Friday, June 26, 2015

The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction

#author.Nate Silver
checkout local library thru Kindle.

#note.//Thanks Kindle!

We need to stop, and admit it: we have a prediction problem. We love to predict things—and we aren’t very good at it.
Read more at location 381
Note: 1297 highlights as of 20150625. It's not something I would quote.

...suppose instead that there is some common factor that ties the fate of these homeowners together. For instance: there is a massive housing bubble that has caused home prices to rise by 80 percent without any tangible improvement in the fundamentals. Now you’ve got trouble: if one borrower defaults, the rest might succumb to the same problems.
Read more at location 603
Note: the common factor is a global recession or depression  

passage attributed to the Greek poet Archilochus: “The fox knows many little things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.”
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Note: fox clan. 1285 highlights as of 2015.06.30  

Foxes, Tetlock found, are considerably better at forecasting than hedgehogs.
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“They look at this probabilistic information and they’ve got to translate that into a decision. A go, no-go. A yes-or-no decision.
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Note: But in an emergency, you need an alpha leader to make go, no-go decision for the group. It's a trade off. Leaders are usually hedgehog and make poor predictions but in a crisis they don't get confused analyzing. They make executive decisions. GO LEFT!

What happens in systems with noisy data and underdeveloped theory—like earthquake prediction and parts of economics and political science—is a two-step process. First, people start to mistake the noise for a signal. Second, this noise pollutes journals, blogs, and news accounts with false alarms, undermining good science and setting back our ability to understand how the system really works.
Read more at location 2788
I give you three locks to practice on—a red one, a black one, and a blue one.
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Note: This is an example of Overfittng that I should remember. I wrote a poem about it.

To borrow the title of another book, they play into our tendency to be fooled by randomness.
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Note: I've read it. Is it on my stream?  

the theory suggests that very simple things can behave in strange and mysterious ways when they interact with one another.
Read more at location 2909    
Note: I'm fairly simple and so is JoJoBrand3! How we three simpleton interact might be very complex. Theory of complexity with Per Bak.  

Bak’s favorite example was that of a sandpile on a beach.
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The more fundamental problem is that we have a demand for experts in our society but we don’t actually have that much of a demand for accurate forecasts.”
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Note: Robin Hansen at George Mason Univ.  

crucial to develop a better understanding of ourselves, and the way we distort and interpret the signals we receive, if we want to make better predictions.
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Scottish philosopher David Hume, who argued that since we could not be certain that the sun would rise again, a prediction that it would was inherently no more rational than one that it wouldn’t.26 The Bayesian viewpoint, instead, regards rationality as a probabilistic matter.
Read more at location 4049    
Healthy skepticism needs to proceed from this basis. It needs to weigh the strength of new evidence against the overall strength of the theory, rather than rummaging through fact and theory alike for argumentative and ideological convenience,
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Armstrong and Green critique of model complexity thus looks pretty good here. But the success of the more basic forecasting methods suggests that Armstrong’s critique may have won the battle but not the war.
Read more at location 6567
since the simple methods correctly predicted a temperature increase in line with the rise in CO2, they are also evidence in favor of the greenhouse-effect hypothesis.
Read more at location 6570
we’re wasting our time debating a proposition that is very much accepted within the scientific community, when we could be having a good-faith discussion about the uncertainties that do exist.”Read more at location 6667    
Note: Michael Mann at Penn State Univ.  

But at least this flawed type of thinking would have involved some thinking. If we had gone through the thought process, perhaps we could have recognized how loose our assumptions were.
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When a possibility is unfamiliar to us, we do not even think about it. Instead we develop a sort of mind-blindness to it. In medicine this is called anosognosia:
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Aaron Clauset, a professor at the University of Colorado with a background in physics and computer science, has published papers on the mathematics of everything from the evolution of whales42 to the network dynamics of multiplayer role-playing games.
Read more at location 6948    
Clauset’s insight, however, is actually quite simple—or at least it seems that way with the benefit of hindsight. What his work found is that the mathematics of terrorism resemble those of another domain discussed in this book: earthquakes.
Read more at location 6955
Clauset’s method gives us reason to believe that attacks that might kill tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people are a possibility to contemplate as well. The mechanism for such an attack is unpleasant but easy enough to identify. It would most likely involve weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons.
Read more at location 7019
world in which there are dangerous terrorist groups, vulnerable nuclear materials at many places around the world, and a lack of focus on the problem from U.S. policy makers.
Read more at location 7035
Note: Obama team again has correct policy, esp with recent diplomacy with Iran~20150714  

Allison’s concern stems primarily from two nuclear states: Russia and Pakistan.
Read more at location 7057    
We must always accept a certain amount of risk from terrorism when we want to live in a free society, whether or not we want to admit it.
Read more at location 7176    
In many walks of life, expressions of uncertainty are mistaken for admissions of weakness.
Read more at location 7277

Soft Apocalypse

#author.Will McIntosh

checkout local library thru Kindle.

The interesting SciFi is Doctor Happy virus and enforced homogeneity!

The bamboo is interesting, but biologically improbably, like The Invasion from Outer Space from We Others by Steven Millhauser

Homogeneity of a community probably correlates with and is causation for less member-on-member violence within the community circle.

It makes me think along this line of thought.

The Military's goal is to eliminate people outside the circle (outside our tribe). We want to engage, escalate, and then use our superior force and mobility to neutralize (kill) people outside the circle.

The Police's goal is to protect members from other members within the community circle. Therefore, when we engage, we should deescalate the situation by using our superior force and mobility so that we don't have to neutralize people within our circle, who are by definition, us.

Just two memorable quotes (thanks Kindle):
I missed them to my bones. I had no proof now, that I had a past, that I’d once been a child. I never would have guessed it would hurt so much to lose them.
Read more at location 1692

when the world was running down, make the best of what’s still around.
Read more at location 2168

The last quote I couldn't remember where I heard it before. Eventually, I found the memory with Google. It's a Police song.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Throne of the Crescent Moon

#author.Saladin Ahmed
checkout local library thru Kindle.

It started off good. The big, bad guy seemed interesting, but the ending kinda fizzled. I'm not sure you could do more unless the writer wrote a longer story and fleshed out the villain more.

Thanks Kindle for saving my 4 highlighted passages, and 2 notes:

Adoulla and his friends had dispatched enough fiendish creatures over the decades to make him suspect that the old threats were starting to regain a foothold on God’s great earth.
Read more at location 260
Note: evil.dark lord returns to the Land.

Instead of a blissful marriage, he had monstrosities on his mind and a pile of “should haves” pressing down upon his soul.
Read more at location 387
Note: And what if you forsake blissful marriage to fight monsters to find none. Would you be great or fiendish enough to create your own ghuls?

I've got a good twenty years left in this world if God wills it. Thousands of days, thousands of nights. I'm not going to spend them all alone. I’m not.
Read more at location 2514

“O believer! When you meet a man on the road, know that God, who makes broken things whole, has cobbled your kindest fates together,”
Read more at location 3345

Jurassic World

Watched at the theater with Nick & Le.
I suspended my scientific belief-system for the creation of the creatures, but just because they're herbivores doesn't mean they're not dangerous!

The big, hybrid velociraptor would have killed the little rapter. As Chris Pratt pointed out. The creature had been raised in isolation. It was just a killing machine with no recognition of sibling (which it ate).

Chris Pratt as Owen, the lovable former Navy-man turned dinosaur trainer, and all-around Hero.

link.Peter Quill.Guardian of the Galaxy
link.Emmet Brickowski.The Lego Movie
link.Andy Dwyer.Parks and Recreation

Blue Ruin

I watched last night on NetFlix.Anhtuan.
Very dark movie.  Recontextualizing a family feud into a modern movie way. It's a very old narrative. Lover's and their fighting families.
I haven't seen any other movies with Macon, or produced or written by him.

Macon Blair as the lovable vagabond, Dwight.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises

#author.Timothy Geithner
checkout local library thru Kindle.

I haven't been reading enough. This is my non-fiction read. I do love these market, policy, monetary, economic, business cycle books!

Let's see what an insider see's and the do's and don'ts.

Now I'm finished!

Fascinating insights into policy making.

Here are my notes from Kindle. Thanks Amazon for keeping them!

We weren’t rich by American standards, but we were very privileged.
Read more at location 383   •
Note: that's how i feel!

My mother is from a New England family dating back to the Mayflower,
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Note: she is White brand.main

His father was a German immigrant who settled in north Philadelphia and ran a small business as a cabinetmaker. My father went to a public high school, mostly African American,
Read more at location 404   •
Note: he is White.brand.marginal

she sent him a Valentine from her dorm room. Nine months later, they were married. And they stayed married.
Read more at location 411   •
Note: father was marginal but still white brand so had access to main.brand unlike all the hard working black youth from the same Philie public school. Black.brand.main is changing.

Somehow, I got elected president of my junior and senior classes; my main memory of that initial experience in leadership was how much I loathed public speaking.
Read more at location 452   •
Note: he doesn't like public speaking, but he is definitely NOT introvert.

My father and several other relatives had gone to Dartmouth, and I initially resisted the idea of going there—partly because I wanted to carve out my own path, partly because I felt guilty about the advantages I had applying as a legacy. I decided those were weak reasons not to go to a good school.
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Note: he had access to White.brand.marginal.right-tail, that part of the brand the actively reinforces the main.brand.

I would join three housemates, all of them women. One of them was Carole Sonnenfeld.
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Note: tradition male.brand. integrating with proximal female.brand. How else to nucleate a long-term, stable relationship except by physical proximity. Is there now a NEW electronic proximity? What good is it without sex?

Carole was pregnant again.
Read more at location 690   •
Note: biology of female.brand but empathy and good listener are not restrict traits of fe.brand. Many ma.brand have this trait. Does nucleation require complementary brand (probably no)? Or is it just required for long-term stability (probably yes).

I put too much of a burden on Carole, and too much of their lives happened without me.
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Note: once nucleated into family.brand must make sacrifice.

September 2005. We invited their regulators, too, including British and German authorities. Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs dubbed the group “the Fourteen Families,”
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Note: who are the 14?

How could the Fed justify invoking emergency powers to help a nonbank that wouldn’t even help itself?
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Note: is it similar to Iraq? how can we send in US troops when the Iraq people don't want to fight

Citi didn't expect funding for these off-balance sheet vehicles to dry up, because of the same delusions that made risky securities seem safe to investors and rating agencies.
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Note: no capital group.

And Carole didn't just have reservations; she was opposed.
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Note: again. sacrifices by fe.brand

They didn’t have better solutions; they just didn't like ours. We were often vulnerable to that kind of attack, because we rarely had good options.
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AIG bonus scandal would take the media frenzy and the public anger to new levels, and I knew it would be another devastating blow to confidence in our crisis response. The next day, I called Ed Liddy, the new CEO of AIG, to say, essentially: What the fuck?
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I got into the habit of walking into crowded meetings in Larry’s office and joking: “Is this a real meeting or a fake meeting?” In other words, are we talking about a policy that requires a decision, or just talking?
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Note: aren't science meeting like this too? Or any open style meeting.

Eventually, Congress will have to make some tough choices about the mortgage market—not just how to reduce the government’s dominant role, but how to balance the trade-off between safety and accessibility.
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CEOs of the troubled institutions that required a majority government stake (Fannie, Freddie, AIG) or a merger with a stronger partner (Bear, WaMu, Countrywide, Merrill, Wachovia) all lost their jobs.
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Note: where are they.CEO now?

the central paradox of financial crises: What feels just and fair is often the opposite of what’s required for a just and fair outcome. It’s why policymakers generally tend to make crises worse, and why the politics of crisis management are always untenable.
Read more at location 7720   •
Note: Can brands nucleate crisis group who can manage policy.action? what are the movement.rituals to train in preperation? can the brand.tribe be laterall and not classically hierarchtical.

a sustained rise in private borrowing relative to GDP,
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Note: signs of a developing financial crisis

a sustained rise in uninsured short-term liabilities issued by the financial sector, the kind of money that can quickly run
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Note: signs of a developing financial crisis.

safeguards are the constraints on risk-taking that I’ve described as “shock absorbers,” starting with strict capital requirements that restrict leverage and ensure that institutions can absorb losses in a downturn. Other shock absorbers include liquidity requirements that limit financial institutions’ reliance on runnable short-term financing, deposit insurance and discount window access for depository institutions, margin requirements for derivatives and other financial instruments, and mortgage down-payment requirements that restrict leverage for ordinary borrowers.
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Note: measures to reduce risk.

playbook for monetary and fiscal policy is fairly simple.
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After a major shock that depresses demand and creates a risk of deflation, central bankers should ease monetary policy, aggressively lowering interest rates. Once the overnight rate approaches zero, they should find new ways to stay on the accelerator,
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fiscal side, the government should do as much as it can to reduce taxes and increase spending in order to offset the loss of wealth, the tightening of credit, and the collapse in private demand.
Read more at location 7927   •

The composition of fiscal stimulus is important, too, and should ideally combine speed and power. Tax cuts tend to be fast but weak; infrastructure investments tend to be powerful but slow; aid to low-income families is fast as well as powerful.
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financial rescue protocol is more complex. You want to conduct a form of triage that distinguishes between the insolvent and the merely illiquid, between firms that will never be viable and firms that just need protection from being caught in the stampede.
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