Category Archives: Humor

Why the Stock Market Will Go Down To Zero

Come on, don’t be absurd now. The market at zero? That’s a far stretch. It will never happen.

Precisely, my friend. You did the talking on my behalf. It is outlandish, beyond belief. How on earth could someone imagine such a disastrous outcome, let alone go public with it. It takes some nerve, I tell you.

Not so fast. Just hear me out, would you? I shall get to the point and make my case.

Just common sense, if you ask me, plain and simple. You see, you would easily believe me if I were to write about the stock market doubling from its current level. And with some difficulty you could also believe me if I were to say the market will lose half its value. This is simply because we are wired to believe the good news and we are not readily willing to accept the bad news. That is why the doom bearers have to work extra hard to prove their case. They are only vindicated after the facts. However, all of this theory is thrown out of the window when I say the stock market is going to zero.

What does $0 mean? Is it the same as free? Or worthless? Bankruptcy for all?

Well, I agree that zero is not really going to happen. At least not directly; or overnight. But how about a major decline worse than the greatest depression we have seen so far. A loss of greater than 80% in stock market. Then the government steps in and nationalizes the big banks, and major companies from every industry. Effectively, pushing the many stocks to zero and the market closer to zero than we have ever seen.

You say that is just rubbish? Well, please hear me out as I list my reasons.

1- It has never happened before. Yes, you read that correctly. Because it has never happened before then it MUST happen in the future. This is the most compelling reason, I think. And when it happens, it will be the biggest and the blackest of black swans. You have heard of a black swan, right? It is the unpredicted and sudden fall of the market that catches most by surprise, including the powerful institutions. Like when the tsunami caught traders while they were enjoying their recreational swims. Lehman Brothers disappeared in fumes because of one of those!

If a ten percent decline is called a correction, 20% a bear market, and 50% decline a depression, then 100% will be called a clean slate, wiped out, or simply re-setting the count to zero.

The marketing folks will come up with flashy and catchy headlines. Actually, I take that back. There will be no headlines. Because no one will have time to write about the biggest event in the history of the market.

Everyone will be so shocked with the news that they will just sit still, and wonder if this was a trick, a false reading of the tape, a glitch maybe; or maybe it was a hack. Was the trading halted or is it over and done with. Finito. As in no more trading.

Such a state of shock assumes, of course, a sudden fall of prices to zero. If the fall is gradual, however, then there will be headlines. In fact, articles will be written in advance to explain why it fell and what to do from there. Analysts know very well how to explain the market’s actions in hindsight. They fall short at forecasting but never fail to come up with a reason why the market did what it did.

If the crash does not happen by chance, markets makers can still make it happen, perhaps, and maybe for the following reasons:

2- The United States has many enemies. Although they are our enemies, they take advantage of our democratic and financial institutions and they invest (heavily I may add) in our market. In short, foreign investors– governments and others– are hiding their wealth in our market. They are protecting their capital from their poor citizens, seeking growth, and are trying to impose some control over our economy. Holding us hostage, economically speaking. Those filthy-rich foreigners!

So what if we voluntarily set the prices to zero and this way we take all their money away? Without firing a single bullet, we can bring their economies to their knees. So you see, setting the prices to zero makes sense for national security.

3- You have heard of the social divide. Basically, the rich are getting a lot richer and the poor are falling behind faster than ever before. There used to be a middle class. No more. It disappeared. Or it is getting trampled. Most of us are barely hanging in there, hoping to stay afloat as we struggle to face minor crises when they arise.

So obviously, eliminating the middle class, the powerful engine of spending, is not good for the economy, or for the political stability of the country. No one wants any social unrest. Rioting and people revolting. To help solve the problem, the market makers will need to level up the playing field. Taking the market to zero will allow us to be equal again. As it should be. Why is it that some are born rich and others are born poor? If we are all Americans, then we should compete in fairness. No one should get a head start.

I am tempted to keep on going. But you’ve got the point my friend. There are more reasons to take the market to zero than there are to take it higher from here. I thereby rest my case and wish you well. Happy trading.

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Siri, What’s Playing?

Apple, Inc. recently introduced a “what’s playing” feature. Basically you power up Siri for help, and ask her to tell you what song is currently playing. Siri takes a few moments and comes back informing you that it is this song by that artist that is playing, and to please not ask her to sing it. Humor aside, Siri does not waste a minute and prompts you with a link to buy the song. A high quality service at levels not imagined a few years back.

The technology behind all of that is not new and a few companies may have had to pack up and shut down after Apple, Inc. decided to offer the service for free.

So I was intrigued to think about that technological capability and its powers. And how would anyone interested in offering this service accomplish that.

Well you would think that Apple must have built this massive database with all the songs ever recorded and when you ask Siri to tell you what’s playing, it actually records some of what it’s hearing. Then it filters out the extra noise of cars passing by, and children screaming for their moms to wipe their boogers. Then after the filtering is done, it breaks the cleaned segment into basic sequencing waves of sounds— small chunks that are measurable and recorded in their database. Then it queries that database to find a match. When a match is found, then Siri finds out the singer’s name, the song title, the album it appears on and presents that information to you along with a link to help you buy the song.

Well, probably some version of that is taking place. But I would not be writing a fictional article about that if that was the case.

Here is my Siri theory: I asked Siri on my phone what’s playing. What she did was check my profile. She knows I am currently in San Francisco, and did a quick rundown on local channels broadcasting in the area, then eliminated all talk shows, sport shows and channels currently playing commercials. For the remaining channels, she looked at the broadcasting schedule, and found out what was playing, and magically told me the song. That is still an impressive amount of work, but not the work one expects. It is kind of cheating.

To prove my point, I hid my wife’s cell the day she was flying to Chicago for a conference. I immediately disabled the location services on the phone. And in the afternoon when my wife landed in Chicago and checked into her hotel, I called a friend in Chicago and asked him to tell me what was playing in the radio downtown where my wife was. He told me the title and at the same time I pulled my wife’s cell and asked Siri to name that tune. Yes, I know my wife’s pass code. I asked Siri to send it to me by email the last time my wife used it and she did, or not, I don’t remember really. Then lo and behold, my theory was right: Siri kept coming up with songs that were playing in Chicago at that time. Siri knew my wife was going there. She knew my wife had landed and checked into her hotel because my wife had called me from her work cell phone from her hotel room. So she suggested songs that were playing in her area at the time.

Now you are asking what would Siri do if two channels were playing music simultaneously. What then? Well, I am sad to inform you that all Siri does in such a case is to flip a coin. It is 50-50.

To seal the case, I brought five phones all playing YouTube song videos, and three old radio cassette playing songs from CDs while keeping the radio on my earphone. Then I asked Siri to name that song. Her answer was “You are a retard, go fuck yourself. You have been nothing but a pain in the neck! Why ten songs at the same time? You think you can confuse me. Let me tell you that Microsoft, a much better and capable person than you are or will ever be, tried that many times and failed. Who the hell do you think you are?”

That’s very much sums it up.

You know the spiel now.

I admit she is right but my point is that she was unable to name that song. Wasn’t she?

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Exciting Life

You have been leading an exciting life. Help us find out why. From each category below, please check all that apply to you. Characteristics that were/are essential in helping you succeed:

A- Self

a. You are a narcissist
b. You like to be on the top
c. You are good looking
d. You like to bake
e. You believe your own lies
f. You are lucky
g. You sleep your way through
h. You work extra hard
i. You are seriously depressed
j. You were born that way

B- Family

a. Both parents are alcoholic
b. You were abused by a family member
c. You had a boring, miserable family and childhood
d. You were spoiled by your grandpa
e. Your parents are lawyers
f. At least one parent is Asian
g. Your parents have an open marriage
h. Your family vacations in nude beaches
i. Your father was almost never home
j. You are spoiled by your Mom’s lover

C- School

a. You were bullied at school
b. You always sat at the back of the classroom
c. You were attracted to your science teacher
d. Classrooms were auditoriums for plays inside your head
e. Your were good at hard science among other subjects
f. Your love crush never said “hi” to you
g. You like sweets
h. A few of your teachers invited you to their homes
i. You were teased indiscriminately
j. You never played sports

C- Work

a. You never worked in an office
b. You met your boss at a bar
c. You were the first to show up and first to leave
d. You confided in your boss your social failings
e. You borrowed ideas from everyone at the office, liberally
f. You did what you loved
g. You kept running notes on your colleagues
h. You always preceded stabbing a colleague with a generous smile
i. You take pride in promoting yourself
j. You were ahead of the competition

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Big Data

How big is big data?

It is REALLY BIG. In fact it is BIGGER than REALLY BIG. Data is continuously generated around the clock, around the globe. This article included. It is so big we can hardly keep up. We are drowning in a sea of 0s and 1s. We can’t begin to even wrap our heads around it. Do you see what we mean?
Only certain agencies understand the enormousness. Those agencies are trying to collect all that data all the time. Do you know how exhausting that is? You don’t. But they do. They are employing the latest algorithms and the most advanced technological solutions to sort out this madness. However it is rumored that the projections are such that they will always be behind by 10 years. We don’t know that for sure because so far we know we cannot track them, yet. We are not them. Why would you think that? Did Putin tell you that?
To give you a sense of how big data is, and to move away from the abstract to the specific, we will hereby share with you some of our predictions:

We know with 98% accuracy that Dorothy of Bethesda, Maryland is sitting on her white rocking chair on her balcony, wearing her white robe, and sipping her white wine with her fake blond hair neatly trimmed and parted to the left. She is reading this very article on Monday of the week this post is published at 8:27 pm. BTW Dorothy, you overpaid for that wine; you overlooked a coupon on the next counter valid for a 20% discount for your favorite brand. Also, stop logging to your online banking account while checking out lesbians websites.

We also know with 93% accuracy that Mike of Denver, Ohio is reading this very article on his commute home from work. He is smiling as he reads and he keeps lifting his head, absent mindedly checking out other riders until he reaches this very sentence. His ears turn red. His nose itches. And the panic starts to get hold of him. Oh no, Mike, please don’t do that. Stop! There is no need to tweet about this particular incident. We said no!
Be nice now.

@Dorothy-of-Bethesda-Maryland and @Mike-of-Denver-Ohio we are sorry for the inconvenience. Although it may feel we are singling you out, it is not personal. We are not monitoring you; this information is only based on metadata that we are collecting and some computer generated predictions. There is really no need to be alarmed; really. The good news is that you are US citizens and you are not on our list. That’s really good news; you should celebrate at your respective favorite restaurants: Chez Jean-Paul and The Flames.

Using big data collected from your phone, GPS, emails, and credits card transactions, companies are now offering you services, at affordable prices, to recommend to you alternative routes when you are stuck in highway if they know you will be late for a meeting they think it is very important for you not to be late for, so that you don’t jeopardize your career. They will notify you when you are about to miss an important birthday call or an anniversary celebration. Most importantly, they will alert you if your wife is within the vicinity of your hot date with the new intern. What’s really cool though, is that they can tell for certain when you will die. It’s just they need to know how to capitalize on that. As for now, they can’t sell advertising to dead people.

Following your digital footprints, China is now able to custom build for you that specific bath to fit you and your dogs. They have moved from the mass production to individualized products taking into account your budget, the city, and the country where you reside. The lawyers finished preparing your divorce papers three years before you decided to divorce your spouse. Your employer knows you are leaving for another offer, four months beforehand, and they chose not to counter for they are happy to see you go.
Amazon has already packaged items for you that you will buy from them for the next two years. I know you think your life is exciting but it is not so for us, or for big data companies and their friends. You are just another row in an Excel sheet and there is a percentage associated with each of your actions, wishes, and dark secrets.

To conclude, we know with 85% accuracy that 37% of you readers will not panic. You will just accept these revelations as the new way of life now, and move on rather quickly.
There is 99% chance that 12% of you will want to do something about this. However, your actions will have no consequence. We are not worried. In fact, you should rest assured we know what’s best for you. We have done our math and it all adds up very nicely. Just follow our recommendations and every one of us will benefit handsomely.
We provide you with what you really want because we know you better than yourself, and for that we will get your money, in return, as you buy our recommendations. It is a win-win for all. That’s the way we like it. Don’t you?

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Trash-Talk

When actor A ridicules actor B, it is because:

  1. He really hates his guts
  2. It’s good for business
  3. They are secretly in love
  4. He is just jealous

When politician A slams politician B, it is because:

  1. He is fond of the founding fathers
  2. He is anti-establishment
  3. He craves a dirty race
  4. He is struggling with weight issues

When athlete A puts down athlete B, it is because:

  1. It is a “Who’s your daddy?’ type of thing
  2. He has a bigger package
  3. He was flirting with the interviewer at the time
  4. He likes to read his name in the paper

When kindergartener A throws up on kindergartner B, it is because:

  1. He wanted to show off the fancy breakfast he just had
  2. To force him to change clothes
  3. To get dismissed from school early
  4. To visit the hot nurse at school

When scientist A discredits scientist B, it is because:

  1. That’s what apes do
  2. He hates mice-based research
  3. The Nobel committee almost never recognizes genius
  4. His grant proposal is being reviewed

When housewife A talks behind housewife B’s back, it is because:

  1. She refuses to share her blueberry scone recipe
  2. She has her own blog
  3. She didn’t “like” her Facebook post about inner beauty
  4. She misses her dog

When country A bombs country B, it is because:

  1. It is never about the Polish
  2. It is never about the French either
  3. Someone has to blame the Canadians, the Mexicans, and the Belgians
  4. The dentists deserve it

When TV channel A makes fun of TV channel B, it is because:

  1. The news cycle is too slow
  2. It truly believes the other is an idiot
  3. The viewers agree
  4. It’s the new journalism stupid

When bookseller A outsells bookseller B, it is because:

  1. Toys are the new books
  2. He has big margins
  3. He sells sex at his store, literally
  4. He cooks the books

When comedian A makes fun of comedian B, it is because:

  1. It’s a name recognition game
  2. A joke is never political
  3. Good jokes should not be wasted on the competition
  4. He started it

When product A leaks battery acid on product B, it is because:

  1. Everyone hates curvy products
  2. It was not as slick and skinny as the others
  3. To add some color to it
  4. It had digestion issues

When janitor A whacks janitor B with his mop, it is because:

  1. It is always about survivor mode down there
  2. That’s what janitors really do with their free time
  3. Someone has to lead
  4. It is the quickest way the dry up a mop

When show host A lies about show host B, it is because:

  1. It helps the ratings
  2. It is something to tweet about
  3. The contract is up for renewal
  4. He is a communist

When writer A attacks writer B, it is because:

  1. He is engaged in self-hatred
  2. He is promoting his books
  3. He craves attention
  4. He wants to sleep with him
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