Good Gamestop postmortem

This Bloomberg Opinion piece does a nice job of explaining the craziness that has happened in that stock over the last couple of days.

It gets a little in-the-weeds when he starts talking about the options strategies and their impacts, but I found the footnotes helpful.

The technical story is just that these two factors—a short squeeze and a gamma trap, if you like—combined to push the stock up rapidly on Friday. Something started the ball rolling—the stock went up for some fundamental or emotional or whatever reason—and then the stock going up forced short sellers and options market makers to buy stock, which caused it to go up more, which caused them to buy more, etc.

Here is a YOLO story, a story of utter nihilism. You know this story. This story is perhaps best told with a series of rocket emojis, but let’s try words instead. The people on the WallStreetBets subreddit sometimes all get into a stock at once. This is fun, a nice social outing in an age of social distancing, a risky but potentially lucrative collective entertainment. Recently they decided to do GameStop. Because, I don’t know, they’re gamers, or because it’s a little comical to pump the stock of a chain of mall video-game stores during a pandemic, or because a lot of professional investors are short GameStop and they thought it’d be funny to mess with them. Or, especially, because their friends on Reddit were buying GameStop and they figured they’d join in the fun. Or all of those things in different combinations. Take one person who’s long for fundamental reasons, add 100 people who are long for personal-amusement reasons like “lol gaming” or “let’s mess with the shorts,” and then add thousands more who are long because they see everyone else long, and the stock moves

Instagram “All Caught Up” notification

This surprised me this afternoon.

I have a deep hatred for the algo-driven feed. I use Twitterrific to get my tweets in chronological order but there isn’t a good 3rd party app to use for Instagram.

This seems like an okay compromise. I hate that they won’t just let me see what I want in the order it was posted, but maybe I’m less mad if they still show me everything? I dunno. We’ll see.

Too high

This video purports to be some late-night rascals climbing to the top of a new office building here downtown. And then they climb to the top of the big crane they’re using on the site.

No, thank you.

English Wordcraft

I’ll wish you a great weekend with one of my favorite Instagram accounts. 100% worth a follow if you’re into deep etymology.

BRITTLE BREAD Behold the attached picture of outright depravity, a BROTHEL. This inconspicuous word is actually rather useful in understanding a cluster of related words in English and looking into some lost words too. . A BROTHEL is a shortening of a 'brothel-house' where a brothel itself is a wretched and depraved person. The word was originally an adjective, meaning 'degenerative' or 'corruptive', such adjectives are formed from certain verbs + an -el or -le suffix meaning 'prone to ___'. These words were replaced by Latin '-ative', English could have had '*SPEAKLE' from Old English 'sprǣcol', but replaced it with 'talkative'. In this case BROTHEL, though not attested directly in any Old English texts, is from the verb 'brēoþan', (reconstructed as '*BREETHE' by analogy to 'SEETHE'); to deteriorate or fall apart. Much like the Western world now. . Another example of these adjectives, and one which is still in current use, is 'BRITTLE', this time from a related verb 'bryttian', meaning prone to BRIT, shatter or break into pieces. Icelandic 'brytja' and Swedish 'bryta' share this same word. In Beowulf, recalling the role of a king, Scyld Sceafing is described as a 'bēagbrytta', someone who 'brits', distributes, divides or dispenses (literally breaks apart) rings. This word survived into Middle English as a 'BRET', a dispenser, but there's no reason a vending machine cannot be a '*sellbret'. . From this same root of breaking, crushing and disintegrating is the verb 'to BRUISE', originally to break or crack. But quite strange is how this meaning is unique for English yet the 'crack' became metaphorical, German 'brausen' and Swedish 'brusa' mean 'to roar' (German takes it further where it is slang for driving fast), and Norwegian 'brosa' is a storm. . Further yet, there is still speculation over the source of 'BREAD' which may be related either to 'BREW', or perhaps the above words, it may have merged the two early forms together. This word shares its roots and meaning with Latin 'frustrum', a scrap or small bit of food, something broken off. . Sometimes we need to look at what is broken and look to the source before it became that way. .

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Machine Era / makerset Field Pen | Compact

This pen is the third thing I’ve ever funded on Kickstarter. It’s really really nice. Dead-silent click mechanism, juuust long enough to be usable but still small enough to disappear into a pocket.

Machine Era is a Richmond Va machine shop that is best known for their metal wallets. They made my (current) favorite pen, so I didn’t hesitate to back the campaign.

The makerset brand is an offshoot of Machine Era where they focus on writing instruments. I’m excited to see where they go.

Stupid, Stupid Charles

On this day, March 28 of the year 845, a huge Viking fleet attacked Paris. They were led by chieftain Ragnar (Reginherus in Frankish sources), who is traditionally identified as the legendary Ragnar Lothbrok. Ragnar's fleet, consisting of 120 Viking ships carrying thousands of men, reached Paris after having defeated the French army trying to stop them along the river Seine. After plundering and occupying Paris, the Vikings withdrew when they had been paid a huge ransom of 2570 kilograms (5665 lbs) of silver and gold from Charles the Bald, the French king. The attack is believed to be an act of revenge since Ragnar had been given land and the favor of the king 4 years earlier. The king had betrayed him and Ragnar had lost the land. What goes around comes around. #viking #whatgoesaroundcomesaround #grimfrost

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via Dan