Not Neutralized

The funny thing is, despite first buying into Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) a couple of years ago and continuing to accumulating shares in Facebook over the last few years… This has failed to actually neutralize my disdain for Facebook as a company, nor even measurably reduced it. I still Despise Facebook’s conduct as a company as much as I ever have and still have a burning wish on a personal level to see this company crash into ground and see it’s services entirely replaced instead with widespread adoption of decentralized / interoperable / federated mediums.

Not Neutralized

Diminishing “FOMO”

So a line that is increasingly often exclaimed at me recently, from the various social groups that I frequent regularly…

“…So where were you Fergus on <<Date>> when we had <<event name>> <<event type>>? Oh man, you missed out on <<List of things>>, we had a blast! The <<event type>> completely had your name written all over it! You would have really enjoyed it!”

It is at this point I realize I’ve stuck my fingers in to too many pies, and accepted too many invitations and as a result, have over committed myself.  Indeed, It is completely my own doing and have no one to blame other than myself. Though It’s like my batteries suddenly went flat without warning.

The reality is, I feel like I’ve been neglecting a lot of old friends and haven’t availed myself to them as much as I would have liked.

Diminishing “FOMO”

But what will be the “Trigger”?

The theme has been the same for years. If the legion of economists and financial experts are to believed, the markets are over valued, the world is awash with money. We are totally hooked on cheap credit and a crash is imminent, but this ‘crash’ never ever seems to come. Indeed, even with me, my feeling is that a sizeable financial correction is extraordinarily well past overdue. The thing I feel hasn’t be covered in great deal is how might such a financial crisis end up being triggered? Hardly anyone I feel has actually really covered this in a great deal of depth.

It appears that as long as central banks keep “printing” Money (from thin air), this action appears to be very supportive of equities and the property market and is insulative of any world Crises that may ordinarily spoke the market. Unless anything untoward happens, Asset prices such as equities and property prices I feel will continue to escalate and may even accelerate in the short to medium term from here on in. There seems to be NOTHING that will cause a crash as long as central banks and commercial banks keep creating money and pumping it into the system by way of Fractional Reserve Banking.

Something I penned on a scrap piece of paper while bored.

There are however underlying risks at any time that can seemingly jump out of the blue and come bite everyone in the arse. When such an event will happen I believe it’s anyone’s guess as to when such a catastrophic event will happen and ultimately such an event is outside our ability to predict with any sort of usable accuracy. A correct prediction by anyone would basically be down to pure chance / luck. Statistically, someone will undoubtedly guess correctly and may get fawned over by the masses looking for any sort of answers as being some guru who had some insight.

The way the system is currently structured, if and when something does occur to be sufficient to get the boulder moving. The subsequent chain of events is going to be absolutely devastating. Once say a bank fails, there is a tendency for others to collapse along with it. Loans may be recalled, Entities stop investing, money stops flowing, More loans are recalled, People get laid off, Home owners may be forced to sell into a sliding market, trigger more loan recalls, panic selling ensues, Sell stops are triggered on stocks dumping more equities into the market, ultimately an unstoppable panic driven chain of events will be happening feeding upon itself in a frenzy and will undoubtedly drive asset prices to absurdly low levels.

So far the ‘Risks’ factors that I can see that may sufficiently trigger a crisis at some point.

  • Some sort of Pandemic, similar to SARS or another airborne virulent infectious agent.
  • Food Shortages / Famine. An event such as plague, disease or disaster that ends up reducing the food supply. Food price going out of control, eventually leading to panic buying feeding (pun not intended!) on itself.
  • Spreading Civil Global Unrest. In the case of Hong Kong and Chile, there were an underlying sense of discomfort. Civil unrest was often ignited by a single policy in the style of a feather breaking the camel’s back.

The reality is, I feel we haven’t learned very much if at all from the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. The credit and liquidity bubble I feel is a lot more lofty today than it was back in 2008 before the shit hit the fan. The last run up of asset prices have almost, I feel, has been entirely credit driven and along with artificially low interest rates.

Indeed, with no end insight to current trajectory of asset price inflation from ever loosening monetary policy.  Have been cautiously investing back into the equity market for the last 3 years.

Have up until recently been focusing my investments primarily towards REITs and Property Stocks, however, it would appear that ship suddenly sailed away from the start of this year catapulting the unit prices across the New Zealand REIT basket from below Net Tangible Asset Ratio to well above it. Additionally, prior was getting yield of 7% pre-tax on that sector, however, this has completely sunk down to a mere 3% dividend yield. Will cease adding any more to that sector and will be cancelling all Dividend Reinvestment plans, I feel this sector is now largely over valued.

The only other near term opportunity I can identify is possibly in some stable higher yielding companies, both here and abroad for which there are still plenty.

That said, am keeping a close eye on the pulse of the global economy. I think regardless though. If and when the next crisis comes and in spite of any safe guards taken, I’m still going to be reamed in some way whether I like it or not.

 

But what will be the “Trigger”?

New Zealand Rooms of Matrix Chat / Riot.IM

So far the known New Zealand specific chat groups (chat rooms) that exist within the Matrix chat federation include…

If there are others that you know of, feel free to advise me or post in the comments below.

New Zealand Rooms of Matrix Chat / Riot.IM

Huawei P30 Pro Camera – Hybrid zoom

Update 13 October 2019 – So took the Huawei P30 Pro and compared it to the Panasonic TZ110 and another quick test…

At x5 zoom…
Native zoom for the P30 Pro’s x5 Camera. To my untrained eye, it is fairly similar enough in detail. The TZ110 may be a touch more natural in detail and colour reproduction.

Continue reading “Huawei P30 Pro Camera – Hybrid zoom”

Huawei P30 Pro Camera – Hybrid zoom

Auckland Local Body Elections

Admittedly, it’s been difficult to figure out who to put a tick against for the Mayor vote for the Auckland Local Body elections. I’ve spent at least two hours in total reading about and researching all the candidates over the last week.

Some may argue that spending two hours is a total overkill, but admittedly, I do hold Civic responsibility quite seriously, and the fact that we do get to vote as part of a democratic nation is something I consider extremely important.

Resources reviewed and canvassed include…

  • The Voting instruction booklet / Candidate information. Same information is available on the Auckland Council Website. (Just click “+ More search options” then “Show mayoral candidates”)
  • The Spinoff NZ – Local Policy Website
  • Radio NZ – Mayoral Candidate Debates
  • The Candidates own resources, such as their own personal (campaign) website and social media accounts.

So far my research has come up rather inconclusive. The decision made more difficult is the candidate information appears to vary between mediums (i.e Candidate information booklet vs the Candidate’s website).

Auckland Local Body Elections

Flu session really took me out

I’m still recovering from this dry cough / chest infection from a full blown flu earlier last month. Tried to go for a walk today primarily to start the process of getting my fitness back, but my lungs wouldn’t have a bar of it. Coughing fits like crazy as soon as an step up the intensity beyond a flat walk in the park.

Looks like I may have had a relapse last week, which hasn’t helped matters.

Estimate time of recovery is next coming weekend. Then I need to blooming get my fitness back and see how much of it I loss over the month that I have been unwell.

Immune system wise, I seem to able be bash through bushes, get cut up everywhere, be leaking blood out from my limbs without knowing it and never have a problem. But in terms of respiratory ailments, my immune system is rather weak in that regard.

Flu session really took me out

Influenza shot efficacy questioned.

After receiving the flu shot for as long as I remember, the episode last weekend represents perhaps the 4th year in a row that I’ve come down with “Flu like” symptoms. The distinguishing symptoms of Influenza (vs the common cold) as advised my by GP would be Fever (in my case, 39.1°C at the armpit, normally 36.8°C), Chills, Body ache, headaches and stomach upset which I all experienced over a week.

  • The GP mentioned The Flu Vaccine was perhaps not the best match for the current circulating strains this season.
  • The manufacture by way of Fresh eggs have been implicated as a potential issue possibly causing the Vaccine to mutate too much from the targeted strains. (Link)
  • For some certain strains in any given Flu Season, the Vaccine may only be minimally effective. (Link)
  • In terms of efficacy of the Influenza Vaccine in general season by season, the average success rate of clinically confirmed influenza would appear has been placed at roughly 40-50%.
  • There is also the odd paper from studies suggesting that getting the Vaccine every year could blunt immune response for subsequent seasons. (Link)
  • Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that there is a section of unspecified “colds” and other respiratory ailments that very closely mimic the flu medical research has yet to uncover.

While I still support the idea of as many people getting the flu shot as possible, (if not for the benefit of one self, but the protection of the collective so to speak), it would behoove manufacturers to actually drastically improve on this vaccine… Admittedly, after 4 years of Flu shot failures, it does get tiring.

This is not a shot against vaccines in general at all, and is specifically about the flu shot only. People who misconstrue this as an Anti Vax article ought to have a clip around the ear

 

Influenza shot efficacy questioned.

Swazi Apparel to move part of their manufacturing to Thailand

Swazi NZ, Davey Hughes in a YouTube clip has announce they are moving production of their Fleece and Base layer clothing lines from their Levin Factory (here in New Zealand) to Thailand. The technical garments such as raincoats and jackets will still be made in New Zealand.

This in my view represents a not so insignificant change of direction from their original brand values and which they built the brand on.

Swazi Apparel to move part of their manufacturing to Thailand

Not that anyone really cares

The Matrix Synapse server will be left running and maintained, but not going invest too much of my time in the Fediverse. There is simply not enough uptake of Matrix to really warrant the expenditure of my time.

I probably won’t be following up on suggestions for any other collaboration systems unless a very good case can be made to do so. I’ve determined there’s really nothing out there that will ever compete with Faceborg at this rate, given the network effects and the widespread level of (dopamine driven) dependence on Facebook is out there.

For anyone bored enough, the manifest of my failed attempts can be read here. Anyway… Resuming my virtual digital hermit hood.

Not that anyone really cares