Saturday, December 30, 2006

Mathematical Hedge Funds

" Without question, quantitative trading approaches - carrying names such as "black box trading," "algorithmic trading" and "statistical arbitrage" - are all the rage. Lumped in with these mysterious-sounding approaches are high-IQ terms like "pattern matching," "genetic algorithms" and "neural networks." At the essence of these strategies are two distinct features: (1) humans aren't involved in the decision-making process; and (2) models are designed to either "learn" like humans or to detect non-intuitive relationships among a sea of data that can't be readily seen by humans."

My rich friend asked me if I wanted to form a hedge fund with him -- I think this was the kind of strategy he had in mind. unfortunately, i'm not ready for prime-time with statistical arbitrage, and ultimately I agree with the crux of this piece which is that the gains from computer-driven arbitrage will likely be fleeting.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

TechnoUtopian Christmas Stories

From Freedom-to-Tinker:
"How the Grinch Pwned Christmas: The Grinch, determined to stop Christmas, hacks into Amazon’s servers and cancels all deliveries to Who-ville. The Whos celebrate anyway, gathering in a virtual circle and exchanging user-generated content. When the Grinch sees this, his heart grows two sizes and he priority-ships replacement gifts to Who-ville."

And more so check 'em out.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Greg Mankiw's Blog:
"Does the study of economics tend to make people conservative?

I believe the answer is, to some degree, yes. My experience is that many students find that their views become somewhat more conservative after studying economics. There are at least three, related reasons."

Read the whole thing.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Cure for Diabetes on the Horizon?

National Post:

Diabetic mice became healthy virtually overnight after researchers injected a substance to counteract the effect of malfunctioning pain neurons in the pancreas.

"I couldn't believe it," said Dr. Michael Salter, a pain expert at the Hospital for Sick Children and one of the scientists. "Mice with diabetes suddenly didn't have diabetes any more."

The researchers caution they have yet to confirm their findings in people, but say they expect results from human studies within a year or so. Any treatment that may emerge to help at least some patients would likely be years away from hitting the market.

But the excitement of the team from Sick Kids, whose work is being published today in the journal Cell, is almost palpable.

This would be great -- especially for my dad who's been type 2 diabetic for years.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Libertarian Swing Votes

"Because libertarians tend to be younger and better educated than the average voter, they’re not going away...One more bit from our post-election Zogby poll: We asked voters if they considered themselves “fiscally conservative and socially liberal.” A whopping 59% said they did. When we added to the question “also known as libertarian,” 44% still claimed that description."
Of course we mustn't forget that the majority of the electorate are stupid and ignorant.

Monday, December 11, 2006

UN downgrades man's impact on the climate
"Mankind has had less effect on global warming than previously supposed, a United Nations report on climate change will claim next year.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says there can be little doubt that humans are responsible for warming the planet, but the organisation has reduced its overall estimate of this effect by 25 per cent."

i'm shocked, shocked! Of course if you read on you'll see the UN is sticking to overblown claims about how much the temperature "may" rise in the future ... but they have downgraded their previous [irrationally high] estimate of how much sea levels "may" rise (why? because measuring the rate of sea level change is easy and its still rising about an inch every fifteen years, just like it was a hundred years ago.) This is a major blow to global warming psychos, because this is their own people, the very scientists who profit from environmental hysteria, moderating their climate predictions.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I'm Listening to ...

So, every month some new music videos are put up on xbox live, and I've found some good songs there (thanks Micro$oft for this freebee) recently. Back in september i discovered the wonderful group Audioslave. Check out their songs "Like a Stone" and "original fire". A few weeks ago I discovered a nice tune called "Los Angeles is Burning" by Bad Religion.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Penn & Teller: Global Warming is BS

Personally I've only seen a few episodes of "BullSh!4", and the rough language marred the experience for me, but I loved their point of view and presentation. I also saw Penn interviewed on Glenn Beck and thought he was great. Now, I'm extremely gratified to report that they have correctly categorized global warming as kine excrement.

Link to YouTube video.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Gears of War

Gears of War Poster
Originally uploaded by Datamax.
OK, so I've been spending a truly sick amount of time playing a game that I simply must blog about a game that has totally blown my mind ... Gears of War. If you already own an xbox360, then you must run, not walk, run out and buy this game. If you're one of the unfortunate unwashed mass of luddites out there yet to have the glory of high def gaming via the 360 -- its worth every penny of the $400 price tag. (think of it this way, the 360 is only marginally more expensive than an iPod!)