You Don’t Have to Dance Every Dance

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  1. Brilliant as usual!
    I have perhaps a silly analogy to golf. Any pin has four quadrants locally: uphill R to L, uphill L to R, downhill R to L, and downhill L to R. Every R-handed golfer knows that the Favored Quadrant is the first one and least favored is the last. Most attribute the difference to visual factors. Well maybe - but the better explanation (Pelz) is that both errors (push or pull) work in your favor in the Favored Quadrant and against you in the opposite. And yet I can tell you that in ten years of weekend caddying, not one loop ever asked me where to leave an approach putt or chip when out-of range. The Favored Quadrant optimizes a one putt chance but has no chance of sinking the out-of range preliminary , whereas an attempt to sink a low odds preliminary puts a 3-putt right up there. (Eventually, I expect Bryson deChambeau to putt from both sides to optimize both uphill quadrants.) Seems like Game Theory somehow! Cheers!! DrJohn

  2. China reality: US will win the short term trade war…its ECON 101. Long term, they will loose, because they are forcing China exponentially to become more self-sufficient and overtake the United States as the premier economic power. This is more than just economics this is about nation states, and future soft/hard power. Trump nation is the showpiece of an empire rotten and going down hill…2020 will be much worse!

    “AlphaZero’s ability to master three different complex games – and potentially any perfect information game – is an important step towards overcoming this problem. It demonstrates that a single algorithm can learn how to discover new knowledge in a range of settings. And, while it is still early days, AlphaZero’s creative insights coupled with the encouraging results we see in other projects such as AlphaFold, give us confidence in our mission to create general purpose learning systems that will one day help us find novel solutions to some of the most important and complex scientific problems.”

    "Its downside is that it’s a static world. It doesn’t have any vision of the future because the way it works is by constantly monitoring what you did yesterday and the day before, and the day before that. And monitoring what I did yesterday and the day before and the day before that and doing the same to billions of other people. And then looking at patterns and then saying: “If you liked that, you’ll like this”.

    “They’re constantly playing back to you the ghosts of your own behaviour. We live in a modern ghost story. We are haunted by our past behaviour played back to us through the machines in its comparison to millions of other people’s behaviour. We are guided and nudged and shaped by that. It’s benign in a way and it’s an alternative to the old kind of politics. But it locks us into a static world because it’s always looking to the past. It can never imagine something new. It can’t imagine a future that hasn’t already existed. And it’s led to a sense of atrophy and repetition. It’s “Groundhog Day”. And because it doesn’t allow mass politics to challenge power, it has allowed corruption to carry on without it really being challenged properly.”

    “Progress will require changes to existing institutions, creation of new institutions, and consonant changes in norms for both institutions and individuals. For example, there is clearly a need for greater world governance, but we have no non-utopian conception of the conditions of legitimacy for a strong international authority. In view of the plain facts about our world, global legitimacy can’t be designed by analogy with the conditions of democratic legitimacy for the nation-state. There is an upper bound to the divergence of interests, values, language, and culture that can be contained within a legitimate democratic polity. Yet eventually a new structure may emerge, through contingent historical developments, which will be governed by norms that could not have been recognized in its absence, but that become accessible to people who live in the world so structured.”

    “What we have is a growing gap between where power lies and where the institutions that seek to hold it accountable to the people operate. Such institutions are incapable of allowing democratically elected leaders to deliver their campaign promises. This is what is ultimately triggering social tensions and undermining trust in our democracies. We need our institutions to interpret these tensions as red flags and a call for a new social contract. And we need institutions to react now. This situation goes far beyond the debate around digitalization. Yet the online space is our future, and is therefore where this gap is most visible and urgent. If our current institutions of government fail to ensure the ongoing technological revolution puts people first, these institutions will sooner or later be rendered irrelevant.”

    You think about the above memes…stand bye! Ben Hunt and Rusty Guinn are on to something!

    My perspective is from a 29 year Special Operations veteran who knows reality…the only easy day was yesterday!

  3. Avatar for ianfvr ianfvr says:

    The trade war is theatre for Trump and Xi and not winnable, there’s nothing to win at… if we really wanted to play this game, we would know that China doesn’t flinch at big, open, organized challenges and games of chicken; their greatest asset is not the AI development or the “Control” or the Party or the Army or “Good ‘long-term’ thinking and planning” or anything like that; it’s their people - if needed, their people as a whole will take a lot of crap and deal with it just fine and deal with it over and over again, like always; China’s weakness is the death by 1,000 cuts – all kinds of small things going wrong in all kinds of different places that appears random and unsystematic but really isn’t - so, purely strategically, the arrest of the Huawei CFO in Canada was 1,000x more effective than any tariff or import policy change or grandstanding could ever, ever be. It’s a random wheel that falls off the bus that they have to respond to or look weak. It was unannounced. And it was insulting and forced a response. The prize w/ China is never “winning” anything, the prize is the quantity of offensive-sounding, pissed-off responses that you can illicit so when they say Canada will face severe consequences if they don’t release Meng - that’s a point on the board. I don’t agree with extra-territorial arrests in principle but if one wanted to put a point on the board against China, then I think it was effective.

  4. My mindfulness time this morning was interrupted by my memory of an old ET post that had something to do with “Playing Chicken” and a screenshot of Kevin Bacon on a tractor. So I’m reviving this gem because, as far as I can tell it’s all relevant again.

    The Four Horsemen of the Investing Apocalypse

    1. The Fed keeps on raising interest rates and shrinking its balance sheet, ultimately causing a nasty recession in the US and an outright depression in emerging markets.
    2. China drops the trade war atom bomb by letting the yuan devalue sharply, sparking a global credit freeze that makes the 1997 Asian financial crisis look like a mild autumn day.
    3. Italy and its populist government play hardball with Germany and the ECB in a way that Greece could not, leading to a Euro crisis that dwarfs the 2012 crisis.
    4. Inflation, particularly wage inflation, gets away from the Fed, as their monetary policy tightening forces corporations to increase their risk-taking.

    Still pretty spot on. Might replace the word Italy with Banking Crisis, but pretty on narrative for today (4.5-ish years later).

    The chicken reference was actually the thing that got me thinking about it this morning though. Not about a trade war mind you, but about the debt ceiling. The ticking clock…

  5. Avatar for Laura Laura says:

    I was thinking about this one the other day after coming across a cartoon that added a 5th horseman–Disinformation.

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