The forces driving up oil, mostly OPEC and Saudi Arabia/Russia in particular, during earning’s season, have created a unique historical opportunity. The manic exuberance of investors is not yet at peek hysteria so I believe there is still money to be made in this sector. My currnet price prediction for oil is that it will end up at $81-$84 within the next 3 months, or come very close to that.

I predict there will be a couple of bumps in the road, but that the main drivers behind the rally are desperate to raise cash in advance of geopolitical instability. Russia in particular desperately needs to balance the negative effects of sanctions against them, and the US needs as many people as possible deeply invested in the petrodollar to try and stave off China’s attempts to supplant them.

I don’t know who will win this fight, China is far more cocky than it should be, inspite of the gross incompetence of American leadership, America has historically had a margin for stupidity, whether or not the US has pushed it too far, I don’t know.

I expect socialists in Venezuela to continue running their oil production into the ground due to the upward adjustment of ideologically pure administrators. PDVSA is proud of its mixture of ideology and production, and like the Soviet Union, it will be awhile before the shit results have a significant number of people turning on their representatives. I expect Western countries to continue to try to push Venezuela over the edge, but Russian and Chinese interference is a distinct possibility throughout South America.

I expect that the failures of $TSLA are also contributing to the rally in fossil fuels, while I have started to look positively on the company for the long term future, the short term chaos in production has dealt a serious blow to the electric car activists, and that kind of rhetoric is less likely to affect weak minded investors.

The Yijing says: #56 Lǚ, Itinerant troops: 1st Changing line: The wanderer is trivial and petty, chopping up his position and seizing calamities.

A first impression is extremely important. Often it cannot be undone, and even if one can show one’s real intentions later, it will never be really convincing.

Update – $HP 10:45 AM

Holy Shit that was a scary drop no? That’ll teach me to open a position when the stock is pressing the upper Bollinger Band, I’m not much for technical analysis, but I had an inclination when looking at the chart that I should wait for a larger correction. Maybe that was my spidey senses tingling. Anyway, $HP dropped something like $1.80+ in 30 minutes. On the largest position I’ve ever opened. Yeah, that’ll do your head in.

Update – China in South America

Many people might not be aware of China’s forays into South America, as I mentioned earlier in the post. Then this comes out: China Sets Its Sights On First South American Refinery. Nobody expects The Chinese Inquisition. How do you say Struggle Session in spanish?

Update – $HP 10:10 AM

Massive selloff at the start of trading for $HP, down 40 cents in less than 15 minutes. Early volume to the downside. Man – red is scary sometimes.

Bullish sentiment returned to $HP, and I began looking favorably again at one of my favorite companies, Helmerich and Payne. After selling off my position in $DNKN for a tidy profit, I was looking for something else to trade. $HP had been ranging the day previously, and I was unsure about my Energy perspective that day (the 17th, perhaps wrongly considering the gap up of $BP), but new reports of declining inventories, and Saudi Arabia broadening it’s target price from $80 to between $80 and $100 per barrel was worth a second look.

A problem, emotionally, that I’ve been facing is lacking confidence in trade ideas. I spent so long waiting for Oil, I allowed my worries to get the best of me and was too timid to take a risk and hold a position over Tuesday. In August I was 6 steps ahead, on Mondays I was 1 step behind. I need to learn to calibrate that to only being 1-2 steps ahead of my trade ideas.

Time will tell, tomorrow could have a black swan event, or hell, just generally bad news, and I could get my face ripped off through my ass. Ah, the life of a retail trader. I’m seriously considering getting Anton Kreil’s equities course, just to have a more solid fundamentals and macroeconomic understanding of trading. I feel unsure about my positions because I can see there are gaps in my understanding about how it all fits together. Just having an opinion on world politics, or culture, doesn’t cut it. You need to have practical understanding of market mechanics, risk management, positioning and so on. And don’t say you can get it free on the internet, you can’t. I spent 2 years researching the markets and economics before I even opened a trading account and there are still fundamental gaps.

Anyway, today WTI consolidated 3.40% gains, ending up at a new high of $68.77 and closing on the gap with %BRENT trading at $73.81.

I waited for the dip at the end of the day, which is usual for $HP especially, and opened a new position at $73.99. $HP continued to fall with a massive selloff, people taking profit to consolidate gains. The end of day sell and buy volume dwarfed earlier moves, after opening my position, $HP fell to 73.48 before a final rally with 2 minutes left to trade gaining 11 cents to finish trading at 73.60.

Picking the bottom is always hard, sometimes with really bullish sentiment, $HP can rally much faster and higher at the end of the day. Chalk it up to my inexperience trading, but then again, catching that falling knife is a fool’s errand. I’m happy enough with my position as it is, and I look forward to tomorrows ups and downs. As long as the position continues to look good going into the coming days and weeks, I might stick with it for awhile.

My prediction is that $HP will make a new high before on or before Friday. I expect moves in the range of 1.5-2% to continue to be standard. Barring any bad news, $HP should do well, considering it is a favorite to beat earnings (practically a shoe in), so we’ll see how the market is affected by the expectation.

Here’s hoping the Oil Industry doesn’t rip my face off with a black swan event.

Big things die slow. The internet has been dying now for about 10-15 years. In reality, it started dying on April 13, 2000. The day Metallica sued Napster. This isn’t a defense of file sharing on the internet, it’s just a statement of fact. That was the day shit started getting real online, when the digital and virtual world of the internet had real repercussions from the real world.

Hacking had kind of always been illegal, but that was a reaction in the real world to people crossing the boundary from the internet, or from cyberspace, to affect the real world, so it’s understandable.

But the internet is dying for other reasons.

Passwords are shitty security

Passwords were always a bad idea. But they were convenient, they made it easier to key access to systems and identify users. But they suck. They can be hacked, rather easily. There’s no real solution online. Most websites, like Amazon, or Digital Ocean elect to use two-factor authentication. That’s where you sign in, then twiddle your thumbs while you wait for an email or an SMS with a code, then you enter the code and you’re in.

What happens when you lose the password to your email account? Phone. Or lose your phone entirely?

You’re fucked.

The Public Forum that never was

The internet, as conceived by the angel headed hipsters writing the underlying tech, was a kind of digital Areopagitica. A public forum where the free exchange of information and ideas could exist. And if you’re really, really tech savvy, and you’re ideas aren’t “beyond the pale” it might could be that for you. But imagine if the Areopagitica was Mount Everest. It’s just too difficult to reach in order to be useful, in order to be public.

It doesn’t matter that you can say anything you want, so long as you are at the top of mount everest, because you can’t fucking get to the top of mount everest so it might as well not exist for 99.99% of the population.

The internet is like this. Most people couldn’t even use the internet if it weren’t for browsers, hosting companies, and ISPs. But those companies are private, that makes the internet private. Not in the sense of security, or anonymity, but in the sense of property. It means, in the end, what the “owners” of the pieces of the internet says goes. It means you don’t own anything you produce on or through the network.

If you write a book on Google Docs, it’s not really your book. It is in a copyright sense, but not in a real ownership sense. If Google decides it doesn’t like you, or your book’s content, it can simply close your account. Is has no obligation to return your files. Or your emails. Who owns them? If you use Gmail, google does. Google can save them, read them, or delete them as it pleases.

Our naive understanding of the internet is that it is a public forum, but it is not. It is private property, anything you say, do or make there, is constantly at risk. It’s a small risk, and so long as you toe the line in society, it is a risk you’ll probably never run afoul of.

The creator of Freenet understood this. Unfortunately, the only people he could get to use his network were the rejects of the wider internet, drug dealers, wannabe contract killers, and kiddie porn producers. Tor is much the same, except everyone on Tor is an epic moron. Question: How do you hide from the government? Answer: Use an abandonware network created by the Office of Naval Intelligence? Take that NSA.

Encryption is effectively illegal

Crypto nerds always do my head in. They’re so stupid it hurts sometimes. Every major country in the world has incredibly broad laws about encryption. If the police show up at your door, you are legally obliged to turn over all passwords and encryption keys if asked. Refusal to do so is an automatic jail sentence. You can effectively be imprisoned for life, because you won’t be released until the police are satisfied you’ve given them everything. Even in the USA. Especially there.

The thing no one seems to want to admit is that the point of encryption has always been hiding shit from the government, not hackers. The truth is, everyone is a little bit criminal. Everyone cheats, lies, and occasionally steals: something. Ever downloaded a pdf of an ebook from a shady Russian website? Ever watched a movie online on one of those websites in Barbados? Yeah, fuckin’ thieves, the lot of you.

Piracy: No hardware was raped, no databases pillaged

The basic problem is there is a fundamental difference between the pays réel and the pays légal. In the real world, everyone knows that “piracy” (god, that word used to mean something) is a victimless crime. At least, that’s how most internet denizens act. But legally, it’s not. So don’t do it. But you still do, everyone does. And the truth is, software/music/video piracy is NOT a victimless crime. At least not when everyone is doing it. The price of books has collapsed, along with the quality, in part due to vanity publishing, but in another part due to the ubiquity of Chinese and Russian ebook download sites.

The quality of movies, and the costs associated with consuming them, have been thrown into chaos. That’s partly due to a dying industry, and technological disruption. The rise of youtube and The Left(TM) have had significant negative impacts on visual media as well. But part of this chaos and degradation is the ubiquity of digital illegal distribution. The thing is, movies should be making a lot more money than they make. It might seem like they’re doing good, breaking box office records, but today it’s a global market. A decent movie could make a billion opening week, easily.

We’re all the collective victims of a victimless crime (and admittedly many other factors). But we’re also the perpetrators.

Full Stack Development

6 years ago when I was working on Salor, we came up with the brilliant idea of offloading much of the work from the server to a thin-client/browser. At that time, only sites like Facebook were really doing this, pushing out as much Javascript as possible and having the client build the page. It was a new idea, and it was a great idea: until it wasn’t. Now everyone is doing it, there are plenty of frameworks (angular.js, Vue.js etc). Now my chrome spikes to 100% CPU frequently on my Acer V Nitro gaming laptop. I can, in some cases, get worse perfomance from my browser than a AAA video game.

That’s because I have tons of tabs open, taking up gigabytes of memory. (The idea, the very fucking idea, of websites taking up GIGABYTES of memory is…so…fucked). We’re getting less and less efficient, and more and more bogged down by kitchen sink frameworks, and shit code they encourage.

This is all made worse by the domination of OOP and MVC within server side frameworks.

Mobile First, Retardation Second

Added onto the shitshow that is full stack development is the unadulterated bullshit of mobile devices. As if the already crudded up and mostly useless solipsistic internet needed to also be deliverable by a pocket sized mirror into the mediocrity of your own soul. I can’t think of anything stupider than reading your twitter feed on the most advanced piece of computer hardware ever designed for mass consumption.

I hate the internet, and I hope it dies

It really already has. What we have today is not the internet of my youth. Today there is no internet. There’s just Google, and Amazon, and Wikipedia. It’s all just ideologically sanctioned LCARS. It’s useful, and I use it. But we should stop calling it the internet, and start calling it the Cortex, or something like that.

There’s no such thing as web development, or web programming, it’s all fullstack this, and cloud that. We all just sit around and spool up kubernetes to serve microservices that sell people shit, or force feed them newspeak and goodfacts.

I feel like Tom Wilson.

In another post, I discussed how to build Chez Scheme from source for Debian 9 Stretch, here is how to setup SLIB.

git clone https://github.com/taktoa/slib.git
cp -fr slib /usr/share
cd /usr/local/lib
ln -sf /usr/share/slib .
chmod 777 /usr/share/slib
touch /usr/bin/chez
chmod 777 /usr/bin/chez
vim /usr/bin/chez

Edit the file /usr/bin/chez to be:

#! /usr/bin/scheme
(load "/usr/share/slib/chez.init")

Accuracy Update 4/18/2018

Interestingly, Oil stalled, and BP didn’t go anywhere. Because I was unsure about the sector, I decided not to re-invest and have moved on to Service Restaurants sector. I am still keeping a close eye on the Oil sector, but it seems to be ranging for the time being. While Oil is progressing, stocks related to them such as $HP and $BP are stuggling.

Another reason I decided to leave the Oil & Energy sector for this week is that a lot of people became very positive/excited about Oil. I prefer to buy the rumor and sell the rally, once everybody starts being maximally optimistic (the Bulls win) I prefer to sell. This is I suppose, the Value Investing/Templeton approach, buy at the moment of maximum pessimism and sell at the moment of maximum optimism.

For the record, my stint from August 2017 to April 2018 in the Oil and Energy sector got me 20.1% return on my invested capital, which I am very happy with.


Original Article Follows

I was considering investing in $BP today. I decided to do an I-Ching and got #2 The Receptive, with changing lines 1 and 4.

When there is hoarfrost underfoot,
Solid ice is not far off.

Just as the light-giving power represents life, so the dark power, the shadowy, represents death. When the first hoarfrost comes in the autumn, the power of darkness and cold is just at its beginning. After these first warnings, signs of death will gradually multiply, until, in obedience to immutable laws, stark winter with its ice is here. In life it is the same. After certain scarcely noticeable signs of decay have appeared, they go on increasing until final dissolution comes. But in life precautions can be taken by heeding the first signs of decay and checking them in time.

A tied-up sack. No blame, no praise.

The dark element opens when it moves and closes when at rest. The strictest reticence is indicated here. The time is dangerous , because any degree of prominence leads either to the enmity of irresistible antagonists if one challenges them or to misconceived recognition if one is complaisant. Therefore a man ought to maintain reserve, be it in solitude or in the turmoil of the world, for there too he can hide himself so well that no one knows him.

Now I am curious.

My reading of the first part is that BP may not be a good long term investment. That couples with the second part which seems to indicate that BP is weak to antagonism from competing forces. As it stands now, $BP is trading at $42.78. I’ll be interested to see how and if this applies at all.

Here is an alternate reading:

Treading on hoarfrost, hard ice is arriving.

Every thing and every time has its Dao. The earlier one sees the signs of this Dao, the better one can act according to it. One’s degree of sight and insight decides about the direction one’s life might take. One’s ability to act in time decides if it actually will.
If you want to marry her, then go for it. But if you are not certain you want the solid ice, then now is the moment to save your ass. In both cases waiting a little bit too long can cause lots of suffering.

Enclosed in a bag. Without fault, without praise.

Don’t judge or choose about good and evil. It narrows the mind and makes it unfit to follow the time. Earth does not choose, it gives every being room for its own Dao.
Many things seem important but are not at all essential for life. Simply stop thinking about them and life comes back in all its splendor: because you keep silent. It is like watching wild animals, they come only if you are not-present, but part of them.