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    INTj
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    5w4

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    Calgary, Boston
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    Engineer

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  1. Just looked up a list of famous valedictorians and salutatorians. Among them: Albert Einstein, Alicia Keys, Cindy Crawford, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Jeff Bezos, Jimmy Carter, John F Kennedy, John Wayne, Jodi Foster, Weird Al, Dr Suess, William Taft, Chevy Chase... among many others as I didn't go through the whole list. I'd say valedictorians are punching above their weight. In presidents alone thats 3 out of 45. Significantly better than the roughly 1/325 you'd expect for valedictorians/salutatorians. Even if you said class sizes were historically smaller and went to 1/100 class sizes that's some clear evidence of over representation.
  2. This doesn't really say anything about valedictorians though. My contention is that the study is backwards and is making a common statistical error. Instead of following 81 valedictorians to see how many of those go on to become one in a million outliers, you need to study one in a million outliers to see if a disproportionate number of those were valedictorians. On the point of generalists vs specialists, I'd argue that a disproportionate number of people who truly changed the world were polymaths.
  3. I don't see any evidence supporting this in real life. At MIT 40% of the incoming class each year were the valedictorians of their school. Nearly everyone at the school is a passionate technophile. Furthermore, there is strong evidence that people who excel in math and science also excel in music and arts. There is a positive correlation between being really good at something and also being good at other things.
  4. Not really sure if the statistics in the study are really that sound. The typical high school graduating class has around 750 people in it, and only 1 can be the valedictorian. So out of the remaining 749, of course you are going to have more entrepreneurs and success stories, the numbers pretty much guarantee it. It's like the classic librarian vs farmer problem. Out of a sample size of 81, how many do you expect to change the fucking world? Can you think of a conclusion more flawed? Instead you have to look at people who DID change the world and see if a disproportionate number of those were valedictorians. From the top of my head, Jeff Bezos, probably the most successful man of our generation, was the valedictorian of his class.
  5. I know how steam turbines work - I'm a chemical engineer. At higher temperatures, the CO2 cycle has higher efficiency. I don't think GE and the researchers got the basic thermodynamics wrong. The primary advantage of CO2, as per the article, is you can build a turbine with equivalent power at one 1/10 the size and weight, while the primary disadvantage is cost. However, if the CO2 turbine does offer the reported size/weight advantage (something that I'm unable to verify myself), then I see it having significant value in niche markets. Possibly distributed generation or marine. I can't see it replacing combined cycle turbines in power applications.
  6. Not the immediate, short term future. But a well managed bank is going to do well over the course of several years. The point is even if you held through financial crisis, which was the most significant economic downturn since the depression, you would have come out the other side ok.
  7. It requires fairly exotic materials (resulting in high cost), which is the primary downside that I can see. However, a higher discharge pressure is not really a disadvantage. Less energy is converted to work running through the turbine, yes, but remember it's a closed loop, so less thermal energy is required to repressurize the CO2 as well. I think the thermodynamics of this are probably sound. GE is probably the best company in the world when it comes to turbines, they know what they are doing. The small size could prove to be a useful property. They have a 10MW turbine the size of a refrigerator. 10MW is enough power for an office building, and you could run it in a combined heat and power set up with the boilers.
  8. I generally agree that Silicon Valley is a bubble. TSMC and Facebook are my only two tech stocks. On FB, first thing to note is that I view it as a media company rather than a tech company. I'm only looking at advertising revenue and profit and I discount everything else to zero. Instagram was a brilliant acquisition, it was bought for $1b and in 2016 generated over $3b in revenue. On the other hand I disagreed with WhatsApp. The bull thesis on Facebook it should be possible for them to significantly grow ARPU. In 2016 FB ARPU was around $15 worldwide. Google ARPU around $24. However everyone I talk to in the ad industry says FB has much better targeting. FB also has much better margins than Google, as they aren't as distracted by pet projects (Although VR could be considered a pet project, I think it makes sense given FB is a media company and VR will likely become an important media platform). So here's how FB grows to $24+ ARPU. Biggest bottleneck right now is newfeed is probably saturated and usergrowth will probably flatten soon. However, even if that's the case, there are a few factors that can give the company solid, double digit growth for years to come. First, the company has untapped pricing power. FB ads offer the highest ROI of any advertising platform. As long as thats the case, there is room for ad prices to increase. Second, the shift to video is ongoing and video ads generate more revenue than static ads. Third, there are still a number of advertising opportuntities beyond newsfeed: Stories is growing and monetization just starting. FB Live is growing, and unmonetized. Messenger is still unmonentized. Live sports will be coming soon. VR is unmonetized (and probably will be for some time). Beyond those, Facebook can outsource it's ad targeting, which is the best in the business, which would provide another massive revenue platform. So they are far from saturation in my opinion. News feed is saturated, user growth will slow, but there is still lots of room to leverage FB's best in industry targeting to place advertising into an increasing number of channels. Add that up and the company has a long runway ahead of it, and at 37x earnings the stock is cheap relative to it's growth. Now the thing about tech is it tends to create monopolies. There will be no other social media success story because FB already won that war. Snap can add a feature, but FB has the scale to just copy it and since they have 10x as many user the cost per user of implementing that feature is 1/10th of what it costs Snap. FB can introduce a new product or feature and instantly serve a market of 2b. Noone can compete with that scale. This is how tech works. There was no next Microsoft in operating systems, there was no next Google in search, and there will be no next FB in social media. The bubble is in VCs thinking they can find the next FB, but there won't be another company like it for another decade.
  9. If you had bought JPM the day BEFORE Lehman brothers, you would have doubled your money by now.
  10. IMO a well managed REIT will usually perform better, provide better diversification, and be less of a headache than a rental property.
  11. The EOG position is somewhat hedged, as I am hedged oil. To an extent, the US financials position is as well. The US financials (specifically JPM, BAC, WFC) and TSMC look extremely undervalued to me. The big banks are safer than they have been in almost any point in history in terms of leverage, but that comes at the expense of lower ROE. Regardless of that, bank valuations largely reflect the lower ROE as if it will be a permanent thing.
  12. On an aggregate basis, the market looks expensive relative to historic valuations. Compared to bonds, it's still reasonably priced. I'm finding value in a few individual companies and sectors. Over the last couple of months I've added to positions in the US big banks, Facebook, Taiwan Semiconductor, EOG Resources, and Pepsi. As hedges, I've shorted certain Canadian mortgage investment companies and bought some puts on oil and natural gas. The US financials look very cheap especially compared to Canadian financials, and if oil stays above $50 EOG will do very well. Edit: Am I the only optimist who thinks the market is more likely to rise than fall?
  13. With VR, within a couple of generations, processing will be integrated with the headset. There won't be a need to connect to a rig. So I wouldn't go overboard on the rig, since the rig will be irrelevant.
  14. The romance options are so cringey that I'm avoiding them for both sexes.
  15. I'm about halfway through and so far I'm liking the game. -I didn't really notice major facial animation issues. I don't really see what the big deal was. -Really enjoying the gameplay. -Most of the sidequests feel somewhat meaningful. Although there are a few "scan this thing" sidequests, but they still manage to incorporate some story elements into them. Unlike the terrible FFXV sidequests which added absolutely nothing to the game except tedious play time. Some of the sidequests are really fucking sweet. Raiding Kett bases is a lot of fun. -I'd like to see a bigger variety of enemies to fight. -The story has a ton of potential, but unfortunately it fails to really deliver on it. I feel like the whole game was a set up for selling DLC packages down the line, where if you are interested in finding out more about a particular story arc, you'll have to buy an expansion pack. Or something like that. -The content isn't really all that balanced. Some areas are just overwhelmingly massive, while others are really small. Again, it makes me feel like if I want another big planet to explore, I'll have to buy a DLC later.