Today was the occasion of the Post-Gazette tour for readers and friends of this blog (enemies were welcome too but none fronted up and declared themselves). Some familiar names were there — Toadsly, Ceijai, Mugsy and the Scarletpumpernickel.
Before the tour, the 11 attendees heard brief presentations from me, Deputy Managing Editor Mary Leonard (who is largely in charge of Web content), Editorial Page Editor Tom Waseleski and local columnist Brian O’Neill). Sandwiches and salad were eaten, questions asked.
From my perspective, it went well.
On the other hand, from my perspective, a good tour is when the visitors don’t throw sharp objects. It was nice to have confirmed what has been my general impression — uncommonly smart and nice people come to this blog. As I told the visitors, I am very grateful for that. But the final verdict on the tour must come from them, and with their customary candor, I am sure they will give a fuller account of what they liked or did not.
By the way, I have received an unusual number of comments about the “Tremors of Capitalism” posting sent to me via the Webmaster. I suppose this is because some people have had trouble logging on. For today only, I reproduce these comments but in the future please try to do it directly (if you can’t, email me directly at
and maybe I can get someone here to help you). For one thing, I don’t know who the author/or authors of these comments.....
Comment 1: mugsy,
That may well be the cases, not up on that end of dogdom, but Homer Simpson once said that one of the eight Lassies bit Timmie, and was sent to dog hell for it. There is a dog heaven, and this mandates existence of doggie hell.
Comment 2: Jazzbone said... The problem with using algorithms to react to the market is that there is no big picture understanding. That ability for a human to realize something is amiss and to pack it in to stop the bus.
That is a good point, and to take it farther I also think that a group or person with an understanding of how the algorithms are constructed might be able to take actions to manipulate the market to suit their purpose at the expense of the market. Not necessarily limited to profit making, but what about the possiblity of economic terrorism? Perhaps I’m being a little paranoid here, but without, as Jazzbone says, the element of human intervention, then why couldn’t the creators of an algorithm also understand it’s weakness? The market took a big dip the other day and nobody claims to know why. Terrorists are well funded and perhaps could afford or even profit by a market calamity.
Comment 3: I think that programmed trading might get the lions share of the blame for the nervous nellie factor, but I don’t really know for sure ... maybe the wizard behind the curtain drinks too much coffee. I think that there still hasn’t ben a 10 year period where you could have lost money, but there’s always a first time.
If the bottom drops out, I think it will take everything with it. Might better invest in seeds and a crossbow.