Quack, Quack, Quack

Remakes, rehashes and redos.

Curious Minds… Why are there so many remakes?

Nostalgia has always been seen as a strong seller in any market. Whether cinematic endeavor, board game, holiday tradition, or haircut there are always opportunities for organizations to rehash a previous winning idea to pull on those nostalgic heart strings.

“Fashions fade, but style is eternal.”. Yves Saint Laurent spoke these apt words years ago but Hollywood has taken this to heart in recent years. Remakes, reboots, reruns; there appears to be a limitless supply of rehashes from yesteryear.

Yet why does it seem like the amount of remakes is increasing. In 2020 and 2021 (all screwy due to Covid but…) these movies are going to be seeing revisits (or have):

The Grudge, Doctor Dolittle, Fantasy Island, The Invisible Man, Candyman, Mulan (sort of), The Wrong Turn, The Witches, West Side Story, Mortal Kombat, Masters of the Universe, Batman, Dune, The Little Mermaid, Night of the Comet, The Toxic Avenger, Escape from New York, The Fugitive, Highlander, Inspector Gadget, Blade, Terms of Endearment, Logan’s Run, Nosferatu, Videodrome and Scarface.

Videodrome. Seriously Hollywood?

We are one drunken contract night away from Rian Johnson and Kathleen Kennedy rebooting the Star Wars franchise where every movie is the worst movie in the series.

Let’s be honest though, this is an easy one that should track back to dollars.

Making movies is about making money. The entertainment industry, be it Disney, Warner Bros, or CNN are for profit machines that employ personnel who drive mega salary money, rely heavily on special effects and huge investments of technology, and are ultimately a spin at the roulette wheel to find a golden nugget.

There is a great saying I read recently, mentioned by Balaji Srinivasan (uber cool dude) in an article with Shaan Puri, that goes like this. What’s the difference between Announcements and Stories?

Stories have a villain. “There’s an old saying…you can have a religion without a god, but you can’t have a religion without a devil.”

So for every Darth Vader, Thanos, and Donald Trump; sometimes you get The Gingerbread Man, Ahmanet, and Killer Hornets. Sometimes it is really hard to come up with something original, so something familiar helps control risk.

Remakes are a simple play in risk reduction, right? Find something that had success, Scarface circa 1932. Make something (hopefully) that has amazing success, Scarface 1983 and then hopefully swing back around 40 years later to do it again. Clearly people love the story.

In fact, some psychologists posit that even though remakes don’t traditionally do as well as their originals, the remake itself acts upon consumers in a form of confirmation bias.

Yet, for all the thought on risk and bias, analysis show remakes on average make less money than the original and almost always have worse reviews. Consider, Disney’s remake of Cinderella, a children’s classic, made 2 billion less than the original.

Here’s how bad the remake of Cinderella was. I wrote a sick burn for Emma Watson for this article and then realized Cinderella was so bad, my brain had replaced it with a less bad Disney movie. Lily James who? (Sick Burn -> “Sorry Emma, nobody was going to see Harry Potter for Hermione and they aren’t moving on to Cinderella”)

Sadly, after perusing countless articles, this might be one of those curious minds that goes on to continue being curious.

Or does it…

Copyright thoughts…

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Lies, Damned Lies, & Statistics

Another good one from Tyler Vigen. Always enjoy his spurious correlations. This comes with an r of .9851. Very high correlation. The real question. Is comp sci free time driving arcade revenue, is is arcade revenue secretly driving the funding of comp sci doctorates?

Something to ponder.


Let’s Get Visual

This is one of those visuals that takes an impressive amount of creativity and data wrangling to bring to life. I recommend going to the link above and checking out the full size visual of the Women’s’ health connections. The colors represent different kinds of disorder types while the line items above show specific types of illnesses within the disorders.

Illnesses are not fun or visually exciting. Yet the impact of using the strength of the black background and varying boldness of white to show the depth of connection is inspired. The curvature quickly draws the eye to the connections between illnesses and the strength of their connections.

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PSA

Science. More politicized today than science probably ever thought it would be. Certain areas, it is good to claim science. Other areas, it is almost hypocrisy to state anything in the name of science.

For those still filling their bellies with only the sensational media, it may not have hit yet that the CDC announced recently that if you have been vaccinated for Covid-19 you are now “given permission” to take those masks off. It turns out that the highly effective Covid vaccines are… uh highly effective. (Hey CDC, way to join the rest of us)

Except of course if you are in a K-12 school. Now I know what you are thinking… I thought schools weren’t a chief vector of transmission. In fact, you would be correct as multiple national studies have shown schools are not vectors of transmission. In fact, the CDC’s own studies found that the schools are not chief vectors of transmission.

Unfortunately, schools are a chief vector of transmission of unions. And while studies show that schools and Covid have a tenuous connection at best, unions have a much more correlated connection with schools than any science. Here, here, or here; pick your poison.

Remember. Its all about the science…

Public sector unions == bad?

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Financializations

Dogecoin going to the moon, diamond hands, and all that.

Earlier this week Charlie Munger, investing billionaire partner with Warren Buffet, made headlines with his thoughts on Bitcoin..

”I think I should say modestly that the whole damn development is disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization.”

Pretty big words. Writer’s opinion here but I think someone is a spoil sport. A 97 year old having a tantrum because there is a new game in town and it doesn’t ebb and flow to the rules that the likes of the Mungers of the world have been able to capitalize on.

Charlie noted he disliked bitcoin and cryptocurrency as a whole because “it is useful to kidnappers and extortionists and so forth”. Ahh, so Charlie doesn’t like illegality in his investments?

Is that really the case? Is Charlie just worried about making sure all is on the up and up?

Because there was that Wesco deal that Charlie and Warren worked in the mid 1970’s. I believe the SEC investigated that and found wrongdoing. Bluechip had a payout to Wesco shareholders for shady dealings.

Then there was that time Warren and Charlie stepped in with the Treasury department to help out Salomon Bank, which they owned 12% of, to ward off sanctions due to illegal trading by agents in the bank.

Then there was the AIG finite reinsurance scandal in 2006. That cost a mere 92 million in settlement damages.

Maybe Charlie is frustrated that the system he has been able to build enormous wealth in, through sometimes less than legal measures, is no longer the system of choice.

This isn’t to say that crypto is good or bad, or that stocks are good or bad. Crypto is a relatively new investment vehicle that is being leveraged by consumers that don’t feel the current system is stacked in their favor (cough.. Robinhood… cough).

So, back to Dogecoin. Is this “going to the moon”? Who knows. What I can tell you is that back when it was 2 cents a coin, I made a small investment and then was extremely happy a few days later to pop out at 7.5 cents. At the time I didn’t buy into the Dogecoin fad and what the Dogecoin fanatics were trying to do.

Dogecoin as of writing this paragraph is at 50 cents. So with a bit more research and understanding of what was happening, my 200% profit could have been.. well a lot more.

Oh well, you don’t win them all.

Thoughts on crypto?

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World of AI

Ok, so a bit of a plug for Jerry an excellent app for shopping auto insurance.

Got to tell you, making this move and getting to work with the team at Jerry has been a fantastic experience so far. Working on some really innovative and exciting projects. Leveraging large data sets to impact customer happiness. Data science used the right way!

Excited about the things ahead!

If you want to read about what Jerry is doing in the auto space, click on the link!

And, stay tuned, might have a little podcast announcement in the near future :).

Shameless Plug!

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Photo of the Week

Sunrise at Red Rocks with the new stage roof!

Working on a lil project and this is one of my favorite shots to come from this morning. Thought those spots would be the death of these early morning shots but jokes on me I suppose.

Like what you see, feel free to share!

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Quote of the Week

Whether you’re excited or nervous when your favorite asset falls in price marks whether you’re investing or merely speculating…


Man. Solid week, I know the cadence is a bit off but moving, new house, takes it out of ya. Some fun topics to boot. Welcome Caleb, Jonathan and James! Thanks for the sign up!

If you think someone would enjoy this newsletter, please pass it on.

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