Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Reflux : a quick and simple remedy .

Reflux : a quick and simple remedy .

Andre Willers

1 August 2007 .

Dedicated to Ermeine Willers on her birthday .

The Problem:
In older age , the muscle structure in the lower oesephagus and upper stomach in humans slowly lose the capability of preventing the acidic contents of the stomach from moving in the wrong direction . This is felt as heartburn .

The Cure Recipe :
Mix 50% sunflower seeds , 25% pitless raisins and 25% pumpkin seeds . Eat about 50 to 100 mg two to three times a week with your fingers .(At least initially)

The way it works :
The HOX genes in mammalian lower oesephagus and upper stomach are switched on by two-thirds macerated small seeds , as well as the chewing action .
Stem cells are activated to increase the muscular cells by fooling them into thinking that a muscular crop is needed .

The number of muscle cells in the lower oesephagus and upper stomach increase .

Reflux decreases .


Sunday, July 29, 2007

KellyCriteria , MiniMax and BlackScholes

Hi Leslie ,

You have already done this .

Think portfolio management .
How much to invest in every risk bracket to ensure a reasonably smooth total minimum return . (ie minimise risk)

Kelly Criteria is the mathematics behind betting/investing systems that (minimises maximum possible losses) while (maximising average returns) .

(Eg you have R1000 . Flip a 50-50 coin . Heads you double your money . Tails you lose . How much must you bet on every throw to get the most out after 100 throws . Remember , if you go to zero , you are wiped out . Now add a bias to the coin ,say 60-40 .
How much must you bet now ? This is the Kelly Criteria . )

It was the basis of portfolio design (and a lot of Cold War Strategy) until the Black-Scholes Equations came along .

Black-Scholes Equations
This enabled the calculation of the present value of Options in a market that is sophisticated and large enough to support liquidity in both the underlying and the derivitive market . This enabled risk-free investment at the beginning when there were few users of the algorithm .

Hedge Funds were then born in all their glory , and did quite well in a large , liquid , volatile market .

Essentially , they did balancing trades . Think of a balance scale . Add $1 Trillion to each scale , while taking 40% for your trouble . The scale is still in balance . Repeat . It works fine until one arm cannot bear the weight any more . It crashes , then the other arm is unbalanced and crashes as well .

The granddaddy of them all (Long Term Capital Management (LTCM)) crashed spectacularly when the the markets went illiquid .

Russia was a major arm .
Russia essentially reneged on all commitments and told the rest of the world to f***off . Since they had a credible nuclear deterrent , there was no nonsense about seizing assets . Instead , the major parties (mostly US banks) agreed not to call in the counterbalancing obligations . These were securitized and sold to an unsuspecting public via pension funds , insurance funds etc.
The spin was that they saved the World Financial System . So they did .

But Accounting systems are zero-sum systems .

These counterbalance trades had to remain on book as collectible debts (ie assets) .

The amounts are large : about $100 Trillion . About 10 times the US GDP .

This surfaced as asset inflation in the US , especially in the riskier end of the property market .

Fascinating .
This must be the largest con and armed robbery in history .

This is real money we are talking about . The Russian economy bounced back much faster than it should have . Of course .
It had no debts .

Double Fascinating:
This doubled the amount of money in the world !
Russia had $100 trillion in hand . The US had a loss of $100 trillion , but refused to acknowledge it , spreading it out by securitization . At the the moment of collapse , world capital just about doubled ( $100 trillion is just about the Planetary GDP) .

This amounts to an indirect taxation .

Can this happen again?
Yes .

The USA has been outsmarted in a classical Marxist jiu-jitsu maneuvre .Russia gained 10 years of US GDP by manipulating the weaknesses of the US capitalist system (especially the insane deregulation of the 1990's )

The US cannot regain this from Russia , much as they would like to . Instead , China and India are the logical candidates. Both are depending on expected future capital growth . The US is not . It can afford to shut down more than China or India can .


There is no surprise in any of these systems . Some people in the system can see what is coming down , but cannot change it .
It is like war in the age of sail . The enemy ship gets closer every day , but no amount of screaming and shouting is going to change the grinding of combat .

All the major powers know what is coming down the pike .
Will China subsidize the $100 trillion US debt via indirect taxation ?
Maybe if they thought that the US had any money left .
The only asset the US have left is the military .

An aside:

Competition :

The other problem is competition . In a finite market , hedge funds nibble at each other's profit margin .

Entire skyscrapers full of state-of-the-art computers and very expensive brains are devoted to chasing ever smaller margins .

Tyrannosaurus Rexes chasing rabbits . And the surviving rabbits get smaller and scarcer (a well-known evolutionary principle in predator-prey dynamics .)

The end result is predictable : hedge funds start going under (as is the case now , especially if they have been so unwise as to be still exposed to the sub-optimal mortgage and debt market in the US )

Note that the Kelly Criteria can be used in your head , on a piece of paper or on a PC . That is because you can define your risk categories at will over a chosen time interval . Ie it costs little .

But Black-Scholes requires continual monitoring of millions of data-elements , as well as out-guessing the competitors .
When the cost of this exceeds the profits , the funds either go out of business , or cut costs and revert to Kelly Criteria .
(Eg Soros Quantum , etc)

Of course , every major reduction in computing costs gives rise to a flare of hedge funds until the profit margins peter out .


-----Original Message-----From: Leslie [mailto:lesliepc@gmail.com] Sent: 01 July 2007 10:04 PMTo: 'Andre Willers'Subject:
Hi Andre,

What do you think of this? I don't understand the mathematics :-)



Costs .

Andre Willers
25 July 2007

Hi Aniki ,
Thank you for your email .
I hope this will make it bit clearer .

Synopsis :

Mercy and Entropy .
Mercy is built-into an entropy system by definition of semi-closed systems . See below.

Negative Entropy (ie decreasing disorder) is a definition of living systems .
It means that things are not conserved .
It also means that mercy (ie non-quid-pro-quo) systems like Christianity or Islam are more accurate reflections of reality than Karma and Double Book-keeping .

Costs should be mined , not minimized .
The closer stakeholders are bound , the greater the long-term stable profit for everybody .

This is generally true as long as the as the cost residue is greater than 3 degree Kelvin.

Costs Discussion :

Profit = Sales – Cost

The metric (Energy , Money ) is defined by the organism or society , but an energy metric underlies any human enterprise , since they are in a physical universe . (ie dollars or love count , but ergs are the king of all .)

Entropy is the degree of disorder .

The Laws of Thermodynamics is the statistical treatment of a large number of similar elements ( eg atoms , molecules , people ) .

The Laws of Thermodynamics .

1. Something is conserved through transitions .
Energy (in particles) , money (in people) are conserved . (First Law of Thermodynamics)

2 . At every transition/transaction , some energy / money gets dissipated . (Second Law of Thermodynamics)
These are heat loss , costs . (Commission , manufacturing costs ,etc)

3 . At every transition/transaction , some energy / money gets dissipated into a larger , less usable pool . (Third Law of Thermodynamics) . Also known as Entropy .

Disorder increases from the viewpoint of source of the transaction , since the dissipated energy/money cannot be easily be rounded up to work at the same level again . Any attempt to do so will incur additional costs .

Closed Systems

The above arguments hold for entirely closed systems like a Universe .

But your smaller Reality consists of semi-closed systems like your body , your country , your family ,your Company , etc .

Your body can go into a higher state of order by excreting stuff in an even higher state of disorder than the stuff it ingested .

Since life by definition is more order (ie less entropy) , it can only achieve this by excreting greater disorder . Pollution is a marker of life .
Think Waste Management Companies .

One organism’s garbage is the next organism’s food . Another way to put it , is that garbage creates niches for semi-open organisms .

In a perfectly efficient Universe , cascades of semi-closed evolutionary organisms reduce the waste to a minimum .

The only garbage left would be random heat energy .

Your attention is drawn to the background heat-radiation throughout the Universe . This is about 3 Kelvin .

(Note that this is near to fluctuating possibilities for really , really large Bose-Einstein condensates . An ideal candidate for dark matter and energy , especially since it would be intelligent . Ho-ho-ho!)

Time is a characteristic of a semi-closed system .
Ie of imperfect information transmission , hence increasing entropy .

How close is the analogue between Physics and Economy really?

From the above it is quite close .
Hence Econophysics . Goldratt’s work is a good example .

1 . First Law of Thermodynamics (Conservation)

Creating or destroying money seems arbitrary , but states that have tried it have seen their arse . Zimbabwe is but one in line stretching back into history . The reason is that any monetary unit is basically coupled to food production . And this is firmly tied to Energy conservation systems .

2. Second Law of Thermodynamics (Energy never gets perfectly transformed)
This is one of the major driving forces in semi-closed evolutionary systems . An eco-web is stronger because the primary users of the energy chain leave enough for the rest down the chain .

There are actually examples of where too efficient primary users went extinct because they did not leave enough for the web of life dependant on their leavings .

Too efficient lifeforms :
Three examples:
Certain ungulates , whales , humans .

Ungulates on plains like prairies , steppes . The grass requires their dung . But localized evolutionary pressures blows bubbles of high-efficient grass usage . Ungulate numbers explode , as does their predators , but at the next climate downturn the grass dies faster than before . The number of increasingly desperate predators decrease slower than the grass-dieoff . The prey species can easily go extinct , as it is ground between the two .

Ho-ho-ho! Whales are the baddies !
The oceans are normally considered exempt from such pressures because they are so large . But nothing is too large for evolutionary positive feedback systems .

The layer of ocean passing enough light to enable plankton to grow is on the surface about 200 ft deep .Large ,but not infinite . Plankton fixes CO2 and produces oxygen . Large whales eat plankton , but their excrement and remains cannot replace what they eat .

A warmer planet favours more whales (large , shallow continental shelves . Fertile , ice-free arctic and antarctic seas .) Large number of whales would evolve to engender this (a variation of daisy planet)

Krill eat plankton . Some large whales eat krill only .

The result is that the biospheric CO2 and O2 levels fluctuate according to whale population in a chaotic fashion .

About 55 million years ago (when they grew large from a hippo-like landdweller ) they had undisputed ownership of the seas . Hence the concentration of plankton eating herbivores . They got enough of a headstart that they grew large enough quickly enough to obliterate predators .

They also ate enough plankton to trigger a large increase in atmospheric Co2 . The temperature rocketed . (The 55 MY temp peak)

A typical predator-prey fluctuation between plankton-eating and krill-eating whale populations drove the atmospheric CO2-O2 balance for the next 50 MY .

It is no wonder that orcas and dolphins are so friendly to humans . From their viewpoint , anything is better than the Evil Empire of the Whales.

Whales are busy exterminating humans (whom they see as a obnoxious form of krill eater.) . Humans are not even aware that they are at war with a lifeform that has seen off every competitor for the last 60 MY

Their preferred warfare form is climatic instability . The question then is why the climatic stability from about 12 000 BC occurred .

Your attention is drawn to the putative small comet impact on North America about 12 900 years ago . See New Scientist 26 May 2007 “Firestorm from space wiped out prehistoric Americans.”

The result would have been a massive extinction of whales in the northern atlantic and northern pacific , as well as large-mammal extinction in north America . The Clovis extinction in north America .

The resulting climatic stability led to usable agriculture , which is now being eroded by global heating by human CO2 and reestablishing of whales .

Note that the little ice age was concurrent with drastic decrease in whale numbers due to whaling .

Whales are the locusts of the Seas .

3. Third Law of Thermodynamics : Entropy (Time)

Time :
If the profit for a certain length of time is less than zero , the system dies .
If you don’t eat , you die .
Surplus profits can be stored . (Fat , bank accounts)
Surplus production can be stored . (muscle , cars , etc)
Surplus costs can be stored .( Underpaid workers

The equation then becomes :
Profit(t) + ProfitStored = Production(t) + ProductionStored – ( Cost(t) + CostStored))

This must be seen in a competitive environment .

Many Agents with these characteristics behave in certain clearly defined statistical ways . eg Economics , econophysics , etc

It is immediately clear why inefficiency is inherent in large organizations , whether they are composed of individuals or cells . It is a long term survival mechanism .

Think fat .

How much fat does a time-bound organism , society or structure need ?
Luckily we know that the need to infinity is 1/e ~ a third . (e=2.718…)
As a rule of thumb , the further the deviation from this 1/e rule , the shorter the life-span of the entity . It is also non-linear .

When you mine your Cost structure for increased profits , make sure that the resultant residue has the fractal characteristic of 1/e as fat .

Conclusion :
Costs (and this includes people) , should be seen as a profit resource .