Mar 1, 2008

The Oracle of Omaha Opines

The Situation
The Sage of Omaha (Warren Buffet) has experienced the affects of a market downturn. The general economic performance of the country has directly impacted the general profitability of one of the titans of industry. The profits for the year of 2007 were reduced by 18% from the previous year. One of the largest conglomerate holding companies experiencing a substantial negative shift in profitability during an impending recession might at first glance indicate that the stock market is not an inviting place for financial investments. To the contrary, the bear market is the perfect time to buy into the market. For the long-term investor this is an opportunity to buy into stocks as a sound investment vehicle. These regular fluctuations in the market are an inevitable result of the reflection of the overall strength of the economy on the stock market. Mr. Buffet is evidently modifying his investment strategy now in 2008 just as in the bear market of 2002.

The Statistics
During the last bear market the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached a low of 7,528.40 on Oct 4 2002 from its previous height of 11,722.98 on Jan 14 2000 at turn of the new millennium. The factors involved in 2002 downturn were a result of the change in presidential administration combined with the economic correction from the stock market bubble of the late 90’s. Six years, nine months and 11 days elapsed until the previous high was finally surpassed on Oct 3 2006. Then the market suddenly skyrocketed to its next pinnacle of 14,093.08 by Oct 12 2007. Within the span of 1 year the market had increased by 20.2% from its previous peak level to its new high point. The previous high in Jan of 2000 took approximately 2 years to achieve the return of 20%. The exceptional finding is the percentage return from the market low in 2002 to the market high in 2007 which is a hefty 87% within the span of 5 years. To put it in tangible terms an initial investment of $250,000 would now be $468,020. This is enough of a return to buy a respectable suburban home in one of the major US urban housing markets. A similarly invested principle in a Certificate of Deposit with a solid 5% year over year compounding interest rate will take 13 years for a comparable yield of 87% and a minimum of 4 years to gain 20%.

The Summary
Collectively contributing to stock market as financial entity or group drives the economy forward by freeing capital for business growth and reinvestment and creating wealth for people committed to a long term investment. This allows society to contribute the well being of the economy by creating sustainable growth in business activity thereby increasing the standard of living of the fellow human. There is an opportunity cost in all individual decisions with time and capital expenditures. The choice in life is the decision to incur the price now to reap the reward in the future.

Mar 23, 2007

Democratic Posthuman Manifesto

A terse treatise on the future of humanity and its potential.

The Foundation: Spread Democratic Thought
IBM: “Solutions for a small planet”

Democracy is about the free flow of ideas and information. It means having a market economy where your ideas can be transformed into products and services to solve problems for the advancement of humanity. It means bringing resources to people who need them while maintaining respect for our environment.

The Method: Create Technological and "Universal" Singularity
Microsoft: “Your potential, our passion”

The collective intelligance of all humanity will be augmented by the comprehensive thought patterns of a nascent all encompassing artificial intelligence of supreme proportions. The next steps in human evolution will be the posthuman metamorphic transformation, systematic planetary terraforming, and outward expansion of humankind into the cosmos. Matter and energy will be harnessed as simply tools of the trade of shaping human accomplishments. Absolute yet refined control over information, matter and everything from the infinitesimal to the infinite. The sheer power of will and thought will crystalize to form instant unencumbered action in the universal playground of time and space. The technological singularity will be followed by a metaphysical melding of the cosmos

The Effect: Achieve or Cultural Commingling
Cisco: “The (real) human network”

Democracy and technology is the framework that must be set for any progress to be made to arrive at the pinnacle of human achievement. Humans will constantly strive for a better life made possible through incremental improvements to attain significant advances in quality of life. The human race has been steadily climbing Maslow’s Hierarchy of social and psychological needs. As humanity moves toward the inescapable horizon of technological advancement there must be a similar advancement in the very nature of sociological and cultural interactions between disparate communities. Divisions based on superficial boundaries must be crossed by forging links between disparate groups.

A common tapestry of common values will let us fathom the pan ultimate goals of human desire. Humanity will partake in a transformation worthy of superhuman status. After we have conquered the world of matter and energy, we will be simultaneously summoned into the pure pearly gates of St. Peter and beckoned into the deep underworld of depravity.

The Result: Attain Immortality
TLC: “Life unscripted”

A balance of the dichotomy between chaos and order will usher in a new age of where the spirit and soul, mind and matter will seem like afterthoughts in an infinite universe. There will be no limits; the possibilities endless with time as the only constraint. A rebirth of human consciousness will herald after the attainment of immortality. The continuity of civilization with genesis of eternal harmony must now be conquered to the anathema of total and complete nihilism.

Oct 9, 2005

Homage to the Triumvirate (Big Three) of News

All three TV personalities, Dan Rather, Peter Jennings, and Tom Brokaw have signed off from daily news broadcasting.

Each left for different reasons but their collective charisma, consistency, and command of the news delivery will never be forgotten. They dished out the news in there own styles and each had a flare for the delivery of the daily news.

Tom Brokaw is notable for his book on the Greatest Generation of his time. The World War II veterans who helped shape the plight of the country after the tumultuous events of the 1st half of this prescient century. He carefully crafted his program and often created a sense of calm, contentment in the way he tempered his enthusiasm and reserved his judgement of the news at hand. Tom Brokaw's departure was planned well in advance. His retirement was long in the works with Brian Williams being groomed for his position for many years.

Peter Jennings had humble beginnings in Canada. He proved his worthiness as a supreme newscaster with his debonair style of off the cuff reporting. As a consummate correspondent he perfected his skills over years of experience he accumulated from the very beginning of his early career. He served as foreign correspondent and even hosted program for the K-12 crowd. His demeanor and reputation as reporter was impeccable. Sadly, Peter Jennings has died of lung cancer and will always be recognized for his ease of delivery of the most complex news issues. He will be cherished for his never ending charm and cheery attitude towards life and living.

Dan Rather has served 24 years which is the longest run of any evening news anchor. His tenure was the most controversial as for his subtle slant on the ongoing current events. His broadcasts clearly leaned left of center and were more hard hitting of all the evening news programs. With him being the first of the big three news casters his inclination for influencing the political discourse made him a target of his opposition. Dan Rather become implicated in a news scandal before the 2004 elections. Rather at first supported and latter retracted the validity of documents surrounding President G.W. Bush's service to the Alabama national guard. Dan Rather announced that he would step down as chief anchor at start of 2005. The reason for his departure is unclear but some argue that the election coverage was partly responsible. (Vladimir Putin goes as far as saying that he was forced out by the government for his reporting on 60 minutes). He was a stolid, relentless reporter with a cool, calm caricature with a knack for creative licensce on the coverage of the facts.

The mainstays of news reporting have all been replaced marking the end of an era in evening news.

All hail the "Big Three" of news not to be confused with Stalin Kruschev Churchill

Oct 24, 2004

Existential Rant about Time

Time does not really exist, only change exists as a constant. The future is a change in the current situation brought on by previous conditions. Time is merely a tool invented by humans to find order and patterns in a complex and chaotic universe. Time is a technological tool for advancement of the human species. For example the calendar is one of the most ancient and most widely used standard for managing our time. More recently we have used the mathematical knowledge and "time knowledge" to predict events in the future. The Y2K phenomenon is merely a lapse in our judgment of the management of time as a tool for the use in computers. Time is so crucial for the advancement of the human race yet it is the least tangible instrument of measurement.

Time is merely an illusion we masquerade with as a tool to manage the complexity of a society interacting with a world of matter. The only real substantive "material" is matter. Time is similar to energy in that they are both intangible illusions. Energy is simply a tool for measuring changes in matter.

Now, think of a 2D object that is just out of reach of the 3D world. This requires a leap of faith but just think of us as living trapped in a 3D world just out of reach of the 4th dimension of space. We can only experience the 3D world but are encased in a 4D world. We might call the 3D world a physical world with the 4D world consisting of ethereal substances such as electrons and light that merely enter in and out of the physical world.

We are not trapped in time as we once may have thought. We trap ourselves in the womb of time.

written circa November 1999