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September 30, 2011

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I got an Ipad maybe six month or a year after it came out. At first I found it very useful, but after I moved and my circumstances changed a bit it was less useful. Its amazing how small lifestyle changes can turn a piece of technology from having high utility to low utility. I'm considering selling it back and just using an iphone/kindle combination as a replacement.

The most useful thing I got was an iphone, where I was an extremely late adopter. I love the thing, its utility is orders of magnitude greater then what I paid.

Davver
are you aware of Gazelle? you can easily sell your used ipad back to them.

if your ipad is generation one, 16g wi fi only in good condition, just a few light dings and scratches, I think they will pay $240 for it. go to their web site and see.

if you go to their web site and find the price they will pay, and you are happy with it, I will be happy to match their price and pay you directly for it - I will pay for it via pay pal or something - that way we can cut out the middle man - i would be happy to do a transaction with another half sigma reader

In 1993 I was driving down a street in Oakland when I saw a huge billboard that said, "Enron, your new energy source!" I said to myself, "Enron? What a pretentious and phony name." Unfortunately, at that time I'd never heard of put options either.

Malthus was not wrong, he was simply early, just like the peak-oil forecasters.

BTW, old people like me wake often in the middle of the night and then use their iPads.

Everyone said back in 00 and early 01' that with Bush in office I should take everything I own and put it into any company that does business in defense.

Aren't there websites where you can bet on certain things (i.e. who will secure the nomination, will Greece default). Why not put some $$ there?

"I definitely do think that my analysis is worth a lot of money to big corporations. "

Meaningless. If you do this consistently over time, then there's something to it (law of large numbers and all that). A few instances are not unlikely, probabilistically speaking.

"Malthus was not wrong, he was simply early, just like the peak-oil forecasters."

No, he knew that he was wrong, that capital investment and innovation caused europe's economy to grow faster than european population growth, which is still basically the case.

However, conditions have changed, now that the green revolution has made it possible for the third world to expand its population beyond any ability to keep up(and possibly damaging that ability to keep up) we're going to hit the carrying capacity of planet earth in short order.

"Predicting the future is really difficult."

But how do you fare predicting past?


You make a lot of "predictions." Robin Hanson has an answer for people who think they are good at predictions; put money on them and keep score. So... how much money did your "prediction" net you? And how have your other investment strategies worked out?

So you then bought out of money AAPL puts and calls?

"If you knew that a stock will either go to $0 or double in value, then there's easy money to be made with an appropriate options strategy."

Yup. At a minimum you can do a straddle right, i.e. purchase a put and a call at the same strike price and gamble on volatility.

The erosion of Capitalism is far from over, and if one looks to the gains made because of Marx one really has Marx and science to thank for saving capitalism. If it wasn't for science and technology I really doubt capitalism would have survived. There is also the problem of robots, AI, and having too many people and not enough jobs on the horizon. Highly likely there will be more crises of capitalism but we won't be around to see them.

Capitalism as we know it will probably just be slowly eroded by human advancement and the systems of the future will be radically different then any ideologue's imagination whether right or left.

It was always confusing that people thought it was just a giant phone and was going to fail.

Re-reading the initial article you have to double take these pundits.

You want big money? Havre De Grace in Belmont's 9th.

"I definitely do think that my analysis is worth a lot of money to big corporations"

I predict that they won't see it that way. My predictions have been fairly poor, so there is hope.

"It will be a huge flop or a huge success. There's no middle ground."

There were only 3 possibilities. It could either fail, succeed, or just break even. You predicted it would do one of the first two possibilities so you had a 66.666% chance of being right just on chance alone. Very brilliant Half Sigma. You deserve a Nobel Prize.

Linda, the three posssibilities don't need to have identical probabilities. When a firm launch a new product/service, failure is the most probable outcome (generally around 90%). But, i agree that HS prediction wasn't worth much knowing the figures ...

HS, I'm sure you saw this article in the NYT today. The most stunning line quoted here is that one half of the in-patients at NYU Downtown are Asian immigrants, "many undocumented." With St. Vicnent's closing, this is the only major hospital remaining in lower Manhattan.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/nyregion/stuck-in-bed-for-19-months-at-hospitals-expense.html

First of all, accurate market predictions are worth a lot of money to corporations. If you google "corporate futurist" you will find articles about people making money doing this sort of thing.

However, it is not clear to me that "corporate futurists crack the all-important 500k a year level that is part of the criteria for a traditional married lifestyle in Manhattan, as per the below craig's list ad which we have discussed on this blog before

THIS APPEARED ON CRAIG'S LIST

What am I doing wrong?

Okay, I'm tired of beating around the bush. I'm a beautiful (spectacularly beautiful) 25 year old girl. I'm articulate and classy. I'm not from New York. I'm looking to get married to a guy who makes at least half a million a year. I know how that sounds, but keep in mind that a million a year is middle class in New York City , so I don't think I'm overreaching at all.

Are there any guys who make 500K or more on this board? Any wives? Could you send me some tips? I dated a business man who makes average around 100 - 150. But that's where I seem to hit a roadblock. 150,000 won't get me to central park west

Why aren't you executing these option strategies then? If your analysis is so awesome, you should have a few million stashed away from your investment insight.

[HS: There weren't any options on only the iPad. Apple is too big of a company for the iPhone to make that big of a dent.

For everyone who becomes rich investing his own money in the market, a thousand people become rich from investing OTHER people's money.]

"iPad has proven to be a huge success for Apple. Half Sigma was right."

That was a pretty wide margin for error you gave yourself, Sigma.

""Malthus was not wrong, he was simply early, just like the peak-oil forecasters."

No, he knew that he was wrong, that capital investment and innovation caused europe's economy to grow faster than european population growth, which is still basically the case.

However, conditions have changed, "

I don't think generating goods and using resources is the problem with unlimited population growth but overcrowding. At some point, doesn't the earth just become too crowded if the number of humans increases, even if enough resources can be produced to meet their needs?

The only solution to this problem (short of forcible "population reductions" by a global military junta) would be to "make the earth bigger" with ocean colonies and floating cities, or to colonize Mars, and then other planets.

Corporations highly value people's trust, not the substance that would justify said trust. People have caught on to this and all its layers. Some places, such as Costco even employ techniques that involve putting on airs for the "savvy" shopper into thinking that the store isn't a stage and that it puts a high premium on value.

Others, such as Ralph Lauren, fool the consumer into thinking they are getting a good deal since they aren't paying full price for their merchandise. Who wouldn't want to buy a "$70.00" shirt for $40.00?

Many of these companies have been selling a fantasy for decades, and associating said products with success and upward mobility. The offspring of these middle class consumers have caught on to these techniques (especially since marketing and advertising are middle class professions), but marketers nevertheless stay one-step ahead. The "yes chain" influences the prospective consumers to tell themselves, "yes" (e.g., "Do you want six pack abs, and to be far more attractive with more energy? Our product is for you!") while giving away free samples creates a sense of guilt within the prospective consumer. If they aren't going to purchase anything, especially if the consumer concludes on their own that they should purchase something to repay the seller's kind deed.

"What am I doing wrong?"

People in the $500,000 a year income bracket clearly aren't idiots and you are assuming they are. Even those of inherited wealth obtained fine enough educations and inherited knowledge from their parents and others to detect and avoid the wrong people, people like her. Furthermore, such people were taught to evaluate others and recognize those of similar backgrounds. Also, she shouldn't think sprezzatura would help, because the risks of failing are too great as it's a genuine art form.

"Okay, I'm tired of beating around the bush. I'm a beautiful (spectacularly beautiful) 25 year old girl. I'm articulate and classy. I'm not from New York. I'm looking to get married to a guy who makes at least half a million a year. I know how that sounds, but keep in mind that a million a year is middle class in New York City , so I don't think I'm overreaching at all."

That was a satirical post making fun of conceited gold diggers. She clearly wants to bleed a guy for half his money, and guys typically sense it. People typically do not look outside their social milieu for dating, and if anything, a man might date only one notch down.

"If it wasn't for science and technology I really doubt capitalism would have survived."

Science and technology were able to advance and thrive because of capitalism.

[HS: I think there are a lot of upper-middle-class nerdy guys who have IB jobs who never had a hot girl and therefore would not be able to resist the wiles of such a gold digger.]

Apple vol is too pricey, trade Apple via proxy by trading the resellers or competitors.

Apple makes disposable products to be purchased with discretionary income; even it treats them as such by issuing replacements almost yearly. As people tire of repurchasing the same item yearly Apple's sales eventually will fall the effect won't be as quickly translated into a lower stock price though as the way Apple books income is deferred over a longer period than even it deems it's products of being worthwhile.

Apple's sales eventually will fall. However, the effect won't be as quickly translated into a lower stock price though as the way Apple books income is deferred over a longer period than even it deems it's products of being worthwhile.

Ultimately, without another line of products, Apple will have to face reality. For now it can rest on the fact that it has significant cash on hand to help prop up it's value, and sell out-of-the-money puts on itself for an easy return of about 10-15% per year.

@JVM

"Science and technology were able to advance and thrive because of capitalism."

Which is absolutely meaningless bullshit since 99% have to work or starve because they do not own anything, they are debt peons. You're confusing cause and effect in your post as well, capitalism is an abstraction, one of many possible ways society could be configured.

Not only completely neglecting the context of which this is happening and also all the negative side effects on the worlds people historically speaking that is still ongoing today. We have a lot of unnecessary suffering in the world because of the system itself that doesn't need to exist at all. Especially within first world nations. There are many irrational aspects of the system that cause society to make the most bone headed decisions with finite resources. Things like planned obsolescence just to keep profits flowing in because the logic requires making imaginary values as the prime value rather then anything else which leads to irrational decision making in all sorts of ways which externalizes and downloads risks and costs onto others or the environment.

Half Sigma never one to toot his own horn :X

I predict the iPhone 5 will either be a huge success or a total flop. Either that or it will sell moderately well.

-Mercy

"You're confusing cause and effect in your post as well, capitalism is an abstraction, one of many possible ways society could be configured."

The reason capitalism (in some version) is still the dominant way of organizing production (despite very determined resistance from the intellectual caste) is that those other "many possible ways" have all failed. Failed miserably even. Capitalism rules the roost by default, not because of fancy theorizing.


"Which is absolutely meaningless bullshit since 99% have to work or starve because they do not own anything, they are debt peons."

1) Most people own something, be it a stake in a pension fund or a house.

2) The assumption that only rentiers (I.e. those who can live off capital rents and hence do not have to work) benefit from capitalism is dead wrong. Production surplus = Profits + Wages. Wages are the biggest chunk of the surplus, by far.

"The first time I saw the internet, in 1994, I thought 'only nerds will ever want to use this.'"

when i first saw the internet, i thought it would revolutionize the workplace. i thought to myself: wow! so many people won't have to go to a workplace anymore! they'll be able to work from home, spend more time with their families, etc., etc.

boy, was i wrong! (^_^)

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