Friday, June 11, 2021

Friday Night Links

  • Homes are not built by people intending to live in them. Instead, they are built by builders, who mostly want to flash-form 60 “units” overnight out of sticks and drywall. Everything from sun positioning to doorknobs becomes not just an afterthought, but a no-thought. The major architectural decision is how to maximize square-footage, over all else, in order to maximize sale price, because at some point in the past consumers wanted more space, and space (considered as square-footage) was an easily legible metric to aim for. [Simon Sarris]
  • I mentioned in Part 1 that the level of honesty you put into your design is important. If you wish to build a cottage it should be simple in cottage ways and complex in cottage ways. It should aim to be cozy and not pretend to be a palace. If you build a palace it should not look folksy, or have disorganized landscaping, or plastic towel rings. You should try to think hard about what feels appropriate, and if you are trying to save money, the compromises you make should be different for different designs. The materials you use should match what you are working with, and where you hope to build. There is nothing wrong with inexpensive materials themselves, and sometimes the cheaper option is the more suitable one. [Simon Sarris]
  • One reason I stay in New Hampshire: An ideal to me is to live outside the city when young, try to have a home, a workshop, possessions. You can have the space to accumulate raw materials and tools and knowledge, learn through the works of your hands. Have a place to make babies and give them the materials they need to create, too. Instead of chasing night life, use your time to learn what it is you really like to build. You can visit the city often, of course! Just not live inside it. Then, when you are older and your kids are grown, you part with your possessions easily, perhaps giving your kids a hand starting their own homes in the process. By then it is onerous to maintain things, and you should want to be more focused (ten hobbies instead of one hundred). Perhaps then you could easily move into a small pad in the city. [Simon Sarris]
  • What you should be recording are not the destination events of life so much as the much more mundane things: rainy mornings, making cookies, the process of building a shed or starting a garden, or your child trying to learn to brush his teeth. When sorting through hundreds of shoebox photos (maybe other families are different, but my family keeps their physical photos mostly in old shoe boxes) and using them to evoke stories, my grandparents would always seize on the commonplace. They would seize on the people, too: In pictures from a road trip to the Yosemite valley, pictures of the Yosemite vistas were not the most interesting interesting. What was interesting was seeing my uncle and mother as children, and how they got on in their RV. This has always stuck with me, and for years I tried to not take any photos unless a person was in frame. [Simon Sarris]
  • Q: You are of Croatian stock like I am.  Tall, violent, Balkan maniacs with a romantic sensibility.  Your Croatian grandfather left Royalist Yugoslavia, and like many, chose to settle in the Chicago area.  You paid homage to him by travelling to Croatia and getting in touch with your roots.  How much of Gorilla Mindset comes down to having the blood of genocidal fanatics coursing through your veins?  We punch well above our weight when it comes to sports, drywall taping, and annoying the fuck out of everyone on the internet with our incessant, jingoistic expressions of patriotism.  Why are we so powerful, particularly sexually? A: I did a 23AndMe years and years ago before I realized they would be able to bioengineer a weapon to “suicide” me from my results. [niccolo]
  • How aware are people that we narrowly skirted a third world-style coup here in the US just two weeks ago? You may recall that in the first week of June, the Antifa-Soros Media Industrial Complex was calling for a million “protesters” (aka rioters) to converge on Washington DC where the President was bunkered at the White House. In the run up to that June 6th weekend, the (Dem) DC mayor stood down law enforcement and National Guard, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff(!) started issuing strange public memoranda implying that they were on the side of rioters rather than the President (no reference to chain of command, “cannot abide divisiveness and hate”, etc.) This is the classic Deep State color revolution checkmate: the imported mob storms the presidential palace while converged insiders preemptively scupper any official reaction. Whether the President flees or is sacked, he is discredited, and a new figure takes the helm “because of the unprecedented conditions of these turbulent times”. AG Barr, head of the Depatment of Justice and one of the smarter and more perceptive guys in the White House, was sufficiently alarmed by the situation that he replaced the Federal troops around the White House (loyal to the JCS) with Department of Justice troops whose loyalty he could be more assured of. You know that moment in foreign wire service dispatches or Tom Clancy novels where different military cadres loyal to different government factions maneuver around the Capital to determine who will be in power next week? That happened here two weeks ago and almost no one noticed. [link]
  • MMP's 30 year debt yields 3.8% with 9.6% dividend yield. It is strikingly similar to the equity risk premium at Altria, whose 30 year debt yields 4% with 7.7% dividend yield on the stock. See how low Magellan's dividend yield got at the peak of the midstream boom in 2014-2015. It was yielding under 3% - yet their debt was yielding closer to 5%. Wow: if you had followed the equity risk premium as a signal to chose between owning the stock or the bonds, you would have been in their debt instead of their stock given the -200 bps spread. Now with a +580 bps spread it seems to make more sense to own the stock. [CBS]
  • I think the inflection point is here, it does not have to be for value to be a great trade with a cheap hedge. I don't have to call the inflection point or bubble top. I can buy the bottom decile cheap stuff and hedge it with long term put options on the top percentile expensive stuff. The reason I think that works is that with record valuation dispersion between value and growth, the top percentile is overvalued by 10-100x. The puts are "expensive" on IV but these represent trillions of dollars of market cap that may vanish in 24 months. Examples: TSLA, ZM, SPCE, NKLA, LI, XPEV, CVNA. Then there are garden variety expensive stocks like CMG, but the IVs on those are cheaper so they could work too. Meanwhile, the cheap part of the market looks like tobacco (1,2), hydrocarbons, land/timber, pipelines, certain Oddballs, and small banks. All real assets except the banks, but I like the banks as a reopening trade. I think the cheap stuff earns more than enough to pay for the hedge, and I think there's a chance that both legs of the trade perform, where value rallies as the growth bubble pops. [CBS]
  • The home-seeking wanderer hopes to find a spot which unites the advantages of all the most delightful places he knows, while excluding the disadvantages of each. Vain endeavor! The attractions of different localities are often mutually exclusive. We cannot have the salubrious atmosphere of the mountains along with the deeper and richer soil of the lowlands, a score of miles away. We cannot [have] a good road and proximity to shops and a post office along with unspoiled wilderness. We cannot have magnificent rain forests along with a dry climate. And everywhere there are plagues and annoyances, whether from the government, neighbors, rodents, snakes, insects, fungous parasites, or the weather. [CBS]

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