1.01.2005

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» TIP: Success comes with false friends and true enemies
» MISC: While looking at airline schedules on the Internet
» TIP: Beaware of your own propaganda
» MISC: I realized the impact of computers
» MISC: 1421 - the year China discovered your Mom
» RANT: When technology breaks the good old rules of common courtesy
» RANT: Bragging about traditions
» MISC: Why you have to be fat for an efficient economy
» MISC: Meeting with my auto-insurance agent
» MISC: Give your Fear a Purpose

TIP: Success comes with false friends and true enemies

This poem was found on the wall of an orphanage Mother Teresa founded in Calcutta.

Anyway

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

Category: C++ Quant > Fix the Job You Got

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MISC: While looking at airline schedules on the Internet

I mistakenly keyed in a return time that was before the departure time. A message appeared on the computer screen:

"Sorry, time travel is not permitted."

Category: C++ Quant > Random Walk > Joke

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TIP: Beaware of your own propaganda

A man was sleeping under a tree and these children kept climbing in the tree and disturbing his sleep, so he tells them to go to the market because they're giving away free mangos, which is a lie, but the kids all run off to the market anyway.

The man goes back to sleep and this happens several more times, each time the man telling the kids to go to the market to get free mangos.

Finally, the man sleeps good and soundly, and when he wakes up he's hungry and remembers that they're giving away free mangos in the market, and runs off to get one.

Category: C++ Quant > Random Walk

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MISC: I realized the impact of computers

...on my young son one evening when there was a dramatic sunset.

Pointing to the western sky, David said, "I wish we could click and save that!" - via RD

Category: C++ Quant > Random Walk > Jokes

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MISC: 1421 - the year China discovered your Mom

via MetaFilter -- China may actually have discovered the Americas first.

Two years ago, Gavin Menzies released a book entitled 1421: The Year China Discovered America. The book was widely read, but its contents were controversial and the evidence not strong enough to convince everyone.

Now, a two hundred and fifty year old map, apparently copied from one made in 1418, will be revealed to the public and may permanently change the way we think about the Americas.

Category: C++ Quant > Random Walk

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RANT: When technology breaks the good old rules of common courtesy

Techology, culture and behavior seem to evolve together, Steve Yastrow blogged. Years ago, we started to see people walking through airports talking on cellphones with headsets. In order not to seem like wierdos talking to themselves, these folks would routinely hold the headset microphone to their mouths, so you could clearly see that they were on the phone.

Then people dropped their hands from their headsets, assuming you'd know they were on the phone because of the cord dangling from their ear. After a while, the introduction of the bluetooth headset took away that cord, but by then nobody was self-conscious anymore, and it became commonplace to see people walking through airline terminals talking without shame to an unseen companion.

But now, at least for men, social norms have relaxed to a new level. Many times in the past year I've walked into an airport men's room and seen a lone man standing at a bank of urinals, actively engaged in a hands-free conversation with someone hundreds of miles away, presumably with a hidden bluetooth headset in his ear. These people inevitably speak in extra loud voices, as people speaking on cell phones in public often do...

Category: C++ Quant > Random Walk > Opportunity vs Trap > Success Breeds Failure

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RANT: Bragging about traditions

Have you ever wondered why some people brag about their "traditional" values when they obviously mean "superior", Dilbert creator Scott Adams asked. It's because "traditional" is a more flexible word. It implies an inherent goodness without the need to defend the details...

Parent: Here's a picture of my family.
Me: That's one traditional looking family!

Fiancee: Which blouse do you like better?
Me: I'd have to go with the traditional one.

Economist: Do you support higher interest rates to fend off inflation or would you prefer a more pro-growth policy?
Me: Um, which one is more traditional?...

Scott also wonder how long you need to age a crappy set of values before they became desirable via the process of traditionalization...

Category: C++ Quant > Random Walk > Strength vs Weakness

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MISC: Why you have to be fat for an efficient economy

via WashingtonPost -- I am fat. Sixty pounds too hefty, in my doctor's opinion. Probably 80 pounds, in my fiancee's view. Being fat makes me a lot of things -- a top contender for type II diabetes, for instance, or a heart attack, or stroke, maybe even a replacement knee or hip... But in many ways, my being fat also makes me pretty good for the economy...

It turns out, economists say, that changes in food technology (producing tasty, easy-to-cook food, such as french fries) and changes in labor (we use to be paid to exercise at work, now we pay to exercise after work) combined with women's importance in the workforce, not the kitchen, have combined to produce industries able to cheaply and efficiently meet the demands of our busy lives. The cookie industry. The fast-food industry. Potato chips. Soda. The chain-restaurant industry, with its heaping portions of low-priced, high-calorie foods.

In some ways, we are better off in this Fat Economy. Many people work in easier, better-paying jobs, which help pay for their big homes in the suburbs. Women don't have to spend two hours preparing dinner every night; many have risen to unprecedented levels of corporate and political power. Flat-panel plasma TVs hang over fireplaces, which can be lit using the same remote control for flipping channels. But the unintended consequence of these economic changes is that many of us have become fat. An efficient economy produces sluggish, inefficient bodies.

"The obesity problem is really a side effect of things that are good for the economy," said Tomas J. Philipson, an economics professor who studies obesity at the University of Chicago, a city recently named the fattest in America. "But we would rather take improvements in technology and agriculture than go back to the way we lived in the 1950s when everyone was thin. Nobody wants to sweat at work for 10 hours a day and be poor. Yes, you're obese, but you have a life that is much more comfortable."

For many corporations, and even for physicians, Americans' obesity has also fattened the bottom line. William L. Weis, a management professor at Seattle University, says revenue from the "obesity industries" will likely top $315 billion this year, and perhaps far more...

Category: C++ Quant > Random Walk > Opportunity vs Trap > Success Breeds Failure

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MISC: Meeting with my auto-insurance agent

I confessed that I'd been comparing rates on the Internet and had gotten a quote that was 30 percent less than his.

"Tell me, Chris," he responded, "when you have an emergency, who do you want to deal with, a man or a mouse?" - via RD

Category: C++ Quant > Random Walk > Jokes

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MISC: Give your Fear a Purpose

Fear is not something we can conveniently bury or wash away, Change Consultant Kashmir Birk blogged. It is inside us and all around and it will always be. Even a Zen monk strikes fear into the heart of his student, puts them through physical hardship and punishment to literally break them - out of their old habits of thinking.

Fear is energy without a purpose. Without fear we are an empty vessel, too much and it just burns us out. We have been told from birth to "not be afraid" or to just "be brave" we are taught to deny and suppress our fears. Denial and suppression never work. The coward and the hero both feel the fear, the only difference is one is succumbs to it, the other uses it to take action.

Fear can consume us with the ferocity of a forest fire. We can stand by as it tears mercilessly through our hearts, our homes, our communities until all hope is extinguished and our sad little lives are laid out bare...

Fear is not a thing, it is a many headed monster, it takes on so many shapes and forms. What is fear and where does it come from? What is the root cause of fear?

What if - all I had to do is stop blaming?...

It comes in different guises and names - prayer, meditation, reflection, confession, dance or detachment, it all amounts to the same thing. Every spiritual master who has graced this good earth has given us the same basic advice.

All we need to do is forgive. To forgive is not forgetting, forgiveness is getting past the hurt. If we forget we will repeat the same mistakes over. We cannot allow our frailty to hurt others or be hurt by the frailty of others. To yield to others or being merciful to ourselves does not mean giving in or rolling over. It means dealing with truth without fear. Being brutally honest.

Fear of fear is the fuel that feeds upon itself. The solution is not to ignore, bury or project our fears onto others, or soak in the fears others carry, but acknowledge fear. Fear is not our ally not our enemy. It is an early warning signal, a safety valve or trigger to focus our mind and body for action.

We need to own fear without being being possessed by it. Some people own cars, others are owned by their car. That is the basic difference here. I need to acknowledge the presence of fear in my life, but I don't need to define myself based on my fears.

Both Frank Sinatra and Sir Laurence Olivier, true masters of their craft, talked openly about their stage fright, during the peaks of their respective careers. Both of them relate the same story at different times. The day they lost their fear of going on stage, they realized it was time to retire. That is because this was the first indication that they didn't care enough about what they were doing.

We need to replace the slogan "no fear" with "know fear". Let go of our impulse to control our fears. Tap into our intuition and have faith in the sanctity of our own heart.

Category: C++ Quant > Random Walk > Strength vs Weakness > When Life Gives you Lemons

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