Permain basis observations

American frontier society principles and worldview

  • Trump is the best president that God has given to America
  • God’s deeds are done in actions not words
  • If you do not appreciate what God has given, it was be taken away and replaced with something not as good
  • God created put the government in place to maintain law and order
  • Your purpose is to become the best possible version of yourself in service to God
  • What you can do you keep. This is how you keep cash in the business
  • Observe the actions not the words. When you follow your line of reasoning from actions that actually happened, the outcome of your thought process must be true
  • Apply the principles of auto-suggestion. People will more readily to respond to your actions than your words. Never use it for evil. Examples:
    • stand by the road on the highway holding an empty tank and chances are someone would stop by and offer you a ride to get gas
    • setup a table properly with all the meal and bring out a container showing empty butter and the guest will likely volunteer to go get butter

Economic environment in Permian basin

  • Permian basin is the heart of America’s oil supply. It has gone through multiple cycles of boom and bust over the past 20 years. Each bust cycle typically last for a year.
  • Property valuation. and taxes
    • before 2018
      • Valuation USD150,000
      • Taxation US1500
    • 2018
      • Valuation USD4,000,000
      • Taxation USD40000
  • Boom years
    • Total revenue for Roper motel was above USD1,000,000 during 2018 when demand for oil was strong.
    • Property taxes is calculated based on property valuation. Property valuation is assess every year.
    • Government started including motel furniture installations as part of annual property taxes as it was considered capitalized expenditure used for the purpose of generating revenue
    • Water taxes increased as usage was categorized as commercial leading to a doubling of water bills
    • Motels are charged USD200 a month for ambulance service in town
  • Post COVID era
    • while taxes were increased during the boom years, downwards adjustments were slow. Pecos is ailing for heightened level of taxes and low oil demand

Social environment in the Permian Basin

Reflections on navigating inflection points

Sometimes there comes an inflection point where you have to make a great leap of faith.

I can still remember that morning back in 2008, when I woke up in Shymkent, Khazakastan. I was feeling undecided about taking up Bernhard and Franzikas’ offer the night before to go visit them in Europe or just turning around and heading back home to Singapore overland. I was down to just USD3,000 in my bank account at that point. Shymkent was about the half way mark if you were planning to travel overland from Asia to Europe.

Sitting in the cafe sipping my coffee, I saw then the only other backpacker I have seen during this entire period, other than the pack I was with, walking through the door.

I soon realized after a quick chat he was heading in the direction of Asia overland. He had maps for territories westwards and I for those eastwards. After brief moment of deliberation I exchanged maps with him.

2008 was a period before smart phones and Google maps existed, giving up the map eastwards was like shutting the door to retreat back to Asia if I decided at any point to abort. You could imagine how frightening that experience was.

24 hours later in Astana, I saw broadcast over the news that severe riots had finally broke out after months of tension in the western region of China. The path back eastwards overland was closed and nailed shut. I guess I had no choice but to fully committed at that point. Strangely, with total clarity of purpose brought about a profound sense of calm.

Three months later after experiencing an actual deport, crashing at a few friends’ place and sleeping in the streets on multiple occasions I arrived in London UK, accomplishing my overland trip from Asia to Europe. And it was at the height of the 2008 financial crisis… Oh boy…

And that was definitely not the only inflection point I have experienced. In hindsight, inflection points tends to force you to either fully and totally commit to whatever your pursuits are or give up. The process catalyzes a one way change. It require a great deal of faith. Successful navigation of such events brings along with it total clarity of purpose until the next inflection point.

I guess part of the reason I founded GetData.IO was to provide people with a simple and affordable way to get the data they need so as to navigate those inflection points that life inevitably throw at them.  To help them make that decision they know they need to make and to have that peace of mind when the decision is finally made.

Observations of a trucker from the trucking community

  • Beliefs and behavioral profile
    • doesn’t believe in paying for an apartment
    • strong desire to be free
    • lives out of his truck
      • has bed
      • microwave
      • heater
      • storage
    • stopped over at truck stops when he used up his daily miles
    • gets to shower for free at pilot truck stops because of the amount of fuel he purchases
    • World view
      • References EpochTimes as a news source. Distrust CNN
      • Trump supporter – sees him as the only president that is not drawing a salary for his work.
      • Believes Democrats want to turn the country socialist by controlling the media and its messaging hence concludes the media is rigged
      • Further believes Democrats want to ban guns so as to exert more control over its people like a policed state
      • Believes in the ownership of guns to as a means to counter balance the power of the state to prevent involuntary drafting likes those imposed upon the people by the Confederates during the American civil war
  • Truck stops
    • Pilot Travel center
      • sells a lot of the equipment needed by truckers
      • showering facilities
      • internet and resting facilities
  • Technology usage:
    • Truckers have their own social network which is ran on Garmin.com
    • they text each other using the app
    • the app also tracks where they drove
  • Federal Law restrictions
    • Truckers hour limits by
      • 70 hours of driving per week
      • 11 hours of driving per day
      • 14 hours of working time per day which includes loading time
    • Yearly health checkup is required to operate a truck
    • Speed and alignments during operations after actively monitored by the Federal government through an onboard Qualcomm system
  • Technical details
    • A typical truck runs at 7.7 miles per galleon
    • weight
      • back axles 18000 pounds
      • front axles 18000 pounds
      • fully loaded truck 80,000 pounds
    • 3 separate braking system
      • regular brakes using air
      • parking brakes
      • emergency brakes  which will damage the axles if used abruptly
  • Trucking economic
    • A brand new trucks cost around USD150,000
      • Truckers can enter into a lease to own agreement with the trucking company to eventually own their truck.
        • typical monthly installment is around USD500 to USD1,000
        • installment payment accrues based on miles driven USD0.15/mile
        • a truck which has accrued 300,000 miles will sell for USD50,000. Value of the truck is depreciated at USD0.33/mile
    • operating profit and loss
      • Trucking contract typically paid revenue of approximately USD2/mile
      • Gross margin from a truckers point of view for an assignment is around 50%
      • net profit should be around 25% of that
      • Example:
        • Long haul job for 500 miles
          • revenue USD1000
          • variable expenses USD 500
            • gasoline
            • tolls
            • loading fees
            • etc
            • trucking company dues
          • amortized fixed monthly expenses USD 250
            • insurance
    • assignment details
      • when operating with truck leased from company, assignments are provided by company. Company takes 50% cut in exchange
      • if own truck, can take assignment from a trucking company which has cargo to be hauled
      • can opt to generate lead to assemble own cargo to be hauled.

Weapons of Math destruction by Cathy O’Neil

Weapons of Math Destruction

Key take aways

  • Human values like justice and mercy is hard if not impossible to encode as rules
  • Data scientist use proxies as an approximate gauge for the existence of values. These are inherently inaccurate if not downright wrong
  • While using of race as a feature to determine if loan should be approve is obviously racist, the use zip codes though not obvious is equally racist since race tends to segregate around geographical territories
  • Models are increasingly used to across various domains to help increase the speed of decision making. This increases the negative impact of badly designed models will have on humans
  • A feedback is necessary to ensure continuous correction of badly design models – transparency of how your credit score is calculated
  • Regulations are necessary on the use of models as companies driven by quarterly reporting requirements of shareholders are primarily be focused on the bottom line

 

Diogenes the Cynic: The war against the world

Diogenes the cynic: the war against the world

The building blocks of Diogenes’ philosophy

  1. Self sufficiency: only need yourself and dispense with societal support
  2. Shamelessness: be willing to break even the most sacrosanct rules to express absolute freedom
  3. Indifference: be unconcerned with things not within your control
  4. Insensibility: to become insensible to both pain and pleasure
  5. Ignorance: To limit intellectual activities to those that are of immediate value for human life
  6. Disciplined training:
    • commit to a program of self training that strengthens his character,
    • lessens dependencies on social and physical needs,
    • maintain his desires and impulses under strict rational control
  7. Strength of character:
    • aspire to develop in himself a character and physical constitution like those associated with Hercules
    • that renders him impervious to vicissitudes and sufferings of human life
  8. Poverty:
    • understand that virtue and happiness cannot be found in the search and acquisition of physical possessions
    • divest himself of as many things as possible,
    • retaining the bare necessities to keep him alive and that assure him the freedom that Hercules esteemed as the most precious thing in the world
  9. Philanthrophy
    • Recognize his moral obligation to make himself useful in the task of dispelling illusions that rob people of their ability to be happy and live in accordance with nature
  10. Contempt for the opinions of many
    • renounce the need to be honored or appreciated by others
    • welcome repudiation and insults
    • look with contempt or suspicion at the values and customs by which people guide themselves

A weird 2020 when 2008 repeated itself metaphorically

Unfortunately my earlier prediction of wildfire spreading from the US west coast as far as inland as Montana is once again spot on.

https://www.nifc.gov/fireInfo/nfn.htm

Give the long amount of time I spent in the woods in these sections conducting my hobo experiments, I could have easily became one of the 33.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/09/13/western-wildfires-monday-forecast-california-oregon-washington/5786311002/

I had a hunch that this year was going to be weird when I landed on the wrong side of the Lotte building during the 2020 new years count down in Seoul only to manage at catching the last 5 seconds of the fireworks after making a dash for it.

Things really started getting weird when COVID broke out in Europe and it seem to be always just 1-2 days behind me as I traversed the cities of Eastern Europe. And that saga came to a climatic end when I scuttled my way back to Singapore just hours before borders shutdown around the world.

Also not to forget mention me cutting all my long positions in oil hours just a day before it experienced its largest crashed in 30 years.

This weirdness got compounded when I started making my way overland eastwards and entire sections of the route I took got shrouded in inferno just a few days after my departure.

I wonder when I do eventually make my way back eastwards end of this year would I past through on the way back be flooded shortly after my departure…

It does remind me of 2008 when I slowly made my way westwards overland from Asia to Europe. Shortly after my departure from Szechuan the earthquake, broke out. This was followed by the Tibetan riots shortly after my departure from the Tibetan highlands and finally the Uighur riots shortly after I crossed the border from XinJiang into Kazakstan.

General thoughts of training trading bot

  • regime change occurs on the average every 3 months and the model gets outdated.
  • early signs of outdated model includes consistent non-commit signals
  • initial changes to trading parameters will tend to yield poor initial outcomes.
  • Good outcomes will require time to play itself out
  • Buying on the MACD bullish reversal tends to be too late in a volatile market. Potential gains from the reversal would have most likely played out by then
  • Drastically reducing number of outstanding positions leads to inefficiency of capital deploy as capital is left idling around with a bullish trend plays itself out
  • Explore buying when negative MACD trend slows down.

Realizations from nights spent isolated in the wilderness

There are only so many nights you can spend alone in isolation out in the wilderness before your brain fully discards all the faulty wirings imprinted by Hollywood’s horror movies.

What’s left is this primal realization that human is a very vicious predator perched pretty high up on the food chain. Further arm him with tools and he ends up right at the top of the food chain.

It is easy to forget about this fact when you have spent much of your life living in the city amongst other men following man made rules while attempting to play “civilized”.

Between groups of men there always exist collaboration and competition for resources extracted from nature. There also exist this constant jostling of position, usually labelled “politicking”, to gain more of these resources while exerting the same amount of effort. The bulk of the “stress” of “modern life” stems from “acquiring” what you need through the collective efforts of the group.

Between men and nature, the relationship appears simpler. The rules are pretty much fixed at the on set by nature. Man’s primary task is to figure out if the season is conducive for the activity being undertaken. Nature’s feedback is usually pretty immediate.

Related readings:

  • The Naked Ape, Desmond Morris
  • The nature of technology, Brian Arthur
  • Why the west rules for now, Ian Morris
  • Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari
  • I-Ching, the books of changes
  • Tao De Ching, Lao Tze