed87b2d9c72a


Quote

Daylight
I must wait for the sunrise
I must think of a new life
And I mustn't give in
When the dawn comes,
tonight will be a memory too
And a new day will begin

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#3737 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-April-14, 19:30

Macavity: The Mystery Cat

by T. S. Eliot

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Macavity’s a Mystery Cat: he’s called the Hidden Paw—
For he’s the master criminal who can defy the Law.
He’s the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad’s despair:
For when they reach the scene of crime—Macavity’s not there!

Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,
He’s broken every human law, he breaks the law of gravity.
His powers of levitation would make a fakir stare,
And when you reach the scene of crime—Macavity’s not there!
You may seek him in the basement, you may look up in the air—
But I tell you once and once again, Macavity’s not there!

Macavity’s a ginger cat, he’s very tall and thin;
You would know him if you saw him, for his eyes are sunken in.
His brow is deeply lined with thought, his head is highly domed;
His coat is dusty from neglect, his whiskers are uncombed.
He sways his head from side to side, with movements like a snake;
And when you think he’s half asleep, he’s always wide awake.

Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,
For he’s a fiend in feline shape, a monster of depravity.
You may meet him in a by-street, you may see him in the square—
But when a crime’s discovered, then Macavity’s not there!

He’s outwardly respectable. (They say he cheats at cards.)
And his footprints are not found in any file of Scotland Yard’s.
And when the larder’s looted, or the jewel-case is rifled,
Or when the milk is missing, or another Peke’s been stifled,
Or the greenhouse glass is broken, and the trellis past repair—
Ay, there’s the wonder of the thing! Macavity’s not there!

And when the Foreign Office find a Treaty’s gone astray,
Or the Admiralty lose some plans and drawings by the way,
There may be a scrap of paper in the hall or on the stair—
But it’s useless to investigate—Macavity’s not there!
And when the loss has been disclosed, the Secret Service say:
‘It must have been Macavity!’—but he’s a mile away.
You’ll be sure to find him resting, or a-licking of his thumbs;
Or engaged in doing complicated long division sums.

Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,
There never was a Cat of such deceitfulness and suavity.
He always has an alibi, and one or two to spare:
At whatever time the deed took place—MACAVITY WASN’T THERE!
And they say that all the Cats whose wicked deeds are widely known
(I might mention Mungojerrie, I might mention Griddlebone)
Are nothing more than agents for the Cat who all the time
Just controls their operations: the Napoleon of Crime!

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#3738 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2021-April-20, 07:03

A friend recently stated on our classmates WhatsApp group that his son is more intelligent (IQ) than three other kids combined.

Another person retorted that --- assuming the other 3 kids have at least average IQ --- it is impossible for 'boy-wonder' to have a 300+ IQ i.e. my friend's remarks are full of hot air. To which my friend (who I have known to be very intelligent) responded "LOL, you don't ADD IQs, you only ADD standard deviations". Apparently his son has an IQ of 149 (more than 3 SD above average). So he set about convincing others that he won the argument.

Does that sound right to you all? Please opine :)

PS: I post out of curiosity; I was not the one who challenged the friend's assertions or subsequent logic.
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#3739 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2021-April-20, 08:22

View Postshyams, on 2021-April-20, 07:03, said:

Does that sound right to you all? Please opine :)

He is right but he is also wrong. It is correct that it is wrong to say that someone with an IQ of 150 is twice as intelligent as a person of 75 IQ but he is wrong about the standard deviations. IQ uses an ordinal scale based on an assumed underlying normal distribution. In particular, the mean is set to 100 and the standard deviation to 15. There are a number of reasons why a concept such as "twice as intelligent" just does not make much sense. IQ encompasses a range of factors and has correlations with many different areas of life. The exact relationship varies and there are always many other factors involved so that IQ alone is often of questionable value. But quite aside from that, mathematically it only makes sense to say that A is twice B if they are measured on a zeroed scale. Since IQ is not such a scale, you simply cannot use it as the basis for such a statement. What you can do, and what is often done, is to convert the IQ to a percentage and say that the person is in the top (bottom) X percentile of the population. This arguably sound more impressive too - 149 is in the top 0.1% while average (100) is obviously the 50th percentile. Most of all though, he should stop being an elitist jerk and understand that a high IQ is not automatically a plus and is associated with such matters as a low attention span, struggling in academic areas that do no interest the person and class disruption. Bottom line: if you bring your child up badly, the chances are that they will not be successful as an adult whatever their raw IQ score.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#3740 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-April-20, 14:37

View PostZelandakh, on 2021-April-20, 08:22, said:

...
Bottom line: if you bring your child up badly, the chances are that they will not be successful as an adult whatever their raw IQ score.


If that's the "bottom line", then I'm sorry to hear about your upbringing.

If you would be kind enough to explain the difference between a good and bad upbringing - a problem that has baffled parents for centuries - I'm sure we'll all be interested.


When Alfred Binet introduced the IQ test, it had only one purpose - to assess the likelihood of success in high school.
If you equate the likelihood of success in High School with intelligence, then, well, you are 3 times less intelligent than the person you are talking to.


As illustrated in this example, IQ testing provides the opportunity for children to engage in pointless competitions about "intelligence" at a time in their lives when many of them are terribly concerned about how clever they are and their place in the world.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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