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Dialectical Materialist

Dialectical Materialist
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  • Is Apple Really A 'Buy'? [View article]
    "In other words, their sales growth will revert to the mean sales growth for the average company."

    The law only applies to random events (which follow a statistical distribution). If sales growth were random, then indeed Apple's (and everyone else's) sales growth would revert to the mean. But it is not random, not even slightly.

    At the very best, you could try and use it to suggest that Apple's sales growth would revert to their own mean sales growth, but even then it would be a misapplication of a law that is meant for dice and coin flips, not companies whose decisions affect their future results.
    Jan 13 05:49 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple Really A 'Buy'? [View article]
    "I met Steve Jobs in the Apple II days. He should have been put in a home for the bewildered back then."

    You realize was this comment does to your credibility, don't you? Who was the bewildered one and who was the genius at that meeting?
    Jan 13 05:28 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple Really A 'Buy'? [View article]
    I don't disagree, but Cramer was also bullish on AAPL last spring and that turned out to be a correct call. An easy call, of course, but hardly a contrarian indicator.
    Jan 13 05:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple Really A 'Buy'? [View article]
    My small state has no Apple store. I use an "authorized seller" which has a store designed in the style of Apple, but which is not quite an "Apple store".

    I went in there the other day to buy a birthday present -- a 4th gen iPad. I was curious to see how busy the store would be since it was after the holiday rush. I passed by someone leaving the store on my way in and held the door for someone behind me arriving at the same time. The store was not bustling, but was certainly active. What surprised me was what I heard an employee say on his cell phone:

    "Yes, now would be a good time for you to stop buy. It's a quiet time here at the store."

    Holy cow. It was a week after New Years and this active store was seen as a "quiet time" to the employee. I feel very confident that Apple is going to report some very pleasing sales figures.
    Jan 13 05:06 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Apple Gets To $400 A Share [View article]
    "Apple Inc. had to botch their bi-annual stranglehold on people’s wallets eventually "

    So how many iPhones do you think Apple sold in their "botched" quarter? How many would they have to sell for you to admit it was not botched? Those numbers, if you had the will to provide them, would say a lot about Apple's true position in the marketplace when compared to their results in ten days.
    Jan 13 04:18 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How Apple Gets To $400 A Share [View article]

    I assume we both read the same book and drew different conclusions. I think Taleb does define it, and he generally defines it as an "unknown unknown". This is why he says that of all the politicians and academics and professionals he speaks with, only military planners seem to accept the concept for what it is. All the social sciences want to convince themselves that they can explain the world. Only great strategic minds really comprehend that the picture they see is not the whole picture. Good military planners understand that unexpected game changers are part of the deal.

    Take the problem of alien invasion or asteroid strike. It is not hard to imagine that after the event (no matter how unlikely it appears to us now) that someone could point to how we could have seen it coming with data that was available to us now if only we had known what we were looking at.

    So there is a difference between saying that the data is available and that it is therefore "predictable". The best case for the predictability of Black Swans is the history of Black Swans. So in that sense, you are right, it is a timing issue. But saying that "some future Black Swan is inevitable" is not really predicting a Black Swan, is it?

    In the case of the eponymous event itself, the real "Black Swan", there was in fact no data that Europeans had that could have suggested that a swan could in fact be black. There were black swans in Australia, so you could argue that this was "information" that existed in the real world, but it was data beyond the reach of Europeans until they traveled that far.

    Yes, hidden in the fabric of reality is all the data we need to understand the next Black Swan, but by definition it is not a Black Swan if we are aware of what to expect. Also by definition, trying to chase down the next Black Swan is trying to predict the unpredictable. Better that we should plan for and accept that "some unpredictable risk" is present in all that we do.

    Jan 13 02:42 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Apple Gets To $400 A Share [View article]
    "Black Swan's are not diffucult to predict."

    I strongly disagree. The very concept of a Black Swan is something that no one sees coming or if anyone did stop to consider it, it would be seen as an impossibility (e.g. the existence of a black colored swan to Europeans, hence the name).

    A Black Swan is not a "known unknown", it is an "unknown unknown". Specifically it is not something that you are aware that you do not know (like who will be President in 2020) but rather something that you are not even aware of yet, such as if for example there will be no US President in 2020 because we will all be serving alien overlords.

    "Nassim accurately predicted the eventual credit bubble 'black swan'".

    And Nassim has himself said this was not a Black Swan event, largely because it could be anticipated. He said it was dramatic, but not at all the kind of transformative event that an actual Black Swan would be.

    Black Swans are not predicted. They are the unpredicted game changers. They are like the time everyone was watching the world series in 1989. Everyone was betting on either the A's or the Giants to win the game. No one was betting on "earthquake".
    Jan 13 01:53 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple (AAPL -0.6%) sell-side roundup: 1) CES sources tell Topeka's Brian White a 2nd-gen iPad Mini will be launched in March, along with the expected 5th-gen iPad. 2) Barclays' Ben Reitzes calls new corporate controller Luca Maestri a "champion of shareholder return." Maestri's new boss has already shown an interest in that subject. 3) CLSA and Canaccord become the latest to slash estimates while reiterating bullish stances. Canaccord says checks indicate the iPhone 4 remains popular, something it thinks drives home the value of a cheaper iPhone. [View news story]
    "Similarly, some people will wait for the next phone/pad/pod model - but some people need it now. "

    And in fact the impact of "perpetual upgrades" is just the opposite of what the poster suggests. If a product comes out every couple of years, there will be a marked decline in sales of the old product in the months leading up to the release of the new product. But if a new upgrade comes more frequently, there is LESS incentive to wait for the next generation because by definition it will be less of an improvement.

    Apple is doing precisely what it needs to do to put an end to the sluggish quarters that were seen before the release of a new phone. By stepping up releases, they will see fewer sales deferred, not more.
    Jan 13 01:05 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy Apple On January 18 [View article]
    "I'm expecting rumors of shortages, stories of no "wow" products, talk of competition eating share, etc. right up into expiration.."

    Give the man a gold star.
    Jan 13 12:46 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Apple Gets To $400 A Share [View article]
    "Wake me up at $250 (no splits)"

    Shall we call you Rip Van Winkle? You're going to be sleeping for years.
    Jan 13 12:28 PM | 14 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Apple Gets To $400 A Share [View article]
    "Staff quitting or being fired because CEO does not want to be blamed for errors! "

    You managed to get that story exactly 180 degrees wrong. The CEO took responsibility for Apple maps. The man in charge of the project, Scott Forstall, refused to do so. So he was sacked. That is precisely the right action to take. This was not about scape-goating, but rather about ensuring there was accountability for projects at Apple.

    I do agree with you about one thing. Their earnings will tell the story.
    Jan 13 11:45 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Apple Gets To $400 A Share [View article]
    "if the company won't buy the stock back at this price I think we shouldn't be doing that also."

    The company was also not buying its own stock when AAPL was 100, 200, or 300. They had the money to do so, and Warren Buffett even advised Steve Jobs to consider it if he felt the shares were undervalued. But clearly those who did not buy AAPL because the company was not buying its own stock missed out on a great bargain.

    A similar buying opportunity exists now. You can miss it for the same reason if you choose.
    Jan 13 11:35 AM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Slipping Grasp [View article]
    Not to belabor the point, but Karl is both grumpy and crass. I don't mind grumpy. It is amusing and adds some flavor. But his use of words like "jizz" and "iFeminineProduct" (another article) and his seeming delight in mocking the death of Steve Jobs with comments that he has been eaten by worms, etc. is really just pointless and crude. It is not clever, it is not insightful, it is just puerile and demeaning.

    I am surprised actually that Seeking Alpha allows these comments through since they do have standards of taste whatever one may say about their editorial content.

    When you combine this crass attitude with the fact that he is rarely right about anything, it really just puts him in a class by himself. He is less Mr. Wilson to me and more Archie Bunker.
    Jan 12 04:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Slipping Grasp [View article]
    Movies, I think many people do suffer from confirmation bias and shut out the opposing case too often. But ever since I read Karl's article about how the Playbook was going to eat the iPad's lunch, I have not really taken his point of view seriously. Because he didn't just make a case for it, he taunted AAPL investors in the process. That is his style. He is unapologetically crass. As if being crude can substitute for being right.

    For at least three years Karl has been predicting the demise of both Apple and our economy. His view has been as unflinchingly consistent as it has been inaccurate. One does not read Karl for a reasoned oppositional case. One reads Karl for the same reason we pause briefly on an episode of Jersey Shore or smell milk we know to be spoiled. There is a certain fascination we have with repulsive things. Just brushing by them every once in a while makes us feel more grateful for the blessings in our lives.

    Reading Karl's articles remind me to appreciate my self respect.
    Jan 12 12:27 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: The Ultimate Value Play At $520 [View article]
    If you were short this past October, you may already have all my money. I know someone ended up with it!
    Jan 12 11:46 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment