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kleinbl00  ·  7 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Is an unknown, extraordinarily ancient civilisation buried under eastern Turkey?

Literally. Or Saturnalia. Or Mayday. The tradition of "the lord of misrule" has archeological evidence going back seven thousand years or something.

Paul Kriwaczek wrote a great book about the Babylonians/Sumerians /Akkadians and opens it by pointing out that pre-biblical culture lasted, uninterrupted, longer than civilization has lasted since its fall. He also points out at length that if we were to draw any comparisons to modern cultures, the parallel would be the Soviets.

kleinbl00  ·  13 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Is an unknown, extraordinarily ancient civilisation buried under eastern Turkey?

Gobekli Tepe has been known since the '60s. It isn't taught for reasons David Graeber wrote a book about: there isn't as much evidence for "hunting-gathering, then agriculture, then religion, then money, then capitalism" as the prevailing narrative would like so the prevailing narrative cherry-picks to the point of negligence.

Everyone knows Stonehenge; nobody knows that the culture that built Stonehenge dabbled in agriculture without ever doing more than corner gardens. Everyone knows the Potlach cultures of the Pacific Northwest, nobody knows that most of the agriculture performed on the West Coast of North America was mostly ritual plants. Everyone knows Squanto gave the Pilgrims corn and beans, nobody knows that corn and beans were a "sometimes food" and that the ruin of American civilization can be blamed as much on European powers forcing natives to eat corn as much as it can be blamed on anything else.

Graeber lays out a whole bunch of examples of societies that are "civilized" sometimes and hunter-gatherers the rest of the time. Tribal cultures where one set of people run things nine months of the year, then another set runs things during the festival season. Cultures that are hunter-gatherer during the hunting season, town and city dwellers during the winter. Cultures with a great deal of code-switching as far as their societal structures and institutions that have been entirely bypassed by anthropologists because anthropologists have an ur-theory that really only fits Mesopotamia, and it doesn't even fit Mesopotamia that well.

    As he put it, ‘Gobekli Tepe upends our view of human history. We always thought that agriculture came first, then civilisation: farming, pottery, social hierarchies. But here it is reversed, it seems the ritual centre came first, then when enough hunter gathering people collected to worship – or so I believe – they realised they had to feed people. Which means farming.’ He waved at the surrounding hills, ‘It is no coincidence that in these same hills in the Fertile Crescent men and women first domesticated the local wild einkorn grass, becoming wheat, and they also first domesticated pigs, cows and sheep. This is the place where Homo sapiens went from plucking the fruit from the tree, to toiling and sowing the ground.’

Graeber probably spends half the book pointing out that the typical arc of "civilization", if you base it on the historical record rather than pet archaeological theories, is

1) tribes gather at regular intervals to party, trade, fuck, dance, settle feuds and otherwise maintain the stability of individual tribes within a larger network of tribal culture

2) Tribal gatherings grow unwieldy enough that they require management and support year-round

3) year-round management and support requires agriculture and taxes

4) year-round managers grow pointy hair, lord themselves over the hunter-gatherers

5) Hunter-gatherers decide they're sick of the pointy-haired managers, call off civilization, convene next year's party somewhere else

...and that really, the "great civilizations" we're all aware of are basically the process gone malignant. If you look at the archaeological record in such a way that "architectural structures" and "agriculture" are independent variables, rather than stacks of foundation stone, our whole model collapses and we turn into a bunch of privileged white men thinking everything is a nail because all we have is a hammer.

    – they realised they had to feed people. Which means farming.’

I mean, the arrogance. "Huh - here we all are, standing in the middle of the desert, hungry. I guess we better plant some rice or some shit and hope it grows before we starve to death."

kleinbl00  ·  16 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Finland must apply to join Nato without delay, say president and PM

So in the run-up to Hiroshima:

- the State Dept negotiated with the USSR and brought them into the invasion of Japan

- the OSS busily drew up lists of communists to keep out of the post-war world

In the immediate aftermath of WWII:

- The State Department offered the Marshall plan to the USSR

- The OSS parachuted saboteurs behind the Iron Curtain

Upon rejection of the Marshall Plan:

- The State Department launched a policy of "containment"

- The CIA launched a policy of disinformation and overthrow in East Germany, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia

Upon the ascension of Mossadegh:

- The State Department negotiated with Britain to return BP to British ownership

- The CIA overthrew Mossadegh

Upon the formation of the Berlin Wall:

- The State Department dropped food

- The CIA formed secret fascist hit squads all over Europe

etc. etc. etc.

I watched the movie. The State Department funneled agricultural money into Iraq so they could build a siege cannon to shell Tel Aviv with; the CIA green-lit a Mossad assassination of Gerald Bull to keep things copacetic with Israel.

The State Dept's designated ruler of Saudi Arabia was Prince Bandar. The CIA gave the whole operation to MBS instead.

I had been thinking that it was cooperation all along. But the deeper you look, the more you see competition.

kleinbl00  ·  17 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 484th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately"

My god. Seven years.

Ironically enough, it took 3909 days but I am out of badges.

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Finland must apply to join Nato without delay, say president and PM

I think much has been made of NATO membership without acknowledging that it's effectively just a signal of fair-weather friendship with the United States. NATO membership did not prevent the US from overthrowing the Greek government in '67; NATO membership did not prevent two NATO members, Turkey and Greece, from going to war in '74.

There's a lot of sound and fury for what's essentially a parking permit for US iron and a VIP club card for US weapons sales. I don't disregard your concerns - The US does exceptionally evil shit the world over, and it generally does it under the aegis of "world's policeman." From a materially transactional standpoint Trump was correct in that the US pumps a lot more into NATO than it gets back out. From a skullduggery standpoint NATO membership mostly means the US gives you more side-eye if you do something the US dislikes but won't do anything about it because then we'd have to move a fighter wing or some shit.

I'm coming around to the theory that the Post WWII world was largely shaped by disagreements between the US State Department and the US CIA. CIA gets to fuck with NATO members less, State Department gets to fuck with NATO members more. Sweden and the US have been sharing intelligence and espionage since ECHELON or before so I think practically, Sweden's membership or lack thereof would have exactly zero impact in the event of further Russian shenanigans. Symbolically? Politically? I'm not going to pretend more than a sketchy familiarity with Swedish culture.

I will say that I do not see ours as "an increasingly multipolar world." I think the USSR and China held out against Bretton Woods as long as they could but American imperialism is just too cozy a cage. It's important to play up the outliers as threats to international order but I mean... The Free World's Bogeyman is now mostly featured being towed behind tractors. One need not be an actual threat to serve the useful function of "threatening" global stability.

kleinbl00  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Does Pepperoni Curl?

What's the phrase? "bad pizza is like bad sex even at its absolute worst it's pretty goddamn good?" The thing of it is, NY and Chicago are irrationally proud of their pizza. There's a real foodie fundamentalism about it that's just weird - I mean, they eat their chili on spaghetti in Cincinnati but they don't pretend it's the only way to eat chili.

If you're going to be fundie about it, look to the calzone. They only really work one way. I would argue that the pizza you get by unfolding a calzone flat is basically protomethian American pizza - it's the variation with the most utility, the broadest reach and the largest adoption. But I'm also known to argue that sushi as we know it post-dates refrigeration.

kleinbl00  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Does Pepperoni Curl?

We need their hot take on omelets

kleinbl00  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Does Pepperoni Curl?

I love that the basic thesis of this article is that all customary advances in practice and preparation are an affront to good taste, and that as always, if you so much as express mild favor towards any pizza created further than a half hour's drive from Manhattan you are a savage who shall never be allowed to comment on food again.

kleinbl00  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Cryptocurrency Crash Is Replaying 2008 as Absurdly as Possible

Apparently even more absurdly - you are now aware that Luna causes fascism

Netflix - down 73% from peak

Facebook - down 47% from peak

Rivian - down 80% from peak

BTC - down 52% from peak, THAT'S gonna be the one that breaks the world lads

kleinbl00  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Cryptocurrency Crash Is Replaying 2008 as Absurdly as Possible

Long have I bitched that fundamentals are out of vogue. "Fundamentals" says "Ford makes a lot of cars and pays dividends to its shareholders while doing it, Ford is probably worth more money than Rivian." The problem is, since you can't make any money through fundamentals, nobody even remembers what they are anymore. Except Warren Buffet. That asshole made money on Amtrak.

So let's talk CDOs

The shorthand on 2008 was "(waves hands) mortgages." But this ignores a few steps.

- the perception: Countrywide loaned money to people who couldn't afford it, backed by houses that weren't worth it. These loans were underwritten by Wall Street and they all lost money because as we all know, the blacks and the poors can't be trusted with money.

- the reality: Countrywide loaned money to people who couldn't afford it BECAUSE investment brokers wanted loans made to people who couldn't afford them so they could wager on their failure.

They took these loans, you see, and threw them into a blender. Then they ran that soup through a fractionating column in order to rank their riskiness into "danger" "don't" "kiss your money goodbye" "you already owe money on this" and "this is criminal and you are likely complicit". They then blended those toxic brews into cups full of swill and waved them under the noses of ratings agencies. The agencies said "smells great!" so that university pension funds and municipal bond managers could legally buy these biohazard beverages and tell their coworkers what they did with a straight face.

Now - how deep is the evil? The "2008 take", which David Gerard is all about, is "people shouldn't buy mortgages they can't afford." Of course in 2008 that was "20% of your income" and if you look now, Chase will tell you 28% so... prolly deeper than that on the face of it. The "Pre-Big Short" take was "all the way down to the ratings agencies who should never have called a toxic blend of bad mortgages an AAA bond." But holy shit if we can't trust Morningstar the whole edifice crumbles. My take? banks are not thrifts, thrifts are not banks but I'm one of those assholes who owns cryptocurrency and didn't get wiped out so clearly, I'm a drug dealing pederast.

Options are bets. Futures are bets. Swaps are bets. Most "financial instruments" are bets. 2008 was caused by bets. Terra was caused by the equivalent of an ETF breaking.

kleinbl00  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Cryptocurrency Crash Is Replaying 2008 as Absurdly as Possible

This is so dumb.

Luna ate shit because someone murdered it. It's replaying 1992... by design.

He doesn't get 2008 either. The bad backing in 2008 wasn't mortgages, it was artificial bets on whether mortgages would fail. Surprise! They did! Except since you earned more money on a mortgage that will almost fail, the banks wrote a lot of mortgages that failed.

And let's talk about the money, shall we? It took a billion dollars in leverage to extract about 800 million in value from a blockchain with about $8b in it. The $8b is all gone, but it was about a $40b blockchain a month ago so really, the market did hella worse to Terra than Terra did to themselves. Compare and contrast: Countrywide was 1.9 trillion in mortgages. The government paid $182 billion to bail out AIG. Wendy's lost a half billion dollars in market cap yesterday because apparently their earnings per share were a penny under estimates.

Terra was dumb, Do Kwon is an asshole, a fool and his money are soon parted, but cryptocurrency shenanigans have as much to do with 2008 as they do with ZZZZ Best or LTCM or the S&L crisis or Russian contagion or the bankruptcy of Brazil or Black Monday or any other example you care to list, idiots in general and David Gerard in particular point to 2008 because it's widely accepted that it was a case of Bad Financial People Being Bad, scold and move on, no need to learn anything after all that shit was entirely out of our hands amirite?

It's lazy shit like this:

    Stablecoins are a modern form of the wildcat banks of the 1800s, which issued dubious paper dollars backed with questionable reserves.

Algorithmic stablecoins are ETFs. They're modeled on ETFs. But you're only allowed to make fun of people who question the wisdom of ETFs.

But instead let's pick on Tether, because we always have to pick on Tether, without noting that every bank in the developed world gets a government guarantee at 5% backing and Tether is 75% bonds. 'cuz god forbid you explain fractional reserve banking to the proles, they might start to wonder about the whole shaky system.

    You might be asking why either UST or luna is worth anything in the first place, given they were created ex nihilo by Terra.

like I said

So yeah. This is definitely like 2008, because "despairing messages" on Reddit are 100% equivalent to six million households being foreclosed on. For sure - Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party will be riiiiiiight back again because Terra ate shit. And this sort of tedious moral scolding with no attempt to understand what's actually going on, let alone explain it, will allow people to continue to believe they have no power over the man behind the curtain so why even bother trying to figure out what he's doing.

kleinbl00  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 11, 2022

Copper may melt at 2000 degrees but it gets soft much lower than that - the annealing temp for oxygen-free 99% copper is around 700c, which is coincidentally where nichrome starts to glow. The expansion coefficient of copper is also different than the expansion coefficient of nichrome. Finally, the impedance of copper is different than the impedance of nichrome, which means your heat concentration and spark potential at your repair site are high.

Nichrome can be crimped with nichrome. Keep in mind, however, that you have only found the worst failure point and that others may reveal themselves.

I have melted copper in nichrome furnaces dozens of times. I've never seen the heat shielding common in melting furnaces in stove tops but I haven't been looking.

In general, heating elements are not repair objects. They are replace objects. My furnace that ate shit because I plugged it into a power strip and the thermocouple died? They replaced the heating element. My furnace that ate shit because it was chinese and crap? My buddy replaced the heating element.

kleinbl00  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 11, 2022
kleinbl00  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Papyrus modified for future Avatar projects

...see how can you not use Papyrus for that

kleinbl00  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What's up with tech stocks?

I remain optimistic. I mean, look - we know that the cruelty is optional. We know that brutality and deprivation won't get anyone back to the office. We know that when rents go up, people move in together or move out of town.

David Rosenberg is fond of saying "the cure for high prices is high prices." Nothing we're doing right now is steady-state; on Mother's Day we went for a walk in a neighborhood I love and I realized I hadn't seen a single house for sale in there for the duration of the pandemic. Everybody there decided it was a great place to hunker down and that if they sold at a profit, they'd have to buy somewhere else and no thanks. If you can sit this bullshit out, you are sitting this bullshit out. I haven't been on a plane since February 2020 and that's not by accident.

I've been rearranging everything I can to help our employees do more with less. Online scheduling, online billing, infrastructure changes, etc. It's not just because I can't hire my way out of the problem, or the fact that I'm too cheap to give everyone raises (when your income is determined by insurance company contracts that change every five years, inflation is a problem). It's that everyone's patience is hanging by a thread, our capacity to be kind to others has been exhausted and people suck right now and I don't see it getting better any time soon.

But I mean look. If you can do your job remotely, why not move to rural Kentucky? Maybe vote out Mitch McConnell while you're at it. There's a real network effect to metropolises but it's too expensive right now, and if you set up somewhere else you get to be a big fish in a small pond.

I think things will get better. Historically? They always do. That's just reversion to the mean. It just sucks living through history.

kleinbl00  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: And now I know about suicide machines.

I am one hundred percent convinced it was someone's wake-up call. Remember - this is the industry that brought you the Fyre Festival. The one article I saw mentioned that they had a couple pass out at one of the hotter clubs and realized that maybe there weren't a whole lot of safeguards associated with it. But then, this is the nightclub industry, so their Wikipedia page is still up.

Which probably prompted copycats.

And hey - maybe for $85k someone will actually pay for safety monitoring.

kleinbl00  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Day Trader Army Loses All the Money It Made in Meme-Stock Era

To be fair, so did everyone else.

A little explanation: that's bond returns, days from peak. IG = Investment Grade, HY = High Yield, As = Grade A debt and so on. In 2020, bonds took a hit proportional to their risk with investment grade losing less than BBB garbage but in 2022? We all eat shit together yo. You've been better off putting your money in Gamestop than you have been giving it to Cathie Wood and eight months ago, "giving money to Cathie Wood" was the only sensible thing to do.

What's been interesting to me is watching the multiplier between "crypto" and "anything else" go from 10x to 5x to 2x to parity to fractional. People love to point out that Bitcoin and Nasdaq are correlated but nobody's paying any attention to the fact that two years ago BTC would drop 5x what the stock market did while now? The graphs are indistinguishable. Meanwhile ETH used to be 5X BTC, then was 2X BTC, then was at parity. Lately ETH is trading better than BTC. Shit, ETH lost less money yesterday than Nasdaq did.

And nobody's paying any attention. I keep seeing stuff talking about "ETH outflows" but nobody's noticed that the ETH2 validator queue has gone from 24 hours to 36 hours to 96 hours to a week to two weeks to twenty days. There's half a million ETH waiting to be locked away forever right now but holy fuck 4,000 ETH left investment funds last month so obviously party's over...

Dunno. The willful blindness associated with money management grinds my gears when I'm not two weeks deep in allergy hell.

kleinbl00  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion rights, draft opinion shows

Prolly Roots first. Haven't seen it in 30 years.

kleinbl00  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What's up with tech stocks?

Alls ya gotta do is drive down the expected price for driving for a living below what the IRS will reimburse you for mileage and everything works out.

kleinbl00  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: And now I know about suicide machines.

Back when I mixed in the clubs I grew to detest fog machines. They don't use "fog" they use esters that particulate at low temperatures. More accurately, they're "smoggers" (that smell like bad suntan lotion because the cheapest "flavor" is "coconut").

I did some work on using liquid nitrogen because (A) it makes a nice clean fog that (B) dissipates quickly and also (C) cools down the club quite effectively, which is handy because those places are generally the Devil's armpit but at the time, nitrogen toxicity was tough to map, calculating airchanges per hour in a club environment is a nightmare and as you said, there's no warning so I decided there was no real mechanism to prevent a Lake Nyos situation.

Not two years later? Some outfit in Florida started doing installs. They made all the magazines. I wrote 'em to see how they'd gotten around the toxicity problem. They never wrote back.

They did uninstall all their systems a month later.

kleinbl00  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What's up with tech stocks?

It took Google three years to turn a profit. It took Facebook five. It took Amazon seven. It took Netflix nine. It took Tesla eighteen.

The idea that people would pay to have groceries delivered was pilloried in 2001. By 2017 it was a goddamn market segment. DHL exited the US market in 2009 because it could not profit and maintain the standards that have made it a global leader; Amazon took one look at that and said "what if we make our drivers piss in bottles."

The past 20 years are the logical conclusion of the previous 30: when your goal is to maximize shareholder value, rather than protect long-term profits in a stakeholder environment, you cease to optimize for functionality.

kleinbl00  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What's up with tech stocks?

In the past two weeks I have seen two Rivians and a Lucid! I find this horribly depressing because Teslas are the car you buy if you hate cars, but Rivians and Lucids are the cars you buy if you hate cars and also hate Teslas. Everything is shit, everything is hideous, everything is heinously expensive. Why would you buy this garbage.

We're hiring right now. For pricing? We take the going market rate, near as we can determine what it is, and add $2 an hour. Hiring sucks but rehiring sucks more and while ours is an entry-level position, there's a lot of folklore to learn and once you've mastered what we need but determined you're ready to move on to something better, we'd like you to give us enough time so that you can pass along what you've picked up and hopefully say nice things about us to the people you meet on your journey.

We interviewed babysitters for the kid like seven years ago. We had women with Masters' degrees show up with prospectii in letterpressed folders. It was f'n unreal. We needed someone to change diapers, they were applying like we were buying a timeshare. Now? Now we get maybe three out of four interviews flaking. We have candidates applying for full-time work who say "actually I'm only interested in three half-days." We ask for a cover letter just to get a sense of the candidate (Indeed is a shithole, also the only thing anyone uses anymore) and of 80-odd applications we've gotten two. I no longer look for typos, I look for a more-or-less concept of sentence structure. We thought it must have been us? Naaah. It's everywhere.

Now - if you're a cranky old man your obvious reaction is "kids these days." The socially acceptable reaction is to snark about avocado toast. But the minute you've decided the rest of the world is wrong you've stopped thinking. So it's worth considering a few things:

- more adults 18-29 - a majority! - live at home than at any point since the Great Depression.

- rent is up 15-35% nationwide, with some situations being batshit.

- used car prices are like a bad video game glitch.

- Gas prices are skyrocketing

- customers are terrible

...and if you were a young adult that got remaindered by the pandemic or thumped out of college or stuck doing your senior year remote and have been spending the past two years interfacing exclusively with your parents, grocery checkers and Zoom, your sense of social self has been decapitated. There is nothing out there for you. So you're gonna pay $5 a gallon to borrow Dad's spare car to spend an hour in traffic to sit in front of women yelling at you for $18 an hour? I fucking don't think so.

Now - you can argue that things are going to get better when student loan payments kick back in, and the 2 year moratorium on evictions is fully lifted and has run its course. But that stinks of "beatings will continue until morale improves." I think it's better to observe that young adults in particular, but the country in general, got to observe that the worst of capitalism is optional. That we're horrible to the lower economic deciles by choice and by design. That a better present is possible, but the people in charge prefer the cruelty.

And I think that's a rough environment to have people realize Netflix isn't worth $16 a month in.

kleinbl00  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Papyrus modified for future Avatar projects

Papyrus is beautiful. Fight me. It is the ultimate "I care about design, but not enough to learn about design" design choice. You can troll the normies with Comic Sans... you can troll your peers with Papyrus and the normies will never know.

I'ma need to make a watch called "Papyrus."

kleinbl00  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What's up with tech stocks?

Important to note that it's not just tech stocks. Yes, tech stocks are down more than, say, Archer Daniels Midland but things are terrible everywhere. "There's no safe harbor" as the traders like to say, and even going to cash means you're losing 8% a year, right?

So the first thing to keep in mind is nobody knows, but they all believe very strongly. The second thing to keep in mind is that from about 1759 to about 1946, it was popular to believe one thing, but from about 1950 on it's been sacrilege to believe that thing. The third thing to keep in mind is it's Cleverbots all the way down, and they're not waiting for you.

FT last night with the apocalypse

    Obviously, all hedge fund managers love pseudo-philosophical metaphors and references, especially if they are a little recondite. But as somewhere that hosted Jamie Powell for four years, we can’t complain too much about people over-interpreting old films no one has heard of or cares about.

    And the truth is that there are signs everywhere that a pretty profound market regime change is upon us, and that people are only starting to grapple with the implications. The Nasdaq has now given up all of its 2021 gains, and many — like Loeb — believe that this is just the beginning of an epic shakeout, rather than the end.

    The most vulnerable are still-profitless companies that need the grace of equity or debt investors to stay alive. Loeb hints that many of the more speculative companies that relied on stock options to attract talent might already entering a death loop as the value of their equity withers — something that Jamie wrote about before leaving (sob).

So look. Backintheday? Back when economics was about running the world rather than maximizing yield? Talkin' like 90 years ago? It was generally accepted that there were two approaches to making money:

- "firm foundation theory" wherein an investment is worth (what you expect your investment to be worth in X amount of time) x (the risk that it'll do something else in that amount of time) - (what your investment would do risk-free). There's math here. There's a lot of assumptions, but you can come up with numbers that you can throw in a mimeograph, write on a chalkboard, send across the Telex to convince people to buy things.

- "castle in the air theory" wherein it's worth what people will pay you for it.

As math gets tougher, "castle in the air theory" gets more attractive because the more precisely you can model bad data, the more likely your prediction is to be wrong. Why is Tesla worth more than all other car companies combined? Because (1) it didn't go to zero despite the fact that "firm foundation theory" said it should (2) so there's no reason not to believe it's worth more than all other companies combined.

"they were this close"

As "the next guy" gets tougher to convince, "firm foundation theory" gets more attractive because if the horses are spooked they are not going to run the derby for you. "Exit capital" is a particularly smarmy euphemism for "the people who are going to buy the stuff you're selling" while "bags" have become the unit by which your success is made. If you double your money, you have a "two-bagger." If you make ten times your money, you have a "ten-bagger." If you don't, you're the "bag-holder". It happened slowly, then all at once: the slang of trading became the slang of grifting. I find that illustrative. It's a tacit admission that none of it was based on reality, but entirely on perception. A pickup truck is totally worth three and a half stealth bombers until suddenly it isn't.


90% of trades are algorithmic. 70% of it is derivative. You start with actual "market sentiment" the way hurricanes start with the flap of a butterfly's wings. Of course "castle in the air theory" was going to dominate; neither the bots nor the ETFs care a whit about whether the underlying assets make any money. But now? Now you're profiting entirely on perception.

The old crusty dudes have been talking about the 'everything bubble' since 2017 or so. Basic problem is we threw a lot of money at the stock market in 2008 to keep the economy from unraveling (rather than throwing a bunch of money at the people living in houses they can't afford because we can't talk about economies, we talk about profits, remember?). Every time the Fed tries to ask for its money back the market loses its shit. Things were on the ragged edge of coming apart when the Pandemic hit, at which point... well...

So mk is right in that it's tougher to make money when you have to pay interests on loans (there's a Canadian economist whose name I always forget who said "interest rates are the price of monopoly" which should tell you something about, say, Amazon) but at the same time, we're going on fourteen years of grayhairs saying "this can't go on." EVENTUALLY they will be right.

Money is a religion. One of the psalms of the fundamentalists is "bear markets return capital to its rightful owners." The Hatorade is flowing. History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes.

Unfortunately? Stocks and bonds have been a popularity contest pretty much since we ditched fractional pricing. It was the end of history, China was in the WTO and AOL was worth more than Time Warner. Things should have corrected in 2008 but instead capitalism doubled down on itself. And eventually, that which goes up must come down.

It's a long way to say "people think cash will lose less money than Netflix" but also "nobody ever cared if Netflix made money before". The Nifty Fifty made money and still ate shit. What's happening, basically, is everyone is trying to figure out how to make money in a world where Lockheed and Raytheon are making missiles to light up Russians again and in which you are no longer rewarded for pricing pickups ahead of stealth bombers.