Monday, July 29, 2019

July 29th Links

  • The highest trailhead requires the climber to gain 9,000 feet of elevation to reach the summit, as much as from Everest ABC to its summit. [Summit Post]
  • It's really hard these days for followers of the conventional wisdom to think in terms other than of Good People and Bad People. Good People to do Good Things, so if undocumented workers (definitely some of the Good People) are littering and Tucker Carlson (a very Bad Person) is criticizing them for it, then littering must be good. Or if littering is bad, Carlson must be hallucinating in accusing the Good People of doing a Bad Thing. Or let's not think about it and get Carlson banned from television so we don't have to ever think about it. [Sailer]
  • Porto is everything San Francisco wants to be: scenic, colorful buildings, flowing water, but no homeless problem or feces or syringes littering the streets. If you're out of shape, Porto is not for you. going anywhere requires walking straight up or down a huge hill. [Rickshaw]
  • If you synthesize the best parts of Falkenstein and Redleaf, you predict that the next crisis is going to come in the investment that is currently perceived as riskless enough for highly leveraged institutions like banks to buy. In the 2000s that was mortgages, at other times it has been other investments like railroads. Right now, government bonds are accorded zero risk in calculating bank capital ratios. The idea that government bonds are riskless when governments are planning to flood the market and when the expenditures are consumed (building no collateral) may prove to be the latest delusion. [CBS]
  • Trying to keep marble countertops pristine seems to be a very American mindset. In France and Italy where they are common it's my understanding that wear, stains and other imperfections are considered "character" and indicative of an owner who cooks well and often. [Granola Shotgun]
  • Produce not conforming to what the market requires is a long-standing problem. Amazing pear varieties — I'm looking at you, Comice, but Anjou also suffers — go unappreciated because people don't know they're supposed to wait until a pear is ripe, or they wait too long, expecting a green variety to turn yellow. (The pear industry is doing active outreach, trying to teach consumers how to eat pears.) [link]
  • Examine past bull market peaks, and you'll invariably find that the initial decline was steep enough, usually within the first 15-30 trading sessions, to paralyze investors and keep them hoping and holding through the entire bear market that followed. Once the March 2000 peak was registered, the S&P 500 fell -11.2% over the next 15 trading sessions. Though the S&P 500 nearly recovered its peak at the beginning of September 2000, it gave back -12.6% over the next 28 sessions. Similarly rapid losses followed the 1987, 1990, and 2007 market peaks. Those initial losses are precisely what lock investors into paralysis. [Hussman]
  • Open a commodity fund at the beginning of a cyclic upturn, and you're a hero. As is the 'dumb' money, that happened to do the right thing, at the right time (luck). But as word spreads - and the longer the cycle goes; your 'investment space' becomes swamped with 'dumb' money, and increasingly 'unstable'. Hence to do well, you must ultimately close the fund before the market crashes ... it's a limited term engagement. However, if your timing was off, & the fund crashes, you're a bum ..... also a limited term engagement. [CoBF]
  • The airline industry discovered ages ago that autopilot technology isn't all upside: Pilots' flying skills get rusty when they use the autopilot. And they have trouble regaining situational awareness when the autopilot disconnects unexpectedly. [link]
  • Why do the same old, safe, boring thing when you could buy a round-trip Norwegian Airlines flight from New York to Paris right now for $280, get an AirBnb and sit along the Seine drinking rosé? [NY Post]
  • I've looked at fixed annuities and they do not seem to be fairly priced, based on an expected present value calculation using current interest rates. I can think of at least two reasons why not. First, companies offering them need to make a profit. Second, there is an asymmetric information issue. Annuities would be most attractive to people with longer expected lifespans, that is, those in good health and with long-lived family histories. So returns have to be reduced accordingly. George Akerlof would probably have something to say about this. [Arnold Kling]
  • My disagreement with the established opinion about Shakespeare is not the result of an accidental frame of mind, nor of a light-minded attitude toward the matter, but is the outcome of many years' repeated and insistent endeavors to harmonize my own views of Shakespeare with those established amongst all civilized men of the Christian world. I remember the astonishment I felt when I first read Shakespeare. I expected to receive a powerful esthetic pleasure, but having read, one after the other, works regarded as his best: "King Lear," "Romeo and Juliet," "Hamlet" and "Macbeth," not only did I feel no delight, but I felt an irresistible repulsion and tedium, and doubted as to whether I was senseless in feeling works regarded as the summit of perfection by the whole of the civilized world to be trivial and positively bad, or whether the significance which this civilized world attributes to the works of Shakespeare was itself senseless. My consternation was increased by the fact that I always keenly felt the beauties[5] of poetry in every form; then why should artistic works recognized by the whole world as those of a genius,—the works of Shakespeare,—not only fail to please me, but be disagreeable to me? For a long time I could not believe in myself, and during fifty years, in order to test myself, I several times recommenced reading Shakespeare in every possible form, in Russian, in English, in German and in Schlegel's translation, as I was advised. Several times I read the dramas and the comedies and historical plays, and I invariably underwent the same feelings: repulsion, weariness, and bewilderment. At the present time, before writing this preface, being desirous once more to test myself, I have, as an old man of seventy-five, again read the whole of Shakespeare, including the historical plays, the "Henrys," "Troilus and Cressida," the "Tempest," "Cymbeline," and I have felt, with even greater force, the same feelings,—this time, however, not of bewilderment, but of firm, indubitable conviction that the unquestionable glory of a great genius which Shakespeare enjoys, and which compels writers of our time to imitate him and readers and spectators to[6] discover in him non-existent merits,—thereby distorting their esthetic and ethical understanding,—is a great evil, as is every untruth. [Tolstoy]


eahilf said...

Climbed Mt Whitney before (2x), which you can do during the summer as a day hike -- it's summit is actually slightly higher than Ranier (which we could see from our neighborhood NE of Seattle when I was a kid) -- at that elevation, there is only half as much oxygen as at sea level -- I really felt that: the last two hours or so push to the Whitney summit were rather difficult for me: I had to walk/climb more slowly, and stop often to catch my breath -- the others I was with seemed less affected.

CP said...

Mt. Whitney Trail starts high at 8,600 feet and ascends gently over the course of its 6,000 vertical feet gain in elevation. The average of 550-feet in elevation gain per mile makes for a relatively gentle ascent. For fast hikers, the ascent can be done in about 5 hours, with about 7 to 8 hours for the average hiker. A slow pace may mean 10 hours to the top. Generally, coming down takes about 2 to 3 hours quicker. In order to get back Whitney Portal before dusk in the summer 8pm it often requires starting before sunrise.

eahilf said...

We did the climb both times in Sep, and stayed the night before in Lone Pine -- next morning at 5am we were on the trail with our headlamps, LOTS of H2O, and some food -- it is great to be hiking in the cool air as the sun rises -- the goal is to reach the summit around 1pm, which is tough but doable if you do not rest too often or too long -- then spend half an hour or so there, enjoying the accomplishment and the view, also signing the book -- then head back down, hoping to get back before it gets really dark, ie not after 6pm -- the trail is not all that distinct in some places, and IMO you could easily lose it in the wilderness darkness, and then you are in some trouble -- some food and a shower are welcome at the end of what is a long, fairly grueling day.

Discipline is even more important -- if you are doing the day climb, and it becomes apparent that you will not reach the top before 2pm, or the weather is becoming dodgy, then you must not attempt the summit -- instead make sure you are back at the trail head before dark, and start planning for next year.

You need a permit and must apply in advance -- there is a very limited supply.

eahilf said...

>it's summit is actually slightly higher than Ranier

Should be its summit, of course.