Saturday, September 24, 2016

Kraftwerk's "Hall of Mirrors"

And apropos to the previous, here's Kraftwerk's "Hall of Mirrors":

Nice when a TV show's soundtrack uses not just a Chromatics song, but also a totally forgotten Kraftwerk track.


In case you missed it, at the very end of season 2 of Mr. Robot, Elliot got shot because he thought Tyrell was another hallucination.

Turns out Tyrell has been alive all this time, and he's real.

So now all the people who didn't believe Reddit's "Tyrelliot" theory are getting all in our faces, saying they be all that and yo mama and such.

But ffs, it was the right thing to do to assume Tyrell was just a hallucination. All frickin' season, Sam Esmail has been screwing with our heads:

 - The "Elliot's been in prison all along" mindfuck of the first half of the season.

- For several episodes in the second half, he put "inconspicuous man" and "inconspicuous woman" in the credits, then purposefully put them in the blurry background of half a dozen scenes so that the more rabid fans would find them and start asking what was going on.

- Having Cisco and Darlene gunned down in the third-last episode, except the blood-spatter that seemed to come from Darlene was actually from an exploding ketchup bottle if you watched frame-by-frame, and when the sign on the diner blew up it went from reading "Lupe's" to reading "Lies".

- When Tyrell gets into the cab in the second-last episode, Elliot asks the cab driver if he's really there and the cab driver doesn't respond.

- A bunch of other stuff, I forget.

- Tyrell also looked different and talked different in that second-last episode.

- And most importantly, we were told several times that Mr. Robot killed Tyrell, and we've already got a lead character who hallucinates people.

Given all of the above, why shouldn't we have believed Tyrell was just a hallucination?

So now we find it's not true, Tyrell was alive all season and hiding out in a warehouse planning Stage 2 (which, as it turns out, definitely does not involve time travel). And Elliot got shot for reading Reddit. And Sam Esmail is cackling in the background.

Oh well. More broadly speaking, we were all worried before the finale that Esmail was piling on far too many twists and the show was turning into a bullshit mindfuck like Lost; so it's nice that Esmail did tie off so damn many loose ends in the final episode (Tyrell's alive, Scott Knowles was the one phoning Tyrell's wife and sending her presents, Darlene is alive, Stage 2 is blowing up the records building, fat guy and Iranian girl made it out of town alive, the inconspicuous duo were working for Whiterose and not the FBI). Even nicer, he tied much of it off in the first 15 minutes.

After cleaning up much of the old storyline, though, Esmail did still give us a few questions to ponder over the winter: is Leon about to kill fat guy & Iranian girl? Is Angela working for Whiterose now? Do the FBI have enough to arrest everyone? But at least the show hasn't turned into Lost. And there's no fucking time travel, thank god.

And personally, I think the Reddit drama of the past few weeks is proof that Esmail and his friends are on Reddit, anonymously posting mindfuck theories to drive their obsessive fans to watch the show over and over looking for clues.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

More news

Well, I made a quick ~12% shorting $VIX futures. But I dumped that position today because an intraday below 12 is where I sell, not where I hold or buy.

I mean, maybe I can make money shorting time premium, but I'd rather just put that money back into an S&P index ETF, now that I have 12% more of it. But for the time being, I think I'll hold cash til I can figure out whether the S&P wants to blow through its high, or turn back again.

Meanwhile, here's some news:

Calculated Risk - all the FOMC commentary you'll never read. Just read Ritholtz instead:

Ritholtz - income liftoff shows the recovery is real. This is all very, very good, so you should definitely buy S&P and hold right now...

Bespoke - bears rule the roost. That's even better. Working people are finally experiencing improvement in income, which means we're facing a good long period of consumer-driven growth - but yet bearish sentiment is still high. Damn, I can imagine we'll be getting one heck of a Santa rally this year!

Global Times - does high China debt signal an imminent crisis? He notes that Chinese debt is going towards different things from other countries' usual debt. I would add that before people shoot off their fucking mouths about $25T in Chinese debt, they should perhaps consider that this means somewhere there are $25T in savings collecting interest.

The Intercept - John Boehner now working as lobbyist for China. Which I guess is typical for Republicans: make a few million robbing the US, then go get a paid job committing treason against your nation.

BBC - Trump uses Skittles photo taken by refugee to argue against refugees. Good reason for kids to study Magritte, I say.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Chicks are better

Marketwatch - this ETF bets that women are better CEOs.

Its ticker is SHE, and it's made up of companies with female leadership.

And it makes sense, because if bourgeois money managers get away with poorer performance than proletarian ones because of their class advantage, then you'd think that women CEOs will also do better than male CEOs because they have to fight harder just to break through the glass ceiling, right?

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Some weekend news

Four bloody assignments in one week! Thankfully calculus is already half-done, I did stats at school on Thursday, I've got international trade done this morning, and so my only worry is a massive modelling assignment.

Speaking of which, I like that nowadays you can get help with your math homework online. There's many videos on YouTube covering first- and second-year topics; there's and; and you can use Maple to check if you have the right answer.

This makes life one hell of a lot easier than it was in the old days!

Anyway, here's some news:

Calculated Risk - Fed flow of funds Q2. Household net worth is still increasing. So let me ask you: if the stock market is a "bubble", then what about household net worth? HNW is just assets, after all, so if there's a stock market bubble then there must also be a generalized asset bubble. I mean, if logic exists in the universe you inhabit.

New Deal Demoncrat - weekly indicators. There is no real downturn, and long indicators are snazzy.