China announced that it had no new cases (excluding imported cases) of COVID-19 yesterday and the 13-week US Treasury Bill index (IRX) interest rate fell to 98.18% to 0.003%, within rounding of zero percent interest. The 5-year and longer treasure yields all rose as the US dollar and liquidity are now precious assets. March 18th was another volatile day for stocks. AAPL hit a low of $237.12, only a few dollars above the then all-time high of $233.47 that I blogged about in 2018: AAPL Stock Prediction for Oct 3, 2019. More interesting, the NASDAQ closed at 6989.84, below the 7560 prediction I felt “more than 50%” confident about in Aug 2018: NASDAQ Composite Index prediction for March 9, 2019. It’s interesting that I made that prediction for 2019 and it is now true in 2020. The NASDAQ actually fell below 7560 almost a week ago on March 12, 2020. Oh wow, I’m going back to look at 2019 and the NASDAQ on March 12, 2020 closed at 7591.03 and was 7505.92 the week before. So, very close to 7560 on March 9, 2019. Interesting! What I wrote back in August 2018 seems quite synchronistic to me now:
I’m feeling a universe where it is possible for me to sense large changes in the financial markets before they happen. In this universe, I’m sensing a large change in the negative direction occurring either between October 5th and October 19th, on November 9th, or between December 26th and January 19th, 2019. Based on this, I sense that there is a greater than 50% chance that on March 9, 2019, the NASDAQ Comp will be lower than 7,560, the value it was on March 9, 2018.
I’m more curious about why I feel compelled to make this prediction. Only the future knows.
“Feeling” the direction of the market is risky business. If you were to ask me to feel the market now, I would likely stay with safe bets all based around the belief that a year from now, the US dollar will be of relatively lower value compared to other fiat currencies and precious metals. Partly because of this, and partly because the stock market has taken a beating due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NASDAQ, SP500, and most publicly traded stocks will be of higher value, priced in dollars, than they are now.
Santa Cruz, CA: I did something this morning that I haven’t done in a while – I got up early to watch the sunrise. I drove to the lighthouse where I first learned to universe surf six years ago. Even though seven million people are sheltering in place around me, you wouldn’t know it by walking along West Cliff right now. It feels very much like the old universe I still remember where people are doing their same daily tasks and getting ready for the day. I see a couple with a baby in a stroller. The church bells are ringing. The surf is crashing against the shore. Runners are getting in their morning run before they go over the hill to work – except they most likely won’t be going to work today.
I’m amused at how the Universe is such a trickster. Yesterday, I went to top off my car with gas. The cash price was cheaper, and so I asked my partner if she had cash. She gave me $12.25 for a $12.04 bill. I asked her if she had a nickel. She looked and looked in her purse and didn’t have any more change – only the quarter. So I went to the cash register with the feeling of wanting to hold on to the quarter. When I offered the $12, the attendant said that was good as he reached his hand into an empty penny-saver tray and pulled out 4 imaginary pennies. I kept the quarter in my hand and returned to my car. There were a few used disinfecting wipes to throw away, so I grabbed those and put those in the garbage. I noticed I was about to throw my quarter away! As I pulled it out, I noticed it was now a nickel!! I showed it to my partner and asked “Did you give me a quarter or a nickel?”.
“I gave you a quarter”, she replied as she quickly took the nickel and threw it back into her purse after noticing it was a nickel.
“Wait, let me see that again”, I requested. She dug threw her purse and finally found the coin. It was now a quarter again – although it looked like a different quarter to me with lots of crumbs on it.
I meant to go through her purse when we returned home, but forgot. I actually don’t have an explanation for what happened. My only clue is when I returned home, I felt in my pocket and pulled out a quarter. It was like the Universe knew it had flubbed up and needed to give me a reason to be able to rationalize what had happened.
The synchronistic part of this story is how a day earlier I was telling my new housemates about my grandfather’s experience during the Great Depression. My grandfather told me that when he lost a nickel, he would get physically sick because money was that precious. I wonder if the Universe was letting me feel that yesterday – which I definitely did.
We now live in a world that operates on a currency that is no longer backed by gold. Dollars are not worth an ounce of Silver anymore. They are only worth another paper dollar. And, if toilet paper continues to be in short supply, you may not even be able to get paper dollars soon – only digital.
Santa Cruz, CA: I walked along West Cliff earlier today, on this first day of the county’s Shelter In Place order. Exercise is allowed, provided that people maintain a six foot distance between each other unless they are from the same shelter home. I also went to Home Depot to buy some tools in order to renovate my RV. This feels like a universe where I’m preparing for an apocalypse. When I started this experiment in universe surfing 77 days ago, I remember being curious and excited. The excitement has turned into frustration and the curiosity has increased. I’m frustrated at my apparent lack of control. The last 16 days have felt increasingly volatile – as if multiple sets of universes are combining together. My curiosity is increased because this universe feels so different. I’m also curious if it’s possible for me to feel more in control. Can I surf back to the universe I was in 77 days ago? If I do, it will almost certainly be different because the timeline of my surfing experiment must somehow fit into that universe.
Before I try to surf back, I want to document this universe find myself in. Some things I notice different are:
- Instead of blogging daily, I’ve been tweeting daily;
- The US Congress is able to write and pass bills with bipartisan support;
- The retirement savings of most Americans is significantly (up to 33% or so) less, measured in dollar terms. Oil is also significantly cheaper;
- A growing percent of the world’s population is under some form of quarantine or shelter in place;
- Stores have run out of certain items and people have gotten into fights over toilet paper;
- Fewer people are working and more countries are planning to distribute money directly to their citizens;
- Countries are beginning to close their borders to foreigners; and
- “Social Distancing” and “Coronavirus” are now in the general vocabulary.
— Updates After Posting —
Since this blog post covered so many days, I want to add to it for the days I missed. I also want to reference blogs from others.
Crestone, CO: I’m at the Elephant Cloud Tea Shop in Crestone, Colorado – elevation 8000 feet. There’s a band on stage with a drummer, clarinet player, and piano player. I feel like I have surfed to a different universe because this universe I’m experiencing feels much different than the one I was in five days ago. Some of the differences I notice are:
- The global stock market is not at such an inflated value;
- COVID-19 has verified community spread in the United States;
- The US now has a coronavirus czar, VP Pence;
- China is no longer a country with increasing confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths;
- I’m now in a different state, at a much higher elevation, and there is snow on the ground;
- A friend of mine is now living in my home – my home is now on the road;
- I don’t seem to blog daily in this universe – or maybe the surfing to get here disrupted that;
- My diet is more vegan – just drank hot chocolate with hemp milk;
- I don’t run any more;
- The who.int COVID-19 risk assessment is now VERY HIGH for Regional and Global Levels with over 16 countries having confirmed local transmission;
- COVID-19 response is now being politicized in the US;
- There are more new confirmed COVID-19 cases outside of China than inside of China;
- Coronavirus is now a topic of conversation in the US at the family dinner table and the local coffee shop, including the one I’m in now;
- The COVID-19 CFR is now closer to 4% than 2%;
- Medical experts in the US government must now get clearance from the executive branch (VP Pence) before discussing the COVID-19 pandemic;
- US President Trump holds white house press conferences much more often;
- The first death from COVID-19 has been confirmed in the US;
- Afghanistan’s Taliban and the US are no longer at war;
- Pope Francis has cancelled the last 3 days of events due to cold-like symptoms;
- All 16 COVID-19 patients in Vietnam have been discharged from the hospital and declared cured;
- The Shincheonji Church of Jesus, founded in 1984 by pastor Lee Man-hee and with an estimated 240,000 followers worldwide, has been associated with the COVID-19 outbreak in South Korea;
- scmp.com is reporting that The Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) in Hong Kong is associated with the Shincheonji Church of Jesus and it seems that this religious institution is being linked, with questionable evidence, with the novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan;
- South Korea is able to test 10000 people per day for COVID-19 while the US can seem to test only 1% of that number;
- Thousands of migrants are now allowed to leave Turkey for the EU;
- There are long lines outside of COSTCO – panic in the US is taking hold;
- Iran’s former envoy to the Vatican, Sayyed Hadi Khosroshahi, has died of COVID-19; and
- Travelers from South Korea and Italy into the US will be medically screened before boarding.
Yesterday, I blogged that I was 20200223u Day 54: Surfing to a Universe where I work for Alphabet. Today, Alphabet stock is down 4.28% on my surfing move (Ha!).
Of course the financial news didn’t pick up on my surfing move and they blamed the drop of Alphabet on a 125nm diameter coronavirus. I mentioned a risking to stocks 30 days ago in 2020 Day 25: Wuhan Coronavirus in the Year of the Rat:
I’m feeling now a universe where the stock market is negatively affected by the Wuhan coronavirus.
The feeling I remember having then was more negative than the drop in prices today. which was the worst day in two years. I’m currently invested in a superposition of two universes – one where I’m fully invested in the market and one where I’m fully out of the market.
It’s been almost a couple of years since I’ve worked for a large tech company. The changing of the seasons on our planet play a role in universe surfing because of the regular cycle that has been going on for the over four billion years that the Earth has been in existence. In the northern hemisphere, Spring will be coming soon and will bring renewal. The winter seasonal flu/corona virus infections will wane, sunshine and rain will come, and the flowers will bloom again.
I can feel myself working in a nearby universe. Yesterday, I walked through UT campus and up to the building I would be working in if I were in the universe I mentioned in 20200211T Day 42: Surfing to a Universe where I analyze viral genomes. The door was locked and I didn’t have a key card to get in. There were lots of kids outside to learn about science:
Near the universe where I’m researching viral genomes at UT, I am surrounded by other universes where I’m working on something else. In support of surfing to a universe where I’m researching viral genomes, surfing toward universe where I work on anything at all will help move me in that direction (given that I’m currently surrounded by many universes where I’m not working on anything).
So, in addition to my viral genome research universe surfing, I’m going to surf toward a universe where I work for Alphabet.
Now back to my current universe where I’m dancing to DJ Hamid in my kitchen while my parallel self is dancing at ecstatic dance.
With 27% of the precincts reporting in Nevada, the county delegates are divided amongst Bernie (46.6%), Biden (22.7%), Buttigieg (14.5%), Warren (8.9%), Steyer (3.7%), Klobuchar (3.3%), and Tulsi (0.1%). As projected in 20200219W Day 50: Quantum Analysis of Debate Shows Bernie Likely to Win Most Pledged Delegates, Bernie is on track to becoming the next U.S. president in many universes. However, there are also many universes where he does not become the next U.S. president. In those, there are likely to be things going on that are different from the one we experience today.
Update 2020-0223-0900CST: With 50% of the Nevada precincts reporting, the county delegates are divided amongst Bernie (46.6%), Biden (19.2%), Buttigieg (15.4%), Warren (10.3%), Klobuchar (4.5%), Steyer (3.8%), and Tulsi (0.1%). It’s interesting that Bernie’s percentage stayed the same (within 3 sigdigs anyway) and also of note that Klobuchar moved past Steyer to gain the number 5 spot.
Update 2020-0223-2100CST: With 88% of the Nevada precincts reporting, the county delegates are divided amongst Bernie (47.1%), Biden (20.9%), Buttigieg (13.6%), Warren (9.7%), Steyer (4.6%), Klobuchar (3.9%), and Tulsi (0.0%).