Saturday, 24 April 2021

Comment Catch Up

As I have mentioned previously, thanks to @Beigemartin who mentioned that he had commented recently but the comment had not appeared, I discovered a treasure trove of unpublished comments awaiting moderation dating back several years. Rather embarrassing really, but I used to receive emails telling me that comments had been received, but at some point this appears to have stopped.

Of course many comments were time sensitive and there's no point commenting on them now, but some of them look interesting and as I've said in the past, comments are a good source of inspiration for future posts. Plus it's just rude to ignore a comment when someone has taken the time to contribute, even if the slight was unintentional.

So if you've commented and not seen your comment published, mea culpa and apologies. I'd rather assumed that leaving comments on a blog was passé but maybe not.

So working my way back in time, and Marty (presumably Beigemartin) had this to say on my March Wrap post a few days ago:
You might consider adjusting your S&P return to GBP, or at least ensuring they are in the same currency, for comparability.

I wasn't sure what he meant by this, since the returns of the S&P 500 versus FTSE 100 were compared to a 100 unit starting amount, and no currency was mentioned. The point I was trying to make was that the US index had grown that 100 units to 270 units while 100 units invested in the UK index had lost value. Thanks to ALuckyA Day, I realised that some of you are looking to compare the actual amount in real terms, taking into account exchange rates and perhaps inflation too, but this is going much deeper than I intended. 

Yes, if you had converted £100 into dollars at the end of 1999, invested that $164 in the S&P 500 and then converted back at the end of the period in question, you wouldn't have £270. (You would actually have more - £336.16 - thanks to Brexit and the exchange rate dropping from around $1.64 in 2000 to today's $1.39, but point taken.) It's good to know people actually think about these posts!   

Going back in time, at the start of the year Wayward Lad commented:

Great to read your blog today. I must confess that I'm not a regular visitor, but being a blogger myself, I know the time and effort to keep it going year-in-year-out is tremendous. Good luck in 2021, and I promise the visit and read more often.
It would be a lot easier to blog if I didn't miss comments for several years! 

My old friend, the very knowledgeable Matthew Trenhaile, took me to task for a line from this post written during the aftermath of the US election back in mid-December:

"If anyone has experience of dealing with any Help Desk, not just Betfair, you'll know that these aren't the sharpest and brightest of people." 

That really is an unpleasant thing to say. The sweeping nature of the statement also of course makes it factually incorrect.

Of course it was a generalisation, but unfortunately my experiences over the years have led me to this conclusion, although Betfair's training may be partly to blame. For whatever reason, the information being given to bettors during the post-US Election period was incorrect, and while I have little sympathy with those betting based on the Help Desk's word rather than on understanding the market rules, this should not have happened.

While talking about Matthew, he left a comment back in July on this US Election post saying:   

"The always excellent The Economist" This is presumably an exaggeration and I don't believe even The Economist themselves would claim to be always excellent. In fact I would suggest that "always" when applied to excellency is a tough standard to meet for any entity. I was particularly disappointed at the last general election that the publication suggested that all readers who had the same values as it should vote for the Liberal Democrats. When voting in a first past the post environment willfully throwing away a vote in this fashion is completely meaningless. If general elections were conducted in the not always excellent but more excellent than FPP way of proportional representation and single transferable vote then the advice might of held merit. The most important thing when voting is that your vote carry positive expected value much like in betting. The more optimal way of voting when dissatisfied with the status quo is to vote for the most popular non incumbent party. Even if you do not agree with that party’s policies the most important thing in politics is invariably to, as cricket commentators are want to say about bowling to a batsmen, “keep ‘em honest”. Safe seats become less safe and marginal seats are often lost. Only when the constant threat of change is embraced can we hope to see progress. To use another cricket metaphor politicians must be forced to constantly play balls in the “corridor of uncertainty” otherwise they might develop a taste for leaving too many deliveries altogether or even worse start slogging with no regard for the team effort.

A good comment and of course the use of 'always' in this context was an exaggeration - my way of saying that this is a publication I enjoy. Excellence is a hard status to maintain, and is in any case subjective.

Also on the US Election, G wrote:

With little rationale and certainly no evidence to date I do see Biden somehow dropping out [on set dementia the most likely reason at this point]. I then see Clinton stepping in as the Democratic nominee. Could be pure fantasy by I’ve had a reasonable nibble at long odds on her being the next President. Time will tell off course but I just don’t see Biden carrying the Dems all the way to victory.

If any candidate was showing signs of dementia, I wouldn't have said it was Biden. Both candidates are up there in years, but Trump's decline over the past four years was the more notable. Fortunately G's fantasy was just that, and with no evidence was always likely to be. The more people betting with no evidence and little rationale, the better.

Finally, at least for now, and in this post I mentioned that:

1892-93 was a season that previously famous for being Bootle's only season in the league.

No prizes, but name the only other club to have played just one season in the league, and I'm not counting Salford City as I expect them to return next season!

"Unknown" guessed New Brighton, but that club played a full 21 seasons before dropping out in 1951. Salford City did play a second season, and the answer isn't Harrogate Town either! 

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