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Dialectical Materialist

Dialectical Materialist
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  • Beats 1 Is The New iPod And Apple's Latest Bet [View article]
    They probably won't (or at least may not) give actual watch unit sales. On the other hand 7 million Macs seems incredibly unlikely. Still, Apple is all about the iPhone right now. If iPhone sales were light and they reported 7 million Macs it would be a footnote. If iPhone sales were strong and they reported 7 million Macs, it would be proof that "Apple is firing on all cylinders".

    There are a lot of moving parts to any earnings report, but these two items in isolation are not terribly critical. iPhone sales, Average selling price, and gross margin are much more likely to drive stock movement after the call. And even then, guidance can tend to overshadow everything else.

    I can say I would love to see 7 million Macs sold, but I don't think that's going to happen.
    Jul 7, 2015. 05:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is The Fed Making A Bad Bet Right Now With Zero Rates? [View article]
    convoluted, I enjoyed your comment. But I would like to point out that much of the reason that folks were not feeling gloomy in the 70's, at least insofar as disco duck was involved, was copious amounts of cocaine.

    Cocaine fueled the nightclubs and the entire entertainment industry at the time. Which explains why someone thought of Disco Duck and someone else told him that it was a good idea. Is this the creation of a sober mind?

    Some folks might be quick to point out that cocaine use is still prevalent in the movie and music biz, but I think it would be hard to compare current consumption to the 1970's. It was like booze during prohibition. A wide open secret.

    Some sociologists draw a connection between the fatalism that accompanied the economic stagflation of the post Watergate era and the use of cocaine. The Me Generation was all about looking out for number one and partying hard because life was short (sadly a self fulfilling prophecy).

    The point is, the 1970's weren't gloomy in large part because people were afraid to look in the mirror, so they snorted lines from it instead.

    The vapid shallowness of the culture impacted advertising and entertainment so even people who would never consider touching an illegal drug were affected. Our nation's happiness in the 1970's, to the extent that it existed, was the most superficial and temporary form of satisfaction one could imagine.
    Jul 7, 2015. 02:01 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Any Company A Major Threat To Apple? [View article]
    Didn't "every fund in the world" also own AAPL last year when it was 95?

    How would you account for the 32% increase in that time using such an analysis?
    Jul 7, 2015. 01:30 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pac Crest hikes iPhone/cuts Watch estimates; leaked 6S photos show faster QCOM modem [View news story]
    Arnie, you got the same watch I did. I have just started using mine. Here is why I think you should keep and use the watch:

    The money is a very small portion of your portfolio. Yet in some sense using the watch and seeing how you respond to it and whether the watch is ever in your opinion likely to be a real contributor to the bottom line is important research that you could be doing for your investment.

    That was the argument that tipped me in favor of getting the watch. I kind of wanted one, I was kind of curious, I kind of thought maybe I'd wait if I got one at all. Then I realized getting one and seeing for myself what the watch could be for the future of Apple was probably worth it in the long run from the point of view of an investor. If it was magical or a complete disaster, either of those discoveries could be very valuable in guiding my future investment in AAPL.

    My take on the watch so far is that it is both limited and incredible. It is very nice, and I am amazed that I am wearing a computer on my wrist. When I think of all that is going on in there, and how that gorgeous display is being driven entirely by the device on my wrist, I am amazed.

    But it is not "magical" in the sense that the iPad was. I get the sense it is just a little before its time. Maybe Jobs would have waited until the tech was a little further along. But maybe Jobs could have afforded to wait. I think Cook needed to release the Watch when he did and I don't fault him for doing so.

    The build on the product is beautifully Apple even if I still think the design is a little uncharacteristically boxy. Again, design was dictated by limits of technology.

    Overall I am happy with my watch. I find myself using it more each day and developing a greater appreciation for it each day. I think in another few years this will be a no brainer for many iPhone users, but I do not think it is yet at that level.

    But you should form your own opinion. You owe it to your investment to give it a try and see what this new product tells you about where Apple is headed.

    Just my two cents.
    Jul 4, 2015. 12:46 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Netflix: Has The Selling Just Begun? [View article]
    I'm curious if you could explain what you mean by "excellent p/e".
    Jul 1, 2015. 09:35 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 'Dumping Apple Makes Sense For Immediate Growth' - Or Does It? [View article]
    I have something the that no 22 year old man has. The power of invisibility. Specifically invisibility to young women. I can be standing right there and they don't even notice me.

    Look, we don't choose our superpowers.
    Jul 1, 2015. 11:05 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Apple Will Escape The $130 Resistance Level [View article]
    If it's a contraction, it's it's. If it's possession, it's its. It's confusing because when we see a word with its apostrophe s, we usually think possession.
    Jul 1, 2015. 10:53 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Partying Like It Is 2007 [View article]
    "So why wouldn't the Fed just stay at ZIRP forever?"

    Because the yield curve can indeed invert when it starts at zero. The result is negative interest rates. Europe has already seen some of this. These are interesting times.

    Roger Crandall, the CEO of Mass Mutual commented on this unusual condition in a Fortune interview recently. He called it unprecedented. "When I took economics in college, the chart started at 0%."

    Sometimes it doesn't matter how much gas you give the engine, all you do is flood it. If we don't see some good old inflation soon, deflation will spread. Negative interest rates result from people being more concerned about a return of capital than a return on capital.

    The Fed needs to raise rates and start the long slog back to normalcy because if they don't they will have no bullets left to deal with the next liquidity crunch. And then the velocity of money will fall near zero. And that is a bad thing indeed. And the stock market would reflect that.
    Jul 1, 2015. 12:37 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Focus On This Trend [View article]

    Actually the 's' cycle of each model has blown away the previous year's sales. I don't think you can assume all those 5s buyers went out and got the 6/6+.

    The 's' cycle always seems to take people by surprise, but it's highly likely that sales of the 6s will handily beat sales of the 6.

    You could make a case that Apple needs to do something interesting to drive demand for the iPhone 7 the following year, but high demand for the 6s is baked in to the product cycle.
    Jun 29, 2015. 10:52 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Taylor Swift > Apple [View article]
    But a psychotherapist does know the person they are treating. That is the reason for regular appointments -- to develop a diagnosis.

    You can't logically defend the notion that you know anything about why Cook does what he does regardless of whether your conclusions are flattering or not. Unless you have found a quote of him saying, "I think of musicians as vulnerable minorities, rather like homosexual people," you are simply engaged in creative fiction.
    Jun 28, 2015. 09:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Let's Ignore China (Again) [View article]
    I think the point about limited appeal of gold and silver is a good one, but the case was certainly not made by that video. I doubt that guy would have been able to sell three $50 bills to those people for $10. The whole thing sounds like a catch. If you realize that it is an incredible deal, you assume the property must be stolen and you are about to be caught on camera buying stolen goods.

    On the other hand if you don't know the value of silver, you are stuck trying to assess the likelihood that a random person on the street with a microphone and a kind of creepiness about him is offering you a good deal. Again, even if you think the product he is selling might be worth more than $10 you are asking yourself why he is so eager to part with it.

    This is unlike the bartering that would take place in some kind of disaster area with limited resources. In any sufficiently large disaster, the price of a rare object is partially determined by how long you expect the item to remain rare. If the expectation were that water filters would remain rare for a long time, silver bars would be less valuable. On a desert planet, water is the only true currency. But if you had a sense that normalcy would return someday, your willingness to accept silver as payment increases so its buying power increases.

    If the average person on the street knew there had been a financial crisis and this man might have a legitimate justification for his willingness to part with something of value for below normal market costs, these interviews would have looked very different.
    Jun 27, 2015. 08:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Greek Out (Again): Markets Back In Turmoil [View article]
    I'm unconvinced the red states would be eager to expand the size of the border they must defend. I know they'd create lots of jobs building that wall (and the one around Austin Texas when the convert the whole city to a prison), but it seems like surrounding themselves on all sides with "illegals" would not be a plan they'd much care for.
    Jun 27, 2015. 06:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Taylor Swift > Apple [View article]
    Your willingness to psychoanalyze someone you don't know and then condemn them for the psychological motivations you ascribe to them is more revealing about the way your own my works than you probably realize.
    Jun 27, 2015. 11:52 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Report: Apple Watch 2 set to have FaceTime camera, iPhone-free data use [View news story]
    And now we see reports that interest in the watch is waning. It may be or it may not be, but coming as it does about four weeks before earnings, this report sure fits a well worn pattern. The negative stories about Apple should only increase as we approach earnings. Never seen such an unsuccessful largest company in the world. Its best days are always behind it except the day it reports record results.
    Jun 26, 2015. 03:26 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Report: Apple Watch 2 set to have FaceTime camera, iPhone-free data use [View news story]
    Arnie, there are two separate issues here. One is what watchOS 2.0 will allow you to do as of this fall (on your first generation Apple Watch). The second is which features may be included on the next version of the watch which I think realistically will not be available until next year. So no one will be replacing their current watch with one that is light years better this fall. Rather the next OS will improve the functionality of existing Apple Watches.
    Jun 26, 2015. 12:20 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment