The Blind Men and the Elephant

I learned this story in grade school. There are times I think it should be taught even more in the echo chamber of the Internet.


A folk tale from India that teaches intercultural awareness by illustrating how different perspectives lead to distinct points of view.

Long ago six old men lived in a village in India. Each was born blind. The other villagers loved the old men and kept them away from harm. Since the blind men could not see the world for themselves, they had to imagine many of its wonders. They listened carefully to the stories told by travelers to learn what they could about life outside the village.

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2020 in Exercise

In the tradition of last year, I decide run a report of what I have done as a year in exercise.

2020 Activities

Activity Type

Activities

Total Distance

Average Distance

Max Distance

Total Activity Time

Total Elev Gain

Average Speed

Average Heart Rate

Cycling

39

1,135.58 mi

29.12 mi

63.77 mi

122:11:45 h:m:s

40,545 ft

9.3 mph

111 bpm

Gym & Fitness Equipment

140

--

--

--

39:55:55 h:m:s

--

--

88 bpm

Hiking

18

82.33 mi

4.57 mi

10.08 mi

50:24:51 h:m:s

21,588 ft

1.6 mph

103 bpm

Other

69

657.55 mi

9.53 mi

25.67 mi

193:19:11 h:m:s

5,951 ft

3.4 mph

81 bpm

Running

213

1,278.05 mi

6.00 mi

14.68 mi

266:30:08 h:m:s

74,226 ft

4.8 mph

131 bpm

Swimming

2

0.75 mi

0.37 mi

0.43 mi

31:35 h:m:s

--

1.4 mph

118 bpm

Walking

484

515.01 mi

1.06 mi

8.36 mi

193:24:20 h:m:s

33,900 ft

2.7 mph

100 bpm

Merry Christmas 2020

christmas_tree Merry Chrismas christmas_tree

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirin′i-us was governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there,In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. 2 This was the first enrollment, when Quirin′i-us was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. 7 And she gave birth to her first-born[a] son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

—Luke 2:1-7

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Care Givers

I forget where I found this, but it is true. Being a care giver and taking care of your parents, in society you are concidered wierd.

This quote is true.

/images/2020/caregiver.jpg

2020 Dow Strategies

2020 has been an interesting year. Over the years, I have become a fan of stock picking in the Peter Lynch view: Good companies with good management that you understand. However, it requires time and awareness. I am also getting to the age where I need to be more conservative with my money and savings.

I have been gravitating towards Dog of Dow in my Roths in my fight not to use ETFs. Check once a year, rebalance, forget till next year. Mostly safe.

In this post, I am going to compare, in a reproducible way. VFINX will be the proxy for the market benchmark.

What I am going to look at is:

  • Dogs of Dow
    • After the stock market closes on the last day of the year, of the 30 stocks that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average, select the ten stocks which have the highest dividend yield
  • Small Dogs of Dow
    • Five lowest priced Dogs of Dow
  • Mad Dogs of the Dow
    • After the stock market closes on the last day of the year, of the 30 stocks that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average, select the ten stocks which have the highest shareholders yield
  • Dobermans Of The Dow
    • Rank Dow constituents by Return on Equity (ROE), keeping the top 20.
    • Rank remaining names by Free Cash Flow Yield, keeping the top 10.

All offer a subset of the Dow Industrial. What is different is how you subset then sort.

Yes, I know they all offer returns. I just like to verify and show how I came to my results.

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I believe in science

While bord, I read about scientists questioning Einstein's theory of relativity. I found it interesting. I am not smart enough to question such things. I have to accept some subjects to get by.

To scientist, science is not so fragile that they don't question it.

Questioning Einstein excited me because something that I have grown up as settled and accepted science was challanged. I cannot find the article today, but I found something that had a great quote:

"Einstein's right, at least for now," [1]

This leads into the list that scientist once believed from another article titled "Let's Follow the History of Science Instead." [2] [3] The list was a basis for the statement that science and scientist are fallable.

  1. That the earth is a flat disk, not a sphere, and that it resides at the center of the solar system and even the entire universe.

  2. Said earth was created like 6,000 years ago.

  3. Complex life forms spontaneously arise from inanimate matter.

  4. Species evolve by inheriting acquired characteristics.

  5. That sickness arises from an imbalance of the bodily humors or bad air (miasma!) and in either case is best restored by draining the afflicted person of blood and/or applying massive doses of mercury.

  6. Maternal thoughts cause birth defects.

  7. Human beings are not all equal but rather composed of races, some of which are superior to others. Just measure their skulls for proof!

  8. Phlogiston and caloric exist and explain combustion.

  9. If you cultivate an area, rainfall in that area will increase. “Rain follows the plow.”

  10. Another ice age was upon us in the 1970s.

I can't entirely agree with everything stated in the article; however, the main point is correct. Science is not always right. Scientists are not monolithic. What makes science less fragile is to have a theory beaten to an inch of it's life and still stand.

Now, for my statement of faith: I believe in currently accepted science, till proven otherwise. I am not willing to treat science as a religion.

References

Mime encoded HMAC_SH256 in Oracle

Just going to say, mime encoding is almost as old as the Internet and is very used.

At work, we have a problem with vendor code. They are using java in Oracle. It works in TEST, but not in PROD. It is a permissions problem. I am no DBA right now.

What I enjoy about Oracle docs, is that there is amost no simple snippets of code to help or give ideas how to do things. AskTom is more the rule than the exception.

This is an example on doing an mime encoded hmac sha256 in oracle.

Pleasae note: dbms_crypt requires permissions.

select UTL_RAW.CAST_TO_VARCHAR2 (UTL_ENCODE.base64_encode(
dbms_crypto.mac(UTL_I18N.string_to_raw('MESSAGE', 'UTF8'),3,
utl_i18n.string_to_raw('KEY', 'UTF8')))) from dual;

Returns:

b41G4Q69boaNfRfITrxdIjoytRhjQ+mAou643eDJ9Ow=

The number 3 the same as: DBMS_CRYPTO.HMAC_SH256. Just that if you use DBMS_CRYPTO.HMAC_SH256 you get:

ORA-06553: PLS-221: 'HMAC_SH256' is not a procedure or is undefined
06553. 00000 -  "PLS-%s: %s"

The code above should work in Oracle 12c and above.